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World Sailing Cup - Ahead a Dead Rat in a Shoe v3 or Spring Daffodils

08/04/2016

 
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  08 Apr 2016

 


World Sailing Cup - Ahead a Dead Rat in a Shoe v3 or Spring Daffodils

Trofeo Princesa Sofia Palma  © Beau Outteridge
Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones on whilst I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it's a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)

You have to be joking - New Zealand politician eating a dead rat  ..
She said you Aussies (pointing at me) are rude, one of the judges said a dish that one of the chef contestants had cooked tasted like a Dead Rat in a Shoe. Now I did not believe that for a second, even we Down Under Convicts don't stoop so low as to even know what a Dead Rat in Shoe would taste like, but she was still laughing today.

But really that is kind of like calling a Spade a Spade, but it got me to thinking... is that a fair a way to describe the Sailing World Cup or not?

While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues.

We were in Palma, Mallorca, Spain last week at the Olympic class Princesa Sofia regatta with some 800 sailors across the Olympic class fleets, 150+0 Lasers, 80 + 470 Men's, the list goes on.

The Sailing World Cup in Hyeres runs in a few weeks with 626 sailors across the same classes, around 40 boats, sounds fair enough but hang on wasn't the Sailing World Cup supposed to be a prestige event with restricted fields just like the Olympics, so what is going on here?

Outteridge jensen Mens 49er Trofeo Princesa Sofia Palma  © Beau Outteridge

2012 Olympic Gold Medallist Nathan Outteridge says he and Ian Jensen are not sailing in any of the World Cup events because in the 49er sailing is very much different in the large fields.

Remember this was AFTER the 2014 revamp, which was supposed to fix the previous failures of the previous version.

The European events and Miami have big fleets but not so elsewhere. Last year's Abu Dhabi Sailing World Cup was really the ‘Talk It Up' Cup, with only a fraction of the invited 20 crews sailing in each class.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne  Jeff Crow/ Sport the Library ©

The Melbourne Sailing World Cup was similarly lame with little international competition. In some cases, the entire entry list was less than a medal race field.

So it seems the Cup is tasting like a Dead Rat in a Shoe Version 2.

Painfully aware of that World Sailing is reviewing every element of the event for Version 3.

World Sailing CEO - Andy Hunt  © World Sailing
CEO Andy Hunt is upbeat ‘This week we have been engaged in significant consultation which includes the team leaders of the many nations and with the MNAs and key committees, obviously with the classes committee and the events committee. I think off the back of that we will have a pretty good picture of what / how to shape the Sailing World Cup product so that it is effective not only for world sailing but most importantly for our members and the sailors.

‘We want those events to be hugely successful, well attended, an absolute must attend event in the calendar particularly the Sailing World Cup final.

‘That's why we are looking at competition format, quotas, qualification systems, calendar, venues, logistics, travel graphs, supplied equipment, ranking points, broadcast and media and all the commercial aspects of the Sailing World Cup. This product has to work for the sailors, it has to work for the MNAs, it has to work of course commercially too to be viable but most importantly it will take it to the people that really count and that's the people who participate in the competition. We want this to be absolutely an event for elite athletes.

‘It is going to be challenging to make this work for everybody across every dimension but I do think out of this we should get enough to get a better product, to get a better (buy in) and therefore a better position and it should be more cost effective for high performance teams to get involved in the Sailing World Cup.'

World Sailing Head of Events Alastair Fox at the Yachting Forum in December forecast a reduction in the number of World Cup events and a move to a January-December calendar.

Antipodean sources say the announcement of the move of the World Cup final to Melbourne is moderately imminent and there are draft contracts on the table but that discussions with the Victorian Government are taking longer than anyone would like.

So the question is will all the hoped for changes that while recognised to be difficult, sounds easy if you say them quickly, bring forth Spring Daffodils or is it Dead Rat in a Shoe Version 3?


Rob Kothe, YachtsandYachting.com & Sail-World.com



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