With the America’s Cup out of the picture, the Audi Medcup has taken over as the de facto king of big boat Grand Prix racing. Even with reduced numbers for 2009, the Medcup continues to be an onsite and virtual circus – and the organizers have upped their game with a technology that was used so well during the last AC if you forked over enough money.
The Medcup folks have brought in Virtual Spectator to broadcast all their races, with a much-improved interface that gives the audience almost limitless control of the action. We had issues loading the live feed while watching the Alicante event, but the replays were perfect and a real pleasure to view, as you can see for yourself. The audio feed was another story, and we’ll chalk it up to teething pains for now.
If the VS stuff can be done cost-effectively, it could add a lot to any major regatta, as long as everyone realizes that it’s just one more tool. If sailing events focus on virtual spectating, they’ll run into the same problem that sailing videography has had for two decades: After a few minutes, boats are boring – only people make spectating interesting to a wide audience.