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Too many fly-by-night RTW races hurts everybody

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#1 Foolish



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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:44 PM

I was just reading about a new singlehanded RTW race using the new "Ocean50" boats.  This race will start and finish in France, and only stop at French ports around the world.   About once a year or so some famous sailor announces his plan for a new RTW race with some new twist on the topic.  We had two using the Class 40's but one of them died before even the first race and the the Global Ocean race is allowing full crews, so the singlehanded race will probably fall off. On top of that it has been postponed a couple of times.  The Around Alone was failing so it added the questionable twist of "eco" boats and it is still falling away as well.  In the mean time we've had a couple of races featuring one design boats that never left port at all.  The key thing about all of these races is that they were all formed by well known sailors with an excellent background.   I know that it is insulting to call them "fly-by-night" but having seen most of them fail, I can't think of any other term.


I think that a skipper would be nuts to go out and buy a boat for some race with the risk that the race will run at all, and with the risk that the race will fail after the first edition so there is no aftermarket for the boat.  And why would a company sponsor a boat with these risks?  If we add in the problem that a race might be postponed by a year or two at the whim of the organizers, then the problem is even worse.   These races take a major investment in money and time by the entrants.  Why would anyone risk both until an event is proven?


I don't know the solution, but it sure seems to me that adding another new race to the mix is nothing more than throwing spaghetti at the wall in the hopes that one noodle sticks.