Ban Coach / Nannie Boats?? Already Illegal?

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by gouvernail, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    So. Is it singlehanded sailboat racing?

    or is it a sailboat race between stops at your personal nannie's floating lounge?

    How the hell is it sensible to ban all sorts of equipment based upon one design and price and accessability and within our rules to allow a staffed personal $20,000 nannie boat?

    I think the nannie boat is absolutely NOT mentioned as legal in the class rules and therefore I must believe it is an illegal piece of equipment.

    How the hell can it be a fair contest when some of the "INDIVIDUAL" competitors are made up of a sailor, a Laser, a powerboat, a food and liquid supply, weather radios, Radios tuned to the RC, spare clothing, spare parts, a comfy matress, a spouse and or a girlfriend or boyfriend or all three.

    It certainly seems a SINGLEHANDED contest would include ZERO outside support or coaching of any sort from the moment the competitor's meeting begins until the close of the time for filing protests.

    Yes, the WITNESSED conversation would be, "Hi Mom. I'm on shore. I'm alive. Sorry I can't let you talk to me until after the regatta because that would be cheating. Bye."

    Certainly, without a witness, you could not ethically make that call.
     
  2. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    Maybe I've been biased because I've had the opportunity have coachboats. but only in certain ways: 1: Junior Programs 2: traveling to races as part of my YC'c team. The YC sends one of the coaches and a boat, and they are out there to help us yada yada yada. 3: As part of the CISA team. You apply for a grant from CISA for the Orange Bowl for $500, which helps with boat charter, airfare, etc. And they provide coaching and such. In the cases of 2 and 3, you don't pay for coaching. The only time I have ever paid for private coaching is in private practice. If one of my YC's coaches isn't at a race, I can usually bum off another coach, and get him to carry some of my stuff, gimme a tow, some advice, how was I doing etc, but I usually don't because it sometimes a pain.

    For all you that are so against it, have you ever had it? How can you be so against it without ever having it, and reaping all the benefits.

    Like Bruce says: "If you have it, you don't need it. If you need it, you don't have it." "But the point is, if you've never had any of it, ever, people just seem to know"
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Af1OxkFOK18

    But seriously, be a little more open to things, and go get yourself some coaching, somehow, some way, just do it, it'll make you a better sailor
     
  3. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]I don't think this is about coaching or coach boats and the like. Its about outside assistance. Help with air fares, coaching whilst out practising (even with others also being coached, etc.) is fine and I'm sure helps some.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]For me there are several aspects.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]1) When it comes to a regatta you are "on your own". You have done your practice, done your preparation, etc. and now its time to test your skills, etc.. It is a single handed event and that is what is should be. You should be competing against others on an equal basis. It is about who is a fitter, better, more skilled , etc. sailor. Having long breaks with a personal masseurs between races whilst others are struggling to stay out of the water is somewhat unequal and is only a function of money.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]2) Also, having them buzzing around watching during a race is a pain and dangerous. As I commented in a different thread there have been very very serious incidents where a coach boat has permanently invalided somebody (cannot find links to the reports - but others may know). Probably other incidents.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]3) Collision Regulations - when out racing you are always under two different sets of collision regs - those between boats racing and those where you (racing) meet a vessel not racing. Normally, when racing you don't have to worry too much about vessels not racing. Unless that is there are loads of them buzzing in and around your course. so if somebodies coach boat gets in you way and messes you up can you protect the Laser(s) the boat was employed by. Could it even be interpreted as a Rule 69 infringement.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Thus, at events I think they should be banned. In the private of your own practice, training, etc. then fine. I'm sure they are useful to some and I have no problem with people receiving coaching (given or employed), no problem with them receiving grants, donations, sponsorship, etc. It's just that there is a time and a place for that stuff and mid-way through a day's racing is neither the time nor the place.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Ian[/FONT]
     
  4. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow, flyin' high!

    Seriously, you make some interesting points, G. A well written NOR could ban such aid, but would you lose a lot of sailors at your regatta by doing so?
     
  5. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    I kind of feel the same way about judge's boats. For close to century this sport was self-policing. Obviously there needs to be a comittee boat and a mark/safety boat. Any other vessel in the course - be it a coaching boat, judge's boat, or Fort Sumter tour boat - is a distraction and a danger.
     
  6. RandyBreen

    RandyBreen New Member

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    try living inland, im 17 years old, my school has no sailing team, my club has no junior program, and my family too poor to send me somewhere to get coached, and your asking ME to be openminded?
     
  7. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm happy for people to get all they coaching that they can manage, except during a race, of course. It's the comforts that a coach boat provides that seems unfair.
     
  8. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    I agree 100% with Gouvernail. This has been discussed before at Proper Course where, in the comments, I advocated the outright ban of "Mommy Boats," or dividing the scoring (or even the fleet itself) into two categories; the coached or outside help group (A.K.A the "Trainee Fleet", and the uncoached or independent group (A.K.A. the "Yachtsman Fleet").

    In the comments "Larchmont Mom" posted:

    To which I responded with a parody post, as "Mommy Boat Driver," that expresses many of my feelings on the topic:

    Although I intended the post as a joke, I have since seen coaches do many of the above for their sailors. I find the outside knowledge of wind and current that many coaches provide their sailors particularly annoying.
     
  9. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    seriously, this is ridiculous

    next thing you guys are going to complain that the rules state what car you can and can not tow you laser with, as per the rules

    wait!

    the rules never said you could tow your laser!

    oh no!!! :(
     
  10. Cindy Taylor

    Cindy Taylor Member

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    I've been at a disadvantage because of the coach boats. In particular during a D13 race last year in Sarasota where the coach boats would race around the course watching their sailors handle the marks then take off to the next mark. They really messed up the waves on the reaches for the mid fleet sailors. Then between races there was one coach boat that could care less about other sailors, he just wanted to get to his sailors and talk to them. There was one time I had to get out of the way of the coach boat because of that. And finally on Sunday, between races, when it was windy & wavy as I was drinking water the wind blew my water bottle out of my hands into the cockpit. I was trying to get the water bottle but the wind was blowing me to another Daddy boat. Well I ended up losing the bottle overboard because I had to get out of the way of the Daddy boat.

    I love Master Laser racing, no coach boats there....
     
  11. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    My position is that any contact with a coach boat on the water during a regatta constitutes outside assistance, and is therefore a violation of the racing rules.

    You can be in the "Trainee Fleet" if you want to be, Ross. But if you can race with the big boys without stopping for a rest on a coach boat then we'd be happy to have you with us in the "Yachtsman Fleet."
     
  12. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    That kind of thing happens all the time. In a recent regatta, I actually had to yell at a coach boat that was following the radial fleet upwind because he went right through the full-rigs as we were going downwind. There is no reason for coaches to be anywhere near boats when they are racing or within 1/2 a mile of the start line between races.
     
  13. SailNC

    SailNC New Member

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    Ross, I think once again that you are missing the point. Nobody is arguing that coaching won't make you a better sailor (quite the opposite in fact). The issue is that the added comfort and situational intelligence from an on the water support team un-levels the playing field. If coach boats are going through the additional step to indicate favored courses, that's just plain cheating. It's a little Pollyannaish of you to assume that people choose not to hire a coach because they are "against it."
     
  14. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    so what do you have have to say to all the olympians that hire coaches for Trials and the Olympics? and everyone in other classes that uses them for worlds and nationals?
     
  15. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    Coaching, like practice sails, is fine during practice sessions. Once racing begins, coaching has no place. The "Olympians" (they are not actually Olympians until they have competed in the Olympics) who use coach boats during big time regattas are only justified in their actions because everyone else is doing it. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it right.

    What we are really complaining about is the use of coach boats at district level regattas. Most "Olympians" could show up at these regattas, take a club boat off the rack and win every race without a coach boat.

    Part of amateur singlehanded sailing is self sufficiency, using a coach boat during a day of racing removes that self sufficiency and diminishes the validity of any success that sailors using them attain.
     
  16. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Whilst being against them (for reasons above), maybe an intermediate step between banning them and allowing them would make their sailing team responsible for the coach boats actions. Thus, they get in the way of another boat (as per SailChris' experience above), then the entire team associated with the boat has infringed the rule (i.e. coach boat not racing interferes with a boat racing - 720's for all those associated with that coach boat and, as per RRS if they don't do them pretty quickly then disqualification). Coach boat found wrong in a protest then the entire associated team is also found wrong and they all take the penalty handed out.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Personally I would say get rid of them (even if only on safety grounds). At least ban them from the race area during racing (e.g. must stay outside a circle round the centre of the course radius to the marks plus half a mile) - break that and the entire team is disqualified from the race. Maybe just say they must stay at least 500m from any boat out racing, preparing to race or waiting to race again (notice the "small print" there).[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Of those who organise regattas where coach boats arrive, how many people would not attend it they were not allowed their coach boats out on the water stalking them ?[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Ian[/FONT]
     
  17. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    Why would you do that ? Using different cars to tow your Laser has no real impact on your performance for a day's racing. However, having your private recuperation suite following you around out on the water during a regatta does. It think it is the aspect of some with money available using that money to have additional on-the-water advantages plus the distraction/safety issues.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Ian[/FONT]
     
  18. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    I think you would say something along the lines of "Glad you are taking your training seriously but your coach boats are not allowed out on the water buzzing around the fleet and you are not allowed to provide on-the-water assistance". Of course they (and anybody else) can set-up and do their own private training with coach boats as and when they want wherever - just not during a regatta.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Not too complex and should be understandable.

    Ian
    [/FONT]
     
  19. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    YES! I hate the way the descend on the fleet after a race ends, like flies to a corpse. I should not have to alter my post-race routine, or pre-start routine to avoid getting tangled up with coach boats and their strings of unmanned boats.

    This is where the shame factor comes in. If the sailors are notified at the skippers meeting that coach boats are not allowed, will all the coached sailors refuse to sail? I doubt it. If they are given the choice of being scored in the "Trainee Fleet" or the "Yachtsman Fleet" based on their use of coach boats, which would they choose?
    Coach boats, in most cases (except for true "Trainees"), are a pure luxury. Laser sailors can do without them.
     
  20. vtgent49

    vtgent49 Member

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    This is a valid topic, I believe. And I'm of a mixed mind on it, at this point.

    I have seen all of the problems Chris mentioned in his parody. And I've seen many good reasons to allow them (assuming for a sec that there was some way to ban them, which I doubt). The extreme example is watching the A Cuppers drop a chute in the water, rather than struggle to get it in late!

    Re. the Gouv original question, "while racing" is clearly defined in the RSS. In addition, the SI's can restrict coach boats, and even threaten penalties to the racers for infractions by the coaches.

    Before the recent US Nats, I requested CB guidelines from the Class and others. None were available, but some new ideas have been tried, and were discussed. So, we did our own, and placed them in the SI's, where they had some voice of authority. Each was required to register, display a numbered flag, stay outside the entire Trapezoid while any class was racing, and be available to assist anyone when requested by VHF. We provided trash bags, so all would help collect empty bottles, etc, from anyone. And we charged for dockage, etc. but supplied lunches and water to coaches, plus on shore meals. We also had them pull out at another location, to lessen the Sunday night scramble.

    All but one complied cheerfully, and assisted in many ways when asked. One has been told to not return to our Club, after arguing for hours about our "authority" etc.

    We also offered rides on spectator boats for boat-less parents. Many loved this, and quite a few didn't even bother.

    So, I'm presently For CBs, with restrictions. They can help get Juniors out to races they could never get to if their parents had to be available. They can help when needed. And I feel that most want to evolve the CB guidelines into a standardised form that works for both Coaches and RC's. Having a coach isn't that different from Little League or Soccer teams, etc. And as RC, I'd rather deal with Coaches than parents.....just like umpires at a Little League game.

    I also don't believe that Lasers should be sent out for 6-7 hours without water/snacks from the RC. That clearly gives the coached sailors an advantage, and it's just plain cruel, in my mind. Apparently, it's common at a lot of big regattas.

    The US Trials has an interesting document, that might be useful to others:

    http://www.ussailing.org/olympics/OlympicTrials/pdf/coach_boat_regulations_2007_trials_AMEND.pdf


    Al
     

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