@John Seaman. It does not matter that some boats are dropping out of racing. I'd watch just one of these boats going around the planet. The fact that this generation of boats is perhaps a little fragile just demonstrates to great seamanship these guys have to go fast and stay safe. OK some are now just staying safe.
I agree with Tom Franken. His idea, along with having more legs in the southern ocean, would restore the balance between speed and endurance.
Interestingly enough, the third generation boats seem neither as fast, nor as durable as the previous generations (they haven't been anywhere close to breaking the monohull record)...
All the comments are right to some extent. For this Southern Ocean leg it seems like Formula 1 cars on a rally track. However, most of the legs require a yacht that is built for speed and not for endurance. It is alos clear that sponsor requirement have to fulfilled, so there is no option to leave the 'light legs' out.
However, a solution can be found in the points to be earned in different legs. In the present system the current leg is rewarded in the same way as the leg from Lorient to Galway. If the heavy and long legs are rewarded with more points, then automatically the balance between endurance and speed will be equalized.
I'm from CHile and if this is my best chance of being close to one of these boats I will definetely book a plane to puerto montt to check it out
Whatever the reasons this leg has killed the buzz for me. Half the boats out before halfway mark. It kind of feels ridiculous all this effort by sponsors, staff, crews - when the boat is very likely to break and either quit or lose it's position. Maybe stick more to in-port racing...