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Old 3rd July 2012, 03:46 PM   #12
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Hi Windalchemist
Think we are saying similar things. Do agree with much of what you say. Being father of 2 girls I have witnessed discrimination against them. In their case its only served to make them try harder.

The physical thing you mention about competing with your male friend is not exclusive to just females and its not necessarily a male female thing..Ofcourse men tend to be stronger and build muscle quicker. But dont forget you arent competing with him; you are competing with yourself (as he also is) The important issue is the relative gain of both...Not one matched against the other.. Endurance wise things are much closer than we tend to think anyway.. Big muscles consume loads of energy...(Compare male/female results in sprinting then in long distance running.Relative less difference the longer the event) Sail your own style.Dont copy his.
If we examine male/female performance over the entire spectrum of ability its quite likely that the top female s would only get towards the top 10% in males; however this also means that if a female gets towards the 75th percentile in female performance; she is well above the 50th (roughly) male..
This is just a complicated way of saying a good female sailor will beat an average male. (And that applies in all sports) Unfortunately the media only report on the top 1% of performers so the public are led to believe women are always poorer than men..Look at it another way. The top female tennis player at wimbledon would wipe the floor with your average male club player.Only thing is he doesnt know it !!!

My point is male or female need individual approaches and equipment. If this is done correctly the male/female issue is irrelevant.. The perfect kit for a 75kg sailor of a particular standard is the same be it for male or female...

I often wonder how many differences are actual nature and how many are society driven nurture..

Watersports in general are a place women CAN compete on equal terms.. Dont ever think any other.. You are giving your psyche a reason and justification to fail; for him to be better. Sure he might do higher jumps; he might go a bit faster (thats pure physics and nothing to do with ability) but make sure your gybes are neater; tighter; smoother. Work on finesse and precision. (Again not a male/female thing a simple weight/strength one !!! I`d be saying same to a lighter male)
If you tire early dont put it down to a female thing. Check your diet; your fluid intake..Work on relaxing whilst sailing..Look for cheats whilst sailing/dropping into lines. Are your lines too long/short. Are you over working a particular area.Improve your stamina and efficiency then see how things look later. Dont just accept it that males are fitter !!! They aint.. He`sworked to get where he is.. To beat him unfortunately you will just have to work that bit harder or more cleverly !!!
Train to your own limits; expectations and goals. Forget his..Sail to your strengths.
And dont think he has all benefits.. His big arms use up energy at an alarming rate. His ego will insist he sails a board thats just a touch too small and his sail just a touch too big. He`ll probably have a hangover if its sunday. He sinks in lulls way faster than you; he has to enter gybes faster to plane out. Look for your positives and train to them. When he`s in a lull ; glyde past him and make sure you wave !!!

Good thread on a topic that has been a bugbear of mine..Sorry if it sounds like a crusade. Its an important issue.
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