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Paige Railey: Post Worlds Report
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The Publisher
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Aug 7, 2006, 11:39 AM

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ISAF #1 ranked Laser Radial sailor Paige Railey (USA) just completed the 2006 Laser Radial Worlds, which she had won in 2005. The event didn't go too well, and as she regularly does, has provided the following report to provide some insight into the event and how she goes forward with her 2008 Olympic Campaign:

Hey! So if you looked at the results you can see that I had 3 yellow flags. It was the second to last race when I received my third flag which resulted in me having to retire from the regatta. It was a horrible feeling! Here I was in my home country being thrown out of the worlds.

Truthfully, it has been tough lately. First I pull out of the Holland Regatta, score 18th at Euros, and now I am thrown out of the Radial Worlds. But these regattas and time has been quite a learning experience. As my dad has said to me you cant enjoy your highs unless you've experienced a low and both my parents agree that you cant stay on top forever you have to experience a dip to become a stronger and better sailor. They have been great mentors for me.

Worlds was tough. I had media scrutiny (the worst I had ever experienced). I was shocked to see the articles that were written. It seemed that the reporter was more focused on my mess ups in the sailing rather than the positive part. Truthfully, I had some great sailing. I was not out of it at all. The only thing that was killing my scores was my yellow flags.

I guess I can say that I have never had an obstacle with the mental part of sailing. It's only been the physical and the actual sailing part that has given me troubles. I have a new view on athletes. I used to be the person who would criticize someone for starting to perform poorly or just say they don't have it in them, but now that I am going through it, I get to see a different side. I realized that we are just human and you can't be perfect all the time, but it's the great athletes who are able to pull through times like this. My dad has shared with me struggles and achievements that he has gone through with his business. I never thought that I would be able to compare his work with my sailing, but he goes through the same things. I have come to admire him for the difficulties and achievements he has had. So, with his past experiences he has given me a new strength on how to move forward.

Here's the next step! I'm off to China on the 10th for the Pre-Olympics. This is purely a test event for the Olympics. I will be able to sail there to get a feel for the venue. I will write you later on the link. Also, my goal here will be to take another step forward with my progression. It's time for me to have a good regatta, but if things go wrong again then, I won't let it get me down. I just have to keep pushing.

Talk to you later!

Paige

http://www.paigerailey.com





Lima
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Aug 7, 2006, 11:52 AM

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interesting....would loved to here a little more explanation or contrition on the "clean sweep" of yellow flags...something like, "I am embarassed..." or "we all come so close all the time, this time I just went over the line..." (more likely)...how often does it happen that a sailor gets all three in a regatta, requiring them to withdraw from the event?


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Aug 7, 2006, 7:14 PM

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All i get is that her cheating was a little off that day......Oh well, it happens.


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home@viewz.com

Aug 7, 2006, 7:17 PM

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A champion turns every negative into a positive. Paige has nothing to apologize for or be embarassed about. And from the sounds of her post has already learned from her mistakes.


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Aug 7, 2006, 8:36 PM

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She's young, still learning, and a fantastic sailor. You want to walk up to her and call her a cheater? I think her attitude is great, and this season, as trying as it has been, may be the best thing to make her a dominant force in '08


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Aug 7, 2006, 10:08 PM

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Paige Railey says that the "media scrutiny" she received at the Laser Radial Worlds was "the worst I had ever experienced." Odd: I read the media reports and didn't think so. That she received such scrutiny was to be expected, as she was the defending champ and is the top-ranked woman Radial sailor in the country that hosted the event. Aside from a comment that she was reportedly in tears that might have been left out, I found the coverage very matter-of-fact.


djca
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Aug 8, 2006, 2:45 AM

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Paige has nothing to apologize for or be embarassed about.


Tell that to Paul Elvstrom...

"I got caught cheating 3 times and was thrown out of not just one race, but the ENTIRE regatta. Just another day in the life of a 'champion', isn't that right Mr. Elvstrom?"


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Aug 8, 2006, 5:30 AM

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Quote
As my dad has said to me you cant enjoy your highs unless you've experienced a low and both my parents agree that you cant stay on top forever you have to experience a dip to become a stronger and better sailor. They have been great mentors for me.


Will Paige be changing her style of sailing? Some on water judges have been too timid to flag her. Good for the folks keeping the sport clean. Maybe it's time for Daddy to hire a coach that doesn't teach her to cheat.


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hal_smith@mindspring.com

Aug 8, 2006, 6:01 AM

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The whinning comments about the cheating don't reflect an understanding of any sport at this level. Champions and pros, if they are consistently good, work in an area right at the edge of the rules to gain the last bit of performance necessary to win. Their skill set is so refined that they can do that, and I may not even recognize what they are doing. This is true in any sport. Different Umpires have different strike zones. Paige now knows these Umps a bit better for next time. I hope Paige knows how badly she could beat each of her critics.


Tom Donlan
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Aug 8, 2006, 8:52 AM

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The whining comments about the cheating don't reflect an understanding of any sport at this level. Champions and pros, if they are consistently good, work in an area right at the edge of the rules to gain the last bit of performance necessary to win. Their skill set is so refined that they can do that, and I may not even recognize what they are doing. This is true in any sport. Different Umpires have different strike zones. Paige now knows these Umps a bit better for next time. I hope Paige knows how badly she could beat each of her critics.


Let me start by acknowledging that I am sure Paige Railey could beat me badly any day, in any boat, without cheating. Now let me say that does not matter.

In her original post, Railey did not apologise or explain why or how she broke the rules and was caught three different ways on three different days. I am open to hearing that sculling, rocking and rolling, etc. are so widespread in the Laser Radial class that it is impossible to compete in it without doing it, and that umpires are so short-sighted and incompetent that getting caught is merely a matter of bad luck. I have not heard that. Does someone want to say it? If they do, then I will say that I hope they enjoy the sport, but it isn't sailing.

If everybody in the class isn't doing it, then we are stuck with the pro sports mentality reflected in the post quoted above. Only the good ones do it, and they are so good at it they don't usually get caught. I don't understand sport at this level? I do understand it; I am a football fan and I know there's holding on every play. But I reject "working at the edge of the rules" as a guiding principle for the sport I love to play. Sailboat racing was, is and can be conducted according to Corinthian principles of amateur sport, for the love of the game. Professional sailors, professional coaches, and intentional disregard of the rules have no place in that game.

The author of the post above misunderstands the rules of baseball as much as he does the rules of sailing. In baseball, the pitcher is not cheating when he misses the strike zone. What Railey did is more like throwing a spitball.

If Railey or other contributors think that rule-breaking is not cheating, I invite them to explain themselves more fully.

Tom Donlan


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Aug 8, 2006, 4:14 PM

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In regards to the comments made about Paige Railey and her getting 3 yellow flags at this years World Championships: I do not think that any of the people commenting so far know about what it is like to be a top level Olympic Aspiring Athlete. I do know what it is like and I also know many people who have trained beside me for the games. AT ALL TIMES WE PUSH THE LIMITS. THIS IS NOT CHEATING. This is pushing the limits of the sport so that we can become CHAMPIONS. That is exactly what Paige is, she is a CHAMPION. She was a CHAMPION before that event and will continue to be one in the future. Athletes do not cheat in their technique because they want to cheat. Paige did not say to herself ok I am going to cheat now so I win. GIVE ME A BREAK. SHE WAS TRYING TO BE THE BEST AND THAT MEANS PUSHING THE LIMITS. They push the limits of the rules to be the best. There is a very fine line of this subject, but you must sail there BECAUSE EVERYONE DOES AT THIS LEVEL. I don't think that any of you know what TIME AND EFFORT this young women puts into her sailing but it is unbelieveable and that is my opinion after only watching her for ONE WEEK. She is so finely tuned with her boat it is amazing. She reminded me very much of Robert Schiedt who I had the pleasure of competing against for many years. Robert always got yellow flags in competition. In fact he won half of his World Championships with 2 yellow flags. Does anyone call Schiedt a CHEATER? NO WE IDOLIZE HIM. He was a CHAMPION AND AMBASSADOR of the sport of sailing. That is exactly what Paige Railey is and I witnessed this in person on the last day of the World Championship. She came to the closing ceremony fully dressed in her US Sailing outfit and watched the awards and applauded the winners. She was not bitter or mad she understood she had been beaten and was showing respect to her fellow competitors. After all the ceremonies were over I watched her quietly walk up to the NEW Champion and friend from China and shake her hand and congratulate her on a great event. It was amazing for me to see. WHERE WAS THAT IN THE REPORTS ABOUT THE "CHEATER"? Every time that Paige Railey sails she sails to push the sport of sailing to a new level because that is what true CHAMPIONS do. Yes she did get her three flags and she should have toned it down after the 2nd, but she made a mistake. She is 19 and will learn from this and be better for it in the future. If you or anyone else want to bash one of the greatest women sailors from the United States that we are going to see in our lifetimes then let it be your business. I am proud to say that Paige not only represents herself but also the United States and all of us. She even represents all her critics who should be proud of all she has accomplished and will accomplish in the future. Paige is trailblazing a path into the future of sailing and for anyone to say that she is a CHEATER is CRAZY. She is a CHAMPION and will continue to be one and will get better because of this experience.


sail4sc
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Aug 9, 2006, 12:55 AM

Post #12 of 21 (42309 views)
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In regards to the comments made about Paige Railey and her getting 3 yellow flags at this years World Championships: I do not think that any of the people commenting so far know about what it is like to be a top level Olympic Aspiring Athlete. I do know what it is like and I also know many people who have trained beside me for the games. AT ALL TIMES WE PUSH THE LIMITS. THIS IS NOT CHEATING. This is pushing the limits of the sport so that we can become CHAMPIONS. That is exactly what Paige is, she is a CHAMPION. She was a CHAMPION before that event and will continue to be one in the future. Athletes do not cheat in their technique because they want to cheat. Paige did not say to herself ok I am going to cheat now so I win. GIVE ME A BREAK. SHE WAS TRYING TO BE THE BEST AND THAT MEANS PUSHING THE LIMITS. They push the limits of the rules to be the best. There is a very fine line of this subject, but you must sail there BECAUSE EVERYONE DOES AT THIS LEVEL. I don't think that any of you know what TIME AND EFFORT this young women puts into her sailing but it is unbelieveable and that is my opinion after only watching her for ONE WEEK. She is so finely tuned with her boat it is amazing. She reminded me very much of Robert Schiedt who I had the pleasure of competing against for many years. Robert always got yellow flags in competition. In fact he won half of his World Championships with 2 yellow flags. Does anyone call Schiedt a CHEATER? NO WE IDOLIZE HIM. He was a CHAMPION AND AMBASSADOR of the sport of sailing. That is exactly what Paige Railey is and I witnessed this in person on the last day of the World Championship. She came to the closing ceremony fully dressed in her US Sailing outfit and watched the awards and applauded the winners. She was not bitter or mad she understood she had been beaten and was showing respect to her fellow competitors. After all the ceremonies were over I watched her quietly walk up to the NEW Champion and friend from China and shake her hand and congratulate her on a great event. It was amazing for me to see. WHERE WAS THAT IN THE REPORTS ABOUT THE "CHEATER"? Every time that Paige Railey sails she sails to push the sport of sailing to a new level because that is what true CHAMPIONS do. Yes she did get her three flags and she should have toned it down after the 2nd, but she made a mistake. She is 19 and will learn from this and be better for it in the future. If you or anyone else want to bash one of the greatest women sailors from the United States that we are going to see in our lifetimes then let it be your business. I am proud to say that Paige not only represents herself but also the United States and all of us. She even represents all her critics who should be proud of all she has accomplished and will accomplish in the future. Paige is trailblazing a path into the future of sailing and for anyone to say that she is a CHEATER is CRAZY. She is a CHAMPION and will continue to be one and will get better because of this experience.


totally agree...


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Aug 9, 2006, 6:51 AM

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If Railey or other contributors think that rule-breaking is not cheating, I invite them to explain themselves more fully.

Tom Donlan


Tom, you are such a dip shit...breaking rules is not cheating. For instance, if your on port tack and cross in front of a starboard boat and he has to turn down slightly to avoid contact, you only broke a rule...you didn't cheat! Unless you don't do penalty turns, then you start cheating. sculling or pumping is allowed up to a point, then your penalized for excessive pumping or whatever. But it's not cheating.


The Publisher
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Aug 9, 2006, 7:35 AM

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In Reply To

In Reply To


If Railey or other contributors think that rule-breaking is not cheating, I invite them to explain themselves more fully.

Tom Donlan


...your on port tack and cross in front of a starboard boat and he has to turn down slightly to avoid contact, you only broke a rule...you didn't cheat! Unless you don't do penalty turns, then you start cheating. sculling or pumping is allowed up to a point, then your penalized for excessive pumping or whatever. But it's not cheating.

Interesting point... and maybe one that can be made without bashing Tom. Following your example, how do you handle competitors that scull/pump/rock when there are no on-the-water judges, or when the judges are on the opposite side of the course?




Tom Donlan
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Aug 9, 2006, 8:43 AM

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To the long-winded person who notes that those bashing Paige Railey have no idea what it is like to be an Olympic-Aspiring Athlete, much less a CHAMPION:

Competing in the Olympics is not an essential milestone on the road to being a decent human being. For too many people in too many sports, it seems to be a detour, or even a fork in the road that leads to a dead end with no way back.

The rest of the world will judge you for the choices you make in life. It may be, as you imply, that pushing the limits of the rules is what everyone does at that level. The rest of us will judge you for making the choice to sail in such company. Some will admire your dedication, some will judge you harshly.

On the other hand, I appreciate the information about Railey's good sportsmanship in attending the ceremony, shaking the new champion's hand and congratulating her. However, I don't consider that "amazing." I consider it "civility."

Which leads me to the next poster. Perhaps he thinks that language he and I would use among friends is appropriate to use in public among strangers. I do not think so. He ought to apologise for his language, and put his name to it.

As for his point, that rule-breaking is not cheating: Deliberate rule-breaking to gain an advantage is cheating, even if you take a penalty, just as accidental rule-breaking is not cheating even if the guy on starboard does not protest or tells you to keep racing without taking the penalty.


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Aug 9, 2006, 8:58 AM

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In Reply To

In Reply To


If Railey or other contributors think that rule-breaking is not cheating, I invite them to explain themselves more fully.

Tom Donlan


Tom, you are such a dip shit...breaking rules is not cheating. For instance, if your on port tack and cross in front of a starboard boat and he has to turn down slightly to avoid contact, you only broke a rule...you didn't cheat! Unless you don't do penalty turns, then you start cheating. sculling or pumping is allowed up to a point, then your penalized for excessive pumping or whatever. But it's not cheating.


Disagree. As you say, breaking a rule isn’t cheating if you did so by honest mistake accept your penalty or retire. (note that ‘honest mistake’ could be misunderstanding the rules.) If you deliberately break the rule and have no intention of exonerating yourself unless caught, then you broke the rules. What if there were no judges there and she never received her penalty?


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Aug 9, 2006, 9:51 PM

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Look, let me start by suggesting that Ms. Riley could take me in pretty much any boat on any course at any time. That still does not excuse cheating. It's one thing if she messed up her kinnetics unintentionally on a roll tack. That happens. If she did a "he-man FJ roll jibe" as someone I know refers to them (a massive collegiate style roll) that's quite another. And, over the course of that many races, and that many tacks, it's totally possible to screw up your kinetics three times. On the other hand, in dinghy racing we allow pumping, sculling and ooching in very specific circumstances (cf. Rule 42.3) breaking those rules is just as much cheating as turning on your motor in a bigger boat (again, with the exceptions mentioned in the rules). If you want to do massive rolls, pumps and ooches then sailboarding is the class for you.

I think the concept of when fouling becomes cheating is another very interesting question. My take is this: fouling is a special case of cheating that has specific consequences in the rules. However, when someone is fouled intentionally, that is covered by Rule 2: Sportsmanship, not the rules of Part 2. In his book on the racing rules, Dave Perry suggests that such an action would be penalized as gross misconduct (cf. Rule 69).

That's my $0.02


TackGybe
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Aug 24, 2006, 12:18 PM

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Disagree. As you say, breaking a rule isn’t cheating if you did so by honest mistake accept your penalty or retire. (note that ‘honest mistake’ could be misunderstanding the rules.) If you deliberately break the rule and have no intention of exonerating yourself unless caught, then you broke the rules. What if there were no judges there and she never received her penalty?

Well said. Pushing the rules should mean going to the limit, not over. She intentionally broke rules mutliple times. She should be ashamed.

It is a sad comment on sportsmanship to say, hey, I was pushing the rules, I wasn't cheating...parallels abound in life.


TackGybe
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Jan 30, 2007, 8:01 AM

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A champion turns every negative into a positive. Paige has nothing to apologize for or be embarassed about. And from the sounds of her post has already learned from her mistakes.



If only that were so!


Rors
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Jan 31, 2007, 5:38 AM

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Oh dear, what a lot of vilification for not a lot of error, makes me keen not to visit the States with my boat. For Paige Railley to be dsq'd for rule 42 surely relates to a technique error that needs working on.

That people to give her such a hard time about it shows that they maybe don't understand the tolerances in the issue. One judge can certainly see it differently from another and I'm sure that once the judges spot a problem in a technique they are going to be looking extra vigilantly for the future.

As for what happens when there is not judging then we're all policing ourselves and if out of site its just down to conscience. If I was sailing against somebody who was in my opinion breaking the rules I'd share that opinion with them.

So I think my point is please calm down I'm sure Miss Railey is an excellent and honest sailor who will talk to her coach and the officials and work on this particular part of her sailing.


blowboater
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Jan 31, 2007, 7:15 AM

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I'm sure Miss Railey is an excellent and honest sailor who will talk to her coach and the officials and work on this particular part of her sailing.



That is what people said that last time she was kicked out of a regatta for rules violations. I hear you on the "grey area" issue, but I don't think any of her "peer" group has anything like that record, which isn't a good one.


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