I've been thinking a lot about this Pacific Cup thing and considering options. I know my ultimate goal is to sail my own boat to Hawaii in 2010 or 2012. How I get there is the interesting part. My first instinct is to pick a boat, buy it and get a lot of practice. But since that's a bad idea here's what I'm thinking.
I know that the boats in this year's Pacific Cup are probably a good laundry list of boats to look at. I know that I'm not a speed freak nor am I made of money so the slower less expensive boats are probably my best choice. I won't be buying an SC52 for this race.
How to pick one? Ride on them. I think my first order of business should be to get some time as crew in these classes, talk to the owners about them and pick the boat based on these experiences. Devote the next two years to this process.
How about this as an idea...crew on the next Pac Cup. If I spend the next two years getting experience on these boats, maybe I'll be offered a spot in '08 or '10. My Dad had the good point that part of the fun is being in command for the sail/race, but I'm young enough to do it both ways. Crew first, spend a ton of money next. Hell, if I want to see how these things go to windward just for giggles, I could even sign on as delivery crew to bring one back home. But that's another bad idea.
Now, I'm off to see some class websites and crew lists to see who will give me a ride.