Nassau, Bahamas- “I don’t like sailing, I like to win”, Dennis Conner, the America’s Cup Legend, at 74, is not in great shape but still has strong ideas on what really means sailing and how to get the best of it. The Star Sailors League Finals in Nassau is a great event, that gives to the best sailors in the world the chance to race against each other on a boat that anyone can shape at her best using their speed, tactical and technical skills.
Our interview with “Big Bad Dennis” Conner:
Luca Devoti comment:
Nothing out there more classic and full of history that the Star. Nothing more distant than the marketing mantra we got served at the Barcelona conference. Here clearly the end user is the sailor, the fan loves the personality and is hooked, though Big Bad Dennis Conner, in Nassau as a commentator sums this up briliantly… “I do not like watching sailing, I prefer a football or baseball match, but I love to race…”, and we have Torben Grael and Robert Schedit, Zbogar and Schuemann, Fantela and Burton, fighting in a slow boat inch by inch.
With a bit more money the YouTube feed would be legendary, as we are missing on board camera shots, even like this when Xavier Rohart crosses in second in very light winds strolling to the finishing line as slow as a snail, he is happy and we can see his big smile, and that is sailing. That has nothing against foiling and all the modern and unseaworthy internet sailing, as in real life very few and generally of advanced age sail this new foiling boats, but just shows that classic has his reasons and is here to stay. And, if sailors pay to sail… well than they are the primary end user and should sail what they love and not what some marketing freak is forcing them to swallow.
Ask Robert Scheidt if he prefers the Star or the 49er. When the firts sailors will get serious injuries at sea in some of this new magic foilers it will come with zero surprise, as the sea always teaches respect and has strenghts that can destroy any boat. The fact that, so far, we have not had very many casualties has only to do with the ultra limited number of sailors that use this tools and the fact that they sail in very protected waters. Let’s see what will happen when real Mistral will hit in Hyeres or when Kiel will remember his hard soul…
Star Sailors League Finals resumes today with the last two races before the big knock-out Saturday, with Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Final.
Watch here live (by 17 CET, races under postponement due to the light wind):