“From Regatta Chairman:
I am happy to report that the owners of boats participating in the Regata al Sol XXVI agreed unanimously to move forward with racing to Isla. The race itself will likely be altered slightly with an offset waypoint(s) to insure a safety margin around the oil slick.
All agreed that the return trip will provide the greatest logistical challenge. The Regatta Committee plans to post daily updates in Isla with charts and updates from the Coast Guard that will help owners determine their best course of action in bringing their boats home.
Owners also shared valuable information as to what to do in the unlikely event that a boat should encounter oil.
In the end, it was agreed that we will continue to monitor the situation closely and share information as we have been doing. Until then, we will continue to deliver boats to Pensacola, prepare food and menus, check sails and rigging and dream of being, once again, at sea. I believe that first cerveza will taste all that much better when we all get down there.
Thanks again for your support. Guy P. Brierre”
Some of you may be wondering why my interest in this particular regatta. Today you’ll be seeing a new feature article that discusses the impact of sailing (or motoring) your boat through an oil slick on the Boats.com website. ( http://features.boats.com/boat-content/2010/05/the-gulf-oil-spill-will-it-destroy-your-boat/ ) I love to do distance racing and this year’s Regata al Sol poses some interesting challenges for the participants. For me its technical. We’ve already seen a post from Michael James discussing the Boat US position, which is that any damage caused by the oil is insurable.
Beneteau came out with a statement yesterday that contradicts in part the advice I provide in my Boats.com article. Beneteau is claiming that if you sail your boat through the oil slick, there will be permanent staining to white gel coat. They are also claiming that running petroleum through the cooling system will cause damage. I disagree with both of these claims, but will be researching this more as today unfolds and will get back to you all later in the day with my findings.