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How can this sport grow?

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Old 11-13-2002, 10:11 PM
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Default How can this sport grow?

Since itís time for the World Championship Races, Iíd like to expand on something that Shane mentioned last week. So get your popcorn popping and lets solve all the problems that plague the sport that we all love.

Is there any hope for Offshore racing to get beyond the point of where it is today? If so, how can it happen? Here is what I see.

Currently, racers (read customers) are paying the sanctioning bodies to supply them with a racecourse (read product) that has Coast Guard approval and safety equipment to assist any racer that has a problem. With a time, place, CG approval and a few divers in choppers we now have an established time and place for a guy to race against other guys with fast boats and some cash in their pockets. These sanctioning bodies (read businesses) are making their livelihood from the income derived from the racers pockets by means of registration fees. Why not? Should they do it for free as a volunteer? Since the sanctioning body is a business in search of revenues, it needs as many customers as possible. This means they must allow anyone with a boat and a wallet to race, hence a class to fit any boat. This is clearly the tail wagging the dog.

The reason that the sport will never grow into a mainstream motor sport is because it is impossible to make spectators pay to watch the race, which could shift the revenue burden from the racers to the fans and ultimately to sponsors. Collecting money from fans would require some type of stadium that just doesnít exist. Since a paid gait attendance canít be included in promotional materials, gaining sponsorship of any real substance is next to impossible. Because there are no stadiums to race in, we are constantly looking for new locations to hold the races. Because no companies can directly see a profit from sponsoring a boat race, it is difficult to come up with a race sponsor to cover the purse.

Even though racing is free to watch, only a few thousand people make the trip to the race sites. So where is the demand for the sport? In New Orleans there was a good crowd but I doubt it was more than 3000 people. And some of those people did pay $10 a head to watch the race from the pit area while other watched for free at the park next door. Still others watched for free from their boats.

By no means am I saying anything is wrong with offshore racing nor am I saying it can be made better. What I am saying is that, offshore racing is what it is, and it ainít going to be any bigger as far as media attention. Yes we may get more boats at a race but that wonít equate to more media attention.

Until an uninformed spectator can understand who won, it will be the same as itís always been. A rich mans hobby with a small but devoted following of fans like you and me.

I hope Iím wrong, what are some of your thoughts?
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Old 11-13-2002, 10:51 PM
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Any number of Ideas
1. Sure have an OSO Race organization meaning exactly that.And looking at #Ē2Ē
2. Bring Back Sea Racing
3. Reduce the Number of Classes Too something Reasonable/Understandable
4. Try to make Betting on the Boats Legal, like for real money. Thru Vegas or Atlantic City
5. Put up live feedback to an Auditorium! Hell I would pay a lot of Money to have a good seat and watch the WHOLE race.
6. Pay for view races on Line.
7. Make a Class with the rules are as follows 1000 cubic inches NA and a 50í limit the rest free style Period LOL Then maybe Guyís like me will feel like building one off Creative Race Boats once again.
I mean you spend heavy Bucks to have the next guy have a boat exactly yours How about a break!!!
Then we can get Sponsors back

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Old 11-13-2002, 10:56 PM
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Ron please give me a call sometime and we can chat about the biz...i do think it is going somewhere or we would not be doing it! will you be in KW? i leave in 10 hours dragggging the poker run boat down too....i'll dump that in miami and head over to donzi to get that...after 9pm my cell if free anywhere so i got all the time in the world to talk while driving....besides we share a common thing or two!LOL
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Old 11-13-2002, 10:58 PM
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the "FACTORY" classes are the ONLY way it's going to happen.
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Old 11-13-2002, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by audacity
the "FACTORY" classes are the ONLY way it's going to happen.
Just a question: "How many Boat Manufacturers are sponsoring anything in the sport?" Can we see a list?

RonP, When was the last time we saw Point Pleasant like this?
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Old 11-13-2002, 11:16 PM
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I was able to make NO a business trip as I have a customer there. No customers in Key West so I'll be home, hopefully listening on the web radio. Make sure you say hello to Eddie and Junior in Wazzup.

Steve, those are some neat ideas but probable not the first steps.
One thing I strongly agree with is that all races should be run in the ocean. The races in NO sucked because the water was so flat. The small classes are boring if they aren't flying off waves.

Joe, you bring up a good point. Why is Nascar more popular than CART? Is it becuase people can relate better? I also think your saying to have fewer classes. This would involve the company having less customers, or do they have seperate races for the none factory boats? Don't they do that now by racing on Sat and Sun? After all, it's not easy to set up a race course, so when you have it, use it as much as possible.

What about SuperCats? Damn those things are exciting to watch and four or five boats can make for a decent race. I agree that Super Vs are no different than F2 boats to the spectator.

It seems like any type of real change is going to take some hard choices and possible loss of revenue in the short term for the long term goal.
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Old 11-13-2002, 11:17 PM
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Sharkey, is that you on the other side of the inlet?
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Old 11-13-2002, 11:19 PM
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Who else could that be......
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Old 11-14-2002, 12:03 AM
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The biggerst thing... MAKE A SCHEDUAL WELL AHEAD OF TIME AND STICK TO IT!!!!!

Jon
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Old 11-14-2002, 12:16 AM
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Jon, That was one of the reasons I think Point Pleasant was so successful. Everyone knew that it was always the same Wednesday in July every year. There used to be a time where people planned their vacations around that week just to be in Point. The picture above was only a partial view of the crowds that race used to draw. You wouldn't be able to see the rocks on the jetties that was how many people would show... But after the race was moved to AC that one year......it was down hill on the attendance from there...
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