Just to be clear:
I believe I am fighting the good fight. The kinetics rules are fundamentally flawed and harm the game I love.
I have been racing small boats for fifty seasons. I have won races at world championships and finished dead last in local beer can races.
My position about rule 42 is not generated by my ignorance....or maybe it is.
I believe a sailboat race is a contest to see who can most rapidly make a sailboat go around the course.
I do not believe we have created the ideal set of simple and easy to comprehend rules for that contest.
With rule 2 the sailboat race is:
A contest to see who can most rapidly make a sailboat go around the course while sorta kinda using physical moves and boat handling but not if those moves are the sort we can police like making your boat rock or yanking on your sails in certain situations unless of course you are about to surf and wouldn't otherwise be about to surf but cut it out if you are already surfing and if we don't think you can surf you just cheated anyway by trying, and you can tack really effectively but not too well and nothing you do is cheating unless somebody else catches you.
The rule is horrible and needs to be set aside until it is written properly enough to enhance rather then screw up our fun.
And many are elegant, athletic, and difficult to execute with positive results.
Most sailors are not able to properly execute most of the difficult boat handling moves disparagingly referrred to as kinetics.
A well executed roll tack is a thing of beauty.
A properly timed pump or roll to scooy the boat onto a wave face is wonderful to watch.
I am a big guy. Lots of times I make it to weather marks ahead of the practiced coordinated sailors who skillfully sail past me on the first reach.
I miss the days when they were allowed to sail their boats entirely instead of with the brakes on.
The best guys used to jump all over the boat while yanking on the lines and throwing the mast back and forth.
I was certainly enough of a jock to throw more muscle at my boat than they were using on theirs.
I simply did not know how to sail as well so thye blew by.
Then for some reason, it was decided that joyfully throwing your boat all over the place while riding it at full speed was no longer a part of the game.
I don't believe it added to anybody's fun to have rules forcing us all to wallow in the water as perfectly surfable waves pass under our toys.
The sit still rules now say, if you cannot catch the wave on the first pump, you are not allowed to give chase to those who can.
If the only reason for missing a surfable wave was finesse, it would only be a no fun rule. Instead, for smaller folks who can't pull hard enough and big folks who simply need more energy than one pull can muster,the game has been taken away by the "you aren't the right size" rule.
I am not closed minded about having some rules about how hard and when you can yank your boat around.
My complaint is that the rule as currently applied to our game is not about maximizing the fun and enjoyment of the sailors.
The rule is about controlling the fleet and having an enforceable rule for controlling the fleet.
Do we go to the lake and rig our boats so we can have somebody control us? Or do we go sailing to have fun?
Is there some reason we have a rule that says, "If you yank on your mainsheet while planing, you will be thrown out of the regatta."???
If you yank on your mainsheet while planing, two things could happen.
1.It could help you sail a tiny bit faster and have more fun.
2. It could not.
and we WANT a rule about that??
I agree on the roll tack issue: let us roll tack instead of stepping on the clutch half way through.
It looks good, it is good sailing, and it's faster.
Have you ever heard of a similar rule that says a golfer can only swing ten degrees past the point of contact with the ball?
Why is it no one is allowed to exit a tack faster than they entered it? It's not like someone will tack every 20 seconds and somehow blitz the fleet.
In the same way, arching the back past flat to bring the boat down should not be allowed. Neither should sliding inwards then outwards again after the tack has flattened out. I'm all for good form and the speed increases from good form. If we want to be athletes, let us incorporate form rules from the other olympic disciplines that are judged on form.
So much of laser sailing is taught by eye, that incorporating form into a rule shouldn't be complicated or excessive.
The idea of rules relating to windspeed is also a good idea. At 0-5 knots, a guy jerking mainsheet severly every five seconds downwind is ugly adn looks pathetic. The boat doesn't go much faster and the mast shakes.
But pumping the mainsheet in 20knots somehow looks like a powerful technique. The violence of the movement is absorbed into the speed of the boat - a balance of forces is reached.
Rules that support good form and technique are a step forward, I think.
If anyone tacked every 20secs up the full length of the upwind leg in light winds, I'd be scratching my head to come up with reasons that didn't include creating your own wind by kinetics. In heavier conditions I would just laugh and ignore it. They wouldn't win, that's for sure.
Someone will have to decide a whole lot of things if the rules are to improve, maybe it will be ross, maybe it will be you, but thought and decision shouldn't scare anyone too much.
I think that opening up the rules to allow any and all kinds of assistance other than wind over sails reduces the sport to a raft race, whereas well thought out improvements raises the level of the sport.