I think all these organized races should require all entries to contribute to a pit fund. In other words self insure. That way when any entity be it a government or ship is involved in SAR they would have funds available for re imbursement.
Hummm... these Vendee Globe guys with 20 boats circled the planet making an incredible number of miles on the worst seas of the planet and only one of them called for a rescue while on that recent cruiser rally near the American coast (just some few thousands of miles) three or four cruising boats called for a rescue and you think these racers should have a self insurance in what regards rescue?
I do not disagree but it seems obviously that should extend to all that go offshore according with the risks they are taking.
On the last two more radical races, the VOR and the Vendee globe only one boat called for help and was not able to reach port by its own means.
I have been following the Coast guards rescue calls and only on the last months they have been out offshore 10 times or more for the rescue of cruisers, many that seem badly prepared for what they are attempting or are sailing old boats in bad condition.
So yes, I agree, tax payers should not pay for the rescue of boaters that are there not for need but for choice and pleasure.
It should not be difficult for the insurance companies to do an insurance to cover rescue costs as I am quite sure they would be able to evaluate correctly what are the boats that are more vulnerable in what regards the need for a rescue, what seasons, what waters and what sailing experience the skipper has and charge prices accordingly with that.
I agree with you, it seems more than fair to me
It would also prevent crazy guys to go with unsuitable boats offshore because or they would not be insurable or they will pay so much that they will think twice before doing something as risky.