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Coaching at small boat regattas
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Jul 12, 2011, 12:09 PM

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WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS
The coaching industry in sailing has grown along with the expansion of professional sailing opportunities. But whereas there are some limits on the participation of professional sailors, there are fewer on the support side. An editorial by Andrew Hurst in the July 2011 edition of Seahorse magazine discusses his observations regarding the merits of coach boats at small boat regattas:
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Olympic sailing is now savagely expensive whatever boat you sail. And in terms of boats, there is little ISAF can do since when national resources become available they will be spent.

But there is one aspect of Olympic sailing with immense cost implications over which ISAF retains complete control but has as yet done nothing; I have never changed my opinion as to the merits of coach boats at small boat regattas.

The presence of countless nanny boats - which is what they are - at Olympic class regattas, and most importantly at the Olympics themselves is wrong on so many levels. Here are a few: coach boats are indulgent and immensely divisive, making poorer sailing nations feel exactly that; they are unfair, crews with help afloat can duck key choices others make each day about gear and set-up; they are expensive and they add to the public perception of sailing as a rich man's sport; they pollute and destroy the green image of sailing that ocean sailors used to fending for themselves work to promote; they require more facilities of venues, favouring wealthy areas; most importantly they have done a good job of eliminating the culture of self-reliance that can make an Olympic sailor into a round the world champion. And that is a crime.

Having 200 ribs bobbing around the Olympic Regatta does not make sailing look professional. It actually makes our outstanding sailors look slightly pathetic.

We have said this before and will say it again. Make a start ISAF. Send a positive signal that your sport is trying to reign in its excesses. Leave the coaches at the gate.
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Jul 12, 2011, 12:10 PM

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From Jill Nickerson:
Having been involved in the Olympic Regattas for over 12 years and also having been involved in the coaching side of things I can tell you that you are WAY off base with your view of coach boats.

First and foremost, most of the regattas that I have attended since I started racing in 1981 have always been graciously staffed with volunteer safety boats, but for the most part grossly understaffed in rescue knowledge, particularly if the conditions get bad.

It is the coach boats that facilitate a safer course with knowledgeable, experienced people on the course.

Your 200 ribs on a course is also grossly exaggerated. At an Olympic Regatta, where you have multiple courses set up for all the classes, you don't even have that many coach boats on the WHOLE scene. You should always have 1 safety boat on the water for every 10 experienced sailors. More than that for kids. Those numbers are rarely met.

Most coach boats that are at an event are servicing more than one boat and often help those countries or sailors that may not be able to afford their own coach boat, especially when they are in trouble.

Sailing organizations around the world have done a pretty good job at making sure coach boats are not on the inside the course during racing unless called upon to assist in or do a rescue. Coach boats are made to say on the outside lines of the course and in some Championship races, not allowed to make contact with their sailors till the end of the day.

In the opti group, it give parents a chance to be on the water in some cases and lets face it, keeping them involve helps to support the sport! It is some of those parents that also get involved with race committee and volunteering for other things.

With regards to making the sport seem un professional. Name a sport that does not have coaches! It is those teams who have been working with coaches who have helped to elevate the skills of this sport. Weather you have a coach or not, that knowledge trickles down to the entire fleet. I find your comments way off base. If you are going to be that opinionated about something that is so important to safety and development of a sport, you should do your homework to find out the facts.

Sailing has been fortunate to have only had a couple tragedies that have resulted from racing. Even one of these tragedies are too many, and anything that offers additional safety to the sailors, in addition to making them better and safer sailors should valued.




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Jul 12, 2011, 12:26 PM

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From Eric Sorensen:
It is the micro managing by coaches, teachers, and parents and lifetime commitment needed by any competitor in just about any sport.

The sad thing is we have lost creativity in creating these skilled automatons. I do not envy the highly trained youth, as mostly they are having way less fun than my generation (now 60) who were able to make mistakes in order to learn. Those mistakes would show us how to not do things and yet we stayed alive (mostly) and had fun doing it on our own.

To be sure there are parents who let their children figure things out but the bulk of kid activity is so filled with coaching 24/7 there is little time for just making things up. As a public school teacher for 30 years I noticed the creep of the coach. I am not sure it makes for a better person. A better honed competitor for sure, but at what cost?

Let the kids play, ride bikes, crash, and figure things out! Get out of their way and let them develop some independent cognitive skills.




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Jul 12, 2011, 12:30 PM

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Has it been 3 months already? Time for our quarterly coaching in sailing debate? Sigh. Why can every other sport have coaching, from club to pro level tennis, golf, cycling, squash, running, you name it, but god forbid sailors have coaches because then it would seem like too much of a rich person’s sport? In most classes, coaching is a small percentage of the overall cost associated with the actual campaign. And why spend all that money to do things wrong consistently and fail to maximize your time on the water? Coaches don’t magically make anyone better, they help people that put in the hard work to be more efficient with their efforts.

Full disclosure, I am a college coach. I’ve heard that we’ve ruined college sailing because students don’t go to wild parties on Saturday nights and drink beer on the drive home from events like in the 70’s and 80’s. Sorry about that. But, there are more teams, fleets, and sailors than ever before. And, there were coaches back then (Mike Horn, Hatch and Stu, Joe Duplin to name a few) who organized the schedule, ran the regattas, and the ICSA as well (as well as many unpaid volunteers.)

As for the Olympics, I guess Herb Brooks ruined Olympic hockey too. Poor East Ibakistan, they can’t compete with Russia because of coaching, so let’s eliminate coaching from Olympic hockey. Ridiculous. If developing countries can’t afford a coach, band together and share the cost. I bet there is not one medalist in the last 20 years (in any sport) who did it without coaching. I doubt these developing countries are top contenders if they are from remote areas without good competition, so they are at the event to learn and get better anyway. It’s ridiculous to go sailing against the best in the world and think you’ll improve to their level just by figuring it out on your own. However, 10 years from now, some of these developing nations may have taken their experiences back to their countries, started development programs, had great coaching for their youth programs, and soon be sending contenders to the games. Besides, coaching levels the playing field, and gives a less experienced sailors (without world class training partners) some insight into what the best sailors are doing differently.

Those world class sailors who “never had a coach?” I guess they bought their boats and sails themselves, taught themselves how to rig, tune, and sail without any help? Or, more likely, they were lucky enough to come from an area or family where more experienced sailors were willing to help them a lot with time and financial investment (and guide their considerable hard work and effort) without a structured program. Talk about an access issue for sailing. I like the current system that has thousands of affordable learn to sail programs run by, gasp, professional coaches. These programs teach essential skills to kids who don’t grow up on the water, in yacht club communities or with parents that get them a boat and teach them how to use and maintain it. And those that excel in those programs go on to join more performance oriented teams like the US youth development team. Again, good coaching makes hard work more efficient but nothing replaces an athlete's own work.

If you want sailing as a past-time, find a Corinthian class and have a blast, but if you are competing in a sport, you should seek every legal path to efficient improvement like every other athlete in the world.

Matthew Lindblad
Head Coach, MIT Varsity Sailing
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(617) 253-4884
mitsail@mit.edu


ccp_merc
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Jul 12, 2011, 6:10 PM

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The problem is that coaching is killing grass roots sports of all kinds. In sailing the problem is that the expectations of the kids is if they won't to compete they have to have a coach. That is all fine while someone else is paying for it, but all falls apart when the kids have to pay for it themselves. So thats when we lose 90% of our sailors to other activities.

ccp


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Jul 12, 2011, 9:43 PM

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I recently had a bit of an epiphany thanks to my son's Boy Scout Troop, where I tried to have the adults "coach" the kids in leadership skills so the kids could run the program themselves. The parents fled the scene and refused to participate. After much reflection and discussion I came to the conclusion that the parents did not want the kids to run things, but really wanted to run things themselves. Looking at Little League, Pop Warner, soccer leagues, and now sailing, I see that all these sports have become "formalized" so that the adults can participate in a big way. That is, the adults have co-opted what used to be the kid's domain, converting it from play into something highly organized, regulated, and most importantly for adults, competitive. When I was a kid we played ball in the street. Now it's year-round Little League and Club ball with coaches, managers and the works. When was the last time you saw a kids ball game in the street? Sounds like it's the same with sailing.

Guy Buchanan
Guy Buchanan


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Jul 13, 2011, 3:56 AM

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Quote
Name a sport that does not have coaches!




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Jul 13, 2011, 6:37 AM

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In Reply To

Quote
Name a sport that does not have coaches!



I don't think the issue is that sailing has coaches. And I don't think the issue is with coaches out of compeition. I think the issue is how coaching has increased during competition, and how that affects the game. This is the frequent complaint I hear.

I think a question to ask is to try and name a non-team sporting competition that looks materially different with the growth of coaching? Because of the personal boats needed by private coaches, and the added burden this puts on event hosts, I can't think of another sport (but there must be at least one more).

If all the coaches sat on a a large coach boat, similar to other sports where they all sit in the bleachers, than the issue would be minimized. Or if contact with coaches stopped when a boat left the dock, then the issue would be minimized. But the visual reminder of a fleet of RIBs actively working with their clients brings focus, perhaps unfairly, on the presence of coaching at an event.

Having been part of the winning 2011 Etchells Worlds team, I saw the value our coach brought to our team, both during the event and before/after the event. In an attempt to level the playing field during the event, there were rules in the Sailing Instructions to limit a coach's value to competitors. Coaches were kept far off the course, and interaction stopped from 30 minutes before the start until after the last boat finished.

There is now a coaching industry that is fighting for their right to earn a living. And there are great coaches in this industry. The challenge is how this industry works in a positive way when amid the recreational middle of the sport.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt




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Jul 13, 2011, 4:57 PM

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LITMUS TEST FOR COACH BOATS
By John Longley
As the Event Director of Perth2011 (ie, ISAF Sailing World Championships), Andrew Hurst's article in Seahorse and now Scuttlebutt 3381 got me thinking as to the impact of coach boats on organizing a regatta of the complexity of Perth 2011.

Negative Aspects...
A regatta of this size (1200 athletes, 850 boats, 80 nations, 10 World Championships) is a massively expensive exercise. Our budget is AUD20 million (US$21million). The RHIBS (rigid-hulled inflatable boats) add significantly to the cost of the event as we need to find a mooring system for 300 RHIBS. We also have little idea how many will come. We have estimates ranging from 200 to 500.

Being in arguably the most remote city in the world (Perth, Australia) it is also expensive for national authorities to compete here especially given the current strength of the AUD.

There are not many RHIBS in Perth because the local boat owners prefer aluminum or fiberglass centre console boats owing to the strength of the sun and the sea conditions. Most teams will therefore need to bring their own RHIBS which is not cheap. The wealthy countries will be able to do so, the poorer ones less likely to do so and they will find it difficult to charter a RHIB while they are here, so the disadvantage between the rich and poor nations that Andrew describes will be magnified.

We are trying to run an environmentally sustainable regatta. 300+ RHIBS racing around the place does not help.

Positive Aspects...
Given that this is a windy destination and safety is paramount, having all these additional boats out on the course, with usually very experienced drivers and sailors, is a bonus.

300 RHIBS, means 300 to 500 coaches which adds to the economic impact of the event and helps us meet our KPIs in this area for our government funders and commercial sponsors.

In Conclusion...
There will be coach boats at Perth2011. Given the size of the regatta and because this issue is being openly discussed, Perth2011 could become a litmus test for coach boats.

If the coaches act poorly, as a few did in our test event last November, and in a self-centered way, it will not add to their cause. I suggest that they consider the following,

1. Strictly obey the coach boat rules
2. Speed only when necessary
3. Consider helping out poorer nations that have no coach boat on the course - carrying spare gear for them, towing them home, etc.
4. Understand that the greatest argument for them being out there is safety backup and to keep this front and centre when out on the course.

BACKGROUND:
Since 2003, the ISAF Sailing World Championships have been held every four years - the year prior to the Summer Olympic Games. Like its predecessors, Perth2011 will be used as a key event for countries and sailors to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. All ten Olympic events will hold their annual world championship at Perth2011, which is expected to be the biggest event ever for Olympic sailing. Event website: http://www.perth2011.com




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Jul 14, 2011, 9:19 AM

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Jill Nickerson and I traded emails a couple times concerning the editorial by Andrew Hurst, and she said it was okay for me to post the email below. My words are in black and Jill's are in red. However, a couple of corrections are needed. She makes a reference to a young girl dying in New England but the incident occurred in Annapolis. The bolded statements with astericks are from the Hurst editorial, and do not necessarily reflect my oppinion. However, there are some instances where Jill incorrectly infers that these are my statements - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


Hi Jill:

The problem I have with comparisons to other non-team sports is that the coaches all tend to sit in the same bleachers in non-sailing sports. Since sailing has such a different field of play, and since coaches must be in boats, then the comparison breaks down.

Coaches are corralled. They are required to say outside the course and on the outside of the laylines....pretty much the same kind of sideline idea that you would find other coaches! I have worked in the coaching arena in the Olympic circuit for 12 years and you never see the kind of numbers you are inferring on the water. In a 70 boat fleet, you are lucky to see 20 coach boats on the water.

While I understand your point about safety, the sailors do not hire their coaches for this purpose. It is a value, for sure, but not their main purpose. So saying it is okay to have 200 coach boats for safety is one thing, though it does make a point in how the elite sailors in the sport need such safety support.

Your timing is not really good for an article like this were they just had a death in New England of a young girl. During racing. The level of safely may have not been enough!

While you seem interested in disputing this editorial by Andrew, can you comment on his other points:


* coach boats are indulgent and immensely divisive, making poorer sailing nations feel exactly that;

In the higher levels of sailing, particularly in the Olympic circuit, it is very common to have a coach continually toss others a bone and help the other team. Some times directly and some times by carting around one of their people who can not afford to rent a coach boat. I know we personally helped the Russian team several times. The “poorer” teams are also know to kick in a small amount of money to get help from one of the other coaches....something that they would have no access to if they had to do it totally on their own. Most of the coached teams always have training partners that they develop. These training partners are usually from different countries and usually involve 3-4 boats with that many different countries. Generally there is one coach supervising that effort.


* they are unfair, crews with help afloat can duck key choices others make each day about gear and set-up;

Teams that are at the top of the fleet will have coaches or work with someone else who has a coach. Some times it is a matter of carrying food and water, other times it is parts. Every team has the opportunity to befriend one of the other teams who is working with a coach and work with them….often at little or no charge. What comes out of this is a training partner for both teams. Also coach boats that are on the water all the time are known to the sailors and they often come up to ask for a part or a bottle of water. We have done this for countless teams over the years. The CHOICES are not often the problem. Broken equipment is. By allowing coach boats on the water it gives a chance for the races to be races and not a matter of someone being knocked out of a race and even a regatta because of a silly break down. AGAIN….many of the teams make arrangements for one of the coach boats to carry some critical parts for them if they do not have a coach boat. It is not as common for a race to be close enough to shore to make a change. If you blow thru a spinnaker in the first race and you have 3 or 4 races that day, you are done!


* they are expensive and they add to the public perception of sailing as a rich man's sport;

You need to get a grip. Sailing is an expensive sport to do it at the top levels. Not everyone does it at the top level and has the option of what level they want to sail at. Coaching is the least of your worries about things being expensive. Try spending approximately 300 to simply race in a top regatta! Performance is critical to those boats who get sponsorship. And because of that sponsorship, it makes sailing affordable. ALL sports can get expensive. It is never cheap to do anything. The smaller regattas are the feeder fleets for top level sailing. Top level sailing is an option!


* they pollute and destroy the green image of sailing that ocean sailors used to fending for themselves work to promote;

Why don’t we just ban motorized crafts from all races…forget about safety….another ridiculous statement! Most coach boats are small, light weight boats and now have the new 4 stroke engines. They are not blasting around on 40 speed boats…. They are there to promote a sport that does not burn thru a gazillion gallons of fuel….Like Nascar, Formula or any car racing, jet ski racing, plane racing, traveling around the country in your 40’ motor home at 7 miles a gallon!....lets be real here. The coach boats are insuring that trash is not floating in the water, safety is followed and other than fuel are not producing tons of trash like used tires and such.


* they require more facilities of venues, favouring wealthy areas;

It seems obvious that you have not been to allot of venues. They take very little VENUE space when you look at the sport. They raft up together and can have a very limited impact on an area. They bring revenue to the area….particularly the poorer areas. They are very flexible as to where they can be put. And we have been to many areas both poor and affluent. HELLO….we are in the boating world….unfortunately, not allot of inter city or poor people partake in the sport….but then again, they can not afford to participate in most any sport that requires any outlay of cash….including most of the school sports!


* they have done a good job of eliminating the culture of self-reliance that can make an Olympic sailor into a round the world champion.

I have news for you ….Olympic anything is no longer armature….and has not been for a long time. …Hello…have you heard of the Dream Team! That basket ball team was not allot of poor people, struggling to compete at the purest level! Even the poorest counties have coaches. Your statements are getting less and less credible.


* Btw, I am in this for the dialogue.

Dialogue is great, but lets keep it real. You lose credibility when you go off the deep end!


* I don't have a dog in this fight.

Obviously not, you would have a more realistic view.


* I think coaching is important, but so are creating limits to manage its unintended consequences.

I have experienced it all with coaching. I have run in to coaches that are a danger to the sport. I have seen people go thru their federations coaching or instructional programs that should not be on the water, let alone be allowed to work with children. I have seen coaches who promote cheating in the sport. I have seen coaches as well as sailors that will go into a protest room and out right lie…. These are much bigger issues. I love to see people express their views but it fires me up when the dialog reaches a ridiculous level.

The coaches who are out their doing a good job for their sailors and their sport are the people who are directly responsible for improving and elevating the sport.

Use your platform for the good. Encourage coaches to work more with needy teams. Encourage race committees to work closer with coaches to help protect the sailors. Encourage people to have a zero tolerance for foul play, espionage…and the bad stuff and I will cheer you for ever.

But lets keep it real….I hear allot of negative things about one of the other sailing rags that makes statements like you did…it looses credibility in the industry for them.

That one was in my face….I had to fire back.


- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt




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Jul 14, 2011, 9:33 AM

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In Reply To
LITMUS TEST FOR COACH BOATS
By John Longley
....There are not many RHIBS in Perth because the local boat owners prefer aluminum or fiberglass centre console boats owing to the strength of the sun and the sea conditions. Most teams will therefore need to bring their own RHIBS which is not cheap. ....


Just a quick one...there is a RIB to rent for Perth 2011 on this website: http://freodoctor.com.au/index.php?option=com_adsmanager&page=show_ad&adid=239&Itemid=41

Cheers
Jon Hanson






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Jul 17, 2011, 7:31 AM

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From Fried Elliott:
John Longley makes excellent points. The skid mark up the left sleeve of one of my now retired Dry Fit shirts is silent testimony to the need for greater safety awareness by coaches, and indeed, by all on the water at major championships.

At the 2010 Star World Championship in Rio, we were making our way up to the windward mark in my photo boat when I felt something coming up my arm. Turned out it was the bow of a coach boat who had overran our transom up to our console. Surrounded by navigable water, not one of the four individuals on board were looking where they were going, which was into my boat and over my arm.


From Brian Todd, Canadian Sailing Team coach:
With the comments this week in Scuttlebutt about coaching, I wanted to share my perspective as a professional member of this industry. Coaches do provide a service to athletes and regatta organizers. They up the game of the athletes and often help sailors to realize a potential they might not think they had, at least in some cases.

But even more important, coaches at events often provide the safety that regatta organizers cannot guarantee for racers in trouble. The coaches understand when there is real peril and can act quickly and efficiently to help a sailor in distress.

A case in point was the IFDS Worlds in Weymouth just last week. A competitor crewing in the Skud class on a windy day was sucked out of the boat during a broach, leaving the skipper (a quad) to fend for himself with the chute up, heading for the seawall! Fast action by coach boats plucked the crew from the cool water and another coach got to the boat and helped to get it under control and then helped get another coach on board to help sail the Skud back to the Sailing Center.

I am not suggesting this at the Weymouth event, but at many regattas the safety boats are hard sided boats with well-meaning volunteers aboard ... but do they have the skills to provide a safe rescue? I would argue strongly that coaches can and usually do the job more effectively and efficiently and they even have the privilege of paying over-priced regatta coach fees for their service to the event.

I am old school and came up through the system the hard way with very little coaching but I now recognize how much good coaching could have improved my game. Even with coaching, all the fundamentals of enjoying sailing and putting in countless hours still apply and athletes should not depend on coaches to be motivated - that part should change!


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Jul 17, 2011, 7:32 AM

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From Greg Paul, NZ Yachting representative:
Why does the public view yachting as an elitist, Rich Mans sport? The article ‘WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS’ is right on the point.

Having a team in RIBs racing around behind each yachtsman, is totally taking away the whole reason that I went sailing. Having help to set up your boat on the beach is okay, but then it is to be self-sufficient once you leave the beach. Is this not the essence of sailing?

When you are out on the water, it should be your and only your efforts that create the results. If something breaks, it is up to you, whether it is a dinghy or a Volvo 70, to get to the finish.

That is why I went sailing, firstly in the P class (NZL) then small keel boats, then in Admirals Cup 40 footers, representing my country. Two hundred RIBs is bizarre. Isn't sailing one of the last chances to pit "oneself" against mother nature, one on one?

I finish with the quote: "It actually makes our outstanding sailors look slightly pathetic". I agree!


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Jul 17, 2011, 9:05 AM

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RE: Brian Todd's comments.

With all due respect to Brian and his chosen profession of coaching, I can't but help to see a strong bias in his comments. Bottom line for many of us is the 'self-sufficiency' part of the sport. If the coach boats want to provide safety support, then a chosen amount of volunteer coach-boats could certainly do that from strategic points on the course, with the focus on the fleet's safety--but certainly not zooming around en-masse like so many seagulls after a fishing boat.

Brian is correct in stating that coaching brings everyone's game up--let's just keep the coaching to practices, not the actual racing.

As well, the comments of Mr. Elliott in the post above Brian's provides an interesting counterpoint to Brian's mention of coach boats being 'aware' of what is transpiring on the course.

Kind regards,

Matthew Reid





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Jul 17, 2011, 2:50 PM

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From Chris Norman:

In regard to the comments posted of late whether we should encourage or allow on-the-water coaching, no one has seemed to come up with the obvious problem...we don't have trained and adequate safety boats and knowledgeable personnel to operate them.

We have relied on the available club members and their personal boats to keep costs down and races safe; this is rarely acceptable. They are not always the best boat handlers while operating boats in tight situations and take great risk of damaging their own boats or the ones they are trying to help; also many times they are not the best set up boats for this type of situation.

Those in favor of coaching will use this argument to justify their participation, however it's clear to me if we have proper race management and supply the needed safety boats and personal, we don't need the numbers of coaches and nanny boats criss-crossing the playing field.

Coaches and spectators in all other sports are relegated to the sidelines; we have rules in place regarding outside help during races and this should be expanded to include in between races as well. Like it or not, on-the-water coaching at the level we are now seeing is unfair to competitors and doesn't educate our younger sailors.

I learned that when you leave the dock it's the skipper's responsibility to be sure the boat and crew is prepped and race ready. You had done your homework, watched the weather, chose your gear and sail combinations, tuned your boat and had a "ditty bag" just in case. (Thank goodness for duck tape).

If your boom or spinnaker pole broke that was tough luck...so you made darn sure they wouldn't!
Coaches can spectate from designated areas and do all their coaching at home during practice and training sessions. I welcome and encourage that. I even offer to "coach" newer members of our local fleet during the week. Better yet run their seminars before a regatta and allow all to participate that so choose.

Safety and rescue staff must be familiar with boat-handling of the power and the sailboats they are protecting and have the proper equipment available to help them recover sailors during the more extreme conditions we choose to race in.

Granted I am one of those old school types that learned by doing and making errors along the way, I had sailing instructors (now called "coaches") that helped educate me in all aspects of water safety including how to operate a powerboat and help a sailboat in trouble without causing any damage.

I offer freely any help to my fellow fleet, I will coach or run practice sessions any time a member of my fleet asks a question, but we are going down the wrong road and we need to eliminate the unfair coaching and put a premium on safety and education. Seems a lot easier to provide proper safety boats then to rein in a mass of nanny boats and coaches.


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Jul 20, 2011, 9:34 AM

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From Phil Smithies, St. Petersburg, FL:
I have read most of the arguments for and against coaches and their boats. There are good reasons for and against, love them or hate them, it is your choice. Allow them or not is the organizers choice. However, one area that has not been covered, and maybe why the organizers have not joined in the debate, is the money they are receiving from the coaches.

I was at the ISAF Sailing World Cup event Sail For Gold in the UK, and if you wished to check out RIBs and their equipment, this was better than any boat show in the world. As for the coaching fees, there were 318 coaches registered at the event, with the coaching registration fee at 100 pounds sterling. That is 31,800 pounds, and at the current exchange rate (1.62), that equates to $51,516 U.S. dollars. Not to shabby, especially when all you have to do is give someone a wrist band!

Maybe the areas plagued by coach problems should copy the Brits and charge excessive fees for the privilege, and if they still wish to pay, then put that money back into the youth program or better still set up a scholarship for a less advantaged youth. Just a thought.


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Jul 20, 2011, 9:34 AM

Post #17 of 18 (33531 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Coaching at small boat regattas [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply


In Reply To
From Phil Smithies, St. Petersburg, FL:
I have read most of the arguments for and against coaches and their boats. There are good reasons for and against, love them or hate them, it is your choice. Allow them or not is the organizers choice. However, one area that has not been covered, and maybe why the organizers have not joined in the debate, is the money they are receiving from the coaches.

I was at the ISAF Sailing World Cup event Sail For Gold in the UK, and if you wished to check out RIBs and their equipment, this was better than any boat show in the world. As for the coaching fees, there were 318 coaches registered at the event, with the coaching registration fee at 100 pounds sterling. That is 31,800 pounds, and at the current exchange rate (1.62), that equates to $51,516 U.S. dollars. Not to shabby, especially when all you have to do is give someone a wrist band!

Maybe the areas plagued by coach problems should copy the Brits and charge excessive fees for the privilege, and if they still wish to pay, then put that money back into the youth program or better still set up a scholarship for a less advantaged youth. Just a thought.



There was a time when a 100 boat regatta meant that you planned for 100 boats and their crew to determine the budget. But with the growth of coaching, event organizers must now accommodate more boats and people for a 100 boat regatta. It does seem fair that entrants pay for their impact on an event. At the 2011 Etchells Worlds, there was a higher entry fee for 4-man teams than 3-man teams, but there was no entry fee for coaches. Maybe there should have been.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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Jul 21, 2011, 9:48 AM

Post #18 of 18 (33410 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Coaching at small boat regattas [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

From David Barrow:
Most sailors want a level playing field, so as far as coaches and support boats are concerned, should not everyone be able to have or afford to have one on the race course - or no one?


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