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Old 25-04-2012, 04:15   #31
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Re: Farallones Survivor's Full Account

125 yards? = too close.

But for racing probably not out of the ballpark on the risk taking dept - for simple fun / cruising / recreational voyage, IMO wayyyy too close. Because that distance didn't allow for anything to go wrong (or simply not as expected).

Perhaps one thing the Skipper did not fully appreciate is that not only did they have the wind and wave / swell action pressing them towards shore (which is ok to deal with as long as you have good forward motion) - but also that the whole bloody ocean will move you inshore! (almost like a Tsunami effect). That 10 boat lengths (which in itself is a bit of a rough finger in the air calculation) can dissapear very quickly - might be ok for the average roller coming in, but not for something larger than average (there is always something larger than average - inconveniant, but not "rogue" )...that just appearing would probably move the boat half way into the "normal" breaking zone, and that's before it even arrives at / on the boat and starts seriously pushing you inshore (whilst of course growing in power as it does also move inshore).

Perhaps would have been of more use to have employed a coastal sailor than an Ocean Racer - at least one who is used to being on the end of an Ocean when it arrives on shore!...not simply experianced at bobbing around on the deep blue sea .

Anyway, I suspect that clipping on would have lessened the casualty figures in this case - especially given that the boat itself arrived onshore in one piece (in other circumstances it may have increased it - but overall I would prefer my chances clipped on. YMMV). Of course having half a dozen or so persons colliding with (and landing on!) each other in a cockpit is likely to also cause at least some injuries.

In regard to the low number of survivors, despite (apparently) wearing PFD's I would say that apart from the crotch strap issue and making life difficult (impossible?) to manouever in the water or climb out of the water by self (try climbing into an inflatable dink wearing one - likely will be an eyeopener).........also have the "problem" of the tumble dryer litterally pounding you into the rocks ....and as for climbing out, apart from being slippy as feck, will also find that barnacles and similar quickly rip your hands and feet to shreds (and anything else exposed). In any event, by the time you reached the shore likely to be completely shattered (no matter how fit you started off) - and many Ocean exposed rocky shorelines would challenge a competent climber, even in the dry. With ropes. At that point you need a lot of luck.

Another couple of hundred yards out would have made all the difference to the outcome, although looking at the chartlet posted I would have been happier 1/2 a mile out. or a mile . But I am a conservative navigator - not a racer.


FWIW, my hat goes off to those vessels that stood off (reporting the situation) - sometimes it takes more courage to do nothing than to jump in. IMO showed great seamanship, even at the personal cost of a few rounds of later second guessing self.

Dunno if the above counts as Monday morning quarterbacking - like I care .
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Old 25-04-2012, 07:22   #32
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Like bash I have also done one of the many farrallones races. It is easy for me to look at this account of events and point fingers about judgement and seamanship, but these races reward risk and I could just as easily been in this position, well maybe not 125 yards off that is a bit crazy...

...hopefully people will be honest with themselves that have experience with this race and the investigation will take into account the history of behaviour with this race and not crucify the skipper. The rules need to change however and there needs to be an exclusion zone.

Edit: forgot to give praise for the courage to present what appears to be an honest account. He got a lot of support over at sailing anarchy a place normally not so nice...
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Old 25-04-2012, 10:16   #33
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Originally Posted by foolishsailor
Like bash I have also done one of the many farrallones races. It is easy for me to look at this account of events and point fingers about judgement and seamanship, but these races reward risk and I could just as easily been in this position, well maybe not 125 yards off that is a bit crazy...

...hopefully people will be honest with themselves that have experience with this race and the investigation will take into account the history of behaviour with this race and not crucify the skipper. The rules need to change however and there needs to be an exclusion zone.

Edit: forgot to give praise for the courage to present what appears to be an honest account. He got a lot of support over at sailing anarchy a place normally not so nice...
Sorry, but I don't see where anybody crucified the skipper. Hopefully the outcome of this might be better safety for all.
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Old 25-04-2012, 10:21   #34
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Sorry, but I don't see where anybody crucified the skipper. Hopefully the outcome of this might be better safety for all.
not referring to this thread, but about the formal investigations that are only now taking place.
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Old 25-04-2012, 12:22   #35
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Re: Farallones Survivor's Full Account

See the other thread on this subject
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons
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Old 25-04-2012, 12:49   #36
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Re: Farallones Survivor's Full Account

Rules or not, I have just read Lectronic Latitude and in the picture of the Volvo Round the World Race boat NOT one of the crew are wearing any kind of PFD.

Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude


I believe this is common practice among both race crews and casual sailors. This particular boat looks like it's going a quite a lick.
Just as a matter of interest I have also installed a Raymarine MOB alarm system and I defy anyone to not notice the alarm if it goes off. It's not expensive and whilst there are better systems out there, it works.
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Old 25-04-2012, 13:27   #37
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Originally Posted by bazzer
Rules or not, I have just read Lectronic Latitude and in the picture of the Volvo Round the World Race boat NOT one of the crew are wearing any kind of PFD.

Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude

I believe this is common practice among both race crews and casual sailors. This particular boat looks like it's going a quite a lick.
Just as a matter of interest I have also installed a Raymarine MOB alarm system and I defy anyone to not notice the alarm if it goes off. It's not expensive and whilst there are better systems out there, it works.
Offshore races typically don't have a pfd wearing requirement as it would be too complicated to legislate. If they for example said a pfd must be worn all times when on deck,where does deck start? When one foot is outside the companionway? Two? When your head is out? Etc.

The volvo is actually very specific about their requirements for pfds and tethers and even goes so far as to make recommendations as to best practice of use and which pfds the racers must use

See amendment 2 of the notice to race on page 22

http://noticeboard.volvooceanrace.co...mendment-2.pdf

But as you can see there is no mention of specific requirements to wear pfds.
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Old 25-04-2012, 18:13   #38
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Re: Farallones Survivor's Full Account

From Wikipedia:



"Generally, the statistical distribution of the individual wave heights is well approximated by a Rayleigh Distribution[4]. For example, given that the Significant Wave Height (Hs) = 10 meters, or 33 feet, statistically:
  • 1 in 10 will be larger than 10.7 m (36 ft)
  • 1 in 100 will be larger than 15.1 m (51 ft)
  • 1 in 1000 will be larger than 18.6 m (62 ft)
This implies that one might encounter a wave that is roughly double the significant wave height. However, in rapidly changing conditions, the disparity between the significant wave height and the largest individual waves might be even larger"
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