Monday, July 26, 2010

34th America's Cup TV Trials in Valencia: The best videos

The first of the three 34th America's TV trials ended on Sunday in Valencia and the media team of the current Defender is making public parts of the footage the dozens of cameras captured during the four days of testing. Some of the videos are uninspiring, others are interesting and a few are simply extraordinary. Since the America's Cup organizers sought viewer feedback, we post here the two videos Valencia Sailing rates as the best.

Both are from the last day (Sunday) of testing when the two RC44 sloops sailed in glorious conditions and it is my belief the best suited yachts for the next America's Cup, and beyond, must be fast monohulls. Having observed two of the four test days, I believe there is simply no comparison in the close action the two types of yacht can provide. It is, obviously, true the Extreme 40 catamarans are much faster than the RC44's. No doubt about it.

However, before arguing over what type of yacht we should use, we should beforehand think about how we want to sell the America's Cup. In fact, I had a very interesting conversation right here in Valencia, a few days ago, with a New Zealander that has a handful of America's Cup under his belt, while he was on his way to Barcelona for the AUDI Medcup. Do we want to claim that the America's Cup is the Formula 1 on water? Well, then we should opt for the Hydroptère. It's not any weird looking, one-man prototype, it is a conventionally looking sailboat that even the least knowledgeable non-sailors can recognize as such. In addition, it is officially the world's fastest sailing yacht, so there you have it.

On the other hand, the America's Cup is a match race, a kind of chess on the water where you beat your opponent not by sheer speed difference but by better positioning yourself on the race course, blocking your opponent while causing him to infringe the rules and receive a penalty. In that case only monohulls can deliver that. The Extreme 40's fly on one hull and produce the "wow factor" but that's short lived. Human and boat-on-boat action are few and far between.

One of the best videos, in our opinion, from the 34th America's Cup TV Trials. Valencia, 25 July 2010. Video copyright BMW Oracle

I have to admit I take my hat off to the person that came up with the idea of placing a camera at the end of the boom. The footage it produces is quite dramatic and captures the frantic action that takes place in the prestart. I suppose the camera is rotating and remotely controlled because otherwise it would miss half the race, each time the yachts tacked or gybed. It's a pity though there is no sound coming from it but then with so many microphones onboard that wouldn't be a problem, even less 3-4 years from now.

One of the best videos, in our opinion, from the 34th America's Cup TV Trials. Valencia, 25 July 2010. Video copyright BMW Oracle

Ultimately, BMW Oracle will choose the boat that will give them the best chances to successfully defend the Cup while stripping Team New Zealand from its strengths, as much as possible. There's nothing wrong with that though, that's the America's Cup...

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At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the second video has too much movement. This will cause the 'home video nauseous feeling' to some viewers. The first video is great, show's action and focus. I hope they tried close cover chase boats with camera booms (read: Quantum TP52 video a few years back). They can follow at speed and rock some sick action.

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Alex said...

I agree entirely Pierre, the videos from Sunday show clearly why monohulls will be better for AC34; the boats are closer, the action is tighter, it's more interesting visually.

At 3:47 AM, Blogger bikeknight said...

Regarding the Formula 1 analogy, I think that Hydroptere is actually the Drag racer then the Formula 1 of sailing. It seems more like the Volvo Open 70's or TP52's might hold that F1 title as they seem to provide better all around high performance and excitement vs going fast in a straight line. Regardless, its pretty easy to see in those clips that the Monohulls provide the most excitement. Very few of the shots were boring and could easily be edited to make for great television.

At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grab someone who knows little or nothing about sailing and show them these video's.

I get the same questions.

What are they doing? Where are they going?

Without rules explanations, graphics etc to go with this it is no different to someone that knows nothing about sailing and my understanding is these are the people they are trying to attract.

Good on them for trialling though, great starting point...

Only thing sailing has in common with Formula 1 is sometimes you steer with a wheel.

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good shots...and nice conditions in Valencia ;) - and yes visually the mono are nicer to watch. In terms of explaining what's going on on water I'm sure there will be some virtual graphics but that doesn't give the whole insight...
I also think sailing should be a bit more original in terms of communication than using "Formula One" or "the Everest of Sailing"...because there are several events claiming to be in one or the other category and it doesn't make it clearer for the general public...


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