Why the America’s Cup is better than Rugby

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, June 19th, 2017 - 135 comments
Categories: tech industry, trade - Tags: ,

I was painting my Dad’s verandah on the weekend, so we were tuned into sports, talkback, and nostalgia-hits stations all day. All commentators noted they were flooded with emails and texts about the yachting, and very few about the multiple international Rugby fixtures.

I also needed a way to talk about the America’s Cup on The Standard. There’s still a few weaklings about who say we shouldn’t dirty ourselves debating sport, because apparently it’s clearly of no political note whatsoever.

Rugby is pure colonialism.

The only reason we’re any good now is because we’ve strip-mined Pacific island nations’ best talent for Rugby greats, for 40 years. They get well paid, become minor celebrities, rise to the level of their skill, and finish in their late 20s on contract in U.S., U.K., Ireland, or France. In their 30s they are done. Only the elite get secondary training to help them afterwards. We just use them up.

New Zealand delivers nothing of note back for their labours. No Super Rugby entry invitation is needed when we can turn their athletic pool into the equivalent of Nauru after phosphate excavation.

Rugby’s benefits accrue to one person and their immediate family. The skills are usually kept in New Zealand, or exported away from those islands. No new industry is formed on any island nation other than ours. No competitive national teams are formed in the 15-person game. No sporting equivalent company of Motown Records is formed in their capitals. Just a New Zealand Rugby Union empire, churning through them.

The America’s Cup is driven by local innovation. Tiny, well-known example: the Warkworth company Core Builders’ Composites is the primary supplier to Oracle. In 2015 it was provided with up to $17.25m from the New Zealand government’s Callaghan Fund. That company also subcontracted a number of New Zealand companies to help build the AC45 boats that were used for the primary series of races that took place around the globe. There are tonnes more examples over the years.

Rugby is boring and dumb. We win all the time. And in the times we lose, as in the women’s Olympic sevens team, we were supposed to win and should have. It gets grating. The men’s pecs are more articulate than their mouths. They all look like boofheads that you wouldn’t want your daughter near.

The America’s Cup is a saga.

  • 1987. Nearly made it. Only thing Fay Richwhite did of any lasting interest (plus save Mercury Island). Such an upstart moment that it generated a beautifully terrible book on business management theory in New Zealand: Theory K. Then the stockmarket crashed. Then the property market crashed. And we were all miserable at Fay Richwhite and everyone like them.
  • 1992. Nearly made it, again.
  • 1995. Won, with Peter Blake. That’s the one with all the logos on the side: Lotto, Toyota, ENZA, Steinlager. Russell Coutts was still the Good Guy. Yaaaaaaaaaaay!
  • 2000. Defended and won. Turned the Auckland waterfront into a theatre with competing camps, with the aid of special legislated planning powers that overrode the Public Works Act and RMA. We were the centre of the yachting world. Yay again!
    2003. Coutts and Butterworth defect to the Swiss. Booooo!
  • 2007. Dean Barker loses by one second in Valencia. Awwwwwwww!
  • 2013. New Zealand were leading 8-0. Then Oracle won nine in a row. Awwwww-Boooooooo!
  • 2017. Another saga is born.

They’re as corporatized as each other.

They’re as elitist as each other.

They’re as populist and televisual as each other.

But only the America’s Cup is driven by local industrial innovation.

And the America’s Cup crews are not yet populated by self-worshipping useful idiots. Yachting assholes are genuine assholes.

The America’s Cup is not freighted with a culture of boofheads, who are used up in seven years and spent.

The America’s Cup occurs with sufficient gaps between each one that we really tune in, rather than being bludgeoned with news articles about someone’s hamstring twinge.

Winning the Rugby World Cup was greeting with a national shrug, but winning the America’s Cup is such a moonshot in all senses that we are thankful for a podium finish.

And somehow the America’s Cup more successfully integrates residual nationalist urges to draw us together, than Rugby’s tired culture of RSA-style wankathons about who they played in high school, how they nearly made a rep team, and pathetic ex-test-team saddos marketing z-grade finance houses and timeshare condos.

The America’s Cup is better than that.

135 comments on “Why the America’s Cup is better than Rugby”

  1. James 1

    “Rugby is boring and dumb”.

    It’s your post – but there are millions of people who disagree with you on this one.

    Just because you do not get something doesn’t make it so.

    It’s a fast, exciting, skilled game.

    • Keith 1.1

      Well the support is always rather over hyped in this country anyway especially the way it is the never ending, all year round dross but it is a Rugby Union fantasy to help marketing of the 24/7 game. In Aussie it is less popular than Darts and Ballroom dancing.

      The Super competition that is a farce has more seagulls at Eden Park at times than spectators and the NPC or whatever it is called now is even worse.

      It is far from a fast exciting game, rather a dire slow game of inches with relentless whistle blowing for the raft of possible infringements at any given second, scrum resets, line outs, pyramids of men left in rucks and full backs who are supremely talented in kicking the ball out.

      Skilled it certainly has as has chess or lute playing you almost have to be a rocket scientist to understand the phone book of rules. But so very dull to watch and a game that does it’s utmost, as it always has, to suck the oxygen out of any other sport in this country. Try playing league at high schools, no matter how much the kids want it and see how far you get.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        you almost have to be a rocket scientist to understand the phone book of rules.

        A mate of mine who coached rugby at a senior level and had a tertiary qualification in the sport, once confessed to me he had no idea why the ref blew the whistle about half the time.

        • Keith 1.1.1.1

          Honestly, those ref’s must have IQ’s of 140 at least!

        • Gosman 1.1.1.2

          Just because you don’t understand the rules doesn’t mean they are incomprehensible.

          Also on a thread dedicated to trying to argue Sailing is better than Rugby Union I find it bizarre that you are attempting to state the complex rules are a factor. Care to explain give way rules in Sailing races?

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.2.1

            https://www.americascup.com/en/news/2583_KNOW-THE-ESSENTIALS-AMERICAS-CUP-RULES-101.html

            The last time I sailed the mast fell off, so I’m not expert. But hell even I can understand these.

            Besides the five fundamental rules of yachting are:

            1. Water Out
            2. Crew In
            3. Keel Down
            4. Mast Up
            5. Rudder On.

            All else is embellishment 🙂

            • Gosman 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Yeah this is pretty self explanatory /sarc

              “.1 When a right-of-way yacht changes course, she shall give the other yacht room to keep clear.
              .2 When sailing to a mark that is to windward, a starboard-tack yacht shall not bear away to a course that is below her proper course and more than 90 degrees from the true wind direction if at that moment the port-tack yacht that is keeping clear by sailing a course to pass astern of her has to immediately change course to continue keeping clear.
              .3 When sailing to a mark that is to leeward, a starboard-tack yacht shall not luff to a course that is above her proper course and less than 110 degrees from the true wind direction if at that moment the port-tack yacht that is keeping clear by sailing a course to pass astern of her has to immediately change course to continue keeping clear.”

              • RedLogix

                It means that if you are changing course (and the rule gives windward and leeward scenarios) then you have to give the other yacht a chance to keep clear. Basically it means even if you have right of way you still must not use this to actively disadvantage the other boat.

                It looks complex when written down in words, but sketch it out on paper, and keep the underlying purpose in mind … and it’s pretty simple.

                Hell if I can work this out you can too.

                • Gosman

                  Yeah it’s real simple.

                  • In Vino

                    Gosman – Your trouble is that you don’t practise the sport. I race sailing dinghies regularly, and those rules you quote make clear sense to me.
                    Obviously, rugby rules are far more complex: players and referees from and even within various regions are constantly disputing interpretations and non-observance of many of the rules because it ‘helps the game to flow’ (from scrum farce to scrum farce).
                    We don’t get such problems in sailing.

                    • Gosman

                      No you just have protests both on the water during the race and after.

                    • In Vino

                      Ignorance again. Protests can only be notified on the water. (Unless in big events like the America’s cup there are on-the-water umpires who make instant decisions.) They are heard and adjudicated after racing. Sorry, but at the normal sailing level they are pretty rare overall. Get informed.

      • Gosman 1.1.2

        When was the last time you bothered watching a Super Rugby game? It is about as far a way from what you describe as you can imagine.

        • Keith 1.1.2.1

          If I’m suffering from sleep deprivation I will. A meaningless competition designed to make money, nothing more.

          • Gosman 1.1.2.1.1

            Ummm… all professional Sports competitions are designed to make money or do you think there is some other point for the English Football Premier league ?

  2. Maui 2

    A better option would be racing ocean-going waka from Rarotonga to Whanganui a Tara to honour ancient navigators, with due regard to safety .. and support. THAT was innovation which created new industries.

    • James 2.1

      See that’s the problem. Some people move forward and innovate. Others are living in the past and want to go backwards.

      • Maui 2.1.1

        Exactly, the first settlers arrived in Melanesia from SE Asia around 2500 BC, before heading to Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga, later travelling to Rapa Nui, Hawai’i, and Rarotonga. THAT was innovation ..

        • Tricledrown 2.1.1.1

          According to the latest mitochondrial DNA evidence about 6,000 year’s ago.
          Migration occurred in the Melanesian areas of the Pacific and later for Polynesian pacific.

    • mauī 2.2

      Good idea. Sustainable and inclusive. No reason why you couldn’t run the events concurrently.

    • Paul Campbell 2.3

      The winning club gets to make the rules right? … “around Samoa and back again in a double hulled waka” sounds like a great idea for a race along with honouring all those great sailors an navigators who mapped and sailed the Pacific before Cook showed up with his hi-tech sailing ships, sextants and things

      • In Vino 2.3.1

        Cook’s high-tech sailing ship was useless at going upwind compared to the big Polynesian catamarans.. Just saying.

        • Paul Campbell 2.3.1.1

          yes I know, that’s partly why I’m not suggesting they sail square rigged coal ships

          • In Vino 2.3.1.1.1

            Cool. Just wanted the ‘high-tech’ qualities of the Polynesian boats to be recognised. Cook’s weapons were higher-tech, and I wonder how far he would have got without them.

            • Stuart Munro 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Cook’s real tech advantage was Newton’s astronomical tables. His charts were remarkably accurate for the period as a result.

      • Tricledrown 2.3.2

        Polynesians had invented their own sextant a coconut shell with a hole in it and a string hanging from it to give vertical coordinants from the horizon.
        Many hundreds of years ahead of Europeans.
        Polynesians new the the star formations very well.

  3. bwaghorn 3

    ”Rugby’s benefits accrue to one person and their immediate family.”
    completely wrong, the health benefits for all those kids who want to be the next Sonny Bill etc and get of their screen 3 times a week is huge , way more than a few wealthy little taquins that daddy funds to go sailing.

    • Ad 3.1

      Ahoy there, it’s “Tarquins”

    • KJT 3.2

      Funny how, yachting, one of the cheapest sports to get into, is considered something for the wealthy.

      My parents had absolutely zero spare income when I was growing up. I sailed on large yachts for free. A willingness to help with cleaning up the boat, and doing the anti fouling was, and is, the only requirement.

      Eventually i brought my own centreboarder with paper run money. Something not so available today, but our local club has Optimists and later on, skiffs which are balloted. The cost is less than a rugby club sub.

      Not that there is anything wrong with playing rugby.

      I cannot see the point in watching sport, but as the Fins have proven, sport is excellent for young people. A healthy and socially beneficial alternative to drugs, alcohol and street racing.

      • KJT 3.2.1

        I may add that boating is one of the few areas, where some of the wealth taken from New Zealand by the wealthy, actually comes back to ordinary working people.

        The money spent on building Americas cup yachts, for one!

  4. RedLogix 4

    Different sports suit different temperaments and body types. Personally I loved tramping and mountaineering, but I’d never imagine this would suit everyone.

    But to this extent I agree with Ad. Rugby has had an extraordinary run of success for NZ. No other sporting team anywhere can claim an international record like the All Blacks. But the gloss is coming off, over exposed and a boof-head culture it struggles to shake.

    And the Americas Cup has been good to NZ as well. NZ is one of the top five nations in the global yachting and boating scene. It’s not just strong at a community level, but supports a valuable high tech industry.

    And our Pacifica sailing heritage could easily become part of our future as well, unique and attractive.

    • Ad 4.1

      Stop agreeing with me. It’s annoying. 😉

      I infinitely prefer tramping and mountaineering.

      I went to the Auckland War Memorial Museum last Friday, wagging work, and the first floor is just almost completely Pacifica and Maori. And for a museum-lover, pretty interesting to see floods of screaming Pacifica schoolchildren running around enjoying themselves, soaking it all in. It was awesome.

    • KJT 4.2

      Waka Ama.

      Won’t be long before the kids get sick of paddling and put up a polytarp.

  5. Gosman 5

    Stop with the blatant falsehood about NZ “stealing” Pacific Islanders to play Rugby. The vast majority (Over 95%) of the Rugby Union and League players that play the game in NZ at the highest levels were either born here or were brought up from a very early age and learnt to play the game here. Additionally the Pacific Islands have benefitted immensely from NZ born players of Pasifika heritage who choose to play for the national teams of the various pacific island nations.

  6. Gosman 6

    This post is bordering on the racist. The implications seems to me to be that a Pasifika person playing for the All Blacks is somehow not a New Zealander and should be playing instead for their “proper” country.

    • Ad 6.1

      Finally! Leftie outrage from Gosman.

      This is from the same commenter who two days ago thought a blind and deaf brother of RedLogix didn’t need a benefit and should be ready for work.

      Keep it coming, I want to hear more shock-awe offense lines.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        Did I state he didn’t need a benefit. I was just responding to Redlogix stating that his brother was in fact working (which kind of implies that he can actually umm.. work).

        • In Vino 6.1.1.1

          Wow, Gosman, you must be rattled. Not like you to miss a question mark…

  7. David Mac 7

    We’ve got a major problem with obesity, particularly amongst Maori and Pacifika. Kids involved in team sports and a poster of Sonny Bill on their bedroom walls is a good step in the right direction.

    There has been an important trend happening. I think it’s driven by Mums having their kids arrive home after their game looking like they’d gone 10 rounds with Joesph Parker. This article from 5 years ago:

    “Having listened to 17,000 schoolchildren aged 5 to 18, the Young People’s Survey by Sport NZ confirms what most of us already knew: New Zealand is a sports-mad country, with 90 per cent of participants saying they enjoyed playing sport.

    But the surprise finding was that football had become the most popular team sport, eclipsing rugby across all age groups and both genders.

    Among boys aged 5 to 10, 73.8 per cent reported playing football in the previous 12 months, whereas rugby was sixth (65.6 per cent).”

    They’re always right, we ignore Mum at our peril.

  8. ianmac 8

    I do hope Oracle will not set out to ram Emirates to damage them so that they cannot race anymore with The Oracle/Japanese boat then being put into action solo to win the Cup.
    Would they stoop that low? Nah. Course not.

    • David Mac 8.1

      If that happened I think even fewer syndicates would want to get involved. It would become a race with 1 competitor. Their post event court cases amuse me. Most of us accept the scoreboard and just whinge about the ref’s calls around the water cooler on Monday morning. In that sport they actually take the ref to court!

      I wonder if key players in opposing rugby teams are the subject of mid game attempts to hobble them. An accidental eye gouge or knee. Seen as tactics rather than foul play.

    • bwaghorn 8.2

      spooky ! the same thoughts crossed my mind

  9. Andre 9

    Winning the America’s Cup in ’95 certainly gave the local industry a boost. The likes of Alloy Yachts, Sensation Yachts, etc did well for at least a decade, along with a host of subbies (and opened the door for Bill Lloyd/Sovereign Yachts to rort taxpayers over Hobsonville land, thanks to Jim Anderton).

    But where are they now? High Modulus sold up to Swiss-owned Gurit, Southern Spars sold up to US-based North Marine Group and then swallowed Marten Spars, Alloy and Sensation and a bunch of others went belly-up, almost all the subbies are gone.

    The industry is hardly what I’d call vibrant. Just a few very niche players, selling very skilled work building one-and-two-and-three-offs at very low prices considering the skills involved.

    • Gosman 9.1

      You would prefer what to happen with it then?

      • Andre 9.1.1

        Just doesn’t seem like something that makes sense for the government to continue putting big bucks into.

        • Gosman 9.1.1.1

          Agreed completely.

        • KJT 9.1.1.2

          It makes as much sense as putting big bucks into Dairy.
          New Zealand boat builders could have been Benetau or Lagoon. Unfortunately right from Muldoon with his boat tax, New Zealand Governments have tried to kill high tech, niche industries.

          The very ones that drive innovation, and rescue economies from being boom and bust commodity producers.

          • Andre 9.1.1.2.1

            Thing is, it wasn’t an industry that helped NZ through the GFC by kind of holding steady, but instead got hit harder than most.

            For a brief while there were some efforts to set up more production line type operations. But as soon as the NZD lifted out of its early noughties lows, that work mostly went overseas chasing cheaper labour.

            • KJT 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Well. It was actually the reserve bank act, and keeping our dollar artificially high, and New Zealands extortionate business interest rates, which killed them off.

              Boat buyers were willing to pay a premium for New Zealand build quality.

              The same level of protection and subsidies as dairy has enjoyed could have increased the export earnings of the boat industries tenfold. But, “farming, is the backbone of the country”.

              • RedLogix

                In other words boatbuilding wasn’t a business model that naturally lent itself to ‘farming for capital gain’.

          • Kat 9.1.1.2.2

            Spot on KJT, the Federated Farmers/Transport Industry lobbyists have a stranglehold on this country. You would think if “Yachting” is such an elite sport National would support it as an industry but they don’t and never have. Unlike the French govt who support their boat building industry, Beneteau etc.

            • RedLogix 9.1.1.2.2.1

              Exactly. I’ve taken a bit of an interest in cruising lately (of the impecunious ‘sea nomad’ kind) and it’s very sad to see how NZ and Australia have been unable to transform native talent, natural advantage and world class skills into a thriving industry.

              The same applies in Queensland over recent years, one marine shop and yard after another shutting down as they find the environment they’re operating in too hostile.

              Fundamentally we seem to have Tory govts that don’t care about any industry that doesn’t pay them bribes, and Labour ones that can’t get past their ideological antipathy towards SME business owners.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.3

          The R&D that’s produced by it can be used in more than yachts. The problem is that the NZ government doesn’t require that that research be freely available.

          • Andre 9.1.1.3.1

            In principle that’s possible. But none of the innovations generated within the local industry that I was aware of or involved with had any applications outside yachting. At best, potential local yachting applications were the motivation for some university projects that may have also had other applications.

            • KJT 9.1.1.3.1.1

              Electric cars. Composite and golf cart type, suitable for in city use.
              Trains.
              Ferries. Several examples.
              Small commercial boats. Fishing, Pilot, Tugs.
              Wind generator blades.

              Just off the top of my head.

              There are many more.

              Composites, the knowledge we developed with yachting, are the path for many of the more sustainable manufacturing solutions. EG. Hemp reinforced mud brick.

              • RedLogix

                Again absolutely agree. Industries are best thought of as clusters of people with core skill and knowledge sets. It’s the people who truly matter, because they will naturally find ways to expand the range of opportunities they can make money at.

              • Andre

                R&D applications unique to NZ driven by hi-tech yachting are stuff like Uni of Auckland’s twisted flow wind tunnel, driven by the fairly unique combination of wind speed gradients and changing apparent wind angles experienced by a moving yacht. Or developing ways to deal with thick laminates because we don’t want to fork out for the tooling and machinery developed to solve the same problems overseas. Or developing manufacturing methods to make stuff off really cheap single-shot tooling. So the likes of Core Composites are well positioned for projects like Skypath on the Harbour Bridge.

                The type of R&D that goes into things like the processes required to make 60 metre wind turbine blades one a day every day is way outside of the activities done in NZ. Similarly the knowledge and capabilities for building thousands of carbon fibre BMW i3 bodies just isn’t here, and is very unlikely to ever be here, because our internal market is so small.

                Then there’s companies like EPV (formerly Designline) that at first glance appear to have crossover with marine. Largish composite panels etc. But the manufacturing processes and design constraints are significantly different, and their selling proposition is much more around drivetrain tech than any kind of marine-driven technology.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Similarly the knowledge and capabilities for building thousands of carbon fibre BMW i3 bodies just isn’t here, and is very unlikely to ever be here, because our internal market is so small.

                  We don’t need to make thousands everyday. Just enough to cover the demand every day.

                  Now, standard economics tells us that this is uneconomic as it doesn’t achieve Economies of Scale.

                  This is, of course, bollocks. Automated factories achieve the same efficiency no matter the size. Achieving production beyond what we need is uneconomic as it uses up more resources than needed.

                  The BS of Economies of Scale is what brought us the motor car. The delusion that if we just make more of the same thing then everyone can afford one ignores the fundamental truth of the limits placed upon us by the physical world and so we end up with calamitous environmental destruction.

                  Then there’s companies like EPV (formerly Designline) that at first glance appear to have crossover with marine. Largish composite panels etc. But the manufacturing processes and design constraints are significantly different, and their selling proposition is much more around drivetrain tech than any kind of marine-driven technology.

                  I think you’ll find that there’s quite a bit of cross over between a spar that holds sails that twist in the wind and a drive shaft which you also don’t want twisting.

                  • RedLogix

                    And on that theme here is a small local company that’s made good in just that field:

                    http://www.carbonrev.com/about-us

                  • Andre

                    DTB, have you ever actually worked in manufacturing engineering? Economy of scale is largely to do with with amortizing R&D, tooling, and equipment costs. Starting up machinery for a short production run can also add significantly to the per-part cost compared to longer runs. Screwing another few pennies per kg out your supplier coz you’re buying more is only a small part of it.

                    So my first question when I’m asked to tackle a new R&D project is what production volume is expected? Because the answer drives choices about how much to put into tooling, equipment, design, process and part optimisation and a bunch of other things.

                    Yes, I’ve designed and built spars for sails and shafts to transmit bending forces and torque. Yes, there are some commonalities. But there’s also a shit load of differences, to the point that a spar designer or builder is going to face a steep learning curve when it comes to automotive drive shafts and vice versa.

                    • RedLogix

                      Good answer Andre.

                      DtB over estimates the value of automation. In many ways automation is the most expensive kind of tooling there is. CAE and CNC tools are enormously valuable, but actual plant floor automation still mostly remains the preserve of large scale production.

                      It’s a complex and changing picture, but just as we were promised the ‘paper-less office’ decades ago, I suspect we’ll be waiting a while for the ‘people-less factory’.

                    • KJT

                      It is the fact that New Zealanders did not have access to ‘economies of scale’ and many manufactured products that drove innovation here. Along with our practical technical education and apprenticeships.

                      Unfortunately now vandalised.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Economy of scale is largely to do with with amortizing R&D, tooling, and equipment costs.

                      I know what it is supposed to be but that happens to be wrong. It’s a fundamental error of economics (and the source of the delusion of our finance system) that people think that they can get the cost back and profits on top of that.

                      Once the factory is built the costs are gone. That’s it. They were diverted from what else could have been done with those resources at that time to building the factory.

                      Automation is important because it minimises the number of people that are diverted away from doing other things that could be more important.

                      This is the important thing about thinking of the economy in physical terms. There are available resources now that can be used and once they’ve been used they can’t be used for something else. Society chooses what’s to be done with those resources through some sort of collective decision making.

                      Starting up machinery for a short production run can also add significantly to the per-part cost compared to longer runs.

                      Who said anything about turning it on for a short run?

                      Although, that’s why I like 3D printing – a factory won’t be limited to just one thing but anything 24/7/365.

                      Screwing another few pennies per kg out your supplier coz you’re buying more is only a small part of it.

                      Using more resources doesn’t actually cost less – it costs more as it uses more resources.

                      Another delusion brought about by our financial system.

                      But there’s also a shit load of differences, to the point that a spar designer or builder is going to face a steep learning curve when it comes to automotive drive shafts and vice versa.

                      To be honest, I’d expect them to be designed by computer as they’re much better at optimising the design. And then manufactured by computer via 3D printing.

                    • Andre

                      Be sure to give me a heads-up when Draconomics takes over from the realities and constraints I’ve had to work within my entire career. That don’t show any signs of changing.

                • KJT

                  I don’t see us building I3’s anytime soon, but that wasn’t the point.

                  Future electric city cars will be more like golf carts, or electric rickhaws if you like. Most likely rented or even suppled for free at points in a city., like Chinese share bikes. You don’t meed a car within a 50k zone which can go 500k at 100km/hr. Even in NZ most cars do less than 50k per day at an average of less than 50k/hr.

                  Almost disposable, built of biodegradable lightweight composites.

                  Something we already do well.

                  An I3 will be something you rent for a holiday. If they are economic at all.

                  • Andre

                    I’m with you that all that’s needed for most people most of the time is a glorified golf cart. Even the 16yr old little nana’s shopping trolley that I use for about 85% of my driving is way more than needed for most of that. But I wanna watch you convincing the HSV Codpiece and Porsche Canine drivers to trade down.

                    But let’s dream reality finally bites and those fantasies come true and we produce all those glorified golf carts here. That’s hundreds per day required. There’s nobody I’m aware of in the marine industry that uses anything like the appropriate processes for that kind of volume. If they are, they certainly haven’t come out of the high-performance racing side of it, more likely from the fizzboat side. The industrial RTM process used by the likes of Jackson Electrical would be a lot closer to the mark.

                    As for biodegradable composites, my first brush with greenwashing composites was nearly thirty years ago, where the company was touting their thermoplastic composite product as recyclable. Theoretically maybe, but in practice no it wasn’t. Since then I’ve seen a lot of other greenwashing and claims, but nothing that stacks up as a truly recyclable or biodegradable composite with structural properties even competitive with a mediocre fibreglass laminate. The most promising I’ve seen is self-reinforced polypropylene. But if you’ve got a link for something I should look at, I’m interested.

    • Tricledrown 9.2

      Boat building across the country has gone from $120 million a year to $3 billion plus a year not just yatching.
      Luxury boats cabin cruisers etc .
      Even at the bottom of the South Island such as Stabicraft McClay marine etc
      Are making millions out of the Americas cup exposure.

  10. The New Student 10

    You make really good points, and I was mostly enjoying this read until I reached a certain paragraph.

    Those “boofheads” – which presumably includes the New Zealand Women’s Sevens side that went to the Olympics recently – are people too. Most are pretty decent, hard-working types with goals and aspirations, just like the, well, non-boofheads? You can’t trust a minority from either group around your daughter.

    Those comments are completely unnecessary for your argument.

    I enjoy rugby, it is highly skilled and like all sports, at times it is fast and exciting and at other times, not so much.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      I think that the term boofheads or similar is used to make a point that many people can’t see beyond rugby. And the fact that you immediately jump to its defence is an indication that it dominates your thoughts also. Considering it is so much a contact sport, I can’t see why you aren’t more robust about receiving some negative ideas about it as a major pasttime.

      Now chess, would we ever have enough concentrated thinkers, into being rather than doing, to get this to fly to the NZ public?

  11. infused 11

    both are shit.

  12. lprent 12

    Personally I just find fat arses sitting around watching sport is more than faintly ridiculous and pathetic.

    If I’m not active myself in something as intellectually vacuous as sport then I’m uninterested in lounging around watching it. I really can’t understand fools who gain some kind of vicarious excitement by doing that either at the parks or on the idiot box.

    I’d point out that I played rugby, cricket, league when I was kid. At various times I’ve sailed both locally and on cruises. I enjoyed doing those activities just as I enjoyed tramping, geology field trips, army training, and any number of other activities that watching would be as boring as hell to do.

    I used to and still do live close enough to Eden Park that it is a easy 20 minute walk. In fact I made a lot of the money for my first international trip as a kid in the 1970s collecting bottles at Eden Park for the return cash. Didn’t understand the appeal of watching then, and still don’t.

    BTW: Ad – nice grenade…

    • bwaghorn 12.2

      baa fucking humbug to you to

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3

      If I’m not active myself in something as intellectually vacuous as sport then I’m uninterested in lounging around watching it.

      QFT

      Just get bored trying to watch sport.

      • David Mac 12.3.1

        You do nothing but play sport, it’s just that blogging is not yet sanctioned.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.3.1.1

          And did I say anything against being in sport?

          • David Mac 12.3.1.1.1

            Watching is a crucial component of your favourite sport.

            • lprent 12.3.1.1.1.1

              Having the sport of being a pot bellied lardarse TV watcher of sport with a steadily diminishing level of intelligence after listening to the commentators isn’t high on my list of priorities.

              I’ll leave that to you.

            • Draco T Bastard 12.3.1.1.1.2

              There’s a difference between being in a sport and merely watching others play the sport.

              I can’t say that I’m surprised to find that you don’t understand that difference.

    • marty mars 12.4

      Yeah some say the same about chess too lol

    • KJT 12.5

      I feel the same way about computers. At least soon AI will mean anyone can program. Just tell the computer what to do. Get rid of those annoying geeks who charge a fortune for programs that don’t work. 😈

    • Phil 12.6

      something as intellectually vacuous as sport

      Maybe it’s just that you’re not smart enough to appreciate how statistical analysis, bio-mechanical science, and fluid-dynamics contribute to success in pretty much all forms of modern sport?

      *lobs grenade back*

      • lprent 12.6.1

        Nope. When I was involved in various ‘sports’ and in fact in any part of my active life, I go into it with considerable depth.

        You may have noticed that tendency from my barbed and knowledgeable comments on a great many subjects that do interest me.

        But they are things I’m actively engaged with to some degree or another. So I maintain interests in politics – local and international, economics, military, farming, industry, blogs, housing markets, and the state of society in general because they impact on me to one degree or another. It just isn’t at the level that I exert on things like programming and computers where I concentrate attention.

        But sport is so completely useless and peripheral to anything in my life, that I can’t be bothered maintaining the interest in them that I had when I was a child.

        Being a mere disengaged observer or simple minded critic simply doesn’t interest me enough.

        But hey, if you like doing that, then it is your life to waste.

        • Phil 12.6.1.2

          Being a mere disengaged observer or simple minded critic simply doesn’t interest me enough.

          But hey, if you like doing that, then it is your life to waste.

          Do you feel the same way about music? theatre? painting?

          I, personally, see a languid beauty in a Hashim Amla cover drive that parallels great Tango. The chaos of rapid All Black back-line move echoes the finest Jazz I’ve ever heard live. The precise control and mental focus needed balance a Le Mans race car on the limit of adhesion, lap after lap after hour after hour, is probably equal to that of performing heart surgery. The ebb and flow of an America’s cup yacht race, or an Olympic marathon run, can be as compelling as the best of Shakespeare’s tragedys.

          But hey, if none of that is for you, then by all means keep living in your monochromatic world.

  13. Pete 13

    It’s reasonable to expect people to prefer whatever sports for whatever reasons. Avid adherents are right when they call their sport the “best sport in the world.” The adherents of any leisure activity the same.

    What is also understandable is rubbishing those we are not enamoured with for whatever reasons. That’s called human nature.

    A preference for one of Lorde, or Garth Farr, or Scribe, or Dave Dobbyn, or the NZSO leading to rubbishing all or one of the others might be a lack of understanding or insecurity. Or just plain boofhead intolerance.

  14. Cinny 14

    What goes with rugby… beer and bad behaviour. Realistically, how many people drink while watching the footy? LOTS, gotta love the alcohol culture in NZ, drunk rugby heads are such a turn on…. lolololz NOT EVEN Tui. How’s the domestic violence rates in NZ any correlation? Mhmmm

    Number of Sailors v’s Number of Rugby Players charged with assault type offenses? That would be an interesting stat. JS

    What goes with sailing… red socks and early breakfasts, usually an increase in the sports popularity every four years. More young kiwi’s taking up sailing, awesome, knowing how to use the wind to sail is a useful skill and heaps of fun, you don’t need another ‘player’ to sail, we live on an island, sailing makes sense.

    Both have skilled sports people, but one has more than that, one is filled with innovative engineering, cutting edge technology and opportunities for not just the athletes, but just if not more importantly, the boat builders and their community.

    Both sports can be super exciting. This thread of yours Ad… dang… can of worms? Crack up 😀

    Watching is exciting, but doing it (any sport).. that’s where the real rush is, and it’s all about the rush.

    • James 14.1

      “What goes with rugby… beer and bad behaviour. Realistically, how many people drink while watching the footy? LOTS, gotta love the alcohol culture in NZ, drunk rugby heads are such a turn on…. lolololz NOT EVEN Tui. How’s the domestic violence rates in NZ any correlation? Mhmmm”

      Try wearing the wrong shirt in the wrong area after a soccer match in Europe- you can (and people have) been killed for it.

      Do the same at a rugby match and the norm in just friendly ribbing.

  15. Ross 15

    How many young Maori from South Auckland are involved with the Team NZ campaign?

    • James 15.1

      As I said the other day – who cares – it has nothing to do with anything.

    • David Mac 15.2

      When not voyaging Maori got around via paddling. The Manurewa High School team beat all comers in 2012. Not too many pies and Cokes in those bellies. Anybody that chooses to sail, can. 1000’s of Maori do.

      https://static2.stuff.co.nz/1353527630/275/7983275.jpg

      Being part of ETNZ is not a decision to go sailing, it’s a career choice for a handful of folk.

    • mpledger 15.3

      How many non-Maori from South Auckland are involved with the Team NZ campaign?

      From the team page, this guy has an obviously Maori name, DEAN KARAITIANA. Others look Maori-ish without having Maori names so it’s hard to tell.

      From the phone book the name seems most prominent in Hawke’s Bay and spreading over other the lower central North Island.

  16. Stuart Munro 16

    It’s funny how sport divides us – wherever there is water deep enough for [r0b: in jest I know, but deleted to be safe], you will find people fishing. These people do not seek publicity, they are often reclusive. They get no unearned wealth through sponsorship. But they develop a sound understanding of the environment and their place in it.

    • David Mac 16.2

      Fishing is NZ’s and the world’s most popular sport. Disciple Peter was a fisherman, the 2nd oldest profession. As you say Stu, adapts well to all types and has the best trophies, edible. Everyman sport, can have a go for $5.

      I think there’s votes to be had in addressing what is happening in our commercial fisheries. I don’t think we know the half of it. Nothing grates on a quota/size savvy sport fisherperson (99% of us) like people dudding the system. It’s NZ’s most popular participatory sport and I feel lots of fishermen/women could vote left but didn’t.

      But JK’s head on a plate? We can’t change the past Stu, turn your eyes to the future mate.

      • Stuart Munro 16.2.1

        There is no future for my demographic DM. We’re fucked.

        If you don’t punish the most guilty, why punish the rest?

        Why have a justice system at all?

        Equality before the law means no free pass for entitled crooks.

      • KJT 16.2.2

        Seen how much they pay for a fishing rod lately.

        I will sell you a small yacht, for less.

    • Stuart Munro 16.3

      Might as well just ban me R0b – Nisbet published the same cartoon as my comment yesterday so clearly the legal risk is just too great.

  17. Ummm which supporters should the left target to get votes?

    • David Mac 17.1

      Grassroots, participation. I think NZers could see benefit in the ETNZ budget going into school and community sport facilities and equipment.

      • marty mars 17.1.1

        What is ETNZ?

        Edit sorry worked it out.

        • David Mac 17.1.2.1

          Yep, good article. Breaking into a house takes guts and bravado, handy tools in most sports. Basketball has swelled in popularity, particularly with Maori and Pacifica youth. I used to get around in rugby jerseys as casual wear. Canterbury had a shop full of them. These days I think I’d feel like a plonker, the kids are wearing basketball gear. They own it, it looks stupid on anyone older than 30. When a team sport gets that kind of traction, it’s worth doing more with.

          Smack bang in the middle of Kaitaia, within walking distance of most places, carpark all around it is the old Pak n’ Save building. It’s stood boarded up, unloved and looking derelict for years. Nice high ceilings, air-conditioned, was up to safety standards. I’d rather we spent the Bridges bridges money on creating a couple of indoor courts, gym etc there. I think most people that regularly use the Taipa Bridge would.

          Our current government would then declare ‘Job Done’. It’s far from done, that’s just the equipment sorted. But as per that article KJT the real work and benefits are in adjusting habits and attitudes.

          • greywarshark 17.1.2.1.1

            David Mac
            If you want to get sports in the PaknSave start a campaign. Is Peter Jackson still firing up the Nrthland Age? Get Lance the doc to come behind, find some reward system with those who are still keen. Perhaps you could get some secondary kids who haven’t struck those unemployment blues yet.

            They used to follow rugby, school would close down for the afternoon I think, and everyone would go down to Whangarei for the big game I think, Ranfurly Shield match.

            The basketball could be intense once it got going. Surely there is some gummint, social welf, trust, and Maori money to set up a trust with. Then when its going do a crowd funding for uniforms.

    • Ad 17.2

      The left don’t believe in competitive sports.

      Even elections.

  18. Mrs Brillo 18

    Well, Advantage, seems to this reader that you should have switched the radio off and settled for watching the paint dry.
    Much more entertaining and informative.

    • Ad 18.1

      Well, YOU try painting a deck with a relative then.

      You can have Bieber and Lorde and Adele on all day, then see if you don’t want to donate blood.

  19. Phil 19

    Another rich-sport tangent:

    Big shout-out Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber in the Porsche 919 Hybrid. I watched a good chunk of the Le Mans 24-hr race through Sunday and that was one hell of a fightback. Great to see another bunch of Kiwi’s flying high on the world stage.

  20. swordfish 20

    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Ad

    All commentators noted they were flooded with emails and texts about the yachting, and very few about the multiple international Rugby fixtures.….

    .…Rugby is boring and dumb..…

    .…They all look like boofheads that you wouldn’t want your daughter near..…

    .…Winning the Rugby World Cup was greeting with a national shrug.…

    .…And somehow the America’s Cup more successfully integrates residual nationalist urges to draw us together, than Rugby’s tired culture of RSA-style wankathons

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________

    Nevertheless, when it comes to Kiwi’s Interest in sport – UMR finds Rugger continues to reign supreme

    UMR have been polling on this 4 times a year – with Rugby Union always out in front, usually followed by Netball, Rowing, Rugby League, Cricket and Football (though the precise order of the also-rans changes from year to year)

    Eg UMR Interest in sport 2013 …. 2014 …….. 2015
    Rugby Union …….….………70% …..…. 71% ….…. 71%
    Netball ………………………..50% ………..51% …..….49%
    Rowing …….….………………46% ….….….45% ….….41%
    Rugby League ……..….…..45% ….……..47% ….….43%
    Cricket ….………….….………41% …….…..45% ……..53%
    Football ……..….……..…….38% ….…….. 43% ….…. 43%

    2009-2015 – Kiwi Interest in Rugger = always in the 60-77% range

  21. Incognito 21

    Still not sure what to make of this Post & Comments …

    To me sport is about the human body (or bodies) in action. Watching sport is about watching human physical skill. This for me defines sport and the America’s Cup falls outside this (personal) definition.

    Sure, the boats are beautifully and skilfully designed and built but to me this is not sport and belongs with Callaghan Innovation and MBIE. When I watch the Cup on TV I see boats in action, or animations of boats racing, it is not a clear and direct display of human physical skill.

    For the same reason I cannot get very excited about watching F1 racing, for example.

    Don’t get me wrong, it can be very entertaining to watch quasi-sports but comparing the America’s Cup with rugby is comparing apples and oranges IMHO.

    • Phil 21.1

      To me sport is about the human body (or bodies) in action. Watching sport is about watching human physical skill. This for me defines sport and the America’s Cup falls outside this (personal) definition.

      What about mental skill? A big part of the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’ sports-men and -women is their ability to intuit where the game or contest is moving and be ready for it before their competitors.

      Also, have you seen the grinders and cyclors on the AC yachts? Their muscles are huge for really good a reason.

      For the same reason I cannot get very excited about watching F1 racing

      In an average F1 race, a driver will shed about 3kg of weight through sweat and dehydration. Temperature in the cockpit often exceeds 50 Celsius. The lateral g-force experienced by a driver can be as high as 6G – that’s as much as a modern fighterpilot in combat.

      I totally get it if you’re not interested in the sporting contest of F1 or AC racing – not everything is for everyone and that’s fine. But to suggest they’re not a contest of mental and physical skill is seriously misplaced.

      • Incognito 21.1.1

        Hi Phil,

        I never said that there’s no mental skill involved in sport. Of course there is which makes it all the more interesting to do/play or watch.

        Sure, those grinders and cyclors are muscular and train hard but from a spectator’s view, watching it on TV; I hardly see any of their (individual) skills and actions as the focus is on the boat.

        Similarly, the F1 driver is highly skilled and must be very fit but again the emphasis is on the car and hardly on the driver and his moves & decisions.

        Bobsleigh races are a borderline case for me.

        I used to play club chess but I don’t consider it a sport. It is nice to analyse a match between top chess players – a mental contest – but watching them play is as boring as hell.

        Anyway, I don’t think anybody gives a toss about this comment especially when we the Toddylympics in full swing 😉

  22. Cofveve 22

    This opinion piece is a hot mess.

    Strip-mining the Pacific is a terrible metaphor for the influence of Pacific Island players in New Zealand rugby. Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world so it should come as no surprise that they make up a significant number of our rugby teams. Any analysis of All Black rugby shows that we aren’t poaching from the Pacific nations.

    ‘No competitive national teams are formed in the 15-person game.’ I don’t even know what this means. There is a reference to Motown records, and I mean sure the OP had a point to make but it missed its mark.

    ‘New Zealand were leading 8-0. Then Oracle won nine in a row. Awwwww-Boooooooo!’ they were leading 8-1 in fact. Oracle won 8 in a row. Get the basic facts right.

    ‘They all look like boofheads that you wouldn’t want your daughter near.’ Wow, which ones, the Pacific Islanders strip-mined or are you just generalising about a section of New Zealand in general? Either way it betrays the reason behind the article.

    Essentially the OP doesn’t like rugby, doesn’t like rugby players and probably doesn’t like sport in general. I like the America’s Cup, always have. I also like high quality rugby.

    Spiteful and unnecessary piece.

  23. tony 23

    Sonny Bill was a UNICEF ambassador who visited refugee camps any yachties do that? Piri Weepu and Liam Messam used their profile to oppose the TPPA, any yachties do that? Keiran read, Sonny Bill, Maá Nonu, Keven Mealamu,John Kirwan are giving nothing to racism, what are your Americas cup team giving?
    “Team New Zealand” are a enzed team in little more than their name, and your support for the Americas cup on an economics basis, rewarding entrepreneurs is little more than a version of trickle down economics.
    Excuse me if I don’t doff my cap

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