IMCO - Hybrid - Formula - LB/Kona/FOD
In the old forum I poured my heart out in reference to the advancement and evolution of Course racing. mostly in the Formula camp, years (maybe a decade) later I still have the same beliefs.
IMCO needed to go, it was a waste and exclusionary. If the gear didn't FIT (lanky 160lbs) or you were offended by regimented "air rowing" the class was a bust.
Hybrid as a compromise has proven "a grand compromise" and to a further level that compromise has pockets of good course racing around the world. Nice, they are comfortable powerful boards when the wind is up. And fun in close quarters with no wind with your friends. Pure longboards scream I'm railing, I'm railing but the difference between 4 knots and 8 knots is just not that great. It feels much better but I don't think that is valid enough at these low windspeeds. after all the slower you the more tactical, right?. We have all had good times at Applebee's, sometimes you even pickup, and eventually everybody picks up. The hybrids work for low wind racing, not comfortable, but then what is.
Formula has stayed steady, still wind dependent, the ability to match what you race to "you" has proven durable. burdensome costs have switched from masts/sails to boards to fins. Still expensive to get the latest, cheaper to get used, but all the gear is much closer matched than it was. History has shown beateter boards win the world, the body of knowledge of what is fast is more accessible. Not that it is one board/two sail baffer on a 90's Xantos accessible, but better than it was. Old gear, you tune well, wins ever time.
Kona, and good reman longboards gaining ground. On par with the old stuff.
Pretty impressed, Formula lives. And it's pretty easy to understand why.
Back to basics.....
Man is a land based thing; but we are smart enough to know that isn't all there is...
We love fish because they inhabit a realm we don't. We can attach prosthetic fins to ourselves and get part of what it is to be a fish
We love birds because they inhabit a realm we don't. We can attach a prosthetic wing to ourselves and get part of what it is to be a bird
We love the interface between water and air because it is a realm that we don't understand. We can attach a board between a fin and wing and pretend we understand air and water then tolerate a life living on land.
These loves are optimized in the Formula class. Shame on you Star-Board for presenting the Formula One Design. A fish's fins are not One Design, a bird's wings are not One Design the interface between them is ridiculous to be declared One Design. And above all else the people that have skills, style and personality are not One Design no mater how much the marketing department wants to make them that way. Go ahead, chase your foolish Olympic revenue, those "champions" who are so unidiminesional as to be painful media interests. Aspire to be a genuine purveyor of junk like NP.
No love from the fishes, no love from the birds, no love for any flag. Those flags are all the same color now anyway...beige bordering on grey. FOD, a lighter shade of pale. Congratulations on conceptualizing such a wonderful compromise. Grand mediocrity. Just what the world needs.
put down the crackpipe
picking up at applebees ??!! sheesh
thats the best line i've heard in my 43 years
"Go ahead, chase your foolish Olympic revenue, those "champions" who are so unidiminesional as to be painful media interests".
Well, that's totally wrong for a start. The mass media have no problem with one-design champions. That's why the Greeks put an IMCO champion at the very centrepoint of the 2000 Games, lighting the Olympic flame. That's why Lee Lai Shan was the favourite sportstar of young women in her country. That's why Barbara Kendall was rated by a major poll in her country's 10 most trusted people.
How many other windsurfers get to be at centre stage of one of the highest-rating bits of TV every four years?
How many other windsurfers rate top 10 among the icons of their whole country?
Do you really think there's a lot more media interest in someone who spends their time working out whether to buy one brand of fin or the other?
If greater choice in equipment creates more interesting sailors, then Formula - which restricts choice of equipment far more than most boat classes - will create less interesting characters than yachts.
If you want to chase diversity and excellence of design, free the rules and allow true development. If you want to allow people from all countries and economic backgrounds to have the chance to excel, go one design. If you want something in the middle, do what you do - which is, by coincidence, just what the marketing people in charge of the sport want you to want.
The mass media have no problem with one-design champions.
That's why Lee Lai Shan was the favourite sportstar of young women in her country. That's why Barbara Kendall was rated by a major poll in her country's 10 most trusted people.
In both these countries, these are their two most successful athletes. Lee Lai Shan sails in a country with virtually no other sailors of any type (i.e. her success has done nothing to encourage many people to take up sailing) and is HK's first gold medallist.
Barbara Kendall I think is NZ's most successful athlete in recent times.
Has nothing to do with OD. Everything to do with winning in the Olympics. If they were synchronised swimmers and in the case of Barbara white/Lee Lai Shan Chinese and this successful, they would be equally famous. I doubt anyone knows what Barbara does between the olympic cycles.
Almost all sailors are frigging boring people to the mass media unless they are the fastest/tallest/most expensive/most winning etc. Because the mass media doesn't have a clue about what sailing is about.
Most windsurfers in NZ know and congratulate Tom Ashley I am sure, but few know or have an interest in RSX. Not to do with media, but in NZ, many people who windsurf do so to blat around and could not care less about racing.
Formula, IMCO, hybrid etc etc - they are all much the same - minority interests within the sport of windsurfing. At least each is in some way spreading light wind sailing to some degree amount non racers.
You're dead right, they are not any more interesting because they are one design sailors; but Sitka had the idea that Formula sailors are more interesting because they are allowed to choose their gear from a small range produced by the industry - and if the amount of choice in your class is related to how interesting your personality is, why promote a class restricted to production boards?
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