Big babies in Radials

Thread starter #1
I heard a rumor that there are guys well over 180lbs that plan to sail the Radial rig at the Masters in Halifax. Doesn't that smack of unsportsmanlike behaviour? I mean, come on, they have an alternative. If they can't handle the Full Rig when they weigh above 180lbs, maybe they shouldn't be sailing at the Worlds.

Comments? What do you think?
 
#2
I would think it would be to their advantage to sail a full rig rather than have their weight slow them down compared to lighter sailors in the radial class. If they want to sail radial I don't see a problem with it though, as I see it they have the disadvantage anyways
 
Thread starter #3
The advantage of weight in strong winds far outweighs the advantage of the lack of it in light winds. Halifax will be windy. There is no way they would be at a disadvantage in Radial with the extra weight. Not a chance.
 
#4
And what do you call the lightweight radial sailors who hop into the full rig at events when they are sailed in light air venues ? Little Babies ?

or maybe this is just payback for the NA masters events where the lighter guys are allowed to switch rigs during the event to suit their weight, while the big dogs look around and mutter to themselves while stuck with just a single rig to use. :mad:

In the end, I believe the cream is going to rise to the top, regardless if it's heavy cream or light cream.
 
Thread starter #6
Totally agree with 49208 that this is a non-issue. Go sail and have fun!

If it is such a non issue, why was the Radial developed in the first place? Exactly because weight is an issue in this boat. Smaller sailors couldn't compete in the Full Rigs, and the class realized it was unfair for them to have to try in the big rigs. What's the difference here?

The class has a tradition of trying to eliminate unfair advantage. That's why we have Masters divisions as well. Big guys sailing Radials is no different than young guys sailing in a Masters regatta. We know how physical the boat is, and try to make it fun for everyone to compete and have a chance to win at some level. And that's what the Radial is for. And when big guys sail the radial in big winds, they negate that effort.
 
Thread starter #7
Big guys in Radials

Is it fair that big guys sail Radials in major regattas? I asked this question in the General Sailing talk (more forcefully, and perhaps less diplomatically) but meant it for here.

I talked to Fred Ables at the NA at Buffalo Canoe Club about the World Radial in Aussie. He is a great sailor but his results didn't reflect that, so I asked him about the regatta. He said he did pretty good when you compared his result to those closer to his weight range. It seemed unfair that Fred had absolutely no chance to do better in the standing because the fleet was flooding with big guys that, honestly, have no business in the Radial, except to embarrass little guys in big winds. The winner of that regatta was Michael Leigh!! What's HE doing in a Radial??

The Radial was originally developed to avoid just such a situation. Shouldn't there be a weight restriction in the Radial fleet at major regattas?
 
#9
If you look close enough at anything you will always find advantages and disadvantages. Take the age groups for Masters - a 35 yr old could be said to have a big advantage over a 44 year old, but for better or worse, they are in the same age group.

The Laser class has NEVER tried to break down the groups by weight. It's always been the individual sailors CHOICE to decide which rig to race with.

While the predictions for Halifax may be for heavy air, it's no guarantee, heck the weather in New England this summer has been so different this year from other years.

You've known the venue for quite some time, if you honestly believe that more weight is an advantage, did you take control what you have control of, ie increase your body weight ?
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#10
Weather predictions are just that. These big guys are taking a gamble.

Remember the recent Olympics? Only light winds were predicted for the venue (Qingdao).

1. The US Star team built a Star just for those conditions and in fact, they did well in the first light-wind race(s). Then the wind piped up and they sank to the bottom with respect to the results.

2. Two Tornado teams had special spinnakers designed for the supposedly light conditions. Were they ever wrong, and the results showed it.

PS:
Rob: you mentioned that this thread resulted from a rumor you heard. "Show me the data" my teachers used to tell me.
 
Thread starter #11
The Laser class has NEVER tried to break down the groups by weight. It's always been the individual sailors CHOICE to decide which rig to race with.

But it has also always made an effort to make fleets equitable (Radial rig, masters divisions). Why not weight restrictions? Because it's never been done? That's not an argument. If, when the Masters catagories were discussed, someone had said "let's not do Masters catagories because it's never been done before," would you have agreed to that?

While the predictions for Halifax may be for heavy air, it's no guarantee, heck the weather in New England this summer has been so different this year from other years.

You've known the venue for quite some time, if you honestly believe that more weight is an advantage, did you take control what you have control of, ie increase your body weight.

Who says I don't have control of this issue? I have a voice. I am a member of the fleet. I can have my say. Maybe by airing this issue, some of those who shouldn't be in the Radial fleet will realize it and go to the full rigs where they can compete on a level playing field.[/B]
 
Thread starter #12
Weather predictions are just that. These big guys are taking a gamble.

Remember the recent Olympics? Only light winds were predicted for the venue (Qingdao).

1. The US Star team built a Star just for those conditions and in fact, they did well in the first light-wind race(s). Then the wind piped up and they sank to the bottom with respect to the results.

2. Two Tornado teams had special spinnakers designed for the supposedly light conditions. Were they ever wrong, and the results showed it.

PS: As an aside, remember the Medal race in the 49er class? True mayhem in 20+ mph, but so much fun to watch.
I humbly submit, the advantage of weight in big wind far outstrips less weight in light winds. There is no comparison, in fact. It is unfair to try to link those issues together.
 
#13
I humbly submit, the advantage of weight in big wind far outstrips less weight in light winds. There is no comparison, in fact. It is unfair to try to link those issues together.
OK, put some facts out on the table.

Someone you know - Mike Matan - Has lost weight, working hard to get down to 190 or less from approx 210 a few years ago. Why ? Because he realized the exact opposite of what you are theorizing. Instead of relying on weight to go fast upwind, he has learned technique and is more then happy to tradeoff a little bit of upwind gain for a bigger offwind gain and at the same time the lighter weight has brought his results up in lighter air.

Someone else you know - Marc Jacobi - struggles to keep his weight over 175, yet hangs in there upwind in a breeze and flys downwind. In lighter air, the 200+lb guys look like anchored objects around him.


You had another thread going where you mentioned Mike Leigh and Fred Abels. I know you did not compare them directly, and with no disrespect towards Fred, they are on different skill and physical levels.


Out of curiosity, what weight do you intend to sail at in Halifax, and what weight would you sail at if it were a light wind venue ?
 
#14
I have no problem with you putting forward a suggestion for a future change to include weight classes although IMHO it's un-nec as I believe it's self-regulating.

I don't understand your stance against the "rumored guys well over 180lbs" IMHO, they have done nothing unsportsmanlike by entering the radial division. They are playing by the stated rules.. (and I think it will be interesting to see if they show up at the event still weighing well over 180lbs - me thinks they will be dieting down to get to 175-180 or even less)




I heard a rumor that there are guys well over 180lbs that plan to sail the Radial rig at the Masters in Halifax. Doesn't that smack of unsportsmanlike behaviour? I mean, come on, they have an alternative. If they can't handle the Full Rig when they weigh above 180lbs, maybe they shouldn't be sailing at the Worlds.

Comments? What do you think?
 
Thread starter #15
I have no problem with you putting forward a suggestion for a future change to include weight classes although IMHO it's un-nec as I believe it's self-regulating.

I don't understand your stance against the "rumored guys well over 180lbs" IMHO, they have done nothing unsportsmanlike by entering the radial division. They are playing by the stated rules.. (and I think it will be interesting to see if they show up at the event still weighing well over 180lbs - me thinks they will be dieting down to get to 175-180 or even less)
The "unsportsmanlike" clause is there exactly to deal with such "legal" behaviour. It is perfectly legal to do a lot of things, like yell "starboard" when you are on port, but that is not very sportsmanlike. If Sportsmanlike = Legal, there would be no need to have a "sportmanlike" rule. So, it is well within the logic of the rules for me to suggest that to sail a Radial when you are suited to a Full Rig by a large margin may constitute "unsportsmanlike" behaviour. It is a cynical attempt to win a regatta, not compete fairly.
 
#16
Is it also unsportsmanlike that there are folks out there who can afford not to work and therefore train/sail as much as they like, or hire coaches ? Show up with a new sail ?


What weight do you plan on sailing the worlds ? And is that your normal race weight or have you added weight for this event ?

Can you give us a few real people that support your claim of "the advantage of weight in big wind far outstrips less weight in light winds. There is no comparison, in fact. It is unfair to try to link those issues together" ?
 
Thread starter #17
Re: Big guys in Radials

OK, put some facts out on the table.

Someone you know - Mike Matan - Has lost weight, working hard to get down to 190 or less from approx 210 a few years ago. Why ? Because he realized the exact opposite of what you are theorizing. Instead of relying on weight to go fast upwind, he has learned technique and is more then happy to tradeoff a little bit of upwind gain for a bigger offwind gain and at the same time the lighter weight has brought his results up in lighter air.

Someone else you know - Marc Jacobi - struggles to keep his weight over 175, yet hangs in there upwind in a breeze and flys downwind. In lighter air, the 200+lb guys look like anchored objects around him.


You had another thread going where you mentioned Mike Leigh and Fred Abels. I know you did not compare them directly, and with no disrespect towards Fred, they are on different skill and physical levels.


Out of curiosity, what weight do you intend to sail at in Halifax, and what weight would you sail at if it were a light wind venue ?
I think my point here is that there was never any inclination by the laser class towards "choice." That there has always been, by manipulation of the rules of the class, some effort to make the class competitive and fun for everyone. I don't think it is a stretch to say that if you put an upper weight limit on the Radial Fleet in Catagory 1 regattas and Masters events of say, 180lb, it makes the racing better.

I know first hand how big an advantage more weight is in a Radial. As soon as the wind blows above 15 knots, I have a huge advantage over someone in the 120-140 range. I know it's not a fair fight. I know those guys can't touch me, not because I am a better sailor, but because I am heavier.

You can't divide the fleets into smaller and smaller units to match up age and weight, I know that. But you can make this one distinction. And I think it would be very fair.
 
Thread starter #18
Is it also unsportsmanlike that there are folks out there who can afford not to work and therefore train/sail as much as they like, or hire coaches ? Show up with a new sail ?

This is a good point, but not the one up for discussion.


What weight do you plan on sailing the worlds ? And is that your normal race weight or have you added weight for this event ?

160lb. Normal weight.

Can you give us a few real people that support your claim of "the advantage of weight in big wind far outstrips less weight in light winds. There is no comparison, in fact. It is unfair to try to link those issues together" ?
I have a huge advantage with I race in the Radial against 140lb guys in big winds. I don't think anyone can say they don't see the advantage when the wind blows. It's too obvious to argue, frankly.
 
#20
I have a huge advantage with I race in the Radial against 140lb guys in big winds. I don't think anyone can say they don't see the advantage when the wind blows. It's too obvious to argue, frankly.
It's not linear though and I would argue that there is an upper limit (and you know this limit drops quickly as the wind drops). Once you reach some "magical" number, additional weight is no longer advantageous around the total course.

Point out any winners in windy full rig events that are over 220.. How about 210 ? 200 ?

I'm not that familar with Radial results, but I think when Brad Funk dropped in for a Worlds event he was 170 down from his full rig weight ? Al Clark sailed has sailed radial events weighing ? (and IIRC the stink made about that wasn't his weight, but that he was "picking on juniors") Is there anyone that has won a major radial event weighing 190 ? 180 ?
 
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