Bender, in a comment to my earlier post I Love Sweden, gave an excellent definition of what the role of on-the-water coaches should be doing during regattas...
It is about observing the skills of the sailor so as to provide a future training direction. This is the true role of the coach.
The thread at the Scuttlebutt Forum about the US Optimist Nationals has several comments by observers at the regatta about some sailors apparently bailing repeatedly with an empty bailer.
Jagarth explained why and where they got the idea...
What I observed wasn't an occasional action, it was repeated 40, 50, 60 times in a row with an empty bailer, and it induced noticeable leech popping in around 8 - 10 knots of air - conditions where bailing wasn't necessary, and conditions where such actions clearly had an effect on boat speed and pointing. Those doing it were pointing higher and moving steadily to windward of those who weren't. What do you think? Is that cheating or not? I asked a couple of coaches about it afterwards and they acknowledged that they were teaching their kids to flaunt the rules whenever the judges weren't looking at them.
There are times when I despair for the future of the sport I love.