No Interest in the AC?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by RHough, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Harold Vanderbilt on the other hand my dissagree. When the Cup when from the J's to the 12's he argued;

    "size and importance are brothers, though it may be a frailty of human nature that they be judged so."


    "Racing in smaller boats has not the same fascination for a man who has been lucky enough to be at the helm of the great J boats. You miss their sense of power."

    So while for most the size of the Cup boats may not matter, for others it is the whole thing. To paraphrase something pointed out earlier; large boats price the riff-raff out of the competition.
  2. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    I've got no problem with a big mono but a cat..maybe
    You certainly need sandbox for the big guys and this is one thing that makes the AC special
    They are happy with big and expensive but that doesnt have to be 30kts fast I dont think?

    I remember the teams talking that the 33rd was going to be in 90' sloops before EB f*cked it all up.
  3. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    This is exactly what I said. That for the same stress levels the structural requirements are the same.

    I don't disagree that more highly loaded structures are more prone to failure. Even without a structural design course over the internet that is pretty obvious. :)

    For a given weigh and length when you assume that a cat sails on one hull the structure of each hull should be about the same a mono. The multi has twice the weight in hulls as the comparable mono. For a crude example lets assume 15% of the total is rig on both boats. The mono has 50% of it's weight in ballast, leaving 35% for the hull. The Cat would have 70% of its weigh in the hulls and 15% in rig leaving 15% of the total for extra structure?

    The question becomes can you use that 15% of the total weight to end up with greater sail carrying power (added beam) without loading the structure more than the mono? Not as much extra to play with as I first assumed.

    I'll take you word for it that it cannot be done ... since I can't afford the next lesson in the structural design course. :)

    I do see your points, and I thank you for taking the time to give me more to think about.

  4. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    That part of the Mercury Bay case was based on a argument that is flawed. That the Deed must not have considered catamarans because LWL does not apply as a speed limiting factor.

    The ruling was that a multi-hull was NOT excluded by the Deed.

    Skimming dishes with centre boards were also a distinct variety of vessel compared to the plank on edge vessels. You cannot assume that just because a vessel is a distinct variety that there was an intention to exclude any variety of vessel.

    Fair enough. We see this differently. If you see the progression from 12's to IACC's as similar to the progression from front-engine to mid-engine racing cars one of us is incorrect. :)

    I don't criticize those that want to race mono vs mono. I am one of them. The rest of this paragraph is cut and paste from the same arguments you have made in the past. What you fail to address is my question of how those that want to race against other monos are harmed by including other sailors in our events.

    I thought the sport all of us love is sailing? How is the challenge of getting around the course different for a multi compared to a mono?

    I agree ... the Bingo players don't drink with the racers ... the racers don't drink with the fishing fleet ... the powerboaters don't drink with the sailors ...
    I suppose that when people were excluded by sex or race we didn't drink with them either. What is your point? No one wants to keep you from drinking with your friends, how would including a new group keep you from doing that? When the club sells more beer it is usually a good thing. Encourage new groups to join us?

    All I'm trying to point out is that there are events that have lost and continue to lose entries, yet refuse to change the limits on entires. That seems counter productive. What is causing fewer entries in the S-H? Disparate craft? Would numbers increase again if the powered Maxi's were told to go start their own race?

    We know your sailing resume is extensive. You remind us often. :) I'm glad we agree that the diversity in sailing is a great thing.

    I don't think I've argued against any of this in principal. It is not hard to include diverse types in a regatta with a bit of creative course planning. IMO having 50-60 boats in a regatta and having class breaks and courses so that multi's and cruisers and J80's can all share resources and talk trash at the bar is better than holding three separate events. When we do dinghies, and there are kites and sailboards and Hobbies etc. We set multiple courses and share the party. We have more sailors involved for the same number of events. I think that is good. Perhaps if we had 60 PHRF racer/cruisers and 60 multis and 60 sports boats, separate event would make sense.

    From what I've seen it makes more sense to put sports boats, canters, and multi's together and separate from moderate displacement monos, than to separate multi's and lump the sports boats and canters in with the older moderate boats. I would ask however why people feel that the canters are messing up mixed fleet racing? Is it because the speeds vary so greatly that by the time the older boats finish the press and the beer are gone?

    The AC is sold as the top level of sailing, compared to F1 more times than not. Thus it is odd to hold it in slow boats. This argument is like saying that F1 hurts auto racing because it does not use modified production cars and thus is actually a direct attack on diversity, because it devalues and therefore discourages the millions of slow sedans that give the sport its accessibility, economy and diversity.

    Fast boats in the AC don't hurt grass roots sailing and fast cars in F1 don't hurt grass roots sedan racing.

    There are more "fast boat" guys racing new sports boats than ever before. They seem to be welcome, yet a "fast boat" guy with a multi is told to go start his own club? "Sorry, we don't allow (insert minority here) into our club." I don't remember saying that Mono guys are snobs. I do think they are trying to protect the status quo and are somewhat elitist by excluding others that express their passion for the sport we love differently.

    And you have not made a case for supporting excluding a minority that shares a common interest. I argue against exclusion by race and sex too.

    How does including Multi's in regattas where their performance is similar to "fast monos" keep you from doing what you want to do?

    When the arguments sound the same as those for not allowing people the right to vote or own land how should they be characterized?

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  5. TollyWally
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    TollyWally Senior Member

    I think perhaps that you might be overlooking the unspoken meat of what CT is saying. Not enough people are identifying with the boats racing in the AC.

    I know there are many happy people racing and playing in the multifleets, racing and otherwise. And I understand that AC monohulls, 12 meter or otherwise have little in common with average yacht club fleet racers But, there is always a but, multis are still the fringe at least in my part of the US, and mono guys could identify with 12 meter boats and crew in a way they don't with exotic yet fragile AC multis.

    Interest in sporting events is often based on identity. That's our hometeam playing football, even though the fellows are all hired guns, often from different subcultures, who may have nothing in common what so ever with the locals cheering their "boys" from the stands.

    "And you have not made a case for supporting excluding a minority that shares a common interest. I argue against exclusion by race and sex too.

    How does including Multi's in regattas where their performance is similar to "fast monos" keep you from doing what you want to do?

    When the arguments sound the same as those for not allowing people the right to vote or own land how should they be characterized?"

    You are framing and politicisizing something that has more to do with human nature than civil rights. These are aspects of human nature based on emotions not rational thinking or clear logical reasoning. Those marketing the AC are failing to capture the imagination of the crowd at least in the US. When you play to the crowd your success is measured on their terms not yours.

    The AC has always been about hype and buzz but it was followed more by the yacht club crowd than the nation as a whole. If it slips into obscurity followed only by the fanatical few have we really lost anything? Enthusiasts will still have their race and they won't have to listen to or explain anything to the relatively ignorant majority whose bulk of sailing knowledge comes from their occasional interest in the AC. Of course the downside is you might not be able to get the TV in the local bar tuned to race coverage if there is a ballgame playing. :) My .02
  6. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    This came from US Sailing today:


    This what CT 249 and I have been debating. So I thought this is timely.

    I get that CT 249 sees continued fragmentation as good, I do not agree.

  7. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    I think that your observations are sound and based correctly in what is typically referred to as, Conventional Wisdom (CW). Unfortunately, the CW of a topic is not always connected to what is right. Since Randy offered-up a smidgen of a comment on race preferences, I'll further the analogy.

    Way back in the 50's in the US, race differences were highly segregated socially and existing laws in many communities of the country enforced them. The Civil Rights Movement of the volatile 60's changed the CW of the public in the US, slowly and deliberately, until the awareness of the issue changed the CW of the segregated communities, resulting in new laws which remain today. Racial prejudice is still not completely gone in this country, but it is quite a bit better than it used to be. I have hope for the future.

    I see much of what Randy is proposing as akin to this same kind of shifting of CW, until the sailing community, as a whole, embraces the acceptance of all boat types in all classes and stops this internal and destructive bickering that only serves to split our interests apart. No offense intended, but I see many of the same arguments in the, "well, it's their race, shouldn't they be allowed to admit anyone they want?" argument, as I do in the racial exclusion that was seen in this country since we first populated the continent with Northern Europeans. It's not civil laws in this case, that are being violated, it's moral laws of exclusion that have only served, as noted, to weaken our overall sport and ultimately drive potential participants away.

    United we stand, divided we fall.

    I couldn't think of a better way to knock-off the interests of sailing craft in sailing venues everywhere, than to drive a wedge into the various sailboat factions and get them shouting at one another and casting lame aspersions as to suitability when it comes to what constitutes a safe craft, etc.

    The way that sailboat sales have drifted on the reef of commerce echoes this process perfectly. We've just about done ourselves in if one looks closely at sales figures and rapidly declining numbers of manufacturing firms. The market trending arrow is heading down and it has been for some time.

    I have never really cared about the BS between Larry and Ernesto and truthfully, I think that they have both played a major role in this ignorantly produced regatta of theirs. What I was looking for in all this and will, apparently, be sent home crying as a result, is the arrival of racing multihulls on Sailing's most effective stage. I hope that it changes, but it looks like a play that has bombed in just about every way possible while the two major producers stand around with the nasty, "I fart in your general direction", epithet spewing from their lips like so much putrid spittle.

    I'm simply flogged while thinking about Marlon Brando and his famous, Oscar winning speech from On the Waterfront, that went, "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it."
  8. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    I don't think it's an accurate portrayal of his views to say that CT 249 is arguing for 'fragmentation,' as such. But when you dump everyone into the same pot and make them race against each other or not at all, you're driving the vast majority of people and vessels out of the races.

    And now that the multihulls have driven monohulls out of the AC, they're demanding rules that narrowly define acceptable conditions for their benefit. They're refusing to even sail in seas and winds that the old monohulls would have thrived in. How can that be good for racing, or for yachting in general?
  9. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Multihulls have not, as an entity, driven monohulls out of the AC. Even though I prefer multihulls to monohulls, that process was initiated by Ernesto. The rules, as you see them being acted out today, are the result of two super wealthy dudes who refuse to budge an inch in favor of a well-run regatta with a real chance to impact the entire boating community, and beyond.

    They have further exacerbated the issue by commiting to fairly fragile iterations of the multihull genre in search of every ounce of performance. They could have done this regatta with boats such as IDEC and Sodeb'O, which are designed to run in just about all ocean and weather conditions imaginable, avoiding the cancelled race thing altogether.

    Unfortunately, that's not what has happened.

    Overall, it's not good for racing or yachting, I agree, but it has nothing at all to do with multihulls as a class. It has to do with this particular iteration of the genre as you see it before you. The choice could have been just as easily a full-blown contest between fragile, easily broken canting keelers that hovered at the oblivion threshold of winning and total destruction each time they hit the water.

    Of course, the argument for a super fragile monohull would have required all those so invested to come to terms with the same ignoramus decisions... so consider yourself lucky, if that was your preference.
  10. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Multihulls have done none of this-people have! I don't agree that monohulls have been driven out of the AC-this is probably a one time thing given the incredible mismanagement of this event. I would hope to see boats that really represent the state of the art in sailing technology always sail in the Cup-mono or multi.
    The arbitrary and ridiculous limitations imposed on this Cup do NOT reflect the limitations of multihulls by any stretch of the imagination! They may reflect the limitations of one or both of these multihulls but ,if so, it is not a reflection of the limits of multihull technology but, rather, the incredible shortsightedness of the management of this event.
    From Scuttlebutt/New Zealand Herald:
    Peter Lester (NZL), who was among the afterguard on Michael Fay's 130-foot
    monohull KZ-1 during the previous Deed of Gift match in 1988, provides these
    comments from Valencia after two failed attempts to complete the first race
    of the 33rd America's Cup:
    "The conditions yesterday (Wednesday) appeared pretty reasonable - it was a
    beautiful clear day, and the breeze was a healthy 18 knots. It would have
    been a tough race, but it would have been full of action. But the race
    committee, headed by New Zealand's Harold Bennett, canned the proceedings as
    the 1m swells were considered too extreme. It has to be said these "extreme"
    conditions are easily managed by club sailors around New Zealand.

    It is getting to be quite farcical when these two multimillion-dollar
    machines, with all their technical wizardry, can't go out and race in
    conditions that approximate the real world of sailing. From where I'm
    sitting they are meant to be able to race these things, it's meant to be an
    ocean course and for them to not have raced just doesn't seem right to me.
    The boats not being strong enough is not an excuse - if they haven't built
    boats that are sturdy enough to cope with conditions, then tough.

    As we've seen time after time, the defender controls the game. It is
    becoming very clear that Alinghi are leaning on the race committee to ensure
    that they don't race in conditions unsuitable for their yacht.

    While yesterday's (Wednesday) postponement means the boats will stay in one
    piece, the same can't be said for the public image of the America's Cup.
    With every postponed race the sport is losing further credibility in the
    eyes of the public. There is a real sense of disappointment and frustration
    among the punters gathered here, and no doubt the people watching on the
    television and internet at home."
    -- NZ Herald, full story:
  11. TollyWally
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    TollyWally Senior Member

    LOL guys,
    Modest animosity between old school monohull sailboat racing traditionalistas and new age multihull type dudes is not the same as racism and a fight for an equal shot at civil rights protected under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution. It. Is. Not. Similar.

    Until just recently it was under the control of the NY Yacht Club. The NY Yacht Club. It's an elitist outfit for goodness sakes. And that's ok, there Americans too with the right to associate with whom they choose. This isn't like voting or merit based access to employment or property rights. It's like snowboarders and skiers or maybe more like Telemark guys and mogul skiers.
    Now the NY Yacht club isn't calling the shots anymore but there are still hidebound traditions that are basically the very essense of this particular race.

    Boat racing wasn't just with the yacht club set in the old days but the races were usually less formal. Fishermen racing their boats to market for the best price turned into more formal grudge matches. And Baltimore Opium and Yankee clippers set records across the Atlantic celebrated in the press.

    The America's Cup wasn't really that big a deal until Ted Turner and Dennis Connor put it onto the modern celebrity circuit. Turner did it by being rich, skilled and drunk. Connor did it by being a damn good sailer/hired gun and a bit of an abrasive jerk ala John McEnroe and then losing "our" cup.

    Interest in this country faded as we no longer possessed the thing and the boats became so radical and the rules tweaking by the entity currently in control so obvious. My hat's off to the Aussies that took the thing away from Connor. Damn good sailing from an island nation of damn good sailers descended from an island nation of damn good sailers.

    Connor probably drove a stake in the heart of american interest when he took the thing back with a cat. It was like winning a race with your most important tactician on the crew a lawyer with a brief case not a sailer with a float coat. For the rest of it I stand by my earlier post.

    Now I don't have a dog in this fight but I do know a little bit about yacht clubs and sailboat racing. I've never skippered but I was a hired gun who trimmed jibs exceedingly well going upwind and lolled around with a drink in my hand as a tactician going downwind. Yacht racing is a wee bit pretencious but that's ok, we're all americans and can pursue whatever trip we desire. The traditional stereotype yacht club guys don't share the same subculture as the multihull guys.

    The short version of this lenghty diatribe, you're all sailers but you're different tribes and it's not like racism. Diversity and inclusion may be PC but it isn't neccessary in racing between voluntary associates. My .02.
  12. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Well TollyWally, if it's tribal then you're always going to have tribal animosity and hatred. I agree that some multihullers are being somewhat Utopian hoping that we can all sail and race and be nice to each other but as you said, early racing between fishermen going to market turned into some intense grudge matches .... and nothing has really changed since. Intense tribalism is half a step away from racism anyway, look at soccer hooligans; no correction, is the same. But it is understandable that the frustration of old world foolishness drives free thinkers spare .... hence the moderate, hopeful, voices of reason from Chris and Randy. But in the end, if yachting is losing public interest, the more the defecation flies between tribes, the more they will take notice. This is Fox Noise non-philosophy ... and it works too damn well for them. But the question remains: do we really want that sort of ignorant attention and publicity? Probably yes. Gawd, did I write this? Open another Grolsch.
  13. TollyWally
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    TollyWally Senior Member

    Maybe Gary Maybe,

    Sailing was my first love on the water and I will always sail a bit. But I don't even get out in my sailboat every summer but I spend a lot of time boating. So the two sailing tribes look down each other's noses a bit, big deal. I think this tribal split thing is being taken way too seriously
    They are basically two different schools of thought, different philosophies even. But hatred? Methinks perhaps that a wee bit dramatic.

    Wide spread interest in the AC was a bit of a fluke. For what ever reason it's place in the sun in this country is fading. Face it, racing at 6 to 30 mph. is still a bit tame by many people's standards. I'm not knocking it I'm just saying.
  14. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    When the disgusting quasi-racist card is flung around, one can't help responding.

    It's not about tribes - just as an example, some families encompasses all tribes in sailing; I know a family with championship wins from 12 Metres to leadmine offshore racers, through to kites. Are they bigots when they feel that the kitesurfers should be allowed to run a contest without inviting the 12 Metres?

    What some people are saying is that no one has the right to run any event that doesn't allow everyone into their sport or interest group to enter. That's just what all other sports and interest groups, from air guitarists to watercolour painters, do.

    It's just whether some people are allowed to organise events just for those with their own interests, just like cat sailors do, just like foil and epee fencers do, just like longboard and shortboard and bodyboard and kneeboard and surf ski surfers do, just like the sportscar club around Randy's place does and the motorbike clubs do, just like nuclear physicists do, just like vision scientists do, just like track cyclists and time trial cyclists and recumbent cyclists and road cyclists and cyclocross cyclists and BMX and MTB cyclist do, just like whisky lovers do, just like wine lovers do, just like poodle fanciers do, just like wavesailing windsurfers do, just like Jane Austen lovers do, just like classical musicians do, just like G&S lovers do, just like B & D lovers do, just like snowboarders do, just like offshore and trailable multihullers do.

    So, some people think that daring to actually run an event for one specific type of sporting equipment is quasi-racist. Fine - I'd like them to tell that to the guy who runs the local cat-only club, who comes from a very different racial background to most of his compatriots, but still runs a club just for cats. And I'd like them to tell that to the guy who runs the local windsurfer-only club, who also comes from a very different racial background to most of his compatriots, but still runs a club just for windsurfers. I'd like them to tell that to the guy who attracted internation attention when he demanded an apology for the racism of his sport's main club in South Africa, yet still feels that some disciplines of his sport should remain distinct from other disciplines of his sport, which is all some of us are saying.

    As was clearly said before, if Randy's area suits all-in events, that's great. They can be great fun- some of us love them. But that doesn't mean that those who also love events just for one type should be subjected to disgusting personal slurs (and yes, Randy, look back a few pages and you did accuse some of snobbery).

    But there are issues (which are significant but too detailed to go into here) with allowing too big a mix into any one event, and those of us who CAN get 60 boats of each type together don't need slurs and insults. In fact, maybe those who struggle to get decent fleets in their area could stop the slagging off, and learn from those where each type of craft is respected (whether it wants to sail against its own type or not) and which attract much bigger fleets. I notice that in Randy's area, the junior sailing club had to create its own club because the big boats took over their former club....that illustrates that keeping the balance between widely divergent competing interests is not all that easy. In fact, a lot of the time it's MORE efficient to say that lovers of one type should go to one club, and lovers of another type should go to another. Just as you don't get clubs that have soccer and gridiron and Aussie Rules and Rugby League and Rugby Union and gaelic football, sometimes it can be more efficient (and much better for the sport) if a club concentrates on running events for a limited number of craft.

    And if some people find it hard to understand how people can find different challenges to talk about over a beer after sailing, then maybe they should go and race a Tornado, where after a race you go "man, wasn't it ****-scaring to go downwind double-trapping at a million miles an hour under that kite in 25 knots, hoping like keeerrrrriiiiiist that the lee bow wasn't going to dig in and turn it all to *****. How the hell did Bundy and Gashby do that so well". After you do that, you mainly want to talk mostly to the other Tornado crews, not the Laser, 470 or Star sailors.

    And then they should go and race in the Lasers, when the talk is "man, how much of a challenge was that third race - how do your legs feel after trying to straight-leg through that chop. And hey, how do you think I feel after rolling into windward in just 5 knots because I had such a loose vang on the square run - but how good was that 5-boat roll tacking duel to the finish!" After a race like that, you mainly want to exchange experiences with those who know what it feels like, not with the IRC bowmen.

    And then you could get into the boards, where the talk may be "man, wasn't that a FANTASTIC reach, back straps and fanging!!!! I stuck it in on the third gybe with Bruce, but man he's soooo much better at waterstarting that he kicked my ***". And then you may race with the leadmines, where bowmen talk about peels and headie changes.

    To say that these are not different challenges worth talking about with those who understand them seems very strange. They ARE different, and all equally fantastic, and to insult those who sometimes (not always) just want to race with those who understand the challenge seems to be very strange. After all, cat sailors do it, kite sailors do it, leadmine sailors do it, skiff sailors do it, dinghy sailors do it, windsurfer sailors do it. That doesn't mean that mixed regattas are wrong, no one ever said that - but it does mean that any group who wants to run one race that is traditionally for one type deserves as much cred as anyone else.

    The minute minority who say that all the above are wrong will need better evidence than that they are providing. Monohull sailors are just like portrait painters here in Oz - they represent only a certain proportion of people in their interest group but they have managed to make their own major prize the most celebrated and publicised of all. That is a fantastic feat, one that only lift up all sailors (or painters) and to slag them off because they don't allow multis (or multi-media performance artists, landscape artists or whatever) is as silly as abusing Formula 1 racers because their tight rules do not allow rocket cars, traction-control cars, V12s, turbocharged cars or jet motorbikes.

    No one is looking down at each other. Some prefer tight restrictions in some areas, (which are, after all, what F1 is made of - restrictions on turbochargers, wing area, traction control, engine capacity, revs, launch control, ground effect.... to say that F1 is a balls-out speed class is weird since it is enormously restricted, just like monohulls), some prefer loose restrictions, some prefer tight restrictions in other areas.

    All that some of us are calling for is a love and appreciation of all types of sailing - whether a Laser or Snipe roll tacking in 5 knots, a speedboard screaming over flat water in 50 knots, an F16 or big cat slicing upwind or doing the wild thing downwind with that stunning feel of efficiency, the hyperactive feeling of trapping off an 18 Foot Skiff's wing under big rig when you really should have the small rig if you want to stay on this planet, or the slow and steady power of a 12 Metre or IACC boat - it's all fantastic. Any group who manage to make their style of racing into a huge event should be applauded and appreciated, not slagged off.

    There have been several groups in sailing who have tried to take the crown of the biggest event. Multi sailors probably achieved it in Europe, but no one complained. Windsurfer sailors achieved it in the '80s, but no mono sailors complained. Eighteen Foot Skiff sailors did it in some places, but no one bitched. The foiler Moth sailors said that they could do it, and few people whines.

    For some reason, when monohull keelboat sailors have the biggest event it's said that they should open it up to faster gear, despite the fact that many premier events in other sports are also run under tight performance-reducing restrictions.

    Those who love their form of sailing should be allowed to do it whether they want to do it as a group or in a mixed fleet, without attracting some of the most disgusting slurs and insults known to mankind. And if one group manages to make an event into a major event - just like windsurfers did in the '80s when European rounds of the World Cup had 250,000 spectators and top windsurfers earned more than top leadmine sailors did - then we should just respect their efforts and applaud them.

    BTW, the reason that I noted that I had sailed many different craft was merely to underline that those of us who want respect for each type - and respect for those who for whatever reason have made their event into a huge one - are not all mono-only bigots, leadmine quasi-racists or whatever epithets are flung at us. The whole idea that someone who sails leadmines less than anything else is a leadmine bigot is bizarre.

  15. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Dennis Conner and Ted Turner = America's Cup
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