sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Honouring the ANZACS - Reflections from the past
Honouring the ANZACS - Reflections from the past


'Fighter Pilot to Sailor'    Ian Kirkwood
Some of you will remember my dad, or at least his boat names. Being a WW11 fighter pilot his first one was called Kittyhawk after the type of airplane he flew and being a squadron leader his second one was named after his call sign, Red One (even though it was a blue boat). His father was an ANZAC wounded at Gallipoli and on his repatriation to Australia set up a vineyard near the shores of Lake Bonney.

Hence dad learnt to sail on the lake, and when I was a young boy and we were living in Adelaide, he introduced me to the fun of sailing at B&SYC. With ANZAC day having just passed I got to thinking about some of the things he taught me and did for me.

One of the most important ones was this: Back in 1967 my dad bought me a book called 'Paul Elvstrom explains the Yacht Racing Rules'.

The important messages in this book weren’t just about the rules, but contained in Elvstrom’s prologue titled 'The Spirit of Racing'. I herewith provide the chapter verbatim in full:

'The racing rules must be observed but you must also be reasonable about this. When starting in a race with a large number of boats they will often be so close together that small touchings will occur between booms or sails – and other such errors can occur – and there is no need to worry the jury or race committee with such small matters. But if people break the rules on purpose then you must put in a protest.

It is very difficult to make rules to enable starting to be really good and therefore we must try to help each other to make the start as fair as possible; but in open waters the rules must be observed meticulously. In any case, in my opinion, there is really no need to protest except over a gross breach of rules or if a dinghy has deliberately broken a rule.

During a race a boat on starboard tack is passed by another on port tack whilst going to windward, if the starboard tack boat is not actually affected by this boat then there is no need for there to be a protest. If there is some doubt whether the port tack boat can cross, he can shout to him ‘Pass ahead, if you like’, for if he does this, he will interfere less than if he had tacked under your lee bow. If a dinghy touches a mark and it is his own fault, then he must retire immediately (Note: Not the case under the current RRS). It is not necessary to go so close to a mark that there is a danger of fouling it. During racing we should always act with good sportsmanship.

'Why Do We Race?' - A race is, and always must be, only a game. Hard competition only gives more excitement to the game, and it is really exciting to find out who can win.

It is quite a problem that some people are able to spend a great deal of time and money on tuning their boats and making them go fast, whereas other people are unable to do this. But remember that man cannot get the speed only because of time and money. He must also be clever in order to get the best out of his new gear. Very many skippers have the best possible new boats and sails and yet do not know how to make them go fast.

If a yachtsman cannot afford to spend the same amount of time and money as his competitors it is not a reason for spoiling this man’s pleasure in racing, but it does of course give him a reason why he may be slower.

We all ought to be friends and glad we are sailing together in the same class. A helmsman in the Finn Class ought to be extremely glad to hear of any newcomer coming into the class – he will thus have one more friend to race with. (Elvstrom refers to the Finn Class as he won it at the Olympics in 1952, 1956 and 1960).

Before the Olympic Games there is usually a long series of trial races in each of the participating countries, and jealously and feeling between the competitors can be very fierce – so fierce in fact that favourites hardly speak to each other, sometimes.

Therefore, it seems we ought to be pleased to have other competitors to race with, but the opposite is sometime the case. It is quite normal to talk to yourself about beating the other competitors, but you must do this in a sporting manner.
I am sure it is more important to compete and enjoy yourself than to win.

After a race you cannot tell by looking at some people’s faces whether they have won or lost because the sailing alone gives them so much pleasure that their position does not matter to them greatly.

With other people you do not need to ask if they won or lost. You can see it in their faces straight away. To them I would like to give some advice. It is difficult to change your nature but you can help yourself by remembering that it is a greater satisfaction to give rather than receive, and here you have the chance to give the best form of compliment to the winner by your smile and also by your words ‘well done’.

Remember that if you show it in your face that you do not like it when certain of your competitors win they will have the same feelings for you when you win, and that spoils the racing for both of you.

When you feel that none of your competitors are afraid to lose to you, then you also will not mind losing to them. When your competitors are happy to see you win, you are naturally happy when their turn comes to win. This is an unwritten law common to all sports.

Also don’t forget to show your enjoyment during the race. For example, you only need to make just the smallest friendly gesture when you pass one of your competitors such as when crossing on port or starboard whether you pass ahead or astern. If you do not show you are enjoying the competition you can spoil the pleasure for your competitors.'

The Racing Rules of Sailing have not changed a lot since 1967, and people’s attitudes probably haven’t either.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and can reflect on what is important.

Good Sailing,

Post Script: Dad died a few days after my 22nd birthday, both my WW1 veteran grandfathers died before I was born. I never knew them.

Lest we forget.


by Andrew Short

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=109090

1:30 PM Fri 3 May 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ


HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle




























Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),




2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race by Patricia Nelder, Nova Scotia














Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata by Richard Gladwell,Sail-world.com/nz,


Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,
















America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ up against funding hurdle for year *Feature   
Melges 32 Sailing Series Napoli - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
Melges 32 Sailing Series - Napoli action shots by Max Ranchi   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica launch new boat   
Emirates Team NZ: Royals duke it out on the Waitemata   
2014 Charleston Race Week - Thousands of sailors descend on Charleston   
The Congressional Cup 2014 - Williams hangs on with a classy crowd   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Notice of Race now available   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Sunshine and smiles on day 2   
Rolex China Sea Race on the horizon   
What can a boat name tell you about the person behind the helm?   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Race 10 rumbles on   
SAP 5O5 World Championship - Kiel action starts August 13th   
Volvo Ocean Race - It's a family Affair   
Clipper Round the World Race - Great Britain claims line honours   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR US