videovor breaking

video friday

It’s been a while since we had this many good ones, and the stories to go along with them.  Enjoy another edition of Video Anarchy.

Big Man in Big Boat

Jim Clark’s record-breaker 100 Comanche is just about ready to splash, and Mr. Clean walked through her last week to show you what this new VPLP/Verdier monster is all about.  Wanna know what the absolute coolest part of this new boat is?  Watch the video.  Editing thanks to Penalty Box Productions, and a huge thanks to everyone at Hodgdon Yachts for their total openness with our bald avenger.

Big Man In Little Boat

The continuing and unnecessary mystery of the cause of Andrew Simpson’s death combined with organizers obsession with a Guinness record may have turned us off a bit on Bart’s Bash, the inaugural festival has already raised some $400,000 for an extremely worthy cause; getting more people into sailing.  And thanks to AC ambassadors like Jimmy Spithill, the event itself accomplished that as well – even in the heart of the Midwest. Petey Crawford shares.

One of the best parts of last weekend was being on hand for the Bart’s Bash Opti race as the bookend to an amazing 3 days of sailing at Pewaukee Yacht Club for the E Scow Blue Chip. Local Opti kids, their parents, and some E -cow sailors were all in on a chance to get to race against Jimmy in what was a World Record event – Bart’s Bash. I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it, I love shooting kids (not Bang Bang but Click Click). Youth events are so much fun to shoot because the kids are always having such a great time. This outing was no different, and the smiles on the faces of the kids and adults alike were priceless. Parents with 1 and sometimes 2 kids all crammed into an Opti is a pretty cool sight for anyone with a love for sailing. Everyone had a great time and the never-ending stream of youth sailors in the autograph line was evidence that they were all stoked to race against Jimmy. I think I even caught him digging it a few times. All wrapped up was an epic regatta of action, smiles, fundraising and a bit of debauchery. Final highlight reel coming up next, with way more killer scow action, awesome aerial footage, crashes, and interviews.

Mona Lisa Overdrive

It’s partly a Vodafone publicity stunt, partly performance art, and partly a very creative way to showcase one disabled sailor’s drive, and in a sport that often lacks creativity, we salute 23-year old Lasse Klötzing and the boys behind the First Sailed Mona Lisa project. Their mission: Sail a GC-32 foiling cat through 271 waypoints on the Baltic Sea to create a GPS track of the Mona Lisa over 3 days.  Klotzing will use the Vodafone 4G/LTE network for all their connectivity, and they claim the entire thing will be live streamed on their website over the same network.  It all starts tomorrow morning, and we’ll be watching.  Hit the movie above for the full story.

Title shout for all the cyberpunks out there.

Milk Run

Yvan Bourgnon is easily the baddest motherfucker in all of sailing.  He’s won some of the biggest events in the sport, but it’s his ultra-extreme cat records that have kept us following him for a decade.  This is the dude that sailed around Cape Horn, across the Mediterranean, and across the Atlantic alone on a beach cat, and last year he embarked on possibly the only real challenge he had left:  Alone, unassisted, around the world.  On a beach cat.  With no electronics.

Check out the video above, and read on to learn how you can help this French cowboy finish his trip.

Around the world Yvan was stopped in Sri Lanka, but our Swiss adventurer does not want to stop there!  He needs us to continue.  He wants more than anything to complete his dream, up the channel of Les Sables d’Olonne after rebuilding his cat and a new beginning in Sri Lanka in January 2015.  Yvan has been able to recover much of the equipment (about 1/3 of the boat), Forward Sailing will make her new sails and help fund two new hulls, which are ready to go to Europe. The rest will be rebuilt and reassembled on site in a construction site, with the strong mobilization of Sri Lankans.

But to realize this childhood dream, Yvan needs support and appealed to all lovers of catamarans. He recently set up a crowd funding campaign to allow it to revive its “Louloutte.” He must find € 40,000 budget to rehabilitate his boat.

Today we represent the last chance to Yvan to finish this round the outstanding world. It will only be through your generosity that Yvan will complete the circle.  So hop on board and join this fabulous adventure –contribute here.

Caught in the Glow of the TV Screen

Above is the wholly underwhelming official Volvo Ocean Race promo clip released with yesterday’s announcement that the VOR would be hitting American TV screens, and we’re cautiously optimistic about the deal’s ability to help solve the race’s decade-old struggle to register on mainstream American radar.  The deal commits NBCSN (the America’s Cup broadcast partner) and OutsideTV to air 20 hours of programming produced by Sunset + Vine on behalf of the VOR.  For Americans wanting to see Alicante-sized crowds in Newport next summer, dissecting the impact of this deal is important, so let’s have a look.

OutsideTV is a nonentity in terms of viewership, though its support provides access to the millions of readers of Outside mag and OutsideOnline – a great demographic if you’re looking for new interest in sailing.  Last month’s Outside showed the Abu Dhabi boat blasting around the atlantic to some 1.2 million readers.

The NBCSN deal is more complicated, because the old Versus has been remaking itself as the educated, cosmopolitan man’s sports network.  Their America’s Cup broadcast adds to programming like Formula 1, Premier League, and the Tour De France, and with the US fans going increasingly global in their spectating, it’s a good spot to be in.  All that being said, NBCSN is still a guppy in a very big ocean; it’s only available to a bit more than half of the US, and if you go by the numbers from the America’s Cup – doubtless a bigger draw than the VOR to Americans – the best any sailing show would be likely to get is somewhere around 150,000 viewers, in a country with around 300 million people; 0.05 percent of the population.  Not inspiring.

Let’s add that to the VOR’s choice of producer; the ubiquitous Sunset + Vine.  Responsible for a lot of VOR movies – especially the live racing – for the 2005 and 2008 events, their work always seemed to make extremely exciting action somewhat less so.  Shirley Robertson’s CNN Mainsail show has always been reliable and watchable and full of good info, but again – it just lacks a little soul.  That might work for overseas markets, but not here – remember the America’s Cup Undisclosed or whatever that 750,000-episode long series was called?  Whatever it was, it failed – and badly.  Whether it was because S+V underbid the series by a fortune or because they are just not that good, the awfulness of the AC Underfunded series was epic.  The series never picked up any devotees and had a constantly shrinking viewership throughout its life, and if that’s the kind of product they feed to American TV, they won’t even get a tenth of what the AC got.  And we don’t know who made the promo above, but it has the same scent.

But of course this is a very rapidly changing world, and the AC suffered from awful promotion and almost zero advertising when it counted; if a growing network can succeed with a shit ton of cross-platform and cross-partner promotion, and if the live racing and weekly highlight shows are reliably spectacular and engaging, this deal could open those elusive golden doors to the US public.  We have heard that the deal includes a big number of tune-in promos to the race programming over the 9 months. That’s a positive, especially if they run during NHL, Premiere League or F1.

That is, if NBCSN realizes what it’s selling, and if we go by NBC Sports President of Programming Jon Miller’s statement, our optimism wanes. “NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Louis Vuitton Series and the 34th Americas Cup was a tremendous success and demonstrated the country’s strong appetite for sailing on television.” said Miller.  We struggle to reconcile Miller’s statement with the fact that the final race of the ‘biggest comeback in the history of sport’ drew a rating of around 189,000 households; around what Major League Soccer games get.  Does that really mean the country has a strong appetite for it?

While we sound cynical, we’re actually quite pleased; while Americans won’t soon see VOR in-port races on a major network, the new deal is a long way from the last-second FSN regional programming they had last time ’round, which wasn’t worth the dinner napkin it was written on.  Is a hundred thousand or so bodies on a dying medium worth the effort when the digital avenue could garner significantly more if executed really well?   That’s a whole different conversation.  And we’ll be in Alicante in two weeks to have it.

Iggy Pop supplied the title.