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Posts Tagged ‘America’s Cup’

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There’s a lot going on in this Emirates Team New Zealand video of the start of the Auckland-Russell Coastal Classic, and whether you’re into analyzing AC50 designs, love watching ‘old vs. new’ shots, or you just want to see one of the world’s ultimate sailing destinations in glorious HD drone shots, this short is not to be missed.  And maybe there’s fodder for the “Which is better, Auckland or Newport debate” over here?

October 30th, 2016 by admin

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screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-1-31-08-pmOnce again our ever-reliable rumor mill was right, and Dr. Harvey Schiller’s exodus from the top spot at ACEA came just before the AC organizers got smacked down by an arbitrator for breaking their contractual agreement to hold the AC Qualifiers in Auckland this coming February.

As we reported in August, Schiller and Coutts had been at odds for the better part of a year over Coutts’ screwing his fellow kiwis over, and according to the NZ Herald, ACEA may have to pay Team New Zealand up to $5 million for breaking their contract.

Of course Coutts and pals are fundamental enemies of transparency and literally no one is allowed to say anything about anything.

Look for an announcement about this sometime right after…never.

 

October 11th, 2016 by admin

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The ACWS Toulon provided yet another opportunity to watch the world’s fastest boats drift around for two hours this past weekend.  In fact the Med was so bad that the only foiling came courtesy of Groupama’s tender and a long tow rope.  When this is the only thing worthy of a highlight reel for your title sponsors, you know it’s pretty awful.

The black cloud of shitty breeze and shrinking audiences continues to follow the ACWS around everywhere it goes, and with the Auckland vs. ACEA arbitration decision argued back in July and a decision expected soon, it may be about to get a whole lot darker.  Here’s a CNN report on the actual racing.

September 13th, 2016 by admin

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We’d prefer not to support Oracle Team USA until they either drop the USA or add some American sailors, but we can’t pass up this very well-done clip of sexy A-list superstar skier Lindsay Vonn and her day of sailing an AC45 in Bermuda.  Brilliant work from the always brilliant Sam Greenfield (working for the big O).

September 3rd, 2016 by admin

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They may or may not be the first AC team to nail a proper foiling tack on camera, but they’re definitely the first to provide a ‘how-to’ guide to it!  Great work from Chris Draper and the SoftBank Team Japan ‘media team’ (ahem…Matty…ahem) on provide compelling content for their fans and the public – something we’ve seen precious little of over the past year.  Chat about SBTJ here, or learn more about Softbank’s “flack” here.

August 25th, 2016 by admin

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Like the vast majority of you we have not watched much AC World Series action for a host of reasons we’ve documented many times before, but we’re always happy to share it with you when we find it for free!  Thanks to Canal + for continuing to post full race videos like one of the Portsmouth days above; now let’s see if Russell’s minions allow it to stay online…

Don’t hold your breath if you’re looking for foiling…looking at past numbers, it appears the ACWS has seen foiling conditions on less than 40% of all official race days.  If someone at the America’s Cup doesn’t sacrifice a virgin to the wind gods before next summer and somehow fix their awful weather karma, a low-riding straight-foiled AC50 might just win the whole shebang in 5 knots of Bermuda High zephyrs.  Now THAT would be interesting!

July 29th, 2016 by admin

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If the America’s Cup were a one-design battle, we’d likely see the awesomely talented Pete Burling and his ETNZ boys run away with it, just as Pete has done against largely the same competitors in the past few years of Moth and 49er racing.  But even the highly restricted AC50 box rule allows enough design differences to likely take the ultimate prize out of the hands of the skippers, and the likeliest winner will be the team that can figure out how to get the most out of their foils, aero, and wing controls.

With variable ride control (à la the Moth) and changing foil shapes banned, designers tell us that variable foil bend characteristics may prove the key to the top speed puzzle.  You can see just how much bend the Oracle Team USA trial horse is putting into their foils, as seen above and shot the other day in Bermuda.  There’s plenty of carbon bending knowledge inside the sport – see Moth, Finn masts, for example – but could the importance of flexi-foils mean the F-1 connected design team at BAR have a real head start?  After all, Formula One has been playing around with variable bend issues for a long time, most recently earlier this year.

Iron pumpers will recognize from whence comes our story title.  For the rest of you, clicky.

June 20th, 2016 by admin

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With just a month to go until the ACWS Portsmouth and Big Ben’s BAR Team coming off their best performance of the series so far in Chicago, morale is high at BARHQ – or at least it was until they dropped one of their wings on the building!  Nice eyes from one of the Anarchists at Spotted Portsmouth…anyone get a better shot than this iPic from the top of the Spinnaker Tower?

UPDATE: We spoke to one of our trusted BAR pals, and he told us they got away with one – no damage to the wing.  Let’s hope he’s right!

June 16th, 2016 by admin

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Press release: The last person known to be following the America’s Cup, Howard Grimby II, a member of Arizona Yacht Club, today announced that he’s finally calling it quits.  Both a long time follower and the last member of a dying breed, Mr. Grimby expressed: “I held as long as I could, but finally my second favorite hobby, watching saguaro cacti grow, proved to be more exciting and rewarding.”

The authorities governing the Trophy-previously-known-as-the-America’s-Cup announced changes to make the event more exciting, racing in covered stadiums in trimarans with blindfolded crewmembers, powered by the downdraft of helicopters while being strafed by A-10 Warthogs.

While the above is a fabrication by SA’er ‘MacGyver’, it sums up yet another lost day of ACWS racing, this time in Chicago.  It also points to the silliness that America’s Cup officials continue to cling to when trying to justify the two-day format of the Series, and how ridiculous it is to marry yourself to ironclad live broadcast schedules dictated by NBC and other major networks.

Warts and all (and gold-plated app prices) notwithstanding, Sunday’s forecast looks to be about the best of all possible worlds.  15+ knots from the open Northeast should make for the best racing in the series thus far, with live coverage on the local NBC station, non-geoblocked app watching, and a live experience that our moles have told us is ‘just awesome.’

While we do not recommend the overpriced, awfully-rated app you can download it here if you want.  And while we’d never condone piracy of any kind, that doesn’t mean the Anarchists have a problem with it.  Read the thread for information on watching the show without dropping any cash.

Here’s an interesting piece from Chicago Business about Don Wilson, the man behind the Chicago Match Race Center and the ACWS stopover, and the guy we most hope will take over when Larry Ellison steps away from the scene.

June 12th, 2016 by admin

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Thanks to SA’er ‘Francis’ in the Saxophone piece below we’ve already heard how much better the AC folks – with help from NY Organizers – have gotten at the overall ACWS atmosphere – at least if you are on the ground.  Unfortunately for the sport and fans of competitive sailboat racing, they seem to have gotten worse at everything else.  Here’s what the world – and the Anarchists – had to say about the actual race viewing in Manhattan.

Manhattan Mixer

Ben Ainslie echoed the sentiments of all sailors in this piece decrying the ridiculous race management necessitated by choosing an idiotic venue, and wondering how much more the AC is going to sacrifice in the name of the almighty dollar, and how far down on his knees Russell Coutts is in search of the almighty dollar.  SailorGirl Nic Douglass caught up with Ben here.

SA’er ‘_____’ brought his family, with a mostly negative review:

We were there on Sunday. The damn buildings…completely wrecked what would have been a puffy enough NWerly.  The course was too short. The boats looked like pinioned ducks trying to fly off the pond.  The crowd cheered to “let’s hear it for team USA”. Which I found bemusing.

I said to my kids, “I’m cheering for the French Team–I bet there are Frenchmen on it!” Apparently there was a french couple near us that heard me. Not sure they appreciated that bit of boorish Yankee humor–I’ll never know (my kid speaks french but didn’t hear anything other than a few words here and there).  There were a lot of foreign languages–I heard French, German, Spanish, possibly Russian. Lots of people there.

I was glad to have seen it, but frustrated by what was obviously a PR spectacle.  The Newport event without hydrofoils was much better in last go around–the boats got up to speed at least.

It feels like these toys are expensive, and the guys paying for them need their exposure, and that that is more important than making a viable set of races. Which is too bad. At least NASCAR builds tracks big enough.  The ferry terminal with the tarpaulin design got in the way of watching. So did the sculpture. And the buildings on far side problem.  Not sure this is such a perfect location. Somewhere else along the river would have been better perhaps. Maybe not really.

’6924′ snarks in:

I was there all day Sunday, great event, plenty of noobs, plenty of brooze, and beaucoup ladies. My group got pleasantly tipsy, watched a little sailing, and tried to behave adult.

Only a killjoy would complain about the corporate vibe, the stupid courses, the dumb Sh”t commentary, and the overbearing security

They should do this every year – maybe have a night race with flaming torches on board the boats or topless dancers on a barge in the river too.

Live: Dead

‘pwormwood’ summed up the wholesale failure of the live racing feed, echoing hundreds of comments on SA and the various social channels.  We searched high and low, in three different languages, and still could not find even a remotely positive review of the broadcast, whether you paid for it on the app or watched it on pay TV.

Unbelievably bad TV programming – they interrupted 11 minute races with 2 minute commercials, completely missing the finish of one race and spoiling the ever changing plot in the other two.  Then they fill the time between races with fluff bullshit rather than get the commercials out of the way.  WTF – the commercials so destroyed the continuity that it was frustrating rather than pleasurable to watch the racing.  With three 11 minute races in an hour of programming, there are 27 other minutes for commercials.  A normal TV show has about 15 minutes of commercials, so there is more than enough time for commercials without interrupting the racing.  It is amazing to me that a good sailor like Russel can watch that hour of programming and think to himself: “I can’t wait for my sailing buds to watch this – they’ll love how we captured & clarified the racing…”.  Frankly, I was embarrassed for having invited a sailing friend over to watch it…and I won’t do that again.  Fortunately, with the M-32′s, the GC 32′s, the TP 52′s, and even the Stars, there’s plenty of performance sailing to watch that allows you to view an entire race, start to finish.  In terms of quality of content, the AC is looking up at ALL of those programs.  I was glad to hear that the on-site experience was much better; but you are not going to develop a sustainable financial model just filling the “stadium”.  If you’re going to completely bastardize the racing to fit a TV program, you ought to at least make it a good TV program.

In an unrelated note, Longtime SA’er and New York Times reporter Chris Museler stayed away from criticism and grabbed a meaty look at how the young guns were displacing veterans in this piece.

People like the fawning Jimmy Spithill and the foreign sailing press can be forgiven for their ignorance of the realities of New York; the ‘huge crowd’ along the water was anything but impressive to folks who know a hundred thousand new yorkers and tourists will turn out to watch paint try if it’s colorful enough.  When we asked a highly respected journalist about the AC’s claim that ’75,000 spectators lined the banks on Saturday’, he gave us a great answer: “If bullshit were music, they’d be the Kings of Jazz!”

And while surely the handbag-sellers, watch-purveryors, and financial product pushers will be overjoyed with the b-to-b and hospitality trips that New York makes so easy, but by any logical metric, the ACWS New York failed to deliver anything of value to the sport or to a meaningful portion of the public.  Friends of Sailing Anarchy at the NYFD estimated around 50,000 people combined over two days, which would be a great number in a small town, but in New York, isn’t much higher than the number that would be through there on a typical weekend.  Remember when 50,000 people for the Volvo Ocean Race Miami was a huge failure?  New York makes Miami look like a country town, and with the joke of a competition put on by the event, there’s not much to build on when and if they return.

Once again, the Bermuda America’s Cup cycle confirms what we’ve said all along; the greater public, the sailing community, and the sport are all just an afterthought, and you should feel lucky that they give you and the rest of the peons even this piddling amount of consideration.  While the in-person experience is worth the trip if the venue allows decent sailing, the rest of the decisions – format, venue, TV and internet, marketing, commentary – are destined for history’s dustbin as soon as someone competent takes over in (hopefully) a year and a half’s time.

Read the ACWS NY thread for the most complete wrapup of the event.

#nevercoutts

May 11th, 2016 by admin

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