The course of the 1500 is 090 from Hampton to cross the Gulf Stream
quickly. From there it is a rumb line to Tortola. The minimum size boat
is 40 feet. That is for two reasons.
First, they want all the boats to arrive more or less together after a 7 to 10 day passage
. Smaller boats, having a lower hull speed
, tend to take longer. The crew misses the parties.
Second, the 1500 organizers are very strong on safety
(as they should be) and packing all of that is required to pass the pre-departure inspection
would be hard to do on a smaller boat
Lastly, if you scheduled your route
to coincide with a rally you could derive cumfort from their proximity. Sailors are a helpful lot and are always happy to blather on about the best way to do this or that. If you try a port-to-port trip going down the coast you will have to make many landfalls while you are alone. Some of these may have to be at night where the lighted channel bouys can be lost
in the shore side light clutter. Is your navigation
up to the task? Are your nerves up to it? Better to learn the sailor's craft off shore in good company and make your first landfall with a mimimum of stress. You will have plenty of time for stress later on.