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Ben Ainslie’s Thought on Olympic Classes

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Chew my RS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chew my RS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 08 at 12:54pm
I think the thing that suprises me most is that he actually shares his view, biased or otherwise.  Most times, you would just get a straight bat "difficult decisions... all worthy boats..." kind of reply. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tornado_ALIVE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 08 at 1:54pm

Originally posted by turnturtle

I agree, it is surprising he's prepared to voice an opinion, but it's an opinion that carries weight and good on him for sharing it, irrespective of whether one agrees or not. 

His voice carries zero weight as far as I am concerned with regards to multihull sailing.

 

Perhaps Bundy, Ashby and Hagara should comment on their opinion of the monohull disciplines......  But i am sure their voices would also count for zero weight as they may be a bit bias



Edited by Tornado_ALIVE
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chew my RS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 08 at 2:32pm

If you read Ben's comments, I don't think he mentioned multi's at all.  In fact, the way I read it is that he thinks the 470 should be the one to go, not the T. 

At any rate, its all sailing.  You could equally argue that he doesn't speak for the two handed monohulls.  I'm not saying that his is the most important opinion in the world, but it certainly gets more publicity than mine and rightly so.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote getafix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 08 at 5:49pm
Originally posted by Tornado_ALIVE

Originally posted by turnturtle

I agree, it is surprising he's prepared to voice an opinion, but it's an opinion that carries weight and good on him for sharing it, irrespective of whether one agrees or not. 

His voice carries zero weight as far as I am concerned with regards to multihull sailing.

 

Perhaps Bundy, Ashby and Hagara should comment on their opinion of the monohull disciplines......  But i am sure their voices would also count for zero weight as they may be a bit bias



being a bit over sensitive here? remember Ben's an institution in GB!

seriously, you've got the right to be miffed (to say the least) about the T's drop off the list but it's got to be good for top of the fleet sailors to use the platform they have when people shove cameras and microphones in their faces to speak out - you may not agree but public pressure is most likey to reverse the decisions made, not committee meetings and behind the scenes lobbying... that's failed already as they didn't even bother listening to their own technical committee!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 11:06am
Originally posted by Chris 249


Not many people want to sail them. End of story.

If they don't inspire many current sailors to get into them, why would they
inspire newbies? 



So because not every surfer flies to tahiti to be towed onto 60ft waves by a jetski films like Riding Giants have never inspired anyone to take up surfing?

And that there are only 20 odd formula 1 cars in the world at any time means they never inspired kids to try karting??

While I hope Ainslies likely success in the games will raise the profile of sailing a bit in the UK it's MacArthur who's generally credited with inspiring people to sail but there don't seem to be a lot of 75ft Tris around...

Just because people are realistic about their finanaces and abilities doesn't mean the spectacular classes don't inspire.

Originally posted by Chris 249


Can you tell us the location of any studies or surveys that show that
people are turned off by sailing's current image?


No, but can you find any that show the contrary.  The background evidence seems to suggest that the former is likely:

- ISAF 'connect to sailing' initiative - trying to stem the rapid decline of the sport around the world I believe was the general gist from ISAF.

- Sailing tucked away in a corner of the olympic schedules and repeatedly threatened with a reduction in medals as it's unable to pay its way.

- The medal race being forced on ISAF by a sports marketing company hired by IOC due to ISAFs inaction on improving sailings tv appeal (I don't know whether this is definitely true, saw it on the Finn forum a few years back - can anyone clarify??)
 

Originally posted by Chris 249


"Where as people who aren't directly involved will have a better idea of
what the public want to see."

How is that?



Ummm...because those people are the ones holding the remote control???

I agree that the solution is not simply fast boats - the tornado proves that well enough.  Sailing fails on so many levels on tv at present - the venues, the commentating, the length of races, the comprehension (40 identical white boats don't exactly help in following the race...), the hype and the sport's general lack of confidence in itself (everything has to be 'the formula 1 of sailing' - or even more cringeworthy on the medcup site 'they call it the champions league of sailing'...erm...I don't think they do...)

However that Ben lumps the moth and tornado together while suggesting the 29er (which the moth is arguably more manouvreable and tactical than, ditto the 49er) just indicates he's no better informed on this matter than the rest of us armchair anoraks...
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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 11:51am
Sorry, I should perhaps have said that fast boats are not the BEST way to
inspire people into the sport, and furthermore the extreme image may
turn off more people than it attracts. After all, the most popular sports
are not extreme.

And down here, anyway, surfing does NOT seem to be attracting the
general public by showing Jaws - it attracts the GP by showing a fun
activity. I spent some time in the surfing industry when it was in a
downturn - since then it seems to have opened itself to newbies and
grown.

People are not inspired to try karting in the same numbers that they are
inspired to try sailing. Simple fact. That's despite the enormous sums of
money thrown into F1. So it cannot be the best way to go.

Not living in the UK, I don't know why Ellen inspired people so much. I'm
told it was linked to the fact that she, as a small woman, was a contrast
to the normal image of a RTW sailor. If that's true, once again the key
was the fact that she was seen as someone other than a young, fit, male
expert.

ISAF's "Connect to sailing" initiative looks good, but as far as I can see it's
not about the high-performance stuff.

The stuff I can find (mainly from Paul Henderson, who should know) is
that sailing is NOT in risk of getting chucked from the Games. Other
sports are getting thrown out or not allowed into the Games. Seen in
context, losing one medal may not be too bad. The OPC had a list of
sports to chuck- sailing was not on it.

About the remote control - what sample size are we, in our personal
knowledge, dealing with? 2? 4? 6? 10? Is that a reliable predictor of a
global audience of billions? It wasn't last time I looked.

How do we know how informed Ben is on the Moth v 29er v Tornado
stuff?

We agree on a lot of things - white boats, commentary, the lack of
confidence. Like you, I just object to the simplistic idea that fast boats =
better TV = more sailors.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote tack'ho Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 12:09pm

On the quality of TV coverage, compare what we're getting from quing-doh! with the coverage from the last sail for gold.  If they get the tracking on all the boats for 2012 then it really will be head and shoulders above the chinese efforts.

Is it just me or is the tracking system there useing out there about as much use as a choccky teapot?

Also the occasionl shot of where the next mark is would, help anybody who saw the last leg of yesterdays womens 470 race will understand. 

I might be sailing it, but it's still sh**e!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 08 at 2:59pm
Nice post Chris, but I'd query the karting (nothing like going off topic...) - I don't know what its like in Aus but here I'd be fairly confident that the number of people (predominantly men) trying karting at least once far exceeds those who try sailing.  Taking it up longterm the situation is probably different which is a positive thing - but if sailing is more appealing once people are through the door then surely it's a good idea to try and maximise the amount of them coming through that door?

The riding giants example was perhaps not the right one.  All televised surfing seems to revolve around short boards and places with warm blue water. While the reality here is mini-mals, mushy waves and brown water in october (the month formerly known as August...)  So most don't replicate the tv images but part of the inspiration is seeing the sport done well, with obvious skill and athleticism in ideal conditions.

While a Finn will eat you alive physically - to the non sailor it doesn't look anything special...most of the non-sailing friends I take out for rides do genuinely seem to think they'll be able to kick back with a G&T.  They come back with a bit more appreciation of this strange thing that takes me away every weekend... :)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 08 at 2:16pm
Thx

I've checked the stats for the UK and Oz. In both countries, motorsport
(despite enormous backing from one of the world's biggest industries) is
no more popular than sailing. Same in France, I understand, and all three
countries are big in car racing.

I take your point about getting people into it, but the stuff I've seen
indicates that fast boats don't really get people into the sport. I've looked
at getting into motorsport, but got turned off by the huge $$$ to get into
what the sport looked at as "real" high-level racing. Thank god for
sailing, where we can get into the most popular Olympic class for $8k
AUS.

I agree that surfing promotion centres around nice conditions; people can
relate to that more (IMHO) than they can to high-po boats.

I think we DO need high-po boats (until a couple of seasons ago, my Int
Canoe was the slowest of the 3 classes I sailed, so I love the quick stuff)
but IMHO we need to highlight the WHOLE sport as being of equal
importance, and should not downgrade slow boats.

Edited by Chris 249
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AdrianM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 08 at 10:16pm

I've checked the stats for the UK and Oz. In both countries, motorsport
(despite enormous backing from one of the world's biggest industries) is
no more popular than sailing. Same in France, I understand, and all three
countries are big in car racing

Ummm, yeah right.  Which is why F1 gp in the UK pulls in over 100,000 spectators paying way over £100 a ticket and Moto GP same sort of number at £60 a ticket and WSB ditto. In fact Brand Hatch WSB is the biggest attended sporting event in Britain.I noticed 2,000 boats on the RIOW race with me this year and about 100 people watching all paying diddly squat. 

People are exited by top level motorsport even though they know it is beyond their reach, even my Mum gets impressed by Rossi!  Can't say I've heard one person say anything positive about the Olympic sailing in terms of a spectacle, not even our Ben whose skills arguably translate to the level of Rossi.  I would have thought that the sport will need to find ways to address this if it is to remain a long term Olympic event and I remain unconvinced that slow tactical boats are the correct and SOLE path.

 



Edited by AdrianM
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