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Ben Ainslie’s Thought on Olympic Classes

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Olympic Sailing
Forum Discription: The top end racing in our sport
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4469
Printed Date: 20 May 22 at 8:26pm
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Topic: Ben Ainslie’s Thought on Olympic Classes
Posted By: Chew my RS
Subject: Ben Ainslie’s Thought on Olympic Classes
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 2:47pm

From the interview on the Y&Y homepage:

 “I don’t think people are actually looking at the requirements of the sailors. You need a boat for people over 90 kg to sail. Yes, you have the Star but to sail that you have to be either personally wealthy or very good at finding sponsorship. There are a number of classes for sailors between 60 – 80 kg. I don’t see the reason for having two men’s double handed boats and I think the 470 women should be replaced by the 29er. High performance boats like the Moth and Tornado are fantastic to watch go in a straight line but they do not offer the same physical or tactical challenges of other boats. I guess it depends if we are chasing classes which look good or which offer the sailors a better challenge. For me, the Finn is a great boat. It is a real mix of physical, tactical and technical challenges.”

Interesting and forthright view from someone who's opinion really does matter.



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Replies:
Posted By: Guest
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 3:13pm
Well if I was the best Finn sailor in the world I'd want it retained as an Olympic class too ... but to be fair to Ben I think he'd be the best at any class he chose to sail.

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Posted By: Chew my RS
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 3:20pm

Sounds to me like he thinks the mens and womens 470 should be dropped.

Another thing, whilst you may well have to be wealthy to sail a Star, I've heard a Finn mast costs around £4,000 and I suspect that pales into insignificance compared to the overall campaign costs, so not sure how valid that argument is.



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http://www.sailns14.org - http://www.sailns14.org - The ultimate family raceboat now available in the UK


Posted By: Phil eltringham
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 4:42pm
the 470 should be a compulsary mixed class, ie one man and one woman in each boat, (does not matter who does what) but that way there is room for a girls asymmetric and there is still a symmetric presence in the games

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FLAT IS FAST!
Shifts Happen


Posted By: giraffe
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 6:19pm
i think £4k is way off the mark for a Finn mast.  Maybe euro 3000


Posted By: Jamie600
Date Posted: 08 Aug 08 at 6:37pm

 

A Star mast is even more high-tech than a Finn mast, plus the sails which I believe have a fairly short competitive life. The main difference between a Finn campaign and a Star campaign is the logistics costs, a Finn can be transported relatively easily or you could even do what the Laser and 49er sailors do and have a boat on each continent but imagine how much it costs to ship a Star halfway round the world



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RS600 1001


Posted By: k_kirk
Date Posted: 09 Aug 08 at 11:48am
Originally posted by Chew my RS

Interesting and forthright view from someone who's opinion really does matter.


I like Ben so please don't take this the wrong way. I really want him on the podium with another gold. But... Why do you think his opinion really matter so much and do you really think he is objective?


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http://gaijinonfoils.blogspot.com/ - Gaijin on Foils


Posted By: DiscoBall
Date Posted: 09 Aug 08 at 10:35pm
Right on the money k_kirk. 

If I wanted advice on how to make a boat go fast I can think of no better person than Ben (other than maybe a certain R. Coutts....), however if I wanted an objective assessment of olympic class selections....

Robert Deaves' interviews with the Finn class experts are always insightful but the class propaganda piece on the end always grates - no other olympic class does this.

"High performance boats like the Moth and Tornado are fantastic to watch go in a straight line but they do not offer the same physical or tactical challenges"

maybe the tactical side may be true of the tornado which takes a big hit to its vmg for any turn and so needs to drag race the corners.  But a foiler loses very little vmg (I'd guess...) through a gybe so its tactical options are probably a lot more interesting than Finns (trundling downwind at hull speed line astern...) in 8kts.

The real opinions that matter are those of the viewing public (and to a lesser extent the viewing sailors).  If they don't watch then sailing will get eliminated from the games medal by medal.  Accessiblity, Weight ranges etc are small fry alongside TV appeal.  Classes at both ends of the spectrum (i.e. Tornado - fast, Finn - tactical) have had decades to draw the audiences but they don't, which just proves that TV appeal is a complex b*gger

On the physicality, yes the finn is a damn tough boat for the biggest and strongest of guys but I bet to the layman it just looks like some bloke sitting around.  Show a moth video to a non-sailor and the response is very different (usually - 'that's impossible!' ).  They can immediately appreciate the physical ability/fitness required.

Guess it's all irrelevant anyway - even if ISAF got together a decent range of classes (that subjective little beast...) and could really put on a great show for the sport they'd probably squander it by painting all the boats white, filming them from miles away and letting the olympic regatta be held somewhere with a distinct absence of wind..

That said...GO Ben, GO Team GBR!

T


Posted By: k_kirk
Date Posted: 10 Aug 08 at 4:22am
"High performance boats like the Moth and Tornado are fantastic to watch go in a straight line but they do not offer the same physical or tactical challenges"

Come to think of it, that race 1 final downwind will make his ears go red each time he is reminded of that comment I guess. All he had to do was to go in a straight line to the finish after all but I suppose he got trapped in a tactical challenge as it were... So even the best of the best and possibly all time best can get to eat humble pie occasionally. And erm, the moth does not offer physical challenges??? Right!!!.

Wishing all the best to Ben and Team GBR. Today the 9'ers are on so lets hope for some decent breeze for the aesthetics.



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http://gaijinonfoils.blogspot.com/ - Gaijin on Foils


Posted By: allanorton
Date Posted: 10 Aug 08 at 8:05am

I agree with Ben, I think there are more skills needed to be able to catch waves and sail low on the runs, and then to be able to sail fast on the reaches, than there is to just sail for vmg on every down wind leg.

49er crews would be a lot bigger if they had to sail a couple of reaches & a run rather than two runs, I think that the skill/effort of being able to hold a kite to a wing mark or decide to drop, is lost in the 49er, I would like to see them do a triangle, it may add an aspect excitement when the winds up!



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Posted By: Chew my RS
Date Posted: 10 Aug 08 at 9:11am

Ben's opinion matters because:

A.  He is a triple (soon to be 4x) Olympic medalist.  That gets him heard.

B. He has more experience of Olympic campaigning than almost anyone else - therefore he speaks with experience.

C.  His brother-in-law is head of the ISAF.  He has the ear of the top man.

I'm not saying that his opinion should matter more than anyone else's, but you would be naive to think it didn't.  If the ECB wanted opinion on how cricket should be organised, would they ask me or Michael Vaughan?



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Posted By: DiscoBall
Date Posted: 10 Aug 08 at 11:05am
I understand what you're saying - but that's the reason that olympic sailing is in its present pickle...

Sailing never starts with a 'what would be best for presenting the sport' clean sheet.  There's always this baggage that those who competed and now administrate just want to minimise change.  If the cycling (or any other olympic 'kit' sport) was run like sailing they'd all be riding Choppers with carbon handlebars...

Ben certainly know more about olympic campaigning than anyone else, but that puts him on the inside of the goldfish bowl.  It's not the best place to judge how the sport is presented - I'd take a guess he, like many athletes sensibly avoids reading/watching the media while competing??



Posted By: JimiQuik
Date Posted: 10 Aug 08 at 11:19am
People in the sport like http://yachtsandyachting.com/news/?article=142853 - Charles Benedict Ainslie might be biased if certian ways to keep parts of the sport that meet their strengths and eliminate areas that meet there weaknesses.... Not that Charles Benedict seems to have any weakeness.

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


Posted By: k_kirk
Date Posted: 10 Aug 08 at 12:22pm
Originally posted by Chew my RS

Ben's opinion matters because:

A.  He is a triple (soon to be 4x) Olympic medalist.  That gets him heard.

B. He has more experience of Olympic campaigning than almost anyone else - therefore he speaks with experience.

C.  His brother-in-law is head of the ISAF.  He has the ear of the top man.

I'm not saying that his opinion should matter more than anyone else's, but you would be naive to think it didn't.  If the ECB wanted opinion on how cricket should be organised, would they ask me or Michael Vaughan?



Ok. I see your point and respectfully disagree A & B are reasons making his the singlehanded opinion to be counted on. There are many others with enormous successes behind their name as well so if all were corralled and queried for their opinions then yes perhaps the process would lead somewhere.

C, I flat out refuse to believe. If the brother in law can't be trusted to make non-biased decisions and such track record can be observed by 3rd parties then perhaps he should be asked to resign. Head of an organization such as ISAF should be mature enough to avoid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepotism - nepotism .

Anyways. They are out there sweating and we are here arm-chair sailing & debating. At the end of the day what they do now counts so all the best to the sailors.


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http://gaijinonfoils.blogspot.com/ - Gaijin on Foils


Posted By: Chew my RS
Date Posted: 10 Aug 08 at 12:36pm
Quite so.  good luck GBR.

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Posted By: tack'ho
Date Posted: 10 Aug 08 at 2:21pm
Originally posted by k_kirk

Originally posted by Chew my RS

Ben's opinion matters because:

A.  He is a triple (soon to be 4x) Olympic medalist.  That gets him heard.

B. He has more experience of Olympic campaigning than almost anyone else - therefore he speaks with experience.

C.  His brother-in-law is head of the ISAF.  He has the ear of the top man.

I'm not saying that his opinion should matter more than anyone else's, but you would be naive to think it didn't.  If the ECB wanted opinion on how cricket should be organised, would they ask me or Michael Vaughan?



Ok. I see your point and respectfully disagree A & B are reasons making his the singlehanded opinion to be counted on. There are many others with enormous successes behind their name as well so if all were corralled and queried for their opinions then yes perhaps the process would lead somewhere.

C, I flat out refuse to believe. If the brother in law can't be trusted to make non-biased decisions and such track record can be observed by 3rd parties then perhaps he should be asked to resign. Head of an organization such as ISAF should be mature enough to avoid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepotism - nepotism .

Anyways. They are out there sweating and we are here arm-chair sailing & debating. At the end of the day what they do now counts so all the best to the sailors.

Any multi national murkly funded organisation avoid bias and nepotism Ha ha ha....

Lets face it if the UN is anything to go by.....



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I might be sailing it, but it's still sh**e!


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 10 Aug 08 at 4:37pm
Originally posted by DiscoBall

If the cycling (or any other olympic 'kit' sport) was run like sailing they'd all be riding Choppers with carbon handlebars

As I understand it, the peformance you get from recumbent type cycles vastly exceeds that of the conventional style pushbike as used in the games, so that's really pretty much what they are doing...


Posted By: Lukepiewalker
Date Posted: 10 Aug 08 at 5:12pm
Indeed. The cycling equipment rules are exceptionally restrictive.

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Ex-Finn GBR533 "Pie Hard"
Ex-National 12 3253 "Seawitch"
Ex-National 12 2961 "Curved Air"
Ex-Mirror 59096 "Voodoo Chile"


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 11 Aug 08 at 11:03am
"Sailing never starts with a 'what would be best for presenting the sport'
clean sheet. There's always this baggage that those who competed and
now administrate just want to minimise change."

Sailing, in the UK, France and Australia anyway, is a much, much bigger
sport than most of the more spectacular sports, and the more spectacular
classes are pretty much the smallest group.

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?

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

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

How is that?



How often does Olympic sailing come up when you are talking to the
public, day to day?

Does the subject of Olympic sailing come up more often to you and me
than it does to Ainslie, who is probably talking daily to the media and at
corporate events after he gives speeches?

I have still never had a decent answer to this oft-asked question - if fast
boats are the key to improving the popularity of sailing, why are they so
much less popular all around the world, and why are they actually (in
recent years) growing more slowly than slow boats?

There was one Olympic class which was chosen by the sailors - the RSX.
It is probably the most cursed bit of kit around (or it was when I was
racing against it). Even many of those who chose it at the trials abused it
later, because
when they chose it they failed to take into account the difference between
a fragile prototype and a durable product. So the sailors' record of
choosing classes isn't all that hot.




Posted By: Tornado_ALIVE
Date Posted: 11 Aug 08 at 12:35pm

When Ainslie is an expert in Multihull sailing, then I guess his opinion on that matter would be worth listening too.

Don't think for a second his comments would not have a personal agenda behind it.  If ISAF decide in the future to only have 1 x single handed dinghy and 1 x double handed dinghy and the fin looses out to the Laser, then I am sure he would not be happy about it.



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Posted By: Chew my RS
Date 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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Posted By: Tornado_ALIVE
Date 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



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Posted By: Chew my RS
Date 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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Posted By: getafix
Date 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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Feeling sorry for vegans since it became the latest fad to claim you are one


Posted By: DiscoBall
Date 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...


Posted By: Chris 249
Date 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.



Posted By: tack'ho
Date 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. 



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I might be sailing it, but it's still sh**e!


Posted By: DiscoBall
Date 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... :)


Posted By: Chris 249
Date 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.


Posted By: AdrianM
Date 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.

 



Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 15 Aug 08 at 10:44pm
Originally posted by AdrianM

Which is why F1 gp in the UK pulls in over 100,000 spectators paying way over £100 a ticket

Participation numbers my friend. Who cares about spectators?


Posted By: Scooby_simon
Date Posted: 15 Aug 08 at 11:03pm

Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by AdrianM

Which is why F1 gp in the UK pulls in over 100,000 spectators paying way over £100 a ticket

Participation numbers my friend. Who cares about spectators?

 

Televison



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Posted By: Jimbob
Date Posted: 15 Aug 08 at 11:55pm
Well. I've recorded and watched most of the races televised by the BBC on its interactive sites, and I am a very keen sailor who knows what the participants are doing. I was very disappointed at how boring it appears. It is very interesting in parts for me but boring too. I've found the best way to watch is to fast forward during the boring bits (most of each race except starts and mark roundings).
Comments are:-
Non sailors will think it's like watching paint drying, (at times so do I). They will be wondering why Ben Ainslie and the Yngling girls get medals for doing that;
Speaking as a spectator, basically there is not enough general action nor boat interaction. Even when it was windyish the boats appeared very slow. And we need better presentation, more like the America's Cup. And dare I say it, maybe match racing knock out like the AC but on shorter courss would be better.
And it is ridiculous in this day and age to say that spectators don't matter. Without them, the sport will eventually get kicked out of the Olympics, lose all its large amounts of funding and go back to obscurity. Although maybe that's what a lot of sailors want. Anyway, the Tornado being dropped is the first sign of this. And funnily enough I saw some Tornados flashing about in the backgound during the 1st Star race and was wishing we were watching that.



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Jimbob


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 16 Aug 08 at 2:03am
Jimbob, where is your evidence for the proposition that without TV
viewers, the sport will get kicked out of the Games?

Can you please point us towards, say, a current IOC OPC report, or a
statement by an ISAF head, or someone senior in the IOC? Without
evidence, how can you call a counter-claim "ridiculous"?

And where is the evidence that the IOC counts TV ratings so high? Yes,
we all know about the TV rights income - but baseball (which rated quite
highly on TV, and is the national sport of the country that pays 50% of the
total TV rights fees) has just been dumped from the Games.

Apparently the big hit in the vital US viewing market this Games has been
Phelps - a man who goes up and down a pool slower than a Yngling on a
good day. Is swimming novel? No. Exotic? No. Extreme? No.

Paul Henderson has said, publically, that all the claims that sailing will
get dumped if it doesn't get more TV is tosh.

Seriously, how on earth can you and I claim to know more about IOC
politics than Henderson? And Hendo was pretty radical in some ways, he
wasn't about preserving the status quo.

By the way, if it DOES get down to ratings, we are dead. Here's info from
the IOC OPC report, showing sports and their viewer hours from 2004 (in
thousands of hours);

BASEVALL - 119 (or 136?) thousand viewer hours - DUMPED
ARTYSTIC GYM – 467
DIVING – 362
SWIMMING – 363
VOLLEYBALL – 1,230 (seems wrong, can't be bothered to go back and
check)
ATHLETICS – 977
SAILING – 18
SOFTBALL – 142 - DUMPED
ITTF – 778
BOXING -285 XXXXXX
SLALOM KAYAK - 81 - RECOMMENDED FOR DUMPING; LATER PRESERVED

So even to get up with the sports that were going to be/will be dumped,
we have to increase our ratings by about 5 to 9 times. If we do that by
dumping all the traditional classes, we will have to live with probably
alienating most of the sailors in the world. WTH should we bother to have
anything to do with ISAF if they do not represent the types most people
actually sail?

And yes, there have been some high-rating TV sailing classes. The GP
18s for example, rated well - then they died. The pro windsurfers rated
well in terms of live spectators, and they are now much less popular than
they used to be.

As the national report on sports viewing, sponsorship and participation
points out, there is no real correlation between viewer numbers and
participation numbers.

BTW, when I googled "Olympic sports TV ratings", first thing I got was an
article that mentioned windsurfing as one of the "exciting, fun, sexy and
photogenic" new sports brought in to lift TV ratings - yet the windsurfers
in the average Olympic regatta race are probably slower than the Laser.
So there's one more journo over there in China who hasn't "realised" that
faster boats =better.




Posted By: AdrianM
Date Posted: 16 Aug 08 at 7:24am

Originally posted by Chris 249



Apparently the big hit in the vital US viewing market this Games has been
Phelps - a man who goes up and down a pool slower than a Yngling on a
good day. Is swimming novel? No. Exotic? No. Extreme? No.


A swimming final though is considerably more exciting to watch than paint drying.  When sailing starts to become material for comedians  then I think we can be concerned for its' Olympic future irrespective of what Paul Henderson may say.



Posted By: laser4000
Date Posted: 16 Aug 08 at 8:19am
Originally posted by AdrianM

Originally posted by Chris 249



Apparently the big hit in the vital US viewing market this Games has been
Phelps - a man who goes up and down a pool slower than a Yngling on a
good day. Is swimming novel? No. Exotic? No. Extreme? No.


A swimming final though is considerably more exciting to watch than paint drying.  When sailing starts to become material for comedians  then I think we can be concerned for its' Olympic future irrespective of what Paul Henderson may say.



So why the hell don't we have downwind slaloms in bladeriders for weymouth..


Posted By: Strawberry
Date Posted: 16 Aug 08 at 9:21am
Originally posted by Chris 249


VOLLEYBALL – 1,230 (seems wrong, can't be bothered to go back and
check)



The probably mean women's beach volleyball. It's hardly surprising that attracts viewers. But I would guess very few of them actually care what's happening in the sport.

Maybe that's the answer? Get the 3 Blondes in a Boat in Bikinis!




-------------
Cherub 2649 "Dangerous Strawberry


Posted By: DiscoBall
Date Posted: 16 Aug 08 at 10:08am
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by AdrianM

Which is why F1 gp in the UK pulls in over 100,000 spectators paying way over £100 a ticket

Participation numbers my friend. Who cares about spectators?


Jim - I'd reckon out of my non-sailing male friends probably 80-90% have tried karting at least once (stag dos, birthdays etc...) and probably less than 10% have been sailing (and regard my fascination with it as not a little eccentric...).  With female friends I'm less sure what the numbers would be but would guess it would still be the same way round.

Sailing is undoubtedly more accessible than motorsport (at least financially) for longterm participation, but I suspect F1 and similar events give an awful lot of people a hankering to try it, if only occasionally.

Again more people through the door would hopefully mean more conversions to regular sailors.

It also can become a virtuous circle - if people have tried the sport then their comprehension and the amount they identify with the physical act of sailing will allow them to get more out of the coverage.  Sports like golf, snooker, cricket and darts all claim many hours of tv even though they really are extremely slow - but they're easy for people to try and identify with.


Posted By: AdrianM
Date Posted: 16 Aug 08 at 4:21pm

Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by AdrianM

Which is why F1 gp in the UK pulls in over 100,000 spectators paying way over £100 a ticket

Participation numbers my friend. Who cares about spectators?

Popularity was the word used by Chris not participation and if something ain't popular there aren't that many folk who will pay a few hundred quid for the privilege of camping in a wet field to go and watch it.  Who cares about spectators?  To continue with Chris' line of thought all the car makers, tyre suppliers et al who pump millions into the sport to get some precious air time for their brand name.  They don't do it to get more people into motorsport but to more people to buy their common garden average tin box saloon. With the possible exception of Ferrari who do it the other way round, sell lots of tin boxes to make enough cash to let them go racing...



Posted By: k_kirk
Date Posted: 16 Aug 08 at 4:32pm
Originally posted by AdrianM

With the possible exception of Ferrari who do it the other way round, sell lots of tin boxes to make enough cash to let them go racing...
I think you've got that far off. They're not tin boxes to begin with and they sell in very small numbers when compared to other car makers and finally the Ferrari F1 lineage and road monsters share a whole lot of common technology. So in other words, F1 is the real life test & development lap for the boys in red. They would still sell as many cars without F1 and they always have. Anyways, back to sailing and Ben shall we?


-------------
http://gaijinonfoils.blogspot.com/ - Gaijin on Foils


Posted By: NeilP
Date Posted: 16 Aug 08 at 5:32pm
Do you really believe that Ferrari's road cars share "a lot" - or even any - of technology with F1??

-------------
No FD? No Comment!


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 16 Aug 08 at 7:46pm
Originally posted by DiscoBall

out of my non-sailing male friends probably 80-90% have tried karting at least once (stag dos, birthdays etc...)

Oh please. That's not motorsport: its dodgems for grown ups. You might as well say anyone who's stepped in a pedalo on holiday is Spain has tried competitive rowing.


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 17 Aug 08 at 1:54am
Originally posted by AdrianM

Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by AdrianM

Which is why F1
gp in the UK pulls in over 100,000 spectators paying way over £100 a
ticket
Participation numbers my friend. Who cares about
spectators?


Popularity was the word used by Chris not participation and if
something ain't popular there aren't that many folk who will pay a few
hundred quid for the privilege of camping in a wet field to go and watch
it.  Who cares about spectators?  To continue with Chris' line of thought
all the car makers, tyre suppliers et al who pump millions into the sport
to get some precious air time for their brand name.  They don't do it to
get more people into motorsport but to more people to buy their
common garden average tin box saloon. With the possible exception of
Ferrari who do it the other way round, sell lots of tin boxes to make
enough cash to let them go racing...



The motorsport spend is huge in absolute terms to our eyes, but tiny as a
proportion of the parent industry's spend. Toyota's bloated F1 team
seems to cost it .0024 of its after-tax profit, and about .0002 of its
turnover. That's $44 bucks, approximately, per car sold, as far as I can
see.

To put it in context, as far as I can see if Beneteau spent the same sort of
proportion of their turnover on a "Grand Prix" campaign, they'd be able
to afford just 2 months of a Figaro II campaign, or buy about 10 Lasers.

GM's sponsorship of the US Olympic team was 1 billion (so why do the
Yanks complain about British funding???), their advertising budget is 1.9
bill p.a., and they spend less than 100 mill p.a. on motorsport.

So (and I'm not claiming to have any expertise on this), it seems that

1- Motorsport gets the vast majority of its funding from the motor
industry.
2- It gets a tiny percentage of the motor industry's promotional funds,
but because cars are such a massive industry it adds up to an enormous
chunk of cash.
3- All that cash going into motorsport still doesn't generate any more
players than sports that get a tiny fraction as many bucks.

4- Who cares about people watching? I've done events with something
like 100,000 live spectators (Sydney Hobart starts) and did windsurfing in
the pro era when we had 4-7 choppers over the fleet, and IMHO the
racing generally isn't as good, sponsorship
may not help the overall scene, and it makes you feel like a goldfish in a
bowl.

IMHO it IS related to the sailing classes in the Games, because there is an
assumption that more spectacular boats will make Olympic sailing and
sailing better, and IMHO it may have the opposite effect.





Posted By: k_kirk
Date Posted: 17 Aug 08 at 2:52am
Originally posted by NeilP

Do you really believe that Ferrari's road cars share "a lot" - or even any - of technology with F1??


Yes. Eventually a lot finds its way into the roadcars in general. Even Mitsubishi Lancers have paddle shifters these days for example. I'm sure someone more informed could list specifics on the Ferrari's case. I'm sure you can find data on Google as well. Just hit this one as I did a quick check  :

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/luxury/112_0412_2005_fer rari_f430/f1_car_comparison.html
http://atlasf1.autosport.com/2000/san/preview/gray.html
http://blogs.drive.com.au/2007/11/f1_tech_the_real_deal_on_f erra.html


I'm just too lazy to do any more and would rather read & write about sailing this fine Sunday morning. Now shall we get this thread back on topic as meaningless as it was?


-------------
http://gaijinonfoils.blogspot.com/ - Gaijin on Foils


Posted By: alstorer
Date Posted: 17 Aug 08 at 6:27am
don't Smart cars have paddle shifters? Taking it back off topic again. But yes, Motorsport is much more of a "spectating" sport than a "participation" sport- very much the opposite of the sailing situation.


Posted By: NeilP
Date Posted: 18 Aug 08 at 10:46am
Yes Smart cars have paddle shifts these days, but the idea that because the shift mechanism looks similar the technology and hardware must be the same is frankly ludicrous. Eventually yes, some technology will percolate down, but just as an example, road cars had ABS way before any F1 team. Marketing claims are not always the truth, you know!

-------------
No FD? No Comment!



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