... There is a pretty close correlation to experience and position on the first leg. ...
Not saying the boats don't make a difference, ...
Regarding the transquadra:
Hei bb, before replying to your last post I wanted to say you were right about this. I read that magazine you were talking about and yes, there are some very experienced sailors racing there. Not professionals now, but some were professionals when they were younger, or very close to it.
On the same magazine, Volile and Voiliers, July edition, they also make some very interesting comments about the ideal boat to sail solo or with a short crew.
I will not talk about it in detail here but I would say that what they say coincides with my experience. Regarding size they say that for an offshore boat the ideal is between 30ft and 37ft and they say also that a performance cruiser will have advantages over a cruiser (we are talking about mass market boats) and make a good review of the advantages and disadvantages of a large beam, large transom boat over a more traditional design.