I have sailed and raced in cold, windy, rainy, weather. I don’t care for it that much. If it is marginal when I go out that is one thing, if it already raining, cold, (anything under 68 degrees), and blowing hard enough to reef, before I start, I am not really that excited about it.
If I wanted to sail in crappy weather I wouldn’t live in Florida. I think winds over 20 knots will, shorten the life of my somewhat expensive sails, make my jibes loud and cause me to be apprehensive. We had a little squall blow through in Titusville during a June race in 1993, a Beneteau 38 sailed across a spoil island (as in right across the island). Four boats sank, one of the sinkers got struck by lightning, all in less than 20 minutes. A preteen was in the V-berth of one of the sunken boats, breathing trapped air until his dad went down and brought him out. Thunderstorms are serious stuff around here, they do more damage than hurricanes because there are so many, Small scale flooding, (not so bad when you are already on a boat), strong wind, and lightning, especially lightning. Lightning can cover a pretty good distance at 300 million meters per hour, that is over 50 miles per second. Even my boat is not that fast…
If you are racing long distances, dealing with conditions is a bigger part of the game. Therefore preparation is a bigger part of the game. Different venues are great for preparing us for a wider variety of conditions. I would love to take the Loose Cannon to the Pacific North West, but right now (after returning from Buzzards Bay) I can’t even bring myself to get close to the truck let alone get back in it. Besides our sailing season is just about to start here. I will just have to settle for 10 to 15 knots of 80 degree breeze in the sunshine where the best crew (the female ones) are wearing a lot less than foul weather gear.