I've had a look at the fleet viewer and see nothing unexpected. There are some boats being sailed 'racing style', shall we say, others wandering all over the ocean (trying to find the best wind? who knows!) and some being sailed rather 'comfortably'.. ...
..I don't know if you've ever taken much notice of this race over there - but it is a race and it has a wide mix of all your favourites: TP52's, super-maxis, maxis, pocket-maxis, performance cruisers and even, sometimes, and old full-keel cruising boat in it.. but, unlike the ARC, its a race. .. one that would probably provide you with a better comparison of performance than the ARC.
That's why I one took as reference the best sailed boats of each type. In +200 there should be some well sailed among each type of boat and it was only at those that I looked at.
As you say this is a very low profile race and many just race it for the fun of it even if nobody likes to be left behind.
The objective is to take the boat to the Caribbean to pass the European winter cruising and the boats contrary to the Sydney Hobart, that is a smaller race, are loaded with all it is needed for a transat and cruising equipment.
That's why this transat in what regards the typical cruiser is a much better one to evaluate boat performances not to mention that this transat has 3 more boats than the Sydney-Hobart where most boats are much more raced typed than on this low profile "race".
Sure, the Sydney Hobart because it is a top race is better to evaluate the racing performance of sailboats while racers. This one is much better to evaluate the sailing performance of the boats while fast cruising on a make believe racing. Contrary to the Sydney Hobart there are very few racing boats on this one.
.. ...- full keel or fin - ..
Well, here you are wrong. On +200 sailboats there is not one with a full keel (as Jeff already explained the IP is not a full keel yacht). You don't find it odd that in more than 200 skipper not only one has chose a full keel boat?
By the way I love the Sydney Hobart and I have made here the coverage of the race on the last years