Site icon Leonid Mamchenkov

Olympics: Sailing

I was watching sailing at Olympics on TV today. I don’t know if it was the fault of the Cypriot television companies or general problem with Olympics organizators, but informational coverage was really terrible.

Sailing is not a very popular sport. Not many people realize what is happening, what are the rules, and what sportsmen are trying to achieve. I happen to know these things, because I was sailing for about 10 years. Sailing also used to be a kind of our family sport before my parents devorced.

What many people saw on TV were a whole bunch of sailing boats chaotically moving around and changing the amount of sails all the time. There also happened to be a lot of motor boats that were driving around. And that’s it. Even for those who realize what is happening and what is about to happen it was difficult to follow. Only the leader and random boats were displayed at any given time. There was no way to see the “action”. There was no way to find out how far the leader is ahead. There was no information about distance, speed, protests, wheather conditions, timing, etc. In fact there was no informationi what-so-ever.

Before computers were common, I remember it was a common thing to have a guy with a blackboard explaining what is happening. He would usually talk about what is happening, who is choosing which strategies, strengthes and weaknesses of each participant, wheather, and stuff like that. Now this job is much easier with computer representation. It is commonly done for other sports (rally and cycling come to mind). Why wouldn’t they do it for yachts?

A simple map with a pins associated with every boat wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to prepare and 1 minute to update regularly during the race. It’s neither complicated or expansive.

I wish they did a better job…

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