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After 26 hours of travel, the On-The-Water Anarchy team has made it to a cold and drizzly Valencia, and the excitement is cranking up like nothing we’ve seen before. Unlike any AC in memory, this one has a level of anticipation that is palpable – with no comparisons available, there are only a tiny group of people that know who is going to sail away from whom come Monday morning. And we’re not in that group. But we can tell you how to find out…
ONE STOP SHOP
The volume of emails we’ve received asking about coverage of the AC is frankly overwhelming, but finally, enough ducks are in enough rows that we can give you this – the comprehensive guide to the various coverage options you have starting Friday.
Layline 33rd Cup Anarchy Special Report
As we’ve been telling you all this week, the OTWA team for this event is a special one, and we’re committed to bringing you the most in-depth coverage ever seen during any America’s Cup. Our team is six strong, with Mer shooting pics that will rival anyone’s, Petey shooting video with his customary flair, Aaron holding down the IT fort, multihull star John Casey and match racing studette Genny Tulloch calling the play-by-play, and yours truly holding it all together. Our coverage will all be centered around our Layline AC33 Anarchy Special Section, with multiple videos, a live player, photo galleries and slideshows, latest news headlines, and the hot topics in the AC forum. We’ll also have an AC33-only On-The-Water Anarchy forum where only our reporters can start topics, ensuring that the Cup talk stays on focus – at least as much as anything on SA can, and the dozens of AC Anarchists on the ground will update you constantly like only a community this size can. You’ll note that our microsite isn’t quite ready yet; you can thank Bertarelli’s antics for that, having left us a total of seven days to plan and fund our entire coverage at the same time as ensuring that real television shows would only make it to a tiny fraction of the people that would love to see it. Expect to see the Special Section site live sometime on Saturday, and expect to see future events use a similar strategy to give you the best watching experience possible.
Our coverage will begin tomorrow with our LIVE presentation of BMW/Oracle’s press conference at 1930 CET/1330 EST/1030 PST. Coutts and Ellison will take the stage and you can watch along in the embedded viewer on the Sailing Anarchy Media page, and you can even use the live chat feature to pass along questions that you want answered. We’d carry Alinghi’s press conference as well, but Bertarelli’s doing to us exactly what he has done to media everywhere that dared to criticize him – he’s banned us from attending any event in the Alinghi base. Is anyone still wondering why the sailing media are so afraid to ask him the tough questions? Sometimes the truth is painful…
Tomorrow we also start our interviews, which may end up being the most interesting part of the entire week. Mer and I will be taking a tour of the BMW wing around noon, and the list of folks we’ll be talking to over the next week is longer than Bertarelli’s face when the Jury threw out his pathetic wind limits. We’ll be posting them to various places, and you’ll be able to find our everything via the front page and the microsite.
We’ll also be bringing you live, On-The-Water Anarchy coverage of the actual racing starting early on Monday morning – REAL EARLY. We will hit the water sometime around 0800 CET, which is 2 in the morning in New York. Ouch! The racing itself starts just past 1000 CET/0400 EST/0100 PST, giving you West Coasters a great option for what to do after the Super Bowl; keep drinking and turn on your computers! We’ve got gyro-stabilizers and lots of toys to make our feed good, but this is the grass-roots stuff and we won’t pretend that we can do what the pros with the multi-million dollar production bid can. And while we can’t guarantee that our internet solution will work when we get more than 15 or 20 miles from shore, we will do our best to stay live all the time and give you the information that the official feed can’t or won’t, and we’ll be rebroadcasting our coverage of the race in its entirety the moment we get to shore. And while we will pimp our sponsors in the hopes that you patronize their company websites, we promise that we’ll never break for a commercial at an inopportune time to show you a pretentious Rolex ad.
If there is practice on Tuesday, we’ll be there live. Same for racing on Wednesday, and every day afterwards when the battle is on.
Americascup.com Official Live Feed
Despite a somewhat nasty reputation that shoreside director Michel Hodara earned as the director of the 32nd Cup, he’s acquitting himself amazingly well, and the total shit show that we expected here in Valencia looks almost well-managed despite no time and a mountain of work. Hodara and his team – working for Valencia instead of Alinghi – have pulled together what should be a pretty damned good TV and internet feed. They’ve got multiple choppers with gyro-stabilized cameras, some unique OTW footage solutions, on-board telemetry, and most importantly, an entertaining coverage team. Cup icon Peter Montgomery’s voice might make you want to punch him in the mouth, but you can’t deny that he is knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and pretty damned funny whether he means to be or not. Andy Green is another vet with great knowledge of the players if not the new multihull game, but ACM have solved that problem with the addition of RTW multihuller and cat rock star Cam Lewis – a great move and a real coup.
You can watch the feed from anywhere in the world at the 33rd Cup site, and if that site goes down from the traffic, you’ll still be able to catch the identical feed at BMW/Oracle Racing’s site. For a preview of the kind of work we can expect, check this out and get psyched.
Other than On-The-Water Anarchy’s live video, the official ACM feed is the only one coming from the race course, despite what a pile of phonies would have you believe. There are two such pretenders so far, and the first comes from online-only broadcaster ESPN360. They bought the feed from ACM and are rebroadcasting it over their own site and peppering it with their own ads, passing the whole thing off as their work, at least in the initial press releases we’ve seen. What’s worse is their host; possibly the most out-of-touch person they could get to commentate on a multihull match – Gary Jobson, who will be hard at his voiceover work from his pad in New England. Jobco has tried to address his lack of knowledge by adding AC winner (S&S Cat) and awesome multihull freak Randy Smythe to his coverage, but we predict Jobco will drown out Smythe’s brains and knowledge with yet more anecdotes about how he won the Cup back when color TV was still a fantasy. And let’s not even get into the Rolex ads…
The other sad attempt at commentary will be undertaken by the ‘Stache, Paul Cayard, who will also be in a studio talking over the official feed for rebroadcast on Eurosport TV all over Europe as well as on their own internet feed. Same stuff as at the official AC site with more commercials and the incredibly irritating monotone that Cayard has mastered in some misbegotten attempt at sounding ‘professional.’ Amazing what passes as ‘stars’ in this sport…
Yanks To The Rescue
In a late-breaking announcement, BMW/Oracle announced that not only would they be hosting the official feed on their own site, but that they would be broadcasting an entire program of race day coverage, including their exclusive footage of the dock out, a history of the AC, and pre-race analysis from some folks that certainly know what they are doing. We’ll have BMW’s coverage available on the live video player of our Special Section (clearly labeled as such and with their blessing) and you can watch it yourself at the BMW/Oracle site.
Pimp Our Ride
Please don’t forget to thank our sponsors by checking out their sites and letting them know you appreciate their support. The completely redesigned Layline.Com site will go live on Saturday with new gear added throughout the week, and it’s a perfect time to save a bunch of money using special coupon codes that we will announce shortly. Tune in for some serious tests of the brand new Gill Race Collection, and to see how it looks on Mer and Genny, and you must have a look at what presenting sponsor GUNBOAT and PURE have in store for you if you like carbon and speed – lots and lots of both. Sign up for Oman Sail’s facebook page to learn more about one of the truly groundbreaking sailing programs in the world today, and get psyched to learn more about the new company formed by the man behind the incredible growth and popularity of the foiling moth – Bladerider and Mach 2 designer Andrew "Amac" McDougall’s new Mcdougall Designs. There’s no site yet, but Amac’s got some great stuff coming down the pike that you’ll have to see to believe…
It’s off to bed now for three hours of sleep before about 90 more without…come back and see us real soon – you wouldn’t want to miss anything! Oh – and for a little more fun, put some money down on the winner.