October 16, 2023
Two women, one man anchor sailing coverage — without Gary Jobson
By David Pendered
Aug. 15 — “Is this the fastest Olympic class? Stay tuned!”
Who could resist the fevered pitch in an Aussie accent from Nic Douglass, aka The Sailor Girl, at the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships? Racing concludes Sunday.
Douglass is one of two women, and one man, who are among the emerging faces of Olympic sailing coverage as the sport resets in the North Sea with new boats and athletes in the post-pandemic era.
The ubiquitous Gary Jobson may appear on screen in the US when the 2024 Olympic sailing begins in Marseille, France. Jobson anchored sailing coverage for NBC in the Tokyo Games and NBCUniversal has the broadcast rights in the US for the 2024 Paris games.
Jobson has served as one of the great interpreters of the sport for the viewing audience. His sailing credentials are impeccable, including the 1977 America’s Cup, when he served as tactician for Ted Turner aboard the successful Courageous.
But for now, at The Hague, the reporting is anchored by three presenters who have sailing pedigrees and journalism experience — Douglass, a medalist in national races in Australia; Chris Museler, a journalist who’s won US Sailing championships, and Lily Xu, who sailed for China and won a gold medal in London and a bronze in Beijing for China, both in the Laser Radial.
These races are important. A total of 107 Olympic quotas across the 10 Olympic classes of boats will be determined this week. More than 1,200 sailors and 922 boats have gathered at the event.
Douglass delivers an energetic report and on Day 5 did her part to drum up interest in the live coverage that is to begin Wednesday. Here’s her patter:
- “We thought we’d give you a little bit of a behind the scenes look at our amazing Attack RIB. Not only do we have our drone, we have our eye in the sky. We also have our onboard camera and we’re going to be live from Wednesday the 16th to bring you all the action from out on the water as part of an amazing team.
- Douglass remained silent as footage rolled of kiteboarders presented in clear images that showed off the capabilities of the cameras Douglass had mentioned — the drone, the eye in the sky, and a camera on board the rigid inflatable boat.
- “Is this the fastest Olympic class? Stay tuned!”