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  #451  
Old 12-09-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post

That said, I'm now very interested in the reasons behind this split between the 1500 and the SDR. What does Mr. Day mean when he says, "not run in the true spirit of the cruising lifestyle"?
Well, I wouldn't presume to speak for Mr. Day, but I'm guessing it might have something to do with the fact that most cruisers aren't in the regular habit of writing $2K checks to some organization prior to the start of every offshore passage they might make :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Yep - an interesting story here...

This is from the Blue Water Sailing website:
CAPTAINS LOG | DECEMBER 2013 | BLUE WATER SAILING MAGAZINE | CRUISING, SAILING, BOAT REVIEWS, GEAR, CHARTERING | 888.800.SAIL

Am I reading this correctly? Are these people related to the other Knowles who founded the SDR?
Whoa, I'd say in your desperate search for The Smoking Gun, you're reading WAY too much into that :-)

Who knows if they're related to Bill and Linda? What real difference would it make?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
And they wouldn't sail in it?
Where is that stated, or implied?

Could it not be possible that Day's boat partners are - like him - very experienced sailors returning to the Caribbean for another winter there, and have simply chosen to sail directly via Bermuda, instead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
And the writer (and their boat partner) seems to be the same Mr. Day (the BWS publisher) that had the quote above and sponsored the SDR - and he wouldn't sail in it either?
Again, where is that either stated, or implied?

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Okay - this is getting weird.
Only because you seem to be on a mission to make it so... :-)
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  #452  
Old 12-09-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Fair enough - I should have typed "didn't" sail in it. As for where it's stated or implied, read the article. Among other things, it says this:

Quote:
But not all skippers join rallies.... Most of those are independent souls like Tony and Judy who have spent all summer and fall getting Lime’n ready and will set sail when the weather suits them.
Also, Lime'n is not on the tracker list for the SDR. I don't know if there is a fleet list somewhere else, but...

In any case, it's an interesting story. Maybe the issue was the fees being charged for the 1500. But this statement by GeorgeD:

Quote:
There was another rally out there but it was not free and not run in the true spirit of the cruising lifestyle.
...just makes me wonder if it's just the entry fee at issue.

And it's "Smoking Anchor" silly.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 12-09-2013 at 05:57 PM.
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  #453  
Old 12-10-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Okay - I think I've figured out the fundamental problem here (I'm slow) via this statement by George Day of Blue Water Sailing (a sponsor of the SDR):

Quote:
In Norfolk, Va., the Caribbean 1500 is also getting ready for their November start. A fee based event, the 1500 appeals to new cruisers who want the supervision of rally organizers who mandate gear and equipment for each boat and then provide in depth boat inspections.
This is in-line with Jon's and Ausp's - and others' - complaints about adding unneeded regulations and costs in sailing. If you are an experienced, capable skipper - why in the hell would you want the above? I think this is likely the primary reason these people split from the 1500 - and it makes perfect sense.

These people who have already done the trip are obviously not new cruisers, they don't need or want the supervision of rally organizers, and they don't need or want a gear/equipment mandate or inspection. And they certainly don't want to pay for this stuff they don't need. They are confident in their experience, boat, knowledge, and capabilities. And this is all well-and-good...for the experienced cruisers.

BUT, according to George's statement above, the SDR is in a very precarious position. Does it want to be what is was apparently founded to be: An alternative to rallies like the 1500 which are geared to "new cruisers" - i.e. - only for experienced cruisers? Or does it want to be what it is envisioning for the future in its sponsorship pitch - to "demonstrate its roll [sic] as an educational organization by fostering and teaching seamanship, safe boat handling, navigation and other skills needed by blue water sailors" - i.e. - much more for new cruisers?

The bottom line is that it can't be both under its current set-up. In fact, it's currently the worst of both worlds in my opinion.

If they recognize the 1500 as the kind of rally that provides the structure and education needed by new cruisers (see the above quote), but then solicit these new cruisers with a low bar to entry (in terms of both experience and cost) - without providing a similar structure...there's a serious problem.

Yes, it ALWAYS comes down to the skipper...solely and completely...period. That's unequivocal. But there are many, many different levels of skippers...the lesser experienced of which look to the more experienced for advice. So what advice do you give them?

Jon asked me this:

Quote:
What, so now it's the responsibility of the SDR to issue public pronouncements of disapproval upon every hypothetical passage potentially being undertaken by some newbie out there?
Until the SDR has a safety and preparedness educational structure in place (like they say they are committed to doing) similar to the 1500's my answer to this question is: Absolutely.

They should be willing to say exactly what Jon said (with a slight addition):

"A newbie without much offshore experience has no business sailing his own boat from Newport direct to the Caribbean in November.

If you insist on doing it, we'd recommend a rally like the C1500."


It is absolutely that simple.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 12-10-2013 at 11:51 AM.
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  #454  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Until the SDR has a safety and preparedness educational structure in place (like they say they are committed to doing) similar to the 1500's my answer to this question is: Absolutely.

They should be willing to say exactly what Jon said (with a slight addition):

"A newbie without much offshore experience has no business sailing his own boat from Newport direct to the Caribbean in November.

If you insist on doing it, we'd recommend a rally like the C1500."


It is absolutely that simple.
OK, so how do you KNOW they haven't actually done that? Do you know, for a fact, that the SDR approved the application of every single skipper that submitted an entry form this year? Or, that even those who might have been forthcoming and completely honest about their lack of offshore experience, would have been invited to participate, anyway? What evidence is there to support such an assertion? Wouldn't one need to be privy to every single application submitted to Bill and Linda, to back up your implication that they may not be willing to do what you suggest?

Look, we've long ago reached the point of quibbling over "what the meaning of 'is' is, here..." This parsing of every phrase, and so on, really is pretty meaningless until these terms are better defined... I admitted long ago that these respective qualifications for the 1500 and SDR are so vague as to be essentially meaningless, we can only guess at what either organizers consider to be the absolute defining perameters of "experienced", or "bluewater passage"... But I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and concede the possibility that if that hypothetical newbie of yours came to them with an application, they just might be turned away, given their admitted lack of experience...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
As for the SDR, I think it goes back to your earlier statement about why it was founded - for those who had done the 1500 previously and weren't getting the bang for the buck. If the SDR limited entry to those who'd done the run previously (i.e. - had that level of experience), I wouldn't be talking about it.
Once again, how do you KNOW that?

Are you suggesting that the only boats that got into trouble this year lacked sufficient offshore experience, and that those who had made such a passage before were therefore immune to such difficulties?

What about ZULU, who had made the very tough 2001 NARC Rally without any major problems, and yet lost her steering in this year's SDR? What tidy little box does she fit into?

Last edited by JonEisberg; 12-10-2013 at 01:08 PM.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Smack, don’t read too much into the non-profit thing. I see a lawyer advising the rally organizer to protect his personal assets in the event of a lawsuit by setting up a corporation. Under the tax code there are a limited number of non-profit types, each with their own rules and attributes. The rally wouldn’t qualify as a church or religious organization so the best fit would be an “educational” non-profit. Just because they are setting up a corporation to protect their personal assets, don’t think that they are now going to change their focus and begin ”teaching” newbes like yourself on how to cruise.
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  #456  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

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Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Smack, don’t read too much into the non-profit thing. I see a lawyer advising the rally organizer to protect his personal assets in the event of a lawsuit by setting up a corporation. Under the tax code there are a limited number of non-profit types, each with their own rules and attributes. The rally wouldn’t qualify as a church or religious organization so the best fit would be an “educational” non-profit. Just because they are setting up a corporation to protect their personal assets, don’t think that they are now going to change their focus and begin ”teaching” newbes like yourself on how to cruise.
Damn. I had high hopes. Who doesn't want some sailing lessons with roasted pig and booze at the end of the day?
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  #457  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
OK, so how do you KNOW they haven't actually done that? Do you know, for a fact, that the SDR approved the application of every single skipper that submitted an entry form this year? Or, that even those who might have been forthcoming and completely honest about their lack of offshore experience, would have been invited to participate, anyway? What evidence is there to support such an assertion? Wouldn't one need to be privy to every single application submitted to Bill and Linda, to back up your implication that they may not be willing to do what you suggest?

Look, we've long ago reached the point of quibbling over "what the meaning of 'is' is, here..." This parsing of every phrase, and so on, really is pretty meaningless until these terms are better defined... I admitted long ago that these respective qualifications for the 1500 and SDR are so vague as to be essentially meaningless, we can only guess at what either organizers consider to be the absolute defining perameters of "experienced", or "bluewater passage"... But I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and concede the possibility that if that hypothetical newbie of yours came to them with an application, they just might be turned away, given their admitted lack of experience...



Once again, how do you KNOW that?

Are you suggesting that the only boats that got into trouble this year lacked sufficient offshore experience, and that those who had made such a passage before were therefore immune to such difficulties?

What about ZULU, who had made the very tough 2001 NARC Rally without any major problems, and yet lost her steering in this year's SDR? What tidy little box does she fit into?
You're making things too complicated, Jon. This is what we KNOW:

Quote:
The Salty Dawg Rally is comprised of blue water sailors who have completed at least one blue water passage. There is no formal inspection of each boat...
That is the publicly marketed standard for entry. And you, and others, have agreed that that's a low bar for this trip. No parsing required.
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  #458  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Smack (or any of you) -
Why should a rally be harder to join than for one to sail themselves?
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  #459  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

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Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
Smack (or any of you) -
Why should a rally be harder to join than for one to sail themselves?
Speaking for myself, the only reason I'm hammering on this is the psychology behind it...stated or otherwise.

If you are going to head out completely on your own, you absolutely know, you're completely on your own. That drives your mentality for everything from preparation to calculation of risk to self-assessment of abilities, etc. And this is where most all the experienced sailors are in their viewpoints. And it's right.

As is stated in the marketing of most rallies, however, you're sailing "in a group" (though that's a serious stretch once you get out there) - in addition to receiving other benefits like weather advice, etc. I don't think anyone would argue that's NOT a very different psychology than above...especially for less-experienced sailors. I think it colors risk assessment for that group. As others alluded to previously, it's an illusion of security. The sea is still the sea.

So, something needs to balance this disparity...whether its a higher standard of entry, or a focused effort to make those less-experienced sailors more self-sufficient. Whatever.

But, this all obviously gets way more complex when it's in the context of a financially-driven organizing entity (whatever that entity may be). How do you balance all these things? I'm not saying it's easy...just important. It has to be addressed.

The alternative, of course, is to, as Jon says, do the miles over time (on your own and with better sailors for the harder stuff) and get to the point where you're confident in yourself and your boat (I'll also throw in some safety training like the SAS). Then you can head out on your own, COMPLETELY on your own schedule, and go where ever you want without signing a single waiver. What could be easier?
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Smack- Bikers have a saying-even in a group ride YOU RIDE YOUR OWN RIDE. Biker also know it is more dangerous to ride in a group because the jerk next to you may do something stupid and your ability to act and react are limited by those around you and you are somewhat dependent on the decisions of the group leaders. I left rides even when designated a road captain because I did not like the co riders (drunk) or decisions of the leaders. I have only one life. I approach sailing the same. There were 3 outbounds in the SDR. They all left early and got there safely in 7 1/2d. Some had pro captains with them. Some not. All owners had their own wise decisions on what they were going to do with their boats and their lives. As they say "you can't fix stupid". Now reading about the boats that got in trouble I don't think any fit in that group. I do think as everyone has said the responsibilities of a captain rest on the captain not rally organizers.
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