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How to make Sailing more 'Televisual'

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Oatsandbeans View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 Aug 12 at 9:28am
Reading about the olympic coverage on the TV there are many references to viewers getting absorbed and enjoying sports that are completely new to them. Sadly I have not yet seen any references to sailing in this way. I was thinking, putting aside, for a moment what we all suspect the sailors want, what could be done to the format, commentary style etc. to make it more appealing. Would it be more technology, miked up helm and crews, more on board cameras? Skimpier sailing gear (beach volley ball style)? Faster boats, slower boats?  Revise the rules to simplify the whole thing, ( what about no rules!).

Anyone got any ideas?
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pondmonkey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pondmonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 12 at 10:24am
simple- sort out the medal race so that first across the line is the overall winner, second in silver etc.

Okay the only functional way I can think is timed starts- pursuits races, based on event score standings.  

Now I bloody hate pursuit races, I think they are awful, ruin boat on boat tactics and generally geared to either very fast or very slow boats when applied to handicap races.  I must confess to never participating in one with Personal Handicaps in a fleet race, which is effectively what the medal race would become with the 'handicap' reversed to favour the regatta leader, but I shall remain cynical and say it would still be a sh*t race, especially for something that is supposed to be prestigious like the 5 ring circus.

The bottom line- either the Sailing Olympics appeals to the sailing audience- who are all more than capable of following conventional regatta standings like we do our Sunday morning series.  Most of us would probably ditch the medal race due to the anomaly factor of weighting just one race, after all the 'series' is designed to eliminate the randomness and test the widest skill across varying daily conditions.  Or the Sailing Olympics must appeal to that elusive non-sailing audience (it never really will imho).... and do something radical with a qualification/timed starts medal race.  Or shorten the whole thing up.... one race- all or nothing...   
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 12 at 10:28am
Originally posted by pondmonkey

sort out the medal race so that first across the line is the overall winner, second in silver etc.


Yes, this is quite vital, because no-one in the world understands why the winner of the Formula 1/NASCAR (delete as applicable) champs isn't necessarilly the car that wins the last race, nor does anyone understand how teams can win or be relegated from football/anything else leagues before the last matches of the year.

Edited by JimC - 15 Aug 12 at 10:28am
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pondmonkey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pondmonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 12 at 11:03am
But these other examples are event series Jim... held over many months, season to season. By the way, the FA Cup is still a knock out, so it's not all league based, as to is the UEFA Champions League.... the final is a FINAL and the winner is a winner.

Within the context of 2 week window once every four years, the average bod expects the 'medal race' to finish with the winner in Gold.  That's what my non-sailing mates have said anyway when they were totally bemused by the scoring system. 

_edit: for fear of being accused of 'dumbing down', my personal POV is dump the medal race and stick with a conventional regatta format!!!


Edited by pondmonkey - 15 Aug 12 at 11:05am
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alstorer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 12 at 11:23am

People can manage to follow the Atheletics Heptathlon/Decathlon- that has a convuluted scoring system (much more so than sailing) and you don't have to finish first in the final event (the fact Ennis did in hers was something of an anomoly- it's a strong discipline for her and the power of the stadium will have been awesome).

 
I was also going to mention the cycling "omnium", which uses a six-event no discared low-points system, but that makes itself hard to follow by being so very, very odd.
 
On the other hand, the Modern pentathlon uses the "pursuit" format- in the run/shoot start times are determined by points scored, the leader starting first; first one across the line wins overall.
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G.R.F. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote G.R.F. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 12 at 11:56am
Folk watching things expect an outcome there and then, there were huge cheers when Nick went across the line in a very tight finish in RSX, that did more for competitive windsurfing amongst the young than anything previous.

10 Races is to many, five then a medal race would be more than enough given the lack of serious nature of the event and the need for it to be a televisual spectacle.

I'm not even sure the windward leeward courses are that ideal for a TV public, they probably don't get the tactical nature of the downwind bit any more than a BBC commentator does, whereas the procession like nature of the old triangle does at least smack a bit of the 1000mtrs.

We all like the inter boat stuff, but i"m not sure 'they' get it in the same way, but there again, isn't there a big enough sailing public paying enough of a license fee to justify leaving it the f**k alone and it be run the way we do it?

I get really fed up with all this dumbing down and pandering to the Sun like media of morons, and the IOC, did anyone else read that ISAF report?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bustinben Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 12 at 12:04pm
The main comment I've been getting from non-sailing colleagues at work is:

"Tried watching sailing, didn't understand what was going on".

Nothing to do with "the boats were too slow", "the boats weren't cool enough".  That is a complete red herring.

I could explain to each of them in less than 1 minute enough for them to understand.  The way that it's covered is the problem, nothing else.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peaky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 12 at 1:13pm
If there is to be a medal race, I certainly think everyone in it ought to be in with a chance of a medal. Too many events had boats with absolutely no chance of a medal competing in the medal race. Whether you do that by making the medal race worth 100%, or 50%, or on a pursuit basis I don't know, but it is currently worth 18% and doesn't work.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jack Sparrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 12 at 2:36pm
How to make Olympic Sailing more TV friendly? Sail AC45's
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 12 at 3:28pm
The best parts of the sailing were when there were no useless commentary and we could just watch the boats racing. Same could be said for most of the sports, and the closing ceremony - just shut the **** up and let us watch!

Can't see that happening for the sailing in Rio.

Can't see the format going back to proper sailing, either.
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