Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 04-19-2014 Thread Starter
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Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?)

Who else shares my opinion that the desire to "win" sometimes overrides the best original intentions?

From the website of the World Cruising Association (organisers of ARC):

Our definition of a rally is safe and social cruising. We offer an element of fun competition, but it isn't a race! Rallies are about crossing oceans with friends; feeling confident and prepared on departure day; having support and friendship at sea; and providing a welcome to salute your achievement on arrival.

A caption to a picture an ARC article in the Feb 2014 Yachting World: "A welcome bottle of champagne goes aboard Caro as her crew of Volvo Ocean Race veterans celebrate their win".

Say what?!?!?

So the rally is now in two parts, one is a hell-for-leather race and the other is a cruise as it was originally intended. And the article speaks more about the record that was smashed and the tough life the racers had "bashing their way" through storm conditions than it does about ordinary families crossing the Atlantic

And the poor buggers for whom this whole event was originally conceptualised get to the finish line days or even weeks after the celebrations are finished. So the boat who may win on corrected time gets his prize from the security guard at the yacht club because everyone else has moved on.

If I ever had the opportunity to organise a rally, the boats would cross the start line at a time inversely proportional to their racing rating. The VOR-equivalents would start like two weeks after the mom-n-pop production cruiser.

And the winning trophy would be awarded to the boat whose sailing time is closest to the average of the first boat home and the last boat home. Get that into your race planner, Mr V.O.R Veteran!

I'm just saying . . . . .
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?)

I'm not sure that the ARC really is like what you are thinking. But; maybe i'm wrong.

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If I ever had the opportunity to organise a rally, the boats would cross the start line at a time inversely proportional to their racing rating. The VOR-equivalents would start like two weeks after the mom-n-pop production cruiser.
This idea though is fantastic!! This is how sailing races should be conducted. This way all the boats cross the finish around the same time. I've never seen a boat race set up in reverse. Great idea!
Reminds me of my drag race days, set up the same way.
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Re: Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?)

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Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
I'm not sure that the ARC really is like what you are thinking. But; maybe i'm wrong.



This idea though is fantastic!! This is how sailing races should be conducted. This way all the boats cross the finish around the same time. I've never seen a boat race set up in reverse. Great idea!
Reminds me of my drag race days, set up the same way.
Unfortunately a two week starting period allows a huge variation in the weather.

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Re: Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?)

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Unfortunately a two week starting period allows a huge variation in the weather.
I agree, that would be a problem. Not only for safety. When everyone starts together, they all need to make choices based on the same weather systems. If spread over a few weeks, the weather would determine the outcome too much.

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post #5 of 26 Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?)

Weather changes can have happen even if everyone starts together. I was in Bermuda a number of years ago when the Newport-Bermuda race was on. They had perfect conditions for almost two days and there was talk of the the super-maxis (forget the names) might finish in 48 hours. The wind quit and two of the super-maxis and one 52' finished and then nothing for a couple of days. After a week plus boats in the 40' range were giving up and motoring in because they were running out of food, water (and I assume beer) There was also a race from the Chesapeake at the same time and the reverse happened. After the big boats came in, the winds picked nicely and the little guys all had no trouble winning on corrected.

I think pursuit races (slow boat goes first) are great but the real racers miss all the shucking and jiving at the start I guess so they are not possible. I seem to remember they had one at the Youngstown YC at the mouth of the Niagara River where there is a good solid current all the time. You started the race according to handicap and there were two turning marks - one upstream and up current and the other out in the lake. You could choose which one to go to first. At the finish you had boats coming from opposite directions to the line.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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Re: Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?)

The ARC isnt as bad as the OP suggests. There are several divisions.

But the op is right... He can set up his own with his own rules.


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post #7 of 26 Old 04-20-2014
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Re: Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?)

Know a guy who did the ARC a few years ago and they were fouled on the start and if I recall correctly another boat even bumped them. That is quite something on a race across the ocean with a huge start line. I think they finished 5th.

End of year rum race in Auckland does what you describe. We finished 2nd a few years back racing against seventy some boats.

Sorry I missed you while in NZ Andre.
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Re: Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?)

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Originally Posted by benesailor View Post

This idea though is fantastic!! This is how sailing races should be conducted. This way all the boats cross the finish around the same time. I've never seen a boat race set up in reverse. Great idea!
It's not unkown, for example The Transpac has been staggering their start over a 4 day period for about 20 years, now...

SAILING / RICH ROBERTS : Staggered Starts Leave Finish an Open Question in Transpac - Los Angeles Times

It's largely the reason DORADE managed to win overall last summer, almost 80 years after her win in 1934...

TRANSPAC: Classic Dorade likely to win Overall Title >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News
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post #9 of 26 Old 04-20-2014
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Re: Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?)

I agree with the OP. When there is some pride on the line, most skippers will push it. Cruising or racing.

I really like the cannonball run idea, for a rally anyway. There is a perfect speed and closest to it should win. However, it would probably need to be calculated after the fact, with actual wind conditions considered. Then adjusted for PHRF. Cool idea.


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Re: Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (really?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
When there is some pride on the line,.
Pride on the line?

Bloody hell, just one sail on the distant horizon and I call all hands on deck! No scum sucker is gunna beat me across no bloody ocean!

I definitely, absolutely have a better Auto-Pilot!




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