hobart hacks

We can forgive the terrible news coverage; after all, we’ve gotten used to a few sycophantic local publications showing nothing but their raging hard-on for Wild Oats to the world. Yes the aging maxi broke the race record as of an hour or two ago.  Wow.

We can forgive Rolex PR’s typically horrendous production of accurate, timely news and info; after all, we’ve accepted that, from the top down, Rolex runs things like they actually believe it is 1996.  Whatcha gonna do?

We can forgive the lack of multihulls despite similar races having joined the 21st Century; after all, it’s not like we ever thought the CYCA or NYYC would let ‘em in anyway for their big events.

We can forgive Wild Thing’s DSQ/DNS; after all, Grant Wharrington has a bit of a reputation of being late to the show and playing a little close to the edge when it comes to documents; no one is surprising to see a ‘safety certification’ issue now whether or not there was some political reason as Wharro seems to believe.

We can even forgive an OCS that was the subject for a Redress Request filed by the Race Committee itself; after all, it’s a pretty good group of race officers and they generally do what’s right even if it appears to run afoul of procedure.

But we cannot forgive the way that CYCA and Seven/Yahoo!7/ABC completely botched the two things most important to the Hobart’s sizeable international audience; the start video and the tracker.  It’s a special shame because the Hobart is one of very distance races to have any global interest at all, and the organizers have absolutely squandered it with a couple of major errors.

For years the Seven Network broadcast the start of the race live on TV, and for the four most recent of them, they’ve streamed it on the web in partnership with Yahoo.  It’s a well-watched show, even if technically weak compared to the latest great VOR, AC, or Vendee coverage, and hundreds of thousands were ready to check it out come Christmas/Boxing Day.

We even touted it on our own front page after reading a press release pimping the ‘global audience’ for the live start.  But unless you were in Australia, you got a big fat NOT AVAILABLE IN YOUR REGION message instead of boats tearing through the Heads. And no one at CYCA or Seven was paying enough attention to fix it.  No live video of the start.  No archived video of the start.  Just a handful of atrocious 7 sound bites with a few seconds of helo video.

To make matters worse, once the race started, the Anarchists started finding buggy performance and a crappy interface as standard features for the all-new Race Tracker, which is crap.  One anarchist even put together a better version in about 2 hours of work…

Follow the race (and multiple controversies) in the thread here.