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Kinetics at the Olympic level

Published on April 28th, 2021

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
I have been lectured to why the rules in Olympic classes such as the 470, Finn, and RS:X have allowed for free pumping. Seasoned observers note how years ago, inadequate judging for kinetics was impacting competition, and the easy decision to keep the peace was to loosen the regulations on kinetics.

Each class, above a certain wind strength, lets the dogs run.

The sailors blame the judges, but the sailors are the ones pushing the rules. Nobody tends to protest their competition for kinetics, and I can only suspect that what has followed was an exodus of “less athletic” people who couldn’t, or didn’t care to, play this new game of full kinetics.

Or maybe they’d already left, tired of the rising level of effort needed to have fun.

But shouldn’t the focus of our sport of sailing be… sailing? Shouldn’t the sailors get in the boat, present it to the wind and waves, and allow their skill of trim, steer, and balance best propel the boat through nature?

Or is this just the grey hair talking?

A video of the British team training in advance of the 470 European Championship, which highlighted what some call “air humping”, had other people talking too:

“Why, why, why did they allow that? It’s ruined the spectacle.”

“So apparently humping is now allowed on the mixed dinghy.”

“Mixed dry humping is an official Olympic sport now! It will be faster and they are great sailors, but it looks wrong…”

“Suggest changing the name of the game…”

“I never understood why pumping is not allowed in the first place. It makes it more interesting and everyone has the same chance anyway.”

“UGLY. I would never want to show folks interested in sailing that.”

“Stupid!!!!! Just sail the boat.”

“That pumping is not sailing. In fact most sailing in the Olympics is not in any way representative of our once lovely sport.”


Here’s the video:

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