New Cup Media
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 26 Jul 2010
By far, the coolest aspect of the 33rd America's Cup was the technology: two massive multihulls, the sizes, speeds, and loads never before seen, plus an airplane wing that was substantially bigger than a 747's wing section. Stir in two acrimonious billionaires, high-profile attorneys, the New York State Supreme Court and a world-class ethics violation aboard the RC boat and this is practically the stuff of urban legend—just the sort of thing to draw in John Q. Public.
If it had been on prime time TV, maybe it would have been. Instead, screen time was limited to way
off-peak hours and snide, passing commentary from most mainstream sports reporters. Given the vast sums of time, money and technology involved, this clearly isn't the media outcome that anyone envisioned.
Those days, however, are over. BMW/Oracle, Defenders of the 34th Cup, have just concluded four intensive days of on-the-water testing to determine the best media platform for drawing John Q. Public into the next Cup.
Dubbed 'the America's Cup television trials', the Defender spent two days evaluating multihulls and monohulls, loading both yacht types up with onboard technology capable of capturing jaw-dropping HD images.
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While these trials don't tell us anything more about what type of boat will next contend the Cup, it does at least speak to the fact that the Defenders understand that another in-the-dark America's Cup is simply not a possibility in today's world of new media.
'I'd have to rate the trials an unqualified success,' said BMW ORACLE Racing CEO Russell Coutts. 'We plan to do this again in the coming weeks and months, but I think we found some things that work that we'd like to explore again down the road.'
Meanwhile, at the Audi MedCup, the AC legend Paul Cayard skippered Artemis to victory in the hyper-competitive TP52 class. Emirates Team New Zealand finished second, and Terry Hutchinson's Quantum Racing finished in third. Be sure to check out Sander van der Borch's stunning photography from the event in this issue.
And at the Laser Radial World Championships, held this year in Largs, Scotland, US Sailing Development Team (USSDT) member Erika Reineke, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, sewed up an impressive victory after six days of hard-fought racing. 'After the second day when I got two firsts, I said to myself, ‘I can definitely do this. I'm in the running for gold, so I have to execute well,' said Reineke. Look for more impressive results from this impressive USSDT member in coming years.
Fair winds and following seas,
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