More Sport, Less Rubbish

I like sport. I like competing, I like watching it and I love nail-biting finishes where you’re uncertain if your favorite is going to win or be defeated. Unfortunately, sport has baggage.

Currently, the Rio 2016 Olympics are underway, and it may be potentially the most controversial Olympics in human history. Preceding the games, all the media talked about was doping, which was disappointing. Hundreds if not thousands of athletes had prepared tirelessly for years to compete, and rather than this, the actions of a few dominated. Which is a great shame. The saddest thing about it was the amount of trust that was lost in hard working athletes. Rightly so, cheats were penalised, but it’s another case of news outlets focusing on the bad because it’s what sells, to the detriment of the achievements of the athletes competing and sport as a whole.

Formula One aggravates me intensely. I love cars and I love motorsport. But Formula One has a culture of rules which in my opinion make the sport worse. Regulations dictate practically every aspect of the car and I’m not saying we should deregulate the sport, these regulations are what keep the drivers alive, but arguably the period when Formula One was at it’s most popular was the mid Seventies, when monstrosities like this were on the prowl:

Image from Wikipedia

6 wheels. Because they could. Conversely, back in 2010 we had the “Kneegate” controversy, where regulations limited the use of active aerodynamics (essentially moving bodywork) and so McLaren added a small vent to their car which was activated by the movement of the drivers knee which essentially increased overtaking ability and this caused a storm as McLaren had blatantly sidestepped the FIA regulations to win.

F-Duct McLaren
Image from and more information available at formula1-dictionary.net

Not too surprising then that with this level of pettiness that Formula One has lost a third of it’s viewership since 2008. Bummer.

Recently I’ve had some interactions with the America’s Cup, specifically with the Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing team, and the America’s Cup seemingly have a far better attitude. There are regulations of course which dictate things such as the size of the boats, but teams have enough freedom that while taking this photo, I wasn’t alone.

BAR HQ and Test Boat

In fact on a nearby pier there was someone from another team taking plenty of photos as well in an attempt to see what the BAR team were doing and see if there was anything they could learn and use themselves, very sneaky.

Regulations are needed in sport to make things fair, but the regulations should not impede the sport and in my opinion, there are too many which do. In turn there is too much utter rubbish surrounding sport half the time and I just want to enjoy it. Please let me.