Our single handing pal Webb Chiles offers a brief comment on the AC tragedy…
Sailing is not ever going to become mainstream. Hell, soccer isn’t even mainstream in the United States. And some people think that by creating radical, unsound and inherently unsafe boats, sailing is going to get up there with Nascar and the NFL? I don’t think so; and for that matter I don’t even think it desirable. Harbors, marinas and anchorages are already crowded enough. Here’s a quote from a Wired piece about Thursday’s America’s Cup fatality.
The Oracle crash last October happened in much worse conditions, and in much rougher seas. The team was risking a turn in a twenty-five knot wind, with an ebb tide that was running at six knots. The new America’s Cup boats are powered with a solid wing instead of a soft sail, which makes them very efficient, but it also means that they cannot be de-powered. The turning maneuver in high winds is greatly feared by sailors, who call it the “death zone.
“Much worse conditions” “Much rougher seas” “risking a turn in twenty-five knot wind” “high winds…greatly feared by sailors, who call it the ‘death zone.’ ” ???
If you are on a boat in which making a turn in 25 knots of wind puts you in a ‘death zone’, you are on the wrong boat.