Olympic Sailing-Dark Days Ahead

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Not only has the Tornado been eliminated but a one design foiler-whether Bladerider or Prowler- is,apparently, not even being considered. Of all the high performance boats now sailing there is NO BOAT that more represents the Olympic spirit than either of those two boats.
    edit: There have been great boats in the Olympics but now that the Tornado has been kicked out there are just the 49er and RSX. The other boats are great boats in their own right but represent
    retro technology that, in my opinion, should be replaced by more up to date boats requiring sailing skills unheard of until recently.
    What I don't like about the Moth derivitives is that they favor flyweight competitors. That's easy to take care of if the ISAF were to conduct trials for a singlehanded foiler for 'heavyweights' and/ or trials for a two man foiler.But I realize that the kind of mentality that would ditch the Tornado would NEVER go for a foiler. And thats too damn bad.....
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2007
  2. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    Check out Rohan Veals comments on the Olympics and ISAF. I share his view 100%!
    Rohan Veal: Home Page
    Address:http://www.rohanveal.com/ Changed:12:59 PM on Friday, November 9, 2007
  3. bobby_mcgrath
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    bobby_mcgrath Junior Member

    Poor time to be making predictions


    Have to chime in here will a few comments about yours. First, I definitely agree with your comments about the Tornado. Its a shame that a great class, that just underwent a revitalization through design and is seeing increased participation and competitiveness from a wider range of countries, to be removed from the Olympic schedule.

    That being said, I have to disagree with the heralding of dark days ahead for Olympic sailing because of the omission of a foiler for 2012. I agree that singlehanded foiled skiffs are an exciting new class, with some new skills and cat like reflexes/speed required. But other than that, what other innovation do they bring to the sport? The desire to keep you boat on the plane as long as possible has been around since the early 18 footers.

    I think, if anything, some time needs to be spent to gauge how popular these craft become. How long were non-foiled skiffs around before they got an Olympic event (49er)? I believe they should get a spot when and if they have proven that foilers are a new avenue for sailing, have a reliable and accessible design, and have the competitor base to warrant the medal. Right now, i'm seeing 1 for 3.

    Just because the IOC/ISAF has not been wowed by the new achievable speeds of a foiler does not mean that Olympic sailing is in any sort of recession or dark time. There cannot be an equipment change every time there is a new skill set introduced, or we will end up with new boats every 4 years.

    Bob McGrath
  4. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Olympic Racing

    Bob, thanks for your post! I believe it's dark days ahead not just because of lack of consideration of a foiler and the dismissal of the Tornado but because of the kind of system -and the thinkng behind it -that would make such
    a travesty possible.
    A bi-foiler like the Moth is the first monohull class in history to sail around a course with the hull out of the water. It is one of the first foilers in history capable of foiling tacks and gybes-whose successful completion depends on sailor skill alone. The Moth foiler is close to if not the fastest sailboat(mono or cat) 20' and under.. Compared to the other Olympic classes it is also one of the least expensive.
    As I remember it, it took Olympic selection for the 49er to start to take off-there were not even fleets in the US(as best I can remember) before selection. There is tremendous excitement around the foiling Moth-I dare say significantly more ,from a press standpoint, than there ever has been with the 49er-or almost any other boat. All the current foiler builders are flat out and any interest from Olympic sailing would create even more demand.
    I find it disturbing that in the face of one of the most significant revolutions in sailboat technology in 100 years that the IOC/ISAF have not even announced any kind of selection trials or expressed any serious public interest.
    It is not every 4 years that a new form of sailing like monohull foiling comes along-in fact, I'd say it's more like once in a century.
    For the Olympic powers that be to fail to recognize this extraordinary development coupled with their pathetic dismissal of the Tornado is, to me at least, a signal of dark days ahead for Olympic Sailing and for what it does and SHOULD represent.
  5. Ramona
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Australia

    Ramona Senior Member

    Olympic sailing is about athletes competing against each other, representing their country. If you are only interested in technology then just follow Americas cup type of completion
    I saw my first two foiler moths a few weeks ago and they were certainly impressive. There are roughly 35 countries involved in Olympic sailing, how many of these counties have even seen a foiler of any description?
    The two foiler moths were competing in a local regatta in a mixed fleet. The wind was very fresh and made for some exciting sailing. Interestingly the best performing class at the event was another old Australian class, the light weight sharpie. Moth numbers in Australia are now very low which is disappointing, this is its home country and many of us started off in moths.
  6. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    High Performance Diversity

    This is an extraordinary letter from Bob Webbon of the A-Class:

    E-mail message

    From: bobwebbon Date: Sat, Nov 24, 2007, 10:00pm To: usaca@topica.com Subject: [USACA List] To all, Reply*to: usaca@topica.com

    It's all about diversity! It's all about being ugh, American!
    I hope everyone is having a nice laid back Thanksgiving. All of you were just outstanding at the Worlds. Yes, I was wired; but so many of you helped to keep things rolling along - it really turned into a great high for me and Carol and all of those organizers who put in so much work. It would be great to leave it at that - a great battle at the top between several wonderfully talented sailors and those of us in the cheap seats having an opportunity to watch. But, unfortunately it was more. It was a reality check on just who we are and why we do what we do.
    I've thought a lot about the ISAF and US Sailing's vote at the “meeting†and like you my feelings have run the gamut. But I've finally come to these conclusions.
    If you look at us we love sailing, not just multihull sailing. Look at how many of us are expert in all disciplines of sailing, not just multihulls. It's actually ironic that those who have worked so diligently against multihull sailing in the US really have so little experience in all disciplines of sailing. We are the sailors who are most diverse. We can as easily flop onto a large keelboat, sport boat, fast dingy, windsurfer or kite, while those who don't understand us haven't a clue how to sail a fast multihull. Multihullers quickly embrace what is new and challenging without prejudice. But what's even more impressive, we can slow down and still play the game while the rest are just lost when they try to follow us. There are just very few Howards out there. I know all this sounds a little esoteric but I think it's pretty obvious what camp is stuck in the mud.
    Of course like all of you I've felt we should actively fight back. I've felt we should withdraw at times. I've wondered about our ability to change what has become an arcane system. But, I now feel there is really an obvious direction.
    Those who oppose multihullers being showcased in one of the planets most celebrated venues are actually laying the groundwork to their own demise. When I describe what's happened to pure novices, to the man, they all feel watching boats doing 5 to 6 knots versus watching boats doing 20 knots is a no brainier. The common sensibilities of the real viewers will win in the end. The groundwork that is being set is really doomed. Slow boats are just boring to the masses.
    So this is my personal response. I will continue to bring the joy of sailing to as many of those folks who seem interested. It doesn't matter whether our Sea Scouts are on roto molded Picos or my contemporaries are contemplating that beautiful A-Cat. My advantage is that I'm not confined by a constrained attitude that restricts my ability to really enjoy all of the sport, not just a regimented segment. It seems pretty obvious to me that as we move further into the future and composites become more and more available, foiling, flying and basically hauling *** will become more and more the norm. Those who insist on living in the past risk just that, the past. I predict soon those who live in the past might come back to the well again and ask us to please bring your wonderful sport back. Remember, that's how it all started, they asked us.
    I strongly support those who must fight the fight. But even more importantly I'll do more by always supporting the diversity of our sport. It's just frankly hard to believe that a separatist, segregationist stance would be supported in the United States of America! I'm just glad my class and my friends detest this approach and find all the arguments supporting this truly outdated stance absurd.

  7. doug kay
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    doug kay Junior Member

    A typical load of American flag waving propaganda and the trouble they are so steeped in their own sense of importance they don't realise how incompetent they are without drugs to enhance their performance. Perhaps Mr. Webbon should do some research and find out where it all started and who introduced multi's to the world in the last century, have they never read of White, Prout, Wharram and others i've forgotten the names of, how many were american. The world is sick of Americans and their constant bragging about their minor achievements, one clown on tele last night mentioned the greatest army the world has ever known, that same army that's bogged down in Iraq in the green zone. Just give us a little peace and quiet from your " superiority " will you and stay at home.
  8. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    That is probably the sickest,most rude, most obnoxious, most ill-informed pile of horsemanure that could be devised in response to Mr. Webbon's post.
  9. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Mr. Lord:
    That is probably the sickest, most rude, most obnoxious, most ill-informed pile of horsemanure that could be devised in response to Mr. Kay's post.
    Pardon the directly paraphrased quote, gang, but it was just too delicious to pass-up.

    Doug Lord... D. Kay has a right to his opinion, even if you do not like what he has to say. Perhaps if you dialed-back your response, you'd be allowing people to hear what you have to say, rather than become turned-off from your radical invective?

    Address the points Kay makes rather than the emotions that are stirred-up inside you due to his not being on the same page of the argument as you.

    This dropping of the Tornado from the Oly Games, business, is not the end of the world. It's just another sailing establishment power play to try to maintain that which they feel is most important.

    Be honest... This thread isn't really about Tornado multihulls at all, Doug. It's really about the fact that Moth foilers have now been swept out the door of any possible Olympic inclusion through the very neatly executed dismissal of the "non-boat" Tornado. You know very well, that if a Tornado can't be in the games, then there's no chance in hell of a Foiler getting there. Your subsequent writings since the original post show that under-current all too well.

    One last thought... Why not start your own version of the waterborne X-Games? If there were ever a perfect venue for the Moth Foiler, it would be in the middle of the trick hucking, made for TV lunacy that passes as sport under that promotional gimmickry.
  10. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    One design sailing, particularly Olympic sailing, has an original premise that makes the contest about sailors, not boats. That kind of sailing tests the sailor physically and mentally, the boat has little to do with the outcome.

    I too am saddened to learn that the Tornado has been consigned to the trash bin. A lot of other boats have been done away with too. The fanciers of other boats, such as Finns, are equally distressed.

    One has to agree that the general public does not get very interested in watching a dinghy race. Multis go faster and are more interesting to watch if you are a non sailor. But not much more interesting because the public does not recognize clever tactical moves or outstanding helmsmanship. A brilliant tacking duel does not do much for the observer who does not know what is happening. Considering other Olympic sports one might observe the same lack of interest. Like, who wants to watch a Pentathlon? Now short track skating, a 100 meter foot race, or a 200 meter freestyle is kind of exciting to watch.

    It don't make a rats *** what we sail. As far as the competitors are concerned, it is as important to win and gets him/her just as stoked in a Snipe as in a 49er or Tornado, just not as fast.

  11. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Excellent observation and one that is too often overlooked by the parochial interests of sailors. The most glaring note about the sports you mention as exciting is that they can be done, or have been done, by just about anyone who's ever been in a routine physical education class, depending on geography. Sailing is not universal in that same fashion at all, no matter how much we wish it were.

    Sailing races, in general (and as it relates to the sports watching public) are as interesting as watching paint dry, no matter what boat is involved. The average guy or gal just does not relate to the sailing process at all. Things are probably different in Australia, England and France, which have a stronger public involvement and awareness of sailing, but it just ain't so in the USA ... or China or India, for that matter.

    I'd be very interested to know how the revenue is apportioned from the sale of broadcast rights to the Games worldwide. I'd like to know what sort of possible sailing interest there might be from the biggest cash cows, when one considers which nations that regularly line-up to transmit the Games to the world. That's where the real horsepower is residing folks... not in the hands of the slovenly sanctioning bodies.

    If Big TV says they want a full spectrum of sailing on the tube (yes, Doug, including those precious foilers) during the Games, then the sanctioning bodies comply dutifully, or they will soon be finding themselves out on the street. Cash is King and the Games are no exception. Any sanctioning body who doesn't get that will soon find that there is a brand new sanctioning body on the water and the new one has the Oly contract to provide competitive boats and crews. Ooops, end of old body, "SNAP", just like that.

    Whining at the sanctioning bodies is like pissing in the wind. The juice is with the TV guys and if you want to impress them, then you simply have got to have the cash, or a mountain of proven public opinion. Nothing else matters to them, no matter what phony BS they put out about the "Noble Olympic Tradition".

    Follow the Money.
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