sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Gladwell's Line: Showing the America's Cup Story

Gladwell's Line: Showing the America's Cup Story

'34th America’s Cup - TV Trials'    © Gilles Martin-Raget    Click Here to view large photo

A lot of time and effort is being spent over the past few and coming weeks on what makes for good sailing television.

The exercise is underway for both the Olympic sailing regatta and America’s Cup.

Others in the World Match Racing, Audi MedCup and similar circuits have been in steady, sometimes stellar, improvement mode for months and even years.

Currently there is a large amount of sailing video being broadcast and replayed. A small portion of it is very good. Most of it is average to dreadful. Technology seems to have overridden the basics.

What does make for good sailing television?

We turned to Paul France, one of the fathers of live televised sailing. A former national dinghy champion sailor himself, he has sailed boats – mono and lately multihulls – all his life.


The television crew make final preparations for the Monsoon Cup 2009. Believe it or not, this is a temporary media facility established for the event -  Gareth Cooke Subzero?nid=72623 Images-Monsoon Cup ©   Click Here to view large photo
France produced the live NZ television coverage of the Fremantle America's Cup 1986/87. Peter Montgomery handled the on the water commentary and Jane Dent the shoreside theatrics, of which there was plenty. The Louis Vuitton Cup, in particular, was an event that captivated the nation.

France undertook a similar role with the Big Boat challenge in San Diego in 1988, but the two race, Coma off Pt Loma, just wasn’t the same.

Then as General Manager, Production in 1991 France vacated the director’s chair and did the initial set up for the coverage for 1992 America’s Cup. That role included driving the development of the first real-time 3D graphics system commissioned by Television New Zealand in conjunction with Animation Research Ltd. He then moved offshore as President CNBC Asia (a financial news channel), before returning to live in the Bay of Islands.

'There is a certain amount you can do for yachting to make good television. The graphics was a huge step forward. Setting up the field of play with lines on it meant then that people could understand what was happening.

'That is perfectly achievable in a match race, but I have seen nothing in a fleet race that will show that information to the viewer.

'In fleet racing, you have to be able to show when a boat has taken a flyer, picked up a shift and how much they have gained.

'You need to have commentators who can say 'look how so and so has taken off to the left and look what has happened.'

'I discount the frequently espoused view that we have to get sailing on TV because it is good for the sport. That is just naïve.

'If you look at the sport that is successful on TV, they are sports that were successful before the advent of TV, and they have since just been adapted for TV. But originally, before the advent of television, the sport was a major fan puller. So you have Rugby, League, Motor Racing, Cricket, Baseball and so on. But sailing was never part of that scene.

'So when people say that yachting has to be on television to succeed in the world, then I think that is a simplistic statement. But if you say that there is a substantial body of an industry which is now supported by various professional yachting circuits which people think would be enhanced as a commercial product by being on television then that is a completely different statement.'


On board television commentator Andy Green. Monsoon Cup 2009. Paul France believes commentators need to be very quick to pick up and explain racing changes to the viewer -  Gareth Cooke Subzero?nid=72623 Images-Monsoon Cup ©   Click Here to view large photo
For Sponsors not Sailing

France believes that much of what is presented on television, as sailing packages, is really produced for sponsors not for sailing. He doesn’t have a problem with this.

'The question then has to be 'what do sponsors want?' Sponsors are very difficult to pick what they are about. But I would be very surprised if any sponsor seriously thought they were going to get mass television exposure through yachting.

'For the sponsors, it is a game of association not mass exposure.'

'For their marketing teams it is about very careful positioning.'

France does have a big issue with what he calls Vanity TV. He explains: 'If you look at many highlights productions, the story is all told in the voice-over about how someone won three races; and you see a few shots of boats going in various directions; and in the end you get an interview with the winner , who tells you why they went up the left hand side.

'It’s all about sponsors and sponsorship. It is Vanity TV. It serves no end, except to make someone in the sponsor’s marketing division feel better. Why bother?

'I’m pretty passionate about television and my belief that it is story telling.

New camera positions have been trialled in Valencia ahead of the 34th America’s Cup -  http://www.martin-raget.com/!©_Gilles_Martin-Raget   Click Here to view large photo
'I used to say to people who worked for me 'look the best thing you can do is to imagine that you are taking the viewer by the hand and saying 'come with me and I will show you what happened'.

'Any story on television has to be shown, not told. You don’t need television to tell the story. Just write me a letter if you want to tell the story,' he says with a smile on his face – but you’ve seen that look before, and know he is deadly serious.

'You have to have an illustrated story,' he adds. 'And the pictures have to relate to the story.'

Capturing the Drama

While much of the current focus is on applying new technology to sailing television, those who have been in the epicentre of an event such as the America’s Cup, know that clever images are not really the cornerstone of sustainable regatta coverage.

France puts his finger on it, when he talks about 'The Conflict'.

One of the features of an America’s Cup and its preliminary series are that no two days are ever the same.

On the water there is always some moment that sets the day aside from every other, and that is the story of the day. But it’s off the water that The Conflict really lights up. Who can forget the momentous media conferences with the characters of the 1987 America’s Cup? Young Chris Dickson needling the uncomfortable master, Dennis Conner. Tom Blackaller played all to perfection, and Harold Cudmore was an able foil.

The Black Hatted New York Yacht Club got eliminated early, with their laconic skipper John Kolius making an art form out of his use of Gallows Humour, when reluctant exit became more and more inevitable. Then of course there was the play of the fibreglass boats, with Michael Fay conducting that particular orchestra.

In 1992 it was the bowsprit, the tandem keel, Paul Cayard and the Italians against the Kiwis. Remember the boats breaking and sinking? The betting scandal in Auckland? The needling from Butterworth in Valencia? It was there in 2010, in Valencia – when you had two billionaires who didn’t like each other finally having to sort it out on the water – all played out on television.

But even the race itself is theatre as much as it is sport – almost like a bullfight.


Behind the scenes television setups have become very complex - has the technology over-run the ability to show the story? Monsoon Cup 2009. -  Gareth Cooke Subzero?nid=72623 Images-Monsoon Cup ©   Click Here to view large photo
'Good sailing television does actually work, is because there is tremendous drama in sailing,' says France. 'It means that there is a whole series of segments about which the half knowledgeable viewer has some idea about what is going on. There’re pre-starts, and then the start, and then they’ll go off, and the viewer knows they can probably make a cup of tea at that point, because 10 minutes later they will go around a mark.

'A good commentator would say 'I wouldn’t have gone that far across..' and so on, and will very quickly pick up on the snafus etc. And, some commentators are very quick to pick up on that sort of detail', he adds.

'The things that I think are terribly important are to work out just what you are trying to achieve. If it is some way of enhancing the marketability of a professional sporting circuit then that is one answer. And that answer may be Vanity TV – which looks good for the sponsors; and the owners are happy with some good shots of their boats. That sort of thing is usually beautifully shot. The owners go away with a good DVD. And everyone is happy – that is all they want.

Quality images fundamental

With the advent of the New Media and Reality TV, France is scathing of the quality of some of video that is being passed off.

Having a stabilised camera is essential for quality 'reality' video footage -  Groupama - Franck?nid=72623 Cammas ©   Click Here to view large photo
'The quality of video is still critical. A lot of the stuff you see, on YouTube for instance, is dreadful – even from professional companies. Their aim is not to provide coverage of the event, but just video that you might like to watch. There is no stabiliser in the camera at all, and it is just awful.

'It is fundamental that you have to have stabilised lenses and you have to have some way of getting a camera in the air - whether it is a helicopter, balloon or whatever. There isn’t any way around it'

'The camera is capable of taking you somewhere it is brilliant to illustrate what is going on, and to places where you would never be able to go if you were at the sportsground, for instance. The aerial shot tells you what is going on.'

While many of the old hands of television production are impressed with the quality and quantity of technology that is now available, too often the basics of direction are forgotten in the quest to use some new lens or shooting position.

'There is standard television grammar, a bit old school, these days but it still applies,' France explains. 'You have to stay on the same plane to keep the viewer properly orientated, while you illustrate the story you are trying to show.

'What seems to happen now is that someone says' I have a whole lot of footage of boats going every which way. I’ll write a story, you voice it and I will get the editor to do some pictures for it.



Audi MedCup Marseille - above with an unstabilised camera - and below a big quality lift with a stabilised camera




'The finished product has boats going in all directions, and no time sequence. The voice over is telling you what a great race it was, and that it was won right in the last few metres. The poor viewer is left wondering what the hell are they looking at. There is no story being told by the pictures.'

If I were an audience what I would want is a website where I could watch the race live if I wanted to, which is unlikely, because I am never going to hit the TV/PC at moment when they start the race.'

'I’d like to be able to see seven or eight minutes of each race, in an archive and clearly labelled; I would also have section where there would be various clips of video that has been acquired in the course of the day.

'There might be a free 40 second news coverage clip for instance which can be taken by broadcasters or given to a distributor; there would be a Vanity video for the sponsors.

'But you have to have the continuous coverage of the races which can be edited later into the packages, which is not difficult.'


Next we will look at Olympic television.




by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=72623

7:34 AM Wed 28 Jul 2010 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup

Related News Stories:

20 Dec 2014  America's Cup: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault
20 Dec 2014  America's Cup: Lawsuit against Oracle Racing lodged in San Francisco
19 Dec 2014  America's Cup: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault
12 Dec 2014  America's Cup: Oracle crew member's penalty for cheating is reduced
29 Sep 2014  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA's AC72 takes to the streets
27 Sep 2014  America's Cup: Then and now - Coutts on why Oracle won, and the Venue
09 Aug 2014  America's Cup: Former Artemis crew member says danger is being ignored
27 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA under stress
23 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle and Team NZ designers reveal AC72 secrets
22 May 2014  America's Cup: Artemis death verdict 'result of an human act'
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Comanche’s owner, Jim Clark concedes that a Rolex Sydney Hobart isn’t the ideal first race for such a big, complex machine, but: 'I am married to an Australian, and I’ve seen the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart a number of times. ... [more]  

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta are proud to announce that Cruzan Rum and Presidente beer, distributed by Glazer’s Premier Distributors, LLC, will provide major sponsorship in support for the 2015 regatta. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Warwick Sherman never really wanted to do the Rolex Sydney Hobart, he’d done plenty of ocean racing, but bashing his way across Bass Strait to get to Tasmania just didn't grab him. Perversely, all that changed when he was diagnosed with cancer. ... [more]  

The second stage of the Soto 40 South American Tour is coming up next and will be held in Algarrobo, Chile from 24 - 31 January. More than eight yachts are expected to take part in the Chille Sailing Week, a competition noted for its level of competition and close racing, where success is characterized by consistency, precision and teamwork. ... [more]  

The Flying Dutchman, regarded as one of the finest and fastest one-design dinghy classes ever designed, will return to Sydney Harbour en masse when the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron conducts the Australian and World championships, starting next week. ... [more]  

The International Moth Class isn't exactly a new sailing class, yet the learning curve would have to be one of the steepest out there. Moths have been on foils for almost 10 years, yet besides talking to fellow moth sailors, there isn't a lot of information out there to help you master the skills and techniques needed to fly ... [more]  

America's Cup: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The Decision of the Court for Arbitration of Sport over the suspension of Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder has been circulated. The report, which was earlier reported in summary form as to the decision, confirms a 18month suspension on de Ridder, one of the Netherlands' top sailors ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Australia’s premier ocean race has always had an international flavour; Captain Illingworth, who started the whole Sydney Hobart thing was, after all, an Englishman. ... [more]  

An initiative by the SuperYacht Racing Association (SYRA) led to collaboration with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and ultimately the creation of a new superyacht handicapping rule - the ORC SuperYacht Rule (ORCsy). ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Ocean sailors are daft; why else would you think it a good idea to take a modern ocean racing yacht around the world on her own bottom to compete in lots and lots of races, some thousands of miles long? ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The island is off the NSW south coast, 155 nautical miles south of Sydney’s South Head and about 6 nm south-east of Narooma. Its lighthouse, built of granite quarried on the island, began operating in 1881. The island is a protected nature reserve. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Hundreds of Australian sailors spend their lives trying to win the Tattersall’s Cup; year after year they declare in Hobart that this was their last Rolex Sydney Hobart - definitely - for sure. But 12 months later you spot them again at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, tinkering with their pride and joy and nervously eying off Boxing Day ... [more]  

America's Cup: Lawsuit against Oracle Racing lodged in San Francisco *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
In further legal fallout from the 34th America's Cup one of the New Zealand sailors named in an action bought by the International Sailing Federation has in turn lodged a lawsuit in a California Court against his former racing team, Oracle Racing Inc over boat fixing in America's Cup World Series ... [more]  

Antigua Sailing Week 2015 by Antigua Sailing Week
If you haven't been to Antigua Sailing Week for some years Antigua Sailing Week have a quick overview for you of what has changed and what makes it worth the journey along with information on bareboat and race charters, multihulls and challenges for 2015. ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic Race: The three-man team on Sérénade was the final yacht to complete the inaugural race. Having spent over 18 days at sea, the crew were understandably tired but Denis Villotte, Alain Houchard and Pit Porta were smiling from ear to ear in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. A large welcoming party had gathered to greet them. ... [more]  

2017 J/80 World Championships: The Royal Southern Yacht Club (RSrnYC) has an active J/80 fleet and attracts many more of the class to its summer series of regattas run annually from May through to September, in addition to match racing J/80s in the annual Grade 2 Match Cup. ... [more]  

Spectacular fire on Sydney Harbour captured on video *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Sydney sailing sports photographer, Beth Morley was on Sydney Harbour, capturing images of the Friday night racing, when a luxury launch caught fire nearby. I was out photographing the Ransa Sailing yacht race this evening when I saw smoke coming from the back of a large cruise boat around the back of Sow and Pigs (reef) area towards Middle Head. ... [more]  

Clipper Round the World: The award is in recognition of the way he directed his crew during a dramatic man overboard rescue in the harsh northern Pacific Ocean last March. The Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship is an internationally renowned trophy awarded annually for an act of seamanship which significantly contributes to the safety of a yacht, or one or more individuals at sea. ... [more]  

OK Dinghy Worlds: Some sailors will even be in transit over the festive period, so thoughts of overindulgence will be a long way from their minds as they focus on the challenge ahead – overcoming the strong Australian team and preparing for the conditions on Port Phillip Bay. However, if the event is true to form - there will be overindulgence in competitive and fun racing. ... [more]  

The Decision of the Court for Arbitration of Sport over the suspension of Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder has been circulated. The report, which was earlier reported in summary form as to the decision, confirms a 18month suspension on de Ridder, one of the Netherlands' top sailors ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - With the early weather outlook for next week’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Race indicating it will be a sometimes torrid all-round test over the 628 nautical miles, the highly experienced crew of race record holder Wild Oats XI is feeling comfortable but not over-confident. ... [more]  

Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club, Huki Outrigger, and Hoven Vision present the 19th Annual Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge to be held in Mission Bay, San Diego, Ca. on January 24th, 2015. ... [more]  

Photographer Andrea Francolini was on the water to provided this gallery of images of Comanche. ... [more]  

Images from Mauritius as the Team Vestas Wind recovery crew prepare to depart for the Cargados Carajos Shoals, over 200nm away. The team have acquired some salvage equipment and will live aboard a chartered boat and attempt to float the boat over the reef and into the lagoon. ... [more]  

The skipper of Mapfre, Iker Martinez will leave the Campos managed Volvo Ocean Race entry for the third Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team cites a conflict between Martinez's Olympic commitments in the Nacra 17 and the Volvo Ocean Race, as the reason for the departure which the team says was a planned move. ... [more]  

Team Vestas Wind skipper Chris Nicholson (AUS) has flown back to a remote Indian Ocean reef to help oversee a complicated operation to retrieve his stranded boat after it was grounded there during Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race nearly three weeks ago. ... [more]  

The America's Cup Competitor Forum, comprising the six teams registered for the 2017 America’s Cup, has appointed Iain Murray as Regatta Director. The appointment was tipped a month ago in Sail-World.com. Under the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup, the appointment has to be approved by the majority of the competitors. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: The intention to enter the fleet of twelve Clipper 70s in the 71st edition has just been confirmed by Clipper Race organisers. The RSHYR will form part of the biennial Clipper Race series for a second time. The round-the-world fleet created much interest in 2013 as amateur sailors from over 40 different nationalities competed as part of their 40,000 mile circumnavigation. ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, then hear the replay below. This week's show is the 34th. Sailing news in sixty seconds-ish (2:46). Sail Sydney: Josh McKnight (Moth, 9:43), Tom Spithill (Moth, 12:45), Olivia Price & Eliza Solly (FX, 15:24) Tom Burton (Laser, 23:20) James Wierzbowski (Extreme 40's, 32:08) and much more ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic Race 2014: Isabelle Haudiquet was on the helm as the bright yellow hull blasted through the finish line. Having safely moored Bingo after 17 days at sea, the French crew enjoyed a cold beer dockside at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 3 - On the Atoll *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Final part of a three part, 80 minute, interview with Team Vestas Wind skipper, Chris Nicholson on the wrecking of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht on an idyllic atoll in the South Indian Ocean during the night of November 29. In this part, Nicholson tell what happened once the crew stepped aboard the local coastguard boat just after dawn, and subsequent trips back to the wreck. ... [more]  

The Safety Requirements and Recommendations (SRR) for the 2015 Bell's Bayview Mackinac Race are now published. On Saturday, March 21, Bayview will be hosting Mark Thornton for his presentation and seminar 'Preparing Your Mac Forecast: A Workshop For Sailors.' ... [more]  

2015 International 14 World Championship - Four-time World Champion, Britain’s Archie Massey, expects racing in the titles at Geelong, Australia, will be tight. ... [more]  

WWA Wake Park World Series - Daniel Grant and Aaron Gunn make history
US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards
Sailing World Cup Melbourne: Highlights video from Port Philip
Bart’s Bash raises huge total for international sailing charity
Optim'X (FRA) completes RORC Transatlantic Race 2014
Perpetual Loyal unveils 1120 square metre A2 for Rolex Sydney Hobart
ISAF SWC Melbourne – Girls’ Day Out *Feature
Website for the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna is launched
Great signed Limited Edition sailing books by Bob Fisher for Christmas
Clipper Race - Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to mentor young South African
IFDS Worlds 2014 New Video Memories - Halifax is just a click away!
McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds 2015 - Must see, seriously fun event
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 2 - On the Rocks *Feature
Successful St. Maarten Regatta Beach Clean-Up at Kim Sha Beach
US Sailing releases Rio 2016 Olympic Trials System
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Oldies return
Volvo Ocean Race sets up independent inquiry into Vestas Wind disaster
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel: sweet victory
RORC Transatlantic Race - Apollo 7 touch down
2014 OK Dinghy Worlds Preview one - Last but not least
Melges 24 Christmas Sprint Series - Christmas comes early for Red Mist   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 8 - Superb podium finish for Realteam   
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson on the Team Vestas Wind disaster - 1 *Feature   
USA 4 Windsurfing campaign   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - One last modification to Wild Oats XI   
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 2 - Frosty, Hoonigan and Wilbo *Feature   
RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 - Big adventure comes to an end   
ISAF World Sailing Rankings – 15 December 2014   
Comanche; Supermaxi Showdown VIDEO   
Miami Star Winter Series - Commodores Cup Final day   
2014/15 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Jason Michas wins   
2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - Yacana crosses finish line   
2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Swiss team Alinghi wins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Images from Act 8 + Series' Highlights video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team - Leg Two review   
Extreme Sailing Series: Alinghi crowned 2014 and Sydney champions   
Extreme Sailing Series -Sydney Land Rover recognises talent   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne - Medal Race Images   
Extreme Sailing Series: Alinghi dons ESS Crown, Oman Air wins award   
18ft Skiffs: Rooklyn scores win in Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT