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Old 09-05-2013, 15:21   #1
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Bad day for Artemis Racing

Haven't seen a story yet. From here.

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Old 09-05-2013, 15:34   #2
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

I just received this tweet. Doesn't look good:

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The Associated Press ‏@AP 10m
BREAKING: Fire official: 1 dead after sailboat practicing for America's Cup capsizes off San Francisco. -SS
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Old 09-05-2013, 15:47   #3
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

AP story is up.
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Old 09-05-2013, 16:49   #4
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

The sailor who died was Brit Andrew Simpson - a dual olympic medalist.
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Old 09-05-2013, 16:59   #5
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

Can't recall the thread, but I remember suggesting this seemed a real possibility after the Oracle capsize. I'm sure I'm not the only one, either. Since October, we've known that AC72s are inherently dangerous machines.

Given the almost certainty of occasional catastrophic capsizes for the AC72s, and the inevitable fall (or launching in the case of a pitch pole), someone was bound to get seriously hurt or killed eventually.

Don't get me wrong, these guys knew the risks.
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Old 09-05-2013, 17:22   #6
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

At the time when he was still considering his options regarding what sort of boats to adopt for the AC on his watch, Ellison claimed to have two over-riding objectives:

1) He wanted to reduce the costs so more teams could compete on an equal footing

2) He wanted to choose a boat his teenage kids would want to watch sailing

The first objective was not achieved, the second seems to me to be chasing rainbows.

I think in the second case he mistook lack of interest for understimulation.

The majority of teenage kids will never be interested in the same thing as their parents, and that's as it should be.

It's not because downhill ski racing is understimulating, or over-safe, that kids turned to watching snowboarding, to the point where it eventually became an Olympic sport.
Few sports are as self-evidently overstimulating and under-safe as downhill ski racing.

Even if I'm wrong about this, it seems to me that making AC race boats stimulating to the point of being life threatening would be a high price to pay for the stated second objective. (Admittedly it's lucky that no-one was killed racing IACC boats, which were hardly a walk in the park)

I'm shocked and saddened by this turn of events, and I also sincerely hope it turns out to have been a fluke/freak, not attributable in any way to the design rules, or to the way they were implemented.
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:47   #7
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

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I also sincerely hope it turns out to have been a fluke/freak, not attributable in any way to the design rules, or to the way they were implemented.
I think that is a faint hope. My mild interest in America's Cup and other race boats is in proportion to how similar they are to "real" boats I might actually sail. After the 12 meters I pretty much haven't followed AC. Sadly, this might spur some publicity for the AC.
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Old 09-05-2013, 20:11   #8
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

Sadly, the death of Andrew Simpson will be a huge boost to the media coverage of this round of the America's Cup. AC72s have now gone from some obscure sailing boat to sensationally dangerous death-inducing speed machines in the minds of the international press.

There's a lot to be impressed about when it comes to these sailing boats. They may look pretty cool on a screen but seeing them in the flesh is awe-inspiring. Seeing them foil is mind-blowing. They are powerful boats that can move at tremendous speeds and are under huge stresses. That makes them potentially dangerous for the relatively fragile human body.

All of a sudden the concerns expressed by some of the challengers start to sound a lot less like petty fears and griping and a whole lot more like wisdom.
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Old 09-05-2013, 20:45   #9
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

The AC industry is all about high end sponsorship and like Formula One, pushing the envelope in equipment and tactics, sells, but is high risk.

Like F-1, I am sure they will investigate the cause, make changes and move on.
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Old 09-05-2013, 21:09   #10
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

I've been watching the AC 72s for the past month.

I miss the old 12 meters. They were real boats.
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Old 09-05-2013, 21:26   #11
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
At the time when he was still considering his options regarding what sort of boats to adopt for the AC on his watch, Ellison claimed to have two over-riding objectives:

1) He wanted to reduce the costs so more teams could compete on an equal footing

2) He wanted to choose a boat his teenage kids would want to watch sailing

The first objective was not achieved, the second seems to me to be chasing rainbows.

I think in the second case he mistook lack of interest for understimulation.

The majority of teenage kids will never be interested in the same thing as their parents, and that's as it should be.

It's not because downhill ski racing is understimulating, or over-safe, that kids turned to watching snowboarding, to the point where it eventually became an Olympic sport.
Few sports are as self-evidently overstimulating and under-safe as downhill ski racing.

Even if I'm wrong about this, it seems to me that making AC race boats stimulating to the point of being life threatening would be a high price to pay for the stated second objective. (Admittedly it's lucky that no-one was killed racing IACC boats, which were hardly a walk in the park)

I'm shocked and saddened by this turn of events, and I also sincerely hope it turns out to have been a fluke/freak, not attributable in any way to the design rules, or to the way they were implemented.

Hopefully that second criteria was just a joke ... and I'm certainly no expert on multihulls but the boat seems to me to be a mismatch with San Francisco Bay. People around here have been saying for some time that this race could turn out badly.
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Old 09-05-2013, 23:32   #12
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
I think that is a faint hope. My mild interest in America's Cup and other race boats is in proportion to how similar they are to "real" boats I might actually sail. After the 12 meters I pretty much haven't followed AC. Sadly, this might spur some publicity for the AC.

Exactly my feeling. I do not have that much interest in racing to start and these boats are completely unlike anything I sail so I really have given up on the Americas Cup.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:23   #13
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pirate Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

Respect to 'Bart' and my sympathies to his friends and family
Saw the smaller 'prelims' in Cascais when they were doing the elimination series in 2011.. they were pushing the limits then and were lucky they had no deaths or serious injury.. met some of the guys as well... nice guys... even the wrinkly old skippers..
yer normal young sailing nuts... sail hard, live on adrenalin..
But certain dynamics cannot be ignored when playing with 'Solid Air'..
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:21   #14
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

I guess the sponsors are very happy now--the story made it on CBS This Morning, and I suspect the other channels too.
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:25   #15
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Re: Bad day for Artemis Racing

This is the SECOND time someone's been killed. In 1999, another chap died. You can't blame the boats. Sailing is just dangerous.


Condolences to all involved.
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