Monday, May 18, 2009

Pro Speak ..... Duh!

Sometimes the sailing pros come up with a new way to describe sailboat racing that has me scratching my head. I was reading a daily report of the J24 Worlds over at Sailing Anarchy . Moose McClintock was the correspondent and I enjoy reading his reports but he wrote something like this (I paraphrase here) "We started at the pin and were able to manage the left side of the course". I've seen that word "manage" in other articles by the pros and all I can say is "Huh?".

Not wanting to appear to be out of touch for an oldster, I went to another pro and asked him what it meant "to manage the (left side/right side/center/group...)". He looked at me with that exasperated look that pros give the uninformed and then launched into several tactical scenarios that still left me scratching my head.

So, I have come up with my own definitions of what it is to "manage" in sailboat racing;

  1. As you come into the weather mark, if you are the leader of (left/right/center/group.......) then you have correctly "managed" that (left/right/center/group). So it is self fulfilling; if you lead you have effectively managed. (That is a very pro mindset ... I have controlled the sheep!)
  2. If you are #2 on down of (left/right/center/group....) as you come into the weather mark, you have incorrectly managed, you are a loser! If you were leading 2/3 the way up the beat and then the guy to leeward found fifth gear to blast ahead, again, you have not managed, you are a loser. The windward mark is the arbiter.
  3. It is not allowable to try to break the race into increasingly smaller subsets to effectively "manage". The following scenario would get you laughed out of, say, the Melges 24 Worlds Beer Tent. "I got shut out of the leeward pin, flipped to port, took a lot of sterns, but "managed" the 3 tailenders around me to round the weather mark in 85th"

Just remember, the next time you cross me and tack on my air, you are not allowing me to effectively manage my side of the course! Please be nice!

1 comment:

Tillerman said...

Great topic. I suspect that "managing" the group on your part of the course is related to the subject of Positioning that I wrote about a few weeks ago. I sure wish that one of those pros would explain how they manage that group to come out in the lead at the windward mark.