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9th January 2010 06:05 PM
ZedZdeD well, if I remember correctly, when the end of pumping restrictions occured in the 80s, people wondered logically if it would change the results or the content of races, favour strenght rather than tactics,

but in practise nothing changed in the results, the guys with best tactics were also those with best techniques, including pumping, and really with or without it did not change much, simply was more technical, more sportive, therefore more interesting with pumping

I also remember a French championship in 84 where we had some races with very light wind and which were done with pumping during all the race, under the heat, but again I did around the same place there as I did in strong winds, and it was substantially the same for everybody

it only gets excessive when really theres no wind, but a limit in wind knots could apply, as it did at the time

Anyway I think the main issue in windsurf competition today is that of gear. Many people do not want to sail Formulas, because they are excessive in all their characteristics. Traditional raceboards are too long to be pleasant in strong winds. Kona is a real good idea but board design is not top performing enough.

I think Starboard has finally achieved the right compromise with the Phantom Race 320, which could be used as monotype with a reasonable size rig (I use it with North Ram F9 7.8) it is really pleasant, interesting, technical, from very light winds, where it reminds me of my old Lechner, to Force 6, where it remains great fun. It can also be used as a kayak, with the Bic Jungle seat, and as a SUP.

Same potential as Kona, but with more advance design, able to convince more seasoned windsurfers, while remaining also perfectly adapted for beginners, casual practise and families. Competition should be for everyone, like in the old days, not for the few survivors of windsurf deviances ...
9th January 2010 04:16 AM
CT 249 Ken, at world titles in Laser class dinghies, the jury can watch out for repeated rig movements from a long way away. If they see something suspicious, they move closer and closely monitor that boat. There seem to be surprisingly few people who change their pumping behaviour when the jury boat comes close - perhaps they realise that if the rig movement suddenly changes in pattern, the jury will watch them even more closely later on. Getting a non-discardable DSQ or being chucked for the whole regatta is a major issue that sailor take care to avoid!

Sure, we take the rules to the limit - but we stay within them, just like tennis players try to hit to the limit of the court but stay within them. In my experience, at the point end of national titles in Laser Radials and other boat classes and in Windsurfer One Designs, illegal pumping just does not exist as a significant problem.

Maybe a lot of the problem will be cured by the fact that these days, we can just give every rescue boat a camera so that people will know that the PRO will have hard evidence to give to a protest. That wasn't so easy when pumping rules were relaxed.

ZedZed, I may be like you in that I was in Raceboards in the '80s when unrestricted pumping crept in (more because the wind limit was dropped than because of any rule change; pumping was always allowed but not critical in races in 20 knots on old rigs). What I can recall is that even at the Worlds, no one was pumping as hard as they do today. When we allowed unrestricted pumping in, I don't think we visualised the current situation of people pumping non-stop and not even tacking on shifts (according to a recent RSX worlds runner-up), and where people pump so long and hard that we have to limit the number of light-wind races so they don't collapse from heat exhaustion. That just was not on the radar, so decisions made then may not work for all classes today.

I got out of D2 before the pumping rule was relaxed, but a D2 Olympic medalist who went on to win an IMCO worlds says that while unrestricted pumping DID make windsurfing more athletic, it also DID mean that the gaps in the fleets became much larger and tactics much less important, therefore taking away a significant amount of the fun. And I never heard of anyone in the little bit of IMCO racing I did who really enjoyed a light wind pumpfest, whereas a light-wind race in classes with no pumping can be very enjoyable.

Of course, even if the majority of modern Rsceboard/RSX sailors like pumping, that's a slanted sample because many more people may already have left the sport because they hated all the pumping. If continuous pumping was so much fun, why does FW advertise the fact that it favours pumping less?

Surely it's rarely if ever just a matter of either staying off the plane, or pumping to plane. If the conditions are that marginal, you probably won't plane for long, and someone who pumps until they are exhausted will be faster. That's fine for many sports and many classes in windsurfing, but it's not what all of us want all the time.

Having some classes with pumping restrictions just gives us a bit of choice, that's all. And it CAN be done effectively, as proven in other classes.
9th January 2010 01:50 AM
ZedZdeD same debate occured 25 years ago in Open Division II class, as some may remember

initially pumping was forbidden, later this restriction was abandoned, and a wide consensus existed then the former interdiction was useless and baseless

pumping is simply part of windsurfing techniques, you have to know when and how to, which is not obvious, therefore interesting

such interdiction would be today more inappropriate, as often you need to pump to initiate planning. Who wants to stay in sub planning when he can start or maintain planning with some pumping ?
9th January 2010 01:47 AM
ZedZdeD same debate occured 25 years ago in Open Division II class, as some may remember

initially pumping was forbidden, later this restriction was abandoned, and a wide consensus existed then the former interdiction was useless and baseless

individual results did not change a bit before and after anyway

pumping is simply part of windsurfing techniques, you have to know when and how to, which is not obvious, therefore interesting
8th January 2010 10:21 PM
Ken CT 249, Unregistered,

From Rod R:

"C.2.2 Penalties; A competitor performing repeated rig movements shall be warned by the on-water umpires by means of a yellow flag and penalized with a 360 turn with immediate effect. If the offense is repeated within the same race the competitor shall be given a red flag and disqualified."

So one pump is OK, it's just a matter of judging subjectively what "repeated rig movements" means. This is where I have a problem, who's judging and waiving flags and if there is someone on the water, they can't catch all pumping.

There are many sports where coaches teach and encourage techniques to gain an advantage in violation of the rules. Soccer and American football are a couple with water-polo being at the top of the list. That's how the game is played, get caught and you are penalized, don't get caught and you gain an advantage. In some sports, it is almost impossible to cheat, chess being one, but in many others, it is common place.

I would have no problem with "no pumping" regattas, since I am pretty good at tactics and efficiency on the water. I just don't believe that you can have a regatta with "no pumping" or to be able to police it 100% of the time. My opinion comes from my experiences, but that was over 20 years ago.

While I am one for following the rules since I detest cheating, sometimes the situation calls for stretching the rules to keep up with the competition. I would never be the first to break a pumping rule, but if my competition was doing it, I probably would too.
8th January 2010 07:42 PM
Originally Posted by BelSkorpio View Post
Dont know too much about it, but it seems to me like you have a race car and you are not allowed to push the gas completely till the end.
Nope, it's more like the way you are not allowed to just grab a soccer ball (football to most people), run down the field and throw it in the goal. Or like the way you're not allowed to move a pawn sideways in chess. Or like the way you can't kick someone in the cobblers in a boxing match. Or like the way there are races for backstroke, breastroke and butterfly when it would be faster if everyone just did freestyle.

Just like any other sport or game, you introduce rules to make sure that the competition tests the things you want it to test, and to ban the things you don't want to do. In this case, some of us want to restrict pumping, because it puts too much emphasis on just one or two aspects (fitness and pumping technique) and too little on 'feel' and tactics.

Oh, and by the way, lots (perhaps all) racing car classes have various restrictions on how much gas you can push through the engine!
8th January 2010 05:39 PM
BelSkorpio Dont know too much about it, but it seems to me like you have a race car and you are not allowed to push the gas completely till the end.
8th January 2010 02:44 PM
CT 249
Originally Posted by Ken View Post
What specifically are the no pumping rules for the Kona Class? Is pumping allowed out of jibes and tacks and to catch swells?

There is no such thing as "no pumping". Sailors will find ways to pump and gain an advantage regardless of the rules. The really honest sailors get burned.

The only fair way that gives everyone an equal opportunity is to allow pumping. Yes it can be a lot of work, but we are athletes and we do what has to be done to be competitive. If you are too lazy to pump, don't be unhappy with the results.

I started racing in 1984 and competed in lots of "no pumping" races including the Mistral Worlds in Corpus Christi in the late 80's. Over 200 sailors from around the world and 75%were pumping beyond the rules. If you didn't cheat, you were left in the dust. There were also weight classes.
Can't agree with you there, Ken. I race several classes (one board, several dinghy or yacht) that have restrictions on pumping, and even with Olympians (former AND current) racing at the national titles, there is no cheating at the front end of the fleet and very little anywhere else. Yes, downwind pumping in boards can be very hard to police, which is why one board class (Windsurfer One Designs in Oz) allows downwind pumping but bans upwind pumping, which is easy to spot.

Sure, you could possibly pump very subtly upwind, but such subtle pumping has very little effect and it seems like it could well be harmful.

If you want to get more serious, you can just put some good judges on the course to ensure that people follow the rules. It works well in boat classes like Lasers.

And while I understand the 'we are athletes' line, the fact is that allowing unrestricted pumping tears huge holes in the fleet in many classes (probably not FW or among the RSX and slalom pros). Sure, it is a physical sport - but those who want to propel their way along the water by muscle power can go and race canoes or kayaks.

I'm not too lazy to pump; pumping is my strong point and my other sport is cycle racing, which isn't exactly somewhere you go to hide from exercise. But we have to allow those who don't have the tactical skills but not as much time to train to get in among the action too - it's more fun and it adds to the fleet. And women, older sailors and kids who cannot pump as hard tend to drop back a bit in pumping classes - that's not great for the sport.

I respect your experience, but that was at a time when we were not as aware of the problems that pumping brings, and we were not as experienced at stopping it. It can be done.
24th December 2009 10:03 AM
SeanAUS120 Hi guys,

Been reading this one with interest.

Why don't you just add BOTH the formula and raceboard class?

Some people like raceboards, some people like formula racing. We have an active race series for formula here in Australia with +40 competitors each event and have now included RS:X, Raceboards and BIC Techno in our series events. It's more about the social gathering than the racing anyhow, so the more the merrier in my mind.

Raceboard/Windsurfer OD are the biggest classes sailed in Australia with formula probably coming in afterwards.

I race formula internationally and (as others have suggested) there are huge misconceptions about gear out there. I am just about to start racing the 2010 season with a 3 year old board. Yeap, no interest in buying a new one; the old shape is fine. I'll race that on the pro tour all year. Sure, I have some new sails... but I only need 3 to race the pro tour. In national racing back in Australia I've raced a few events this summer in Australia with only 1 sail from 6-30 knots no problems and only 1 fin. I've also only ever owned one boom. I can't sail two sails at once, so why need a second boom? Save some money for the bar...

Everybody makes comparisons with the professionals. 90% of formula sailors aren't racing the pro tour so why do you have to buy 4 sails and 5 fins just because Steve Allen did?

And the problems with the top guys beating the guys who trained less/less experienced out on the racecourse? In Australia we made a new division called FE+ (yeap, we ripped the name a bit) whereby new comers can start at the same time as everyone but race 1 lap only. It's almost more competitive in this class than the Open fleet nowadays!

Now, Raceboards rock also. Obviously you can get more racing in with the bigger windrange and the cost are dramatically less than formula kit for obvious reasons.

In Australia we start the raceboard/rsx/bic classes a few mins earlier than the formula fleet so we generally all cross the finish line at the same time. If its light wind in the morning we send the raceboard/rsx/bic classes out to race and when the wind picks up in the afternoon we include formula. Simple.

Now at the end of the day's racing there is 50 guys at the bar, instead of just 30 formula sailors because we've combined the classes.

It gives people an opportunity to see all the different windsurfing classes together and compare and make decisions about which pathway of sailing they want to follow in to.

My 0.02c
23rd December 2009 07:52 AM
Unregistered 9.0 from 85.1Kg and above

7.4 from 65-85Kg

5.8 for 64.9Kg and down

There are also smaller sails for kid classes.

One board, all conditions and the the weight/sail class appears to make it pretty even.
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