Elliott 6 a great craft for the ladies

There are sports in which women shouldn’t compete, such as boxing, where the risk to the anatomy outweighs any PC thing about being equal and then there are sports like sailing where women have always done very well – certainly as skilfully as men.

It’s a bit much to ask though for the ladies to be as physically capable unless you put Russian women shotputters on board and the Olympic PTB have wisely chosen craft which cater for and challenge men on the one hand [e.g. the 49er] and women on the other [e.g. the Laser Radial and the Elliott 6].

The Elliott is 6 metres long or roughly 19’8″ which, combined with a crew of three and a keel, makes it a demanding yet possible craft for the women and as you can see from the shots, it has a lot going for it.  For a start, look at the sheer room onboard to move about:

Then there is the very high freeboard, which is the distance between water and the gunwhale [or top edge of the hull] – this makes for dry sailing although the downside is windage:

The sailplan is traditional and simple, the spinnaker more suitable for match racing.   The competition is fierce and yesterday’s racing was superb to watch:

Matchracing, as you know, is where two boats compete and the tactics are everything.   For me, it’s far more exciting than fleet racing, as it’s almost mano-a-mano, with two fighters circling one another to best advantage:

10 Responses to “Elliott 6 a great craft for the ladies”

  1. Mark in Mayenne August 9, 2012 at 14:14 Permalink

    Whereas I accept and endorse the existence of different categories of sporting competition for people whose genetics constrain their strength and work rate (e.g. lightweight men’s rowing, bantam-weight boxing, women’s tennis, etc) I am wondering.

    Are there no sports at all where women can compete on equal terms to men? I had thought that sailing might be one, but I guess not. Shooting?

  2. James Higham August 9, 2012 at 18:09 Permalink

    The women do a decathlon outside of major competition [in which a heptathlon is done - Jessica Ennis].

    However [Wiki]:

    Women’s disciplines differ from men’s in the same way as for standalone events: the shot, discus and javelin weigh less, and the sprint hurdles uses lower hurdles over 100 m rather than 110 m. The points tables used are the same as for the heptathlon in the shared events. The schedule of events differs from the men’s decathlon, with the field events switched between day one and day two; this is to avoid scheduling conflicts when men’s and women’s decathlon competitions take place simultaneously.

    The women themselves do not complain about this – there is no feminism in women’s sport, except where prize money is concerned.

    Regarding the Elliott, it is a fabulous boat for the girls – just the right size and sail area to handle and it behaves beautifully.

    Laser Radial [Wiki]:

    The Laser Radial is generally sailed and raced by lighter weight sailors and is usually the choice of women Laser sailors. Men typically sail the Laser Standard which has a larger sail. The only difference between the Laser Standard and Laser Radial is the size of the sail and the length of the lower section of the mast. Everything else is the same and very tightly specified and controlled by the International Class Association to ensure competitive racing in identical boats. Lasers are single person dinghies. Most larger regattas for the Laser class will generally have separate races for the Laser Standard, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7.

    So teenagers and younger kids plus women tend to go for the Radial. In the Olympics, a butch woman could sail a full Laser but why bother when the Radial is the official women’s boat. Such a woman can then dominate the other women and take gold, which in fact happened.

    If a man tried rhythmic gymnastics, he’d probably lose every time. Synchronized swimming they’d kill men. Diving they look pretty equal. Motorsport there have been women competing in the top rung but few and far between. Rallying tends to be dominated by men but again, there are some women in there.

    Can’t think of any others. Badminton perhaps.

    Lacrosse [Wiki]:

    The rules of women’s lacrosse differ significantly from men’s lacrosse, most notably by equipment and the degree of allowable physical contact. Women’s lacrosse does not promote physical contact primarily because the only protective equipment worn for this sport is a mouth guard and face guard and sometimes thin gloves. Stick checking, and not body checking as in men’s lacrosse, is permitted in women’s lacrosse. Although sometimes checking can lead to body checking. While this is still not permitted in a women’s game some referees will allow limited body checking.

    Mixed indoor cricket. In our team [which made the final in our only year], we were the openers and my partner was a woman grade cricketer [opener]. She was the heavy hitter and I was the run sneak. As a partnership, we top scored in that competition within our four overs. When we separated after she complained that I only ran singles to get her up to the crease and that I ran too fast, we fell away – she and her new partner didn’t score all that much and my partner and I didn’t either.

    In a sense, that was pretty equal. I have been beaten occasionally in snooker by a woman and many times in Backgammon.

  3. Mark in Mayenne August 9, 2012 at 21:15 Permalink

    Thanks for the comprehensive answer

  4. Rossa August 10, 2012 at 09:30 Permalink

    “..such as boxing, where the risk to the anatomy outweighs any PC thing about being equal…”

    There are risks to the anatomy in all sports and if a man can break his leg while running in the 4 x 400m heats (and carried on running/limping) then based on your argument against women’s boxing that event should also not take place.

    I’m quite happy for a woman to choose to beat up or get beaten up by another woman, though I consider it is more a test of stamina and skill. And wearing a helmet helps reduce the chance of significant injury.

    Did you see that in the cycling the women’s team sprint is to go to 4 riders over 4km? I don’t think it is a case of being equal, more a case of if the ladies think it is appropriate why not? Surely we have the right to choose for ourselves.

    Oh and I did love the German athlete who ripped off his shirt and went over the hurdles……very sexist to compare him to the Incredible Hulk (or should that be Bulk) but good fun. Maybe he should try out for the women’s hurdles for Rio ;-)

  5. James Higham August 10, 2012 at 10:24 Permalink

    “..such as boxing, where the risk to the anatomy outweighs any PC thing about being equal…”

    Just knew that in an entire post about sailing, you’d select that bit. :)

  6. Rossa August 10, 2012 at 12:06 Permalink

    Shouldn’t have put it in then James :-)

    Question is, why did YOU refer to women boxing in your post about sailing?

  7. General Pyston Broak August 10, 2012 at 12:13 Permalink

    Equestrian events are mixed sex. Stallions and mares are used!

  8. James Higham August 10, 2012 at 13:49 Permalink

    Rossa – answered in the other post.

    GP&B – that’s right. Horses are different to humans.

  9. General Pyston Broak August 12, 2012 at 02:11 Permalink

    James,

    You may have missed my humour. Male and female equestrians partake in the same events. Thus answering your question whether there is a sport where male and female compete on equal terms.

  10. James Higham August 12, 2012 at 08:19 Permalink

    Missed deliberately, perchance?

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