I agree that participating is usually more fun than watching. However, I was out there on Tuesday on the way to one of our favorite anchorages
. (You can see me on the video !!!! east of Mark 2 between the large white Hornblower party ship and a large white trawler
and a BIG blue hulled sailboat
, no sails
up, white hull
, blue mainsail
cover and blue furling jib
trim. I was there pretty much by accident
, hadn't planned it, but figure, what the heck, if I'm near Mark 2 I'll go take a look!
). Locals also know that they do the commentary on the races on VHF
CH20, so I was aware of what was happening.
I've raced on The Bay for many years, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that you "do The Cityfront" (hug the shore) when there's a building flood. And also, when there is a lot of south in the wind
, as there was on Tuesday, your best bet is "to do the long boards" first when going upwind. The Kiwis went onto starboard tack, the "short board" to get relief from the current
, while the Americans really blew it by BOTH doing a horrible maneuver AND going out into the flood, although on the port tack long board.
Them's the choices you have to make when sailing here.
In this regard, then, the Americans had a 105 m lead and blew it. Completely.
So at least there WAS a lead change.
And it was pretty exciting to watch in person, although having been on a friend's stake boat for the AC45 races and seeing this one, it is more exciting to watch on TV. They're big and they're fast, and Mark 2 has had some great moments. It was pretty thrilling to see them both rounding Mark 2, although I've had them come and buzz me while they were practicing during the earlier parts
of the summer, and they were a LOT closer than I was able to get on Tuesday.
It's really too bad the commentators, except for Gary Jobson, seem to have no clue. I've already noted that their continued use of phrase "The Cone of Alcatraz" is simply wrong, 'cuz the Cone is east of the island, not south of it - yeah, there's a little current
nudge from the flood bouncing off the southwest corner, but that's it. The Cone is actually the dead air area east of the Island, where one can get some current relief BEHIND the island (during a normal west wind
summer race, the general wind direction is 242 magnetic), not south of it. On a flood, going anywhere near the southwest corner of the island is just plain wrong for sailing upwind.
I'm just waiting for NBC to do their commercial
breaks at the start AND at each of the marks! That'd make it REALLY exciting to watch. Hmmm...
I think the commentators miss the mark (pun intended
) when they don't talk strategy, AND miss explaning (at all!) what to many of us who race here are plainly obvious issues. Trying to make a sailboat race start like an automobile race is not something I think has any bearing on the races. At least they stopped saying, "He's motoring along at high speed!" Geez...
My wife says I should watch but turn the sound off! She is, of course, right yet again!
MOST folks don't know the REAL score is + whatever it is to MINUS 1.
Even the bloody "commentators."