College Sailing. For Dummies.
Anarchist "Laser184" disagreed strongly with some of the feel-good vibes from the "School Daze" story we ran last week and posted the below rant. Agree or disagree? Weigh in here.
The biggest and most god-awful aspect of College Sailing these days is the boat choices. Almost everywhere you go you’ll either be racing in a Club 420, or a Club FJ. These are kids’ boats. And I don’t mean "kid" like "Young Adults." These boats were designed for, and are sailed by, 12-17 year olds. What is more insulting is that the kids boats that a lot of Youth Sailors use are not the Club 420, or the Club FJ. They use the International 420, or International FJ’s. These boats are lighter, have better masts, have single trapezes and Spinnakers. The Club 420 / FJ, don’t.
College sailors sail dumbed down kids boats. Our best and the brightest as well as extremely talented sailors get all the way into College and we tell them, "You are too fucking stupid for a kid’s boat."
Ignoring that, the weight issues for your standard college sailor are possibly more aggravating. The goal weight for the most fit and able Laser racer is 180 pounds. An olympic male laser skipper is too fat for our college boats. The average man in college is the same weight, albeit probably not in as good of shape.
The target weight for a 420 or FJ in the heavier winds is 280 pounds. But more often then not, the goal weight is 260 pounds. So your average man would need to find an 80 pound person to crew for him.
Next, as to college programs using these boats because they are more tactical? Another load of bullshit. Pretty much all boats you sail are equally tactical. From our POS 420’s, all the way up to and beyond the latest AC boats are the same. Using this boats poor design for college aged people, and lack of any exciting or fun features does not make them tactical.
Unfortunately, given all of this, the subtitle "College Sailing for Dummies" rings a hell of a lot truer than he intended.
On the plus side, College Sailing isn’t doomed for all eternity. The current leadership as well as some appointed committees are working together to specifically design a boat to make it better. http://www.collegesailing.org/blog.asp However I’d be willing to bet $5 that they are going to fuck it up.