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Old 17-10-2017, 17:07   #16
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

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Double handed is minimum number for N2B. Huge experience resume required for qualification.
I was suggesting an alternative.
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Old 18-10-2017, 08:57   #17
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

I forgot to add that I definitely will be sailing from New England to Bermuda, but not under the auspices of the NTB folks. As noted before, off shore sailing carries some risk, but can be mitigated through common sense, preparation, pursuit of other's experience, your own experience, with the understanding that one should not rely on the USCG to come to your rescue. Jim, with this approach I would hope that rescues are rare and hence the need to legislate safety requirements for cruisers unnecessary. Now off to replace my ancient "life" lines...
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Old 18-10-2017, 10:38   #18
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

I spent a few days in informal meetings last month with the organizers of the NTB and Transpac races. My take is that the safety requirements are indeed 'lawyer driven'--these guys really want to avoid any loss of life and the attendant lawsuits. However, they have to walk a fine line between safety and driving away the competitors.

One of the topics was requiring the satphones to be left on to receive incoming calls from the race committee. Their reasoning is that if there is a problem with another boat, they want to be able to direct nearby boats to assist. I pointed out that they did not require the alternative SSB's to be left on, and that text messages would probably work better, especially with systems like the Iridium GO.

Another topic was mutihull entries. Transpac has let multihulls race officially for a while, and was quite happy with the results in 2017. Participating in these discussions were the multihull designer Gino Morelli and a professional mutlihull boat captain.

The perceived issues with multihulls are handicapping and safety. None of the race organizers wants to deal with a capsized multihull in their offshore event. They are relatively comfortable with the professionally raced boats, but not comfortable with amateurs and smaller multis.
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Old 18-10-2017, 10:39   #19
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

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I find it a sad thing when the personal injury and other lawyers drive the offshore racing rules. I'm glad that I did mine when participation was not so mired in artificial requirements.

Next thing every nation will be following the Kiwi's and having the same sort of rules for cruising. I do not look forward to that.

Jim

I completely agree with your sentiments, Jim and, in my opinion, there's no need to back off your remarks. We are becoming suffocated with government intervention in our lives from the workplace to where and how we recreate. The government always wants to protect us and it always results in greater costs and more regulation. This is what has attracted many minimalist sailors like Roger Taylor, Igor Zaretskiy, and Rory MacDougall to the Jester Challenge where rules and regulations do not exist. Our world is changing quickly and eventually, the costs associated with sailing will become so expensive that it will prohibit most from the sport. Good luck and safe sailing
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Old 18-10-2017, 12:28   #20
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

Your lawyer comment is very valid. Thought about doing the Single Handed Transpac a few years back. Got the requirements for the boat and gave up. It was several thousand dollars of needless modifications and added equipment to the boat. Just did it solo leaving a few weeks later than the race. Made much better time though that had nothing to do with my great sailing ability but better winds. Didn't need to get the 'T' shirt.
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Old 18-10-2017, 21:29   #21
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Re: Newport to Bermuda Race 2018. But Why?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I spent a few days in informal meetings last month with the organizers of the NTB and Transpac races. My take is that the safety requirements are indeed 'lawyer driven'--these guys really want to avoid any loss of life and the attendant lawsuits. However, they have to walk a fine line between safety and driving away the competitors.

One of the topics was requiring the satphones to be left on to receive incoming calls from the race committee. Their reasoning is that if there is a problem with another boat, they want to be able to direct nearby boats to assist. I pointed out that they did not require the alternative SSB's to be left on, and that text messages would probably work better, especially with systems like the Iridium GO.

Another topic was mutihull entries. Transpac has let multihulls race officially for a while, and was quite happy with the results in 2017. Participating in these discussions were the multihull designer Gino Morelli and a professional mutlihull boat captain.

The perceived issues with multihulls are handicapping and safety. None of the race organizers wants to deal with a capsized multihull in their offshore event. They are relatively comfortable with the professionally raced boats, but not comfortable with amateurs and smaller multis.


Having done 10 of them over 30 years... I think I have some insight into both topics.

When SSB was required you had to check in (schedule), report position, and maintain radio watch at specific times. Since the advent of the trackers, the check in seems like a waste of time to have someone sitting in the nav station noting positions and plotting them on charts to see where you stand in the fleet. In fact it will be coming on 20 years soon, when just about every boat had a sat phone to both check position and get weather (the boat I was on in 2002 had it at least, and I am sure many before that).

Over 10 races (8 as navigator or watch captain) I have have participated in requests for assistance twice. Both via VHF. One we could barely hear (and were not reachable on SSB), and turns out later it was a recovered MOB. The other was a double handed boat with one crew going into diabetic shock. We did not have any medical supplies that could be of assistance, fortunately a cruise ship nearby did.

To get back on topic. Installing a SSB on boat used to be and probably still is very, very expensive. When you saw a racing (note racing) boat with the insulated back stay in the North East - it was “there is a boat that is going to Bermuda!”. Maybe some of that snuck into the RCs requirement for permanent sat phone installs. And if permanently mounted, why not leave it turned on?

So now let’s turn this into a mono vs. multi thread

The race is steeped in tradition. It allowed Nirvana a 65’ extraordinarily heavy boat by today’s standard to hold the course record for decades. Biggest boats allow were Max IOR rated (maxis back then). At some point they allowed the MaxZ 86er’s in as experimental (not eligible for first to finish honors), culminating in Commanchee smashing the record last year (did not matter to press, even dedicated Sailing press), that she was also “experimental” or “open” class. Who can remember the the Gibbs Hill Light House first to finish yacht last year? Or Saint David’s for that matter?

I think there is a huge factor that everyone who enters the race thinks they can win it. Look at Sinn Fein, a Cal 39 that won it twice in the 2000’s. If they want participants to accept multis, they want them lumped in with the Open class, and Bermuda will have to build another light house to fashion a trophy after. They don’t want boats sailing in their own weather systems, finishing the race before they even have to consider what a watch system is.
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