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post #91 of 168 Old 06-08-2017
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Re: America's Cup 2017

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
That is certainly the opposite of how things are proceeding now. The average age of professional sailors has plummeted, and the number of them has risen compared to the past.

I was just reading an article about the relative ages of the sailors in the past two AC series vs. the previous.

Another article talked about the youth series (the foiling 45's) program being designed to provide a bridge into this level of the sport and how successful that has been. For example, the NZ helmsman Peter Burling won the youth series last time. About 30% of those kids were pulled up into this AC series. It also described the long list of sailors trying to get into the youth program, and how there are more youths getting into sail racing just to aim for this level.

Using the term "youths" makes me feel old. GET OFF MY LAWN!

I think Ellison saved the sport, not initiated its demise. So far, the data supports this.

Mark
Sailing is not a sport to me... that's the difference between me and others who race and compete and watch AC.
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Re: America's Cup 2017

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
Sailing is not a sport to me......
I'm sure we're going to split hairs here, but I'm curious what it is to you.

Technically, the definition of sport requires a competition, but I think activities that require skill and physical participation are inadequately defined by hobby. Golf is a sport, whether you compete with anyone or not. (I hate golf)


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post #93 of 168 Old 06-08-2017
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Re: America's Cup 2017

The plain fact is that the AC could lose every sailor as a fan, and it wouldn't make a bit of difference in its long-term viability. Although we are the natural fan base, there are so few of us that we aren't even a drop in the bucket of the total sports and event marketplace.

The AC may have aspirations to be like NASCAR or Formula 1, but it's really more like the Triple Crown. Those are not really sports like the NFL; they are three "EVENTS". Ain't nobody (or almost nobody) there who really cares about horse racing; they are there because it's an EVENT, a big excuse for a party. I think the best outcome for the AC series is to create a series of Events that draw people in. It might even make some sailors out of a few fans. But I don't think there is much chance of duplicating NASCAR or F1.

Based on what I saw of the coverage in San Francisco last time, most people were there for the "experience". The race village had so much stuff to do and see, you could get your money's worth without even looking at the racing. The racing was actually fabulous, but that was more of a bonus than anything. I'd be very interested to know from our intrepid, on-the-scene reporter Mark what he thinks of the crowds in Bermuda. Did they come primarily to see the racing? Or did they come because it is a place to see and be seen? Some combination?

For me, I absolutely love the new format, the new boats, and the whole thing. The AC has always been a technology-based competition, and I like that this Defender has embraced that. On the other hand, I would have no problem if the next winner wanted to go back to IACC boats, or even 12's or J's. Just so long as they understand that no one but a small group of sailors would be interested in the races.
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post #94 of 168 Old 06-08-2017
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Re: America's Cup 2017

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Sailing is not a sport to me... that's the difference between me and others who race and compete and watch AC.
Then I fail to see your points, nor how you came to the conclusion that the AC will be done in a few more years if they continue in this manner.

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post #95 of 168 Old 06-08-2017
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Re: America's Cup 2017

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Originally Posted by mstern View Post
The plain fact is that the AC could lose every sailor as a fan, and it wouldn't make a bit of difference in its long-term viability. Although we are the natural fan base, there are so few of us that we aren't even a drop in the bucket of the total sports and event marketplace.

The AC may have aspirations to be like NASCAR or Formula 1, but it's really more like the Triple Crown. Those are not really sports like the NFL; they are three "EVENTS". Ain't nobody (or almost nobody) there who really cares about horse racing; they are there because it's an EVENT, a big excuse for a party. I think the best outcome for the AC series is to create a series of Events that draw people in. It might even make some sailors out of a few fans. But I don't think there is much chance of duplicating NASCAR or F1.

Based on what I saw of the coverage in San Francisco last time, most people were there for the "experience". The race village had so much stuff to do and see, you could get your money's worth without even looking at the racing. The racing was actually fabulous, but that was more of a bonus than anything. I'd be very interested to know from our intrepid, on-the-scene reporter Mark what he thinks of the crowds in Bermuda. Did they come primarily to see the racing? Or did they come because it is a place to see and be seen? Some combination?

For me, I absolutely love the new format, the new boats, and the whole thing. The AC has always been a technology-based competition, and I like that this Defender has embraced that. On the other hand, I would have no problem if the next winner wanted to go back to IACC boats, or even 12's or J's. Just so long as they understand that no one but a small group of sailors would be interested in the races.
They already have made this a series of events. The AC world series goes on for two years before the finals, and that travels all over the world bringing stadium sailing to many. Then those boats are handed over to young sailors for competition events, while the others move into the LV and AC.

The crowds here are very diverse. The organizers have done a great job of making the event available at low cost to the local population, and on weekends in particular they make up 50% of both the land and water spectators. It seems both an event and race to them, as they watch the race intently, then go anchor together and party.

The non locals are very diverse - lots of Brits, Swedes, NZ and surprisingly many Japanese. There were a lot of French during the first round. Most seem to be keen on the sport and not here for the event.

The superyacht crowd appears to be here entirely for an event - not sure they even know racing is occurring.

If the races go backwards from here, the group of sailors interested in it will be even smaller than you suspect. Nobody under 20 is interested in slow monohulls at all. Nobody. Most have never seen a slow mono AC event, and many weren't even born for the last one. These kids will never accept an apparent wind aft of their beam and view spinnakers with derision. There are a lot of young kids here, and they are eating this up. The local yacht club kids sail foiling moths (I've never seen these before, but they are zipping around here - woooweee!).

Anyone you might get a negative opinion from about the direction and future of sailboat racing is an old man yelling "get off my grass".

This tide has turned.

Mark

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Last edited by colemj; 06-08-2017 at 09:21 AM.
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post #96 of 168 Old 06-08-2017
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Re: America's Cup 2017

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Every sport has that challenge. I bet few in Tennessee understood what was going on in hockey before the NHL moved a franchise there.

The rules haven't changed in sail racing from the old days of slowpoke boats drifting around miles offshore - and nobody fretted about fan base then.

In the old days, there wasn't a related 2-year world series that moved from city to city around the world generating excitement for the culminating AC event.

Today, the graphic overlays and repetitive quickness of the race do more than ever to help people get up to speed. The announcing here has been fantastic (drunk guy excluded) in explaining basic things like laylines, starting tactics and splitting vs. covering - not to mention more esoteric things like how foils work and are controlled. I don't know about the broadcast going worldwide.

The technical aspect of this type of racing helps bring in a broader audience. Nobody from outside the sport really cared much about the technical aspects of different shaped bow knuckles or barely perceptible changes in keel shape. But the interest in wings and foils and their control systems is very large outside the normal boundary of the sport, and are drawing in new audiences. I know people who don't really know what is going on in the racing tactics and never followed the sport, but who have dived deep into the aerohydrodynamics and technical aspects.

Not to mention that the sport is now drawing athletes from other professional sports! Look at the crew resumes. You will find professional rowers, canoeists, swimmers, ironmen, and cyclists on the teams.

Mark

I agree with all of this, same thing kind of happened with bobsledding with Football players, not to mention there were some NASCAR people involved with bobsledding at some point as well.

I wonder where the trickle down will come... Like a lot of sailboats now have winged keels I wonder if cruising cats will end up with some AC technology.

Not just the overlays, but I enjoyed in the last AC when there were discussions of the tactics and then they talk about the results.. like one boat going to the outside of the course, versus down the middle.

One can't lose the fact that having the ability to watch from land has to be a plus.. not just int he viewing but the Grolsch tent as well


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post #97 of 168 Old 06-08-2017
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Re: America's Cup 2017

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I'm sure we're going to split hairs here, but I'm curious what it is to you.

Technically, the definition of sport requires a competition, but I think activities that require skill and physical participation are inadequately defined by hobby. Golf is a sport, whether you compete with anyone or not. (I hate golf)

Maybe not for everyone, but I think for most, when I am on the water and there is another sailboat about the size of mine, it is a race, even if they or I don't know it ..

In some ways, that 'competition' gives me some valuable feedback on my sail trim (not always good).
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post #98 of 168 Old 06-08-2017
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Re: America's Cup 2017

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I'm sure we're going to split hairs here, but I'm curious what it is to you.

Technically, the definition of sport requires a competition, but I think activities that require skill and physical participation are inadequately defined by hobby. Golf is a sport, whether you compete with anyone or not. (I hate golf)
Athletics... competition... rules...

Sailing for ME is none of this. Sure it may be for others... as you can make two or more boats race... you have competition and rules.

Sailing involves skills... everything does... and intelligence... and it's a place for me to be closer to nature... to get some place with my own wits... so that I can experience them. It's a vacation home and a learning lab... It's not a sport to me.
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Re: America's Cup 2017

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l don't "follow" professional or spectator sports.
I don't think you are the AC's target market. It doesn't sound like you'd watch the old-fashioned or the new version.


Like you I am not into sports and rarely watch an event/match/game/bout. I will go to a baseball game because it's fun to eat junk food in the sun.

But I have been watching a bit of these new foiling cats. It's more like watching a rocket launch than a sailboat! They're pretty amazing. I'm a fan.
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Re: America's Cup 2017

@colemj

I explained why I think that many people who sail have no interest in the AC... especially what it has evolved into. Maybe it attracts non sailors? I don't know and I don't care...

I expressed my opinion and let's leave it at that.
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