I agree with you that there are some things that need changing with Cat 2 OSR for local racing but my point is lets present the cat 2 rules and then waive the following requirements for the following reasons... That way you are showing the compromises already being made and rules don't come as a shock to people who have never heard of the OSR.
Forgive my jumping here a week later, I was out of town and did not have the patience to type on a tiny iPhone keyboard...
I have to admit that I personally came into this process as a big ISAF OSR fan. In roughly 2010 the OYRA board which is responsible for 9 of the 15 races that don't leave the Gulf of the Farallones did a major review of the rules we had prior to that time. We had a checklist that was fairly complete, but the first sentence said if there were any discrepancies then ISAF Cat 2 took precedence. It had not been looked at for many years so it was out of date. You can find the list that was the result of the review here http://www.yra.org/O...inequipment.pdf
Despite the 2006 date on the file name it was 2010 work. This is what you suggest we do, with the full ISAF Cat 2 with US Sailing prescriptions, with our own local changes based on some reality. Basically we waived liferafts and lifelines and some other accommodation stuff like stoves and heads in order to appease the smaller boats.
You would not believe the ration of shit I took over this list. Basically lots of boats said they would not race OYRA because of the requirements. A lot like the the discussion here. We also did not inspect, so who really knows how well boats were prepared. I think most of the fleet was in compliance and when we did some spot inspections last year it was 100% good.
When the NCORC was formed I thought it would be appropriate for the Single Handed Sailing Society (SSS) to simply review the OYRA list and let us know what was distasteful and should be removed. The response which was mostly polite was basically 'you've got to be kidding' and used terms like 'non starter' and the reality was that this approach was not going to work.
We have a diverse group of racers and Organizing Authorities here in SF. We have OYRA that now does 9 races and has close to 60 boats signed up for the most popular race (Farallones), we have SSS that does two races , a single handed Farallones and a single handed (maybe double too?) Half Moon Bay race to a destination (~140 boats between the two), we have the Bay Area Multihull Assn (BAMA) that does a single race called the Double Handed Farallones race that draws an average of 67 boats over the last three years (2012 was a big wind day so the numbers are skewed), we have the Island Yacht Club that also does a single race called the Double Handed Lightship race that draws about 40 boats (#s based on the last 3 years). We then have Santa Cruz and Monterey destination races that draw a few dozen boats each. You can count them many different ways to see who has the most boats/starts/racers, etc. The reality is that OYRA has a high sign up number, but low show-up number which is unfortunately pretty typical around here because it is a series that spans 9 races and 6 months. The others show good show up numbers in relation to sign ups since they are all pretty much single race events (SSS does have a season in/out of the bay with some throw outs). This is all just background and not really the point.
We have racers that do a dozen races a year with multiple OA's including races beyond the area, and we have boats that do a single race every year or two, and some that only do a single race ever.
So realistically we had a choice. Take a hard line and nothing changes. OYRA sails with modified OSR's and everybody else does their own thing. We decided to try and find a compromise. The group charged with sorting this out took the SSS list for ocean races and used it as a starting point (BAMA and IYC had even less, other OA's used the OYRA list). We then built a spreadsheet that compared the SSS list item by item with the ISAF Cat 2 with US Sailing Prescriptions. We sat in a room and went through it item by item. If the group felt it improved safety and had a reasonable 'bang for the buck' (effort and $) then it stayed on the list. If not it was dropped. We tried very hard to simplify the verbiage of the requirements wherever possible.
For example, ISAF takes a couple of pages to define a radio with a masthead antenna, and we simply said you need a radio with a masthead antenna (yes, we are looking at this).
So the reality is that we most certainly did not ignore the ISAF Cat 2 list, if fact it was the basis for most of what we did. This was not a re-invention but a simplification.
My ISAF OSR centric stance has changed through this process. Do I think that every boat should review the ISAF Cat 2 OSR's and decide what among the requirements makes sense for their boat and their program? Absolutely. Do I think that ISAF Cat 2 should be our take-it-or-leave-it list? No, I don't think that that serves the mission we have been given of standardizing requirements and improving ocean safety in the Gulf of the Farallones.
NCORC can only provide recommendations for what to do. OA's can do whatever they please, just like OA's can choose to use ISAF or not (in the US, most do not). We are trying to come up with a list that has a greater chance of actually being adopted by all of the OA's in our area.
Thanks for your input, we really do want to hear every side of everybody opinion when making this decision.