….Now you don’t. Live coverage of Louis Vuitton series cut back to two boat matches only
Just as we were getting used to watching single boats blast around the track on YouTube the plug has been pulled on one horse races. TV coverage will now only happen when there are two boats racing.
“Naturally, there was a lot of pent-up demand to see each team’s AC72 sail the race course for the first time,” said America’s Cup CEO Stephen Barclay.
“But with that demand satisfied, we will now focus on the upcoming preliminary round matches where Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand are racing against each other. When Artemis Racing returns to the race track, we’ll resume full coverage of all races.”
‘Demand satisfied’, a strange choice of words surely in an event that has been riddled with dissatisfaction from both spectators and competitors since it began a week ago.
It may look strange to see a single boat racing where two were billed, but what we have learned so far is that these high performance cats are so close to the edge that for once, there really is some merit in watching their crews coax them through the bear aways and the gybes. All the teams, including the Defenders admit to being on a near vertical learning curve with these machines. Over powered and under developed, every trip out into the bay is big learning exercise for all. Indeed, the comments I was getting from the Challengers was that despite the Round Robin series counting for little, if anything, in the overall scheme, the series was being treated as further development on a structured course. ‘Train like you race, race like you train’, as the mantra goes.
Previous Louis Vutton Cup races have had their share of one horse races along with many tedious whitewash matches, but in all of those cases the media show went on. Seeing how one sided or even ludicrous the racing is, is part of what the America’s Cup is all about – the most extreme and at times bizarre, winner-takes-all event in sailing.
To take the two boat races off the screens will surely only dampen down the modest interest there is outside the US.
While on the subject of seeing the action, a question that has been posed to me by several friends and readers that have followed the racing so far, is what has happened to the on board cameras and audio? The ACWS took viewers aboard the boats to see and hear what life was like in the thick of the action. Now when we want to know more than ever there is nothing. Strange, given the original objectives of the new age America’s Cup.
I’m afraid I don’t have an answer to that but will endeavour to find out if and then when we will be able to ride aboard an AC72 through YouTube.
In the meantime, for those who want to watch the racing, the scheduled broadcast days are as follows.
Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge are scheduled to meet four times in the Louis Vuitton Cup round robins:
July 13 at 12:15pm PT – 2015 BST
July 21 at 12:15pm PT – 2015 BST
July 23 at 12:15pm PT – 2015 BST
July 28 at 12:15pm PT – 2015 BST
And for those that want to know what happened in the Kiwis match with themselves on Sunday;
a) they won
b) ETNZ sailed a five-leg America’s Cup course
Course length: 9.89 nautical miles
Elapsed time: 25 minutes, 56 seconds
Total distance sailed: 11.44 nautical miles
Average speed: 26.52 knots (30.5 mph)
Top speed: 40.62 knots (46.7 mph) on the final reaching leg to the finish
Wind speed: average 15.78 knots; peak gust 19.7 knots