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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 02-01-2011
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The Great Ocean Race

Just came across this article regarding Chesapeake Bay sailors.

Coquina

Man those guys had some brass ones eh? Things were different then I guess. $15 registration fee? 38 boats for race that would be nearly 4 days long in the best case? Wow!

You'd think with the advent of GPS these types of races would seem less daunting but participation seems to be dwindling for long distance races on the bay that are no where near as daunting as a non-stop DelMarVa circumnavigation.
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Old 02-04-2011
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Thanks for posting this.

It is interesting to read accounts about people not knowing their position before the advent of GPS, almost like reading logs where a ship waits for the wind to begin moving again.

I remembering reading someone say that the GPS system frees sailors to do pure sailing, in other words, not spend time messing around with plotting their position, so indeed it is strange that with all the labor and time-saving devices now available, more people don't take part in adventures like the Great Ocean Race. That said, I find that the more instruments you have on a boat, the more time you spend watching the instruments, not the water or sky. I took a friend sailing once and he spent the ENTIRE time staring at our course on his GPS.
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Old 02-04-2011
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I'm a bit surprised that with 144 views there's only been one comment on the article.

There have a been quite a few threads on this site about attempting or successfully doing a DelMarVa circumnavigation as something of an adventure, so I would have thought there would be some level of interest in guys doing it 30 years ago non-stop in a race.

I'd love to see a lot more cruising type boats doing races like Down the Bay and the Gov. Cup.

Maybe this article is more fodder for SA that Sailnet?
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Old 02-04-2011
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Reading it now...
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Old 02-04-2011
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Fantastic, and yes, personally I'd much rather do the race than the cruise. Would be a pretty big undertaking and require a governing body, more than likely one of which will require certain offshore gear which would probably make it unattainable for a small boat's budget. But I'm listening...

I don't see this taking off though unfortunately. Too much time off from work. People don't enjoy pushing themselves on a boat anymore. They'd rather sit on the beach getting fat.
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Old 02-04-2011
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Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
Fantastic, and yes, personally I'd much rather do the race than the cruise. Would be a pretty big undertaking and require a governing body, more than likely one of which will require certain offshore gear which would probably make it unattainable for a small boat's budget. But I'm listening...

I don't see this taking off though unfortunately. Too much time off from work. People don't enjoy pushing themselves on a boat anymore. They'd rather sit on the beach getting fat.
Exactly. Everything has to have so much regulation and organization today that it's a burden for anyone to undertake organizing and expensive for anyone to participate.

If you noticed this race took place the same weekend as Down the Bay which to my knowledge is currently the longest distance Race on the Chesapeake currently being held. As you know, that race was only recently resurrected and is today seen as a challenge. Also I've heard rumors that its future is uncertain. I've crewed DTB on a boat that I know is hella' faster than mine, but its wasn't a lot faster than some of the 42+ foot roller furling main equipped behemoths that are prevalent on the bay today. Those boats even with their cruising amenities could do DTB in fine style in reasonable times yet participation is down. Why do sailors today seem to lack the mettle of sailors from decades past?

Reading this article has me really motivated to attempt both DTB and the Gov Cup this year on my 4ksb. Though as I sit here I can think of a 1/2 dozen reason why I probably won't be able to including lack of crew, expense and logistics of getting the boat to the start and back from the finish etc.
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Old 02-04-2011
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Mid, keep in touch, I was able to find a kind person in Annap who let me tie up to their dock last year a week before the start. Really made it posible for me to do the race. Need to look him up again in March or April. What do you draw?

Coastgaurd foundation is putting together an 80 miler that starts and stops in annapolis b/c people are tired of delivering the boats. To me, it seems great if you're from annapolis. Sucks for everybody else. It'll also be a chance for Jim Muldoon to strut up and down the bay and show off.

DTB is a great time, last boat in our fleet finished on SUNDAY around 0700. Get this, they were still in great spirits. If I wasn't sleeping like a baby in a coma, I would've welcomed them on the dock. They were in cruising trim and loved the trip down the bay. Hampton YC is a nice place. Your boat would do just fine, and if I can find 3 guys to crew for me on a 3000 lbs boat that's 24.5' long, than finding 6 to crew a 36' boat should be a cakewalk (bribe them). I can ask around if you decide to do it. SA is a great resource as well. Logistics for a distance race suck. Plain and simple. But ask around, shop for cheap transient slips, you don't need electric, or water, etc. You'd be amazed at what some people pay for a regatta. ARW cost one skipper $2,000 for 32' boat not including entry fees.

[rant]Only thing I didn't like about DTB was that the committee didn't wait around for the race to end for all classes. Like not even the first place boats from each class. I guess after sitting on a boat drinking beer, you really should rush back to the party to...... drink more beer. Instead of giving a horn to those who bashed through bay chop for the past 34 hours [/rant]

Agreed on the reason distance races are dieing. People don't want to put in the time, effort and money into a race and then come in the bottom 1/3 of the fleet. Somewhere a long the lines people stopped competing, and started either winning or losing. I race sailboats b/c its fun. I have more fun when I win, less when I lose, but I always have fun.
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Yeah, bribes definitley help but the issue as you touched on is people don't want to burn vacation for a sailboat race much less the delivery legs. I have one friend that's a near Olympic level sailor, but she's a recent mother and working on a doctorate so her availability is nil. I might be able to recruit her husband who has some experience but isn't in her league.

I totally agree about planning events too much around the early finishers. If it takes a lot of boats to pay the freight on your long distance race, you need to arrange the event so the slow guys get to enjoy the event and the party. If there was an earlier start for the C and non-spin fleets so they could finish around the same time as the guys in the faster fleets on these distance races and everyone could enjoy a big party and celebrate their accomplishment I think you'd see a lot more guys like me getting involved.

I get that it's racing so it's about getting there first, but you'd think some changes to keep the event healthy might be in order.
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Old 02-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
Just came across this article regarding Chesapeake Bay sailors.

Coquina

Man those guys had some brass ones eh? Things were different then I guess. $15 registration fee? 38 boats for race that would be nearly 4 days long in the best case? Wow!

You'd think with the advent of GPS these types of races would seem less daunting but participation seems to be dwindling for long distance races on the bay that are no where near as daunting as a non-stop DelMarVa circumnavigation.
How about a non-GPS, non-cell phone class? And obviously I'm joking, for we know the response, but really, what is the need?

The first time I sailed around the Delmarva I had a 10-year old for crew and my GPS died about 60 miles into it while still on the Bay. It didn't make a difference; that what ATNs, binoculars and charts are for.

Good story. I understand that one complaint among the racers is difficulty in managing the C&D time allowance. I'm not a racer, but it does seem to be a classic, glaring in its absence. Sailing to Bermuda isn't practical for most, so this should be a very practical ocean racing opportunity.
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Old 12-27-2012
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Re: The Great Ocean Race


Maybe - but back then that was ALL sailing - no GPS and LORAN was fairly new for sailboats too. We found Bermuda using DR, sun sites, and an RDF the next year!

Joe
Coquina

(weird sailnet rule made me take the link out of the quote )


Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmettoSailor View Post
Just came across this article regarding Chesapeake Bay sailors.


Man those guys had some brass ones eh? Things were different then I guess. $15 registration fee? 38 boats for race that would be nearly 4 days long in the best case? Wow!

You'd think with the advent of GPS these types of races would seem less daunting but participation seems to be dwindling for long distance races on the bay that are no where near as daunting as a non-stop DelMarVa circumnavigation.
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