Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Pump it up.

I can not reply to the UK list due to an email change so here goes the blog mojo....

I think banning crew generated propulsion is a good idea but I have no idea how to make it work and possible to police. It just creates a lot of stress and bad feeling on the water. So even if there is a risk that the fittest and most skillful sailor is going to do well I would say go for unlimited pumping.

The arguments against unlimited pumping are:

- The sport of rowing has banned the use or oars because it was hard work and people were getting really tired, cycling is also removing pedals from bikes etc.. So banning athleticism in sailing is a good idea.

- Bouncing and flicking the top of the sail is not cheating as it does not involve pumping the sheet. So the good guys are not cheating where as the clumsy back of the fleet are.

- Pumping is a skillful thing that needs to be practiced. This is also not fair that we should reward sailors that have been practicing.

- ISAF rules for bath tubs work well and classes like the laser never have arguments about illegal body movements. So their rules are going to work great in our boats too.

This really needs to be discussed at the AGM after a light wind day where constant body movements and sheet movements are needed all the time whether you are cheating or not.

If you take a ban on pumping seriously you have to enforce it that means protests. Do we want that? So I think we will end up with the turn a blind eye to all the pumping and we all continue to do it. If anyone is doing it much more than everyone else then it will raise eyebrows at the bar. That is not really a rule that is a gentleman's agreement. I would say it is fairer to let the laws of physics settle the issue.

That being said what would happen in an unlimited pumping environment? I am not sure but the question is can the speed of the boat be increased with a regular pattern of moments? Air rowing if you like. For sure it helps short term which is what all the fuss is about but I think the problem is really the continuous all the way round the course stuff. However you have to wobble about when there is no wind so if someone can control this wobble good on them. When up on the foils is there an advantage to continuous bouncing? I am not sure. Also getting up on the foils first often means going in totally the wrong direction. It would be interesting to sea trial some races with an unlimited pumping rule to find out what it means, or at least work out what exactly we are trying to ban.


Bora Gulari said...


Phil Stevenson said...

Before you vote or unlimited pumping go race a board in sub 10 kts for a couple of hours. If you are fit enough?
If its allowed our boats and rigs will change to make it beneficial and consequently necessary over a wide range of conditions.
It killed sailboard racing world wide. It would do the same for the moth class.

Bora Gulari said...

doug the international site is not working.