Put aside your axes and grapnels for you hear this question not from me trolling, as you used to find such here and so often before! I have alibi this time for we have a guest writer whom there is no need to introduce (and no, he is not a twin brother of first Lithuanian Olympic champion boxer Danas Pozniakas!). For original in Lithuanian, click here.
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© Artūras Dovydėnas,
Owner and Head Instructor,
KBM (Kreiserinio Buriavimo Mokykla – School of Yachting)
Do We Still Need Lithuanian Yachting Union?
Forestalling the answer, I say YES. It is obvious that Lithuanian Yachting Union (LBS – Lietuvos Buriuotojų Sąjunga) is our common national treasure and we need to keep this stance in regard. But that’s my opinion only as well as everything is written further on (well, not everything – skipper.lt remarks are put in brackets and italic). And all this may push to think about it further, too.
I kept two canaries, both males. And they kept fighting each other constantly and everyday home was full with their tweet. But one day one of the canaries has died and the other became mute forever.
Hence the conclusion to the anecdote: if not for the LBS, we would have nothing to argue about it at all.
And this might happen if we ramble with each other and broke away or go under umbrella of foreign training programs. While we haven’t lost this community of the LBS, which is created by all of us, we might underrate its significance. Sometimes I say critique in address to the LBS but all my critique is in regard to its inaction, ignorance, arrogance, dishonorable and questionable actions, i.e. all these negative things that could be avoided.
And still, the LBS is our national treasure. Why is it so?
Because our neighbors got no such at all. Latvians got none (their yachtsmen are all separated and over the years they have no organization that would unite them, create common history and values). No such union in Kaliningrad and Russians also got none, I know it for sure (corroborated – skipper.lt). Maybe Estonian have got something alike partly and I don’t know about Poland but I suspect that they got none, too (agree, at least of such national level, nothing at all, for sure – skipper.lt).
Cadets near Sailing School, boathouse of Klaipeda Yacht Club in 1936 (source: Lithuanian Central State Archive)
None of our neighbors got their own national sailing textbook, written in their mother-tongue. So as it comes out, such textbook is also a national treasure.
There wasn’t just a single author who’s efforts made this textbook possible. It was based on sailing lessons synopsis by late yacht-master Mr Vytautas Šliogeris as recorder by Mr Leonavičius; teaching programs created by late yacht-master Mr Leonas Krasauskas; idea and financial support by Mr Robertas Dargis; an article given to me by Mr Linas Tamkvaitis, Secretary General of the LBS, and all his killer critique; and my diligence.
All consultants that are listed in the textbook didn’t bother to add any single word to the text. But I am encountering such lazy bones all my life and I hate them very sincerely for a single reason – lack of shame to have their names still listed as co-authors without any real input to the final result.
But why are they listed there? Because I didn’t want to get all credits for the work and to look more smart than the rest. I gave them opportunity to contribute. But they didn’t take their chance and, once again, none of them acted fairly and haven’t asked to take their name from the list of contributors in the final draft. And I was too afraid for unavoidable confrontations if the textbook contains only one my name.
Afterwards, there was a shit-storm anyway, so there was no point to be afraid beforehand. But since that, one will find my name in any texts I create and publish – a name that became a trigger to fly into a tantrum for those who was doing nothing and complained about my “hyperactivity“ all the time, although I keep such tempo all my life up to this date.
As national assets, I also consider traditional regattas, national sailing boat class RS-280, and sailing veterans (their group in Kaunas) who in their age came back to compete and set a good example to other sailing athletes.
Regatta of RS-280 sailing boats, nicknamed as ‘shovels’ (from delfi.lt)
As a national asset, I consider common goals of our yachtsmen and their unity to have honor among their community; and our qualification board with no shadow of corruption.
We have a lot of treasures and assets and it wouldn’t be very wise to destroy them one day with an illusion to rebuilt from the scratch and even better (the need to destroy rises doubts if rebuilt is going to be successful at all).
As another national asset, I consider my Yachting School (KBM – Kreiserinio Buriavimo Mokykla) that I have established, and its methodology, teaching materials, and tons of graduates who got similar virtues, knowledge, and aspirations. That’s a lot. Over 700 individuals while the LBS has only near 500 members (other schools are not so successful).
But why aren’t these graduates becoming members of the LBS? Let me try to explain.
First of all, nobody can be forced to join the LBS and there couldn’t be such a goal at all.
Second, the LBS doesn’t care about its own image and some leaders of the LBS set negative examples that ruin good image of the whole organization. A new Council of the LBS should include an objective in their program: to enhance a positive image of the LBS and further strive to maintain its high standard. Implemented PR is to be set to do the job.
To the Council’s approval, I have written the regulations for granting a title of the Yachtsmen of Merit. Because not only sailing veterans have to bother about their own status (I have Kaunas Sailing Veterans Club in mind). If you don’t know yet, I also wrote currently valid regulations for granting a title of the LBS Honorable Member; as well as dress code of the LBS (hey, but I don’t like grey trousers and I want white ones! – skipper.lt) and all the uniform regulations (unfortunately, for some this formal dress became the only feature to distinguish themselves).
Author dressed in the LBS Coxswain of 1/2 Rank tuxedo (from buriavimomokykla.sailing.lt) – it’s an inner joke as the LBS still grants old soviet-style qualifications instead of skippers and yacht-masters: ‘Helmsman of 2nd Rank’, ‘Helmsman of 1st Rank’, and ‘Captain of the Yacht’ (inside info: these are definitely will be change this year already!)
As in all solid organizations, there should be a Code of Conduct with the virtues like traditions, honor, and integrity in the first place.
Commander’s Cross of the Order for Merits to Lithuania (13th by importance among all Lithuanian state decorations; he also got Officer’s Cross of the same Order in 2003 – skipper.lt) is conferred on former President of the LBS for the Amersail Odyssey of 2008-2009 and he was nominated for this decoration, probably, just because of wonted indulgence, for he hasn’t added anything extra than other participants (correct me if I am wrong but this also shows lack of public information to conclude otherwise) and his input is imperceptible to compare to Mr Daubaras, Mr Kovas, Mr Simonavičius, and Mr Ivanauskas who were all lined up equally but not so decorated. It’s not about the decoration itself but about some lack of motion to shy off unmerited award.
Honor and integrity are these topics that everybody thinks about and I bring them to the light. Court of Honor should be more active in the LBS and it should sum up undignified actions without initial formal petitions. I also mean cheating in handicap formulas.
Who forgot, I shall remind you some examples with Mr Bašlykov and his over-lightened boat, late Mr Mincė and his cheating with longer spinnaker’s pole and larger, than declared in handicap formula, spinnaker (I also have story to tell when foresail, borrowed from the champion, was hefty too large for the other “mono type“ boat; not mentioning rearrangement of rules in favor to champions during ongoing race which is called “to set agreement on the water“ – skipper.lt). There were other occurrences when boat engine was used to gain advantage over competitors but not in distress to float off the shoal. On contrary, there are facts when floating off the shoal using boat engine was protested with following penalizing consequences.
I see the LBS as a public voice of conscience. I know how to do it, I can do it, and I am sure this way is a right way to make sailing in general and the LBS itself more popular, what in turn draw more people to enroll. Here is an answer to the question how to make the LBS more numerous!
It’s a very simple secret: Organizations, which stick to virtues unexceptionably, attract people who have these virtues in themselves; so people who are members don’t need to declare everyday that they also have such virtues because their organization speaks for them and life simply gets much easier for them, too.
Morale…? (from scandiserv.blogspot.com)
We all wish for dignified and idealistic relationship with an organization because of all that context of corrupted customs, medicine, and law enforcement gives us no good example to follow. A product of virtuousness is on high demand now and it would attract not only its followers but improve overall morale in Lithuania.
But organization itself has to put an effort to achieve such status in public perception. It demands diligence, dignity, integrity, and stories of success how the organization purifies its ranks. Prospect member is to be briefed on Code of Conduct and be fully aware, by signing in, that breach of this code may lead up to removal from the Yachting Union.
And right now, former smugglers declare that they are experienced IYT instructors and activists of sailing community. And the reason is that all these smugglers’ merits are not condemned by the LSB community beforehand; these smugglers who’s got their moral compass broken long time ago and younger generation is not aware about it; these smugglers who disdained all us who are keeping the pot boiling honestly. One can see their dishonest behavior again: or maybe nobody will know, or maybe no fat will be in the fire. But truth will out, sooner or later, as it already used to be before (there were names provided but I have asked author to omit them and now you may accuse me too – skipper.lt).
Third, training programs also are our assets. They are good and must endure on the national scale but should be refined upon (by the way, I have mentioned before that the LBS has working party approved which will work on this matter, too, and more news to follow – skipper.lt).
We are unique not only with our national basketball. Amateur sailing, as I have ascertained myself many times abroad, is phenomenally on a high-level (e.g. skippered by those having just the LBS issued qualification papers, the Ambersail yacht navigates around the world to international ocean regattas and is not getting into any trouble or shameful situations in any foreign port or marina).
Next step is to standardize all training methods and examinations on the national level. It is not an easy task. It would take no less than 4 years for bureaucracy to make full circle but a positive effect is in knowing that when it is finally done it is no longer an obstruction but common asset. And normally people, not crooks, accumulate their assets for future generations, so over few generations the LBS will become more qualitatively strong if it starts looking forward into the future (look here, I might join the LBS one day then… – skipper.lt).
But again, everything must be done to benefit sailing community, not a chairman of qualifications board. Dismissed last year chairman of the qualifications board has done only one task over his eight years terms: Without correcting certification rules (which means he violated them), he has dissociated radio operations module from the rest to a separate training and examination and made it his personal business venture in Brabander sailing ship, effectively cutting others from teaching radio operations topics because he ostensibly got higher knowledge and merits as ‘he graduated from GMDSS training’.
By the way, radio operator needs only limited knowledge of radio operation procedures in a pleasure craft. General knowledge and practical use are more than enough. This radio operations module has to be put back to general sailing programs and requirement to reexamination every five years is to be canceled, i.e. entry barrier for people to use basic safety equipment, which includes also a VHF radio, must be made easier (GMDSS is a part of SOLAS – Safety Of Lives At Sea – but not a patent for licensed business to teach radio operations).
There is a need to push VHF radio buttons much more? Include VHF radio as mandatory equipment for licensed sailing schools inventory list but stop violate certification rules without explaining students how to obtain this VHF Radio Operator diploma. Current rules state that VHF radio operator diploma is to be issued after successfully passed theory exam; all the difference, that this diploma is an additional paper to the yachtsman certification and requires no practical (!) exam but such currently enforced change in the rules is an uncivilized action by any means.
“- This is German coast guard…“ (from languagemediator.de)
I have written a lot of positive and negative things about the LBS but there are more positive; and you have heard negative working in groups during former yachtsmen meetings. I haven’t made any of the facts stated but I used existing as some examples for it shouldn’t be that way.
More important, what I have forgot to state, that I don’t provide destructive critique. I am ready to do everything what I am proposing here. To do it myself or take part in the process and do it voluntary. I know how it is done to be done but not only just talked over and forgotten. Maybe I am strict in terms and deadlines but that’s me and that’s why I achieve results.
Now you know what I think about this current situation and this is my personal opinion and you may have yours quite opposite but you are not to forbid me to have mine.
I also have to state that persons who got my negative feedback are not doing everything just bad or wrong. Same as what I do might not look just positive, too. You need a context to make conclusions like what were circumstances and what was an objective to achieve in doing so (e.g. second edition of sailing textbook appeared like just profit-making but I think otherwise: the LBS has no funding to reprint the textbook and I have found a sponsor, because I am sure that presence of sailing textbook on the shelves stimulates sailing popularity, so income went to one who has invested in this publishing; fair enough?).
There are good deeds and even very good deeds but there also is a limited space to list them all (no, there are no limits, I have blogged even more so please don’t stop yourselves, dear authors! – skipper.lt) and good deeds would’t fit to the still-possible-to-read-them-over format. And there is no a big need to mention them because good deeds found their ways to public already. But there is no need to be constantly proud just about them and it is time to move on.
vacations and I have time to think over
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Skipper.lt addition remark:
I understand there will be very unhappy readers for this author’s opinion and his comments. My personal and the one of authors must not concur fully but I am always willing to let express them. Maybe somebody will be offended by the tone or lack of polit-correctness but I care more of what is stated than how is stated and I see a lot of positive things expressed above.
If you ask me what I think, it is very simple: I am not interested in competition sailing at all. For me, it could be a separate sailing sport federation, and that’s it. I ride a bicycle but I don’t care about any matters in a bicycle sport federation at all (even I know world-class cyclist champions Mr Rumšas and Ms Krupeckaitė as well as sailing champions Mr Šiugždinis and Ms Volongevičiūtė-Scheidt). Even regattas of sailing yachts have no interest to me, especially with all these handicap formulas and related local particularities that are mentioned above.
But I also quite understand that the LBS cannot be divided to the “good bank“ (like in TV commercial: that’s all that you want) and to the “bad bank“ (where sailing is a pissing contest). And why should one do that?
The LBS is as it is but could be much better, especially for me: More emphasis on sailing as pleasure activity and life style; more support and more lobby to cruising sailing, not sports sailing; training programs that encourages more people for sailing, rather than now are making sailing a kind of elitist hobby, same time creating a market for crooks, who pretend to be like from a IYT school and are selling diplomas round the corner like genuine Rolex (except this fake Rolex costs more that original); more attention and respect to the LBS and Lithuanian sailing history and traditions (rise your hands who knows late Rožinskas?) but not a continues cultivation of national sailing peculiarities involving Admiral’s Hour round a clock.
Maybe that’s why I took a recent offer to join the LBS Council approved working party in good will for a better changes in a situation to all of us, real old tars and floating lumbers. I am looking forward to my modest input to be useful not only to the Lithuanian Yachting Union. So… more news to come.