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Medal Race

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Roger View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 12 at 11:35pm
Originally posted by Teamvmg

Any reason why they didn't do medal races in the harbour?
 
 
It's my favourite place on the planet to race
 
Because the crowd were on the Nothe, not in the harbour, it was all about the paying customer and the media.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ohFFsake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 12 at 2:24am
Originally posted by gordon

Most of thecontestants in the medal races are sailing full time. Their lifestyle (which may not be that luxurious) is financed by the funds provided by sponsors and grant authorities (including, for the GBR sailors, Lottery money).

That money is only available because the public are fed images, both moving and still, of the sailors in action. Full time sailing depends upon obtaining media time. If racing on a shifty, tidebound course is what is required to get the media attention (remember the real story of the Weymouth medal races was the crowds on th Nothe) then, unfortunately, the sailors will have to live with it.

 

Surely the best way to keep the sponsors and grant authorities happy is to produce gold medals?

With the exception of Ben Ainslie (who was clearly extremely fortunate in the way his medal race unfolded) we've singularly failed to do that, when it would be reasonable to have expected probably 3 and maybe 4 golds had each race series been run in "normal" circumstances and on courses with steady breezes.

Taking the Finns as an example, the footage of the series races out in the bay with breeze and waves made a far better media spectacle than the medal race held inshore with flat water and patchy light airs. And surely the spectators the sponsors are trying to reach are the millions watching on tv, not the few thousand sat on the Nothe fort. The most memorably footage I saw of the whole regatta was the heli shots of the 470s and the footage of the Finns reaching and running in big seas.

So to my mind, if LOCOG wanted to give the spectators the best series, and the sponsors the best chance of the best sailors winning gold then they should have just held a straight ten race series out in the bay. If spectators want to go and soak up the atmosphere then set up massive screens and commentary on the Nothe and maybe even mark a channel so the sailors have to sail close inshore on their way out to and in from the course. That way they still get all the atmosphere but we don't make a farce out of the entire thing for the sake of providing a spectacle for a vanishingly  tiny minority of the viewing public.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote gordon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 12 at 9:15am
It should be pointed out that LOCOG had no choice in the Olympic Regatta format. The medal race was an ISAF/IOC invention, supposed to increase media interest. Job done, even if the reports are as much about the unfairness of the course than the actual sailing....

ISAF/IOC do not always get things right - after all they thought that skiff racing would increase the media appeal, when everybody knows that after the first few minutes admiring the acrobatic sailors watching a skiff race is just boring. They also had the great idea of removing the 2 handed heavyweight class, which does provide close contact racing, just in time for when the Olympics go to the home of some of the greatest exponents of the class. They removed air rowing from th Games just before going to Rio in August, a notorious light windvenue ideal for this sport, with no wind to interfere with the air rowing races.....
Gordon
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pondmonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 12 at 9:26am
Originally posted by gordon

They removed air rowing from th Games just before going to Rio in August, a notorious light windvenue ideal for this sport, with no wind to interfere with the air rowing races.....

It's okay though- they've replaced it with 17m kites being 'sine waved' through the wind envelope.... assuming the guys can get them launched that is.  

Remember the IKA bid confirmed that kities are planing in 4 knots of wind.  You know, less wind than any self respecting class association would have as its minimum wind speed.  

I guess some of us who've been around boards and dinghies, have our doubts about this 4 knot threshold.  I would love to have the education to technically call 'b**locks', but I'll go with gut instinct and unsubstantiated opinion instead- it is a forum after all .


Edited by pondmonkey - 13 Aug 12 at 9:26am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote David Villiers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 12 at 10:13am
The failure of the various front line administrators to tell The IOC The ISAF and maybe even LOCOG how it was is the underlying sub text here.
Lack of backbone, maybe looking to their bonuses and honours?
However its over for another four years without too many mishaps though perhaps not the right result in the Finns and Stars.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gordon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 12 at 4:47pm
AsI understand it, IOC told ISAF "do something so that there is a clear result at the end  of the last race" and develop a format that fits TV If not sailing is out of the Olympics.

Hence the medal race.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote David Villiers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 12 at 5:19pm
I don't doubt it, but a hollow threat?
Jaques Rogge was a yachtsman, he seems to have forgotten that, or maybe this sort of problem does not get to the top of Olympus?
How much does the Olympics do for our sport?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote getafix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 12 at 5:34pm
Originally posted by David Villiers

I don't doubt it, but a hollow threat?
Jaques Rogge was a yachtsman, he seems to have forgotten that, or maybe this sort of problem does not get to the top of Olympus?
How much does the Olympics do for our sport?
 
I don't think (at the time) that removing sailing from the Olympics was a hollow threat, although I have no idea about the inclusion or otherwise of a medal race being the swinging issue.  I doubt the head of the IOC has forgotten his past, but he has a lot of people to keep happy, a lot of the time.
 
The Olympics does a huge amount for our sport, when handled well.  IMO it was handled well this time around.  OK, it was harsh on some of the competitors the way it panned out in the medal races but having the medal races in the format is a good thing, not a bad one, for sailors and non-sailors alike as far as I can see.  I doubt the gold-winners or other medalists are complaining about their chance to celebrate in front of the crowds on the Nothe.
 
Pretty much every other event has a "final" with the exception being the multi-event disciplines (decathlon/pentathlon) which don't have a final pre-se, but still have a closing event where it's possible to quickly and simply present who needs to do what "to medal".
 
The various conspiracy theories and calculations around match-racing tactics wouldn't go away if you didn't have a medal race (as well proven by some recent class-level worlds and nationals). 
 
Anyone who's club did a good job on the 'push the boat out day' will have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of kids out on the water, getting involved and getting enthused about our sport, my kids included (and they are too young to be mad-keen racers).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Teamvmg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 12 at 6:02pm
Originally posted by Roger

Originally posted by Teamvmg

Any reason why they didn't do medal races in the harbour?
 
 
It's my favourite place on the planet to race
 
Because the crowd were on the Nothe, not in the harbour, it was all about the paying customer and the media.
 
OK, I will re-phrase
 
Is there any reason that the medals races weren't originaly Planned for the harbour and spectator venues orgaised aaround that.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gordon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 12 at 6:09pm
Copy of ISAF report on sailing in the Olympics

http://www.multihull2016.com/downloads/OlympicCommissionDraftReportMay2010-%5B8851%5D.pdf
Gordon
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