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mollyspinsheet 05-26-2011 03:02 PM

Racing is cruising with a purpose... really?
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?

jaschrumpf 05-26-2011 03:04 PM

Racing is racing. Cruising is relaxing. I don't like racing because "having a purpose" tends to not be "relaxing."

smackdaddy 05-26-2011 03:05 PM

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I'll let you know for sure in a couple of weeks after I finish my first offshore race.

At this point, sounds about right to me.

GeorgeB could give some great insight on this one.

blt2ski 05-26-2011 03:11 PM

If I am cruising to a destination, to me racing is no different. BUT, with that said........

If cruising I might sail with a smaller sail, not worry about speed as much etc, but, to me, getting from point A to B, is the same, no matter if racing or cruising, I still have a "PURPOSE" or "GOAL" in mind. Now if on a day sail......where one sails for an hour then turns back.....whole nuther ball of game! Then "cruising" if this is your definition, takes on a different level.


wingNwing 05-26-2011 03:24 PM

Slightly tangential - when Dan was coaching sailing at the Naval Academy, there were two facets to the program. One group was offshore racing; the other used sailing as a platform to teach seamanship, navigation, small-group leadership. He didn't want to get involved on the racing side because he felt the mindset included cutting very very thin margins, and taking big risks (breaking boats!) for small rewards; and that wasn't a philosophy he wanted to convey to the future naval officers.

Our cruising has been, by contrast, with very wide safety/comfort margins. I want it to be fun and pleasant. No particular rush, because whereever we drop anchor, I'm home because I have my home with me. I don't want to be a great sailor, either; I want to have a great life, while sailing.

Just a cruiser POV with a slow fat comfy sailboat!

pdqaltair 05-26-2011 04:00 PM

I try to keep track of when I'm rationalizing. I do it a lot as I age. But I keep track.

I race--a little--everytime there is another boat headed the same way.

The difference with cruising is that you race when you want and stop when it's tiresome.

tommays 05-26-2011 04:07 PM

I do mostly racing BUT reached the conclusion on the 2010 ALI (200 Mile race ) that i don't care for the long ones anymore

After the 14th sail change on the first night :(

VOLDiver 05-26-2011 04:43 PM

I'm new to the board *first post*, as well as sailing, I just finished my US Sailing Basic Keelboat 4 weeks ago. However, I think this has a bit to do with the kind of person you are.

When I do anything I try to do it the best of my ability. If I'm in a car then I'm trying to hit apexes, drive as smoothly as possible, and in general do the same thing I would on the track, but slower for my licenses sake.

During my sailing class the instructor had me rounding buoys day 2 and trying to keep the boat as trimmed out as possible. Day 3 was testing, then trying to get more time dodging the Staten Island Ferry and around more buoys. Why do something half way unless 'forced' to.

This is not to say there's no time to relax. There is plenty of time, when dialed in on a tack, where you basically sit back and just maintain and enjoy.

I'm not advocating carelessness, or dangerous situations. There are reasons racers do everything, and for the most part they are about safety. Since I have limited exposure to sailing (working on this as much as possible) I will use an auto racing comparison. When you take a turn you want to slow in a straight line before turning the wheel, get on the gas as soon as possible in the turn, and hit the apex of the turn.

Each of those actions have safety reasons. Though in the US we have lax automotive drivers ed, if you take a motorcycle course you will be taught every one of them.

For the same reasons racers do certain things, cruisers should do the same, or similar things. Again keeping in mind that those certain subset of things that lower the safety factors should not be carried over. The last thing anyone wants to have to do is make that emergency call.

As always YMMV, this is only my $.02

- Rob

smackdaddy 05-26-2011 04:48 PM

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Welcome to SN vold. And +1 dude.

TimofBlindSquirrel 05-26-2011 05:00 PM

Racing is not even close to what cruising is like. I cruised Lake Superior for 15 years and now race in Chicago. Cruising is relaxing. Racing is not.

I race on a Sydney 41 and we do long distance and buoy racing. Buoy racing is always challenging because of other boats, mark roundings, and the weather. Long distance, like the Chicago-Mac, is a great time, but the constant sail changes is crazy.

Racing teaches you about boat handling, sail trim, and how not to panic when things go wrong. I have learned that if I can use my racing background to get into an anchorage ahead of the crowd or a storm, I am much better off. The best cruising sailors I have ever met once raced. I recommend racing to everyone, even at a simplier level like Flying Scots. You will learn a ton.

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