Friday, May 29, 2009

5 Possible Answers to a Great Question

An anonymous commenter to my last post asked the following question...

It’s interesting that the clip you chose to show (the light air jibe) shows the sailor violating the rules of propulsion, by coming out of the jibe faster than going in. I have several other training DVD’s and they all seem to train and advocate the same thing. (One even says to do this carefully so as not to alert the refs.) What gives?

What gives indeed?

I can think of 5 possible answers...

  1. He wasn't going faster. It's just an optical illusion.

  2. This is only a training video and the sailor was exaggerating to illustrate a point. When racing he would never come out of a gybe faster than he went in to it.

  3. He was only going a little bit faster after the gybe, and only for a little while. The judges wouldn't call him for such a minor violation.

  4. Everybody does it. You have to do it if you want to be competitive in a Laser. Don't you ever drive over the speed limit?

  5. All Laser sailors are cheats.

Which of these answers is nearest the truth? Or can you think of a better explanation of what you see in that video?


Andrew said...

To quote Andrew Campbell, in the Scuttebutt interview from your link earlier last week:
'There are always situations where sailors are pushing the rules by pumping a little more often, flicking the leach to gain those extra couple feet for a cross, or crashing into a mark rounding unscathed.'

Pushing the rules - his words, not mine.

Tillerman said...

Good point Andrew. And the context of that quote is that Campbell was contrasting the Star and the Laser by saying that in the Star you have to use your head to get out of tough situations, whereas in the Laser some sailors use their "legs and shoulders" to "push the rules" and go a little faster than the rules allow.

Sound like fighting words to me. Who is going to defend Laser sailors against such slander?

Tillerman said...

A quick response from Ari Barshi (producer of the DVD) suggests that answer #3 is closest to the truth...

"Violating the rules of propulsion in light winds. This is a valid concern of one of your readers. Head coach Rulo finished the light wind segment, after returning from coaching in the light wind China Olympic games. The techniques we show on the DVD are the ones ISAF IJ accepted in the Olympic games."

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