Proposed Rule Change - Rhombus on women's sails

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by dyzzypyxxy, May 23, 2007.

  1. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    Give me a break! If I only wanted to race against other women, I certainly wouldn't choose to race Lasers, except for specific Olympic regattas where I would get a separate start. Since I am small, old and arthritic it's not likely I will sail any of those events, but . . . a Master's Worlds regatta still holds appeal.

    When I enter a regatta in a fleet of Rads in which there are 42 guys and 4 women, I expect to compete with 45 other sailors. Making those four female sailors display a "rhombus" on their sails would be a blantantly sexist move.

    Aren't there few enough women sailing regular Laser events already? Take a look at the entry list of the Masters event last weekend - one woman. I hoped when Radials became Olympic, it would encourage more women to continue racing Lasers past college. This kind of stupidity will discourage them, no doubt in my mind.

    I fought Jeff Martin about this ridiculous idea at the Masters Worlds in Chile in 1997 and ever since. There were two women racing Radials in the event that year. Five minutes into the practice day I knew my fellow female's sail number. When we got ashore, Jeff Martin presented Leslie and I with his red stickers to apply to our sails. I promptly - right in front of him - stuck it where it belonged, and sailed the regatta with it firmly stuck to the seat of my hiking pants.

    There obviously is no female representative on the Laser World Council at the moment. For this rule change proposal to get through to the voting stage, your WC members must have been asleep or . . . dare I suggest, in the wc.

    Come on, Guys! Sailing is one sport that has a relatively level playing field for men and women of comparable skill and size. Either race against us fair and square, or give us a separate start if you must segregate us.

    I know some guys have a lot of trouble with getting "beat by a girl". Get over it! As for me, I just want to race and I don't care if my competition is male or female. I came to compete and in Lasers the size of the fleet is a big part of the appeal.

    Lainie
     
  2. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Sorry, I'm a bit lost here. why would girl sailors want special marks on their sails ? (Maybe I'm not "liberated" or maybe not a "new man" but I thought they should be able to use the same sails as everybody else)


    Ian
     
  3. bel120343

    bel120343 New Member

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    hey, here in europe, a lot of girls sail laser. And they really care to see the other girls as fast as posible mainly for competing for the female ranking and the ticket to WC-EC. I dont think these girls see it as discrimination. The masters dont nag about there colored tape around their mast.
     
  4. HECS

    HECS New Member

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    What's the problem with having a sail marking? As Bel mentioned, we have to use them in some classes to denote Masters, and it's no problem. My girlfriend has women's markings on her sails and neither she nor the 3 time Olympian she bought the sails from has a problem with it.

    If you come to the Masters Worlds in Australia you'll have plenty of women to sail against. I think we had about 13 women in our Radial State Masters title alone, never mind the Nationals.
     
  5. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    Bel: Many girls sail Radials in NA, too. Surely for regattas that count for female rankings and WC-EC tickets, girls would be given a separate start? If not, then they should.

    I am a master and no, I do not nag about the colored tape - that is for scoring purposes, not to differentiate me from other age groups on the course while racing.

    What if your master age group was designated by a big sticker on your sail?

    What if you were racing a masters regatta and somebody in the apprentice group was trying to pass you to windward on a reaching leg. When you luff him, he says "but we are not even competing with each other". Do you then feel obliged to let him roll over you? I don't.

    When I start a race, I'm racing against everybody who started with me, not just the people who are the same age, or same sex as me. I paid the regatta entry fee to race with the whole fleet. If there are certain sailors in the fleet that I want to especially look for, I know their sail numbers.
     
  6. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    why on earth should women get a separate start? if its the NA's, World's, or Olympics, thats the only time there should be one, even then for NA's and Worlds, they have open, so its all good

    it all sounds kinda ridiculous to me, don't change the rule
     
  7. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Sorry, I don't understand how it's for scoring purposes. Any decent scoring program can figure out the age splits based on sail # alone. Last thing I would want to do if I am recording finishes is have to deal with two pieces of info for each finisher

    Agree for open events, but in Masters regattas, with the handicap scoring, it's much easier as a competitor to keep track of boats and points when everyone has their age group streamer/mast wrap or whatever designator.

    If the proposed marker helps the women in the same regard in a mixed fleet, I don't have a problem voting for it.
     
  8. whirlwind2

    whirlwind2 New Member

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    I don't have an opinion as to whether or not female and male sailors should be distinguished by sail markings. But if female sailors have to put something on their sail, then shouldn't male sailors also have to also?
     
  9. Garry

    Garry New Member

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    I always believed that 2 boats sailing in appoximately the same direction constituted a race. And I don't give a rats ass what age, sex, class or anything else I am going to do my damndest to beat them. It's up to the the time keepers to figure out who is who. If they need pink polka dots to figure it out then why should I worry about it, personally I think sail numbers work just fine.
     
  10. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    Hec, I do NOT want to sail against just women. I want to sail against everybody, all the time. You had 13 women racing in your Radial Masters Nationals, but how many sailors in the whole fleet? I don't want to go to that regatta to race against 13 women I want to race against 50 or 75 other Laser sailors.

    Making me put a sticker on my sail designates me as sailing in a sub-group consisting of women only. Just because a regatta chooses to give out a trophy for "1st Female" doesn't mean that's the prize I am racing for.

    Garry, you said it in a lot less words than I did - sail numbers work fine and when it comes down to it, that's what Race Committees record on the finish line.

    I see no good reason to segregate the fleet, and many reasons not to.

    Lainie
     
  11. whirlwind2

    whirlwind2 New Member

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    You've convinced me that no extra markings should be mandatory, because it is a form of discrimination. For that matter, so is scoring males and females separately. If every one sails as, and is scored as, one fleet there will be no discrimination, and the level of competition will rise.
     
  12. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Why pick on people based on sex??
    Let's give all the people who weigh under 200 lbs pink sails!!
     
  13. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Sorry, I get it now (thought the girls wanted their own private race). One good thing for the girls about having their own private races is that they will get better results (around me often coming 1st or 2nd - as there might only be one or two competitors !!).


    I agree 100% with the opinion that everybody should be able to race against everybody else and there should not be any small select group who can only race against their own sex !!. I'm lighter than some women, heavier than others; stronger than some, weaker than others. I find it interesting that I've noticed one girl sailing radials who is ranked much higher than the majority of men (sailing on the sea thus a bit more wind as well).


    Must confess I don't get a vote (the Laser Association here is a "money pit" and I've been unable to contact then for the last 5 months and regattas I want to do have said I am not alone in my opinions so for Lasers they don't require Class Assn Membership). However, from what I've read here I have the decided impression that the Class Association does not have enough to do with their time so they seem to keep wanting to interfere with things that are working perfectly well - which is daft in the extreme.


    If I had a vote I would vote against such changes. It works both ways (though is probably more important for the girls as male fleets would be larger). I would prefer to race against everybody (men and women) and thus have bigger fleets. Why split on sex. If you are going to split on sex, then why not on weight. Hang on, lets have a push-ups competition at the start of each regatta and the stronger group race against each other, etc. Better still, lets use hair colour, then you would not need to start sticking things on your sail.


    Ian
     
  14. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Maybe other fleets have adopted similar schemes !!


    http://uk.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/jch64uk/detail?.dir=/ffdare2&.dnm=cbb6re2.jpg&.src=ph


    Shows somebody competing with 2 women under over the age of 36, plus the skipper had a dog. In addition, their "category" is that they are competing against other two car families who own Chrysler SUVs. Apparently the green flag on the starboard shroud shows they are entered in the group with average crew income is in the $25 000 to $50 000 range. They won their "class" (being the only entrant) despite being unable to hoist any sails for the race due to all the other stuff they were required to display.


    Ian
     
  15. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    I'm going to focus just on the explanation given by the WC:
    >>>>>
    EXPLANATION: The requirement of a red rhombus on the sail has been ILCA policy at world and continental championships for a number of years. Since the Laser Radial was selected as Olympic equipment Women’s Laser Radial sailing has dramatically increased. At large multi Olympic class regattas and at our own class regattas it is helpful for sailors and race committee to identify different fleets. The Red Rhombus makes it easy to identify between men’s and women’s Laser Radial fleets and also between women’s Laser Radial fleets and men’s Laser Standard rig fleets.
    <<<<

    Again, I ask why is an additional marking needed by the RC. Sail # is all that should be needed. The last line is especially funny, if someone can't tell the diff between a Radial and Standard rig, perhaps they should not be competing or on the RC

    I understand that some here feel there shouldn't be mixed fleets with separate scoring and that everyone should be scored based as one fleet. But until that happens, no one here has really argued against the fact that it makes it easier for a competitor to keep track of their competition when they are sailing in mixed fleets, but being scored separatly.

    IMHO, all this would be a none issue and not nec if NO countries used mixed events to determine rankings,selection to national teams, Olympic reps for the Women's Radial designation.

    Lastly, no one has pointed out the fact that the placement of the rhombus makes anyone that has to put it on a much easier target to ID for the RC for being over the line at the start, and perhaps for drawing undue attention of judges during a race. Why not place it in the bottom panel near the leech, in conjunction with country ID..

    Oops, I just said Country ID - perhaps we can have another debate on why that should or shouldn't be needed.
     
  16. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    One aspect is that, as far as I am aware, a boat identifies only itself (i.e. a boat can be sailed by anybody). Thus sail number 123456 could be sailed by Mr. Blobby in one regatta and by Mrs. Blobby in another (the Blobby is a British thing). Thus, would they now require their own sails (with the same number ?) or is it a case of Mr. Blobby having to carry around a bottle of Acetone to clear up/off the Red sticker !!


    Re: Recognising Radials: In France Radials tend to have blue corners. I used to think it was just a clew but seem to be loads with all 3 corners with blue patches (I have a standard myself - at the moment). Thus the last line (from the above WC explanation) is a load of rubbish - there are already marking to distinguish between Standard and radial boats.


    Why can't these committees get on with addressing real issues rather than "creating issues".


    Ian
     
  17. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    One aspect is that, as far as I am aware, a boat identifies only itself (i.e. a boat can be sailed by anybody). Thus sail number 123456 could be sailed by Mr. Blobby in one regatta and by Mrs. Blobby in another (the Blobby is a British thing). Thus, would they now require their own sails (with the same number ?) or is it a case of Mr. Blobby having to carry around a bottle of Acetone to clear up/off the Red sticker !!


    Re: Recognising Radials: In France Radials tend to have blue corners. I used to think it was just a clew but seem to be loads with all 3 corners with blue patches (I have a standard myself - at the moment). Thus the last line (from the above WC explanation) is a load of rubbish - there are already very clear markings to distinguish between Standard and radial boats.


    Why can't these committees get on with addressing real issues rather than "creating issues".


    Ian
     
  18. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    I don't believe the class should allow male members to vote on this issue.
     
  19. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    I think that if you truly want to get rid of gender in Laser sailing then you need to take the Laser (men's singlehanded dinghy) and the Radial (women's singlehanded dinghy) out of the Olympics as those two designations have forced gender restrictions where there were none before. On the other hand, the Radial going Olympic has resulted in a large increase in women sailing Radials... so maybe it is worth trying to sort out the issues of having to occasionally deal with the separation of fleets and/or scoring?

    I believe that only in Europe are all the ISAF Grade 1 events sailed as separate fleets and only the ISAF grade 2 and lower events are mixed. On the other hand, here in North America we have only two events that are women only for the Radial: The Rolex Miami OCR and the Radial Women's North American Championship. The OCR is women only for Radials (and men only for Lasers) because US Sailing wants to emulate the major Euro OCR events. The Women's NA's was created as a separate event because we were allowed to create a new ISAF Grade 1 event which could then be sandwiched in between the OCR and MWE (making a circuit akin to the Spring Euro events) while letting us continue to move the Laser/Radial/4.7 (all mixed fleets) North Americans around the region. This ciruit has been quite successful with most of the top 20, or so, women in the world training for a month in Florida giving our North American sailors the opportunity to race against, and learn from, the best (well, actually maybe that goes the other way?).

    The rest of our events are mixed, including the two other ISAF Grade 1 events: MWE and CORK. As a sport, I think we have to be pretty happy with these events as the number of women racing is a high percentage of the total and it is a very level playing field. For example, about half of the gold fleet at the MWE were women where they took six of the top ten (and all of the top five) positions.

    Still, for these events, ISAF only cares about the finish positions of the women, some MNA's use these events for team rankings, etc. So, yes, there is often a regatta within a regatta at these events and it can be useful for the competitors to have a quick way to distinguish the people they really care about.

    Having some form of designation on a boat is nothing new to Laser sailing with very large fleets regularly broken into gold/silver/bronze divisions, Masters identified by age groups, etc. In each case, none of these designations have anything to do with scoring, but everything to do with identifying competitors on the water. For example, a large event may have 4 fleets running on one trapezoid, the PRO has an interest in starting fleets as soon as they have finished and having a designator on a boat helps them determine when all the boats in a given fleet have finished. Or, as already mentioned, the designators can help competitors know who their competition is when fleets "collide" (less common on trapezoids but still something that happens). And, of course, the designations also help the competitor remember what fleet they are in (I can have this problem at masters events...).

    Gender is one further designation that, whether we like it or not, became important with the Radial Olympic status. Since it doesn't change on a regular basis it is something that could be permanently affixed to the sail (the sail is best since you take the sail to an event where you can charter a boat). Or it could be another ribbon, band, etc., that is affixed temporarily as needed at a major event.

    The proposed rule change is something that has been ILCA policy for a number of years and was proposed as a rule change this year from outside the World Council (and,in particular, not from Jeff Martin). It is something that is done in other Olympic Classes, is also done in the Europe Class (and a number of Radial sailors have come from Europes), etc. And, finally, it only applies to certain classes of events, in particular those which are most likely to want some sort of designation.

    Still, as with all proposed rule changes, it is up to the class as a whole to vote it up or down. As usual, I encourage everyone out there reading this to join the Laser Class and then vote on this. A proposed rule change needs to pass by 2/3 majority of those voting so a clear majority of class members will need to think this is a good idea for it to become a class rule!
     
  20. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    RC's do not need any special designation to tell when, for example, a Masters category fleet have all finished. A quick count of the sail numbers they have recorded will tell them this. At big events, the RC routinely has a computer on board, and entry of any given sail number will put it into its class and tell you everything about the person sailing. The scoring program we use tells us any sail numbers that are missing from a given class.

    Women racing for rankings etc. are fully capable of recognizing their competition by sail number, hull color, clothing or other means, the same as the men do.

    I can be easily recognized by a big floppy red ponytail sticking out of the back of my hat. And my big mouth.

    Still, I thought it was a scandalous policy as previously noted, and I'm sure if there were a female member on the World Council this proposal would never have made it to a vote.

    Now, with less than 10% of members who usually vote, and class membership probably over 85% male, what are chances that those voting will even THINK about this rule change?
     

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