Aug 8, 2006, 8:52 AM
Post #10 of 21
Re: [Guest] Paige Railey: Post Worlds Report
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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.