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deesy58
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Re: OT: America's Cup

:smileylol:

DeanGibson
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Re: OT: America's Cup


DeanGibson wrote:

Quote (in fun) from a local New Zealander I know:

 

It's one thing to be beaten by an American financed boat but to have an Aussie skipper at the helm, now that is too much to stomach!!


He also said that Ellison has brought a LOT of money to New Zealand.  While that may not be the perspective all New Zealanders, it is an interesting one.  TV usage data suggested that 25% of New Zealanders were watching the races live.

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deesy58
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Re: OT: America's Cup


DeanGibson wrote:

DeanGibson wrote:

Quote (in fun) from a local New Zealander I know:

 

It's one thing to be beaten by an American financed boat but to have an Aussie skipper at the helm, now that is too much to stomach!!


He also said that Ellison has brought a LOT of money to New Zealand.  While that may not be the perspective all New Zealanders, it is an interesting one.  TV usage data suggested that 25% of New Zealanders were watching the races live.


It seems that a lot of the pioneering work with these kinds of boats came from New Zealand.  It's difficult to imagine how other countries like Italy, France, the U.K. and Sweden didn't also benefit to some extent from the America's Cup regattas.  China and Korea also developed racing teams.  There were probably economic benefits that accrued to all of these countries. 

 

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bobstro
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Re: OT: America's Cup

[ Edited ]

I believe Walmart will be carrying Chinese-made America's Cup yachts for approximately 1/2 of the current cost. Economic benefits, indeed!

 

Wired Magazine had a couple of articles on the run-up to the races which I found interesting. They focus much more on the technologies and problems of running the big, complex boats:

 

While I'm sure it's a fine event to watch, it all struck me as too much drama about a rich man's problems to get my interest. If it's not a sport my kids or I might conceivably play, I tend not to enjoy sports. I also don't get into NASCAR racing for much the same reason. (I will, however, stay up all night to watch NASA drop a probe on Mars.)

 

Now that the event's over, I'm curious how prescient the Wired writers were regarding the future of the event and the AC72s. Has it been declared a success? Will the boats change for the next? Did they gain or lose viewership? Sponsors?

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deesy58
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Re: OT: America's Cup


bobstro wrote:

I believe Walmart will be carrying Chinese-made America's Cup yachts for approximately 1/2 of the current cost. Economic benefits, indeed!

 

Wired Magazine had a couple of articles on the run-up to the races which I found interesting. They focus much more on the technologies and problems of running the big, complex boats:

 

While I'm sure it's a fine event to watch, it all struck me as a lot of drama about a rich man's hobby to get my interest. I've it's not a sport my kids or I might conceivably play, I tend not to enjoy sports. I also don't get into NASCAR racing for much the same reason.

 

Now that the event's over, I'm curious how prescient the Wired writers were regarding the future of the event and the AC72s. Has it been declared a success? Will the boats change for the next? Did they gain or lose viewership? Sponsors?


While your first paragraph made absolutely no sense to me at all, I'd like to comment on the rest of your post.

 

1.  As widely read as it is, I am not convinced that "Wired" magazine is any kind of an authority on any technology or sporting event.  I'm not sure I would consider it anything other than entertainment.

 

2.  The AC72s were much more exciting to watch than previous America's Cup yachts.  They are much faster, and the helmsmen must make split-second decisions in order to prevent capsizing or colliding.

 

3.  The boats had cameras and microphones mounted everywhere -- even underneath.  The cameras were high-definition (HD), and the coverage by NBC Sports was outstanding. 

 

4.  Those who chose not to watch the events are those to whom competitive sporting events probably hold little interest, and that's fine.  A lot of people think that soccer is the ultimate sport, even though I would never watch it.

 

Different strokes ...

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bobstro
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Registered: ‎01-01-2012

Re: OT: America's Cup

[ Edited ]
deesy58 wrote:

While your first paragraph made absolutely no sense to me at all, I'd like to comment on the rest of your post.

 

The Chinese have a history of copying technology, then producing cheap, often-inferior copies. These are often at Walmart. Yesterday's leading technology can often be found at bargain prices.

 

1.  As widely read as it is, I am not convinced that "Wired" magazine is any kind of an authority on any technology or sporting event.  I'm not sure I would consider it anything other than entertainment.

 

Wired covers topics that are interesting, or at least puts a spin on topics to make them interesting (to me). I never would have picked up an issue of "Billionaire Yachting Monthly" to read about America's Cup events, but did find the Wired articles intriguing enough to read. In the process, I learned a bit about the new boats, if only enough to convince me that they're technilogical wonders, but not something that excites me. Yes, entertainment is a fair assessment. I read it on a plane awaiting takeoff. I can find out more if I want an in-depth understanding.

 

Cachet of Wired aside, do you have any dispute with the points made in either article?

 

2.  The AC72s were much more exciting to watch than previous America's Cup yachts.  They are much faster, and the helmsmen must make split-second decisions in order to prevent capsizing or colliding.

 

I gathered that from the articles. I'm really interested in whether the boats are too expensive for most teams, and whether such a high bar to entry will reduce the America's Cup to only of interest to a select few. When you get down to 2-4 teams competing, is it a viable "sport" for the general public? Is hosting such an event worthwhile for taxpayers?

 

3.  The boats had cameras and microphones mounted everywhere -- even underneath.  The cameras were high-definition (HD), and the coverage by NBC Sports was outstanding. 

 

I'm sure it was awesome. I don't discount the technologies, or the skills of the crews. The loss of life preparing for the event is testament to the complexity of the new boats. Watching NASCAR is nothing like it was a few years ago, and viewers can get as "into" the event as they like, it seems. I suppose there are pit crew groupies/junkies out there these days, and they must be in heaven with all the coverage.

 

4.  Those who chose not to watch the events are those to whom competitive sporting events probably hold little interest, and that's fine.  A lot of people think that soccer is the ultimate sport, even though I would never watch it.

 

I like competitive events, and even nerdy coverage of high tech events. That sort of boating just isn't my sort of thing. I do find the impact of raising the technological bar on entering the event a bit interesting though. How complex can it get and how few teams can compete, yet still hold public interest as a "competition"?

 

Of even more interest to me is how dependent these sorts of event are on public funding and support, and how good an investment it is. I found Roustabout's local perspective most interesting. Was this just fun and games for the elite few at the expense (or at least non-benefit) of the general public whose lives were disrupted, public resources diverted and tax money spent? I love ice hockey, but I can well remember what a boondoggle the Coyotes stadium proved to be for taxpayers. Was that 1/4 cent sales tax that never seemed to go away worth it? "Don't watch it if you don't like it" is fine, unless you're spending my tax dollars for your party, or adding hours to my daily commute so you can have your party.

 

Different strokes ...

And different aspects.
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Wulfraed
Posts: 998
Registered: ‎11-24-2012

Re: OT: America's Cup

WRT the number of teams...

 

For much of its history, the AC was just two teams: challenger and defender. There were, instead, preliminary competitions to determine which country/club would be the challenger. The AC is not on a fixed schedule (or wasn't), it's on demand when some challenger thinks they have a chance to win.

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deesy58
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Re: OT: America's Cup

bobstro wrote:

The Chinese have a history of copying technology, then producing cheap, often-inferior copies. These are often at Walmart. Yesterday's leading technology can often be found at bargain prices.

-- The carbon fiber and graphite technology used in the America's Cup races was perfected in New Zealand.  China, like the other countries that entered the AC45 races, was required to use boats that were made by a common manufacturer.  I believe that the boats were made in New Zealand.  If the Chinese were to make a " cheap, often-inferior" copy, it is not at all clear how they might benefit.  They would not be allowed to race their cheap copy of an AC45 boat in any sanctioned race, and they would be unlikely to find a military advantage from a sailing catamaran.  I don't believe we will ever see boats like these at Wal-Mart.  If, on the other hand, China developed a competitive AC72-class racing yacht, they would be forced to purchase some of the components from other countries, and they would create jobs in their own country in the process.  Everybody wins. 


 
Wired covers topics that are interesting, or at least puts a spin on topics to make them interesting (to me). I never would have picked up an issue of "Billionaire Yachting Monthly" to read about America's Cup events, but did find the Wired articles intriguing enough to read. In the process, I learned a bit about the new boats, if only enough to convince me that they're technilogical wonders, but not something that excites me. Yes, entertainment is a fair assessment. I read it on a plane awaiting takeoff. I can find out more if I want an in-depth understanding.

 -- Wired is a very rich magazine with a great deal of advertising.  It isn't the place I'd look to learn something about sailboat racing.  Instead, I would choose "Sail" magazine, "Sailboat" magazine, "Good Old Boat" magazine, or "Sailing World" magazine.  A good many people sail (and race) small sailboats on fresh water lakes and rivers all over the world.  They are not millionaires or billionaires, and yet, they seem to have a lot of fun with their small boats.  E-Bay, today, has a listing for a Holder 14 foot Hobie Cat Sunfish Sailboat at a current bid of $205.  Hardly a rich man's sport ...     



Cachet of Wired aside, do you have any dispute with the points made in either article?

--  I do.  In the first article, the author makes a number of invalid assumptions.  One of them was that the races would be held in 30 knot winds.  In fact, the maximum sustained wind velocity allowed during the America's Cup finals was 22.6 knots, or approximately 26 MPH.  He also implies that the wing sail is not controllable, saying: " With no way to switch a wingsail off, there’s only one way to get through the death zone: as quickly as possible."  Actually, in fact, the chord of the wing is constantly being adjusted by the crew, as is the "twist" angle from top to bottom.  During the races, both boats were required to reverse course at the "marks" at least twice in every race.  Nobody got killed, and the boats did not capsize.

--  In addition to the wing, each boat had a cloth "jib" sail that was often changed to control the size and shape of the sail.  During light winds, a third sail was hoisted by the crew.  Called a "gennaker," this sail provided additional propulsion in light winds.  This sail was raised and lowered by the crews during the races.  The author seemed to be unaware of these sails because he never mentioned them in his article.   

--  To show his bias, the author concludes with: "Maybe the big boats will land on their daggerboards and this America’s Cup will glide to its own riveting sort of success. Or maybe Ellison will end up losing the race in every way possible. We’ll find out starting on the Fourth of July."  How telling!  He simultaneously shows his bias and his ignorance. 

--  The article is a classic example of a "journalist" trying to write about a topic with which he is not familiar, and has not made himself familiar.  He is, however, biased against the AC races, and makes little effort to conceal his bias.   


   
I gathered that from the articles. I'm really interested in whether the boats are too expensive for most teams, and whether such a high bar to entry will reduce the America's Cup to only of interest to a select few. When you get down to 2-4 teams competing, is it a viable "sport" for the general public? Is hosting such an event worthwhile for taxpayers?

--  Like all new technologies, the cost will decrease as the technology matures.  In any event, I don't believe that any America's Cup racing yacht was ever considered to be inexpensive.  In the AC45 elimination races, ten teams had entered.  It has always been the case, as far as I am aware, that the finals were held between the defending team, and the most successful challenging team.  That means that there would never be more than two teams racing in the finals. 

--  Other than the cost of the Coast Guard, what other costs to the taxpayers are uniquely different than using taxpayer monies to build an arena, a stadium or a ball park for a privately-owned professional sports team?  I believe that the water in San Francisco Bay is available free-of-charge. 

    

I'm sure it was awesome. I don't discount the technologies, or the skills of the crews. The loss of life preparing for the event is testament to the complexity of the new boats. Watching NASCAR is nothing like it was a few years ago, and viewers can get as "into" the event as they like, it seems. I suppose there are pit crew groupies/junkies out there these days, and they must be in heaven with all the coverage.

--  You seem to be deriding the fans of sailboat racing while simultaneously criticizing auto racing.  You have a right to dislike sporting events, but others have a right to enjoy them. 

  
  
I like competitive events, and even nerdy coverage of high tech events. That sort of boating just isn't my sort of thing. I do find the impact of raising the technological bar on entering the event a bit interesting though. How complex can it get and how few teams can compete, yet still hold public interest as a "competition"?

--  Sailing is a whole lot more complicated than most people realize.  It is not true that a sailboat simply raises a cloth sail and lets the wind blow it wherever it will.  How, for example, do we explain how sailboats are able to sail upwind (against the wind)?  How is it possible that an America's Cup AC72 racing catamaran can exceed speeds of 31 knots sailing against a wind of 20 knots, or downwind at speeds in excess of 48 knots in winds of less than 22 knots?  How do the sailors know the direction and velocity of the wind?  What effect does the tidal current have on the wind and the boats' speed?  This sport requires both great mental acuity and great physical abilities. 


    
Of even more interest to me is how dependent these sorts of event are on public funding and support, and how good an investment it is. I found Roustabout's local perspective most interesting. Was this just fun and games for the elite few at the expense (or at least non-benefit) of the general public whose lives were disrupted, public resources diverted and tax money spent? I love ice hockey, but I can well remember what a boondoggle the Coyotes stadium proved to be for taxpayers. Was that 1/4 cent sales tax that never seemed to go away worth it? "Don't watch it if you don't like it" is fine, unless you're spending my tax dollars for your party, or adding hours to my daily commute so you can have your party.

    
-- Kind of like baseball parks, basketball and hockey arenas and football and soccer stadia, I expect.  How often have we heard about public monies being spent for the benefit of a minority of sports fans and the enrichment of professional team owners?  I am in total agreement that public monies should never be spent on entertainment venues of any sort, for any reason.  I have been living with these kinds of tax surcharges for a very long time (since 1978).  I have never approved of them, and I have seen voters disapprove numerous times.  Unfortunately, the politicians who are running things are more beholden to big-money interests than to constituents.  Sad!

-- In spite of roustabout's splash of cold water (no pun intended), there were an awful lot of fans lined up along the shore watching the races.  Apparently, not everybody in the San Francisco area thought the races were a bad thing.

DeanGibson
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Solar, wind, and human power


bobstro wrote:

...

 

Wired Magazine had a couple of articles on the run-up to the races which I found interesting. They focus much more on the technologies and problems of running the big, complex boats:

 

While I'm sure it's a fine event to watch, it all struck me as too much drama about a rich man's problems to get my interest. If it's not a sport my kids or I might conceivably play, I tend not to enjoy sports. I also don't get into NASCAR racing for much the same reason. (I will, however, stay up all night to watch NASA drop a probe on Mars.)

 

Now that the event's over, I'm curious how prescient the Wired writers were regarding the future of the event and the AC72s. Has it been declared a success? Will the boats change for the next? Did they gain or lose viewership? Sponsors?


One interesting thing in one of the articles, was that the 2010 America's Cup used boats with motor-powered winches, and as a result the specifications for the 2013 series was that they be totally human-powered with a crew limit.  So, in a very real sense, the boats are being down-scaled to more "reasonable" standards.  In other words, there were limits this year (the sails of the 2010 boats couldn't clear the SF Bay bridge).

 

I don't say this to confer knighthood on Ellison;  it's of small interest to me that he's even involved.  What I like to see is the technology.  How many of you know that an airplane (with similar building materials) is being tested to fly non-stop around the world, solely on solar power???  That would be a feat in and of itself in the daytime, but this airplane's solar panels will store enough energy to carry the airplane through the night (complete with running lights).

 

You don't find the limits of technology unless you push them (safely).  I was never a fan of Steve Fossett, because I thought he was primarily a risk-taker for the sake of records (I've never admired that), and history proved that two years ago.  The AC72 boats and the solar airplane are (to me) in a different league.

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bobstro
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Re: OT: America's Cup

Deesy58 wrote:

[...]  If the Chinese were to make a " cheap, often-inferior" copy, it is not at all clear how they might benefit.

 

Through sales at Walmart.

 

They would not be allowed to race their cheap copy of an AC45 boat in any sanctioned race, and they would be unlikely to find a military advantage from a sailing catamaran.

 

I suspect there's a large untapped market of Americans just dying to get into catamaran racing at the local lake. They're smart. They've figured this out.

 

I don't believe we will ever see boats like these at Wal-Mart.

 

Are you privy to Walmart's sales plans?

 

If, on the other hand, China developed a competitive AC72-class racing yacht, they would be forced to purchase some of the components from other countries, and they would create jobs in their own country in the process.  Everybody wins. 

 

That doesn't seem to be how it's worked with China in the past.

-- Wired is a very rich magazine with a great deal of advertising.  It isn't the place I'd look to learn something about sailboat racing.  Instead, I would choose "Sail" magazine, "Sailboat" magazine, "Good Old Boat" magazine, or "Sailing World" magazine.

 

Considering that I found the political and community impact more interesting than the actual sailing or races, I wonder if those would really be good sources for that sort of information.

 

A good many people sail (and race) small sailboats on fresh water lakes and rivers all over the world.  They are not millionaires or billionaires, and yet, they seem to have a lot of fun with their small boats.  E-Bay, today, has a listing for a Holder 14 foot Hobie Cat Sunfish Sailboat at a current bid of $205.  Hardly a rich man's sport ... 

 

If there were televised sailing events for high school teams and my local schools participated, I might watch those. I don't have anything against sailing. I just don't find big-dollar yacht racing interesting.

--  I do.  In the first article, the author makes a number of invalid assumptions.  One of them was that the races would be held in 30 knot winds.  In fact, the maximum sustained wind velocity allowed during the America's Cup finals was 22.6 knots, or approximately 26 MPH. 

 

The only reference to winds I see in the 5/10/13 article text is "... In contrast, on the October day that Team Oracle’s AC72 capsized, winds were closer to 25 knots with gusts up to 30." In the 5/9/13 article describing a specific incident, I see "... The wind is blowing at 20 knots and climbing. The AC72 is designed to sail in winds between 5 and 30 knots."

 

He also implies that the wing sail is not controllable, saying: " With no way to switch a wingsail off, there’s only one way to get through the death zone: as quickly as possible."  Actually, in fact, the chord of the wing is constantly being adjusted by the crew, as is the "twist" angle from top to bottom.  During the races, both boats were required to reverse course at the "marks" at least twice in every race.  Nobody got killed, and the boats did not capsize.

 

The writer said it couldn't be turned off. Can it? It can be adjusted certainly. Do they not attempt to transition as quickly as possible? I'm sure he used dramatic language, but isn't that one of the challenges of these new boats?

--  In addition to the wing, each boat had a cloth "jib" sail that was often changed to control the size and shape of the sail.  During light winds, a third sail was hoisted by the crew.  Called a "gennaker," this sail provided additional propulsion in light winds.  This sail was raised and lowered by the crews during the races.  The author seemed to be unaware of these sails because he never mentioned them in his article.   

 

Pardon my ignorance, but I thought the big wing sail was the exciting new technology, and the one that introduced many of the new challenges.

--  To show his bias, the author concludes with: "Maybe the big boats will land on their daggerboards and this America’s Cup will glide to its own riveting sort of success. Or maybe Ellison will end up losing the race in every way possible. We’ll find out starting on the Fourth of July."  How telling!  He simultaneously shows his bias and his ignorance. 

 

Although his description of "riveting success" certainly seems to match what happened in the end.

--  The article is a classic example of a "journalist" trying to write about a topic with which he is not familiar, and has not made himself familiar.  He is, however, biased against the AC races, and makes little effort to conceal his bias.   

I didn't read a bias against the AC races so much as doubts as to whether the latest generation of big boats was a good thing for the AC races.
   
[...] --  Other than the cost of the Coast Guard, what other costs to the taxpayers are uniquely different than using taxpayer monies to build an arena, a stadium or a ball park for a privately-owned professional sports team?  I believe that the water in San Francisco Bay is available free-of-charge. 

 

From what I'm reading lately, it appears there will be a net win for the City, but a much more modest one than was originally hyped. Roust can probably give us a better view from the ground. However, had there not been the spectacular comeback, my understanding is that it could have been a significant loss. Is a comeback of such monumental proportions going to required for these events to turn a profit for the hosting city?

--  You seem to be deriding the fans of sailboat racing while simultaneously criticizing auto racing.  You have a right to dislike sporting events, but others have a right to enjoy them. 

 

No, I'm not deriding anybody. I'm pointing out that I find commonality in the sports I don't like (big dollar-driven, technology-focused events such as yacht and NASCAR racing), versus purely technology/science (e.g. mars landing) or athlete-focused (e.g. hockey) events. I'm glad others enjoy the big-money sports, so long as it doesn't waste my taxes.

--  Sailing is a whole lot more complicated than most people realize.  It is not true that a sailboat simply raises a cloth sail and lets the wind blow it wherever it will.  How, for example, do we explain how sailboats are able to sail upwind (against the wind)?  [...]

 

I'm not completely ignorant of sailing. I find the Clipper ships fascinating, particularly considering that they were the height of technological prowess at one time, powered only by the wind. Sailing is interesting enough. AC races just don't hold my interest. That's only my opinion, of course. I mention it to explain why I'm not overly excited by the events. I have interests few other care about as well.

-- Kind of like baseball parks, basketball and hockey arenas and football and soccer stadia, I expect.  How often have we heard about public monies being spent for the benefit of a minority of sports fans and the enrichment of professional team owners?  I am in total agreement that public monies should never be spent on entertainment venues of any sort, for any reason.  I have been living with these kinds of tax surcharges for a very long time (since 1978).  I have never approved of them, and I have seen voters disapprove numerous times.  Unfortunately, the politicians who are running things are more beholden to big-money interests than to constituents.  Sad!

 

On this point, it seems we agree! While the event may turn a profit for the city in the end, I find it distasteful that corporate sponsors such as Louis Vuitton are given guarantees while the city wasn't.

-- In spite of roustabout's splash of cold water (no pun intended), there were an awful lot of fans lined up along the shore watching the races.  Apparently, not everybody in the San Francisco area thought the races were a bad thing.

 

If you could guarantee a nail-biting comeback from an 8:1 deficit every time, I think you could count on those crowds. I don't know if the crowds late in the series would have appeared otherwise. From what I've read, turnout was significantly lower early on.