Sailing is not a spectator sport

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by CT249, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    I think you may be on to something there.
    Some great passionate input from CT.... & maybe I chucked out a little bait... apologies, just a little tongue in cheek go at the motor sport stuff that seems popular.
    Sailing should be more popular & some just for tv events could help & anything that encourages involvement from all ages and genders is great, seems "serious" sailing is just too that... & plenty of bearded fossils to prove it. A vibrant inclusive scene is the way forward... in my perfect world there would be tequila sunrise sails on the blue topaz waters & picnics, barbeques, hot dog racing events followed by yachtclub dancing, swimsuits would be for swimming, sand for digging & castle building.
    There's some great role models within the sailing scene, some form of promotion that represents as a fun lifestyle rather than the pinnacle & big boat events, the "surf" scene has this with fashion & coolness marketed.... sailing has an equipment issue of purchase/aquisition & storage that's a big hurdle.
    Jeff.
     
  2. Barra
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    Barra Junior Member

    Of course its not a spectator sport and never will be.

    How on earth are you going to explain the fact that Tom Burton pretty much won the race in the Pre Start before the start gun had even gone, then capped it off with the inside overlap at the last mark after picking the favoured side of the course.

    Fantastic race and had my undivided attention and won it by getting inside the Croats head.

    Sailing is like a chess game, and you can't possibly explain all the moves to someone who has never raced sail boats.

    Weather racing bath tubs or A cats its all in the rules and the tactics, theres no accelerator pedal, and good luck explaining the difference between just the right amount of pumping and ouching down wind and too much that gets you a pirouette.:D The size and the speed of the boat and the colour of the sails has nothing to do with an interesting race, ITS THE MIND GAMES THAT MAKE SAILING INTERESTING.

    The skill involved in rolling those lasers down wind cannot be appretiated by those that simply can't understand why they aren't steering straight for the mark.

    Give up now , Sailing is not a spectator sport and never will be. Showing a non sailor a great yacht race is like casting pearls before swine.
     
  3. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  4. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I would agree that both these clips are more watchable than 99% of the broadcast olympics. What both fail to do is communicate the real sport -who is in contention, how did they get there, what will they do to win. In short this does not address what the sport needs to be valuable real time broadcast. I my mind AC34 accomplished this but I have yet to see it work outside of match racing.

    Shorter races on faster boats is a big improvement for sure. I don't know if it can make the sport an appealing watch for idiots like the cited reporter, but I sure look forward to trying. Foiling is a far better answer than quitting.
     
  5. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member


    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...n-olympics-bet-stumbles-thanks-to-millennials

    I told you so!
     
  6. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    I agree with you about 34. I watched all the AC events ever televised and 34 was better than all them combined(except maybe for 83). There were more lead changes along with blistering speed and pretty good announcing.
    The two videos I posted were not intended for anything more than a visual record. Had they been combined with the techniques and technology used in 34 they could have been a tremendous broadcast event. If the boats aren't exciting in and of themselves(that means flying above the water at high speed) the "masses" won't watch......
     
  7. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    I think the biggest issue is that the boats that are typically sailed in the Olympics are frankly so boating to watch. Evan as a sailer watching the Finns just isn't that interesting if you don't really understand the tactics.

    Put them out on Moth's, and it's a completely different story. Not just because of the speed, but because of the real risk of crashing, and the visual interest of the boats themselves. The 49er's are a step in this direction, and the Nacra 17's will be once they start foiling. But sailing in circles at 2kn just isn't fun to watch.
     
  8. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    I've watched this clip again and again - the most enjoyable clip of racing I know.



    Ok, its extreme boats in full on conditions, guaranteed to produce exciting sailing, but a few points in particular:

    1) the showmanship of the crew; they risk their clear victory by flying the spinnaker when they don't need to, but do so anyway, for the jollies. It would be interesting to know if the sponsor also values this spectacular footage despite the risk to the win.

    2) committed, professional commentary which is not at all technical - they totally commit to the race. I can't imagine that this isn't exciting, even to folk with no understanding of the race rules and tactics.

    3) The footage doesn't chop about too much. Too many sailing videos cut too quickly between shots; you don't have time to get engaged and excited before its on to the next shot.

    4) No music, or graphic enhancements. The energy of the commentator gets the excitement across more consistently than a heavy rock track, which always sounds like its trying to force excitement when it isnt there.

    5) No 'boat on boat' action. Just the commitment and showmanship of the Nokia crew is enough. A more closely run race would only add to the excitement.
     
  9. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    1- Wittey's sponsor (the guys who pay for the 18 Footer Nokia, in the clip above) pays for air time. Olympic sailors' sponsors pay for winning. Therefore what Whittey did in one race isn't really relevant - especially since we don't get to see the all the other boats that tried the same thing and neither won or got airtime.

    2- Personally Mumbles' commentary drives me nuts.

    3- Agree 100%

    4- Agree 100%

    5- As noted, Olympic medal funding bodies don't pay for showmanship or commitment but for medals.

    6- As noted below, the series that clip came from collapsed and died. The class which is featured in the clip collapsed and effectively died. What does that say about the effect of that sort of clip on participation levels and its impact on the sport?
     
  10. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Here's the Beijing Olympics last race - better sailors in harder conditions than the 18 Footer race above. More carnage.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tHGeFYmbNI

    And where did sailing rate after this - third last. So if crashes and extreme sailing attract viewers, why didn't sailing zoom up the ratings after the race in the clip above?

    Interestingly, one guy with a successful business selling kitesurfing, windsurfing and mountain biking gear says that the clip above is a terrible advertisement for the sport of sailing, because even his customers who love extreme sports reckon it looks stupid when everyone crashes.

    If we have gone from 470s and Solings to Nacras and 49ers and STILL not gained ratings, where is the slightest shred of evidence that going to still faster boats will gain ratings? Oh, by the way, that televised 18 footer series - it's dead, and has been for years. Not enough people watched it. What does that say about the effect of extreme racing and ratings?

    Surely at some stage we surely have to stop saying "if we just make the boats more exciting people will watch it" when we have already done that and it hasn't worked.
     
  11. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    The funny thing is that a couple of years back, people were saying that putting non-foiling 49ers and spinnaker-carrying Tornadoes in the Games would do the trick. They didn't work. Now people are saying putting the Nacras on foils will do the trick.

    Before the 49er and Tornado with kite came along, people were saying that the RSX would do the trick. Before that, they were saying that Soling match racing would be a ratings winner. Before that, they were saying that the Mistral would get TV. Before that, they were saying it was the Lechner windsurfer. Before that, it was the windsurfer discipline.

    So the claim "the next class is more spectacular and will improve ratings" hs been made half a dozen times before, and sailing still rates 3rd last. Why should we assume that THIS time the new classes will work, when exactly the same claim has failed half a dozen times before? How often can we hear the same sort of claims made, and the same sort of claims proven false, before we start saying that the claims should be ignored?

    If a class that can do a fully airborne loop at the same altitude as a cameraman's helicopter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP_bIRODVmE
    can't get airtime, then why would foiling Nacras? To a non sailor, is a foiling cat at the usual flat angle of heel actually more interesting than a seahugging cat flying a hull?
     
  12. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Spectator Sailing in Flying Boats

    -------------------------------
    Thats pure nonsense: where is the televised Olympic video of the Moths on foils? Where is the televised Olympic video of the GC 32 on foils?
    These boats represent a huge step up in visual excitement!
     
  13. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    No Doug, it is NOT pure nonsense. It is a fact that people have previously said that if we make the boats more exciting then people will watch, and it is a fact that such an approach has not worked to deliver the ratings boost they claimed. Please try to be honest, at least.

    Yes, we all know that you are nuts about foiling but other people were nuts about skiffs and spinnaker cats. Some of them had far more experience than you with sailing media (that's not hard) and many of them had vastly more experience with the craft they promoted than you have (you have absolutely no experience with foiling Moths nor, IIRC, with foiling cats). They said the same sort of things you say about their favoured craft, and they were wrong. You have not presented any facts to demonstrate that you are right, and your own personal passion is not a fact. By the way, if you ever actually saw such craft in reality (and even sailed one of them) you may actually note that it's often quite hard to watch them foil. Edited videos from boats operating on the racecourse in a way that they are not allowed to at the Olympics are not a reliable guide to what Olympic telecasts may look like.

    Can I ask how much time you have spent working in the sailing media, on professional photo boats etc?

    Furthermore, the whole idea that "visual excitement" of such type creates higher ratings for Olympics sports is nonsense. It is a simple and undeniable fact that anyone who cares to actually do some research about the ratings of the various Olympic sports can see. Sports that have "visual excitement" like BMX, whitewater canoeing and skiffs sailing in strong winds rate much lower than sports like flat-water rowing or road cycling, which look comparatively boring. Therefore your whole apparent belief that "visual excitement" creates higher ratings is demonstrably wrong.
     
  14. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    It would be interesting to know what does make sports popular to watch or not. Take the 10,000 metres track event for example. Half an hour of people running slowly in a circle...
     

  15. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    =====================
    No, it's not a "fact"-it's made up BS-high speed flying boats such as the GC32(sailed by a Team!) and Moth have never been tried in the Olympics and the boats that have been tried are incredibly different from these foilers. Comparing any previous Olympic boats to these foilers is just absurd.
     
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