As for "suffering" such safety regulation - you're right. This appears to be a primary reason the SDR was started (from the above article)...
The SDR had 116 boats. The C1500 had 30. So the SDR's "seasoned mariners" (i.e. - "those who have completed at least one blue water passage") definitely seem to like less rigidity. It's just that the approach and outcome of both rallies is raising some valid questions.
Yes there are vaild questions, and perhaps in the fullness of time, what you suggest might be found true....to a degree or not....
it might just be coincidence and bad luck.
When I started offshore cruising I agreed with you wholeheartedly.
Like I said I certify my boat (as part of a yacht club I have to in order to participate in club events, yes cruising events as well
) I have I guess over time become more cynical in my approach.
Too much time is spent meeting the letter of law rather than the intent of the law.
BTW I have done 'Safety at sea' twice now, to look at a boat on the ocean now you need to do the course here.
I need to go and do a revalidation course next year to continue to be 'safe'.
I love letting off flares, who doesn't it's a hoot, but does it need to cost me $400.