Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been ranting for years about the evils of coaching during regattas. At the levels at which I race Lasers (local and district open regattas, and master regattas up to and including world championships) I would like to see those pesky coach boats (aka mommy boats) totally banned. They get in the way. They contribute to the wussification (or pussification if you prefer) of our sport. And worst of all they give an unfair advantage to the sailors that have them.
But I am realistic to know that in youth sailing and at the highest level regattas (open Worlds, Olympics, ISAF level 1 events) they are here to stay. The majority of the competitors have their mommy boats. However, it's still unfair to those that don't have them.
But what if there's another solution than banning mommy boats from regattas? How about if we stop the class warfare and envy of the rich and provide mommy boats to everyone? (Or is that socialism?)
Thanks to Dan Jasper of SailCoachUK for bringing to my attention the work of the Word Youth Sailing Trust...
Just for a moment imagine you are a 17 year old again. You have arrived in a new country for the first time to race at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship.
You have no coach to help you and only a practice day before your first race.
A new country, a new boat, your first time at a major international regatta and you come face to face with your competition - some of the best young sailors in the world with the best kit, supported by a team of coaches.
Exciting? Yes, but also more than a little bit intimidating. How do you go about competing under such circumstances?
The Trust supports young sailors from emerging sailing nations at the ISAF Youth World Championship by funding coaches to help them compete on a more level playing field with those sailors from the better-funded countries. As well as helping with racing skills, the coaches play a vital role in supporting the sailors in all on and off water aspects of the Event and deliver daily briefings and de-briefings to all competitors. It is the Trust's aim to ensure the young sailors return to their home waters enriched by their experience, with new friends and an enhanced love for the sport of sailing.
Hmmm. This seems like a pretty good idea to help these kids and make the game fairer. But I'd still like to see those damn mommy boats banned at the kind of regattas I sail in.
Ban Mommy Boats NOW
The Other Side of the Argument
One Hundred Mommy Boats
Mommies Gone Wild
A Wise Man Once Said
Sailing and Baseball