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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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stayoutofthemiddle

Is Big Boat racing an athletic sport?

47 posts in this topic

Walking around the yacht club rum parties it certainly doesn't appear that Big Boat racing requires physical fitness to compete or even win!

I'm not suggesting there aren't fit people who race Big Boats but I'm guessing most of that work is done in the gym or cycle track not going around the cans on a PHRF boat or even weekend warrior ODs. Sure there is a sense of effort and excitement chugging along upwind at 8.5 knots with the wind and water in your face while hiking hard but is it really an athletic activity or is it on par with a game of golf? Curious to see what the masses think on this one. I'm already predicting two camps! Please leave Olympic Laser sailing out of the discussion, that's a different topic...

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There are more athletic positions on boats and less. I've been on boats where we had to tack the owner first. But, go forward on a boat doing plus 20 knots to do a sail change and get back to me on how non athletic Big Boat sailing is.

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You need to take a sample of the consistent winners in the fleet and judge how fit they are.  My observation is that the crews who win most frequently are generally in better physical shape. Maybe they don't run marathons but to be a consistent winner in a challenging fleet, you need to be reasonably fit.

If you are including the guys who use the race course as another excuse to drink beer in the sun, then you probably have a point.

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have you ever seen an athlete wear their competition uniform/gear in the bar?

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No.
I went windsurfing for an hour on Sunday. I felt like I'd gone through a washing machine.
The previous week I sailed a Melges 24 all day. I needed to go for a run and a swim afterwards to get my workout in for the day.
Not that an Melges is a big boat....but...

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5 minutes ago, aA said:

have you ever seen an athlete wear their competition uniform/gear in the bar?

most athletes don't have involuntary showers during the competition

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8 minutes ago, aA said:

have you ever seen an athlete wear their competition uniform/gear in the bar?

Hell, a bowling team holds their competition in a bar!

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1 hour ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

Walking around the yacht club rum parties it certainly doesn't appear that Big Boat racing requires physical fitness to compete or even win!

I'm not suggesting there aren't fit people who race Big Boats but I'm guessing most of that work is done in the gym or cycle track not going around the cans on a PHRF boat or even weekend warrior ODs. Sure there is a sense of effort and excitement chugging along upwind at 8.5 knots with the wind and water in your face while hiking hard but is it really an athletic activity or is it on par with a game of golf? Curious to see what the masses think on this one. I'm already predicting two camps! Please leave Olympic Laser sailing out of the discussion, that's a different topic...

As others have mentioned - it depends.  Are the tp52 and Maxi 72 guys full on athletes?  Hell yea.  

Are the guys who are sailing the Bendytoy 53 with power winches in a sat/sunday event?  Probably not. . .   Well the bow guy might be.  

 

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Sailing is not a sport, it's a recreational activity - like golf. Are there athlete's who sail? Of course, but, too, there are athletes who sleep.

 

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2 minutes ago, LoopyGirdleSniffer said:

As others have mentioned - it depends.  Are the tp52 and Maxi 72 guys full on athletes?  Hell yea.  

Are the guys who are sailing the Bendytoy 53 with power winches in a sat/sunday event?  Probably not. . .   Well the bow guy might be.  

 

Yes but the Pros on the TP52 scene are probably going for a run in the morning! It's their job to be in shape but does that mean they got that way from going around the cans or where they athletes before hand?!

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The Volvo crews look pretty fit. IIRC the Alinghi AC crew in the early 2000's beat the NZ SAS round their own obstacle course. Rob Waddell from TNZ won an Olympic gold in rowing.

you get fit for what you do. A novice super fit triathlete is as useless on a 2nd night sail change in plenty as a grizzled old smoking mast guy is in a triathlon.

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44 minutes ago, Moonduster said:

Sailing is not a sport, it's a recreational activity - like golf. Are there athlete's who sail? Of course, but, too, there are athletes who sleep.

 

Reminds me of the cartoon of two fat guys at the golf course.  As he lines up to take his shot, one of them has a thought bubble over his head....

"It's a sport, therefore we are athletes!"

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Big Boat Sailing in itself is not "Athletic" but racing Big Boats around buoys with multiple starts in one day does become very athletic, different racing types make things athletic or not, not the boat.

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     I did the Worrell 1000 race back in its hey day. Well not all of it since the rig failed and I'm not sure I had the balls or physique to have finished the whole race. I did get on as race committee after our boat self destructed so I got to see just what it really took to survive the whole event. There was a Russian team that had won the Tornado class in Ted Turners Goodwill Games which got them an invitation to the 1000. Now those guys were tough! They had a older coach and a 'trainer' and were all military. One of the sailors would get up at first light and go to the race committee trailer and 'borrow' a Danforth 25 lb anchor. First time we weren't sure if he had the translation right but gave him the anchor and he flung it over his shoulder and grabbed it by the ends of the stock with shank running down the spine and took off running in the soft sand looking like he was bearing a crucifix. He came back after an hour and was still running at an amazing pace. When he came back he put the anchor down and took off his sweats and shoes and asked for a short piece of line and tied the anchor around his waist and charged across the beach again and into the surf for a 30 minute swim with the anchor in tow! I asked the 'Coach' (who we eventually decided was a GRU colonel) what was up and he said that the guy was Spetsnas before his 'promotion' to the sports academy. He looked kind of like Schwarzenegger in 'The Terminator' and never said much. The Worrell starts were at 10 each morning so he still had a couple of hours to go 'work out' in the hotel weight room before going out and sailing in a trapeze for 8-12 hours in the open Atlantic. Fun guy to drink with though, he despised Americans for having 'twist tops' on beer bottles. If you brought his a beer with a twist top he would stick the cap in his eye and clench down and open it and drop the cap out into his palm like a monocle. He could have had any girl in the bar until they witnessed him do that. Drinking Vodka with him was a whole nother story... 

Image result for Spetsnaz

All in a days work!

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Redeye's crew trainer showing proper form.......

 

10083820-fit-brunette-and-a-drink-can.jpg.e24d4e10d37d3160d5dcd75f9ba88448.jpg

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Top-lelvel Laser sailors don't get those bodies by sailing, they get them FOR sailing.

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Wearing a fitness/heart rate monitor is an interesting experience.

Single handling a 160% genoa in narrow channels is definitely athletic.

And steering, main trim and mizzen on a 20,000 lb boat in > 15 kts is as well.  

Defining "athletic" as getting heart rate up to > 70% of maximum, equal to a more than brisk walk. 

 

 

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Singlehand racing a 10,000lb leadmine in the spinnaker division does require physical effort. 

It could be classified as athletic.  I wouldn't rate it on par with free climbing, but it's work. 

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Those Russians you met at the Worrell 1000 we undoubtedly doping, as has every Russian in athletics since the 50s.

 

I raced a 36000 pound IOR two tonner, solo, with symmetric spinnakers on SF bay. Sailing is a recreational activity.

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Dennis Conner 

PORTSMOUTH, RI (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — San Diego yachtsman Dennis Conner has won US Sailing’s Greatest American Sailor Tournament.

National Sailing Hall of Famer and three-time winner of US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award, Conner edged out fellow Hall of Famer Buddy Melges during the championship round, which ended July 15, 2012.

DennisConner_080312.jpg

Greatest American athlete? Maybe Bruce Jenner.

150206152852-01-bruce-jenner---restricte

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12 minutes ago, Grey Dawn said:

Dennis Conner 

PORTSMOUTH, RI (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — San Diego yachtsman Dennis Conner has won US Sailing’s Greatest American Sailor Tournament.

National Sailing Hall of Famer and three-time winner of US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award, Conner edged out fellow Hall of Famer Buddy Melges during the championship round, which ended July 15, 2012.

DennisConner_080312.jpg

Greatest American athlete? Maybe Bruce Jenner.

150206152852-01-bruce-jenner---restricte

Bullshit, those are just two guys that haven't seen their dicks in a while.  

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1 minute ago, Cal20sailor said:

Bullshit, those are just two guys that haven't seen their dicks in a while.  

LOL. But in their heyday, you could say they were the greatest sailor and greatest athlete. Great sailor doesn't equal great athlete.

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6 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

Bullshit, those are just two guys that haven't seen their dicks in a while.  

at least one still has a dick  ;-)

caitlyn-jenner-july-2015-vf-02.jpg

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6 hours ago, Moonduster said:

Sailing is not a sport, it's a recreational activity - like golf. Are there athlete's who sail? Of course, but, too, there are athletes who sleep.

 

What a silly statement.  Sailing is a sport when you make it a sport, and recreational when you don't.  see also:  bicycling.

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Try being a grinder on a assymetric boat like a TP 52 on long windy reach - for oh 2500 miles to Hawaii - then ask me if offshore sailors are athletes. Any sport is what you make of it.

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15 minutes ago, notherday said:

Try being a grinder on a assymetric boat like a TP 52 on long windy reach - for oh 2500 miles to Hawaii - then ask me if offshore sailors are athletes. Any sport is what you make of it.

agreed, and 90% of all top golfers are in outstanding physical shape.

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Banging the owners wife takes some level of fitness - even more so if he shows up 'mid race'.

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Any activity that does not include pay and causes me to put my beer down and do physical work is considered an athletic activity. I found that the golf carts here in America did not have hiking straps or lifelines so I gave up that dangerous activity. 

 

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17 hours ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

Yes but the Pros on the TP52 scene are probably going for a run in the morning! It's their job to be in shape but does that mean they got that way from going around the cans or where they athletes before hand?!

This is a retarded statement.  

They got fit because they need to be fit to do their jobs.  

No athlete gets "fit" solely by participating in their chosen sport.  They get fit so they can compete in their chosen sport.  

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36 minutes ago, LoopyGirdleSniffer said:

This is a retarded statement.  

They got fit because they need to be fit to do their jobs.  

No athlete gets "fit" solely by participating in their chosen sport.  They get fit so they can compete in their chosen sport.  

Right on there.  The ones who are serious and want to compete seriously get and stay fit. The "recreational" athletes who only want to go out and have some play time are the ones you guys are making fun of.

This is the same for any sport whether it is tennis, bowling or sailing.

 

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If it helps, this is how I learned to make the distinction.

1 sailing as a pastime:

steering my own boat with one finger on the wheel, other hand for rum, and keeping an eye on the nipple-o-meter flaked out on the cockpit seat to see if I should steer/trim for shade or sun

2 sailing as sport requiring athleticism:

when the owner of a two boat match racing/training program I was rigging/shore crew for insisted that I get on the boat and round out the crew(8 per boat) for a couple of days of 8hr start practice sessions. Once we got back to the dock, I could barely crawl back to my own boat to retrieve more rum

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Rich Wilson, two-time Vendee Globe finisher once said, "It's hard to describe how physically demanding the IMOCA 60's are."

When I walk down the dock after singlehanding my Open 50, I know what he means.

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23 hours ago, Bsquared said:

Top-lelvel Laser sailors don't get those bodies by sailing, they get them FOR sailing.

that's kind of a dumb statement... all sports require gym and cross training at the top levels... Football players don't get their physique from Football but they (most....) are athletes. Do you think runners only run or they also do lift weights in the gym?

 

 

Not all boats are physically demanding in the same way, not all conditions are physically demanding in the same way, and not all positions are physically demanding in the same way (heh). One of the most exhausting day's i've ever had on the water was 4-9kt day in 29er's. The half trapping shit, the countering any sway from the motorboat chop, and the mental focus drained me to the point that i was asleep by 8pm that night and my legs were on fire... on a  light air day! Let alone running a few races in 25kts - i guess the adrenaline kept me going for a while on those days. This was several years ago when i was in college and regularly running 2-4miles several times a week in addition to sailing 6 days a week racing FJ's and other gym time. I'll never claim to be an athlete (i wonder if i could even run 4miles right now...) or that i ever was an athlete, but to broadly paint sailing as unauthentic is a very narrow-sighted idea....

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I'm pretty sure we had this same thread a few months ago but anyhow, it's exactly as athletic as you want it to be. 

It doesn't matter how many out of shape beer bellies you see when you walk down the dock at your local club because ultimately, unless you're sailing something with all powered systems, racing a sailboat is a physical activity.  Take two crews of equal sailing ability and put them on two identical run of the mill OD boats. The more physically fit crew is going to have an advantage, they are going to be able to do every maneuver in a stronger faster way, and when things become really physically demanding, they will be able to concentrate more on sailing because the physical demands are less taxing. 

Being in shape isn't a requirement to race big boats, but it's another element that is going to give you a leg up on your competition.

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On 9/13/2017 at 10:12 AM, LoopyGirdleSniffer said:

This is a retarded statement.  

They got fit because they need to be fit to do their jobs.  

No athlete gets "fit" solely by participating in their chosen sport.  They get fit so they can compete in their chosen sport.  

Actually I never went to the gym for bike racing and ice hockey. 25 years on the rink.
If you can't get in shape on the bike or on the rink, you are doing something wrong.

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Just now, fastyacht said:

Actually I never went to the gym for bike racing and ice hockey. 25 years on the rink.
If you can't get in shape on the bike or on the rink, you are doing something wrong.

And my guess is you didn't get particularly far in either sport

 

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1 minute ago, LoopyGirdleSniffer said:

And my guess is you didn't get particularly far in either sport

 

LOL um no. You would be wrong.

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12 hours ago, LoopyGirdleSniffer said:

And my guess is you didn't get particularly far in either sport

 

Or it was 20 years ago - they weren't so fit back then

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On 9/12/2017 at 3:57 PM, aA said:

have you ever seen an athlete wear their competition uniform/gear in the bar?

Have you ever "accidentally" popped a guys inflatable in the bar? 

sends a pretty good message to the other wingnuts that are standing at the 

bar looking like they're going "round the horn".

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On September 12, 2017 at 3:12 PM, stayoutofthemiddle said:

Walking around the yacht club rum parties it certainly doesn't appear that Big Boat racing requires physical fitness to compete or even win!

I'm not suggesting there aren't fit people who race Big Boats but I'm guessing most of that work is done in the gym or cycle track not going around the cans on a PHRF boat or even weekend warrior ODs. Sure there is a sense of effort and excitement chugging along upwind at 8.5 knots with the wind and water in your face while hiking hard but is it really an athletic activity or is it on par with a game of golf? Curious to see what the masses think on this one. I'm already predicting two camps! Please leave Olympic Laser sailing out of the discussion, that's a different topic...

NO!

The Hustler program is a perfect example.

Have you ever seen photo's of the shit show going around a mark.

But you don't have to be if everyone works together and has a clue;) 

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Feels like it.  

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Reminds me of a quote by John Kruk: "I'm not an athlete, I'm a baseball player."

Athletes can play baseball, but not all baseball players are athletes. Seems the same overlapping Venn diagram applies to this question.

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4 hours ago, Kevlar Edge said:

Have you ever "accidentally" popped a guys inflatable in the bar? 

sends a pretty good message to the other wingnuts that are standing at the 

bar looking like they're going "round the horn".

ahahahahahahaha

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