Ban Coach / Nannie Boats?? Already Illegal?

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

  1. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    thats pretty standard practice here vtgent49, and it's why I love it. If those basic and simple rules are set down in the SI's, there should be no problems.
     
  2. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    The guidelines for support boats you adopted are actually pretty much the same as were used by the French Hyeres (39th Olympic Regatta) (see http://sof.ffvoile.net/race/pdf/IC2007_gbr.pdf rule 25 and then modified further in Amendment http://sof.ffvoile.net/race/pdf/Notice_Amendment7.pdf - and they are in both English and French).

    They only had 182 support boats to deal with (support boats were charged to register and had to provide the sail numbers for all competitor boats they were supporting). Note that the amendment adds some restrictions such that a competitor is allowed no more than one support boat in certain areas at certain times !!

    Controlling them is only one aspect though. In a regatta, what is their true function. To provide refreshment and relaxation facilities to those with money ? If so then they certainly bias things in favour of the wealthier (hardly one design - the individual wins or loses). To train - well we are talking about open meetings/regattas here not training events.

    Ian
     
  3. Mawill

    Mawill New Member

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    Hey,

    Having been a 'Coach' for the local club, we had to follow some pretty strict rules - namely - you could watch from outside the racing area, and you were not allowed to talk to individual boats during the race.

    In fact we were mostly put to work handing out lunches, helping boats that had issues etc. The rest of the time was spent looking through binos trying to find the kiddies. It was a pretty good system and most seemed to follow it. That way, I could see what was going on and help folks along whilst no interferring with the race. Seems to me that this was a win for everyone - this was mostly in local regattas.

    On the other hand, when I was sailing larger regattas, a few years ago, the number of 'coach' boats was staggering. I am not sure when it changed, but it went from a few sailing instructors trying to make a few more bucks by workign the weekend, to full on parent boats with all the comforts.

    Coaching is great, and it is too bad that not everyone can get it. But coaching from the moment the boat leaves the shore the morning of the race to the moment they hit the shore is not kosher and should be clearly laid out in the SI's as VTGent suggested.

    Sadly, seeing as parents are now setting up meetings with College Professors, I doubt this will get better any time soon - at least until the current crop of overprotective, pressure filled, goal driven parents are replaced by the kids they hover over (and who really just want to be left alone)

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  4. Mawill

    Mawill New Member

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    I was reading the rules in the link provided, and the one thing I think should be out is

    "12. Between sequences of races or when all racing for that course area has been postponed
    abandoned, coach boats may enter the racing area to service their athletes."

    keep in mind that a coach boat can easily get the weather on the VHF, then when 'Servicing' their atheletes (I am trying to resist crude remarks here ;-) I am sure that no coach alive would mention any thing about a lefty or a righty coming in!!!!


    Of course, the only electronic thing I am not allowed any more is my IPOD.

    Damn, there goes my advantage​


     
  5. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Wow. I need more popcorn to read the rest of this...

    My original post was edited a few times to make it have brevity and edginess..."fight starter qualities."


    Edited out>>>

    I HAVE had the benefit of a coach boat. A few times I have sailed in events where we had a flating supply boat just for a few of us. I knew damn well I had a huge advantage over anybody who didn't have the same advantage.

    I used the nannie boat to get the exact fluids I wanted, a better lunch than anybody else, and I switched from light weight to heavy weight gear as the days went on and the wind built.

    No way in hell it was fair sailing.

    Unfortunatly it is like any other arms race. If I go to a major event and I care how I do, I ALWAYS arrange on the water help.

    I think it is not fair.

    I think singlehanded competition demands equal challenges for all the competitors or is is less fun and certainly less of a fair contest between competitors.

    Yes, some of us bring better boats and equipment than others. But we have rules governing that particular arms race.

    The coach boat arms race is unlimited. The indoor movie studio with surround sound replay of the race while being massaged, fed, shown subliminal suggestions to make hiking painless, while receiving personal coaching is legal now.
    Your nanny can even buff and polish your boat....give you a dry change of undies...

    Someday, the above could be less than the minimum necessary to keep up with the competition.

    It is past time to regulate between race outside assistance.
     
  6. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    The US Sailing Olympic Trials (ongoing as of 10/06/07) have detailed rules regarding both spectator and coach boats. Please check the respective websites for details.
     
  7. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    So what is your point?

    Is it that personal assistance must be tightly controlled and acceptance of any help that is not available to all competitors must always be illegal unless there is a clear description of the conditions by which it may be given and received in the NOR??

    I would agree.
     
  8. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Probably depends on what one is trying to control.

    Stopping these coach boats getting in the way of people racing is probably relatively easy and most would agree with it (provided race committees are prepared to e.g. penalise the yachts being coached for infringements of rules by their "assistance").

    It is probably the between races on-water R&R facilities they provide that would be more controversial and harder to regulate against. To me, having private R&R facilities is a function of money. Thus the R&R yu get is a function of money. Thus how relaxed and recovered you are at the start of the 2nd (and subsequent) races is a function of money - and in a physical sport, being well recovered and refreshed is going to give you quite an advantage. However, those receiving such advantages are unlikely to give them up easily (as their results might then not be to their liking).

    Ian
     
  9. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Yes, that's what I had in mind. Or, in other words, the mommy/nanny boat problem is being addressed as we consume all this bandwidth.
    A perfect, one-size-fits all, solution probably doesn't exist and shouldn't be legalized anyway, IMHO. For instance, an opti regatta is SO different from an Olympic trials event. But the NOR/SIs can spell out conditions appropriate to the event. vtgent49 thought things over and came up with, what seems to me, a reasonable solution for that particular event (see his earlier post). Perfect, perhaps not; I wasn't there. But as stated, the issue is being addressed. I just hope that it will be addressed at all appropriate future events.

    PS: In my next Masters event I will ask my support boat to have my Dark and Stormy ration ready, at the appropriate temperature (!), as soon as the AP over H flags go up. Since the racing is over at that point, I shouldn't be charged with a rule 41 infraction :) .
     
  10. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Prepare thyself for a mugging by 300 old thirsty old crabby old guys
     
  11. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I don't have kids myself but can appreciate parents being a bit concerned about their kids going out to sea for a race and wanting to be close by to help. I can appreciate this for children when first starting in e.g. Optimists, etc. but I would also expect that those organising such events would appreciate the safety issues and ensure their facilities are more than adequate.

    However, by the time these kids get to start going out into Laser fleets I would have thought they would have been moderately capable of being safe and that the rescue/safety services provided by the regatta organisers would be adequate.

    In fact, were their an incident, would a parent rushing in with their private RIB (and probably panicking) actually help or hinder the rescue services (even if the parents "know boats", etc.)

    Are there parents here who feel then must go out in RIBs to ensure the safety of their kids ? I imagine it can be difficult when kids go out on their "own" (i.e. without parents to ensure their safety) but I also imagine that it is very important for the kids' development - time to be out on their own, etc.

    Ian
     
  12. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    And gals! We mug for beer after a day of sailing, too! :D
     
  13. Michelle

    Michelle New Member

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    We sure do, Merrily! My favorite support boat of all time was at the 2005 Masters US Nationals at Severn SC; right after the finish of the last race they were giving anyone who wanted one a cold beer for the long drift back in. It was a beautiful thing!

    Most of the parents I know that go out in support boats just want to watch the racing, and you can't fault them for that. Strict rules that are enforced seem to do the trick 90% of the time keeping them out of the way, although if you bang a corner or go wide on a downwind leg you can find yourself getting at least wake interference from the parade. This is, as already pointed out, a totally different subject from getting advantageous coaching and info during a regatta. I personally prefer to go to clinics, learn new stuff and practice it and apply it at regattas, rather than have a coach there telling me which way to go. Maybe it's an age thing I'm 'old' and independent.
    My ex used to try to coach me at regattas and I had this alarming tendency to tell him to stuff it; I needed to figure it out on my own.
     
  14. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    Ross, It's accepted that the pure one-design aspect of the Laser is supposed to make it a level playing field for all, so that the best sailor wins. Further, it's true that sailors who regularly have coaching are probably better sailors. However, there's no question whatsoever that having a coach boat or "support" boat available during a regatta gives a competitor an advantage. That's WHY the top Olympians all MUST have one.

    The Laser Trials, going on right now in Newport, have, I'd bet 2/3 of the fleet supported by a coach or "support" boat. Those other 11 sailors without such support are going to be so much more tired, must be more organized, and must carry all their various clothes, food, drink, and wisdom with them. Unfair advantage?? You betcha. Just the tow, to and from the racing area is a huge boost.

    The most glaring example of this that I have personally seen was at the 2000 Trials in San Francisco. The Lasers and Europes sailed out of SFYC, but the racecourses were on the Berkeley Circle. Give or take an hour's sail to the course, and back again in cold, windy weather with killer current. To their credit, the Laser fleet coaches made sure that everyone who asked got a tow most days if the tide was flooding.

    Not so in the Europes! Every day we witnessed Courtenay Becker-Dey being ferried out to the course and back again in a large, fast, cushy RIB with the dinghy strapped across the bow. Never once did they offer anyone else a tow. She won the regatta handily, but, who knows? If she had to get up an hour earlier, and sail an extra 2 hours each day like most of the other women, would she have won?

    At the Trials, contact with coach boats is restricted in the SI's to a certain amount of time before the first Warning signal, until after the last race of the day is finished. Still, you can't tell me it's a level playing field for the guys who are out there all on their own.

    On the other hand, it's going to be impossible to regulate parents like your Larchmont Mom who just want to be out there watching their kids sail. I'd say the idea of separate fleets for the "haves" and "have-nots" might be how it should be handled.

    From the standpoint of regatta organization, would we EVER love to see the masses of coach and "mommie" boats disappear! Last summer we hosted the Opti Nat's and it was a complete zoo! No problems with the kids and their Optis, but you should have heard some of the parents when it came time to dock everybody.

    Then there are folks like Phillippe and Shark Kahn. The year Shark won the Melges Worlds in San Fran, their boats were trucked in, towed out and back to the Berkeley Circle, rigged and de-rigged by the professional crew. They were conveyed to the race course on board the 90-foot yacht with the hot tub and gourmet chef. By the end of the regatta they were fresh as daisies, and their sails had at least 10 hours less blustery wear and tear than everyone else's. How 'bout THAT for an unfair advantage? True, the Melges Class has a "Corinthian" division for those of us who actually rig and sail our own boats. I guess that makes it ok, huh?

    Dyz
     
  15. MasterMike

    MasterMike D22

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    Exactly - without some basic training and control, it's a dangerous situation.

    Another perspective: In youth soccer (through high school), we keep everyone 10' off the side of the field for the duration of the event. No one is allowed to run out with Gatorade or advice (they can and do shout it). Except for little kids and a serious injury, parents are strongly discouraged from running onto the field - there are trained people to handle it.

    It would be a similar situation to making most kids walk from home to the fields with all their gear while the others got rides and had their cleats put on.

    Here's an idea for the rest of us:
    ONE official floating porta-potty with a deli / pub, parked at an agreed location!
     
  16. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    As I also said on SA:

    Gov, there is only one way it can work, so everyone has an equal opportunity:

    Every regatta will be held at a different location, on some place on this planet. No regatta shall EVER be held in the same place. And it shall have to made sure that no one has been there before, absolutely 100% virgin locations, this way, no one has local knowledge.

    Every competitor shall have a brand spankin new boat for each individual race, fresh out of the factory, and rigged to factory setting, no customization allowed, everything is the same, from the factory. And the boats shall be rigged by certified class measurer's at the regatta site, and the sailors are not allowed to touch them till race time. Since you get a new all up boat each individual race, they are as fresh as possible, always stiff, and sails are as new as possible.

    There is a specific diet that must be followed the week before the regatta, and during the regatta. Also a certain amount of gym time is alloted the week before, and you must sleep a certain number of hours each night. This way, each competitor should be in the same physical shape come regatta time.

    And to keep it really fair, all sailing clothing is provided for for that specific regatta, and take back after the regatta, and destroyed.

    No coach boats, no spare gear on the water, no power bars or Gatorade on the water, in fact, no drinking water while on the water, no pissing while on the water. No use of drugs of any sort ( prescription or illegal) while on the water, or during the regatta period.

    Also, you shall have to follow the RRS.


    These are what I believe to the basic guidelines for if you want racing to be as fair and equal as possible. If you do it any other way, its just not fair
     
  17. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    ...This message has been a party political broadcast from The Peoples Communist Republic of Orange County...

    :D


    :cool:


    I think if you have to go that far then the class has provided itself with ample examples of the "cheating" that its own rulebook goes to nearly unintelligent lengths to spell out.
     
  18. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    hey, like I said, any other way, and its not fair.

    everything is provided for, and you follow the rules to a dot, exercise, diet, etc..
    no one would have any advantage

    can anyone else think of a perfect way to do it?
     
  19. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Yes,

    restricted fleet sizes, more attention to course placement, regatta organisation and location. That shifts the emphasis from regulating the competitor to having the comittee use the tools they already have and making the life of the competitor easier instead of making their own life easier. That's not to say all RC's and events are run by lazy bums.
     
  20. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    or you could do that, what ever works lol

    so then what, no fleet bigger than 10 boats?
     

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