Monday, July 13, 2009

Costs of coaching

It is hard to ignore the irony of a report on the Valencia Sailing website (VS), which notes the recent concern of coaching and support at the Grand Prix level of the sport. For those yachties not yet in their 40’s, there was a time when going keelboat racing DID NOT involve support RIBs, weather teams, and personal chefs (let alone, daily pay rates). However, the trickle down from the America’s Cup has heightened the cost to compete with these “extra services”.

Perhaps the wake-up call has finally come to the TP52 AUDI MedCup series, which has dropped an entrant due to funding issues, and will likely be down to 10 teams for their next event in Cagliari, Italy, the third stop on their five event tour. According to VS, the MedCup made it clear last week that they would even modify the sailing instruction of the next events in other to put a lid on practices that increase costs and widen the gap between the haves and have-nots of the Med sailing circuit. An e-mail has been circulated to the teams effectively asking them to please behave, and realize how these extra services just becomes an extra cost for everyone.

Anybody know how to put the genie back in the bottle?

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At 5:23 AM, Blogger Alfred said...

It may not work with small fleets like the TP52, but in a past life I was involved in road rallies (predicted log racing on the land). The best equipped cars would win with scores that were just a couple hundredths of a minute off after a full day of driving. They had onboard computers and all sorts of dohickies. On the other hand, you could also enter "SOP": Seat of the Pants. They'd even tape over your odometer before you started. Everything was done based on what you could deduce from a speedometer and stop watch. The cost of participation was little more than an entry fee and a tank of gas (and some beers at the finish waiting for the scores).

So maybe racing could split into Assisted and Unassisted classes. You can have the whole Naval Academy helping if you're in the unlimited class, but you get nothing but what's within the confines of your hull if you race Unassisted. That could put a drag on the arms race a little.


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