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Old 20-02-2008, 02:37   #1
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Why Sponsor and encourage Bad Seamanship?

Ok, this is not a rant or anything derogatory about the guys who Ocean race at breakneck speeds sometimes requiring expensive public rescue. Nothing about their choice of boat and quite different from Americas Cup or coastal races, with a controlled environment.

If for the sake of argument and by definition we agree that, “exceeding a safe speed for the prevailing conditions IS considered bad seamanship” and doing it in the middle of the Ocean, with no safety net is akin to Evil Kineivel jumping the Grand Canyon (Exciting, but would you want your son to be encouraged to do same?)

What ALTERNATIVE achievements and competitions can we, the sailing consumers, encourage sponsors to promote as a way to improve our sailing way of life, thereby making us eternally grateful?

Rough Examples:
1. International competition where national manufacturers compete to build the “Greenest” 40 ft sailing yacht (both mono and multi hull)


2. International competition where national manufacturers compete to build the safest single handed yacht with completely self tending sailing equipment for ocean going storm conditions.


3. Substantial Prize awarded to the first manufacturer who designs a practical ocean going sailboat that in severe storm conditions can be closed up, water ballasted and sink to 90ft, until the storm passes overhead.

Any other suggestions or refinements to the above and is it just me, but shouldn’t we as sailors be encouraging Sponsorship of a more practical and direct benefit to us all?
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Old 20-02-2008, 03:45   #2
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Some of those sound pretty good.
It is all about the money and percentages though.
And I am not very good at math.
Personally I think there are much better, safer rig ideas at little extra cost - just not "the way we do it."
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Old 20-02-2008, 05:00   #3
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Unfortunately, having experience and ability has been replaced with having money . . .
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Old 20-02-2008, 05:53   #4
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Unfortunately, having experience and ability has been replaced with having money . . .
I believe it is no different today than it was 2000 years ago.

If I had the money, I would by now, have much more experience.
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Old 20-02-2008, 06:06   #5
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I agree with your ideas for safer and more productive competitions, but I think you are answering your own question with your statements about Evil Knievil etc.

It is the excitement/danger/adventure factor. People do not stand in line to watch automobile vehicle safety tests. The want NASCAR, Evil Knievel, Sky Diving, cage fighting, etc. They like to WATCH someone else do these dangerous, exciting evolutions. Like you said, I would not want my son trying to do it, but I will someone else try (hypocritical ?? not sure).

You hope that they will do everything they can to ensure the greatest margin of safety they can through planning, training, equipment selection. But like NASCAR, someone is always hoping they get to see a crash. And to a lesser extent, we do the same thing, we plan, train, educate ourselves, maintain our boats, get the best equipment we can/afford and head out on the sea.

I'm working towards heading to the Bahamas, which is still a huge step for my wife, and there are people out there that think circumnavigating, regardless of experience level, equipment etc is nuts. It's all perspective.
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Old 20-02-2008, 06:16   #6
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Originally Posted by caribnsol View Post
I'm working towards heading to the Bahamas, which is still a huge step for my wife, and there are people out there that think circumnavigating, regardless of experience level, equipment etc is nuts. It's all perspective.
Wow! Me too. You would think it would be easier for me. It's 3 degrees this morning in Rapid City, SD. I thought calling the bathroom a head, rope = lines, miles = knots would gently work her towards living aboard. All it's done has gotten her staring at me strangely.
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Old 20-02-2008, 06:49   #7
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Howabout just having a contest to see how many sunsets one can see from their boat.

Maybe alternately sunrises, depending upon where you are and which is better to see at the time.
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Old 20-02-2008, 07:14   #8
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OK,
1) Sounds like a great idea for an annual event. I would want to open it to amateur builders and make it a competition to design the greenest vessel from raw materials to use culminated with a blue water crossing.
2) The annual Desert race for robotic vehicles they have in California comes to mind. This could be a great competition to have builders design a boat that can handle a race unmanned. Could be fun.
3) Not too sure about this one, but maybe a boat with hydraulic systems to unstep and stow the rig, then armor the hatches and port lights. It would be heavy and slow, but would be an interesting concept.
Not really sure how I feel about bringing the push button transmission and automated parallel parking to sailing, but it is an idea.
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Old 20-02-2008, 07:55   #9
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Question Y Knot Cover ALL the Costs?

I agree with Pelagic that having these darned fools single handedly blasting around the world's seas at breakneck speeds is the height of stupidity but I don't see that stoping the practice. I do, however, think that the participant's (and/or sponsors) should be paying the cost of their rescue should that become necessary; and, the cost of damages to anyone that might suffer by their stupidity. This can most easily be covered by requiring participants to provide a certificate of catastrophy insurance issued by an acceptable insurer (Lloyds ?) as a condition of participation.

Life is rather different now than it was when Blondie Hassler first organized his TransAt, or Chichester or Alec Rose their single handed circumnavigations; which gave rise to many of today's competitions. Then, knowing that one could only rely upon one's own seamanship and survival skills, one prepared one's yacht accordingly and accepted the idea that if one was not up to the task, the trip might be one's last. The starkness of this explicit agreement between man and sea kept the ill-found and ill prepared largely out of harms way and in no case did the public bear the burden of bailing out the participants except near-shore where life saving services were available to all and frequently provided by voluntary services such as the RNLI. Today's "EZ Button" rescue systems allow virtually any fool to take to sea--and they do--secure in the knowledge that heroic young men and women will willingly risk their own lives to save them and all at no cost to them what-so-ever. If they can spend millions on their yachts, a few more thousands for "Rescue and Liability Premiums" seems reasonable, no?

s/v HyLyte
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Old 20-02-2008, 08:39   #10
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While it's not something I would ever do, I think it's pretty incredible... Sailing at 40+ kts has got to be a rush. I don't have a problem with these folks pushing the boundaries. It's people doing this sort of thing that got us to the moon, or were the innovators in the early days of aviation. They need to know and accept the risks, but all the more power to them!

If you ever come across the book "The Race" by Tim Zimmerman, about The Race in 2001, it's a great and exciting read about the sort of people that do this sort of thing.
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Old 20-02-2008, 09:13   #11
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<exceeding a safe speed for the prevailing conditions IS considered bad seamanship…>

Although I tend to stay on the “get regulations away from me” end of the Liberty/Control continuum, I whole heartedly agree that my pursuit of (whatever) should not endanger an unsuspecting rescue service, with better things to do – to borrow from the auto world, it is one thing to race on a sanctioned track with dedicated rescue and aid personnel bought and paid for, but quite another to street race where one must depend upon the county/volunteer rescue squad to pull one’s bacon out of the fire…

But back to the original statement, I’m a little concerned that “prevailing conditions” might be narrowly construed simply as “weather…" -- prevailing conditions, I’d propose, could reasonably include weather, vessel and crew… It would be the height of stupidly for me to try to carry enough sail in enough wind to double my boat’s hull-speed – in part because I don’t think I think that fast anymore; but for many vessels and crews, it is not only logical but normal… thus; I’m very hesitant to open the door for some desk/land/harbor bound PX-commando bureaucrat to write such regulations…

I agree that Hassler and Chichester probably lived in a much different world, but so long as their principled and ethical philosophies of dependency upon self-rescue are still generally applied, I think we’re good…
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Old 20-02-2008, 09:20   #12
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Again, the intent of this thread is not to knock anybody but to convince Sponsors that they will sell more products if they actually support events that benefit everyone (not just the risk takers)

My examples were “rough” but when I see the enthusiasm here when someone talks about new developments in batteries, solar and wind generation, or new design ideas, what has been achieved may not be “spectator stuff” but it captures our attention.

Getting into the mindset of giving them the recognition of achieving something worthwhile is what I believe, we should be lobbying for…. by organising “Specific Challenges”

Ok my submersible sailboat might be a stretch to some and before it’s time, but I think it will eventually be done incorporating ballast/snorkel and steadying fins within unstayed turbo sails.

The point is what kind of Challenge do you think could be marketable to the Sponsors?
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Old 20-02-2008, 09:28   #13
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I am all for he green challenge. Sounds like something that people would want to participate in, and sponsers would want their name attached to.
I would get a kick out of seeing all those hemp lashed wood boats with hemp sails competing against the recycled plastic boats with poly sails
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Old 20-02-2008, 09:38   #14
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<but to convince Sponsors that they will sell more products…>

Point taken… however, from my limited experience I think heavy sponsorship, and heavy promoting dependant on same, have ruined, or at least heavily distorted, more sporting events than it has helped… I say take away the counterfeit stimulus, and much (not all, of course…) of the incentive to exceed reason goes away…

I’m not a sailboat racer (no inclination…) but have been in and around the world of competitive motor sports for many decades and have seen what sponsorship has done to the core of those sports – sure the promoters want the exposure, which they promise to the sponsors (both event and vehicle, and now media), which then spins to the point where we have timeouts, pace laps and other falsities just to work in another TV-spot – or competitors that race over their heads just to get their mobile billboards in front of a camera for a few more minutes… but other than attracting a few more pseudo-fans, who typically understand little of the sport other than the glitz and pageantry, I’m not sure there has been a big improvement…

As for `events, I like the underwater sailboat – submarine races have always been popular spectator sports… (actually, it’s an intriguing idea…)
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Old 20-02-2008, 09:43   #15
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In my early days, I remember my girlfriend and I watching the submarine races on many a starry night.
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