over easy

THIRD TRI 2 – pitchpole and recovery

While racing in the Sarasota Bay Multihull Regatta this Saturday, we had a pitchpole aboard Third Tri 2 – our Sprint 750 MK2.  All crew are OK, and the boat is in great shape, but we wanted to share some details.

We were racing downwind under main, jib and spin at the time in about 13 knots of wind.  The main and spin sheets were in our hands, and we were not sailing hot.  A gust hit and we simple went over stern over bow.  WE blow both the main and spin, but never had a chance to save her.  The water was shallow, so she stopped when the mast hit the bottom.  The crew got launched onto the sail, and I held on in the cockpit for them to clear and then jumped down.

We had PFD’s and there was a safety boat that picked us up right away.  Fortunately, the water was WARM and it was a nice Florida day.  The spin was still flying in the breeze and the boat dragged downwind for a while before coming to rest near the leeward gate.

We were very concerned about getting under the boat as we thought it might fall, so we called Boat US who said that they would get back to us after calculating their fee, as this was not covered!  While waiting for them to get back to us, we came up with a plan.  We opened the hatches on the port float so it would flood (btw, the covers don’t float).  We then stretched a line between two boats upwind of Third Tri, and as we drifted down, we snagged the stbd float at both the bow and stern.  We then took both ends of the lines to the stern of a power boat, and started to pull slowly.  Sure enough, the port float dug in, the mast started to come up and after lots of cheering, praying and screaming, the boat popped up!

We quickly got aboard, got the sails down and pumped out the float while we were towed back.  We were swarmed with help from other crews, and within an hour had her cleaned up, had the engine running and we were at the bar having a beer!

The only damage was some rips in the spin, the Windex and a lost winch handle.  We were out racing the next day!

THANK YOU to everyone who helped us – the community sailing these boats and the people at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron are just awesome.

The key lessons:

  1. Wear PFD’s – stuff happens fast.
  2. Keep car keys and phones where  you cant lose them (we got really luck with this)
  3. Do not get under an unstable boat.
  4. Take time to think before starting to recover.

Larry, Brian, Joe

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