I totally agree with you. You aren't very good with math. I, like Morganscloud, am talking about the number of SAR cases in each event (though there were actually more calls than cases in the SDR itself, so even that number is low). Where the boat ends up (abandoned or towed) is immaterial.
OK, we'll agree to disagree... I'd suggest there is at least some minor distinction between the case of the dismasted HC 38 that eventually made port under their own power, and the evacuation/abandonment of that OI 41 that required a CG rescue swimmer to jump out of a perfectly good aircraft into the Gulf Stream in the middle of the night... But, that's probably just me - or, maybe that CG helo crew, as well :-)
Again, you're positing that ISAF-regs need to be a 100% cure-all to be effective.
No, I'm not...
I don't think anyone, except maybe you, thinks that's a reasonable expectation. In fact, I think any responsible skipper (greeen or salty) who values good seamanship would think that following the guidelines and advice offered by the ISAF regs would be a responsible, seamanly way to prep themselves and their boats for offshore passagemaking.
However, if you want to be the experienced voice of offshore sailing telling newbie sailors that following safety guidelines like ISAF is useless because things could go wrong anyway...go ahead. I just think that's very dangerous.
There is just no good reason, from a safety perspective, NOT to have them. Period.
Sorry, but I don't understand where you get the idea I believe ISAF guidelines are "useless"... Certainly, they are a decent starting point. But as someone else already noted, they put the focus on the preparation of the boat
, instead of the sailor
... And, they often tend to focus on relatively minor details, while ignoring more consequential matters such as the stowage of massive dinghies on davits, or lining the rail with jerry jugs of diesel... Frankly, I think a careful reading of books by people like Beth Leonard, Steve Dashew, Nigel Calder and Bill Siefert will prove far more productive than ticking off boxes on some ISAF checklist...
Dave has attended some of the SDR's pre-rally seminars, perhaps he can speak better to the sorts of things that were stressed during those... I've met Bill and Linda Knowles, and understand their motivation for starting the SDR, after realizing the 1500 was affording precious little 'bang for the buck' for repeat participants... They wanted an alternative, providing the most essential benefits such as weather routing... However, considering the SDR is being run as a non-profit, and there is no cost to the participants, and the organizers have made it patently clear that they are responsible for their own decisions regarding their own passages, I think it might be a bit of a stretch to expect that Bill and Linda will perform inspections on 130+ boats to ensure they're all in compliance with something like ISAF regs... :-)
Moreover, I'd guess that the use of ISAF guidelines by a rally like the 1500 might largely be little more than a consequence of some lawyer's concern over liability, rather than a overriding concern over the preparation of their fleet... One can't help but notice that the minimum requirements for participation in the 1500 are FAR less onerous than for something like the Newport-Bermuda Race, for example... Why should that be, for a voyage likely to be twice as long, equally challenging, and undertaken in November, rather than June? Well, I suspect the WCC knows that few would put up with such rigorous requirements as those of the CCA for the Bermuda Race, and their number of participants would continue to dwindle...
IMHO, if there was ONE meaningful requirement any of these rallies might have, it would be that at least ONE of the crew aboard every boat had made the trip before... More than anything, that seems to be the primary problem with this stuff, the absence of any sort of offshore 'apprenticeship' on the part of some of these crews heading offshore, the lack of prior offshore experience on the part of some of the skippers and crews headed out there...
But of course, that's the way of the world, these days... On Monday, I'm headed down to Charleston to pick up another boat to take south - just one more $300K 42-footer that happens to be the owner's first-ever boat... :-)