Last Man Standing
Join Date: Aug 2008
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?
Some interesting perspectives have come up in the Mutiny and Know It All threads. And, while they are based in the age-old angst between "Racers" and "Cruisers" (which will likely never be resolved), I think there is a great deal of middle ground that is kind of perfect for SN.
For example, me. I LOVE offshore racing. But I'm not at all "hardcore" about it at this point in my life. In the races I've done, one boat was the more "hardcore" boat (spartan accommodations and food, worries about weight, lots of tension and yelling, etc.), the other boat was all about enjoyment (great food, nice accommodations, serious-yet-chilled environment, etc.).
The funny thing is, the second boat performed much better than the first.
I am about to start "racing" my own boat. But I'm going to be perfectly content in the "Aloha Class"-style divisions. We'll have plenty of water, plenty of great food, plenty of nice drinks, and every comfort we can think of short of a strap-on jacuzzi. We'll take it all "seriously" and do our best to win our division, but my primary goal is having a great time and enjoying the trip...win or lose. I'll just expect us to be safe, and improve our performance with each attempt.
Low bar? Maybe. But it's still racing to me.
The bottom line is, racing is just about the best possible way to improve your sailing skills. And it's a great deal of fun. It doesn't have to be done to the extreme most cruisers point to when denigrating racing. Just like cruising doesn't have to be done in a full-keel 2KSB with an acre of solar panels like most racers point to when denigrating cruising. There's definitely middle ground.
S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40