The Absurd Foredeck Cow Thing

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Part of the infamous
Foredeck Cow joke:

Note this picture of
"Illsbruck Challenge" pulling into Sydney Harbor
in March 2002.

 

Below are some of the emails from the launch of what has
(as of 2006) become a running joke on the C&C owners mailing list.
(Thanks for saving them, Beth!)

Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002
Subject: [candc-list] Polars, True Wind & Wally
From: Stu

I just found a good page on the Internet provided by Ockam Systems that gives a description of True & Apparent Wind, Polars and Wally.

It is not the complete manual but it might just answer a few questions.

http://www.ockam.com/ocku1.htm

Usual disclaimer - don't work for them, receive commissions, discounts or samples.

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From: Wally Bryant

Fascinating statement on the Ockam site:
"Observant types also take advantage of remote indicators of wind direction like wave patterns, smokestacks, flags and cows."

Cows? I think we have some Iowa sailors on the list... If you have a cow on the foredeck, do you watch the tail or the ears? Do they want beer after the race? Do they have to wear white shoes?

Wal

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From: Hank

Very funny Wally. You know darn well there is only one "Iowa" sailor on this
list and he has no idea what he is doing in Iowa anyway.
However, I will attempt to educate you about the fine art of using cows in
sailboat racing.

First, you watch the tail. They always turn their butts into the wind. By a
process of logical reasoning you can deduce that this means their heads are
down wind and thus their ears blow away from their heads downwind. You've
heard the story about not spitting or performing other bodilly functions into
the wind ? Well cows have heard it but do not believe it so if you are going
to put one on your foredeck - whoa Nellie. (maybe that should whoa Bossie )
If you are going to put one on the foredeck, I'd certainly buy it some
Topsiders - hoofs are tough on gel coat. And if the cow has pointed the wind
well, not done things into the wind and you have won the race - the least you
could do is buy it a beer.

Of course here in the midwest, we leave them in the fields next to the lake
and just look toward shore to see which way they are pointing. But if you
think it will work better on the foredeck Wally, you just go right ahead and
the heck with what the rest of the world may think. West Marine will be
delighted to sell you two pair of topsiders, some foul cow gear and a pooper
scooper. Don't forget to check the crimps in those life lines, cows like to
lean against them when the boat heals. And what ever you do, make sure the
cow isn't in heat. You don't want a lot of BULL when you're racing.

Trying to keep my sense of humor in the heartland,
Hank

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Wal, if you have a cow working the foredeck in a frostbite series, you
can see her breath and watch which way it's blowing. Yes, they wear
white soled shoes, everyone on board does. It's the climbing harness
that's comical, especially when she goes up for a wayward halyard. Talk
about weight aloft!!!

Sorry Hank.

Joe

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I don't know anything about cows, but don't they always stand 'in
irons' (nose to wind) That means that if you have one on the
foredeck, you are down wind and had better be wearing your
foulweather gear !!

Ron

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Watch the tail. If it goes up, stand back...

Fred

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You don't have to worry about sound signals, the cows supply the horns!
Did I really say that? It's been a long week.

Victor


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The only cow on my boat is the owner. It's embarrassing to have to
send one of my female crew up the mast 'cuz all the guys are fat....

Michael
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Again as Henny would say, "Take my cow, PLEASE!"

Dave

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We had a cow on deck for a while, but she got married and moved away.

Cliff

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Hank - I'm in good company. Note this picture of "illsbruck" pulling into
Sydney Harbor recently.

Wal

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I was just about to suggest we stop the predictable joking thread, but then this came in. It mooooved me deeply.

Of course I will be changing the name of my boat to:
Mooooooondance.

Cliff

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The "Fair Tawni" and myself were in Sydney a couple of days prior to
the VOR finish. Now I understand why they were laying down all that straw
around the Sydney Opera House......

Wearing my Akubra "Cattleman" hat today,
Dave

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Cow thread? I don't get it. I am originally from Wisconsin, so I know of the mighty bovine, but don't quite understand where its applicable to sailing... In Madison Wisconsin, home of the mighty Badgers, there is a sailboat in Lake Mendota that is painted like a cow.... I think I even have a picture of it somewhere....

-Brad

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Hi Brad
You must have missed a whole pile of messages along the line somewhere. Under the guise of other topics, there was much merriment about having a cow for a wind indicator/foredeck crew. I don't get it either. My wife won't even let me bring my sheep along, and these guys have cows.

Jim W

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There were about fifty other Cow Jokes at the time. But no one saved them since one one really thought we'd be making cow jokes four years later.

Wal

 

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