Incidentally, even overlooking the obvious problems of timing and coordination, the Drisko "octapede" style won't work. The shell would have to be slightly longer to allow the crew to execute the peculiar motions he suggests without interfering with one another. The longer boat would develop a somewhat higher drag. The turning moments resulting from time-varying unbalanced forces on either side of the shell would necessitate continuous steering corrections, with added drag penalties. Also, the stern oarsmen would be rowing in the puddles from the bow oars. Furthermore, it can be shown that the crew would have to row at a higher beat using the Drisko technique in order to deliver the same thrust as with the classical in-unison style. Therefore the octapede style is less efficient. These arguments are presented in detail in a paper submitted for the ASME Symposium on Mechanics in Sport to be held in Detroit in the fall.
DANIEL L. POPE
Mr. Drisko's idea of having oarsmen in an eight row sequentially was tried in England in 1929 by the London Rowing Club. The technique, dubbed the "syncopating eight," did not work. In order to row in this fashion the boat itself had to be lengthened to prevent pairs from interfering with each other while in differing position throughout the stroke cycle.
JACK H. FRAILEY
M.I.T. Crew Coach
THE WOMEN (CONT.)
Your excellent series of articles on the role of women in athletics (May 28 et seq.) prompted my writing you concerning the steps being taken by the California Legislature to give female students equal opportunity to participate in athletic programs in public schools. The California State Senate is considering Senate Bill 1227, which I authored; it will affect public elementary schools, high schools and community colleges. A companion bill applies to universities and colleges. It has just passed the Senate Education Committee and will be voted on in the near future.
The thrust of both bills is to require that schools and colleges provide equal opportunities for athletic participation for female and male students. More important, public funds will have to be allocated equally to athletic programs for male and female students, with allowances being made for differences in the cost of various athletic programs.
MERVYN M. DYMALLY
California State Senator
This is in reply to a letter (July 9) from James Day, President of the Athletic Association of Canada West University, concerning selective athletic competition for women. Mr. Day states his refusal to provide a program for women's ice hockey, which he finds "not appropriate." As part-time goaltender for Brown University's women's ice hockey team (the Pandas), I am moved to disagree.
For 10 years the Pandas have been lacing up and taking to the ice, thus making us the oldest American women's collegiate ice hockey team. Admittedly the beginnings were modest, with many of the women struggling on worn figure skates and making do with limited ice time, equipment, coaching and competition. We were virtually ignored by the male-dominated university athletic department. Despite the poor conditions, the Pandas continued to play.
But the times, thankfully, are changing. The men's and women's athletic departments have merged into a single unit. The Pandas now enjoy a workable budget, more ice time, a multiple coaching staff, uniforms, an organized intercollegiate schedule (against teams from Colby, Cornell and Loyola of Montreal, among others) and are getting some much-needed publicity.
Perhaps Mr. Day and others should peel the blinders off their eyes and realize that for some women "icing" means more than the sweet stuff on top of cake.
After losing our 14th straight Little League game, it was refreshing to read Bill Veeck's comments in SCORECARD (July 9): " Little League...exists for parents who are trying vicariously to recover an ability of their own that never really existed." I knew there had to be a reason for me to stand out in 95� weather and try to teach baseball to 10-year-olds. May his wooden leg get termites.