SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
1982 Skye 51
Joined
·
379 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has the America's Cup lost its sheer sailing appeal to anyone else? First, let me say that I am a cruiser through and through and that I don't mean to start a negative thread (or antagonize any multi-hullers out there) but the Cup does not hold the same significance for me that it once did. The last Cup was mired in courtroom hearings that left a sour taste and this Cup features these new 72-foot multi-hulls moving 1.5 times the true wind speed downwind.

I know that the boats have evolved since the beginning and that technology will continue to improve and boats will become faster, more manuverable and generally capable of doing things that were impossible in the past but, when I look back at the Cups of the 80's (excluding '88), 90's and 00's I see more pure racing than todays events--more focus on the sailing and crew than the boats and politics.

Are we past the point of no return? Can we get back to the basics and infuse the old enthusiasm into the sport? I was in New Zealand in 2007 while the Louis Vuitton was going on and there were crowds in every pub and TVs set up on milk crates on street corners airing the races. A Kiwi friend tells me that it's not the same anymore. That's the excitement I want back in the sport. Is it gone for good?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,911 Posts
For me, it's not the multihulls (the old rules didn't say they couldn't be used) but that the financial bar to participate has been raised so high that a sailing team not backed by a multi-billion dollar corporation can no longer compete.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,555 Posts
Check out some of the books on AC history. You will see that nothing has really changed right from the late 1800s. My favorite is "Temple to The Wind" which is the story of Nathaniel Herreshof.

Names like Carnegie, NYYC and Lipton were who ran the teams back then. Certainly not your average Joes. Court battles also ensued back then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,261 Posts
I accept that it always has cost a lot of money.

But I'm just not interested in seeing it done with cat hulls. They're just drag racers, all straight-line speed. None of the upwind tacking duels and close-quarters maneuvering which to me are the heart of racing.

There's a reason why 99%(?) of one-design racers aren't cats. And it ain't money. They just take all afternoon to tack, and are not satisfying to race even if it's between reach marks only.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
12,156 Posts
Who can forget the Americas Cup in 1983 when Conner in Liberty held of the Winged Keel Austrailia two for 7 races before finally losing the cup to the vastly superior boat with the first bulb/ winged keel. His feat of tacking and pinning the Aussies boat was one of the most glorious match races I ever saw.

Now its a hyper money techno race.....although it was already starting to be that back then, with thelarge corporate sponsors and syndicates.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Minnewaska and tdw

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
I agree about the amount of litigation involved, and think it's revolting. Regarding your experience in NZ....The Kiwi's are the most enthusiastic sailors on the planet IMO. Don't expect the same experience here. Having said that, check out this coverage of the San Diego AC races. AmericasCup's Channel - YouTube
I'll be surprised if it doesn't excite you, and make you think the changes will be good for sailing in general. I love sailing and racing my mono hull, and respect tradition. However, for me, watching a mono hull race is like watching grass grow, with brief exceptions. It's a new AC and I'm exited about it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
But I'm just not interested in seeing it done with cat hulls. They're just drag racers, all straight-line speed. None of the upwind tacking duels and close-quarters maneuvering which to me are the heart of racing.
Have you actually watched any of the racing? It most definitely is a tacking/gybing duel and the courses have been designed to force the competitors to race in close quarters. Because they're being sailed close to land the courses are shorter and tighter. Take a look at the San Diego fleet race finals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
Have you actually watched any of the racing? It most definitely is a tacking/gybing duel and the courses have been designed to force the competitors to race in close quarters. Because they're being sailed close to land the courses are shorter and tighter. Take a look at the San Diego fleet race finals.
I have watched some of the TV coverage and it was pretty exciting however the course modifications you mention would have worked just as well to make monohull racing more spectator friendly.

I also happened to catch the TV coverage of the NYYC Invitational which featured amateur racer teams from around the globe on Swan 42's in one design racing. That was as exciting as the AC coverage to me and the fact these guys were not paid to sail made their skills all the more compelling to watch.

For me, that event represents the pinnacle of what sail racing SHOULD be with non professional sailors from around the globe representing their country and club in head to head competition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,535 Posts
@midlifesailor:
Thanks for the reference to the NYYC Invitationals. I too have been looking for some video that reminded me of the racing coverage from when I was a kid (Aussie here, so we're talking about the Sydney to Hobart & similar) as we get no race coverage these days. YouTube and your reference brings up some great amateur sailing video :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
This is very similar to the way I feel as well. Nothing against multi-hull's, I think they are pretty cool to watch. Just not in the America's Cup. Tactics and the hurried frenzy of an upwind beat were interesting to watch. Plus I'm a history buff so a mono-hull appeals to me more for this race.

I also am not a fan of how commercialized its become. I like it much better when the competing yacht clubs and boat names got top billing not the corporate sponsorship. I guess I just wish for the days when everyone knew the boat was named Stars & Strips and not Oracle. Corporate logo's on a boat have become incredibly overbearing, just look at the VOR.

I accept that it always has cost a lot of money.

But I'm just not interested in seeing it done with cat hulls. They're just drag racers, all straight-line speed. None of the upwind tacking duels and close-quarters maneuvering which to me are the heart of racing.

There's a reason why 99%(?) of one-design racers aren't cats. And it ain't money. They just take all afternoon to tack, and are not satisfying to race even if it's between reach marks only.
 

·
Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Joined
·
4,526 Posts
When AC became corporations it lost it

This is very similar to the way I feel as well. Nothing against multi-hull's, I think they are pretty cool to watch. Just not in the America's Cup. Tactics and the hurried frenzy of an upwind beat were interesting to watch. Plus I'm a history buff so a mono-hull appeals to me more for this race.

I also am not a fan of how commercialized its become. I like it much better when the competing yacht clubs and boat names got top billing not the corporate sponsorship. I guess I just wish for the days when everyone knew the boat was named Stars & Strips and not Oracle. Corporate logo's on a boat have become incredibly overbearing, just look at the VOR.
I agree completely. When it was country vs country you did not nptice it was rich guy vs rich guy. Now it is corporate sponsorship and who can sign up the best Kiwis first. Much, much better if the boats represent countries and crews are from that country. One solution would be to choose a design limit that was cheaper so some multi-millionaire could do it rather than requiring a billionaire or huge corporation. I would not be against going back to 12 meters or even 8 meters (J-boats would be great but the costs get silly in a hurry) on a modified course or even different style courses on different days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Well, I started off thinking that I'd rather see a mono race, but after seeing the cats fly, I can't wait to see the big ones duke it out for the cup. There are lots of rich folks who can pay the freight, but corporate adds are not such a bad price to pay for what looks to be a very exciting show. Pat
 

·
Relapsing
Joined
·
155 Posts
Oh - when I'm named Emperor, the SECOND thing that's going to happen is that the America's Cup race is going to be restricted to 10 meter monohulls with canvas sails and hemp ropes. Maybe wooden hulls, if I'm in a bad mood.

What's that? What's the FIRST thing that's going to happen?

It's going to become a felony to decorate or advertise for the Christmas holiday shopping season until AFTER Santa passes the reviewing stand during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
649 Posts
There are plenty of Corinthian races these days - the NYYC invite is a fine example. The amateur match racing circuit is another ( see Baldwincup.com for an example )


However, there is simply no all out insane extreme race expect for the AC. let the vulgarians have the AC. It might do the sport some serious good.


I saw 2 days of the AC45s in SD last week - it was very different than what I consider as true Corinthian racing , but let the brash, loud, and very fast professionals have their fun.

We can't all wear crested blazers and mumble while drinking dark and stormys at the club bar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,767 Posts
The AC has gone from a rich man's (women's) sport, to an uber-rich corporate sport. There are no underdogs anymore, they are mathematically eliminated by their checkbook.

I have nothing against corporations, but they exist only on paper. Only people can have passion.

Do any watch US college basketball and remember a couple of seasons ago when Cornell made it to the third round of the NCAA playoffs? Cornell, a top US Ivy League school that forbids athletic scholarships was to play Kentucky, who didn't have a single player that wasn't on a full scholarship. A group of talented young men, who went to school principally to get an education, where to play a powerhouse of athletes, who went to school for free so that their University can inspire esprit de corps and raise money. Most of the Kentucky players will not graduate.

Kentucky, of course, won. While I have no objection to Kentucky's business model, the sport allows a Cornell to be in the game and many were pulling for them.

The AC has lost that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KIVALO

·
Sailing Junkie
Joined
·
300 Posts
I am all for new technologies being developed and influencing our cruising boats and this all is driven by the America's Cup and other like races where hardware companies are striving to put their gear on cutting edge boats.

What I would like to see happen to the America's Cup is the addition of a "classic" race in which "J" class or "W" class boats go head to head. If this is unreasonable due to the shear size and expense of these beauties, maybe limit it to 12 meter yachts. Oh, and let's keep them all wooden:)

Also, while I'm at it, since the crews are not limited to country origin/race teams, I think that the venues could be rotated like they do in the Olympics where countries compete to win the venue selection.
 

·
Broad Reachin'
Joined
·
2,038 Posts
I'm not a racer nor do I follow racing much, but I do find the AC (as well as the VOR, Vendee Globe and Velux 5) exciting. The technology is something I can't see anywhere else. However, I can see very competitive one-design mono-hull racing in many other locations if I so choose.
 

·
Bluenoser
Joined
·
192 Posts
I lost interest in AC a long time ago. After the Aussie and Kiwi victories, it stopped being an international competition and became big business duking it out. Big business support is OK, but the ligatious stuff turns me off. I follow the Vendee Globe now for thrills, chills and real, hairy racing in real boats. (at least most of them make it through an ocean or two):D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,555 Posts
I would like to see it nationalized. Even though that was never a requirement.

A Scotsman named Charlie Barr was selected as captain of the Cup defender COLUMBIA, which defeated Sir Thomas Lipton's SHAMROCK in three straight races in 1899.

BTW, Lipton(as in Lipton tea) was the Larry Ellison of that time. He used his corporate resources to try and buy a cup. He never did succeed although NYYC did always manage to tweak the rules in their favor. It could be argued that the US basically controlled the cup through cheating but Lipton was always above that and accepted defeat graciously. Very much unlike Ellison.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top