Rhombus?

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by blacklionboy, Jul 16, 2007.

?

Do you agree that wwomen should have a rhombus at the top of their sail?

  1. Yes

    11 vote(s)
    29.7%
  2. No

    26 vote(s)
    70.3%
  1. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I haven't decided which way my vote will go on the Rhombus. I'm not likely to ever be sailing at the level of events that Jeff Martin proposes this for, but I'd like to make my vote do something good for the class. Dyzz, in another post you say that some men will cover you because they hate being beaten by a woman. Why is the rhombus any different from Hilary Thomas's rose hat? She marked herself as a woman. Is this about choice? So far, Deimos has made a compelling argument about the rhombus moving a woman's boat from being one design. However, it seems to me that most women who could afford to sail in these high level events are going to have more than one Radial sail, without a rhombus, that they could sell with a boat. Just thinking...
     
  2. SkipperofVaruna

    SkipperofVaruna New Member

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    that's true
     
  3. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    Yeah, Merrily. I guess it really IS about choice in the end. Hilary definitely chose to clearly identify herself. It's not as if you can't tell the girls from the guys with a good hard look anyway, in most cases. Me, I sport a long red ponytail when I sail so . . . I'm fairly obvious.

    But, making the rhombus mandatory under Class rules simply makes it even easier, and serves to segregate the fleet at the high level regattas. If you ever DO choose to go to a Nationals or North Americans regatta, or maybe to CORK (which everybody should sail once) won't you want to race against everybody?

    Women have the choice to race in all-female events. The ones who choose to race Laser open events want to race against everybody. Why make them mark themselves as a separate fleet? Why make it easier to tell the girls from the guys? It's all about making it a good competition for everybody.

    Years ago, when I was NA VP I also made strong requests to race organizers to NOT offer "First Female" prizes unless there were at least 5 females racing. I found it highly embarassing to have to accept prizes at regattas where I was the only woman in the fleet. Like they were giving me a trophy for showing up. arg. I squirm to remember having to walk up and accept the applause of my fellow sailors.

    My point in the last post was that out of over 400 sailors at this year's Masters Worlds regatta there are less than 20 women registered. This would indicate to me that the Class's policies with regard to women are not exactly encouraging them to participate, at least in the Masters events.

    Obviously, the majority of female Class members are Radial sailors, now that the Rad is Olympic. Most of them are under 35 and so don't qualify to enter the Masters Worlds regatta. Still, you'd think that when the regatta is in Europe, more women would attend.

    I love Deimos's idea of an inverted rhombus for the guys. Also, Fred, a rhombus is a parallellogram, not a trapezoid. <g>

    Lu, we all knew and loved Shevy. He definitely had a propensity for tilting at windmills. As for me, I do know who I am up against. Thanks!

    Lainie


    Lainie
     
  4. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Aw c'mon! Lasers have always been good for teaching sailing anatomy in that their masts are male and sails are female.


    Confusion would be J-24 masts
     
  5. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    What does that make a motor boat ?

    Ian
     
  6. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    It does seem a bit strange that the current policies do not seem to be attracting women to the class (at least from what people have said above and not my personal experience). What seems even stranger is that the class is pursuing a new rule that seems likely to alienate women even further (again from the comments above). Even stranger still is that they are asking a predominantly male membership about this and not the women membership (who are affected by the rule).

    I do not know all the inns and outs of what other steps have been taken to encourage women to join in but, the proposal of this rule and the methods being used to establish it seem "mighty strange".

    Why is a rule needed anyway. If this affects so few, why can individual regattas not have a special condition (e.g. in the Notice of Race or Sailing Instructions) and implement something temporary (e.g strip of red sailcloth tied to top of mast/sail). No rule needed, nothing permanent on sail, all the reasons for the rhombus are addressed without any grief or arguments. Nobody has to deface their sail. Can any body tell me why this will not work ? (and if it will work why go to all the grief of the rule change)

    As for segregated fleets - personally I would prefer to race against everybody (male and female).

    Ian
     
  7. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    And what makes you think you couldn't do that? Why do you think you could not race against, for example, Keith Wilkins for the title of Laser Grandmaster World Champion?

    In fact, if I read the NOR correctly, if you wanted to race against me you could as well since it there are no upper age limits to any of the divisions. Of course, not sure why you would want to give away 10+ years to the competition - I wouldn't!
     
  8. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Just as all Great Grand Masters must race in a Radial in order to compete for the title of Great Grand Master World Champion. Nothing stops them from "stepping down" a fleet and competing in a standard rig for the title of Grand Master World Champion.
     
  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    As far as I can see the NOR for the Masters Worlds places no restriction on what fleet a female sailor may race in. I can't see anywhere that it edicts that a woman can't sail in one of the Standard Rig fleets.

    However the NOR does say that in the Radial fleets there will be separate prizes for Women as well as prizes for sailors who are "Men and Women combined" - whatever that creature may be.
     
  10. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    This is correct. And rhombus free as well.

    The Radials will sail as mixed fleets just like is done at, for example, Midwinters East. And just like at MWE, the person who wins their age division will be that age division's Radial Master World Champion. In addition, the women will also be competing for the title of Women's Master World Champion in their age divisions.

    There are a number of top women competitors at the Master Worlds (and nearly all from Australia). For example, Christine Bridge finished 5th overall last year, 4th overall Apprentice and earned the title of the Women's Apprentice World Champion.
     
  11. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Well, there would appear to be no reason why a female competitor racing in one of the Standard Rig fleets at the Masters Worlds would need to have a rhombus. After all neither her fellow competitors nor the race committee have any reason to know her gender.

    Except that section 8.3 of the NOR says, "Female competitors shall place a red diamond on each side of their sail (back to back)." Note it does not say, "femal competitors in a Radial fleet..." or "female competitors wishing to be eligible for a women's award...."

    Looks like the rhombus rules again!
     
  12. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    It strikes me that we are wasting a lot of time discussing a hypothetical situation about a complaint raised by a female sailor who no longer sails Lasers and is no longer a member of the class and her hypothetical wish to sail against Tracy Usher at the Masters Worlds which we all know is not going to happen because (a) she has no intention of entering the event and (b) even if she were entry is suspended again.
     
  13. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Whoa! The plot thickens.
     
  14. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    You're right, it SHOULD say "Female Radial competitors ..."

    Black mark against the author of the NOR. Maybe HQ can make the appropriate modification.
     
  15. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    On the other hand, exploring hypothetical situations is one way to test a potential rule change and its application.

    Don't forget, the 2008 Master Worlds is just around the corner (mid-February)!
     
  16. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Why not some non-permanent identification. after-all, some might now want to abuse their sails for the one event. A non-permanent identification addresses all the justifications without messing up the sail.


    Anybody able to answer why permanent is required as it is an important issue.


    Ian
     
  17. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    It is indeed. The website for the 2008 Masters Worlds has a posting dated 10 July saying we should expect the NOR and start of entries "within two weeks". Any day now I assume?
     
  18. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    It is indeed. The wording of the proposed rule itself is somewhat fuzzy. It seems to say that in the absence of any prescription in the NOR or SIs that women should be identified with a rhombus, that the rhombus is only required in "women's events".

    This seems very confusing to me. If it is a "women's event" aren't all the competitors women? So why the need for the rhombus?

    And if it's an event for men and women combined then presumably the proposed rule would have no effect unless it is specifically written into the NOR and/or SIs that rhombuses should be worn by women. Which is the option that is available to regatta organizers now.

    So can someone explain what difference it makes whether this rule passes or not?
     
  19. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    Hey, OG! This is an issue that I raised 10 years ago when I was actively racing Lasers, and on the ILCA World Council. While I was on the WC, Jeff Martin never again aired the idea. Since I left, there has not been another woman on the World Council and Jeff has resumed his "policy".

    btw anything Jeff calls a policy is something he likes to do routinely that some people might object to, so his line of defense is "it's Class policy". Haven't looked at an ILCA Handbook recently, but I don't recall there being a list of Class Policies in there. They seem to be entirely discretionary. Curious, huh?

    1. Nothing currently prevents me from buying or chartering a Laser and going to next year's Masters Worlds regatta, or, say Midwinters East which takes place just an hour from where I live. Well, except my fitness level, I suppose . .

    2. According to Fred, I have a Lifetime Honorary membership for my years of service to the Class. (I even have a gold sticker that luckily I never stuck onto the stern of my boat, which I sold a couple of years ago) I'm not sure it is acknowledged by the current Class office, but . . ya never know.

    3. I figure I'm entitled to my opinion by virtue of a buttload of sweat equity I invested in the Class as a volunteer over 6 years as Dist. Secretary then VP.

    4. This really is an issue of equal rights in sailing, not JUST a Laser Class issue.

    5. I never could keep up with Tracy unless the wind was pretty light and he is now in a lower age category. My point was, I would want to feel as if I am racing everybody who started with me, not just those in my fleet with a stupid red mark on their sail, when I go to a high level regatta. As my example from the Chile regatta showed, some guys think that female sailors should only race against other females. It's a fact of life.

    6. I do believe that Jeff Martin must have SOME reason for wanting his "policy" to become a Class rule. I do not for one second believe it is because the rhombus marking benefits either the female sailors who want to see other females in a mixed fleet, or the Race Committee. So . . . why??

    7. Sail numbers identify everyone equally.

    I'm arguing the point because I hope that Class members will vote down this new rule.

    <damn, I was going to refrain from any more rants, sorry!> L
     
  20. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    Hoo Boy, I apologize for not reading to the end of the thread before posting the last rant. To the question OG asks "What difference does it make if this is passed as a Class rule or not" I have a good, short, compelling answer.

    If it is made a Class Rule, when I eventually go to another Laser regatta and do not mark my sail with a rhombus, THEY CAN DISQUALIFY ME! Open and shut case, I broke a Class rule. I have no recourse except to appeal to ISAF. (so if it passes, I'm going to appeal to them to veto it)

    Right now, it's written into the NOR's or SI's or somewhere. I have the right to question this, or protest it, or I can simply ignore it and see if anyone notices. (as Lu pointed out some girls did at Kiel)

    I can go to the PRO, look him in the eye and say "this is discrimination, you don't really want to do this, do you?" He can, in turn, post a change to the SI's or NOR deleting the requirement for women to mark their sails.

    Note here that women are the only sub-group required to mark their sails, not Juniors or Masters, who also usually have a prize for first in an open fleet . . Only women?

    Juniors could put a big, purple picture of Barney on their sails. Masters??

    I promise, I'm done now unless you ask me something directly.

    Lainie
     

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