Originally Posted by Atomicman
I appreciate your last statement in life outside a ski race course. But that kind of thinking has no place for a racer in a course.
You also can't be serious about a race school on a track on a motorcycle compared to running a sanctioned downhill race. 1st off bikes have breaks & steering that farr exceed the abilities of a human on a slick surface going 60+ MPH. Racers aren't looking "over their shoulder" or should they be to see if the "coast is clear". They must put all distractions out of their mind and go 110%+ in downhill.
Thirdly, it is called a tuck or bully, not a crouch, this really makes it sound like you have absolutely no experience in or around a race course or the etiquette involved.
You seriously can't blame a racer for hitting someone who has no business being in the course. It is clearly the person who is the obstacle who is to blame.
The official's should be responsible for crossovers and such but cannot control every single person particularly coaches in the race arena It is up to each individual to be acutely aware of activity on the race course. You take this responsibility (like you said be responsible for yourself) when you step under the ropes in the race arena. I have spent man, many days at races for the past 9 years. Many times the coaches are shootin' the bull, talking on cell phones and radios to their other coaches on course or just telling jokes and not paying 100% attention. If a racer, official or slipper happens to fall and slide into them, this is the risk the coaches accept by being inside the arena. They often also stand where it is likely someon may come their way. There definetly are safer places than others to watch in side the ropes.
Firstly, let me say that what happened to your son is appalling. And, no, I would never blame a racer for hitting someone in the course.
"Reminder to self: Spouse says must now refer to 'crouch' as 'tuck' and must stop calling it a 'position'" ....Skipressworld, Early Season 2004/Volume 19//NO2
Secondly, there is no need to attack my language. I assure you that had I wished to pose as an ex-ski racer I could easily use the appropriate language which could easily be picked up merely by lurking on this and other forums. In fact, I have been skiing long enough to know what a "gentleman's tuck" is.
I thought I had made it quite clear by my statement, " As you have probably surmised, I have not participated in races" that I was not familiar with "ski race course etiquitte" as you put it, but since you missed that, let me make it clear to everybody. I have not participated in races (legal ones anyway). I am not pretending to know about sactioned ski race procedure. I know a "race" is very different from a practice. I do know that the environment is different on a race course even if a race is not going on. As to "Racers aren't looking "over their shoulder" or should they be to see if the "coast is clear" ". I was making that very point when I said that I had such trouble to learn not to look back when the marshal signalled me onto the course. A bike rider on a race track literally puts his life in the marshal's hands. It is very difficult to not look back when you might get t-boned by several hundred pounds of metal moving at 100mph, especially if you have spent a few years riding a motorcycle on public roads. My point was that a racer MUST rely on the officials. I was not implying that racers need to look over their shoulder.
Perhaps you feel that only people with experience setting up and running or participating in ski races should be allowed to voice their opinion on this matter. Obviously, I disagree.
BTW, I have riden a motorcycle at it's handling braking and accelerting limits, and I have skied on icy surfaces at 60+ MPH. I don't see much difference between the two. If you had ever experienced a momentary loss of rear wheel traction on a wet 120mph sweeper you might not find the two experiences so different either.