Home' Afloat : AFLOAT February 2015 Contents 10 AFLOAT.com.au February 2015
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If anything it adds to the spectacle of the race. It was thrilling
to see five super-maxis, all sponsored, line up on Boxing Day
followed by some smaller million dollar yachts, and then the
massive bulk of the fleet owned by the not so wealthy who,
because of the weather and sea conditions were racing with a
genuine chance to win the “real” race for overall Handicap victory
and the Tattersall Cup.
Sponsorship is critical to our sport and to so many sports.
Without sponsorship, sport and sporting events like the Hobart,
AFL, Rugby Union and League, motor racing, cricket and many
more would not survive in this time of premium expense, high
salaries and exposure.
In 1975, when I started in the business of broadcasting the
Sydney to Hobart, I pushed hard to have my broadcast network
permit the mention of the sponsor’s name at every cross. It took
some time but finally I got the message over the line, firstly with
AWA then Kodak, Nortel, Telstra and now Rolex.
Sponsors and big money are critical to sports survival and
the big end will always be subject to criticism and at times
ridicule. Remember St George’s [sponsorship not around then
though they were the biggest club] record eleven Grand Final
wins from 1956 to 1966. For many non St George supporters it
was probably boring and the America’s Cup from 1851 to 1983
always thrilling, sometimes “boring” ... and then exhilarating
when Alan Bond and his crew kicked the American butt and
brought the Cup downunder.
The late and highly venerated Peter Brock was King of the
Mountain winning nine Bathurst 1000 events between 1972 and
1987 with sponsor, Mobil. Perhaps for many a Ford fan this also
became boring and yawning.
Without the big money we will all be limited in exploring the
ever growing boundaries of technology.
Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards and Wild Rose skipper Roger
Hickman strongly believe that money is not a factor in deciding
the outcome of the Hobart Race.
“It is obvious that seamanship and team work still prevail
over the expensive toys,” Richards said.
“ To Comanche money was no object. She is the latest and
greatest and owned by one of the wealthiest people in our sport
but in the end we had the boat, the experience and the crew for
all conditions. You can’t just buy yourself a win,” added Richards.
Roger Hickman says, “Bring it on. Money is not a factor.
“ Sure big money super-maxis have a motor running to drive
all their hydraulics and canting keels, but it still comes down to
how the crew sail the boat.”
However, second place Chutzpah owner Bruce Taylor disagrees.
“It gives me the shits. Some may say I’m a grumpy old bugger.
I’ve got a crew that is exhausted after three days of working
winches and no one is paid; it all comes down to hard work and
seamanship, not pressing buttons.”
So, Sue Neales’ story was an excellent piece. It answered all
the questions that no doubt many a sailor, enthusiast or just
interested onlooker are asking. The questions the general public
needs answers to.
As for being asked to remove herself and her belongings from
the Media Centre, the CYCA management or board still have not
yet made an official statement. Only that, as Neales reported in
her story on banning her from the Media Centre, “Rolex is very
unhappy with your article yesterday about how sponsorship is
The question now remains just who is running the Sydney
to Hobart Yacht Race and therefore the Media Centre? Is it the
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