No Interest in the AC?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by RHough, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member



    Except that the comments were not quasi-racist. The comments were about the forming of Conventional Wisdom and how it can look so right and yet, be oh-so-wrong.

    I guess that we can refuse to accept that there are severely declining numbers in both sailboat sales and sailing participation around the world. If that refusal process is a truth, then we might as well go skipping down the street naked and suggest to everyone that we are wearing the most beautiful new sequin encrusted suit.

    Excluding the global recession, this is still not a good climate for sailing ventures of any kind and with but a few exceptions, it hasn't been for some years now. A prudent examination of the reality would typically indicate a coalescence of the participants in order to strengthen the bond, not a need for separation.

    The principal building block of human civilization is based on the gathering together of apparently disconnected interests for the betterment of the whole. Yet here we are, participating in an argument that has as its theme, the segregating of types for the betterment of a few.

    Well past the obvious irony, one can only draw the conclusion that the effort to divide is doomed to failure, with but struggling individual interests managing to hang-on to colloquial contests.

    Perhaps a pulling of a few straws from the vast jumbled haystack of sailing is worth the energy. Straws that show that somewhere, somehow, a class is thriving because of exclusion. I'm sure that they are out there. I'm not convinced that it would be worth the effort to do so, or of the example that they might represent once extracted.

    What I'd rather see is a coming together of the interests, so that a truly great sporting activity doesn't slip into its own segregated irrelevance. I don't see how anyone is hurt from the process. I do, though, see how it could strengthen an obviously flagging interest in the sport.
     
  2. TollyWally
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    TollyWally Senior Member

    Dennis Conner and Ted Turner = America's Cup

    LOL,
    When Ted raced the media attention wasn't on Conner.

    When Conner was the skipper and public face fronting a syndicate media attention was on him. Media attention creates celebrity, celebrity creates media attention. Media attention helps create hype, hype creates media attention. Media attention creates national attention, national attention creates media attention. All revolving around the fickle tastes and whimsical notions of human nature expressed as enthusiasm. Feedback loops and fashion, the madness of crowds.

    In any event, all of this is my opinion. Human nature is a timeless constant. It expresses itself in everything we do. Mono and multi, cats and dogs, hunters and birdwatchers. In this country we have a right to freely associate, this may not be true throughout the residencies of our collected forum. Forcing oneself on others is not the same as a right to freely associate. In any event I think much too much drama has been heaped upon the shoulders of CT.

    Gentlemen, by all means, carry on. :)
     
  3. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    While the America's Cup has never really been about fairness, I think US interest actually peaked after we lost the cup. Prior to losing the Cup in '83, sailing in the US was still considered pretty much a cornithian sport. Yes the rich guys had thier semi-pro "pick up" crews provided by the lofts, but generally it was rich individuals who made up the money base for the AC, SORC, Big Boat Series, etc. It was nothing like the comerical professionalism getting underway in Europe at the time or the Golf scene.

    It was Ben Lexcen's slight of hand with Australia II's keel and certificate that started this whole modern farcical game. After the US realized that underhandness was acceptable again, Conner easily won the cup back for the US in '87 (but in a 12, not a cat) and the US was ready for a more "modern" rough and tumble professional euro approach to the sport. Michael Fay's blatent attempt to buy the cup in '88 with KZ-1 opened the floodgates of money and deviousness that we are reaping the bitter harvest of now. Conner defended in a cat that twisted the deed around and from there it just snowballed. Intrest was still high in the US despite the growing comericialism of the IAC class but after the obvious political decision to select S&S over A3 to defend in the '95 Cup I think many in the US realized that the game was rigged by people behind the scenes. From there, I think the opinion of the US changed after the ever more blanent attempts by the defenders to maintain the cup at any cost (such as the NZ challenger trials date selections and the Swiss LVC farce).

    My opinion is that people in the US want a sailing venue that is moderately, not perfectly, fair but most of all transparent. Introducing your lawyers as part of your crew is offputting to the nebulious sense of sportsmanship that I think we americans posess. My sincre hope is that they don't sail all the races, the Court yanks the Cup, and next summer we sail a DoG regatta race off Sandy Hook. 1 Day, show up, sail what came over on her own bottom.
     
  4. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    so what do we think of 1 minute of racing followed by a time trial of 2 different boats?
    I dont think anyone will bother watching the next race
     
  5. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    I thought the start was as exciting as any I've ever seen in the AC-and I've watched all of them. These boats were simply magnificent to watch-it was a spectacular event in my opinion! I hope multihulls stay in the event at least until a 90' monofoiler beats one.

    Congratulations to Team USA!
     
  6. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    Doug your looking real good for your age!
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ===============
    Well, thanks! Of course, I should have said all of the races that have ever been televised in the history of mankind, or something like that. Sorry....
     
  8. Zed
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    Zed Senior Member

    This just ain't match racing, bring back boats suited to dueling in close quarters.
     
  9. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    Nobody said forcing, my man.

    What has been suggested is that inclusion is a far more effective tool than exclusion for a sport that looks to be in a very slowly decaying spiral. I don't know why I have to say this at all, Tolly, as you wouldn't be allowed to enter, anyway. Your name starts with a T. ;-)

    When my daughter was growing up, she played very serious soccer beginning at the age of ten. When she first started, there were five different sanctioning bodies for kids playing the sport. There was no substantive interaction between any of them, as they viewed each other as rivals. They each held their own championship tournaments, not allowing teams from the other groups to enter. It wasn't long before the kids started to drift away from the sport due to the confined limitations of playing the very same 4 teams over and over while they knew that there were other good teams and great players outside of their own group.

    I thought it odd that exclusion was the theme when all the kids kicked around the same kind of ball, set-up the same size of net and wore the same cleats. The only difference... the egos of the organizing bodies and the colors of the various jerseys worn. The various league directors were being excessively selfish at the expense of the greater body of players.

    Then something, apparently quite novel, came to pass. The groups sat down and for the betterment of the sport, combined their efforts into one sanctioning body offering a state-wide championship tournament and soccer exploded as a very popular youth sport. Nobody forced these directors to come together. It just became obvious after several years of declining participation, that something had to change and eventually, intelligent thinking came to the front and the problem was solved.

    My daughter, through the enhanced level of combined competition, developed excellent skills and was eventually offered a scholarship to play at the University level. So, I guess you could say that I have a very personal understanding of the process of exclusion when it comes to athletic activities. I don't see it as positive at all.
     
  10. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    i'm still waiting for someone to show me where cats have been excluded from a multi class regatta?

    The fact that Ma and Pa floating houses when they are cats are far less suited to racing than Ma and Pa mono's and you can flip a cat/tri and thats pretty rare in a mono but nevertheless......

    When a cat is overloaded its a dog but when a mono is overloaded its just a bit slower, same issue in powerboats with cats versus mono.

    Cats make very good sense in many parts of the world but not all.

    I have sailed in both high performance cats ( non beach) and houseboats.
    I normally sail beach cats and keel boats by choice.

    Do I thinks cats will be good for the AC, NO and exactly what I expected to happen did.
    DO I expect to ever see them again NO, they might go where all the other match racing cats are....pretty hard to find!!! only I class I can think of and thats not a national class in most countrys....maybe any?
     
  11. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    What, exactly, was it... that you expected to happen?
     
  12. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    it would be a drag race between two vastly different perfoming boats which after the first race everybody will know who will win the rest and not bother to watch any further.
    The last AC was also a done deal before the boats hit the water but it looked closer as the speeds were lower and the results did almost depend on the wind strength.
     
  13. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    So here is the basic question...

    Is the America's Cup about who has the better sailors, and therefore should be sailed in identical boats to test the sailors; or is it about who can build the better boat, and as pointed out can lead to horizon jobs depending on conditions?

    Right now it is about who's lawyers can sue to warp the rules to get the best conditions to race the boat they built.

    I think going back to a box rule and a fixed race schedule would be a great improvement for the Naval Architecture development of sailing, but it wouldn't make exciting racing.
     
  14. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ================
    I think it is,was originally and should be a design contest... I think the Cup should allow and encourage the highest level of sailing technology and right now the multies represent that. I think the ridiculous,artificial constraints on racing should be fixed but other than that it was a great race yesterday....
     

  15. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    for a long time the race was basically rigged with the US team the heavy faves based on a number of rules favorable to the home team. The rules were lightened up some with the idea of it becoming a more competitive race. course then some of the munchkins got the idea of putting a fin on there keel ( not entirely legal but they did manage to pull it off ) and the rest is history. Its also right about the time the lawyers started to get involved in a serious way.

    thing is its always been about the boat design and the restrictions placed on it
    at this point the technology has come far enough to make for run away wins and no contests depending on who made the better design choices often times years in advance

    I still enjoy the race but it has changed
    and it should
    just like the designs themselves its important to keep trying new things and new formula's

    lest the race would be boring

    ok some years are better than others but its an organic process and one IMHO that is well worth the advancements its offering the sport

    another way to look at it is that folks with more money than sense need to spend on something lest they are not helping the economy
    some few folks that might not have otherwise survived these troubled times likely has because these folks looking to race in the cup spent and spent big on there toys

    I say more power to them

    although it might have been interesting if each team could drag the other teams lawyers behind the boat in nothing but his brief case and goggles :p

    maybe next year
     
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