The bolded part is exactly right. And as York so eloquently implied, an organization that is encouraging people to head into that at that time of year should probably make an effort to "meet the standards recently suggested by the USCG or US Sailing for West Coast racing"...especially if, as you illustrate, they're not the best and most experienced sailors.
So, in other words, the SDR needs to "raise their bar" at least to the level of the 1500 and NARC, 'cause their respective standards and practices have been so eminently successful in the prevention of the losses of both boats, and life, in their respective rallies in recent years, correct?
Or, perhaps not...
What I don't get, is where were you with all your hand-wringing, and calls for greater "regulation", in the wake of those far more tragic events? As far as I can tell, we didn't hear a peep out of you back when the NARC - with its "nebulous" entry requirements, lack of seminars and safety inspections, and perhaps worst of all, being FREE
to all participants - "encouraged" sailors to undertake a passage far riskier than the route of the SDR, with the resultant tragic consequences?