Posts Tagged ‘crash’
Tired of constantly getting t-boned by port tackers? Here’s one solution. Fun stuff from Ontario SA’er ‘Gord262′; will it work? Answer here.
October 25th, 2013 by admin
With the Youtube video approaching a million views (making it one of the most-viewed sailing videos in the history of the interwebs), a Southampton magistrate yesterday dropped a cool £100,000 penalty on navy officer Roland Wilson for breaking three COLREGS requirements before scratching the Hanne Knutsen’s anchor. (1) He failed to keep an adequate lookout, (2) he impeded a large vessel in a narrow channel, and (3) he impeded a vessel constrained by his draft.
The 100k (called ‘costs’ by the court) will likely be covered by Wilson’s insurance policy, but he’ll still need to come up with another 3 grand in fines. Wanna know more, or do you know more? Hit the thread. And before your next regatta in a TSS zone, you might want to read up on How To Avoid Huge Ships.
October 25th, 2013 by admin
St. Francis’s Rolex Big Boat Series continues to cling desperately to a name that becomes less and less accurate each year; just half the fleet at last month’s event – billed as the ‘climax to the summer of sailing’ – fit the 49-year old definition of the event’s namesake craft, with just two modern racing monohulls over 50 feet entered in the regatta.
That’s not a bad thing – well, not unless you’re a title sponsor whose image depends on the exclusivity of big yachts, anyway – and it’s a good sign that San Francisco’s most prominent annual regatta is adjusting to the new American reality of sailboat racing. Everyone we spoke to loved the action on the mixed course. ”It’s just such an amazing place to race, and practicing with the Cup going on made it even better,” said one J/boat sailor. ”We had a MOD buzz us, we traded gybes with a big cat, and all in the middle of a tight one-design fleet – what a blast,” said another. There’s no doubt that the new formula works, even if the old courses and the old way of thinking doesn’t.
But an incident between Melges 24 Rock n Roll and J/120 Chance and the resulting injuries raises an important question for this new reality: How do you best insure that comparatively potato-chip sized boats don’t get run down by big lumps of lead and fiberglass?
The crash happened along the city front during a race where the bigger boats sailed to a mark a mile or two downwind of the leeward mark for the Melges 24 fleet. While the fleet of J/120s was coming upwind along the SF shore, the Melgi were planing downwind, three abreast, on final approach to their bottom mark.
While a passel of starboard-gybe Melgi doused their kites as they reached into the mark, the J/120 Chance was rolling upwind on starboard tack. According to several eyewitnesses, and despite the fact that the 120 had room to pinch up and let the battle by, Chance never altered course as the cruiser/racer blasted through the port quarter of longtime Etchells and Melges 24 helmsman Argyle Campbell’s Rock n Roll.
“It was maybe the most violent collision I’ve ever seen on a race course,” said one witness. ”It was like a pit bull lunging through a chihuaua,” said another. Campbell was thrown to the deck, splitting his chin open to the tune of 11 stitches, with the bowman landing on top of him. Tactician Charlie Enright, one of America’s most promising young pro racers, suffered injuries to his back, and faces a month or two of recovery.
The J/120 went on to finish their race after untangling themselves from the Melges’ sheets, finishing their class in 5th. We’re told they then requested redress for their score, and were thankfully denied. There was no protest against Chance despite having done nothing at all to avoid a collision – because they never saw it coming. Rock n Roll would have been DSQ for a W/L foul against the J/120 had they been able to finish their race, but with half the crew headed to the hospital that wasn’t really an option.
Other than for Enright (and Charlie, our thoughts go out to you bro), the story has a mostly happy ending; Jeremy “Troll” Wilmot flew in as a last-second sub for Enright. Boat captain Bill Wiggins and a pile of well-meaning Melges folks rebuilt the boat. Trimmer and Bowchick Charlie and Danielle are still getting married. And Campbell went on to finish a solid 11th at the Worlds. But it could have been much, much worse, in a place where “much worse” has happened way too often over the past few years.
Unsafe At Any Size
We’re not sure if there’s some kind of ‘acceptable’ threshold, but too many people have died while racing sailboats lately, and if some more careful course management and a little foresight can eliminate the potential for this kind of incident, then that’s what needs to happen. By the same token, both little boat and big boat skippers/tacticians must do a better job preparing for potential boat-on-boat issues when courses and start times are set up in a way that guarantees inter-fleet contact. Better yet, if you see potential incidents when courses are announced, say something to your RO; they will probably appreciate the chance to make conditions safer for your fleet. And remember: Failure to keep a proper lookout is a violation of Rule 14 as well as being a violation of COLREGS; if you crash into a boat you didn’t see, regardless of ROW, you should be DSQ from the race and may even be partially liable for damages.
If you remember the Melges 32s vs the Optimists this summer in Lake Garda, you’ll remember why it was so egregious; not because of the actual danger level, which was quite low. The outrage came from the potential danger of a locomotive striking a potato chip which just happened to have a little kid hanging off it. Port/starboard and windward/leeward concerns become a lot less important than common sense and seamanship when this kind of disparate destructive power is on a collision course, and organizers that fail to understand that will, sooner or later, have to send a funeral wreath instead of a ‘get well soon’ flowers.
Defenders of the St.FYC are already on the attack…Do you think we are we out of line? Talk about it here.
October 7th, 2013 by admin
Coast Guardsmen are, with a few exceptions, pretty good seafarers. But waterborne police are typically the worse kind of maritime morons. Oftentimes equipped with ex-drug runners’ overpowered rides and rarely trained in the kind of advanced boathandling techniques they need to know, water cops are frequently more dangerous than whatever it is they claim to be saving the rest of us from. We all remember the murdering Perdock; here’s a less deadly but equally idiotic case.
This Washington DC police boat driver doesn’t have the slightest clue what happens when you turn the wheel and open the throttle; watch him destroy the little runaboat in a second’s stupidity. CBS Baltimore reports the cop seemed to be “putting on a show for the crowd” as he sped off on another call, clipping two boats with his RIB. One of the two boats hit sank at the dock, and the same idiot cop was reportedly heard telling the skipper of the boat – borrowed from his friend – to ‘relax’ a few minutes later. We’re guessing he didn’t apologize.
USCG and police are ‘investigating’ what led to the crash. Seriously? We’ll save them some trouble. HEY DC: YOUR SHITTY SELECTION, TRAINING, EQUIPPING, AND OVERSIGHT OF YOUR WATER COPS is what led to the crash. Quit hiring cowboys too stupid or arrogant to understand the water and maybe you can save a few million on personal injury suits. Props to Trendsetter for starting the discussion.
September 2nd, 2013 by admin
One of Lake Geneva’s funky little one-design sporties – a Luthi 870 – wasn’t so lucky on Saturday when a CGN ferry swallowed it up just after the start of some weekend racing. Two of the five crew ejected into the water were injured, one seriously, and reports from the course indicate the ferry was tooting away on his horn when the collision happened. According to Le Matin, ferries on the Lake have right of way over all non-emergency traffic…bad news for the sailors and best of luck on their recovery, and Merci a Patrick Michel for the tip from the land of chocolate and cowbells.
September 2nd, 2013 by admin
more whale tales
The recent Marblehead-Halifax race was an unlucky one for two teams; the big canter Donnybrook, owned by the unlucky Jim Muldoon, ran full speed into a whale on their last night at sea. Given the boat’s history, the crew wisely jumped on deck and prepared the liferafts, but the boat was able to limp into Halifax and take second over the line. Canadian biologists are seeking info about the whale; apparently the blubber stuck to the keel wasn’t enough to identify it.
On the other end of the racing spectrum is the world-traveling Cookson 50 canter Privateer, who’s won just about every ocean race she’s entered at one point or another. Those days are over thanks to a wrecked rig and a hull split open like a bratwurst on an open fire, and a fishing boat off Cape Cod was apparently the instrument of their destruction.
Details are sketchy, likely because of insurance/fault issues, but we’re extremely bummed for the all-around champ and her owner and crew. A bit more info and photos are in the thread.
July 19th, 2013 by admin
Performance Cruising Class, Banderas Bay Regatta, last week. To leeward (with the kayak on deck) is Camelot, a Hunter 54. Windward boat is J/160 Blue, with longtime Puerto Vallarta pro Mike Danielson on tactics. After Mike disappeared out of the frame, his legs were crushed between the boats, and we wish him a speedy recovery in beautiful Nuevo Vallarta.
The video speaks for itself, but what do you think? You make the call.
- Tags: crash
April 10th, 2013 by admin