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  1. #1
    Chuteman is offline Registered User
    Location : SF Bay Area, USA
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    Default USA Racing Tragedy Impacts Across the Pond

    In my neck of the woods, so familiar with the incident area

    Condolences to Family & Friends

    BTW - Crew Details are included except lost sailor from Ireland

    http://www.mercurynews.com/sports-he...-race-accident

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MN6R1O3L4D.DTL
    Last edited by Chuteman; 16-04-12 at 02:06.

  2. #2
    Seajet's Avatar
    Seajet is offline Registered User
    Location : West Sussex / Hants
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    Default

    Chuteman,

    that's awful; a couple of queries come to mind, such as harnesses and why so close inshore, but they're easy from my comfy chair.

  3. #3
    Chuteman is offline Registered User
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    Default USCG - Have now called off search

    Seajet:
    Harnesses - typically not worn by racers out here especially with 8 on deck in a 38' boat

    Inshore - the island group are very rocky outcroppings located approximately
    26nm west of SF Bay. The normal Ocean depths are interrupted by the islands in this area. Since that is the rounding mark for the race, racers usually pass nearby on port or starboard or either depending on that particular racing instructions. It appears (guessing by most) that the wave / swell / wind action, which was up that day after a stormy few days, pushed the boat closer to the shallower water and the rocks, lee shore at that point. Sounds like the combination of the conditions, area and a couple of larger waves/swells at the wrong time triggered the accident as they were attempting to round the area & start heading back to the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Here's link for chart of the area
    http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/18645.shtml

  4. #4
    Seajet's Avatar
    Seajet is offline Registered User
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    Chuteman,

    very sad to see the search has been called off.

    I'm aware of the habits of racing crews, both re harnesses and closely rounding marks; as I mentioned it's so very easy for me to say with hindsight from a comfy chair, but sometimes people are 'racing team' when they ought to be 'seamen', it happens a lot here and of course most of the time it works out fine.

  5. #5
    Chuteman is offline Registered User
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    Default Yup, Sad Ending indeed

    Seajet
    Yes, search called off. It was going on for 30+ hrs, 5000 sq miles, 3 helos, 1 fixed wing 3-4 ships but still open ocean except the rocky islands plus water temps just about 10C and air temps below that at night......No one especially the families like to hear when the search has been called off but the USCG has so much experience with these type incidents & when linked to the conditions....

    Update that includes name of Irish Crew member
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BASV1O3UU5.DTL

    It will be interesting to see if a formal report is produced like the Rambler (fastnet) incident and the deadly accident last summer on Lake Michigan

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuteman View Post
    In my neck of the woods, so familiar with the incident area

    Condolences to Family & Friends

    BTW - Crew Details are included except lost sailor from Ireland

    http://www.mercurynews.com/sports-he...-race-accident

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MN6R1O3L4D.DTL
    Horrible news and frightening too. The islands have apparently the highest concentration of Great Whites in the world. Or so a naturalist on a whale watching outing explained.

  7. #7
    Chuteman is offline Registered User
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    Default An Eyewitness Report

    Not as detailed or complete but this is from another boat in the race that describes the conditions that day & observations at the incident site. Sounds like they were rounding clockwise - vs the boat involved which was rounding the other way island(s) to port and lee shore

    http://neversealand.downtothesea.org...rallones-2012/

    Sybarite - Not sure about the most in the world, thought it was South Africa but yes, many sharks due to high concentration of wildlife i.e; Seals, fish, etc

    But between the cold water, rough waters, current & unfriendly rocks there are many dangers in that area.
    http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/...eedChaseLL.jpg
    Last edited by Chuteman; 16-04-12 at 22:42. Reason: adding 2nd link - Photo of the boat aground

  8. #8
    Chuteman is offline Registered User
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    Default Personal Stories about the Victims

    Family & Friends comment about those lost at sea + add'l photos of the boat that has now been pushed much higher on the rocks but still in tack (although port side hull is hidden)
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BASV1O3UU5.DTL

    Irishman has 2 children & wife - working at research laboratory in SF Bay area

    ---------------------------------------
    Seajet - did not respond to your second comment about harnesses - A few years ago, I did a similar race around the same area & we were not wearing them. in Fact, all the races I've been in, no one wears them. Movement around a racing boat with that many people clipped on would take lots of practice & patience.
    Even the Volvo racers don't wear in most pictures I've seen. Some racers don't even wear PFDs but lately many racing orgs have made them mandatory especially in longer, overnight or known challenging areas.
    Not saying it's right or wrong, just the way things are. It's being mentioned by a few people quietly but most focus at the moment is honoring/remembering those that were lost.

  9. #9
    Frankie-H's Avatar
    Frankie-H is offline Registered User
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    Default

    So sad. Condolences and heartfelt wishes to all family and friends involved.

    Sadly some of the racing fraternity tend to sacrifice seamanship for speed. How many remember the fastnet tragedy. The only boats, which lost crews, were the ones which carried on racing in very bad conditions. Cruising boats and those, which shortened sail and retired, were not harmed. To be that close to a lee shore in those contitions can not be good seamanship.
    If you sail by the lee, eventually you will gybe.

  10. #10
    Chuteman is offline Registered User
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    Default Wonder if we will ever know

    Digbydog - Will be interesting to see if an investigation / report is done.
    Especially in the litigious USA. Without direct speculation, they were sailing in the conditions for more than a couple of hours to get there & more than likely it was not the first time around the islands.
    I'll pass on any other comments about woulda, coulda, shoulda - "For the grace of god go I"
    -----------------------------------------
    Harnesses/Tethers - remembered more - Rambler capsize '11 Fastnet - don't think most, if not all, were wearing - luckily all were rescued.

    Wingnuts capsize - '11 Mackinac - The crew - most, if not all, were using tethers and the 2 dead crew members were still clipped in when recovered. Story / report including one crew being freed by another crew member who dove back under to rescue.

    So the use (I do when I deem it necessary) has value & can save lives but the type, quality, release gear and ability to execute in stressful or injured circumstances make it less than a guaranteed solution - Although I do believe that it is 100% better to stay in the boat than to get ejected or slip off no matter the conditions.

    There were very detailed reports done on both these events by US Sailing and the reports have been published - lessons for all.

    The topic of PLBs has also been raised which some cruisers have also begun to use in addition or instead of EPIRBs.

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