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Posts Tagged ‘ACEA’

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You remember the old classic, right?  ”Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water” is one of the most famous taglines of all time, while the movie kept some of us from swimming at the beach for a lifetime.  Well now, just a day after the America’s Cup got back in track with a sound Jury decision, ACEA boss and perennial foot-in-mouth Kiwi Stephen Barclay muddied up the waters just enough to  confuse the world yet again.

Barclay said in a statement that ““This means racing can continue if the teams abide by the existing Class Rule and the Safety Rules…”  The full statement is some of the most mealy-mouthed shit we’ve read from an organization with a serious communication deficiency; it barely acknowledges a powerful smackdown from the Jury, and doesn’t acknowledge at all that two of Murray’s overreaching ‘Safety Rules’ are completely invalid – something the public already knew.  Do they think they’re fooling anyone, or is the culture of defensivity so strong inside ACEA that they are simply incapable of admitting they were wrong?

Worse, this statement, combined with ACEA’s seeming unwillingness to accept an embarrassing loss and move ahead, adds confusion back into a situation where the public and media were finally beginning to understand what’s going on.  Barclay, an old engineering university pal of Coutts, and ACEA communications staffer Tim Jefferies, an old business associate of Coutts, don’t seem to understand the most basic of PR facts:  When you confuse people or fail to give them accurate information, at a minimum they learn to dislike you, and more likely, they make up their own explanations for what they see.  The public’s dislike means they ignore you.  The press’s dislike means they rip you apart.  According to a few influential AC reporters we’ve spoken to, the lack of clear information combined with the smug, bitter attitude which seems to infect most of Barclay’s statements, are the main reasons the media are tearing the AC apart at every opportunity.

While even some of AC Anarchy cleverest members don’t quite understand what Barclay’s release means, we think we do; so let’s try a little Barclay channeling.  Here’s how we’d have said it: “With just two days until the first race between ETNZ and Luna Rossa, there is not enough time to modify the Marine Event Permit to reflect the Jury’s decision invalidating two of its safety provisions.  However, since ETNZ and Luna Rossa currently comply with the MEP conditions, they are authorized by ACEA and the Coast Guard to race this Saturday.  The Regatta Director expects to revise the MEP to reflect the jury’s decision no later than XXX date.”

That wasn’t that hard, was it?

 

July 12th, 2013 by admin

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We have to admit it:  As silly as this spectacle is, we watched every minute of ETNZ hammering around the course at speeds over 40 knots in the second no-compete Louis Vuitton race.  They nailed foiling gybe after foiling gybe in picture-perfect conditions, and it all looked quite pretty.  It even got interesting for a few minutes, here and there, thanks to some good commentary from Andy Green and guest Murray Jones – interesting almost in spite of everything ACEA has done to hamstring the TV production.  You might remember professional announcers, multiple audio channels, onboard video and audio earlier in the cycle – all those things that keep yacht racing – even at 40 knots – interesting enough to watch for an hour.

The organizers may have given up on all that; rather than doing a spectacular job and trying to repair the harm Ruddergate has done to the event, they continue down the road they began when the production team and coverage plan were slashed to pieces more than a year ago.  The best coverage of AC racing hasn’t even come from the AC, but from World Series events like Plymouth.  Coverage now – in the opening round of the Louis Vuitton Cup – is a shadow of what ACTV teams produced in Plymouth over a year ago.  Have they given up entirely?

Or is this just the “B” team – are commentators and camera crews are the economy version, and we’re seeing just a fraction of the audio and onboard we’ll see in a few weeks?  It’s hard to say just yet (thanks to the usual non-transparent ACTV plans), but we hope they’re just saving money for the moment; otherwise how would anyone explain the presence of silly Annapolis videographer Tugger Thompson announcing in a TV booth?  At least he seems to have reined in the fake baritone voice he’s used in his videos for a decade.

But never mind the announcing package: What we really don’t understand though is this:  WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO ONBOARD VIDEO AND AUDIO?  You know – that shit that keeps sailboat racing at least partially interesting when it turns into a horizon job, or, ya know – when there is just one competitor to watch?  We seem to remember an entire audio/video package worth a small fortune that each team’s required to carry during racing.  We certainly remember panning onboards and dramatic team audio from the entire ACWS – it was what made an innovative, quality production into something we couldn’t take our eyes from.  And we’d like it back, please.

With just a hair over 50,000 views of the first non-race and sparse TV pickups around the world, even the B-team coverage still has to be some of the most expensive per-viewer sports coverage in history.  We know it is going to get better (right??), but it seems unnecessary to start at the very bottom.

Share your thoughts about it.

 

 

July 10th, 2013 by admin

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