bad to no go

reader rant

bad to no go

As someone who grew up in So. Calif. and now sails regularly on San Francisco Bay, I must admit
to more than a little shock in hearing that the Cal Cup was called due to wind reaching 25k and
seas of six feet  – even ten if you believe the large numbers. (See good to no go? – Ed) What would these guys do out at San
Nicolas Island or trying to round Richardson Rock in the old Channel Island Race? Oh ya, no one
does that race anymore – too tough.

While we certainly call off races due to too much wind up here, in fleets like the Mercury and
other open boats, as you full well know we do not stop racing "real" boats until the bowman
starts blowing off the foredeck. One need only have a look at the last few years of races out
around the Farallon Islands or any of the late afternoon ebb tide races on the City Front to get
great examples.

The only thing I can conclude is that the owners of the TP-52 don’t think that these are "real
boats". I have been part of crews who were told to "go in it’s too dangerous" in So. Calif. only to
be passed by Opti, Laser and Sabot sailors going the other way – the TP-52s would have been
and probably were as they headed for home. It’s sad.

I would point you back to the stunningly good interview on your site that Clean did with Stan
Honey, who suggested that the next AC boats should be boats that are strong enough to sail on
the San Francisco City front in an Ebb Tide and 30k of wind. That way, and I paraphrase, the
boats won’t be useless for ocean sailing.

I would respectfully suggest that these fleets get used to a breeze or give up on Ocean Racing.
No one can accurately predict that they will not see large waves and wind above 25 knots in an
Ocean race, therefore one must conclude these boats aren’t safe to go out of the site of land. I
repeat – it’s sad.