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Thread: The state of my sport.

  1. #1
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    Default The state of my sport.

    Skimming through the major sports websites tonight there was no mention AT ALL on ESPN about what is supposed to be the pinnacle of yacht racing. None. Zero. CBS led off with a ridiculous story about how New Zealand was an emerging power in the world of sailing, most likely written by the 3rd string intern or someone not very familiar with his subject matter. NBC of course will cover it, but they have a vested interest.

    My personal opinion is that this one might have finally killed major network interest in this event. Mr. Ellison's vision has not translated well, and I sincerely hope that New Zealand does something to bring this back to a world the common sailors among us can at least relate to on a personal basis.

    Or not. Doesn't really matter, does it, what rich people do with their money? I just think it is really sad that they have skimmed sailing in the Olympics down to just a few 'niche' classes, the Admiral's Cup and the SORC are long gone, and the America's Cup is so controlled that even your average millionaire couldn't contemplate putting a crew together and jumping in. The Volvo is still pretty cool, though. I also read an article where the Olympics is considering an offshore race. That'd be pretty neat.

    Oh, and Doug Peterson passed away today.

    Mickey Lake
    Last edited by bamamick; 06-26-2017 at 07:50 PM.
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I'm being hopeful about the fact that the AC, like so many similar attempts to make sailing into a spectator sport, has flopped once again. For about 25 years many people have been promoting the idea that sailing needs to be more spectacular and to concentrate on thrills. In that time, the sport has gone downhill badly. The fact that the highly promoted classes often remain tiny (there's about 40 active Moth sailors in Germany, for example, a major sailing nation with hundreds of Finnsters) indicates that they are not the solution.

    I tend to think that part of the problem is that many "opinion leaders" had their heads buried so heavily in the sand that they didn't really see or appreciate high performance boats until a few years ago. It's like the fact that people started going ape about C Class cats and Moths a few years ago after largely ignoring them for decades. When people like Mr C finally woke up to the fact that skiffs and cats existed, they went overboard and decided that these types were the new and coming thing. They hadn't seen that high performance cats and high performance pro racing had come and (to a significant extent) gone before they noticed.

    In a few years time we may have a generational change. The British kids, for example, who sailed 29ers and have now grown up and moved to much slower boats like the RS200 may move into leadership positions and won't be encumbered with this old-fashioned view that high performance is the coming wave. Once some time has gone by, people may finally see that the quick boats normally aren't getting strong fleets and that boats like the ORCi cruiser/racers are. That may lead to a rethink that will see a new emphasis on accessible sailing for the 99%, instead of the current cargo cult thinking that leads pundits to say that lots of other people (and it almost always IS "other people" because the pundits themselves never buy and sail the boats they are telling others to get) will take up sailing if they can do it in a $30,000 foiling cat instead of a $2000 Laser.

    When sailing was growing, opinion leaders like Jack Knights, Bob Fisher and Ian Bruce actually owned and sailed the classes that were leading the way. They went with the sport as owners and sailors as it moved through dinghies into IOR boats and offshore one designs. They were immersed in the sport and understood what they were writing about in a way that few journos do today. It made them much more realistic and more knowledgeable than the current crop who normally just sit on the sidelines pointing the finger. They promoted an attainable, accessible sport unlike the current media, and it helped create a strong sport.

    I tend to wonder whether we'll need a bit of a revolution, though. Imagine if the Dragon, Etchells, Star, Laser, OK, Finn, ORC, Hobie 16, Solo, Lightning, IRC and PHRF associations all got together and said to ISAF and the sport "we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more - if you don't give us representation we'll form Sailing99% and leave you with the 1%ers you are fawning over". I led something similar in one branch of the sport a while back and it seemed to be pretty effective.

    Very sad about Doug.
    Last edited by Chris249; 06-26-2017 at 08:23 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Frankly, the only interesting aspect of this years AC spectacle for me, where the seven J boats racing about the bouys prior to the 'event'. Magnificent site and great coverage.

    Last time around, in San Francisco, the 130' reproduction Schooner America, sailing around the bay was a magnificent site. Routinely went out with 50 spectators on board, when the flimsey POS cats couldn't untie from the dock due to 'adverse weather' -15 KTS and 2' seas. Talk about shallow water sailors.

    Call me old fashioned, but watching seven or eight guys peddling stationary bicycles and running back and forth on a trampoline on the water just doesn't seem like an interesting sailing event. Always thought bringing back big schooner races would be a way to stimulate spectator engagement. I'll bet building a schooner fleet would be a lot cheaper than what Elliason and his billionaire hydrofoil club spent on six boats. What a sight that would be- 8 or 10 big boats scooning along in a freshing breeze, with spray driven off the dolphin striker. Driving right down to the finish line on a broad reach, with a thousand yards of sail flying. Maybe the Kiwi's will put 'sailing' back into the Rules the next time around...

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    The Sydney Hobart race is still reasonably accessible, plenty of 100% amateur boats with no sponsorship, other than the odd tax deduction for companies associated with owners or crew members. Sure the Maxis are big boats with big budgets, but there are a good number of mum and dad boats in the fleet too. But sure, the Americas cup has become irrelevant.

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    From the point of view of people like me, the Hobart's changed dramatically. Last year for example there were just four boats under 11 metres. In my first Hobart there were 23! The four "little" boats last year included two old wooden boats of very different speeds, and two 34 footers. We used to have a complete class of well-matched boats under 34 feet, with a lot of closely-matched racing between packs of half a dozen boats. These days, a 1930s gaff-rigged 30 footer is in the same class as a 1998 40 footer - you don't get to see the opposition and the winner even in the "small boat" class is largely determined by which of a pack of boats spread out over 140 miles, (assuming all are equally well sailed and will finish dead level on corrected time) hits the jackpot with the wind.

    The upper size limit has jumped by almost 20 feet, and the big boats are now more radical than the small ones. The gap between the frontrunners and the mid pack and tail enders has ballooned enormously. The big boats are heading for home before the little ones are finished. To finish the same distance behind the line honours boats as you used to do with a 30' cruiser/racer like a Currawong 30 or S&S 30, you now need a full carbon TP52!

    I've now got a boat that could do the Hobart, but if we did it we would not really be racing. It would be like a time trial where each time you sail 50 miles you roll the dice to see whether Sean Langman 70 miles behind gets a good breeze, or whether the 40-47 footers ahead get the breeze. It's not really racing as most of us know it for the little boats these days.

    The other ocean classics are doing a lot better. They concentrate less on line honours and overall corrected time, and more on places in class. They also have more divisions than we do in Australia, so a typical good boat is only racing boats that they can see most of the time, not something over the horizon in a different wind pattern.

    I'm a passionate life-long sailor and I'm still very heavily involved in racing, but these days many of us in Oz have no "top level" event that we can relate to as we used to, apart from the Olympics if you are a dinghy sailor. In contrast, as a fairly recent racing cyclist I spend a fair bit of time glued to the TV watching the pros race in the Tour de France and other events, because they are using pretty much the same gear as I do and racing over the same mountains people like I can ride over. I can relate better to cyclists I have never even seen than I can do to AC team members I have sailed with and against. No wonder one sport is booming and the other failing.
    Last edited by Chris249; 06-27-2017 at 07:01 AM.

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    racing...meh.

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Sailing old gaffers....bah.

    Happy now? Was that a constructive, well mannered and respectful exchange?

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    As a veteran from all sorts of fringe sports. I always wonder why the focus on being popular among nonparticipants. Seems ego driven, not health of sport driven. Despite the lack of coverage and dropping participation sailing is still mainstream, just less than sportsball. It ain't a fringe sport if it is in the Olympics and if being good at it can get you into(and/or free) college. For the title statement, what is robust sailing? Lots of TV coverage for people that will never get wet? A bunch of people building plywood skiffs with polytarp sails? Or thousands of little kids forced to race dinghies cause dad is living through them and hoping their kid will be good enough for a scholarship?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I am 100% with Chris on this issue, that there has been entirely too much focus on the 1%er's of the sailing world. 'Sailing World' and the rest of the racing media, like SA and the lot, would like you to believe that unless you have a foiling Moth you aren't cool enough to have an opinion. Well, let me tell you, the coolest boat I ever sailed was the IC, and I just was not good enough to sail and race the thing. If it was just about cool there would be hundreds upon hundreds of them, but there aren't. There may be 10 boats at the biggest IC regatta they have this year (in North America). On the other hand, the Finn, as hard as it is to sail, is still sailable by someone who is willing and able to give it a go, and the Finn class will have at least 30 boats at most major events. And as Chris points out, this is small change by a lot of standards. In Europe they routinely have 200 boats for major Finn events, though the mainstream sailing media would never have you think that. Now we are talking about 60' foiling monohulls? Geez.

    Speaking of which, I get footage all the time on Facebook of people racing. The TP52 World's had something like 10 boats this year for a really cool event. The 6mR regatta scheduled for Vancouver in September will have .......46 boats (pre-registered). So which one is the 'cool' boat?

    This sport is dying a slow death around here. It is not dead and has a chance to come back, but right now it's bleeding out, and this America's Cup may very well have hurt more than helped.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I agree with many of the points here but it seems pointless to bring in the America's Cup which has always been (and quite unapologetically so) about the 1%. For the vast majority of racing sailors it has always been a somewhat otherworldly thing of limited interest.

    For me the real culprits have always been World Sailing/ISAF and the Olympics.

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    Sailing old gaffers....bah.

    Happy now? Was that a constructive, well mannered and respectful exchange?
    I did not mean to hurt your feelers. This THREAD is about the death of sailing as a racing sport, is it not?
    Sailing is neither for me, and a few others.

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by bamamick View Post

    Oh, and Doug Peterson passed away today.

    Mickey Lake
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I too am very upset on the state of the Sport of Sailing here the US.

    Our community is fading due to aging out and lack of participation. The races are far away. No press coverage to the AC cup. Our most winning sailing Celeb Paine, got a bronze for sailing a Finn, and yet barely a nod.

    I have a raged a bit in SA in the general sailing forum about the cup loss and who to blame yesterday. We only have ourselves to blame when it comes to the demise. We have no more sailing heroes and our brightest sailing stars are forgotten. If we look at Yacht club memberships, sailing mentoring programs and taking non boating friends out for an afternoon; we keep falling for the most part to do our share. We haven't taught the joy and engagement this wonderful boating aspect has.

    I am sad. Yet there is hope even in my view. My son's friend just graduated from high school. His father bought him a J24 to sail with his friends. He loves it as it is this first boat. he takes boys and girls out. He figured out that girls like to sail and doing exciting things. His reward is getting kissed a lot. He brings me hope.
    There is nothing you can do with an ape/human hybrid. They'll rip your arm off.

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Considering what they spend, just bring back the Js and call it done.

    Oh, and by the way, if you want it to be "country driven" (and the merits of that are a whole 'nother Oprah), then you sail on the boat from home, your sponsors are from home, and your technology is from home.

    That doesn't really help make it a "spectator sport", I grant you... but I've always seen this as a participation sport.

    In other words (and this is the heretic in me, I know), if you're going to make it pointless, make it really pointless.

    Like it or not, it hasn't been a show since 1987. The people there cared, and they had fun, too. The spectators had fun because they became part of the fun.

    Now, to increase participation in sailing, well... it can be done. But I don't think it's ever going to be "like it was". A lot of things are like that. I like the Boatyard in Eastport, but it's not Marmeduke's, and never will be. That's why they call it "nostalgia", and not "time now". And nostalgia sure isn't what it used to be.

    But the memories give me something pleasant to think on, as I sip my rum and watch the sun go down.
    Heute ist so ein schöne Tag...

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    About 10 years ago, a small group of local sailors and woodworkers got together and built a fleet of 12 Optimist prams, got local sponsors for them and gave them to a man with a vision of starting a sailing school. I built the mold and templates and the boats were soon finished and on the water. Using some helpful private property as a base, the school got underway and the kids came.

    Jumping forward to now, the school is supporting a family in their new house and sailing center on the water about a quarter mile down the creek from my home. There are now some 60 boats in the fleet consisting of Optis, Sunfish, Lasers, Flying Juniors, 420’s, a Yingling plus several keelboats. A fleet of 420’s was recently added to the school stable. The entry level Opti school is active in the summer and small boats can be sailed out each Monday evening by anyone who shows up with $5. This spring, we had 17 college teams competing in FJ’s for a great weekend. We expect the collegiate racing group to expand with more fleet participation. Two years ago the Pan American Sunfish Championship was hosted locally followed by the Opti Worlds last year This is a rural coastal town on the Neuse River and ICW with a population of about 900 but an off and on history of sailing and blessed with really good and accessible sailing waters. The school website is: http://www.bowtosternboating.com

    The Opti mold was loaned to another town in SC and they built some 20 boats that are also active.

    Meanwhile the local PHRF fleet is on life support as most of the members are aging out.

    Whether this will result in more sailors becoming attracted to the sport and moving up to larger or more serious sailboat racing is not guaranteed but the foundation is there. At this point, we don’t know what all this means but it does show that some success can be developed from a very meager start if there is some willingness to put in a bit of work and passion. We deliberately chose to support a commercial operator who has some skin in the game rather than a volunteer, non-profit sort of organization. I believe that decision has been justified although there were a few that doubted.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    He figured out that girls like to sail and doing exciting things. His reward is getting kissed a lot. He brings me hope.
    Which will lead to the end of his sailing. Blame the boats, sailing press, or computer addiction, the real fault is men are no longer masters of their free time. When sports like sailing were booming if your dad was a sailor you grew up on the water. If your dad was into model trains you grew up at model train shows. Now your dad spends his weekends holding your mom's purse at the mall or driving you to all your soccer games, recitals, and playdates. Bolster men to own their time and have a mission in life and sailing will do just fine.

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Blimey, if you got round to thinking women might have a place on a boat you might possibly discover some kick-arse sailors after all.

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    All of my kids grew up on the water and they took Opti lessons at the Fairhope YC and liked to daysail but never to race. My youngest started crewing for me on the Dragons and 210 and really got to liking it, but then moved away (again). For her birthday this year I gave her a year's membership to the Community Sailing Center in Boston and she has had a great time sailing on the Mercury's and kayaking and it his given her a wonderful opportunity to get back on the water. I have seen this kind of thing work in Seattle and St. Pete. It works. Give people the opportunity where all they have to do is sign a form, write a check and they will have access to lessons, instruction, boats and water and it works. How many people in this day and age would drive from the coast of Alabama to Rochester, NY to pick up an $800 International Canoe? Not many, I am thinking. Heck, I know where a very nice Star boat is hiding at a very nice price, but I am not telling anyone because this time next year she will be MINE if no one else buys her.

    Sailing is hard to do, hard to afford in many if not most cases, and hard to find the time for. I fell in love with it the first time I went, some 43 years ago or so, and I have never wavered in my feelings for the sport. But I truly wonder how things would have gone if I hadn't had friends who literally kidnapped me into going with them that first time around? Most likely it's something I would have liked the thought of, but wouldn't have pursued it because it was just too hard to get involved.

    I only have three regrets as far as sailing goes: 1. is that I sold my first Dragon (USA121, Fixfax) to a friend of mine who was most interested in making money off of her. She wound up being damaged in a storm and eventually cut up for her ballast keel. 2. is that I sold my beautiful Mader Star at bargain prices to a guy in Oregon because I was sad about the failure of our Star fleet, a fleet that had been active since 1932. I wish I had never let her go. 3. is that I didn't spend enough time on the water. I needed to have spent a lot more time sailing over the years. When you go you probably never say stuff like 'I wish I had spent more time at work'.

    I love this sport moreso than anything in my life except my family.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I think the reports of the death of competitive sailing are an exagerration-its changing and a lot of the current participants are not likely to be doing it for much longer as time takes its toll.In Europe we do have some replacements coming through but the focus at youth level on creaming off the elite for the Olympics surely doesn't help.Those who fail to reach the required level at qualifying regattas are labelled as failures and that hardly motivates them to stay with the sport.

    Its not all bad though,last year I was in France when the Vendee Globe started and 350,000 spectators were there to watch the start and every night there was a national television update for the duration of the race.A couple of years earlier I saw the tens of thousands of people wandering round the basins in St Malo looking at the boats and sailors preparing for the Route du Rhum which was still ten days away.The whole nation is familiar with the big names in this form of racing and this in turn makes it possible for the sailors to find funding.It is funding that I believe to be the obstacle to the growth of the faster modern designs of recent years;put simply the sailors with the fitness and ability tend to be younger with other demands for their income and the older guys are less likely to have the fitness and stamina,in spite of the money being there.

    I was sad to read of Doug Peterson's passing-its not too long since Ed Dubois left us and I remember when they were the new wave as S&S lost their dominance.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    For some reason I don't get too upset that sailing isn't making it as a spectator/televised sport.
    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

    -Mark Twain

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I don't either, David, except in that you'd hope it would spark some interest and involve more people.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by bamamick View Post
    Skimming through the major sports websites tonight there was no mention AT ALL on ESPN about what is supposed to be the pinnacle of yacht racing. None. Zero. CBS led off with a ridiculous story about how New Zealand was an emerging power in the world of sailing, most likely written by the 3rd string intern or someone not very familiar with his subject matter.
    Helluva contrast from here in NZ where the cup racing, including the Louis Vuitton lead-up series featured on the news every night, and of course was the lead story on every outlet after ETNZ won the cup.
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Maybe reporting on the AC is dull in the States because the USA did not win.
    Nationalism infects sports .

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    All credit to NZ but I don't see this as the pinnacle of sailing! More a gadget expo! If there's a pinnacle, I think it's Olympic one-design racing or the Vendee Globe. Promoting a silly pxxxxxg contest between billionaires as the pinnacle, as the media do, is not, in my opinion, any way to encourage kids to get into sailing, and to stay in sailing.

    Our local club bought a small fleet of training keel boats and includes taking primary school kids sailing after school in their weekly schedule. I think that sort of thing does a lot more to promote sailing than the AC nonsense.

    Rick

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Well, I tried to watch the America's Cup, nd understand what was going on. But it wasn't sailing as I understand the term. It might have been ice yachting, or motor racing.

    Ugly machines performing incomprehensible manoeuvres in a small confined space with the TV sticking labels on everything and the commentators at pains to explain it all.

    It left me completely cold.

    Where can I watch the J class?
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Americas cup. I liked the length of the races and the overview. I do think these catamarans are an aberration, and I think they'll soon go away .


    I'm really glad New Zealand won, because they were the only team to not sign the framework agreement which would have maintained the cup the way it has been this year, I guess that in dropping out Luna Rossa did no sign the framework either.

    My hope is that because NZ is such a sailing mad country, that they will have something to connect the average sailor to the cup. I have vague idea how this can be done but I won't throw them out yet. It would be nice to see women racing as well as people even younger than Pete Burling.

    On take away iis that all the good competitors in Bermuda, were also world class dinghy sailors.

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by bamamick View Post
    Skimming through the major sports websites tonight there was no mention AT ALL on ESPN about what is supposed to be the pinnacle of yacht racing. None. Zero. CBS led off with a ridiculous story about how New Zealand was an emerging power in the world of sailing, most likely written by the 3rd string intern or someone not very familiar with his subject matter. NBC of course will cover it, but they have a vested interest.

    My personal opinion is that this one might have finally killed major network interest in this event.........
    Mickey Lake
    Tee Vee coverage is perhaps not a thing to chase - my favourite race format was gutted beyond recognition in pursuit of Olympic acceptance and TV airtime.

    Perhaps the real point of any sport is the enjoyment of a club level weekend event with a bunch of mates.
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I used to live and breathe the A.C. when I lived in Newport; this time around I barely knew it was on again. I guess I was too busy locked into the R2AK tracker.

    The years I crewed in the SORC in the mid 70s were the glory years. Big fleets there and on the local level. Now they are all gone. I feel older. My knee jerk reaction is that more people could afford it back then.
    Gerard>
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    We keep hearing about these boats being better for tv, more attractive etc. But there's pretty been pretty much no coverage at all here, despite NZ having an Aus skipper and most of the US boat's crew being Australian. In the 12m era, there was a lot of interest here - everyone knew Gretel and Dame Pattie, and, of course, Intrepid. I think the organisers made a huge mistake in moving away from the 12ms.

    Our Sydney to Hobart Race is going the same way. Ridiculous technology and silly boats are killing this event and interest is waning fast.

    Rick

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    This is a nice presentation on Peter Burling, watching him as a kid being a regular albeit fast sailor. I do hope that some of this will be brought into the next AC. Unfortunately a move to less professional involvement is unlikely, as the decision makers don't want to see their mates out of a pretty lucrative job.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/spor...lings-main-man

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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Other than the fact that there's water involved, the Americas Cup sailing has no commonality with me sailing my little sloop. Those things are low flying airplanes as far as I'm concerned. Sure their fast. But so's a jetski. I don't especially want to associate with either. That's why I'm not interested. The twelve meter boats, on the other hand, despite being big, expensive, and made of exotic materials, are displacement hulls that are subject to the same physics as my boat. I can watch them and imagine myself being part of the crew because I know, basically, how to sail one of them. Those races were slower... it gave people time to think about what they were seeing.

    Another key factor between myself (and probably a lot of other people) and the OP: I think of sailing as an activity, not a sport. I really don't care about the race part of Americas Cup. The boats could simply sail back and forth. I just like watching them in action.

    Jeff

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    Location
    NZ
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    2,064

    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Racing is dying for a few reasons and affordability is a big one, the AC is a farce as well because sailing is simply not a spectator sport. By trying to make it one they have had to almost remove almost all of what we can relate to as sailors from the sport.

    Flying is not sailing, its a niche that will unlikely become mainstream for some fundamental reasons such as cost, complexity and its inability to scale without ridiculous resources. Forget about foiling for cruisers.

    There is a place for a high tech arms race but for those that compete there is nothing more exciting than close racing, boat speed is not that important. A boat that feels powered up and is responsive is a lot of fun no matter the size and design.
    whatever rocks your boat

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NZ
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    2,064

    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    racing...meh.
    Maybe so for you but racing has a hidden big benefit, it make people far, far better sailors.
    whatever rocks your boat

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    21,792

    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    One of the big changes in racing was the introduction of different sail materials. When Dacron came in, it was the best material for both cruising and racing, and the Dacron era was the great era of the cruiser/racer. When new cloths came in, you had to have a different and more expensive set of sails for racing, and it divided the sport. Racing became more specialized and expensive.

    PHRF racing when I first got involved was based on the performance of each individual boat. The idea was that it included everything from the design of the boat to "the kind of bananas you feed the deck apes." Those most involved in racing didn't like being rated back into the middle of the fleet, and changed it to a performance potential rating based on the kind of boat you had. Then, you had to start buying racing sails, and PHRF became more expensive.

    Bruce has an important point. For a lot of people, racing is not the center of their sailing world. And that needs respect, because that's an important part of sailing, and the people who participate that way are sailors.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    20,420

    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I enjoyed the AC this year & enjoyed the last one as well. Are Formula 1 cars anything like what I drive daily? Nope.

    To the points about racing & development of sailors @ yacht clubs - I was recently at a yacht club in CT (I'm purposely not saying which one) for a wedding & was shocked. I grew up in a yacht club that focused on boats. The clubhouse was nothing fancy - but a great place for the Thursday night potluck, weekend cruises on Long Island Sound, and race programs for kids in dinghies & Blue Jays & frostbiting in dinghies for adults. This other yacht club had a clubhouse more like a large golf course's clubhouse (even columns by the entrance!), all docks & no moorings, and not a single race program for the kids. All the info on the bulletin boards was begging for new members, hold your next event here, and similar stuff.

    If this is where yacht clubs are going - then it's no wonder there are fewer & fewer people getting into sailboat racing.

    That being said, my personal experience with the remarkable ability sailboat racing has for turning perfectly nice people into screaming, cursing @$$&%#s has put me into Bruce's camp.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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