Thursday, June 18, 2009

Culture Clash Redux

Tillerman has taken the coaching issue by the horns and ran hard with it. Bully for him! It's been fun to stand back and watch the fireworks. I have a couple of points I would like to add to my original post on the Culture Clash.

  • As I mentioned in a previous post, I was Vice Chair for Laser ACC for the full rigs and I cannot remember any coach boats at that regatta. Maybe the three young, fit and top notch Canadians (who I assume were on the Canadian Olympic Development Squad) had a coach boat, but it was so inconspicuous as to slip my memory. Five or six Laser sailors brought out waterproof duffel bags which they stored on the RC boat and retrieved between races if they needed a gear change. If adult Laser sailors at the ACC's, including one who sailed in the Quindao Olympics and many workaday Laser Joe's with a lot less hours in the Laser this year than a junior, if these adult Laser sailors can eschew individual coaches at a regatta, why is it any different for the juniors?
  • I am not against coaches. There is a time and place for them. If I wasn't such a cheapskate, I'm sure my sailing would benefit tremendously from some coaching ........ but sentiment seems to be trending on clamping down on selective coaching at regattas. I understand even the big money classes such as the Star and Etchells 22 have issued new rulings on coaching at regattas.
  • One other issue that doesn't seem to be addressed in this discussion. If juniors are getting top notch coaching and then Master sailor Mike Shmidt condemns juniors as by and large, rule cheats, then ipso facto, the coaches are teaching the kids to ignore the rules.

An interesting coach/pupil turnaround; at the Laser ACC full rig regatta, Olympic boardsailor Farrah Hall (yes the one that beat US Sailing upside the head with the IOC) was watching her Olympic manager, John Bertrand, racing .... unfortunately with two OCS for the day.

1 comment:

johnz said...

Hey Rod, I had a ringside seat on the mark boat at this Tuesday's Annapolis TESOD. Eric Bowers - a kid in his early 20's who is teaching sailing at Oxford MD this summer - lead the Lasers by a huge distance for most races. I saw him do a circle after passing a leeward mark that no one but he could have seen him touch. He dropped to second place after doing the circle. What a breath of fresh air and role model for other sailors, young and old!