This thread would have to be the biggest heap of stinking armchair excrement I have seen on Sailnet in a while.
Two boats we know very little about have gotten in trouble offshore in circumstances we know very little about. Thats the story. That and they were part of a rally.
Standards??? Regulation??? From Mr BFS.......
Because cruising is not racing.
I go cruising to escape bureaucratic morons trying to tell me what to do. Thankyou very much but I will not be asking them to inspect my boat and grant me permission to take my boat offshore.
It begins and ends there.
Rallies can be fun. I didn't think they would be our cup of tea, but they have helped us build confidence, not because we expected other experienced boats to bail us out offshore, but because we got to chat with those guys before we went and we learn't a thing or two and when we got there those guys were also there to raise a glass and toast the fact that we had conquered challenges.
If any one let's a rally make decisions for them and follows blindly then they are an idiot and need to read the two words above. However if being in a rally every now and then makes us bad, irresponsible silly sailors then......
My point is that if someone is going to put on an organized, sponsored sailing event (be it rally or race) that is this big of an off-shore passage - there should be a high standard of safety that participants should adhere to. This is especially important in the case of a rally, where the notion of "cruising in a group" creates a false sense of security...which, in turn, creates undue risk for less prepared participants. This risk, therefore, is created by the organizers of the event - and can only be balanced by them requiring a higher standard of safety and preparedness (e.g. - ISAF regs).
This says absolutely nothing about how and where an individual like you wants to cruise. Sail where ever you want, when ever your want, with whatever other boats you want. I have never believed in the need for "papers" to go sailing. The whole "nannny state" argument is a load of crap in this case. It's a red herring.
The bottom line is this: When an organization encourages groups of sailors, the level of preparedness of whom it has no earthly idea (beyond very basic and vague "offshore experience"), to undertake such a large passage - it has a level of responsibility...if not liability...for standards of safety for that group. And this is especially
true if this organization is in any way realizing revenue from the event. And I want to make it clear I'm talking about any organization - not particular one.
There is absolutely no reason ISAF regulations should not be in place, and enforced, for a sponsored rally....just like a race. This is nothing but good for everyone involved.
(PS - As "Mr. BFS", I have always advocated sailing big...pushing your envelope. Absolutely. But I've always
advocated doing it safely. The bigger the sail, the higher your standards of safety and preparedness need to be. There's absolutely no conflict here. It's really just common sense...unless you want be believe an unprepared skipper should forever sail into serious trouble simply because he has the right to.)