Proposed Rule Change - Rhombus on women's sails

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

  1. sorosz

    sorosz Member

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    I think this idea doesn't go far enough and Gouv's idea for all the lightweight pikers is a great start; -- all the newbies should be required to have "student driver" on their sails (or a red "L" in the UK). The clumsy could have a silhouette of Homer Simpson on their sails. The guys who follow the rules only when it suits them should be required to have a snake or a skull & crossbones on their sail, or perhaps the shape of the rear end of a donkey. Maybe Masters on up should have to replace their sail window with a new, bi-focal sail window. A beer mug shape should be required on the sails of all the guys who will drain the keg so you know who you have to beat back to the bar if you want to get a drink. . .

    With a little thought, I'm sure we could come up with a whole lot more categories and labels. We should try for so many that those of us who might fall into several categories will be out there with sails that look like NASCAR refugees.

    Or maybe it's all just a scam for whoever makes those rhombuses (rhombi?) to siphon off more Laser sailor's hard earned money.
     
  2. Scott B

    Scott B Member

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    I love it!

    But not the rhombus.
     
  3. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I wonder if the issues are being confused (certainly seems to be from SFBayLaser's post). The two separate questions that are being merged into one are:
    1st question: should the girls and boys be allowed to race together and compete against each other
    2nd question: should the girls have badges clearly visible so everybody can see who they are


    They are definitely separate issues and to resolve the problems need to be treated as such.
    To deal with the two issues separately:


    1st Question: Should boys and girls compete against each other
    Personally I can see little reason why not. Bigger fleets, better competition, etc. However, this question does not require action by the class. If somebody organises a regatta where the boys and girls are to be kept apart (sounds like some extreme religious group !), then people will vote with their feet. Maybe they will get loads more entries, maybe far fewer - but all without any voting or actions by the Class. Sort of self regulating. Personally I would rather attend regattas where there are more people to compete against so would be less likely to attend a sexually segregated event. However, this is more likely to affect the girls as they would probably suffer from smaller fleets to a greater extent so the actual effect of the "you can't play together" would be to discourage the girls.


    2nd Question: Should girls wear clear badges so we can all identify them
    Well, nobody has really given any justification for this. Of course people know who they are competing against. And as SFBayLaser says, separate fleets rarely get mixed-up. Nobody has said who this is intended for. There were some comments about race committees needing to know but these have been countered (and are weak justifications anyway). Then its the girls who need to know which boats have other girls in (but they say they don't). So it comes back down to SFBayLasers comment "The proposed rule change is something that has been ILCA policy for a number of years". To be honest the more I find out about the Laser Class Associations the less impressed I am and less inclined I am to join. If I was a girl and was forced to buy my "rhombus" (expected retail price $250 - as the Laser Class Association will be taking its cut in return for a red button to show the rhombus is class legal) I would use the clenched fist with middle finger pointing skywards (maybe an appropriate alternative symbol which maybe somebody should propose as a change to the class rules !!).


    If I sound cynical then yes, I am becoming increasingly cynical


    Ian
     
  4. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I also notice that whilst the Class Association explanation identifies it as something relating to the Laser Radial, the proposed rule change applies to ALL Lasers. Is this a deliberate error or just something that has "slipped through". Our rule makers need to be very careful in selecting their wording. "Lose wording" can cause a lot of problems and I would have no confidence in a Class that was not very careful chosing its words.


    Ian
     
  5. MasterMike

    MasterMike D22

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    Miss Dizzy makes a strong point.

    It's easy to distinguish between standards and radials.
    One knows whose competitors are whom.
    If it's an Olympic-level competition, there is a separate start anyway.
    The scoring is done by sail number.

    I was quite surprised when I saw only two females entries at NC. That should change.
     
  6. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    shirts and skins.
     
  7. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    How much does it cost the Class to have a vote on things like this. I ask as there seem only two things; taping the mast together (hardly major) and this daft idea. If it costs more than $10 to run a vote, I would suggest the Class are wasting their (or rather the members) money.


    Ian
     
  8. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    This is getting off topic but... I appreciate that you guys have a great team at Sarasota with a lot of experience running big events there. Still, I don't know of many finish boats that can record finishes, enter them into a computer then transmit that information to the start line boat so they know they can roll into a sequence - while continuing to record finishes for the other fleets. When I've been on finish line boats for big events it was more work than I could have ever imagined just to get the finishes when the boats come rolling in.

    When you have 200 boats divided into four fleets and are running an event in wind, waves, perhaps cold temperatures, you don't want boats sitting and waiting until all fleets have finished. As soon as all boats in one fleet are finished you want to roll into a sequence for that fleet.

    Do you need designators on the boats (e.g. colored bands on masts at a Master worlds) for the RC? Perhaps there are other ways to do it (like what you guys do in Sarasota), but fleet designators can provide a simple and quick way for the RC to know that there are still boats belonging to a given fleet out on the course.

    I can only relate my own experience of sailing in Master's events where I find that, especially early in the regatta, I don't necessarily know all (most) of my competitors and I find the bands very useful, especially when we start to get mixed up with another fleet. When I first started sailing big Master's events I was told it was for the RC but now I think it is also useful for the competitors.

    You know, there is a guy I used to race against down in Monterey who had long red hair that he would tie up in a pony tail while racing. He is older now and cut his hair so you two probably wouldn't get confused anymore...

    Lainie, my purpose in posting to this thread is not to advocate that anyone vote for or against this particular proposal but, rather, to try to address, where I can, some of the questions and/or issues that seem to be popping up.

    If you think this is a bad rule then I would really encourage you to join the class and vote against it. More than anyone else you should understand how hard it is to get any rule to pass and know that it does not take many no votes to defeat a proposal.

    As for the rest of the class, I think you should have more optimism in the class membership's ability to consider these things. Fortunately for us, the people who do vote DO take the time to think about these things.

    By the way, you are correct, about 85% of the North American membership is male...
     
  9. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Actually, I disagree that this is even a valid question. What was obviously not clear from my post is that in North America, with the exception of two events and for the reasons given, ALL Laser Class events (Standard, Radial, 4.7) are open to ALL competitors. Fleets may be divided for seeding into gold/silver or, if we should be so lucky to get so many masters to turn out, masters events may be divided by age division but fleets are not split by gender.

    We're having great success with our Radial events, with now 96 boats signed up for the North Americans next month of which about 1/3 are female (and this with none of the top women sailors yet entered). The competition is good with results very evenly mixed, for example at the MWE this year about half the gold fleet was female with women taking 5 of the top 5 and 6 of the top 10 positions.

    This is off topic but I'm curious... just exactly how much of a "cut" do you think the Laser Class gets for "the red button"?
     
  10. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    It costs the time it takes for Zac Hiller to make this web page where people can cast their votes. Zac ran a web company before coming to ILCA, he is pretty good with this stuff and I bet it did not take much of his time to make this page.

    And it costs the time it takes to fill a half page in Laser World where there is a mail in ballot if you prefer snail mail.

    I'd not be so quick to belittle the other proposal. My initial reaction to taping the mast joint was probably similar to yours. But, apparently, there are people who have a problem with the mast rotating, somehow, so the infamous rivet points in the wrong direction leading to the risk of a broken mast. Not my personal experience but there were definitely WC members in strong support of this one.
     
  11. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    So why bother with rhombuses (and why was the issue of helping race committees stated as a justification for a permanent fixture to the sail) ?


    I have no idea but a lot of Laser sailors in the US seem quite disappointed with the cost of Class approved sails. I suppose I am becoming more and more cynical about the Laser Class Association. Great boats, but the Class Association seems to have "issues". Its off topic but I feel I should justify some of my previously expressed frustrations. In my own country (of residence) after 5 months I have been unable to establish contact with the Class Association (or rather to get any response from them). True I could download the membership application, send it in with a cheque and they would cash it - but I thought Class Associations were about more than being a "money pit". In many areas of life people seem to think they have to keep tweaking things, even when there is nothing wrong with it. Maybe people should do a bit more "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Take something working fine and tinker with it - and normally you wont improve it.


    Sorry if I'm going off topic above but some things really do get frustrating (not this proposed rule change specifically but dealing (or failing to deal with) Class Associations. You try and it can be like knocking your head against a brick wall. However, in truth, not being a member of a Class Association I really have little or no right to express opinions of rules.


    Ian
     
  12. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Well, remember that I am describing policy in North America, not the rest of the world. And anything I've offered is really to serve as an example of how a designator on a boat can be useful. On the other hand, we seem to have survived this long without a red rhombus in our events here, I'm sure we can continue to move forward if the rule doesn't pass. And... if the rule does pass, I bet, as with country codes, we will look the other way if people don't have them.

    How it affects running, say, a Master Worlds is something you should ask Jeff Martin.

    Here in North America I don't like paying $3.80 a gallon for gasoline... but I don't assume that because the price is high that the State of California is raking in the bucks... Just for reference, the class royalty for sails amounts to less than $15/sail at today's exchange rates. IMHO, the real problem with the price of class approved sails is the number of hands in the supply chain... but, like gasoline, if people want to see the price of sails drop they need to stop buying them.

    I'm surprised to hear that the French Laser Association is unresponsive though I have no direct contact with them so have not experience one way or the other. Remember, though, that the French Laser Association is an ILCA District, they are part of the European Region which is then part of ILCA. One thing you can try is to contact the European Region representatives (Jean-Luc Michon and/or Ahmet Ediboglu, contact information is here) and see if they can help you with the French association. The next step after that is the ILCA office itself.

    If you really really really like Lasers, then you can always move to North America where we'll be happy to talk to you.
     
  13. rmruais

    rmruais New Member

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    Interesting debate. I'm not particularly interested in putting any extra sticky stuff on my sail that has to be taken off later. (should I ever compete at that level). I can almost understand some of the argument for the very large regattas...to help identify fellow competitors...but then again sail numbers should work. It should definately not be needed for scoring...if it is, you are not using any good tools for scoring. Anyway, for the few events where it might be desirable to identify the women vs the men, I see no reason to write this into the class rules...could it not be handled on a per-event basis in a manner similar to the Masters 'tapes' that have been mentioned?
     
  14. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    This has been an interesting thread. I'm glad to see the tide of opinion is flowing towards "why do we need a sail sticker" which was my entire purpose in weighing in on this subject.

    In the big picture, I could see a sexual discrimination lawsuit some day over such a rule, and I'm surprised that the ILCA has not considered this possibility. As I said in my first post, I was incensed when Jeff Martin tried to make me put a sticker on my sail in Chile in 1997. No such designation was used at the Masters Worlds regatta I sailed in Australia in 1999 - I was still on the World Council then . . . but someone says it has been "policy" for years which simply means it's something Jeff liked to be able to do and got the WC to sign off on.

    It's a bad idea and encourages sexist behavior on the race course where it never should occur.

    To answer Tracy's suggestion that I should join the Class in order to vote, let me say that I think 10 years as a member, 6 of which I spent as a District rep or ILCA World Council member buy me the right to weigh in on a subject I feel strongly about. Paying $40 (or more?) to join when I don't race Lasers at the moment seems rather expensive for the priviledge of voting.

    I do, however, still run regattas for Lasers - "serve to lead".. and have many friends in many Laser fleets. I hope some of them read this thread and vote on it for me.

    Lainie
     
  15. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    As of 1999 the class policy which was continued through 2002 was to give long serving contributors, especially those who had regularly used personal funds contribute to the class, lifetime memberships.

    As of 2002 the following (and some others) were life members of ILCA-NA

    Ken Young
    Bruce Kirby
    Ian Lineberger
    Ian Bruce
    Fiona Kidd
    Lainie Pardey
    Fred Schroth
    Allan Broadribb
    Wil Sadler
    Ward Bell
    Mary Helen Edgecomb
    ***There are a few others and I am embarased that I cannot remember their names right now***

    After serving as a District Secretary and five years as ILCA President, I believe Tracy Usher is well past due for inclusion in this group.
     
  16. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

  17. Horizon

    Horizon Member

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  18. rmruais

    rmruais New Member

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    Obviously (and unfortunately), there aren't that many people paying attention. If I stretch my mine, I can imagine a scenario where this rule (as intended, I think) might be helpful. You have a full fleet of women sailors and another fleet full of men on the same course...and you want to know whether all of the women or all of the men have finished. I find it hard to believe that this is a frequent issue. Did the fleets start together or 5 minutes apart? Are the finishers that far out that you're going to finish them in place and start another race for one fleet but not the other? Unfortunately, RC will be out of luck because the rule states that it only applies at Women's events. I'm guessing that this might be something like the Women's Laser World Championships??? If you don't weed out the men at registration, then you could surely identify them by the lack of the rhombus on the sail...right?

    There may have been good intentions behind this rule, but as written, I believe it is useless, and I also am of the opinon that the issue could be addressed as a regatta requirement and is not appropriate as a class rule.

    Best regards,
    Renee Ruais
    Laser D15 Secretary


     
  19. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    seems my post has been deleted, touche
     
  20. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Ross, I scrolled through this thread, and I'm not seeing that any post by you has been deleted. I did delete a duplicate post by SFBaylaser, a housekeeping issue, but that is it.

    If you recall discussing something about the topic, perhaps it was on a different thread? In addition, it is better to use the PM feature to enquire about such issues, rather than getting off topic, as we are.
     

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