Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Rosalea Barker: Nascar on outriggers?

Nascar on outriggers?

By Rosalea Barker
August 26, 2012

Glad I’m not at the RNC in Dampa, Florida. While they’re having ill winds and blowing no good, over here in San Francisco, the wind is welcome.

This week has been a taster for the big America’s Cup hoopla coming up in September, 2013 in the City by the Bay. Having written about Russell Coutts’ vision for a more exciting spectator experience when the cup was shown off at SF City Hall back in 2010, I was curious to see how that’s going. They certainly are getting plenty of coverage on local TV, even on the channels that don’t have the exclusive rights. ABC7’s weather forecast, for example, begins with what kinds of winds will be out on the Bay for the races in this week’s World Series.

Besides getting plenty of airtime, the organizers have put In the effort to make it easy for folks to go to the venue, with MUNI staff selling return bus tickets right at the BART stations close to where the 30L line goes by. And so it was that I turned up at the St Francis Yacht Club (not the holders of the Cup—the San Francisco Yacht Club has that honor but their clubhouse is distant from the action) to see just how many people would come out to watch what the organizers call “stadium sailing”. It was a foggy, cold afternoon—typical SF summer weather--but everyone seemed to find some way to fend off the cold.


Click for big version.

I caught my first glimpse of Team Emirates through the guard rail of the yacht club, as it jostled around before their semifinal match race against Team Oracle/Spithill started. In case you’ve never “been there, couldn’t leave”, and I hope you haven’t, that’s Alcatraz in the background.


Click for big version.

Ta da! Oracle Team USA/Coutts. In case you’ve never “been there, done that”, and I hope you haven’t, it’s a 245 foot drop from the Golden Gate Bridge.


Click for big version.

It’s about a half-mile walk from the yacht club to the America’s Cup village on Marina Green, and my ambling old lady gait attracted the sympathy of Dale, the driver of one of the courtesy golf carts the organizers have provided to move people to and fro. (Does that qualify as gaiter-aid?) Everyone on the shore team—many of them volunteers--was really friendly and helpful, but I do declare that the Smiling Face of the America’s Cup Award, must go to Dale.


Click for big version.

And so it was that I turned up at the St Francis Yacht Club (not the holders of the Cup—the Golden Gate Yacht Club has that honor) to see just how many people would come out to watch what the organizers call “stadium sailing”. Alas and alack! As superstition would have it, I wasn’t wearing the lucky Barker underwear, and my namesake was done out of a place in Sunday’s match race final. Even the plastic walls of the media tent seemed teary-eyed at the outcome as Emirates Team New Zealand came back inshore to get ready for the team racing that would take place a bit later.


Click for big version.

Besides the media filing center and network television areas, there is another area that is for both the public and non-traditional media. The Cup organizers are experimenting with distributing the content created in the Digital Boatshed via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Google+. The DB also has an LCD “social broadcast set” displaying live tweets and social feeds, along with race content. A young Australian, Torvar Misky, acts as host throughout the races, interviewing guests, moderating offline and online conversation, and hosting video segments. This weekend, “popular culture blogger” Beth Spotswood, from SFGate is providing “her perspective on the lifestyle side of the America’s Cup.”


Click for big version.

Ahhh! The lifestyle side of the America’s Cup. Sipping champers with your sweater arms knotted loosely around your shoulders is what instantly springs to mind. But with the on-course crashes this week, Coutts vision of turning the sport into Nascar-on-outriggers seems to be taking shape very nicely thank you. Here’s a pic of a big screen view of Jimmy Spithill’s appearance on the Marina Green stage after his team also won today’s team races for the World Series Championships.


Click for big version.

Next thing, they’ll be calling him Dale. As in Earnhardt, Jr.

*************

--PEACE—

rosalea.barker@gmail.com

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Coronavirus, And The Iowa Debacle

As Bloomberg says, the coronavirus shutdown is creating the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment. On the upside, the mortality rate with the current outbreak is lower than with SARS in 2003, but (for a number of reasons) the economic impact this time ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Dodging A Bullet Over The Transport Cost Over-Runs

As New Zealand gears up to begin its $6.8 billion programme of large scale roading projects all around the country, we should be aware of this morning’s sobering headlines from New South Wales, where the cost overruns on major transport projects ... More>>

Gordon Campbell:On Kobemania, Palestine And The Infrastructure Package

Quick quiz to end the week. What deserves the more attention – the death of a US basketball legend, or the end of Palestinian hopes for an independent state? Both died this week, but only one was met with almost total indifference by the global community. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Double Standard That’s Bound To Dominate The Election

Are National really better political managers than Labour, particularly when it comes to running the economy? For many voters – and the business community in particular - their belief in National’s inherent competence is a simple act of faith. More>>


Gordon Campbell : On Dealing With Impeccable, Impeachable Lies

By now, the end game the Republican Senate majority has in mind in their setting of the rules for the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is pretty clear to everyone: first deny the Democrats the ability to call witnesses and offer evidence, and then derisively dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. For his part, does former security adviser John Bolton really, really want to testify against his former boss? If there was any competing faction within the Republican Party, there might be some point for Bolton in doing so – but there isn’t. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Dice Are Loaded Against Women In Public Life

If they enter public life, women can expect a type of intense (and contradictory) scrutiny that is rarely applied to their male counterparts... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Harry/Meghan Affair, And Iran

Those “Meghzit” headlines seem apt, given how closely Britain’s January 31 exit from the European Union resembles the imminent departure from the Royal Family’s top team of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. For young Iranians, the accidental downing of the Ukrainian airliner is just the latest example of the deadly incompetence and dishonesty of their leaders... More>>