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    Tragedy near sf 5 dead-gctid371902

    http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-cal...z/-/index.html

    A tragic sailing accident during a 100 year old race around The Farallone Islands happened two days ago. 3 weeks earlier during the Clipper cup Round the world race, a 65' one design racing boat took a knock down so severe that they broke their mast and disabled the rudder requiring a tow by the US coast guard 350 miles to the bay. At this time the Coast Guard has called off the search for the 4 missing crew. The Farallones are rocky inhospitable islands. The Coast Guard was able retrieve two badly bruised crew from the island , one clinging to a rock and dead member from the water. I raced sailboats for years in these waters and in this race several times. This is not the first time people have died racing out and around this island. Many Sailboat racers myself included felt we were better sailors for sailing in dangerous conditions and in fact looked forward proving to ourselves and others just what great seamen we were. I would venture a guess that there were maybe four of the crew on this boat that were competent and four that are referred to as rail meat. There was probably one guy on the foredeck, a helmsman, and a couple of trimmers. The helmsman likely the owner driver. The other four were interested sailors but probably not capable of sailing this boat. This amateur racing after all. My point is this, the skipper is ultimately responsible for the safety of his crew, he made the decision to continue racing when others were bailing out and heading in. I don't the dynamics of the crew but I would be surprised if everyone on that boat new it's limits and the limits of the crew sailing it. The skipper should know what he was exposing his crew to, he took a gamble that they could handle the conditions and they didn't. I've been lucky, I've taken those chances and got by with it. In fact I carried this caviler attitude with me when I started power boating exposing myself and others as I experimented with the limits of my boats. I still find myself enamored with the thrill and ego pumping of testing the limits of boating. Every once in a while something like this comes along and slaps you right on the face, this could have been me, I could have been responsible for the loss of family and friends. I'm 67 almost 68 and I still feel the pull of testing myself and my boats, the adventure. There can be consequences, is it worth it. Be safe.

    #2
    This hit way too close to home. The crew consisted of experienced and seasoned sailors, with the exception of one. They hugged the coast of the southeast island too closely to shave a few minutes from their time, got struck by a wave, a man overboard situation arose, they turned the boat back to retrieve the crew when they were struck by a second wave. If the crew were tetherd, this could have been avoided. If they kept a safe distance from the island, they would still be alive. This race rewards those who take unreasonable risks. Very sad.

    Comment


      #3
      I saw this earlier, tragic loss. Condolences to the families involved...
      Jeff & Tara
      (And Ginger too)
      Lake Havasu City, AZ

      2000 Bayliner 3388
      "GetAway"
      Cummins 4bta 250s

      In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. July 2, 2010

      Comment


        #4
        I've been around that rock many times in good conditions and bad. An old sailing buddy of mine called me last night and said 'I guess these kids now days don't believe in lee shores'. True words for sailors and powerboaters. I've rounded close in good weather and stood off in bad. There's a lot of surge, backwash and odd surf angles on that end of the rock. If you get caught in there with just sail power, you are done.

        Sailboat racing is a test of boat handling skill, seamanship, knowledge of the game, stamina and endurance and personal psychological mettle. It's been called a three dimensional chess game. But the most important of those attributes is seamanship. It's still just a game and the ocean is totally nuetral on the subject of whether you live or die.

        What a tragedy. The owner / skipper is going to have to live with that decision the rest of his life. It's a lesson to us all about the responsibilities inherent in piloting small craft.

        Comment


          #5
          I was going to take a few friends and head out, looked at weather report, knowing that is takes a few days to settle down after our most current storms. Checked the reports on my i-phone app and said no thanks, sorry folks but it's my job to be sure they are safe.

          There is little room for bad judgement calls on the water.

          Sure sorry for their loss, it hurts us all to see fellow boaters go down.

          Comment


            #6
            Thats what racing is all about.

            Whomever has the most balls and brains wins.

            You have to take chances and sometimes they pay off, sometimes they don't. People that have never raced anything will never understand nor know the feeling.

            Comment


              #7
              green650 wrote:
              Thats what racing is all about.

              Whomever has the most balls and brains wins.

              You have to take chances and sometimes they pay off, sometimes they don't. People that have never raced anything will never understand nor know the feeling.
              That's a cavalier thought. Tell that to their families and loved ones. I think I know something about racing sailboats. I represented the US in the Hobie 18 worlds in Australia, Sailed in many National and regional events. My Boats included El toro, Lazor,Tazor, 505, Hobie 18, Crewed Express 27, Hobie 33 , Corsair Trimaran, Swan 41 , J 29 and others. 26 years worth of racing almost every weekend. I know the mentality of racing and winning in sailboats. Effents like this highlight the folly of this mentality. My point being that it has no place in recreational boating.

              Comment


                #8
                Scary wrote:
                That's a cavalier thought. Tell that to their families and loved ones. I think I know something about racing sailboats. I represented the US in the Hobie 18 worlds in Australia, Sailed in many National and regional events. My Boats included El toro, Lazor,Tazor, 505, Hobie 18, Crewed Express 27, Hobie 33 , Corsair Trimaran, Swan 41 , J 29 and others. 26 years worth of racing almost every weekend. I know the mentality of racing and winning in sailboats. Effents like this highlight the folly of this mentality. My point being that it has no place in recreational boating.
                Yes. I may be a little jaded when it comes to life and death. I've lost alot of friends through the years in the line of work Im in and I've lost alot of friends to motorcycle accidents too.

                The way I see it, most people know what they are getting into when they take on riskier than normal endeavours. They, as I do, view the pleasure/excitement worth the risk.

                I don't think offshore racing would be considered recreational boating because it is definitely riskier than cruising around the bay.

                Hopefully those guys had some sort of clue what they were getting into and not drug along by some inexperienced sailor hoping to get an easier win due to less competition because of the weather.

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