I have to dis-agree with many of the posts here. I sailed with the Salty Dawg Rally last Fall of 2012 and I have to say it was very well run. They first off have Safety in mind. They work closely with numerous orgs to ensure participates are qualified, trained etc... They work VERY CLOSE with Chris Parker to ensure that conditions are right before leaving.
This year, I could not attend, but I have several friends in the Rally and again, they work with Chris Parker and team to ensure they are following the right course and weather is right. In this case, the forecast was right when they left and suddenly it changed overnight. That is not a reflection of the Rally organizers, but more of a reflection weather forecasting anomaly's...
We delayed for many days last year before leaving and everything was perfect to go. This year, they did the same thing with the same due diligence and the forecast was different.
If you more experienced posters on this site followed the Atlantic Weather overnight, it had a serious shift...
I want to make it clear that I'm not saying this particular rally - or any other - is not being well-run. And I know they all "have safety in mind". But by what standard? This is the problem.
You can have the best weather router in the world - but weather changes - as you've just pointed out. Then it comes down to the preparedness of the participants. If they aren't prepared - you have a serious problem.
Why not hold rallies to the same safety standards as races? It really makes little sense not to.