Race one of the DOG match between Alinghi and BMW ORACLE was scheduled to be held on Monday morning, but it seems that all the money and all the lawyers in the world are powerless to influence the weather in Valencia. The wind meandered lightly around the enormous course and made it impossible for race officials to set a fair course.
While those in Europe had the opportunity to spend a lazy Monday morning waiting, those in New Zealand and California were frustrated once again by the 33rd America’s Cup.
The most interesting issues of the day then were around media. BMW ORACLE have their own dedicated TV crew and studio; an experienced team of people who have been innovating with broadcast technology via the World Match Racing Tour in recent years. The American team provided a live stream of the boat leaving the dock and also a pre-race show with interviews and insight from the team base.
Meanwhile, the official feed showed the pre-race press conference right up until minutes before the scheduled race start window of 10am local time. Commentators Peter Montgomery and Cam Lewis filled for a bit with some shots of the huge boats bobbing around in the still water before the race was postponed.
One might have thought, given the predisposition of America’s Cup races to be postponed, that the organisers would have had a contingency, but instead the official feed showed a locked off camera without commentary for the next 4 hours until the race was finally abandoned.
Technically, the live webstream provided on www.americascup.com struggled to cope. There were widespread reports of the bespoke player not working on the high-resolution setting and not working at all on the Google Chrome browser. Luckily, the feed was provided to several other sites including Skysports.com and YouTube whose superior bandwidth held up better.
Eurosport, who had dedicated live time to the race, hung on for as long as they could before switching to Ski-Jumping.
BMW ORACLE’s Feed includes live statistics of how many people were watching. The number hovered around 1800 for most of the day with a peak around 2500. Interestingly, the Livestream insights show over 1 million minutes have been viewed. For those who are confused, the 1 million number is cumulative – so could be 16,000 people watching for an hour or 2000 people watching for 8.3 hours or some other combination.
The day was not a good one for sailing. At the beginning of the day, there was a real sense of expectation, but the weather just wasn’t going to play. Perhaps it was some kind of divine justice intervening to say – you made us all wait, now you will.
The next race scheduled for 9am GMT on Wednesday the 10th of February.
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