DOG and Pony Show – Two Views
1) The BMW Oracle team was proudly introduced, the venue discussed, and token glass of Moet Chandon raised on a very warm San Diego afternoon at the DogZilla base camp today. Larry expressed certain reservation about RAK – and genuinely seemed concerned with regard to safety. He also mentioned he thought rules changing at the last moment was less than ideal – he said if he could change the rules of basketball at the last moment, he’d be the #1 scoring player in the NBA. Point made.
CEO Coutts calling him the ‘best helmsman in the world’ declared that "Jimmy" James Spithill would be driving and Larry ‘wouldn’t miss it for the world’ with regard to being onboard. Of course, the boat we all know well and love was indicated as being the one which would be raced – little surprise for most who already understood this to be true – except maybe "Gardener" who lost a thousand Euro on a bet in opposition. They did say there would be ‘significant modifications’ – but did not mention a motor.
The event drew a small intimate crowd – no more than about 300 in total – some old timers from San Diego – America’s Cup days and some kids (SDYC youth) presumably who will sail in a future event. But like most ‘grip and grin’ parties, the event wasn’t much more than a fancy ‘hello’ to all who bothered to come out. There is a lot to do in San Diego, most people were out doing that rather than visiting the harbor. Good news for locals who enjoy DogZilla – BMWO announced they will stay in San Diego to train until mid-November. They seem rather fond of the place – no kidding. We’re glad they are staying – see you on the water. – Squid.
2) This was sent to us by one of the attendees at the BMWO "special event" who wishes to remain anonymous…
I was at the big BMW so called "amazing event" today and I can assure you it was anything but amazing. It was poorly attended, poorly run, and had almost nothing compelling about it. If this was their attempt to show the public or even the sailing audience what they are all about, I’m afraid all that was accomplished was to verify that sailing is little more than a third-tier sport. And in this case one run by a super wealthy megalomaniac who seemingly knows nothing about presentation, but likes to spend a lot of money on a large and strange looking boat that absolutely no one, except perhaps a few multihull sailors, can relate to.
Clearly BMW has lost their way. First, they wouldn’t be designing cars that look like lumpy Hyundai’s and second, throwing money away on this AC effort or this "amazing event." The only thing amazing was how unamazing it was. Fire hoses? The Old America? Harrison Ford was there. Nobody knows why. Ellison, Ehman, Coutts talked. Nobody knows what they said. And as far as I could tell, nobody cared.
Amazing would have been taking people out for a ride on the tri. Or set up a temporary road course and let us drive some of the new BMW cars around. Something. Anything but this. This was not amazing. Way to go, BMWO.