We’ve commented over recent months about the relative tone of the two America’s Cup combatants. Trying to remain impartial (we reckon if we are accused by both sides of being unfair, then we are getting it about right,) it seems that on the whole Alinghi appear friendlier and more open than the American team. This is as much about PR spin as it is about any kind of ‘truth’, and Alinghi has used the launch of its catamaran to spin away on every front. Meanwhile, BMW ORACLE has appeared more sombre, conservative and traditional.
The war for the hearts and minds of America’s Cup fans has swung 720 degrees and then some since 2007. Like politics, it is not important what the entrenched supporters think, it is managing to win the ‘swinging’ voters.
Later today BMW ORACLE and the Golden Gate Yacht Club will hold a special event. Those who have stayed with the saga of boat builds and court cases will finally get to find out what Larry Ellison, Russell Coutts and aging Hollywood actor Harrison Ford have in common.
Those who want to get behind the team can find an excuse to bunk off work on a Tuesday afternoon to see a dramatic water spray from the San Diego Harbour police boat and perhaps grab one of 200 ‘free’ team posters.
The official website – bmworacleracing.com has more information, but if you can’t get to San Diego or take time off work, then you miss out as the ‘interactive’ section of the website isn’t interactive at all.
It seems strange to us that a team sponsored by one of the biggest tech companies in the world competing in the event that is touted as the pinnacle of the sport is so backwards with its communications. Even Cowes Week, ‘the oldest regatta in the world’ had webcams and a twitter feed. Last week Alinghi streamed its press conference via a mobile phone to the internet, today – BMW ORACLE are putting on a parade.
Perhaps the fans of BMW ORACLE who attend today will have their iphones and blackberries charged up and ready to let the rest of the world know what is going on. Perhaps we’ve missed an important announcement on the official Facebook page, but we’ve looked hard.
Alinghi have let BMW ORACLE off the hook a little this week though. The choice of Ras al-Khaimah as a venue is one of the least ‘fan-friendly’ things that the Swiss team have done. It doesn’t matter how many Alighi friend pics you put up or how many professionally edited videos you whack up on the You-Tube page, the choice of the UAE venue makes it incredibly difficult for spectators to get involved in the next edition of the Cup.
We aren’t naive enough to think that the general public or fans of the sport have any bearing on any of the decisions made by either team – otherwise we wouldn’t be where we are, but by choosing the little known UAE destination, the event effectively becomes a television only event.
But back to BMW ORACLE and the GGYC. The pomp and ceremony that only the Americans can produce will take place later today in San Diego. We’d love to be watching…
For those who want to know more about our headline – the Trooping of the Colour refers to an old ceremony whereby the battalion would fall in by companies and the colour-party would “troop” or march the colours through the ranks so that every man would see that the colours were intact. This was done before and after every battle. This ceremony has been retained through time and is today largely ceremonial.