It sometimes seems as though everyone is mad about something or other these days. Anytime someone does not get what he or she wants, he/she are quick to seek victim status in one form or another.
A recent example is that of Olympic sailor Jo Aleh, a woman with Olympic gold to her credit from London and silver from Rio, who thinks that she was excluded from the round the world race now underway because she is a woman.
She trialed for the Dutch squad that is running the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Brunel, who hired Peter Burling, the helmsman for Emirates Team New Zealand that sent the Team Oracle boat to the bottom is this year’s America’s Cup race in the Bahamas.
Aleh holds world title in the 420 and 470 classes and took part in a forum at World Sailing’s annual conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The subject of the forum was to explore ways of boosting women’s sailing.
The title of the forum was “Balancing the boat: growing female participation and developing pathways in competitive sailing.”
She used the forum, as well, a forum to make her feelings known, saying, “I was sailing with a bunch of guys. A few young ones, a lot less experience in big boats and a lot less experience in offshore but I was at the bottom of the pile. What I had to offer the boat, which was in my head, just wasn’t listened to. I’m just a female Olympic sailor, what do I know? And I guess that’s fair enough, offshore wise but I just wish a male Olympic sailor who has the same experience was treated in the same way.”
We believe that if she has the qualifications, she should be allowed to sail with the men, but we are not the judge of those qualifications.
What we would like to see is a male Olympic sailor demanding to compete in the women’s division and when denied, claim that it was gender bias against men.
For the record, every boat in the Volvo race, in the leg from Lisbon to Cape Town, has a female sailor onboard.