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post #397 of Old 12-07-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
You keep comparing the two in areas where I don't see a lot of specific similarities. For example, this is what hit the 2011 NARC fleet:

That's "TS Sean"

Please read Morganscloud's assessment of the SDR conditions again and explain to me how they relate.
Probably about as much as the conditions seen in the vicinity of the Gulf Stream this by the 1500 fleet, and some of the SDR fleet, respectively. They were sailing in quite different weather systems, after all...

One thing I do take issue with Harries on this, I believe he may be underestimating a bit the severity of the conditions some of those boats encountered out there... Some very experienced offshore sailors (Brownell's Hylas 54 DISTANT STAR, for one), in some very well-found yachts, saw some pretty serious weather... Unless one had actually been out on the ocean during all three of these events, it's pretty tough to compare the comparative severity - particularly when dealing with the Gulf Stream, which most know can produce extremely variable and localized conditions, where 2 boats mere miles apart can often see entirely different conditions...

So, I have little doubt that some of the boats heading south this year encountered some pretty serious stuff... For example, the Alden 54 ZULU sailed in the 2011 NARC rally, making it to Bermuda with no real problems. Yet in this year's SDR, they were one of the boats that suffered a rudder failure, and had to be towed back in... Go figure...

Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
So, if this is correct, you're right - 2 boats is twice the percentage of the fleet compared to the SDR (though I would not really put Triple Stars in the same category due to the circumstances - which would bring the percentages more in line with one another).
Hmmm, I'm certainly no math whiz, but I believe 2 boats abandoned out of a fleet of 22, is bit more than twice the percentage of 1 out of 130+, no? :-)

Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Even so, considering the conditions, the SDR was far more a poor reflection on seamanship (as Morganscloud says) - than what happened with the NARC.
Again, I would disagree... Unless one does not include the decision to embark on a passage from Newport to Bermuda in November - while the formation of a tropical storm is taking place in the SW North Atlantic - in their notion of what constitutes 'Seamanship', perhaps... :-)

Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
You've still presented nothing that sways me from the belief that the SDR (and/or any rally out there) should EITHER institute ISAF-based safety standards like the NARC - OR greatly increase the experience level required for participation (or both!)...SO THAT when the SDR puts all the onus on the skippers, they at least will be somewhat certain those skippers can handle it.
Again, we'll simply have to agree to disagree, as you have yet to present anything that indicates that ISAF-based safety standards would necessarily have made any difference aboard the boats that required assistance in this year's SDR...

For example, what difference did compliance with ISAF standards make aboard TRIPLE STARS in the 2011 NARC? Apparently, Jan Anderson was wearing neither a PFD, nor was tethered, when she was swept overboard and lost... Sure, safety inspections at the dock are a nice idea, but...

Again, not sure why the "experience level of the participants" in the SDR seems to be the focus here... As I've said earlier, I think in the case of all these rallies, that bar is so vague, and set so low, as to be essentially meaningless... The 1500's requirement of a prior 250 mile passage is essentially a joke. As Harries rightly points out, that can be a coastal passage completed in less than 48 hours in benign conditions, well within a forecast weather window, and bearing very little resemblance to the passage to the islands in November...

Of course, there are no simple answers to any of this, I wouldn't begin to want to determine what particular 'standard' anyone has to meet to participate in these rallies... It comes down to each individual skipper to make that determination - which of course highlights the inherent flaw in the offshore rally concept... Namely, that NO ONE should ever be seriously contemplating making this passage, unless they are confident of doing so COMPLETELY ON THEIR OWN, without any of the 'guidance', or assistance these rallies claim to provide...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 12-07-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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