You probably cannot find two more different races than the OSTAR and Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge, yet hundreds of sailors are in the Atlantic right now with little on their minds besides finishing their race.
The OSTAR is a modern challenge that carries on the traditions of the original OSTAR, founded decades ago by Blondie Hasler. The Newport finish means a Northerly route and all the nastiness that entails for the skippers, which include our gal pal Katie Miller and a pile of others from 18 years old to 68.
The Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge is an entirely different creature, with eleven working tall ships racing from the Canaries to Bermuda. Each ship has from 15 to many dozens of crew, but by all accounts, these big, unwieldy beasts are being worked hard by their captains as they race for pride – captains like another friend of SA, Sydney stud skipper Simon Colley. While the OSTAR competitors eat freeze-dried pasta, the tall ships eat fresh-baked bread and bouillabaise – but these racers do share something in common for this race – they are all communicating their asses off.
With the organizers of both races setting up good tracking of the fleets along with a centralized ‘clearing house’ for blogs, updates, and twatters, each race is full of good stories and fun facts. The competitors of both events – at least some of them – seem more concerned with telling their friends, families, and fans about their race than they do with winning it. Not a bad thing in our eyes.