Now I am not saying 4000nm makes one 'experienced' but unless I am missing something( And I might be) I can't fathom how they can be as inexperienced as guys like Jon believe them to be.
I can only relate this to my own experience. When I started I did cruises and some cruise/delivery type sailing and had by then a few thousand miles under my belt. I knew I still had a lot to learn but was somewhat confident in my abilities. Then I started to race and boy I tell you that was a slap in the face. Though I learned many skills from my previous cruising I really can't articulate how much more I have learned from racing. Though I consider myself a cruiser, I shudder at how naive I was prior to doing extensive racing. I guess what I am saying is that you really don't know how inexperienced you were until you have gained that experience. RH had the confidence to make the decision to cross an ocean but lacked the experience to make it across.