When all hell breaks loose

Published on November 11th, 2023

It is the mission of the ISPCRY (International Society for the Perpetuation of Cruelty to Racing Yachtsman) to call attention – in a good natured way – to the foibles and fumbles of various Race Committees. At the 82nd annual awards celebration of their Moosehead Awards, here is the story behind one of the 2023 recipients:

Running a big event with 120 Optis can be a challenge for even the most experienced RC.

To make it easier, this RC planned on using remote-controlled Mark Set Bots to help them manage setting up the course, but when one of the RC volunteers hit the wrong button, all hell broke loose … all the marks on the race course started heading east at 4 knots.

At first, the Optis tried following the marks, still trying to sail around them. But then the Bots started ramming into the poor little Optis, who never had a chance with their lack of speed and maneuverability in the super light air.

The once smiling Optimists turned into panicked Pessimists. Some coaches tried lassoing the Bots, but they got away.

Make no mistake, this was human error and not product failure, but it had the appearance of Bots taking over the regatta, akin to Hal taking over the ship in 2001 Space Odyssey. Without lip reading, the RC eventually got them back under control, at which point they shut the Bots down and went back to good old fashion inflatable tetrahedrons.

There is much more to this story, but you get the gist.

The ISPCRY (aka the Moosehead Committee) caught wind of this little fiasco and decided it has potential to be a movie. As a sequel to 2001 Space Odyssey, they created a movie trailer for 2023 Opti Odyssey:

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