Sunday, February 14, 2010

Worst Stream of Consciousness; Tillerman

Tillerman has another writing assignment; Worst Sailing Innovation Ever. I started out with the best intention to keep to the Tillerman topic but, alas, my stream of consciousness derailed it totally.

My original rant was straight forward; how the singlehanded assymetric dinghy was the worst sailing innovation ever. Why take something (an assymetric spinnaker) that is perfectly sensible when the duties of hoisting, flying and stowing are done by a crew, and then innovate the systems so now we can dump all that work on just one skipper. Pity the poor fool. First he pays a pretty penny for all the extra complication of the spinnaker gear and then he has to sail the damn thing. When he goes blasting down a reach, his total focus must be on the spinnaker and steering, not the reverie of the bow wave squirting out from halfway back on the hull. Heaven forbid, don't ever take a peek back at the stern wake, whooshing away flat and fast, lest that moments inattention put you in the drink. Good luck facing the arduous task of retrieving the spinnaker before righting the boat. Expensive, complicated, and tons of work... just doesn't make sense.

And to compound the foolishness, new assymetric singlehanded classes keep coming and coming. Two, the RS100 and Devoti D-One, have been introduced in the past eight months. Never mind that, except for the loony Brits, assymetric singlehanding has not been a marketing success.

But Mr. Smarty Pants blogger, how can you deny there are assymetric singlehanded sailors, normal blokes, who have geat fun blasting around under spinnaker, who love the speed, the difficulty and the challenge of doing everything themselves?. Plus, Mr. Smarty Pants blogger, wouldn't you say your beloved International Canoe is also a tad complicated with a sliding seat and a jib and you also loved the challenge of handling all this complication. Who are you to rail against complicated singlehanders? Hypocrite!

Hmm....Point well taken.

And then I thought.....I had it all wrong. What was worst about this, wasn't the assymetric singlehanded concept itself, but all the hype that surrounds this "innovation". All those magazines, big name professionals, and even a blogger or two that tout assymetric singlehanding as the next wave of singlehanded dinghy racing and how we all should throw away our current singlehanders and join the bandwagon. And this despite all evidence that the assymetric singlehander is a tiny niche market and will never make inroads on all those pokey singlehanded classes with one sail and one sail only. Even the Grand Daddy of sailing blogs, Sailing Anarchy, piled on more hype, somehow managing to finagle a trip to Italy to test sail the Devoti D-One and write how this was indeed the future of singlehanded sailing and that everyone should buy a Devoti D-One. What a Corporate tool!

Well Mr. Smarty Pants blogger, if you were offered a trip to Italy to talk up the Devoti D-One as the culmination of all singlehanded development, wouldn't you just get on with it and book that ticket without a second thought.

Err.... Point well taken.

And another thing Mr. Smarty Pants blogger, have you ever stepped foot in an assymetric singlehander? I thought not! This is just another ill informed rant to add to the legions of ill informed rants the Internet offers up on a daily basis. What a loser! It's people with attitudes like you who are keeping sailing in the dark ages. Just go back to your hole and take your Fuddy Duddy opinions with you.

Guilty as charged.

Two videos;

Here's a promotional video of the class that started all this craziness in the early 1990's; the MX-Ray

And a recent video of the Devoti D-One;

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