Below is the mission statement of the Lake Michigan Singlehanded Society (http://www.lmssonline.com), a group that I race with as often as possible.
"The Lake Michigan Singlehanded Society promotes competition in the tradition of solo sailing - to challenge solitary and shorthanded sailors and to help develop sound yachts, equipment, and techniques for shorthanded passage making on the Great Lakes.
Our races emphasize the individual's seamanship, navigation, and self-reliance more, and pure boat speed less. Shorthanded sailing is a development of typical sailboat cruising – family and friend oriented and aimed at making passages between ports – rather than “grand-prix” oriented, where races are around a closed course near a single port. Also in contrast to Grand-Prix racing which features a collection of specialists, shorthanded sailing demands high levels of all the skills of sailing within each person. The shorthanded sailor must be helmsperson, navigator, sail trimmer, sail handler, cook, medic, winch grinder, and repair expert all in one. Shorthanded sailing also puts a premium on physical and mental endurance. “Caught Shorthanded” is one of the common complaints of the full-crewed race boat, when seasickness or fatigue overcome members of the crew. But the shorthanded sailor, by definition, has no back-up to call upon when the going gets rough. Each participant's courage, endurance, and self-reliance are challenged as they rarely can be in the modern world.
Because the satisfactory completion of these races is a singularly significant individual accomplishment, The Lake Michigan Singlehanded Society regards all who finish as winners."