Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Andrew Dickens: Let's put SailGP on at an appropriate venue and move on

I was not going to talk about dolphin-gate- but from first thing this morning, everyone was talking about it.

Sir Russell Coutts has had an epic meltdown over the cancellation of Saturday racing of his SailGP series.

He had to refund the spectator's tickets, which meant at least a third of his income went up in smoke.

Now he's belittling all New Zealand for their bureaucratic torpor that stops go-getters like him getting their way.

I would have raced. And if a foiling boat traveling at 80 kilometres an hour ran over a calving dolphin, turning it into sashimi, I could then say we learnt our lesson- and please pass the rice and the wasabi.

But I think it's important to realise how we got here.

Coutts sailed Lyttleton last year. With dolphin protocols. 1 race-day got delayed. He knew the Lyttleton problem but carried on.

This year he decided to race in Auckland. He wanted to build a stadium and hospitality on the site of a former oil and chemical storage site.

Auckland said you can't put people and food on poisoned land.

Russell said stuff you and flounced back to Lyttleton. There was no investigation of alternative Auckland sites. Or even going to Wellington.SailGP's Sir Russell Coutts hits out at 'extreme protocols' following racing cancellation
'We wanted a solid day': NZ SailGP strategist on the team's day one progress
John MacDonald: SailGP - Auckland's loss has to be Canterbury's gain
Christchurch voted SailGP's best location ahead of March return

He went back to Christchurch and signed a contract knowing all the protocols and the possibility of disruption. He knew the Lyttleton problem but carried on, hoping for the best.

When the Saturday race was delayed because of a mammal on course the telly coverage, owned by Russell, promptly played a promo praising SailGP's respect for the environment. That they were powered by nature and they look after our marine mammal buddies.

It was good press. Until the dolphin didn't move on.

Then he unleashed a spray about New Zealand holding people like him back. I don't think it's in his construction to admit he made bad choices and to assume some personal responsibility. And then he tried to make it seem like he was a victim.

I don't think this is a left versus right issue. Or a nature versus industry issue.

It was all good until Sir Russell lost some money.

So take a deep breath. Realise New Zealand loves the product. Put it on in an appropriate venue and let's move on, shall we?

Andrew Dickens is a broadcaster with Newstalk ZB. - where this article was sourced.


Rob Beechey said...

I totally disagree.
A disgusting display from the usual minority, spoiling SailGP for the majority. A harbour master pissed with his own self importance. A biologist in Dunedin craving the spotlight in her boring life, and the local Iwi who have been given too much voice by the last destructive Govt. These three factions came together to concoct poisonous layers of bureaucracy to wreck this spectacular event for a huge fan base. Bloody disgusting. They should be ashamed of themselves.

robert Arthur said...

Were they planning to have earth sandwiches at the Auckland site?

LNF said...

Rob Beechey. Well said. 90% of NZ would agree with you

Tom Logan said...

Well spoken Mr Beechey I agree with you entirely. And furthermore I don't really think Sir Russell Coutts will be particularly concerned over what is for him a little small change. But he has every reason to be absolutely outraged by such miserable conduct by a bunch of such petty bureaucrats who nearly wrecked the whole regatta.

Auckland which is where this regatta was supposed to be held couldn't really be bothered. Even with 12 months notice they couldn't provide a suitable public viewing area. I presume the ever increasing army of bureaucrats employed by the City Council since the new Mayors election, including 211 more on salaries of $150,000 plus were just too busy to find somewhere.

No doubt they were all on compulsory DEI courses. For the unwoke that's Diversity , Equality , Inclusiveness. Very important you don't leave anyone out you know. Except the rate payers who would have loved to have seen this regatta.

Or the Council Staff might have been on their Unconscious Biases courses, discovering more people they might somehow disadvantage or offend , always a good reason not to make a decision or do something . Or in fact do anything.

Doing nothing, or preventing something from happening , is always a prime option by anyone on a council or government payroll. Prevents mistakes or personal responsibility. And then there's always safety, that'll wreck anything.

Sir Peter Blake simply had a yacht race. Sir Russell Coutts and Grant Dalton are in a battle with some of the wealthiest individuals in the world who have all the the resources of the world aerospace industries available to them. And our Kiwi yachties beat them all.

This was a magnificent opportunity to showcase to the world not only the beauty of our country but also our hi-tech intellectual capabilities. As a nation we simply cannot afford to cast aside such opportunities

I note the Grand Prix race in Melbourne over the weekend attracted over 450,000 visitors. And I remember 20 years ago they took the Rugby World Cup off us. What is it the Aussies have we don't ?

Fiona said...

If all the payments (government & private subsidies, inducements/bribes) to iwi were able to be documented & added up, I suspect Kiwis would be dumbfounded at the amounts involved.

Anonymous said...

For Tom Logan - "what is it Australian's have, we (Kiwi's) don not have" /

- It is attitude - not weepy. wailing, hand wringing, PC, DEI obsessed, screaming at TMO's & Rugby Refs, and wishing Jacinda would come back - all is forgiven Sweetie.