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Old 20-12-2016, 08:30   #1
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Why don't you race - honest?

I'm a racer-cruiser, trying to help my local club revive it's racing program. I've tried to solicit input, but my reach is mostly limited to established racers - probably not the right audience. Data suggests only about 5% of sailboat owners are avid racers, we want to reach out to the other 95%, (with no expectation or reaching large numbers).

So why don't you like to race regularly?
Please be brutally honest, we're mostly anonymous here.

Thanks for your thoughts!

I've put the top ten from our informal poll below, but only if you need prompting, otherwise I hope you'll ignore it. Optional reading (informal poll):
  1. We bought a boat for rest & relaxation - competing isn't relaxing!
  2. Racers yell at novices, no thanks
  3. Racing is expensive
  4. Finding/keeping crew is like 'herding cats'
  5. Don't know all the rules - they're way too complicated
  6. Yacht club culture is too elitist
  7. Don't know much about sail racing - and don't know where to find out. No one's ever reached out to us.
  8. Why risk a collision with an aggressive racer?
  9. Racing organization is a lot more work
  10. Racers drink too much

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Old 20-12-2016, 08:57   #2
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

I do race. But not on my boat. OK, I have raced the C30TR in non-sanctioned races just for fun of guests.

The only boat I race on is a 1924 R Class, and I do it for the joy of pure sailing; nothing else sails like it. Certainly not my C30, nor the fantastic plastic racing machine-of-the-week.

All said, I have no interest in racing. Yes, I'll admit, I've learned a lot. But I like to go somewhere, not just sail in circles.

I prefer to transport rather than race. The rest of the guys think I'm nuts. To each their own.
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Old 20-12-2016, 08:57   #3
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

1. mostly, but as I have raced most every other type of vehicle I have owned I don't say don't, just my IP is intentionally set up to be about the furthest thing there is from a race boat, not that I have raced before, but even I can see most of what I have done is contrary to racing. Weight, windage, heavy sails etc.

On edit, I also don't have the time either. This Christmas vacation will be spent removing the old waste tank, replacing hoses, improving the vent and installing a macerator pump so I can empty it myself, last weekend was finishing the install of the chain stopper, there will still be a lot of work to do after we leave, but I'm trying to get as much as I can done prior to leaving.
We are about 5 or 6 months from casting off, maybe less.
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Old 20-12-2016, 08:58   #4
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

In my case, it's because I'd have to join a yacht club to get a rating etc and it's too expensive
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Old 20-12-2016, 09:05   #5
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

I used to race, but don't any more.

It may not be the reason, but right after crossing the finish in the last race I was in, the boat jibed and I took the boom of a 44' C&C to the side of my head.

I used to enjoy excitement. Now I prefer peace and calm.

My wife is a very competitive person. She is pushing me to race our boat. I'm not quite there yet.

Also, I recognize that racing is hard on the boat. I usually sail short-handed and try not to be in a hurry -- and so I sail conservatively. I'd be more likely to carry full sail, deeper, if I were racing. There's a reason my insurance deductible doubles during a race.
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Old 20-12-2016, 09:07   #6
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interloper View Post
I'm a racer-cruiser, trying to help my local club revive it's racing program. I've tried to solicit input, but my reach is mostly limited to established racers - probably not the right audience. Data suggests only about 5% of sailboat owners are avid racers, we want to reach out to the other 95%, (with no expectation or reaching large numbers).

So why don't you like to race regularly?
Please be brutally honest, we're mostly anonymous here.

Thanks for your thoughts!
We pretty much quit racing when the Corinthian spirit was squeezed out of the sport by the "...do anything to win..." characters and entirely when one needed to carry a copy of the Racing Rules of Sailing in the cockpit and a protest flag attached to a back-stay ready to hoist--when the sportsmanship went out of the sport and bozo's wanted to play "chicken" at a starting line. Who needs that for the sake of a cheap plastic trophy. We've real silver on the mantle piece earned when "fair sailing" was the rule.

For those that don't know, haven't experienced Corinthian Sailing:

Quote:
The Corinthian Spirit is the code through which we judge our actions and gauge our decisions on the racecourse and in our personal lives. Sailing is a self-governed sport where each competitor must possess a high moral standard and personal code of ethics in order to have a fair race. The Corinthian spirit is a law greater than ourselves that maintains the underlying foundation for sailboat racing as well as the way in which competitors choose to live their lives.
For more see (click on) Lesson Learned.
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Old 20-12-2016, 09:10   #7
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

I just got tired of it. Racing is great fun and very educational, but it is also a lot of work. I guess I don't love it like I used to. Nowadays I would just rather cruise.
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Old 20-12-2016, 09:11   #8
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

I guess because its not mandatory and because I dont want to.

I dont want to ride a horse either.
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Old 20-12-2016, 09:20   #9
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

i saw what racing did to my ericson,.... no way. will not voluntarily twistoflex a boat not meant for the job, lotsa damages.
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Old 20-12-2016, 09:21   #10
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

I raced for a long time then got out of sailing completely while my kids were little and did marathoning instead. I think I just got the whole racing thing out of my system. Now moving back to the states, especially New England, my options for sailing at this time of year are 10 foot bathtubs, 50 on the starting line.
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Old 20-12-2016, 09:25   #11
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

I usually only do the long races because I like going somewhere. If I were to do the Wednesday night races at the Yacht Club then I'd have to get out of work early, along with trying to find enough crew. I don't have even halfway decent sails either. So my old slow boat and once or twice a year racing crew do the long hauls and have fun. We make it a yearly tradition and have fun with it. Also I don't have a ton of spare money for new sails, feathering prop, new running rigging ect.
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Old 20-12-2016, 10:13   #12
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

Time mostly. As with most things.
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Old 20-12-2016, 10:29   #13
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

30 years of racing experience as boat owner and on occasion as crew.
Have raced to Bermuda, Halifax NS on a Swan 46, around Jamaica, numerous Key West Race weeks, Block Island Race Weeks, I have owned and raced several one designs to include several different J Boats to include J-35 OD, Etchells and Star Boats. Have competed in several North American Championships and one Worlds. Have owned and raced many PERF type boats also. And I am still learning!
Despite continuous numerous offers as crew I only cruise today.
Reason? Guess I got it out of my system.

There are times I think about buying another race boat but then sanity sets in and I go back to planing my next cruise.
The expense of racing at a competitive level has increased dramatically over the past years. Yes some have gone to smaller boats such as the J-70. Melges 24/32 etc but many campaigning these boats have more then one that are kept at various venues. They hire Group 3 crew and arrive at regattas two weeks in advance to practice. Which becomes a 6 figure price tag per year to campaign a small boat.

But what about the local Yacht/Sailing Club Venues?
I understand where you are coming from so my suggestion is when you find those that want to race but maybe a little intimidated go with them a few times and teach until they are ready to do it on there own. Maybe smaller fleets with the better sailors so the newbies can see what it's like? Maybe organize some match racing which can be a lot of fun and you only need two boats. Organize fun regattas where everyone gets a prize.

Certainly starting early may help and that can be accomplished with local junior sailing programs. Although that was not successful in my case with two daughters that would bring a book when they went racing with me and that was around the buoys! Yet today with both in college they say gee dad wished I had raced more with you growing up. However given the opportunity to sail in the Caribbean they are onboard in a flash and leave whatever they are doing to go.

I myself grew up in an environment where I could only dream of sailing with very little money to live much less afford any kind of boat. I was taken back that my kids took it for granted. But because of the financial aspects I believe sailing clubs that have a few boats to rent may be the answer for many more to enjoy a sport that offers so much .
Despite the discomforts I have endured some of my fondest memories other than my family when lying on my death bed will be remembering those regattas that were unbelievably exciting, the camaraderie of friends and crew, the venues and oh yes the victories. Then there was the agony of defeat
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Old 20-12-2016, 10:37   #14
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

We have easy going club races with only a few rules: everyone wears life jackets, have fun, starboard tack has right of way, give way around bouys...

We won many races over the years, but quit trying to win because it wasn't fun anymore. We always raced for fun and didn't really care if we won or lost. However, a few were good sailors and very competitive.

We still sail in the races to support the club but choose not to be competitive.
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Old 20-12-2016, 10:41   #15
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Re: Why don't you race - honest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interloper View Post
I'm a racer-cruiser, trying to help my local club revive it's racing program. I've tried to solicit input, but my reach is mostly limited to established racers - probably not the right audience. Data suggests only about 5% of sailboat owners are avid racers, we want to reach out to the other 95%, (with no expectation or reaching large numbers).

So why don't you like to race regularly?
Please be brutally honest, we're mostly anonymous here.

Thanks for your thoughts!

I've put the top ten from our informal poll below, but only if you need prompting, otherwise I hope you'll ignore it. Optional reading (informal poll):
  1. We bought a boat for rest & relaxation - competing isn't relaxing!
  2. Racers yell at novices, no thanks
  3. Racing is expensive
  4. Finding/keeping crew is like 'herding cats'
  5. Don't know all the rules - they're way too complicated
  6. Yacht club culture is too elitist
  7. Don't know much about sail racing - and don't know where to find out. No one's ever reached out to us.
  8. Why risk a collision with an aggressive racer?
  9. Racing organization is a lot more work
  10. Racers drink too much

Apart from the complete uncompetitiveness of my boat, my main issue with racing is with my perception of racers as a bunch of rude, aggressive, type A jerks that I go sailing to avoid, not to be amongst.

Having said that, I'm racing every time I go sailing. It's just that I get to pick the boats that I can beat, and avoid racing the fast ones.
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