Thursday, April 12, 2012

Laser Sailing: The Rules

Laser Sailing: The Rules - by The Keepers

We are the Keepers of the Vang. In so being, we also maintain the sacred text wherein lie the simple truths of Laser Sailing etiquette known as The Rules. It is in our trust to maintain and endorse this list.

#1 Obey The Rules.

This isn't the Pirate's Code, for Pete's sake. These aren't guidelines. These are The Rules.

#2 Lead by example.

Be the one in your fleet saying things like "It's only blowing 35 knots. Let's go racing!" and "It will only take us an hour or so to dig the boats out of the snow. Let's go racing!"

#3 Guide the uninitiated.

Novices should be guided in the ways of Laser sailing. HOW ELSE WILL THEY LEARN IF YOU DON'T
SHOUT AT THEMgently tell them of the error of their ways?

#4 You sail a Laser because you like pain.

The sooner you appreciate this fact, the happier you'll be.

#5 Harden The Fuck Up.

You should not need telling again.

#6 The purpose of competing is to win.

It's not about enjoying being on the water or having fun with your friends or the T-shirt or the "taking part".

#7 Friends, family and social life do not come first.

Laser sailing does.

#8 If it's not hurting, you're not hiking hard enough.

Hiking is hard. It stays hard. It hurts. It's meant to hurt. See Rule #4.

#9 There are only two remedies for pain.

- Meditate on Rule #4.
- Beer (after the race, not during the race, in case you were wondering.)

#10 It never gets easier, you just go faster.

To put it another way, "Laser racing is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired."

#11 Tanlines on your legs should be cultivated and kept razor sharp.

The few inches of tanned shin between the top of your hiking boots and the bottom of your thee-quarters length hiking pants are a proud sign to the world that you are a Laser sailor.

#12 Tanlines on your arms are a sign of weakness.

Wear a long sleeved rash guard. Tanlines on your arm are just a sign that you spend too much time mowing the lawn in a T-shirt. Real laser sailors don't go sailing in T-shirts.

#13 Facial hair is to be carefully regulated.

You may never shave on the morning of an important regatta as it saps your virility, and you need that to kick ass.

#14 If you don't have a strip of skin with no hair on the backs of your calves, you're not hiking hard enough.

HTFU and refer to Rule #5.

#15 Sunglasses are to be worn in all weathers.

The correct way to wear your sunglasses when they're not shielding your eyes from the sun/glare on the water/glare on the icebergs/whatever is upside-down on your head/hat. If your sunglasses cannot achieve this, buy new sunglasses.

#16 Don't wear a handkerchief hat to go Laser sailing.

It makes you look like a dork.

#17 Don't wear cycling tights to go Laser sailing.

It makes you look like a dork.

#18 Don't wear knee pads to go Laser sailing.

It makes you look like a dork.

#19 Don't wear yellow shoes or turquoise Crocs to go Laser sailing.

It makes you look like a dork.

#20 Wear sunscreen.

But don't slather zinc oxide all over your face. It makes you like a dork.

#21 Be self-sufficient. Rig your own boat.

As a Laser sailor you should be able to rig your own boat. If you need someone else to help you lift the rig into the mast step then take up Sunfish sailing. Letting one of your parents rig your boat for you is strictly forbidden. HTFU. See Rule #5.

#22 Be self-sufficient. Fix your own boat.

You should carry enough tools and spare parts in your car so that you can fix anything that's broken on your Laser without having to ask someone else to borrow a wrench, transom plug, sail repair tape, mast top section or whatever.

#23 Never ever use a Mommy Boat.

Laser sailing is all about being self-sufficient. See Rules 21 and 22. If you need a coach (aka a Mommy Boat) to help you at a regatta you're not ready to sail in it. Be self-sufficient - carry your own drink and food and spare clothing. Mommy Boats are for wusses and pussies. HTFU and see Rule #5.

#24 Respect the ocean. Don't litter.

Sailing is not an excuse to litter. Do not throw your energy bar wrappers or empty drinking water bottles in the sea.

#25 No stickers on the boat.

Nobody gives a shit what causes you support, what war you’re against, what gear you buy, what Laser Girls kick, or what year you sailed Miami OCR. See Rule #5 and just sail your boat. Exceptions are made for Master sailors who may have one sticker on their boat saying Cheat the nursing home - Die on your Laser.

#26 Writing WIN or HIKE HARDER or HTFU on your boat makes you a massive douche.

1) We all like winning, you idiots.
2) If you need to write something on your boat to remind you to HIKE HARDER or HTFU, you need to HTFU. See rule #5.

#27 Support your local Laser dealer.

Never buy parts, clothing or accessories online. Going into your local shop, asking myriad inane questions, tying up the staff’s time, then going online to buy is akin to having a beer with your best friend and then sleeping with his wife. Online is evil and will be the death of the local Laser dealer.

#28 Drink real beer.

Sailing and beer are so intertwined we may never understand the full relationship. Beer is a recovery drink, an elixir for post-racing trash talking, a pain-killer and a just plain excellent thing to pour down the neck. See Rule #9.

We sail to drink so don’t fool around. Drink quality beer from real breweries. If it is brewed with rice instead of malted barley or requires a lime, you are off the path. Life is short, don’t waste it on piss beer.

#29 In summer the only acceptable headgear is a sailing cap.

This should be at least 10 years old, stained with sweat and salt and a little blood, and with the logo of some obscure sailing club, preferably from the other side of the world.

#30 In winter the only acceptable headgear is a knitted beanie cap.

This should make you look like a total badass who is really a member of some elite Special Forces unit just taking a weekend off to do some Laser sailing before flying off to Pakistan on Monday to assassinate some terrorist leader or other.

Absolutely never wear a neoprene helmet. It makes you look like a kayaker. Are you really planning to spend as much time with your head underwater as kayakers do?

And never ever wear one of those Peruvian llama herder hats. It makes you look like a Peruvian llama herder.

Peruvian llama herder hat

#31 Learn how to do a California Roll.

#32 The correct number of Lasers to own is n+1.

The minimum number of Lasers you should own is three, one for racing, one for practice and one to lend to your friends. The correct number of Lasers to own is n+1, where n is the number of Lasers currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of Lasers owned that would result in separation from your partner.

#33 Display your Laser sailing injuries with pride.

Bruises, blisters, sores, scabs, cuts and calluses are signs that you have been sailing hard. Cherish them. If there's no blood on the deck at the end of a day's sailing, you haven't been trying hard enough. See Rule #5.

#34 Build the sport.

Be the guy who calls three of his friends and invites them to come Laser sailing with him this weekend. Seriously. Just do it. Now.

#35 Volunteer.

If you see something that needs to be done in your local fleet, club or district and it isn't being done or isn't being done as well as you think it should be done... then don't whine about it; do it yourself.

#36 If you can't think of anything else you can do to help the sport, then be the guy that brings the beer.

See Rule #28.

#37 Speedos are not appropriate attire for Laser sailing.

Trust me. You don't want to know how I know this.

#38 Learn how to do a headstand on the foredeck.

#39 Learn how to tack the boat by running round the mast.

#40 Learn how to tack the boat by stepping through the gap between the sail and the boom.

None of the last three rules will give you skills that are remotely useful when you are racing. They are only to be used for showing off to noobs and impressing them with what a badass you are.

#41 Embrace Laser sailing in bad weather.

If you are out Laser sailing in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Those who go Laser sailing in foul weather – be it freezing cold, pouring with rain, or blowing dogs off chains – are members of a special fraternity. Just think about all your competitors who have wussed out. FUCK THOSE GUYS.

#42 Don't make your excuses before you race.

STFU and refer to rule #5.

#43 Don't make your excuses after the racing either.

STFU and refer to rule #5.

#44 Do your turns.

Nobody likes a cheat. Some Danish guy once said if you win the respect of your competitors while losing the race they are more likely to buy you a beer afterwards than vice versa. Or something. See Rule #28.

#45 Simply owning a copy of Ben Ainslie's book does not make you sail faster.

Some training is involved.

#46 Don't be intimidated by other people's expensive Zhik sailing gear.

They could just have rich parents and own a copy of Ben Ainslie's book. Doesn't make them fast. Take them the fuck out in your beaten up 30 year old green Laser.

#47 Never argue with the official measurer.

You can never win an argument with an official measurer armed with a steel ruler.

#48 Don't be a jackass to the other sailors.

Worst case, you will get banned from sailing for two years and your name will become a verb meaning "being a jackass to other sailors." Best case, nobody will want to have a beer with you after racing. See Rule #28.

#49 Don't be a jackass to the race committee.

They are all volunteers giving up their time so you can go Laser racing. They deserve your respect and pity. Besides, the PRO can call you OCS in the next race and you will never be able to prove that you weren't.

#50 Just don’t be a jackass.

But if you absolutely must be a jackass, be a funny jackass.

The Keepers of the Vang have asked me to give credit to Anna of Something about rowing...? who wrote Rowing: The Rules, and Velominati: The Keepers of the Cog who published The Rules of cycling. Apparently, these were the inspiration for the creation of Laser Sailing: The Rules.



Baydog said...

Way too many rules. Sailing sucks.

Noodle said...

Insane. Simply insane. More rules here than in the rulesbook. You made me smile. Special LOL @ 10 and 44. Baydog, since these rules are for Laser sailors, it would mean Laser sailing sucks, right?

George A said...

What ever happened to your love of sailing with a helmet? Too dorky??? Damn! and just after I went out and purchased a Bern Watts with a cute little visor. I'm always behind the fashion curve, sigh.

Sam Chapin said...

Yes and No.

Baydog said...

I'm still amazed at the picture of the gorillas

SFBayLaser said...


Brent J. Burrows II said...

Love 'em.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

The only Laser I'll ever touch again will be my granddaughter's or my grandson's.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

I am not a dork.

O Docker said...

Before I wrote a rule I'd ask to know
What I was ruling in or ruling out
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a rule.

Tillerman said...

Spring is the mischief in me

The Keeper of the Vang said...

Son, we live in a world that has rules, and those rules have to be guarded by men with rule books. Who's gonna do it? You? You, O Docker? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, wins races. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me and my rules, you need me and my rules.

Duck Lewis said...

The Velominati see what you have done here.

Anonymous said...

Should I name my Laser, if so what would be suitable. I was thinking of 'Paper Moon'... is this Dorkish or acceptable?...' Sailing across a cardboard sea'.

Tillerman said...

The Rules are silent on the subject of naming boats so go ahead. Call it what you like.

Anonymous said...

Anthony Boscolo wears a peruvian llama herder hat and kicks ass,,,, probably kick your ass on the water.... just saying.....

Tillerman said...

If Anthony Boscolo wants to look like a Peruvian llama herder he should move to Peru and herd llamas for a living.

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