Wednesday, September 01, 2010

One Hundred Mommy Boats

A few years back, Tom Paxton recorded a CD entitled One Million Lawyers and Other Disasters. The full lyrics of the title song One Million Lawyers are here.

I have to be careful what I say here because I have two lawyers in my immediate family and some of my best friends are lawyers. But here is a sample of the lyrics...

Oh, a suffering world cries for mercy.
As far as the eye can see,
Lawyers around every bend in the road.
Lawyers in every tree.
Lawyers in restaurants.
Lawyers in clubs.
Lawyers behind every door.
Behind windows and potted plants,
Shade trees and shrubs.
Lawyers on pogo sticks.
Lawyers in politics.
In ten years we're gonna have one million lawyers.
How much can a poor nation stand?

You get the idea.

I've written before about an even worse scourge than lawyers... Mommy Boats, those dratted "coach boats" that seem to be everywhere at major Laser regattas these days. Even worse in my opinion than one million lawyers would be to go to a regatta with one hundred Mommy Boats.

And it has happened. Although not to me. Yet. Read on...

In his report of the sailing on Day 2 of the Laser World Championships at Hayling Island, Clay Johnson commented...

It was a very tough day of sailing with some painfully light legs. The chop from 100+ coach boats doesn't help the situation either! I'm praying we get some more breeze for the rest of the regatta!

I think a better title than Light and Lumpy on Day Two for Clay's post might have been One Hundred Mommy Boats and Other Disasters.

Yikes. One hundred Mommy Boats! Can you imagine it?

It is to be hoped that there aren't that many Mommy Boats at the Masters Worlds in a couple of weeks. Master sailors are REAL Laser Sailors. We don't need no stinking Mommy Boats.


Baydog said...

Why in a world championship should there be any coach boats? Aren't we talking about the best sailors in the world?

Tillerman said...

Yes Baydog. That's why they are the best sailors in the world. They have the best coaches in the world.

Seriously, the coach boat phenomenon in the Laser class is mainly associated with, on the one hand, junior and youth programs where a coach will take a team of kids to a regatta (and mommy and daddy pay the coach); and, on the other hand, the elite Laser sailors vying for Olympic spots etc. (and whose sponsors often pay for the coach.)

It's the great unwashed, middle-of-the-fleet, middle-aged geezers like me who don't usually bother with coaches at regattas, even though many of us will quite happily attend seminars run by those same coaches in order to try and improve our game.

Pat said...

So easy to solve...
"RC to Crash Three: Load photon torpedoes."

B.J. Porter said...

And some of us just like to see our kids sail every now and's not like Little League where you can just park your car close to the field and watch from the bleachers with a hot dog from the concession stand. You can't see anything from shore even with good binoculars in a Laser event.

As parents supporting a youth sailor we spend a lot of time and money (program fees cost less than buying a Laser...) supporting our kids. I don't see being out there to watch and support them as a bad thing. In Little League they tell you the kids that play the best and love the sport the most tend to be those whose parents make the time to come see them play.

That being said...spectators need to stay out of the way and coaches need to make sure they aren't swamping and waking the people they aren't coaching when they move around the course.

And you can't have any of the BS that happens in some fleets where some of parental presences on the course can be construed as "outside assistance". e.g. Dad can't be setting his boat on the favored side of the course every time...

Tillerman said...

OK BJ. But I don't think most of the sailors at the Laser Worlds have their parents out on spectator boats watching them. There may well be some spectator boats but I hope the RC is keeping them well clear of the course so they don't interfere with racing in any way. What Clay was complaining about was the chop from over 100 boats for professional coaches.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Little League parents park their cars in the outfield and try to drive out of the way of fly balls, do they?

Tillerman said...

Good point Anonymous. Surely sailing must be the only sport where spectators insist on being on the field of play with the competitors?

No, wait, there's the Tour de France. But that's so French!

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