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  #401  
Old 12-07-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Has any rally negativity stopped anyone from participating in, Rallies? I do see the SDR has grown exponentially in just 3 years. That looks like a vote for that type of less stringent rally, and that they are gaining in popularity.

I see the problems that Rally-negs dwell on('herding'), but in Rally's-vs- Solo boats, does anyone know if these problems are more common on a per boat basis in Rally-vs-solo boats?

Or is just that you get the condensed version of 100 boats sailing at the same time, vs 100 boats sailing at 100 different times.

It seems all the boats and crews that set out to sea are completely different from each other. Articles like Harries try to put them all in one box.

No offense to Rally-negs(and Smackdaddy, the OP), but, have Rally's,...gone wrong?
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  #402  
Old 12-07-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

I think you make a really good point Tom.

The more meaningful discussion around the rallys is less about Rally A vs Rally B and more about what sorts of things that aspiring offshore sailors (individually) should be thinking about in advance of their departure. Where they leave from (Newport vs Norfolk vs Beaufort) is a huge under-discussed point; what experience level they feel is appropriate is another (you can preach hard rules but you may as well howl at the moon); what equipment another (my boat is smaller than the smallest in either rally . . . what does or should that mean?).

You must make those decisions whether you shove off alone or as part of an organized passage. Rallys may entice some because of the social and or logistical benefits, but I doubt anyone is really saying to themselves, I am going to sail in Rally A because their inspection requires IASF regs, etc.. The fact is the decisions about experience and equipment and jump off spot and all need to be made by the skipper whether they are part of a rally or not. The experience of those respective fleets (and fleets in many rallys in recent years) should be instructive. Unfortunately, I think many are reluctant to relate those experiences because of the sort of posturing that goes on in many of these threads.

Anyway, not to hijack smack's thread, but I'd find a discussion of those points much more enlightening and useful than a bunch of absolutes about what rallys should or should not be.
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Old 12-07-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post

The issue that hasn't been addressed is that of the insurance companies policy with regard to named storms and the calendar. The old 1 October date became 1 November. The actuaries decided that another month would reduce the probability of hurricane damage. In exchange those headed South offshore are more likely to hit nasty conditions associated with big frontal passages. Not all of us fit under the bridges on the ICW, and even those who do don't like the journey so much.
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.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
With regard to ISAF and other offshore safety regulations I suggest you consider this: S/V Hawk does not meet those requirements. I'd sail with Beth and Evans on Hawk anywhere. I'd welcome them aboard Auspicious (also not currently meeting ISAF requirements) - wait I did, but just for drinks. Ultimately the crew is more important than the boat. That's where all the rallies fall short - too much emphasis on the boat and not enough on the crew.
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.

I would still say they might be good guidelines, but to require them to be followed to enter a rally, should on so desire, seems rather silly to me.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
I think you make a really good point Tom.

The more meaningful discussion around the rallys is less about Rally A vs Rally B and more about what sorts of things that aspiring offshore sailors (individually) should be thinking about in advance of their departure. Where they leave from (Newport vs Norfolk vs Beaufort) is a huge under-discussed point; what experience level they feel is appropriate is another (you can preach hard rules but you may as well howl at the moon); what equipment another (my boat is smaller than the smallest in either rally . . . what does or should that mean?).

You must make those decisions whether you shove off alone or as part of an organized passage. Rallys may entice some because of the social and or logistical benefits, but I doubt anyone is really saying to themselves, I am going to sail in Rally A because their inspection requires IASF regs, etc.. The fact is the decisions about experience and equipment and jump off spot and all need to be made by the skipper whether they are part of a rally or not. The experience of those respective fleets (and fleets in many rallys in recent years) should be instructive. Unfortunately, I think many are reluctant to relate those experiences because of the sort of posturing that goes on in many of these threads.

Anyway, not to hijack smack's thread, but I'd find a discussion of those points much more enlightening and useful than a bunch of absolutes about what rallys should or should not be.
I agree that Tom makes some good points. And so do you. So don't worry about hijacking anything. It's a discussion.

However, I also agree with Morganscloud's take. For example, despite your point above Ausp, I absolutely do think you can make the same financial argument for the SDR that you can for the 1500. The SDR pulls in sponsorships (stuff/money) which will be based on their numbers of participants - so there is financial incentive, despite the fact that there is no entry fee. That's just the way it is. Any other argument is a smokescreen.

I think Tom's and stink's points above are where the rubber really meets the road. If ANY rally has such a low bar for entry that you're not getting people that know and have the answers to the questions above, you're being very irresponsible facilitating them heading out into the GS in November. Period.

And this irresponsibility is then compounded if you're not taking any steps to ensure some level of safety across the fleet you've organized.

So, all of your points are valid. And much of this debate would be moot merely by the rally organizers increasing the level of experience for participants. As for what that bar is - that's the discussion.

Finally, Tom, in light of the number of SAR cases in this particular rally, I'm comfortable saying that yes, this was one that "gone wrong".
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  #406  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyle38 View Post
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.

I would still say they might be good guidelines, but to require them to be followed to enter a rally, should on so desire, seems rather silly to me.
So arg - I'm trying to figure out your stance here. Do you support these types of fall rallies?

And if so, are you saying that these organizations should not worry about a standard of experience or safety?
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  #407  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post

Finally, Tom, in light of the number of SAR cases in this particularly rally, I'm comfortable saying that yes, this was one that "gone wrong".
Fair enough. What evidence convinces you that number of 'cases' in the 120+- SDR participants are at a higher rate than solo boats?
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyle38 View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyle38 View Post
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.
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  #409  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomMaine View Post
Fair enough. What evidence convinces you that number of 'cases' in the 120+- SDR participants are at a higher rate than solo boats?
That I don't know. This was one of your questions that I thought was very good though.

To be honest, my guess is that the percentages would be close comparing the two. If this were the case, however, the issue would be more that of stretching the CG's resources by concentrating so many calls in one time period. This is a rally danger in and of itself that hasn't really been addressed.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
So arg - I'm trying to figure out your stance here. Do you support these types of fall rallies?

And if so, are you saying that these organizations should not worry about a standard of experience or safety?
Basically my view is that there is room for all sorts of Rallies with varying levels of requirements, so long as anyone is free to head out of the inlet on their boats, regardless of how well prepared.

If one boat can go out unprepared, two boats can sail together, happens all the time. If two boats can go, then four boats can travel together, and so on until you have a rally. There is really nothing any of us can do about except preach against going to sea unprepared, which is a noble cause in general. But, in my opinion, preparedness is 100% on the captain and 0% on any rally organizer.

If you don't think the SDR is good enough because they don't require enough experience or equipment, then that's fine, don't join. I just don't think they should be prevented from organizing because of that. And the revelation that Hawk isn't ISAF compliant shows that particular standard is not the final word in seaworthiness.


However, after saying all that, joining a fall rally is not something that I would likely do.
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