Our Wednesday posting regarding this weekend’s Singlehanded Farallones Race got some feedback, specifically with regard to the the quote from Coast Guard LCDR DesaRae Janszen that "singlehanded races to the Farallones are one of the most dangerous races on the West Coast."
SSS Race Chair Emeritus Max Crittenden wrote to point out that the SSS’s safety record is unblemished. We forwarded Max’s email to LCDR Janszen, who acknowledged that point, and also made a very good case for her point. Here’s her summation:
"The Coast Guard’s heart and soul is protecting life at sea," she wrote. "As far as my records show, we have never had a fatality in your race, but that does NOT mean it is not inherently dangerous. I salute you and your racers for being the quality of sailors that can handle a very challenging race without losing anyone. So please don’t take offense to me calling your race dangerous — it is, but thank goodness you do it well."
We here at Latitude 38 have a very convivial workplace, but that doesn’t mean we always agree on everything. When dicussing whether it was an inconvenience to have sign up for a race 10 days ahead of time, this Racing Editor and Editor LaDonna Bubak found they have different opinions. Editor Bubak made a good point that a lot of people wait to enter races until they have a better idea of what the weather will be. Your Racing Editor countered that racers could always drop out later and get a refund if organizing authorities were willing to make that concession. Editor Bubak posed the question, "What sense does it make to amend a float plan after it’s been submitted? Why not just wait until closer to the race date and submit the final list?" It’s a tough point to argue, and we’d really like to know what you think. Does having to enter 10 days before an ocean race make a big difference to you?