From George Morris

Published on October 10th, 2012

The video coverage of the latest AC World Series in San Francisco was absolutely superb. In the UK the live coverage is from midnight onwards so you sit in the dark in your dressing gown with a scotch and a cup of cocoa. Most of the niggles of previous series have been ironed out, but the commentary is still leaden.

Why do they use Stephen Hawking to do the course description and why does he insist that the close reach to Mark 1 is ‘the fastest point of sailing’? The boats visibly increase speed after the mark – something to do with those gennaker things and apparent wind, I believe. Gary Jobson talks a fair amount of nonsense and doesn’t seem to understand ‘the power of the right’ in crossing situations. He was completely unable to explain how Spithill could be 8th in one race and win the next easily, suggesting he was ‘out of practice’ (he has ten times more time in the boat than most of the other skippers).

It is a principle of television commentary that you should only speak if it adds to the picture; Gary seldom says anything that improves one’s understanding of the race. In describing the match racing starting procedure, the other commentator unhelpfully said that they have to do a timed run to cross the line as soon as the clock reads zero. Plausible, but untrue, and one of the principle differences between match racing and fleet racing.

But all in all, superb entertainment. What will we do when it’s over? — Scuttlebutt Forum

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