Where they leave from (Newport vs Norfolk vs Beaufort) is a huge under-discussed point
So let's talk about that. Given a choice I'd leave from Norfolk (actually Little Creek) first, second choice Newport, last choice Beaufort.
what experience level they feel is appropriate is another (you can preach hard rules but you may as well howl at the moon)
How do you measure that? Do you mean experience or competence?
I've put two 500 ton masters off boats on deliveries. Clearly paper isn't a good measure.
This this this and some more this! I really think the insurance considerations might be the real elephant in the room that has not really been brought up. People (and their associated rallys) are allowing financial considerations trump safety. The month of October is still certainly still hurricane season, but tropical cyclone prediction seems quite a bit more accurate than North Atlantic fronts. That seems like it would make an October passage a better bet than November. Of course that makes rallys tough, since if there is a tropical storm or hurricane in the area, you could end up staying for a couple of weeks until it goes where it is going to go.
Yep. The other reality is that many rally participants, while having some schedule flexibility, have obligations at home and feel under schedule pressure.
Warning - story follows.
I was headed to the BVI one year (or maybe the Bahamas - I don't remember) with two friends aboard as crew. Janet was going to fly in and meet me. As is my practice we left Annapolis and sailed straight through to Little Creek. It was clear from synoptics (weather fax on board) that we weren't going. Janet had schedule issues that didn't let us wait a week. Instead we had a boy's cruise back up the Bay, eating down the provisions onboard, and had a nice time. Janet and I both flew to the islands for her vacation.
If you have schedule constraints you HAVE to be willing to give up on destinations.
Wow, really? The fact that a boat like Hawk, which is to me almost the definition of a properly designed and outfitted expedition vessel, does not meet ISAF req's but that abomination that Jon showed a picture of in this thread does, tells me a lot about ISAF requirements.
Read Evans FAQ page on their website and you'll see a number of choices they have made, carefully and on purpose, that conflict with ISAF. I won't argue with any of their choices.
By the way, Evans has brought Hawk
to the SSCA Annapolis Gam the last two years and is very approachable. Very good people. Really good stories seem to occur around him. Y'all come next year.