Bismarck Dinius Fallout
From our friend JD Hill…
Denison, TX (August 19th, 2009) – Prompted by incidents like the Bismarck Dinius case in Lake County, CA, as well as a frighteningly similar incident that occurred during the 2007 Wunderlick Classic Regatta on Lake Texoma where a racer (in a 42′ Beneteau) was struck by an intoxicated powerboater traveling in excess of 30 mph at night, the organizing authority has elected to modify the usual sailing instructions for the regatta. In both the Dinius case and the Texoma collision, the offending parties attempted to avoid culpability by claiming the sailboats were sailing at night without navigation lights even though in both cases numerous witnesses saw and testified that the sailors indeed had their navigation lights on.
To avoid irresponsible boaters using "they didn’t have their navigation lights on" as some sort of pathetic get of of jail free card, the Wunderlick Race Committee will require participants to turn on their navigation lights when they check-in on the racecourse prior to the start and leave them on throughout the race. The race committee will confirm that each boat’s navigation lights are on, and make a note of that fact in the official race log. Further, around twilight a judge boat will take up station at one of the turning marks and reaffirm that each boat has their navigation lights on.
The Wunderlick Regatta, North Texas’ & Oklahoma’s big long distance race, was named for Tommy Wunderlick who died of a heart attack on the racecourse. Every Labor Day weekend, sailors come from around the region to participate. There will be a PHRF classes for spinnakers and a cruising class (with a shorter course) for non-spinnaker boats. The idea behind the Wunderlick is to simulate an offshore distance race at an inland venue. All keelboats 20′ and larger are welcome to participate.
For more information, please visit http://www.lakefest.com/wunderlick