For all those folks propagating the B.S. that newer and more expensive sailboats are necessarily better sailboats, classic plastic smoked the fleet of boats, including those costing 10 to 20 times more this weekend.
A 1983 Hobie 33 "Mirage" and a J/24 sailboat "Rocket J" corrected to 1st and 2nd place respectively in the 2013 Down the Bay Race. a 140 mile overnight race from Annapolis, MD, to Hampton, VA, with a strong Northwest wind propelling the boats to record time.
The Hobie 33 (probably less than 20K) not only corrected to 1st, but also beat two J/120, a Sabre 426, a Jeanneau 409, a Catalina 387, a J/42, and a Benneteau First 36.7 on elapsed time.
Race results: Yacht Scoring - A complete web based regatta administration and yacht scoring program
And what that means?
First of all that the Hobie 33 was much better sailed than any other boat. The boat beat by 1h e 20m all boats with an identical performance (PHRF).
Second, comparing the performance of the Hobbie 33 with the one of the a Jeanneau 409 or the Catalina 387 is not meaningful, not only because they are not the same type of boat but also because those two boats were in a class that does not use spinnaker.
Third, if the idea was to say that old boats can beat new boats the fact is that there was not any recent boat racing on the A2 class, the class where raced the Hobbie 33 and on the other "racing" class there were racing only two recent boats, a Farr 400 and a TP 52.
The Hobie 33 made and incredible race, in 10h 58m, the Farr 400 has done it in 9h 4m and the TP 52, in 7h 3m. These are race boats and not comparable with the Hobbie 33, that is not also comparable with a Jeanneau or a Catalina. The Hobie 33 was one of the first ultra light displacement boats, much of a race boat in its time and an expensive boat when new.
Among the boats without spinnaker the very bad time of the Jeanneau 409 can only be explained by a very badly sailed boat but the times of the other modern cruisers on that class, like the Jeanneau 42i (12h 41m) and the one of the Catalina 385 (14h 10m) compare very favorably with older boats of the same type using spinnaker, like the Sabre 426 (12h 44m), J40 (12h 20m and J42 (13h 32m). A spinnaker makes a big difference in a boat speed.