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Pensacola To Havana Race

Jun 2, 2007
382
Beneteau First 375 Slidell, LA
Last year they got their butts kicked by the weather - hope they're doing better this year. (I kind of wonder) Also I can't quite get the concept of a race where you can use your motor.
 
May 24, 2004
6,792
CC 30 South Florida
Also I can't quite get the concept of a race where you can use your motor.
It seems to me like a true race; get to Havana on your own hull as quickly as you can. It is probably a safety issue as well as an event scheduling issue. It mimics real world cruising situations where motor sailing can enable to maintain boat speed and allowing a more direct course to destination to encompass weather windows. Permitting for an event to enter Cuba may require a more compact schedule than perhaps free sailing can provide. Boats will be divided in classes and handicapped to provide the usual chances for any participant to win. These events are mostly social in nature allowing for cruising boats to travel together and it is not unusual to see a fired up grill or two for cooking steaks or burgers at the starting line.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Also I can't quite get the concept of a race where you can use your motor.
It's not all that rare. The Newport (CA) to Ensenada Race allows motoring at night (typically when the wind is down) in its Cruising classes. Of course, you have to take a penalty based on the number of hours motored. Heavier cruising boats (i.e., not ULDBs) cannot get to Ensenada in even 40-50 hr traveling downwind in 5-10 kt of true wind. As race organizer, if you want those dull, slow, heavy boats in the field to keep entries up, then you have to make accommodation. As Benny said, they're largely social events anyway, and the crew wants to be there for the party, especially if the wives are also coming to Mexico to fetch some of 'em back!
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
It's not all that rare. The Newport (CA) to Ensenada Race allows motoring at night (typically when the wind is down) in its Cruising classes. Of course, you have to take a penalty based on the number of hours motored. Heavier cruising boats (i.e., not ULDBs) cannot get to Ensenada in even 40-50 hr traveling downwind in 5-10 kt of true wind. As race organizer, if you want those dull, slow, heavy boats in the field to keep entries up, then you have to make accommodation. As Benny said, they're largely social events anyway, and the crew wants to be there for the party, especially if the wives are also coming to Mexico to fetch some of 'em back!
Or motor straight into islands.

tn-dpt-0502-aegean-20120501-001.jpeg
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I see that apparently on Day 3 a few decided to hit the bars in Tampa.:cowbell:


Why not?
Jim...
Call me old fashioned, but to me sailboat races are about, well, sailing. If you want to motorboat race, enter a motorboat race.

If the winds are light or fickle, there is a shared camaraderie in getting through that, and talking about it at the bar after. I want nothing to do with the guy who motors through the lull.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
If you get right down to it, "yachting" far more than 90% of the time is shore-side social activity. Really, you do not have to own a boat to join a yacht club; you do not have to own a boat to remain a member of one; you do not need to learn even the first thing about yachting to participate in traditional yachting events, such as Opening Day. If you own a boat it never has to leave the slip for one's participation in any yachting-related function except racing or cruising, But now we have "Land Cruises". That leaves only sailboat racing which, as above, can be perverted into something not even regarded as racing by many to facilitate the social endpoint. I suppose some of the exceedingly few who participate can still claim "Predicted Log" as an actual yachting event requiring a boat that has not been overly perverted to social endpoint.

Really, you could see that the "end" was coming when here in Long Beach some years ago the date of the mid-Winters Regatta was changed from the second weekend of February (mid-winter) to the third weekend. Rumor mill had it that it was done to avoid conflict with Valentine's Day weekend at one of the hosting venues.:doh:
 
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May 24, 2004
6,792
CC 30 South Florida
For all we know it could be that they had to use a sporting event to be able to travel into Cuba. The purists need not need to get their tights in a wad as racing is defined as a competition based on a challenge and a set of agreed upon rules. Isn't this how the Americas Cup race is arranged? We have had multihulls and 50MPH abominations as a result of agreed upon rules. Someone came up with an idea to race sailboats from Pensacola to Havana and all the participants have of their own free will agreed to the use of the auxiliary engines. The logistics of planning a race to Havana are much more complicated than a club race in a lake, bay or inlet and hence some tailoring of the rules are necessary for a successful event.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
For all we know it could be that they had to use a sporting event to be able to travel into Cuba. The purists need not need to get their tights in a wad as racing is defined as a competition based on a challenge and a set of agreed upon rules. Isn't this how the Americas Cup race is arranged? We have had multihulls and 50MPH abominations as a result of agreed upon rules. Someone came up with an idea to race sailboats from Pensacola to Havana and all the participants have of their own free will agreed to the use of the auxiliary engines. The logistics of planning a race to Havana are much more complicated than a club race in a lake, bay or inlet and hence some tailoring of the rules are necessary for a successful event.
Your point is well taken. I just lament the dumbing down of the sport, in an attempt to make it more accessible. Some of the stuff used to be hard, and doing it was prestigious. Now it's something that people do just to check off their list.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
One could say that the dumbing down of the sport began in earnest with widespread use of electronic navigation, esp. GPS. In my "early days" of racing we "calculated" the lay-line to the weather mark using a pair of binoculars and the binnacle, or hand-held bearing, compass, for example. GPS has taken much of the "sportsmanship" out of the sport already.
 
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Nov 6, 2006
9,225
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Motoring.. Note that you are allowed to use the engine but it comes at a steep price.. 3 hours of time added for every hour of motoring plus a flat 2 hour penalty.. Not ideal, of course, but agreed upon by the participants.. Use would have to be calculated carefully..
 
Oct 1, 2007
1,734
Boston Whaler Super Sport Pt. Judith
Up here in NE, where we have the finest sailing in the US, we call a race with motoring allowed a "sail over". We have the same fun, just not called a "race".
 
Jun 2, 2007
382
Beneteau First 375 Slidell, LA
I totally get the concept of bringing a bunch of boats down to Cuba, to promote camaraderie and goodwill (and hopefully to have a good time), and it is certainly no small venture to go across the Gulf from Pensacola to Havana in a small boat, motor or no motor. Especially the way the weather has been lately. I just think if you are allowed to use the motor, I would call it a "rally", and not a "race". But that's just me.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Maybe as similar to the Baja Ha-Ha race/rally--San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, approximately 800 n.mi.