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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Who else shares my opinion that the desire to "win" sometimes overrides the best original intentions?

From the website of the World Cruising Association (organisers of ARC):

Our definition of a rally is safe and social cruising. We offer an element of fun competition, but it isn't a race! Rallies are about crossing oceans with friends; feeling confident and prepared on departure day; having support and friendship at sea; and providing a welcome to salute your achievement on arrival.

A caption to a picture an ARC article in the Feb 2014 Yachting World: "A welcome bottle of champagne goes aboard Caro as her crew of Volvo Ocean Race veterans celebrate their win".

Say what?!?!?

So the rally is now in two parts, one is a hell-for-leather race and the other is a cruise as it was originally intended. And the article speaks more about the record that was smashed and the tough life the racers had "bashing their way" through storm conditions than it does about ordinary families crossing the Atlantic

And the poor buggers for whom this whole event was originally conceptualised get to the finish line days or even weeks after the celebrations are finished. So the boat who may win on corrected time gets his prize from the security guard at the yacht club because everyone else has moved on.

If I ever had the opportunity to organise a rally, the boats would cross the start line at a time inversely proportional to their racing rating. The VOR-equivalents would start like two weeks after the mom-n-pop production cruiser.

And the winning trophy would be awarded to the boat whose sailing time is closest to the average of the first boat home and the last boat home. Get that into your race planner, Mr V.O.R Veteran!

I'm just saying . . . . .
 
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I'm not sure that the ARC really is like what you are thinking. But; maybe i'm wrong.

If I ever had the opportunity to organise a rally, the boats would cross the start line at a time inversely proportional to their racing rating. The VOR-equivalents would start like two weeks after the mom-n-pop production cruiser.
This idea though is fantastic!! This is how sailing races should be conducted. This way all the boats cross the finish around the same time. I've never seen a boat race set up in reverse. Great idea!
Reminds me of my drag race days, set up the same way.
 

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I'm not sure that the ARC really is like what you are thinking. But; maybe i'm wrong.



This idea though is fantastic!! This is how sailing races should be conducted. This way all the boats cross the finish around the same time. I've never seen a boat race set up in reverse. Great idea!
Reminds me of my drag race days, set up the same way.
Unfortunately a two week starting period allows a huge variation in the weather.
 

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Unfortunately a two week starting period allows a huge variation in the weather.
I agree, that would be a problem. Not only for safety. When everyone starts together, they all need to make choices based on the same weather systems. If spread over a few weeks, the weather would determine the outcome too much.
 

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Weather changes can have happen even if everyone starts together. I was in Bermuda a number of years ago when the Newport-Bermuda race was on. They had perfect conditions for almost two days and there was talk of the the super-maxis (forget the names) might finish in 48 hours. The wind quit and two of the super-maxis and one 52' finished and then nothing for a couple of days. After a week plus boats in the 40' range were giving up and motoring in because they were running out of food, water (and I assume beer) There was also a race from the Chesapeake at the same time and the reverse happened. After the big boats came in, the winds picked nicely and the little guys all had no trouble winning on corrected.

I think pursuit races (slow boat goes first) are great but the real racers miss all the shucking and jiving at the start I guess so they are not possible. I seem to remember they had one at the Youngstown YC at the mouth of the Niagara River where there is a good solid current all the time. You started the race according to handicap and there were two turning marks - one upstream and up current and the other out in the lake. You could choose which one to go to first. At the finish you had boats coming from opposite directions to the line.
 

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The ARC isnt as bad as the OP suggests. There are several divisions.

But the op is right... He can set up his own with his own rules.

:)
 

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Know a guy who did the ARC a few years ago and they were fouled on the start and if I recall correctly another boat even bumped them. That is quite something on a race across the ocean with a huge start line. I think they finished 5th.

End of year rum race in Auckland does what you describe. We finished 2nd a few years back racing against seventy some boats.

Sorry I missed you while in NZ Andre.
 

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This idea though is fantastic!! This is how sailing races should be conducted. This way all the boats cross the finish around the same time. I've never seen a boat race set up in reverse. Great idea!
It's not unkown, for example The Transpac has been staggering their start over a 4 day period for about 20 years, now...

SAILING / RICH ROBERTS : Staggered Starts Leave Finish an Open Question in Transpac - Los Angeles Times

It's largely the reason DORADE managed to win overall last summer, almost 80 years after her win in 1934...

TRANSPAC: Classic Dorade likely to win Overall Title >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News
 

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I agree with the OP. When there is some pride on the line, most skippers will push it. Cruising or racing.

I really like the cannonball run idea, for a rally anyway. There is a perfect speed and closest to it should win. However, it would probably need to be calculated after the fact, with actual wind conditions considered. Then adjusted for PHRF. Cool idea.
 

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When there is some pride on the line,.
Pride on the line?

Bloody hell, just one sail on the distant horizon and I call all hands on deck! No scum sucker is gunna beat me across no bloody ocean!

I definitely, absolutely have a better Auto-Pilot!




Mark
 
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bell ringer
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Pride on the line?

Bloody hell, just one sail on the distant horizon and I call all hands on deck! No scum sucker is gunna beat me across no bloody ocean!

I definitely, absolutely have a better Auto-Pilot!




Mark
When the autopilot is in charge do you find that it yells at you about why can't maintain the sail trim?
 

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When the autopilot is in charge do you find that it yells at you about why can't maintain the sail trim?
It did a few times till I threatened to unscrew it and throw it overboard.

Now we have complete harmony.
 

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I'm guessing it's all about money, again. I think what started as a fun time is once again being perverted by the money big boats and the racing community generate. Way back when, Antigua Sailing Week, was just an end of season party for the charter boats in the Caribbean; no big name sponsors like Rolex, no billion dollar boats and Mt Gay flowed liberally to lubricate the fun.
I'm not saying the organizers of an event shouldn't make some money for all their hard work, but greed seems to creep in and ruin it in the end, every single time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unfortunately a two week starting period allows a huge variation in the weather.
As it does when the slow boats are two weeks behind the full-on racers.

I don't see a difference.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry I missed you while in NZ Andre.
Hey Scott, we looked for you in every anchorage over the 5 weeks we were out there and never got lucky. Maybe next time.

Hope your enjoyed your cruise.
 

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As it does when the slow boats are two weeks behind the full-on racers.

I don't see a difference.
You are correct that is your boat is going to miss all the parties at the end you will not get your full moneys worth.

So if you are going to spend the $2,000 aprox its just like buying shoes: make sure they fit you first!

:)
 

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Where is Smackdaddy? I don't know how you all can discuss this without him . . .;)
 

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Who else shares my opinion that the desire to "win" sometimes overrides the best original intentions?

From the website of the World Cruising Association (organisers of ARC):

Our definition of a rally is safe and social cruising. We offer an element of fun competition, but it isn't a race! Rallies are about crossing oceans with friends; feeling confident and prepared on departure day; having support and friendship at sea; and providing a welcome to salute your achievement on arrival.

A caption to a picture an ARC article in the Feb 2014 Yachting World: "A welcome bottle of champagne goes aboard Caro as her crew of Volvo Ocean Race veterans celebrate their win".

Say what?!?!?

So the rally is now in two parts, one is a hell-for-leather race and the other is a cruise as it was originally intended. And the article speaks more about the record that was smashed and the tough life the racers had "bashing their way" through storm conditions than it does about ordinary families crossing the Atlantic
Seems to me that might say more about the tone of the article, than the rally itself... The cruising division still comprises the large majority of participants

And the poor buggers for whom this whole event was originally conceptualised get to the finish line days or even weeks after the celebrations are finished. So the boat who may win on corrected time gets his prize from the security guard at the yacht club because everyone else has moved on.
Well, I haven't seen the article you're referencing, but I've gotta wonder where that notion comes from...

The fleet left Las Palmas on 24 November last year. The awards ceremony in St Lucia was held on 21 December. Now, last year turned out to be an unusually light and slow passage for many, but with a fleet whose average size is roughly 50 feet, that seems a very generous time allowance to make that passage. In fact, with the awards ceremony scheduled so close to the holidays, wouldn't surprise me if many of the crew along for the trip might have already returned home by that date...

The "poor buggers" for whom this rally was originally founded have never been the typical Mom & Pop cruisers many might think. The ARC has long been dominated by the brands like Oyster and Swan, then in the last decade or so morphed into a conduit for large charter boats relocating to the Caribbean from the Med for the winter. The racing division serves to add some spice for the professional crews delivering such yachts, but I hardly think it exemplifies what the ARC is still really about...

I'm not saying the organizers of an event shouldn't make some money for all their hard work, but greed seems to creep in and ruin it in the end, every single time.
Well, these rallies are certainly not my style, but if they have in fact become "ruined", why are they more popular than ever before? Why does the close of entries occur earlier and earlier each year?

This year's ARC opened to entries in September and was already full with 245 yachts by January.
It would appear today's sailors can't get enough of these things. The number of Transatlantic rallies is now up to FIVE...

Besides the two ARC rallies, there will be three other cruising rallies this November and December: the new Christmas Caribbean Rally from Lanzarote to Antigua; plus two others created by ARC founder Jimmy Cornell: the Atlantic Odyssey from Lanzarote to Martinique; and Atlantic Odyssey II from the Canarian island of La Palma to Grenada.

Read more at Transatlantic rally boom? | Yachting World
Hell, the rhumb line from the Canaries to the Caribbean has become almost as well-trodden and crowded as the route up Everest :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, these rallies are certainly not my style, but if they have in fact become "ruined", why are they more popular than ever before? Why does the close of entries occur earlier and earlier each year?
Possibly because more and more unskilled sailors are wanting to do an ocean voyage and live under the misconception that being in a rally, you'll have a friendly neighbor to call on if you get it wrong.

There are several rallies in NZ that head for the South Pacific each year and some boats leave thinking that they will be in sight of other boats all the way to Fiji but by nightfall they have seen their last accompanying boat until they pull into the destination anchorage.

The "poor buggers" for whom this rally was originally founded have never been the typical Mom & Pop cruisers many might think. The ARC has long been dominated by the brands like Oyster and Swan
I also think that there is a misconception about the boats in the ARC being mostly Swans and Oysters. The misconception probably created by the same yachting mags that portray it as a race because nobody wants to read about the large number of production boats involved - there's no glamour in that.

So here are a few stats from the entry list of the ARC2104:

Number of entries 254
Number of Swan (any length) = 14
Number of Oyster (any length) = 16
Number of "production" boats (Bavaria, Beneteau, Jenneau, Hanse, etc.) = 80

And that's not counting the "one-offs" like Roberts, Etap, Moody and so on which number another 73.

So the Oysters and Swans are not that prolific at all.

Number of boats less that 14 metres = 121
Number of boats 14 to 15 metres = 39

So the "up to 46 footers" account for nearly half the entries - another 16% are mutlihulls.

Number of boats in I Cruising division = 173 (68%)

Average LOA of boats in I Cruising division 14.24m

So the perception of large Oyster/Swan dominance is just plain wrong.
 

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Possibly because more and more unskilled sailors are wanting to do an ocean voyage and live under the misconception that being in a rally, you'll have a friendly neighbor to call on if you get it wrong.

There are several rallies in NZ that head for the South Pacific each year and some boats leave thinking that they will be in sight of other boats all the way to Fiji but by nightfall they have seen their last accompanying boat until they pull into the destination anchorage.
There are many reasons why sailors choose to sail in rallies, of course. But the question I was asking was why the ARC has become more popular than ever, if indeed it has become "ruined" for the mass of its participants by the infusion of money, and a high performance racing division...

From what I know about the ARC, I think the participation level of "unskilled sailors" is minimal to non-existent, it has generally seemed like a very competent group, to me... Their record speaks for itself, given the number of boats that have done that rally, there have been very few of the sort of 'head-scratching' incidents we've seen over the years from other offshore sailors...

I also think that there is a misconception about the boats in the ARC being mostly Swans and Oysters. The misconception probably created by the same yachting mags that portray it as a race because nobody wants to read about the large number of production boats involved - there's no glamour in that.

So here are a few stats from the entry list of the ARC2104:

Number of entries 254
Number of Swan (any length) = 14
Number of Oyster (any length) = 16
Number of "production" boats (Bavaria, Beneteau, Jenneau, Hanse, etc.) = 80

And that's not counting the "one-offs" like Roberts, Etap, Moody and so on which number another 73.

So the Oysters and Swans are not that prolific at all.

Number of boats less that 14 metres = 121
Number of boats 14 to 15 metres = 39

So the "up to 46 footers" account for nearly half the entries - another 16% are mutlihulls.

Number of boats in I Cruising division = 173 (68%)

Average LOA of boats in I Cruising division 14.24m

So the perception of large Oyster/Swan dominance is just plain wrong.
Certainly, "dominance" was a poor choice of words on my part... What I was really getting at, was that high-end boats such as Oyster, Swan, Hallberg-Rassy, etc. appear to be "over-represented" in the ARC, compared to more popular production brands...

Looking at the entry list from 2013, the most popular builder was Jeanneau, with 20 entries. Oyster, however, ties with Beneteau for second place, with 18 boats. Considering the number of Jeanneaus in existence, compared to the number of Oysters out there, there would seem to be a far higher proportion of participation among the owners of Oysters...

Hallberg-Rassy builds roughly 125 boats per year. Bavaria builds upwards of 2,500. And yet, both builders had the same number of entries, with 12... Bavaria builds 500 more boats per annum than Nautor/Swan has built in their entire history, yet there were 10 Swans in the 2013 ARC... Seems to me if the ARC was really reflective of the percentages of cruising boat ownership worldwide, the numbers would be skewed to a far greater extent to the most prolific brands, no?

My point was simply that I think the ARC has long been 'over-represented' in that regard by high-end builders such as Amel, Discovery, Southerly, Sweden, X-Yachts in addition to those already mentioned, and that people like Richard Matthews were very successful in touting the comparatively high numbers and success of Oyster in the rally, in marketing the Oyster 'brand'...

World Cruising Club - ARC Entries
 
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