Great story! Congrats to Joe , Jon and Charlie!
My wife and I are having dinner tonight with Dean Gibbs and his wife. Dean is the British team owner with the 52 foot Outerlimits that raced last weekend Around Long Island. We met for a short time today and he said that he already has texts and e-mails from other owners in Europe and the UK, that he feels they will be coming back next year with at least four teams, to get that trophy and bring it back to Europe.
Maybe this is the time that we should actually make the break here and say what has been on our minds for a while. I am speaking about the older racers. I know Rich caught some heat from a racer who thought he criticized the modern racers. Let me be very clear and I share this with the other guys I know……..We welcome all racers as brothers in a very special fraternity. Our complaint is with the major sponsors and organizers. They have taken what we all love with a deep passion and made it into a very poor reflection of what it was.
Let me use as an example major sports…pick either football or hockey, whatever you happen to like best. Now you loved that sport as you grew up and you waited every year for the finals…the Superbowl or the Stanley Cup….. and you watched the battles down to the end. Years pass and now football is played without helmets or pads and to get a goal you are only allowed to pass. Or hockey can only be played without pads and there is no checking allowed. The athletes just coming into the sport don’t know any difference, they are playing according to the new rules and they are playing their hearts out. No one is criticizing the athletes the criticism goes to those who changed the rules of the game.
Beach racing is not Offshore Racing !!!! You know it, we know it, but we all dance around the fact that everyone has latched onto that title because it carries a certain cache’ with it. We don’t disrespect in any way the racers who run hydros or Jersey skiffs or SK’s boats or any other type of racing. But don’t run 7 liter hydros and call them Unlimiteds because they really aren’t.
Real open ocean offshore racing doesn’t need a million dollar boat or team. It just takes heart and determination and lots of preparation. That was just proven this past weekend. Too many potential racers are sitting on the beach not participating because they go to the “Offshore” race and see all the equipment and think they can’t afford that. This excellent equipment with great people on every team, pour their hearts out to be there and then they are asked to race around on a 6 mile loop for ten laps. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not Miami to Nassau or Long beach to San Francisco or Cowes to Torquay to Cowes. It is boat racing for sure, but it is not offshore racing.
All of us have been duped by the organizers who say we need this to attract sponsors and TV coverage. If you race offshore no one can see you and they will lose interest. Really? The Benihana race in New Jersey had so many spectators in the 1970’s, that the Coast Guard required the race to be run on a Wednesday as to try to limit the crowds. Estimates of crowd sizes were in the 400,000 range.
Allof us have been duped by the boatbuilders who let sales drive their designs. Real improvements on new boats haven’t made them any more seaworthy or the owners any more confident in taking on the ocean. New developments have centered around how many logos could be fit into the cockpit of the latest version of the XYZ Craft plus 6, or whatever…you fill in the blank. The fastest boats that are termed offshore now run on a lake in the middle of the country and run for a measured mile. It is a great party and great event that does good things, but…Offshore???
The World Championships of offshore run on a course that can be seen by standing on the dock…..what happened to the run to Dry Tortugas???
It is time for the people that are interested in getting the sport of offshore back to it’s roots to step up. The Around Long Island Race will be run next year. We encourage anyone with a boat capable of running in this event to come. Find out what the mystery is all about, find out what you really have inside you when the going gets not just tough, but to anyone else, impossible.
We have waited and hesitated and tried to be cordial to everyone, changing our date to help others and then they changed to hurt us. Enough. We are starting a real open ocean offshore circuit. We encourage the industry people to come forward and get involved. Enough of the exotic uber engines that shut down to “save” the engine. Build something that doesn’t need to shut down but will still be seaworthy and last the whole race. Boat builders…build them simple and strong and leave off the Gold Frankincense and Myrrh and drop the retail price, but build them seaworthy because these new customers won’t just be showing them off at the local waterside bars, they will be using them in the real ocean out where the bad things live.
Rich, Bobby, myself and others have nothing more to gain from this sport. Our reputations have been cast.
Racers, we do respect you and we offer an invitation to come and try this real shot o history. If you choose not to, we fully understand and respect your decision, you are still racing in the area you have chosen. Good luck and good racing to you all.
Well spoken Charlie.
No dissrespact to ANY racers of any kind. I love ALL kind of racing, the competitoin and the adrenaline that goes with it.
I did a little bit or racing back in the 80's, and in all hoensty, it was a combination of "beach racing" and offshore. There were a spectator issue, and there was the getting out of site, big seas, 10-15 miles away from shore, hold on to your fillings runs. We were glad when we could see shore again and not broke down in the meanwhile. The true "offshore" racing is just that. Not for everyone, but everyone should experience it, one way or a nother. Even if it's only reading about it and may be dreaming about it. One of my dreams, ( No $'s to do it .. ) is to do the Callais to Dover race. In general 8-12 seas, and the boats are made like submarines. True offshore is "OFFSHORE", not "near shore".
You either race against yourself? or race for the media.
The "Charlie Challange" is not about publicity it's about heart, guts and perseverance.
Good stuff Charlie.
Last edited by PARADOX; 09-21-2010 at 04:36 PM. Reason: Sp
Incredible accomplishment! Congratulations to the Sonic team!
As a fellow Sonic owner and avid supporter of the brand I can't begin to tell you how good this was to read.
Congratulations to Joe (fellow owner), and to Jon and Charlie for their support of Joe in this adventure.
Charlie: Thank you for your last comments.
Very well writen T2x and Charlie. A very enjoyable read.
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