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Old 06-14-2013
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Re: Interesting Sailboats

Joe - Not saying OSTAR is not a race, just not necessarily the race Hasler envisioned. Sure everyone sailed what they had at the time, but if that was the long term intent, then perhaps Blondie might have phrased his vision a bit differently. For me personally, racing very old technology is not the best manifestation of "encouraging development..." one can think of. And I think this is what Paulo was reacting to.

If the OSTAR is intended as simply a race-what-ya-got primarily for the under 50' / non-professional crowd, then that makes it more like the ARC and less like the Transat Jacques Vabre, which is perfectly fine. But that suggests that we ought not take Hasler's vision too seriously, which is also fine.

I was aware that DR is a naval architect, though certainly not a well known one before he built the famous scow (747). There are other guys in the Classe Mini who are not NAs who have designed and/or built their own boats. And while I doubt Bob Salmon envisioned that his Transat would eventually become the gateway to professional solo offshore racing that it is today, this description from Wikipedia nicely captures, to my mind, the irony of what OSTAR is today:

"Bob Salmon developed the idea of a mini-transatlantic race in the late 1970s in England with the intent of promoting affordable offshore solo racing. It was partially conceived as a response to the trend for bigger and more expensive boats such as sailed in the OSTAR race that seemed to exclude ocean racing for sailors with moderate budgets."

If true, it suggests that OSTAR quickly became something other than Hasler envisioned and that today's OSTAR is more in keeping with what he (and Salmon, for that matter) had in mind. However, in that case Hasler probably should have expressed his vision differently, IMHO. Anyway, Paulo sees the OSTAR that Salmon was reacting to as the golden era of that event, while he sees today's version as a move in the wrong direction.

Actually (since I'm already beating a dead horse - no actual horses injured, of course), I would say that another race, near and dear to Paulo's heart, is probably close to what OSTAR ought to be, if we want to take Hasler at his word: The Transquadra. That race is designed to keep things affordable while, at the same time, leaving open room for innovation - albeit, probably not for amateur design/build. But it is driving the development of some outstanding performance cruising yachts, suitable for solo ocean crossing, from the likes of JPK, RM, Jeanneau, and Structures (Pogo). Just before he left to go cruising, Paulo sent me information on the newly announced RM 890, which will bring the qualities of RM boats at a more affordable (for me) price. But until it's built, I'm still ogling the Malango 888 and 999.



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