Well, what a blast of an America's Cup that was! Yours truly has only just got over the highs and lows of a week in Valencia. And let me tell you, my throat is just about done from commentating on those races.
Yup, it was up to me to keep the viewers of Queensland Community TV (figures show up 50% - thanks mum!) informed with a second by second account of the action.
How do you do that? You may well ask - I heard that one other feed you could clearly hear in the background someone say "keep talking!" but there was no such need for QCTV.
It's a sign of an experienced commentator that is prepared with a strategy to get you through the 4 hours of a typical race. The key to my success is to have a set of standard comments and then cycle them at random.
AC-33 was no exception, and I was all ready with:
- Alinghi are rapidly catching up!
- BMW Oracle are increasing their lead!
- What a lethal winning machine is that awesome wing!
- The wing is bigger than that of a Boeing 747!
- These boats sail around three times faster than the wind!
- I'm not sure if Alinghi has its windward hull out of the water!
- Look at all that high tech carbon fibre - these are really spaceships!
- Look at them go - over twenty knots!
- Jimmy Spithill's ruck-sack is literally packed with electronics!
- Jimmy Spithill's sun glasses use space age head up display technology!
- Of course Russell Coutts hasn't lost an America's Cup yet!
- When fully aloft the crew are thirty feet off the sea!
- They said BMW Oracle would struggle in light winds - well they were wrong!
- It was a long wait to see these boats race but it was worth it!
- Valencia has been a fantastic host for these races!
- Will the America's Cup being coming home?
- Alinghi have yet to make their penalty turn!
- It's a drag race for the mark!
- Look at the way the wing segments are angled and adjusted second by second!
- Look at the way Alinghi's traveller is moving back and forth, adjusting for gusts!
- I think Alinghi's got a lift!
- BMW Oracle are pointing higher and going faster!
By saying these at random its possible to work on the important things - like admiring the delectable Sabine (only joking, big misunderstanding that, but banning yours truly from press conferences was a real over-reaction). If things slow put on a limey accent and pretend to be someone else!
But Buff, you ask, what happens when you say Alinghi are catching up when the VMG shows BMW Oracle extending their lead? No problem - just remember that half your audience aren't listening and the other half can't read the screen. In the unlikely event they are listening and can read and furthermore understand they will be feeling slightly smug, so everyone's a winner.
I heard one commentator recorded his selection on an iPhone and then put it on shuffle, which made me laugh. It reminded me of the Cup when old Bobbie (so sad, poor chap, unfortunate accident with his trusty pipe and a leaking gas tank) and I competed to see how many imaginary sailing terms we could make up and include in our descriptions of what then was those 12 metre boats.
Ah, happy days.....