Saturday, March 12, 2016

Some Madman There Going The Wrong Way

I found this photo on the Laser Fleet 413 Facebook page. I think it must have been taken when I was racing in Newport on Feb 21 - the day of my wardrobe malfunction.

That's me in 157812 - apparently sailing the wrong way. Or at least the opposite way to almost everybody else.

It reminded me somewhat of that famous Irish commentary on the Radial racing at the 2012 Olympics.

Check out what happens at 0:40.


O Docker said...

I know about as much about Laser racing as the fellow narrating the video, but I do see from the photo that you've adopted a sly and very clever tactic in your strategy to win.

By observing the rest of the fleet from behind like that, it must be easier to scope out what everyone else is up to and thus plot the quickest way to the finish.

Good job, team Rhode Island!

Tillerman said...

O Docker - after reading my blog for all these years you have finally cracked the code. It is indeed much easier to cover the fleet from behind, not to mention you don't have to remember the course or know where the buoys are if you have somebody to follow.

Buff Staysail said...

The other good thing about covering the fleet from behind is you don't have to worry about all those darn rules. Jeez... I can't follow all that overlap rights, gybing (18.4???), room etc etc malarkey even when on shore with rule book in one hand and beer in the other.

Barubi said...

Perchance the Tillerman marches to the beat of a different drum (or sails to the frequency of a different laser) and it's nearly everyone else that is going the wrong way.

Tillerman said...

True Buff. But the other trouble about sailing at the back of the fleet is that some people there take the rules way too seriously and use them as a weapon to slow others and themselves down. It really doesn't make any sense to sail like that when you are in the bottom 5 of a 40 boat fleet.

Barubi. I like that explanation. It all depends on your definition of "wrong."

O Docker said...

I think Barubi has gotten to the heart of the matter.

Why must there be such an emphasis on 'winning' in the Laser racing community?

After all, only one sailor can be the first to reach the finish line. Why must this demean the accomplishments of all other participants? Are their contributions to the race any less valuable? Every racer brings his or her unique and very special talents to a race and should not be judged against others.

What does it teach young Laser racers about life if they are branded 'losers' for failing to finish first? Look how such abritrary classification has affected people like Buff Staysail, who has been driven to alcohol to escape this abuse.

Laser racing should adopt the more enlightened and nurturing attitudes of our educational system. It needs to be far more inclusive than it has been.

We should strive to have no racer left behind.

Tillerman said...

Perhaps we need a common core in Laser racing too?

Barubi said...

Do I detect that O Docker doesn't really believe that every child should get a prize? But neither is being first the only worthwhile goal, especially with sailing where just staying afloat can be challenge enough.
Methinks I'm 16,000 km too far away to appreciate "common core".

Tillerman said...

Sorry Barubi. My common core comment was a rather feeble American in-joke. I don't think even most Americans know what it is really all about, except that they blame it for not being able to understand their kids' school homework these days.

And you are right. I learned long ago to set goals for my sailing that are nothing to do with finishing first. As I get older it becomes even more important. "Remember to put my trousers on" is quite an important goal these days.

O Docker said...

Barubi, my remarks were similarly a gibe at the state of the American public education system which is now more influenced by whining parents and their lawyers than it was several centuries ago when I attended.

Teachers wanting to teach to certain academic standards have been caught in a political crossfire and been forced to lower those standards so that 'no child will be left behind'. The phrase was applied to a federal law that attempted to establish high minimum academic standards nationally, but, due to various political and economic pressures, had the opposite effect.

It's all somewhat difficult to understand, but you will have a better chance of it if you agree with the logic that no race should have a declared winner as that would hurt the feelings of the other competitors.

Tillerman said...

Like most things in life, winning a Laser race is mainly luck. Especially on the rare occasions when I win one.

And like most things in life, if you don't have a lot of ability or experience in a particular endeavor, then going the opposite way to everybody else is an excellent strategy for pulling off the occasional win.

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