Bob Fisher, one of the worlds top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Cascais, Portugal for the first round of the America's Cup World Series.
Bob is a multihuller from way back, having competed for Britain in the Little America's Cup and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967. After three rides on an AC45 on three consecutive days, he's developed a habit.
Dear Diary – Day 8 one of disappointment for one, but brighter for others - America's Cup World Series - Cascais, Portugal
In poetic terms, Friday’s child is loving and giving, but this child of Friday is far from that. The world has been inverted. Gone is my ride with Mitch Booth and the China Team – I have been replaced by one Lili Canecas, described as a 'Portuguese Celebrity,' after I had done all the proper homework – attending the right party and checking with the team’s organisation early in the day – but apparently the AC 'organisers' had first call on the position.
Then I was subjected to the most boring briefing yet at which two of the three speakers conversed in the strange sub-language of marketing-speak. It is designed to convey nothing, but to do it in a series of senseless idioms. It did nothing to those of us who have the sport at heart to hear the soulless ones attempt to justify their actions.
So, ACTV is to be streamed on You-Tube, presumably in deference to the Facebook generation, but one has to ask how long it will be before the switch on, switch off crowd out numbers in viewing hours, the Flintstones who want to see the whole thing through? There is every danger that the latter group will not last long either as the television coverage has yet to tell the story. It would seem lost in an ethos generated years ago by MTV.
Claude Ruibal, the Global Head of You-Tube Sports, went as far as to tell us that there would be two separate commentaries - which probably accounts for the editor asking when they intended to use PJ Montgomery after he had been at it, often most amusingly, for two days past – but not how to access between them.
Baffled and battered by bulls**t, I left with a string of unasked questions knowing there was little hope of receiving a straight answer. My heart bled for Stan Honey, the third member of the briefing party, who probably knew the answers but might have been too embarrassed to deliver them as they would have put the other two, who had held court almost totally, in the shade.
Maybe one day the organisation will realise that we are not the mushrooms they would have us be. Maybe too they will preserve an existing fan-base as they attempt to create another from scratch. At present they show every sign of destroying the one without growing the other.
On the water, Friday was loving and giving for Dean Barker and the ETNZ crew. Its 3-3-2 scoreline put the Kiwis into the match race final against Jimmy Spithill’s Oracle 4, and clever tactics on the first windward leg put Barker and the boys in front. ETNZ went on to win for the third day in a row to retain the overall standings with a perfect scoreline.
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