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Gross Misconduct at Laser PCCs
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The Publisher
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Aug 7, 2006, 6:34 AM

Post #1 of 90 (150466 views)
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Gross Misconduct at Laser PCCs Log-In to Post/Reply

The following took place at the Laser Pacific Coast Championship, held July 22-23, 2006 at Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club in San Pedro, CA:


July 25, 2006

Reese Lane NJ
Jury Chairman
Laser Pacific Coast Championship

Re: Protest #1, Sail # 164380 Protestor / Sail # 180081 Protestee


The following are the Facts Found by the jury:

1. 180081on port tack and 164380 on starboard tack were sailing downwind within two boat lengths of mark 3s overlapped.

2. Mark Identified as 3s was not a mark of the course.

3. 164380 was inside boat to 180081 to 3s

4. 180081 gybed to port , 164380 responded and was able to keep clear.

5. 180081 continued to head up only to abruptly stop and bare away sharply, resulting in contact with 164380 which broke 164380’s tiller extension.

6. 164380 immediately hailed protest.

7. 180081 gybed away towards mark 3p.

8. 164380 tacked around 3s and proceeded to round mark 3p.

9. 164380 again hailed protest at mark 4 when 180081 had not done penalty turns.

10. 180081 rounded mark 4 just ahead of 164380.

11. After mark 4, there was yelling between the skippers. The skipper of 180081 yelled, “ If you (164380) don’t shut up I’m going to beat your ass”.

12. The skipper of 164380 called the skipper of 180081 a “big idiot”.

13. The boats split tacks and came together at the finish line with both boats finishing on port tack, 164380 finished ahead of 180081.

14. Shortly after finishing 180081 tacked to starboard and rammed 164380.

15. The skipper of 180081 pulled the boats together side by side and said to 164380 “ didn’t I tell you I was going to beat your ass”.

16. 180081’s skipper got halfway out of his boat and boarded 164380 and started to grab and punch the skipper of 164380, not once but at least twice.

17. The skipper of 164380 asked “What the fuck are you (180081) are doing”

18. The skipper of 180081 answered as he again attempted to punch the skipper of 164380 with an overhead punch “ Don’t you know who I am, you’ve fucked up my regatta”

19. The skipper of 164380 only put his arms up to defend himself and made no aggressive moves in response to the attack.

20. The boats separated, 164380 reported to the Race Committee of his intent to protest.


Conclusions and Rules That Apply
Rules that apply: 2, 10, 13, 14(b), 15, 16.1, and Gross Misconduct that requires a RRS 69 hearing.

Decision
Boat 180081 is penalized as follows: DNE for race #4. It is also decided that the complete protest, facts found and accompanying documentation be referred to US Sailing for further action on the RRS 69 hearing.

Note 1: 180081’s skipper did not attend original protest meeting on Sunday, July 23, 2006, He was notified of the protest hearing in the club parking lot by Mark Specter, the Protestor, that he was being protested but left the premises before the scheduled hearing.

Note 2: 180081’s skipper (Brodie Cobb) was notified in writing on Sunday evening, July 23, 2006 of the alleged misconduct and of the time and place of the scheduled RRS 69 hearing to be held on Monday, July 24, 2006. The RRS 69 notification letter was hand delivered to Cobb’s local address where the protest committee had been told he was staying. This notification included a copy of the original protest and the RRS 69 hearing notification letter.

Note 3: 180081’s skipper (Brodie Cobb) had a second copy of the RRS 69 notification hearing letter hand delivered to him by the jury chairman just before he left the dock to go racing Monday morning, July 24, 2006. The jury chairman was told that Cobb left the venue sometime after launching his boat. Cobb left a letter at Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club addressed to the jury foreman declining to appear at the scheduled hearing due to “business commitments.”

Note 4: Because of 180081 skipper’s (Brodie Cobb) decision not to appear at either the original protest hearing or the RRS 69 hearing, the jury decided to hear the adjourned valid protest to determine the Facts involved in the incident when all the other parties and witnesses (other than Mr. Cobb) to the incident were available.

Note 5: The protest hearing was tape recorded by two recording devices. A Wave copy of the July 24, 2006 protest hearing testimony will be sent to U S Sailing.

Note 6: The Jury, after hearing the testimony from the protestor and three witnesses, decided to report the incident to US Sailing with a strong recommendation for further RRS 69 or Article 14 action. Copies of the cover letter with a copy of the original protest, the facts found, and the Conclusions and Rules That Apply are sent to:

a. Executive Director, U S Sailing
b. Executive Director, North American Laser Association (Co - OA).
c. Commodore, St. Francis Yacht Club.
d. Commodore, Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club. (Co – OA)
e. Mark Spector
f. Brodie Cobb






The Publisher
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Aug 7, 2006, 6:48 AM

Post #2 of 90 (150400 views)
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It is our understanding that the letter was sent to the US Sailing Executive Director, who then sends it to the US Sailing Review Board (click here for board members). One of the concerns of the original Protest committee (Reese Lane - NJ; I Douglass Campbell - NJ, IJ, SNU; Kim Kymlicka - SNJ, NU; Latham Bell - SNJ) was why US Sailing won't let the protest committee hear this without the parties present RRS-69 D, US Sailing Judges manual, when ISAF will.




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Aug 7, 2006, 3:25 PM

Post #3 of 90 (150348 views)
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Do you have a point?


The Publisher
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Aug 7, 2006, 3:45 PM

Post #4 of 90 (150343 views)
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In Reply To
Do you have a point?



Just providing information. Fortunately incidents like the one described are rare, but they are also not well publicized. Do you think if they were better publicized, it would increase the incident rate or decrease it?


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Aug 7, 2006, 6:48 PM

Post #5 of 90 (150249 views)
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The jury is to be commended. Too frequently unsportsmanlike conduct is left unattended. I believe this leads to a reinforcement of behavior that has no place in our sport.


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ecpotts

Aug 7, 2006, 8:22 PM

Post #6 of 90 (150121 views)
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Does anyone know where Brodie Cobb sailed collegiately? If I'm not mistaken, it was Tulane, but I'm having trouble placing him and can't remember when he may have been in N. O.


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Aug 7, 2006, 9:35 PM

Post #7 of 90 (150079 views)
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In Reply To

In Reply To
Do you have a point?


Just providing information. Fortunately incidents like the one described are rare, but they are also not well publicized. Do you think if they were better publicized, it would increase the incident rate or decrease it?


Why post this? What you have posted is the report to the sailor's national authority (U. S. Sailing Ass'n), meaning the accusation under Racing Rule 69.2. USSA will then investigate the accusation and hold a hearing. The NA then could impose a penalty. If so that is reported in full on their website (all penalties are). I think that in all fairness to the parties the time for publicity like this is after USSA posts its decision (assuming a penalty is imposed).

I do think that publicising any final penalty tends to discourage the bad conduct and therefore is a good thing. When doing that the name of the actual sailor is irrelevant.


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Aug 7, 2006, 10:22 PM

Post #8 of 90 (150052 views)
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This Mr. Cobb - is this an adult? The same Brodie Cobb that is head of finanaical services firm in San Francisco?


Steve Orosz
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Aug 7, 2006, 10:44 PM

Post #9 of 90 (150039 views)
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I'm a bit confused about the facts found. In Fact 2. it says 3s was NOT a mark of the course yet it seems like the designator for a leeward gate to me. Is it possible that was a typo? I'm finding it hard to understand why they were within two lengths of it otherwise. It sounds like 180081 tried to get inside at the last minute by passing behind 164380 and then couldn't. But then both boats rounded 3p with 164380 tacking around 3s to get to it. . . ? But why would 180081 try the maneuver that started the incident if they weren't going to round 3s? Anyone know how the course was laid out for this race or have another explanation for what happened? CBYC doesn't have a course chart post with the SI's on their website.

I'm thinking Fact 4. must contain a typo since 180081 was described as being on port already and if he gybed onto port there would have been no reason for the other boat to keep clear if he was already on starboard. Or am I missing something?

If everything happened as described, this was a very unfortunate incident. I recall that there was a similar incident a number of years back where two Laser sailors at a major regatta tangled and turtled at a leeward mark. If I'm remembering correctly, one swam over to the other's boat and punched him a couple times before righting his boat and sailing off. As I recall he ended up getting banned for a year.


YCYC
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Aug 8, 2006, 2:40 AM

Post #10 of 90 (149993 views)
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We had a laser frostbite situation like that where the aggressor was banned for one year under rule 69. Definitely something to publicize as that stuff is VERY bad!


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no thanks

Aug 8, 2006, 4:58 AM

Post #11 of 90 (149922 views)
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Brodie Cobb, All American 1984 at Tulane University. Don't know him personally but he sounds like a egotistical hothead. Not very professional at all. What club was he sailing for? I wonder if they have gotten word of his actions? Hope I don't run into him on the race course.


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Aug 8, 2006, 5:18 AM

Post #12 of 90 (149902 views)
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Sailed with Brodie at many, many, Laser and Laser Masters events over the years.

Very intense, but a good guy. Never saw this kind of conduct from him. Guess he had a bad day....I'm sure he feels terrrible.


ecpotts
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Aug 8, 2006, 5:40 AM

Post #13 of 90 (149873 views)
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That's what I thought. Although 24 years ago, I can remember an incident where two college sailors sailing in an event hosted by Tulane and there was an altercation with the Race Committee when the RC was not acting as desired by the 2 sailors, although properly as best as I recall. The incident involved one of the 2 sailors referring to the RC as a--hole or F---you or something such as that. The RC DSQ'd one of the sailors and eventually there was a hearing at the end of the day that substantiated the dsq by the RC. I don't believe that Mr Cobb was the one that was DSQ'd or was even involved but I believe that he sailed in the event and that is what has jarred my memory. It is unfortunate that we take some races too seriously, but I can understand how it can happen in the heat of battle. People get competitive and sometimes it causes an old adage to raise it's head: A good reputation goes far, but a bad reputation goes further. I wish Mr Cobb all the best in whatever actions are taken, and I'm sure that all involved wish that it did not happen, but something occurred that was not pleasant and unfortunately it must be dealt with to preserve the integrity of the sport.


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Aug 8, 2006, 6:23 AM

Post #14 of 90 (149814 views)
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no way, couldn't be Brodie...must be a different guy, he would never do that.....


The Publisher
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Aug 8, 2006, 6:30 AM

Post #15 of 90 (149799 views)
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In Reply To
no way, couldn't be Brodie...must be a different guy, he would never do that.....



Bad news... it was Brodie. I understand that it was quite a scene at the finish line, and the jury had no shortage of witnesses.


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hal_smith@mindspring.com

Aug 8, 2006, 6:49 AM

Post #16 of 90 (149777 views)
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Events like this are bad for our sport, of course, but it does illustrate some weaknesses in its management. I share "Post #9's" concern for the accuracy of the facts found. Many "facts" are confusing, but it may be impossible to gybe onto port while on port tack as stated. I am sure the RC and jury were made up of excellent people, but the stress of this extraordinary event may have provided too much distraction for the best hearing and its recording to be conducted by volunteers albeit US Sailing trained. I imagine that Mr. Specter could bring an assault case against Mr. Brodie. This is very serious, but judgement might best be reserved until all of the facts are more professionally obtained. This may be the basis for yet another paragraph in the next edition of our good ole RRS.


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still in shock

Aug 8, 2006, 7:29 AM

Post #17 of 90 (149727 views)
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I was out on one of the spectator boats for the PCC’s. There was a gate, which was set for the Radials to use in their course, the full rigs were going from the reach mark to the leeward mark. And yes, it was at least two boat lengths to weather of layline for the full rigs proper course to the next mark.

Although I did not witness the start of this incident downwind, I did watch in horror as an ADULT MASTER sailor slammed into and boarded a TEENAGER’S boat while screaming “don’t you KNOW who I am?” immediately after they crossed the finish, becoming an obstruction for the group of boats coming in to finish right behind them.

Cobb was lucky this kids Mom wasn’t out there! I suggested to the kid afterwards that he file assault charges with the Port Police and sure hope he did. This type of behavior is appalling and should not be tolerated on the racecourse.

This was one of the major topics of conversation that last day of the regatta while everyone waited for trophy presentations. Sounds like this was not the first time that good old Brodie was tossed for similar behavior. Maybe he should consider retiring from the sport if his “has been” status is causing him to beat up on the kids that were born around the same time he was receiving best sportsmanship trophies

In Reply To
.


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Aug 8, 2006, 7:30 AM

Post #18 of 90 (149724 views)
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This thread is just wrong, airing dirty laundry in public.


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Aug 8, 2006, 9:56 AM

Post #19 of 90 (149582 views)
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It appears the Brodie Cobb was the '84 & '85 O'day champion. http://www.ussailing.org/...day/o'daywinners.htm

Ironically, this is on the St. Francis YC website:
"Back Post Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2006
StFYC Junior at CBYC Laser Radial PCC's

Congratulations to Brodie Cobb, who finished 8th in the Laser PCC's!

http://www.stfyc.com/...55&itemID=164904

All this brou-ha-ha over the difference between 7th & 8th place. Most of us would be happy with a top ten finish. . .




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Aug 8, 2006, 10:08 AM

Post #20 of 90 (149570 views)
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For those who suggest this is not the place to discuss this - please think about what you're saying.

I know nothing of the competitors involved but if someone actually did ram and board another Laser and come out punching I'd offer this public airing should be the least of his concerns.


Should all 69s be done in secrecy with only US Sailing knowing those involved?

Heck no. I liken it to the various jurisdictions around the country where the police post the pictures of those caught for DUI. Public shame goes a long way as a deterrent.

The aggressor in this situation should rightfully feel plenty of shame and remorse and the sailing world should know the names involved and the facts found.

There's no place for this kind of behavior.


Glenn
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Aug 8, 2006, 12:36 PM

Post #21 of 90 (149443 views)
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There have been enough fisticuffs in this sport to know the outcome of a RRS 69 hearing involving a thrown punch. A guy at the Olympic Games punched another sailor and got 69'd (and that was the last place on earth I thought a punch would be thrown). There is a well established case record of this type of activity.

Ask most judges if they ever heard a RRS 69. Most will say they haven't. The RRS 69 is reserved for the most egregious of offenses (of course, the victim could contact the USCG and have assault, piracy and other charges levied at the accused). I have heard grumblings of people wanting a hearing for any of the George Carlin 7 Dirty Words. But I have never seen a protest committee even consider that for a moment.

Take a look at the list of those 69'd in the world and U.S. right now:
http://www.sailing.org/...d/qwGX28zoMo67DRtK/D

http://www.ussailing.org/art14/suspensions.htm


rt_/)
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Aug 8, 2006, 2:24 PM

Post #22 of 90 (149351 views)
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I disagree. Laundry doesn't get cleaner by covering it up. If a similar incident happened in the NFL (physical assault after the game was over), it would have resulted in an immediate suspension and fine. In our sport, it might take a year to resolve.


The Publisher
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Aug 8, 2006, 2:54 PM

Post #23 of 90 (149340 views)
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In Reply To
I disagree. Laundry doesn't get cleaner by covering it up. If a similar incident happened in the NFL (physical assault after the game was over), it would have resulted in an immediate suspension and fine. In our sport, it might take a year to resolve.



One of the judges told me that because US Sailing will not permit a protest committee to hear a Rule 69 protest without the parties present (when ISAF will), it has become a savvy tactic in the US to no-show the hearing. I don't know if that was the case in this incident, but it will likely cause significant delay in the resolution of it.


rt_/)
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Aug 8, 2006, 2:55 PM

Post #24 of 90 (149340 views)
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There appear to be two separate incidents:
1. In the vicinity of "non-marks" 3s & 3p, in which there was contact between the boats.
2. At the finish area, where one competitor physically assaulted the other.

Though the first incident led to the second, it may be a mistake to lump them together.

As to the first, I can see the PC identifying the area of the incident (vicinity of 3s & 3p), but not the why of "inside" (per rule 18) unless the marks represented obstructions. It might have been better to identify the relative positions of the boats. (I'm also puzzled as to how a boat on port tack can jibe to port.) This first incident seems to be a straightforward rule 10 (port/starboard) with a rule 14 (avoiding collisions) kicker. (Is breaking the tiller extension "damage" under 14?) The disqualification not excludable (DNE) is severe, but perhaps warranted if the PC determined that rule 2 (fair sailing) had also been violated. The protestee had been hailed repeatedly, should have known he fouled the other boat, and made it clear he had no intention of acknowledging his breach.

For the second, a rule 69 action seems essential. Let's see what happens with it. It may be the sport that's on trial here.


Glenn
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Aug 8, 2006, 3:19 PM

Post #25 of 90 (149321 views)
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The plaintiff should file criminal charges with the USCG. Then all of the information that the USCG collects is public record, and I would presume that that information could be used in a RRS 69 hearing. The defendent won't be able to skip out on that meeting!


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Aug 8, 2006, 7:18 PM

Post #26 of 90 (148868 views)
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Sounds like 'roid rage. Wink

Maybe BC needs to be drug tested too.


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Aug 8, 2006, 7:57 PM

Post #27 of 90 (148828 views)
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if i was this cobb guy, id sue your ass.


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Aug 8, 2006, 8:02 PM

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In Reply To

One of the judges told me that because US Sailing will not permit a protest committee to hear a Rule 69 protest without the parties present (when ISAF will), it has become a savvy tactic in the US to no-show the hearing. I don't know if that was the case in this incident, but it will likely cause significant delay in the resolution of it.


Brodie Cobb in no way deserves the villification the editor of Scuttlebutt has wrought, first by posting the "Facts Found" to this forum, then by fanning the flames with his "hang the sucker" postings, then by posting to the The Laser Forum followed by leaking to Sailing Anarchy. I used to expect a higher standard from Scuttlebutt but I was clearly wrong! And I have no doubt in my mind that if the Curmudgeon actually knew Brodie that we would not be reading any of this.

In addition, in my opinion, US Sailing should revoke Reese Lane's judge status for providing the above "Facts Found" to Sailing Scuttlebutt in an attempt to bypass the tried and true system the Racing Rules of Sailing set down for dealing with these types of issues.

Brodie deserves the appropriate punishment for laying hands on a teenager which may well include a lifetime ban from sailing. But he also deserves the due process provided by the Racing Rules of Sailing AND the chance to allow his side of the story to be told. And we all need to remember that a basic tenant of our society is the presumption of innonence until proven guilty in a court of law (which is US Sailing in this case).

Shame on all of us for allowing the Curmudgeon to bias all of us by feeding us his verdict before the proper process has been followed.


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Aug 8, 2006, 8:52 PM

Post #29 of 90 (148782 views)
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In Reply To

In Reply To
Shame on all of us for allowing the Curmudgeon to bias all of us by feeding us his verdict before the proper process has been followed.

We did not post our verdict, but rather we posted the Facts Found. As for leaking this to SA, you got the crowd laughing on that one.




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Aug 8, 2006, 11:17 PM

Post #30 of 90 (148732 views)
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So are you contesting the facts laid out by the protest committee? How can you defend this dickhead? Sounds like he is getting what he deserves. The sailing world is pretty small. You are very naive if you think that this incident being posted here will spread the story much further than it would by word of mouth. At least people are getting the correct facts this way.


sail4sc
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Aug 9, 2006, 12:12 AM

Post #31 of 90 (148712 views)
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I was there at the PCCs at Cabrillo YC and I spoke with both parties after the incident happened. The gut feeling I got after the day of sailing was there was a dispute over who was going to pay for the broken tiller extension. Both of them were doing fairly well in the first race of the day but sailed to the wrong leeward marks after the second weather leg (I was leading most of that race). Once they realized they were at the wrong marks, I think major frustration set in for both of them to say the least. After losing most of the fleet, words were exchanged down the next three legs to the finish. The alleged boarding and exchange of fists (after the finish) did happen but has been greatly exaggerated here and other forums around the net.. More strong words were definitely exchanged after the finish.. some kind of scuffle occurred on the water.. That’s all anyone really knows. I'm confident appropriate actions will be taken once USSailing learns all the facts and has it's hearings. To the best of my knowledge, Brodie apologized to Mark back at the dock.. He thought the incident was over. I consider both of these sailors good friends as well as fierce competitors. I would stand up for either one at anytime. If you were there, you could write about what you saw or heard.. If you weren’t there, your opinions on these hearsay facts at best and incomplete jury reports don’t really hold much weight on this situation. It would serve the sailing community as a whole to reserve judgment till all the facts are on the table.


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Aug 9, 2006, 4:24 AM

Post #32 of 90 (148648 views)
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Let me get this straight. There are any number of witnesses that report seeing Mr Cobb ram the teenager's boat in the finishing area, board the kid's boat, and punch the kid.

Do you dispute that? Is the jury nuts? If not, please tell me what on earth could possibly justify Mr Cobb's behavior including his no show at the hearing? What exactly justify's either actions?

And then you think this should not be talked about until its final (likely ages from now)? Please tell me you are kidding!

Mr Cobb's behavior and the desire of others to sweep it under the rug is exactly what is wrong with our sport.

How sad that it happens. How sad that you want to hide it.

Wess (One old guy just getting into Laser sailing who think maybe he should just stick to cruising)


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Aug 9, 2006, 7:28 AM

Post #33 of 90 (148443 views)
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Why, for pointing out what an out of control idiot he is? I think that we should tar and feather people who act in the same manner as Brodie Cobb. Bring attention to the tantrums and they may stop.


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Aug 9, 2006, 7:40 AM

Post #34 of 90 (148425 views)
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The actions were unfortunately witnessed by many. There is no way this can be swept aside. As a green fleet PRO and very active sailor, I take sportsmanship very seriously. This incident shows a distinct lack of proper behaviour by both parties. Did it merit all this attention? The answer is yes. I have been sailing for 35 years and, I have watched the behaviour of participants deteriorate greatly in the last several years. Brodie is an adult, we are setting an example for those coming up behind us. Maybe I take it too seriously, but my coaches taught me to always be honorable. There was no honor in this situation.


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lameguest@bitemed.com

Aug 9, 2006, 7:56 AM

Post #35 of 90 (148404 views)
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Screw USailing

He should lose his Laser Class membership immediately


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Aug 9, 2006, 9:26 AM

Post #36 of 90 (148253 views)
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You've stated "words were exchanged down the next three legs to the finish"

Obviously you weren't there. There were only two legs to finish. A reach and weather leg.

I guarantee you, NO apology has come from Brodie Cobb. I'll also guarantee you that when I spoke to Brodie Cobb immediately after that race, Brodie denied any collision, and denied punches that I witnessed him throw.


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Aug 9, 2006, 12:37 PM

Post #37 of 90 (147998 views)
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Re: [Guest] Gross Misconduct at Laser PCCs [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

It sounds like you were there. Would you tell us what you saw or heard ? I'm very interested in hearing a true first hand account. thank you.


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Aug 9, 2006, 1:16 PM

Post #38 of 90 (147935 views)
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The post from Max979@juno is from the other individual involved in this dispute.


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max979@juno.com

Aug 9, 2006, 2:22 PM

Post #39 of 90 (147877 views)
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The quote from max979@juno.com is not from the individual involved in the protest, but from an individual who was on a support boat near the reach mark at the incident, was near the finish line at the time of the incident with a clear view of the incident, and then motored over to Brodie Cobb's position after the race. Three individuals other than myself heard the conversation I had with Brodie Cobb.


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Aug 10, 2006, 7:29 AM

Post #40 of 90 (145367 views)
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Re: [Guest] Gross Misconduct at Laser PCCs [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Would you tell us about that conversation ? I sure would like to hear some first hand accounts instead of all this, uh, other stuff. thank you.


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