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Southern Spars

Doublehanded Farallones Race - Kick off of offshore season

by Erik Simonson on 25 Mar 2014
In the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge Erik Simonson/ pressure-drop.us © http://www.pressure-drop.us
With the the 35th edition of the B.A.M.A. hosted Doublehanded Farallones race we kick off the 2014 offshore season. Run since 1978, the DH Farallones followed the SSS's Singlehanded Farallones by a year, providing an opportunity for those who like company, just not too much of it, when venturing out to the rockpile.

It has been BAMA's contribution to the sailing community, and has for all intents and purposes, been dominated in number by monohulls, despite it multi hulled marque. In it's prime, 1984, the Doublehanded Farallones attracted 144 competitors but has seen numbers decline after the economic bubble burst, removing numerous sailors from the affordability of owning and maintaining a seaworthy vessels, increasing costs and safety equipment required.

In more recent years, organizers of offshore events, as well as sailors themselves have seen spikes in insurance for their own boats, and events followed suit. Insurance companies more so then ever have added increased stipulations and policies to protect themselves from exposure, combined with severe incidents both north and south here on the West Coast. Last year we saw the installment of the Northern California Ocean Racing Council which provided a list of recommendetion for offshore event coordinators as well as particpants with the release of The Northern California Offshore Racing Council Minimum Offshore Requirements and this years edition Version 2.2. We spoke a bit earlier about Digital Selective Calling requirements for vhfs a bit earlier.

The bottom line, there has been a large increases in expenses around the horn, and some sailors which sailed for years offshore without the new required gear, take exception to the new rules and have boycotted offshore events in response. This year's 53 boats is five boats smaller than in the two previous years which each saw 58 attendees. That's still plenty, and keeps the volunteers working the race deck, the internets and positions up high in the Marin Headlands and Lands end monitoring and ready to relay communications in event of an emergency.


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