Skandia Team GBR

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Are you Intimidated?

bullying: the act of intimidating a weaker person to make them do something
the feeling of discouragement in the face of someone's superior fame or wealth or status etc.
the feeling of being intimidated;
being made to feel afraid or timid
determent: a communication that makes you afraid to try something
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

It's everywhere in the sailing world but we probably can't see it... we have all been the victim and the perpetrator...

What do I mean.. think back, maybe to the last event you did, to the start line, who was shouting random rules, who was flouting the rules, who dominated the boats around them? Yep that shouty git who doesnt know the rules but shouts loud enuff for you to believe them is intimidating you...

It's not just now, its always... remember when you were just starting to sail, the instructors who knew everything, didn't they intimadate you, not on purpose (mostly), but their knowledge, the shouts of "no push it away from you, bear up" when you barely remember what the rudder is is pretty scarely!

Back in my Optimist days I remember intimidation and asistance in bucket fulls... I remember vividly my dad sending me out in what seemed like a real blow..but was probably a force 3 and me hurtling in an oppy (you had to be there!) towards the damn wall freaked, pressured to go out there 'cus the worst that can happen is you capsize and get wet... at 6-7 years old thats freaking scary! Peer pressure, parental pressure powerful, scary and either extremely positive or very damaging!

Later in the Optimist fleet there was pressure from coaches, more peer pressure, pressure from "non sailing school friends", pressure from the kids that had all the latest kit (cheque-book sailing I HATE) and of course the ever present rule pushers and gobby shites that scare the novice, the unsure and the sailors who are just there to enjoy sailing.

I don't have an answer for this, there will always be bullies and intimidators in life and sailing... one thing I can be sure of, be armed, know the rules.. Sailing is just a game, you get shouted at with a load of crap then shout back the reality, know the rules and use them to deflate the bullies, gain confidence, the truth is powerful.

So now, next time your racing and your on the start-line, should you shout "bended-rules", should you barge and use your "been sailing for years I'm always right" attitude should you swear and intimidate, should you push your kids into sailing when they dont want to or shake their confidence... or should you enjoy the gift of sailing and the freedom of the wind and water?

If this kinda crap happens you end up with...


When what we all want is....

Enjoy our gift..soul sailing, soul racing, soul boats, soul water, soul friends..

Think on...

9 comments:

Tim said...

Last week I was sailing in a mixed fleet regatta and had some real problems with fast boats sailed stupidly. Now you would think that if you don't know what you're doing you would keep out of the way of those who do even if they arn't sailing a nice slick quick boat like a Sport 16' (Yuk)as in this pasrticular case.


Twice I got ranted at by a frustrated Laser sailor in two seperate races who, dispite starting 3 minutes ahead of me and having a faster boat, could not keep out of my way. I told him that if he wants to race with the Enterprises he should get one, if not then he aught to try and keep up with the lasers!

I began to realise that you cannot argue with idiots, the best thing to do is to keep clear of them even if it means execpting a less advantageous course because overall you do better to keep clear of the idiots who will only slow you down.

Fuff said...

Happens with all kinds of racing Ant, any kind of competition generally I think. I have stopped club racing because the idiots who run the stuff close to home have completely lost the plot as to what racing should be about. Even the 'social' stuff afterwards is cliquey and hostile, especially towards new racers, which is defeating the object really isn't it?

Tillerman said...

Tim I'm shocked! You shouted insults at some struggling newbie tailender Laser sailor who could not keep out of your way? If he was so far behind the Laser fleet that you caught up with him, he needed encouragement not abuse. He was only "in your way" if you had right of way over him under the racing rules, but if he was so slow he was probably a beginner who might not have your grasp of the rules - another reason to be helpful to him, not to bully and intimidate him. Someone who sails slowly and does not know the rules is not an "idiot" - he is probably a newcomer to our sport and needs support and encouragement to become "one of us". Of course you should keep out of the way of such people if you want to have a good race. They will slow you down if you get too close to them especially if you get into shouting matches with them. But more importantly if you insist on enforcing your rights over some newbie who is "in you way" you may put someone off sailing for good.

On behalf of all the wonderful people who sail Lasers I apologize if one of our number "ranted" at you but he was probably having a really bad day and didn't appreciate being harassed by a big blue monster.

Laser sailors have feelings too!

Tim said...

I wouldn't have minded but it was the same bloke! And both times I most definetly had right of way. It wasn't so much his lack of knowlegde of the rules or his inability to make his boat go but just the fact that he somehow thought that its ok to start shouting at someone just because they pinch your wind or catch on you starboard.
The 'idoit' that really got my goat was the Sport16 (started 6 minutes ahead) that kept gybing downwind, blocking the sunlight and wind with his asymetric chute and still was behind me when we got to the leeward mark!

However, on no occassion did I trade insults with them, I never do, on or off the water or at anytime, it just makes things worse. My first responce to the laser sailer was to tell him to shut up and quit moaning, the second is on the previous comment.

Tillerman said...

Hmmmm - I guess it's all in the ear of the beholder. If someone had told me I should get an Enterprise because I couldn't keep up with the other Lasers, I would feel that it was the most terrible insult and would be deeply offended. But then I guess it's insulting of me to say that... here of all places?

Ant said...

Hey lets keep this reasonable... why the hell would you be insulted being told to sail an Enterpise anymore than me sailing a "So-Slow" (Solo) or anything else... your comment kinda smells of the cliquey Lasers are best crap...

We all sail because we love to sail, if the Laser hadn't been invented you'd be sailing a Topper or a Moth or Europe or some other single-hander..

This post is about intimidation on the water and around the sailing club..lets not go done the intimidation and aggro in the blogosphere route...

Sailing is a big part of our lives, there should be no boat prejudice..who gives a shit what you sail..you sail therefore we have a connection...

Tillerman said...

I agree Ant. That's why I think it's bad form to shout out to a sailor in another class who is obviously struggling that he or she ought to be sailing in your class. It would be just as rude if I shouted out to say the Sunfish sailor at the back of her fleet at our club that she ought to get a Laser. That's why I would never do that or call her an "idiot". And for sure I would keep out of her way.

I hope my comments here didn't sound intimidating. On the other hand I have just written a post on my blog that Enterprise sailors might reasonably find to be a put down and smelling of that cliquey Lasers are best crap. Hey, sometimes I just can't help it.

Ant said...

Seems to me like the Big-Laser sailor was shouting at the little Ent sailor for getting in the way... my view is that rules is rules, tactics are tactics, but also that where feasible people should be taught that if they are at the back of the fleet they shopuld at least make some effort to keep out of the way of the leaders of the catching fleet...not oignoring rules, but just being sensib...bit like in F1 Grand-pricks the leaders "should" be given a clear way past those they are lapping...

Cliquey Laser Crap that you have posted on your blog... I've commented with a BLAST-Attack....kinda sorry...

Tim said...

Yes Ant, you have it. The Laser sailor was trying to intimidate me so that I would not 'interfere' with his race. The last thing I want on the water is an argument, I go sailing to get away from such crap as that. My point was that it is better to keep clear because thier slowing influence is as much psychological as tactical and who needs it? Better to give the idiot a wide berth.