Originally Posted by PalmettoSailor
Its interesting how this accident has brought biases to the surface. Its clear there are lot of people that don't like the new AC boats or the format created for them, but the AC has always pushed the state of the art of boat design and the AC72's are definitely the leading edge of sail propelled craft. Also, its arguably the only thing keeping the AC alive, though there are no doubt those that would prefer to see it die rather than evolve.
There was little to no hue and cry over the boats or race format when many sailors were lost on the Farallon's or N2E (only the skipper/crews were vilified in those cases), or when VOR sailors have been lost. Some did express opposition to "cruise races" formats that resulted in the loss of Rule 62, but again it was mainly the skipper that bore the brunt of the sailing communities scorn.
For me, all these accidents and more at even lower levels or racing provide evidence of my assertion that sailing and especially racing, by its nature, is dangerous and sailors are occasionally killed participating at every level from club racing right up to the top. If you don't like the new AC boats, that's great, but don't fool yourself into thinking the new boat or format is more or less dangerous than any other. There just is no evidence to support that assertion at this point.
If you want old school mono-hull racing identical boats, there is the Congressional Cup, NYYC, One Design racing all over the country, etc.
My problem with the new AC 72's is the design itself seems dangerous, and for what benefit, yea it goes fast, but at what cost. I got no problem if a team wants to go out and build the fastest boat that is highly dangerous (and teams have and do this- and break all kinds of sailing records with them), but I don't think a race like the AC should promote the sailing of dangerous boats. The AC is supposed to be a spectator sport. I do not think the race should include an elevated risk of dying.
The other deaths in sail racing you refer were due primarily (or maybe entirely) to human error. With the AC 72's I think we got an equimpent problem.