On Clipper Cove is usually about kids’ smiles and volunteers’ hours. This one is different. Today’s message is for our kids, not about them: “Never give up and always support your team”.
We watched 19 America’s Cup races on our iPad, from the spit in front of Marina Green or from The Bay. Our entire family was aboard Skipper’s Gift as we watched fateful race 8 from the windward mark when the Kiwis nearly tipped over. Yesterday we were fortunate to watch from the deck on Golden Gate Yacht Club.
The media briefings following each day’s racing were as educational, insightful and motivational as the races were exciting. Jimmy Spithill and Dean Barker both remained poised under the relentless barrage of questions from the media.
Jimmy was positive and “single-messaged” at all times. As the score started to heavily favor New Zealand and even when Oracle Team USA was down 1-8 his message remained the same: “Our design team, shore team and sailing team are all working together to make the boat faster and we will never give up”.
Building self-confidence can often be harder than teaching communications, goal setting and team work to young sailors. In fact, self confidence can only be gained, it can’t be taught. Dedicated instructors and coaches, adults who really care, and role models like ALL the AC teams make a big difference in motivate kids to work toward self-confidence.
We have always taught our teams to play their best and have fun. At the end of the day, winning is always more fun than loosing.
Here again, Jimmy’s final message was positive and encouraging. He acknowledged the boat performance and boat handling leadership New Zealand provided to everyone. When he said this was a tough fought match and unfortunate someone had to loose, it was clear he meant it. Same with everyone from OTUSA I saw interviewed.
Were you able to fight back that small tear in your eye when the TV cameras showed the young kiwi on his father’s shoulders with the New Zealand flag in the background during the presentation of the Americas Cup ? I was not.
Sailing programs around the world will benefit from the excitement generated by the 34th America’s Cup. The 19 races over 19 days on these amazing foiling 72′ cats delivered a historical event which has changed how people view sailing forever.
The material legacy from this event can already be seen around SF Bay with new docks and refurbished piers. The Cup’s impact on fourth graders in the San Francisco Unified School District will start next week when students show up at TISC to attend the first “Set Sail Learn” classes we created in partnership with the San Francisco America’s Cup Organizing Committee and ONESF: Celebrate the Cup.
Regards from On The Cove, Dave G
In the wake:
All the races and press briefings are located here: America’s Cup on Youtube
Jimmy’s “imagine what an upset this would be if we won out from here” is at the very end (21:05) of the September 14th media briefing. The snippet where Jimmy talks about that possibility is here: Imagine . . .
Links to the Redbull/Oracle “No Second Place” videos about the AC 72’s and SF bay.
A few pictures from the final race: