how not to do it, part 3
The article “how to do it, part 2” dismisses almost completely the idea that current had a role in the unfortunate 5o5 situation during the Fall Dinghy. The reality is that current had everything to do with the situation, especially after snagging the anchor line to the committee boat. Three knots of current, ebb in this case will never be your friend in scary situations like the video begins to show. Also opining that once free of the snag the team would have a chance to resume racing shows a total lack of understanding of current.
As shown in the video, moments after freeing themselves from the committee boat they where well on their way to the Golden Gate and the team had resigned themselves to the fact that the race was over for them and damage control was first and foremost on the their minds. The other reality is that this team had luck on their side due to the mild conditions as the video shows.
The normal, normal on the bay would be 18-25 knots of wind and with such strong ebb and the steep chop generated by this condition would surely have resulted in manger damage at a minimum. This video should not be taken lightly as I am sure this 5o5 team will agree but should be filed under lessons learned. As a rule of thumb before a start, “Tack in a Flood & Jibe in a Ebb when sailing on the San Francisco Bay”, John Kostecki. – Anarchist Chip.