Sunday, March 27, 2011
Those Mommy Boats are behaving badly... again!
The Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta (RMOCR) is a serious regatta. According to Gary Jobson's article in the latest issue of Sailing World, the 2011 RMOCR saw more than 700 Olympic aspirants from 53 countries. There's a lot on the line for these sailors... funding, sponsorship, qualification for other major regattas, a step on the way to earning an Olympic berth in 2012. So it's crucial that the regatta is run smoothly.
Jobson's Sailing World article reviews a number of ways in which the organizers of RMOCR strove for a level of excellence in running the regatta: everything from using smart phones to speed up the processing of results... to creating buzz with "pinnies." (Buy the magazine and check it out yourself if you don't know how to create buzz with pinnies.)
But Gary does have one suggestion for how to make RMOCR even better. From his perch 300 feet above the race course he did spot one problem. Those dratted Mommy Boats were creating havoc yet again. After the start, a group of Mommy Boat drivers (Jobson diplomatically calls them coaches) would take off to one side of the course and create waves that would "dramatically affect" the boats on that side of the course. Gary was bothered seeing how the waves from the bad Mommy Boats would cause the racing sailboats to lose distance and speed as they pitched through the waves.
I thought I would check out the Sailing Instructions (SIs) for RMOCR to see if the organizers had done anything to prevent this totally unfair and unnecessary interference with racing by these so-called coaches. Indeed they had.
The RMOCRSIs have a whole section, section 16, devoted to an attempt to police the behavior of Mommy Boats. It has 8 sub-sections and sub-section 16.3 has 6 sub-sub-sections. Wow! It covers everything from where Mommy Boats are not allowed to go... to what will happen if they are naughty and don't follow these rules. RMOCRSI 16.4 requires that Mommy Boats "that are motoring above 5 knots shall remain at least 150 metres from any boat racing." And RMOCRSI 16.7 says that the International Jury "may direct the organizing authority to revoke privileges from any boat or person found to be in breach of SI 16."
So they tried. But it clearly wasn't good enough. A swarm of Mommy Boats behaving badly still managed to mess up the races for all the boats on one side of the course.
How many more times must this happen before we ban this menace from our sport?
Ban Mommy Boats NOW
The Other Side of the Argument
One Hundred Mommy Boats
Mommies Gone Wild
A Wise Man Once Said
Posted by Tillerman at 10:56 AM