Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 323 Old 06-27-2012 Thread Starter
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Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet?

I started this thread because there was a direct request for it in the "Fond Farewell" thread, so here it is.

I don't really know what forces are at work to make Sailnet emulate CruisersForum in it's crusade against racing. Is it demographics? A random coalescence of like-minded people on this forum?

This forum has a racing section, but it's woefully underutilized, and generally only discusses professional racing like America's Cup and the VOR. Where are my beer-can racers? Speak up and be heard!

To get my racing "fix", I have to go to other forums. I have to say, the view that cruisers here seem to have of racers is wildly distorted and not really representative of 90% of the keelboat racing crowd.

Myth #1: Racers exercise poor judgement.

Busted: Racers do not have a monopoly on stupidity, and the average racer does not make more, or severe mistakes than the average cruiser/daysailor.

Myth #2: Racers think they "own" the water and think that racing rules override the COLREGS.

Busted: Every crew and skipper I've raced with, knows that they will be held accountable by law for failure to adhere to the COLREGS, and that racing is not an excuse. In fact, racers know that part of the challenge of racing, is dealing with navigational obstacles. We do prefer that non-racing boats exercise a little courtesy, and perhaps not tack right in our faces, or other manuvers that would be considered rude under non-racing circumstances. We merely ask for the same courtesies that anyone else would ask for.

Myth #3: Racers exhibit poor seamanship.

Busted: "Conservatism" is a sliding scale. Levels of risk cannot be evenly applied across the sailing spectrum. Racers sail in heavier weather than some cruisers would risk, but plenty of cruisers have also been lost in heavy weather by letting their schedule dictate the decision to go to sea when they should not have. Like I said in Myth #1: Racers do not have the monopoly on bad decision making.

Do you know what these three myths have in common, and why they're all bogus? Because many racers also cruise! We share common risk assessment strategies and decision making processes. That's why each camp often makes the same mistakes and suffer the same consequences. Unfortunately, we have people firmly entrenched in one camp or the other, pointing fingers, and saying that the root cause is "They are careless racers" or "They are clueless cruisers".

Post your favorite myth, and your supporting argument.
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post #2 of 323 Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet?

I race, have for over 30 years, and we cruise. I am a better sailor/cruiser because of my racing experience...

Folks who don't race often misunderstand racing and make lots of assumptions. Most racers I've raced with are also cruisers... I wish more cruisers would step onto a race boat as it would eliminate a lot of the misunderstanding cruisers have about racers..

Now don't get me wrong SOME racers can be rude, raced with a few, ONCE, but for the most part there are as many rude cruisers as there are racers, just like in life.
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post #3 of 323 Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet?

Do not have time this morning, but will post a "what many clubs in puget sound follow", along with many have in there race rules re crossing traffic lines etc.

EVERY YEAR, at least here in the sound, there is a meeting with the coast guard re how to fill out on water permits, which gets all kinds of on water clubs there to under stand how to fill out, why etc the permit. One year a Kayak club rep was there, did not understand why after 30 some odd year of 100 kayaks doing a trip across the sound to blake island and back he needed a permit! I've done this in the past.......things have changed in this regard!

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post #4 of 323 Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet?

Most racers I know have two sets of sails.
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post #5 of 323 Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet?

Cruisers say racers are arrogant and think they own the water, the same is said of cruisers by racers. The same is also said of sailors, in general, by power boaters. I have nothing against racing sailors, cruising sailors or power boaters, arrogance and cockiness coupled with stupid mistakes are a hallmark of all human behavior and certainly not limited to waterborne activities. The same holds true for sailing. I suspect the biggest hurdle to overcome is the most common, ignorance. Take some time to learn and understand what & why others do and mostly things work out.

Just my opinion.

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post #6 of 323 Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet?

I work in the commercial side, and wheel house mentality toward all rec. boats, " look at this idiot" obviously not true.
I cruise, and when I see a power boat " what's this idiot doing."
I kayak... Power boater's say about me" look at that idiot"
I drive a dive boat, and see racer's on my intended rhumb line. " look at those dip sh;;t's"
I zoom around in my skiff with the 40 horse. Sailors say, " what's this idiot doing'
I race in the wreckers beer can race of Key West and I see a guy zooming in his skiff and I say
" what's this idiot gonna do"
I'm back in the wheel house of the tug and I see a container ship miss the mark and run aground, I say" what an idiot"
The harbour pilot wakes me when I'm in the wreckers race and I say " A$$ h&le!"
You just can't win.
All though the racers that come to Race Week in K.W. don't help the general attitude towards racers. They tend to be a little haughty, pompus, and don't tip.

" Some are boat wise and some are other wise"
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post #7 of 323 Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet?

I've never seen any anti-racer angst here... I have seen a lack of racer input, however. The racing section won't grow without racers adding content.

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post #8 of 323 Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KIVALO View Post
Cruisers say racers are arrogant and think they own the water, the same is said of cruisers by racers.
Most around here would be standing around punching themselves in the face. We've got more 'serious' racing, but also have some great 'relaxed' stuff... Elliot Bay Downtown sailing series from June-Aug (non handicapped, drawings for prizes, free beer and hotdogs.. far more 'cruisers' than 'racers' out), Duck Dodge on Lake Union (crazy raftup afterward, everything from lasers to an SC 70), Take Your Time Fridays (golf handicapped casual racing), and we've even started a local 'Race Your House' for live aboards... amazing what a drawing for a free haul out will get out for a spin around the buoys. Cruisers are planning to meet up with the double handed race fleet at the Saturday stop over during a double handed race coming up next month. Why? For fun, and we're friends. July 3rd raftup for fireworks is coming up. There are literally hundreds of boats out for Poulsbo July 3rd... Racers, cruisers, etc... Raft ups are pretty ecumenical. We had 20+ boats in our club raft last year of all shapes and sizes.

Did Swiftsure a couple years ago with a dedicated cruiser friend with Pacific crossings, etc... under his belt who was using a trip to the lightship as a 'shakedown' for a relatively new-to-him boat. His thought was the boat gets pushed harder racing. If something's going to break or not work well, you'll figure it out much sooner on the race course. Yep, we broke some waranteed stuff. It was easy to deal with a full crew. Went with a 'race' boat this year. The owner will be leaving the boat up north for cruising season.

In general, I don't really feel any tension between racers and cruisers locally which is why the attitude that pops up often on SN seems so ridiculous... If you only race, you're missing a lot of great sailing experiences. If you only cruise, you're missing a lot of great sailing experiences. I certainly 'get' that people have preferences, but the 'us' vs 'them', it's mystifying.

For Bubblehead, I think the racing forum here isn't used much because there's just a bigger, more active, albeit rougher crowd on SA. I do think the race forum here would be better for people just starting out for answers without as much attitude and angst.

Last edited by puddinlegs; 06-27-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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post #9 of 323 Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet?

[Copied over here from the FFS thread.]

I have to admit, in the beginning I didn't get the racing aspect of things. It seemed too hardcore and angst-filled when compared to my desire to relax at the helm with a Dark-and-Stormy, and a bikini-clad babe grinding on the winches.

However, after doing the offshore races over the past year or two - I'm completely sold. It's the most fun and challenging thing I've ever done, and there's no doubt it improves sailing skills better and faster than anything else.

So, that attitude is just ignorance. They don't understand what they're missing - just like I didn't at the time.

I'm still not that into the idea of inshore match racing (where most of the yelling and angst usually occurs) - but I haven't really done much of that yet. So I could change my mind there too.

Sailing is sailing as far as I'm concerned. And I'm not sure I can get enough of it in whatever form, on whatever boat. And this is SAILnet after all.

Offshore racing rocks...especially when we win. And cruising around with the booze and babes rocks too...especially when we score. Heh-heh.
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post #10 of 323 Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Why all the angst against racing on Sailnet?

"Sailnet['s]...crusade against racing. "

You might want to rethink that. Sailnet certainly has no crusade, and the forum members don't appear to have any crusade either. I'd just read it as not having an interest in racing, or not wanting to discuss racing here even if there's a forum section for that.

Be glad every sailor isn't interested in racing, you'd have to bid for entry slots in the next race.
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