Sorry Smack, I am with Jon and Dave on this one. I really think it was just a bit of bad luck. As I have said before, though I have not participated in rallies, I think they can actually add a level of safety because it gets people really talking things through and maybe someone forgot what another sailor remembered.
I do agree with you also though: there is a misconception that boats travelling in a rally will be safer together once they leave the harbor. After 12-24 hours, you wouldn't see another single boat! We left one year for the Tortugas with several other boats. WIthin hours, we were all separated. Twelve hours later, you couldn't even see their nav lights! So the fallacy is that you are safer travelling as a group, which is not the case.
Still, like Jon, I am not convinced some so-called expert coming on my boat is going to keep me from having problems. The things that happened on the SD were, in my mind, just a lot of bad luck and poor weather forecasting.
No worries, Brian. You know me - I have no inherent need to be agreed with.
At least you acknowledge that it's not cut-and-dried. Remember, I've NEVER said that "a so-called expert coming on my boat is going to keep me from having problems". Those are the hyperbolic words that Jon and Ausp keep trying to put in my mouth.
My point has always been that with the newer sailors allowed in via low experience requirements, NOT having some kind of substantive safety back up definitely elevates their overall risk...one of the big reasons being the false perception of safety in numbers. Hank certainly seems to agree with that now since he's directing these folks to the C1500.
So, in this regard, I totally agree with Jon and Ausp. The kinds of safety standards present in the C1500 don't guarantee anything. And maybe the SDR incidents were, in fact, just bad luck.
The difference is, with no real safety standards in place, all the SDR can count on is luck. I've never seen that as good seamanship.