The Swiftsure was a pretty tough affair this year – see article – here is an Anarchist perspective…
Swiftsure was well run this year and every boat we saw enter the harbor was safety checked by the RC on arrival. Every boat we know was well prepared with each crewman carrying the requisite tether, personal strobe, etc.
Conditions were at times simply brutal and carrying the A2 kite in winds gusting over 40 knots with 5 foot wind waves and a big running swell under a carpet of stars on a moonless night was something I will not soon forget.
I’ve sailed both this and the Farrallones and I have to say that I am starting to seriously re-evaluate competing in events where RC’s that fail to place offset marks around hazards as happened in the Farallones race. It encourages racers to make the kinds of decisions we should not be making as competitors regarding time savings and sea room around hazards (especially given the experience of some competitors).
Invariably this leads to disaster as competitors who have not rounded hazards in heavy conditions error in their estimation of the room required to safely round.
Personally I think US Sailing failed to reach this realization publicly not because it wasn’t present in their minds, but they did not want to admonish an RC in a way that might have exposed it to liability.
Unfortunately this means the lesson may not have been learned.