Sunday, August 30, 2009

Proper Course: The Laser Experience!

You have read the blog. Now you can experience Laser sailing Tillerman-style by signing up for Proper Course: The Laser Experience!

Exclusively for readers of Proper Course we are now offering a very special adventure. Come to a Laser sailing seminar in Rhode Island run by the one and only Tillerman.

Those other Laser clinics say they will teach you how to win races. But can you really believe them?

Proper Course: The Laser Experience! is different. We will teach you how to solidify your status as a mid-fleet mediocrity and how to relish your obscurity. With our many years of experience we have plenty of information to share and many new ideas and “secrets” that you will learn only from us.

Our coach
With vast ineffective racing experience in the Laser and Sunfish classes, and a veteran of four unsuccessful Laser Masters Worlds campaigns, Tillerman understands the needs of mid-fleet muddlers and back-of-the-fleet bozos alike. Tillerman's clumsiness and ability to spend hours on the water discovering different ways to make a Laser go even slower are legendary.

Sample Seminar Schedule

Day 1: Rigging and boat handling

21 wrong ways to rig a Laser

7 ways to screw up mark roundings including...

13 different wrong ways to gybe

9 different tacking technique mistakes.

Develop your own personal style for losing Laser races.

Day 2: Physical fitness

Experience Tillerman's unique approach to sailing unfitness.

Before breakfast we will practice the patented "run walk run-slower walk-even-slower stop-and-rest" workout method. Train your mind and body to "taper" your physical performance so that even if by some fluke you win the start, you will still slip back to mid-fleet or worse by the end of each race.

After breakfast we will learn how riding a bike on the back lanes of Tiverton and Little Compton will maintain your weight in the target "fatties-sail-slow zone". We will be stopping at Provender at Four Corners for mid-morning sandwiches, followed by Grays for triple scoop ice-creams, and then lunch at Evelyn's enjoying clam cakes and chowder, the special two pound fried seafood platter and their signature lobster chow mein, finishing with apple pie and ice cream all washed down with a few jars of Newport Storm beer.

(Afternoon Laser practice optional but unlikely.)

Day 3: Starting style and technique

10 ways to mess up a start at the committee boat

5 really bad techniques for pin-end starts

Be a "starboard tack shark" and learn how to deal with being OCS

Practice hiding from the race committee in the mid-line sag.

Once you have learned Tillerman's starting style you will never have to worry about "holding your lane" again... because you will never have a clear lane.

Day 4: Mental health day

Today we will focus on mastering Tillerman's mental approach to Laser sailing.

We will set sailing goals and then brainstorm ways to avoid achieving them.

We will look at the weather every hour during the day and invent a difference excuse why it's not time to go sailing yet.

We will inspect our boats, make lists of required maintenance, and then learn the seven excuses for never actually doing any work on the boat.

At the end of Day 4 you will be a professional procrastinator.

(Afternoon Laser practice optional but not recommended: if you sail you fail.)

Day 5: Putting it all together

Today we will practice as a group all of our new skills. Each student will be given a two minute start over the rest of the fleet in practice races and then, by using the Tillerman Laser Techniques, will be humiliated as the rest of the fleet overtake him or her. We are expecting a guest appearance from that guy who will demonstrate that however a big a lead you establish early in the race, he can always crush you before the finish.

At the end of the day you will know that you will never be a winner and be resigned to your true status as a failure and back-of-the fleet bum.

Every evening of your week at Proper Course:The Laser Experience! we have special events arranged for you...
  • Visit to the Proper Course Fitness Center (aka Tillerman's basement gym) to admire the pristine condition of Tillerman's rarely used hiking bench.

  • Guest lecture by renowned Boston lawyer and Racing Rules expert Litoralis on "Procedural Tricks and Head Fakes Guaranteed to Confuse the Protest Committee."

  • Visit to the Proper Course Interactive Gaming Center (aka Tillerman's basement man-cave) for tactical training on Sailx. We will be racing against world-famous online sailors such as bigNeil, theycallmegod and CspotFoul. If you wish you can hire Litoralis at a special discounted hourly rate to represent you in the Sailx Protest Room.

  • Trip to the bars of Newport RI to demonstrate the effects of alcohol consumption on dehydration and its impact on sailing performance the next day.

  • Try the hot new work-out... pole dancing. Or, if you prefer, just watch.

We hope you will join us for an excellent time sailing in the beautiful waters of Narragansett Bay. Depending on the wind and weather conditions we can perfect our death rolls in the big waves off Third Beach, ogle the trophy wives in Bristol, or see if we can score a rare sighting in Wickford of the last surviving Force 5 sailor in New England.

This course is a lot of work for the participants, but a few days of hard work will cement your status as a loser for the rest of your life. The learning curve is awesomely shallow.

Sign up before Sep 14th for the special introductory discount price of only $3995 for the 5-day seminar. This once-in-a-lifetime price includes instruction, charter boat, and commemorative T-shirt. Beer, chow mein and tips for the dancers not included.

Coming soon, by the same people who brought you Proper Course: The Laser Experience! ...
  • Proper Course: The Dating Agency!
  • Proper Course: The Haiku Composition Weekend!
  • Proper Course: Pole Dancing for Beginners!
10% discount on all seminars for previous attendees at Proper Course: The Laser Experience!

The original suggestion which inspired me to launch my new business venture Proper Course: The Laser Experience! came from a request on Captain JP's log to create "the ultimate YourBlog Experience! that captures the essence of what your blog is about and which your audience might possibly be convinced to pay to do." Thanks for the idea JP.

Thanks also (and apologies) to those other Laser training schools who inevitably provided some of the inspiration for this post, especially SailFit, Rick White's Sailing Seminars and the Laser Training Center at Cabarete. Without their help I would be an even worse Laser sailor than I actually am.


Anonymous said...

Excellent, how can I register ? :-)

JP said...

Fab experience - maybe should send my old friend Buff to do a review? I think he would learn a lot.

Unknown said...

Brilliant, sign me up

ari said...

When is the DVD coming out?

Tillerman said...

Great idea Ari. I think the Experience! is going to make me a very rich man.

By the way, for readers who may think that the readers and commenters on this blog are all as bad at Laser sailing as I am, congratulations to Ari who won a race at a world championship yesterday!!

bonnie said...

Hey, where's the part where you learn how to nearly hang yourself with a competitor's mainsheet?


O Docker said...

This may be one of your best bits of writing.

It could have used an intermission, I think - I started getting the munchies about halfway through. But still, it might just win some kind of award or something. If the rest of us aspire to win a Tillie, what does Tillerman aspire to? Is the quest for world domination in itself reward enough?

And oh, what equation do you use for calculating the optimum length of a blog post? I need to know this because I'll probably be starting up my own blog soon. I hope there's no calculus in it - in the equation, that is.

I shudder to think what the O Docker Experience might be.

Tillerman said...

The hanging lesson is there bonnie. Second link on day 1. You need to read to the end of the linked post which is rather long.

Thanks for the feedback O Docker. Yes, this is rather a long post, I know. I think that's because I made the mistake of actually planning this post rather than just writing random thoughts off the top of my head like I usually do. I was jotting down ideas that would fit this topic for a couple of days and ended up with a long list. And though it may not be obvious to anybody but me I also incorporated deliberate parodies of those "other" Laser school's websites.

Perhaps I need a course on editing? Maybe somebody who works in the newspaper business could offer Editing: The Experience!

Pat said...

I have some really great techniques on docking technique to contribute to the syllabus, including how to break multiple bones while bouncing off a pier into the water, and how to aim your hull precisely at a cleat on a low-lying pier while making a downwind approach in a small gale.

For the paddling annex and the benefit of the Noo Yawker paddle crowd, I can offer supplementary tips on how to use a kayak as a tugboat and how to get in and out of a kayak on a mud gumbo shoreline.

Pat said...

O Docker --

World domination?

Nah, that's far too much responsibility. I don't want to own the world, but just want to play with it.

PeconicPuffin said...

Now we know where Horse Joe is taking his vacation...he's coming to study with Lord T!

Be careful, don't want any of his Force Five juice to get on you.

Tillerman said...

I'm looking forward to reading Joe's Horse's Mouth: The Sailing, Surfing, Fishing and Wahines Experience!

Smilicus said...

Sign me up...o no wait, no money for a plane ticket. Will I be able to mail myself to Rhode Island in a large brown box?? Or maybe attempt a world record and sail all the way there from South Africa?

I'm coming...might only be there in 2011.

Aggel said...

I'd buy the DVD box as well - platinum edition with the original Tillerman comments about production and everything! Get rich :-)

Hope I'll get the chance to come to Rhode Island and join your class one day.

Emily Fabpants said...

This is what sailing and LIFE should be about. ZEN and the ART of Lazer Boat Racing, BADLY.

Not looking at the course in is my tip. Never have bothered. Guessing and inventing is much more fun. As with LIFE. Choose your own route or follow with diversions.

I await your book!

Buff Staysail said...

Where's my water bottle, Tillerman?

Looking forward to reading my old friend O'Docker's blog!

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading a book of "The Best Sailing Short Stories". Two quotes come to mind:

"Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory"


"Firmly at the back of the pack unincumbered by right-of-way or overtaking rules".

You are a genious.

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