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  #11  
Old 05-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyspinsheet View Post
I have this friend who likes to say that he thinks racing is like cruising with a purpose. I disagree. What do you guys think?
I'd be more inclined to turn that one around... cruising is like racing, but with a purpose (ie a destination). We always strive for good boat speed, reef when appropriate, try to take the best course and advantageous tack whether racing or cruising... and as has been mentioned already, if there's another boat heading in the same direction, well.......

In summers arriving at a popular destination an hour or two before others can often afford you a better anchorage spot, mooring buoy or dock space. It's easy to put that much time on someone who isn't paying attention, esp over a 20 mile leg.
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2011
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There are all kinds of racing - one design, club level PHRF round-the-bouys, offshore distance, etc. I did club level stuff for over 20 years taking home my share of silver and learned a LOT about sail trim, boat handling in close quarters and all kinds of weather, etc. I was even the club measurer for awhile and handicaped the races. I am now a "retired" racer but still enjoy playing with sail trim when out day sailing or cruising. I would never have learned a lot of what I know without the racing experience.
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Old 05-26-2011
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We do both. I can say that the boat handling skills, sail trim, boat knowledge, reading weather 'up the course', etc... learned while racing make cruising much more pleasant. Pushing yourself and your boat helps to know how and when to gauge your limitations, how to sail confidently and effectively in different wind ranges, points of sail, in close quarters, and makes cruising safer IMHO. While cruising, we're not trimming for every once of speed, nor are we loading the sailplan up... conversations with friends and family while sailing, putzing around the destination on foot or by dingy, a raft up and bbq session and the like are what makes cruising a very nice complement to racing.
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Old 05-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyspinsheet View Post
I have this friend who likes to say that he thinks racing is like cruising with a purpose. I disagree. What do you guys think?
I also disagree. Cruising is just sailing with no rush to be some where.

Besides, why would I need a "purpose" to go for a sail in first place?
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2011
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Okay I'll bite. What's the supposed purpose of racing, which is not also a purpose of cruising?
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2011
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Every once in a while, I’ll ask my boat, Freya, very quietly, “do you know if we’re racing or not?” And frankly, she can’t tell the difference (Which can be frustrating when she decides to “run fast” back to the marina after a race.) Setting racing tactics aside, racing is merely a more intense microcosm of sailing in general. You must round that mark, you must make the boat go without using your engine etc. The notion of racers being more careless is mostly urban legend. Breaking your boat is slow and a guarantee of not winning races. It has been my experience that skippers who yell and scream during races will do the same when cruising or commuting to work in their cars. There is a certain amount of “group think” that goes on during a race and you will be more inclined to push it when in the company of others who are doing the same. But, by stepping out of your comfort zone, you will be more confident in deteriorating conditions during a cruise. More than once, I’ve had Zen like experiences while racing. Racing is an excellent opportunity for you to hone your skills and to “dial-in” your boat to achieve its maximum potential and I recommend it to most everyone. No offense, but I think a lot of people use the “cruiser” moniker as a way to mask sloppy or lazy seamanship skills. Boats don’t know if their racing, but they sure know if they are out of trim!
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Old 05-26-2011
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I don't want to be a great sailor, either; I want to have a great life, while sailing
. well put Wing

Having done cruising, competitive racing ( Hobie 16 and keel boats), and delivered a couple of boats across the pond, I appreciate the values of all types of sailing.

Racing honed my competitive edge, it also taught me a great deal about angles, wind, tactics and plotting, sail trim mainly because i was able to learn, watch from others who had different opinions and levels of knowledge.

Cruising satisfies my inner soul, brings me peace and tranquility from a stressful job, puts my wife and I together doing something we both enjoy together. There is nothing like the feeling of visiting or exploring a new place or goping somewhere by water vs land. ( I visited NYC many times in my life, but the first time I rounded Atlantic Highlands and sailed under the Verrazano Bridge and saw the city ( minus the bridge) and the Statue of Liberty in the harbor like the imagrants did.....well it was inspring.

That being said...the admiral would tell you that i also beleive when two sailboats are out together....one is trying to figure what the other one is doing better or why it is faster or slower. A sailboa race commences whentwo sailboats leave the dock.

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Old 05-26-2011
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I'm not a long-time sailor, but this is an opinion I got from the oldest sailor I ever met (98) and so far seems to work for me. I actually asked him once after coming in from crewing in a race and whilst discussing my future plans to take off toward the horizon with my wife, what he thought the difference between racing and cruising was. His answer was pretty much as follows:

"Racing is about getting from one point to another as fast as possible with manageable risk. Cruising is about getting from one point to another with as much speed as you can get with minimal risk. Chances you might take racing you wouldn't take cruising. After all - if you wanted to get there faster, you might as well fly."

I look forward to proving him right
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Old 05-26-2011
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after 40 years of active racing both around the bouys and offshore. I'm retired and only cruise. I can say that racing makes me very attentive to sail trim. another boat on the water makes a race. that being said i have no problem fireing up the iron jenny when boat speed goes below 3 kts.
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Old 05-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
Okay I'll bite. What's the supposed purpose of racing, which is not also a purpose of cruising?
The difference is you race on hull flying cats and planing monohulls. You cruise with teak trim and AC ... although people sometimes pretend they're racing on a cruising boat. Go figure.

(That should get em' going)

Can you even imagine watching an auto race or football game with handicaps? Almost as dumb as club golf and bowling leagues.

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Comparing racing with cruising can be like comparing a walk in the woods with a foot race; they have nothing in common, other than feet. If you chose to hike fast or run in the woods, that doesn't make them alike.
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