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Old 06-04-2016, 04:55   #196
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
Most of us in this discussion are captains of vessels.

We are taking a hard personal look at our own management style and learning from what I consider to be a mistake.

There is indeed unfortunate chance in this world and the hand of God that none of us can control.

And then there is caution and prudent operation of a sailing vessel.

It is my view the skippers of these vessels were operating in dangerous seas with a novice crew racing to meet an artificial deadline. How many crew members had already booked their flights to leave from Seattle? How many new crew members would be mad that they were sitting in hotels waiting? How many crews were hoping to be first across an artificial line?

How many of us made the mistake of rushing to get to a port for the wrong reasons and as a consequence had something bad occur. It happened to me. I lost a mast as a consequence, or alternately, I learned of a defect in the rigging in a very abrupt fashion.

In this case as a consequence something far worse than a demasting occured. To meet outside objectives, high lattitude seas were taken which guaranteed strong winds and a swift passage.

No one has answered my question.

Before I ask it again, let me say I have some experience. I have crossed the Pacific end to end and more, I have sailed to Vancouver Island just north of Seattle. I have had a wide range of crew novice to highly experienced. I own a vessel nearly 70 ft myself, and I have made mistakes when trying to reach a port to meet an artificial deadline.

I was crew on the Hawaii to Seattle trip and twice requested a course change that the captain denied. He was rushing to get to port for a haul out. Ten minutes later a broadside wave nearly knocked our vessel over. He finally approved a safer course after his wife screamed at him to listen.

Question: Based on winds at the time, type of vessel, and qualifications of the crew, would you have crossed the Pacific at such a high lattitude? Or, would you have dropped down to a much lower lattitude and taken longer?

....................

It took my a while to find the right term.

The command structure aboard my vessel is called a STRATOCRACY. It is a form of military rule. The commander sets the objective and gives little power and free will. There is no democratic voting.

This does not mean the crew does not have input. Safety input is actively sought.

I set one key objective: To arrive safely in port.

Notice I have said "port" and not destination. I have changed port targets when a desired or closer port appears less safe.

Since my goal is to safely arrive in port, any request is heeded if it is a safer method. If there is any doubt, it is up to me to decide if a suggested change is safer. If I disagree that it is not safer it is up to me to explain why in a very polite way.

In this "whale war" example the crew member wanted to go around a storm. Well that certainly was the safer way wasn't it? Instead the captain and crew bullied the jr crew member because they wanted to chase a whaling boat.

Well that captain in my book placed his vessel and crew at risk for an artificial objective. Rule of the sea is safety of vessel and crew first.


..............

When a skipper is racing a vessel is this rule no longer true?

When planning a route to cross the Pacific, does this rule no longer hold?
There is much reasonable thought here, but I don't think you are seeing the balancing of risks and objectives which always goes on in these situations.

You can't solve the problem of risk management at sea with a categorical statement like "safety first" or "just get safely into any port". If it were literally like that, then you would just never go to sea at all -- why would you, if you're already safe in port, and if your whole purpose is safety at all costs? Why would you ever do a Pacific crossing, which is inherently risky?

In reality it's far more complicated than that. We go to sea for fun, and part of that fun is adventure -- in doses which can vary a lot depending on your values and priorities. It can't be done without taking risks, and the more adventure we want, the more inevitable some of the risks become.

But this is also fun -- because good management and good mitigation of these risks requires skill and diligence, and it is deeply satisfying to slouch towards mastery of the various disciplines required to do it well.

Pressing on in dangerous conditions after the risks become unmanageable, rather than diverting to another port, or heaving to, or slowing down, is just poor risk management -- poor evaluation of the risks and balancing against the options -- and very rarely, I daresay, because the skipper just doesn't think at all about safety. The lesson is not that you must never sail with a schedule -- everyone always (we're mortal after all) has some kind of a schedule, or another, and as long as mankind has put to sea, he has always needed to get to his destination in some kind of time frame or another. The lesson is that the risks should be understood clearly, and evaluated soberly, and if getting to that port in this time frame becomes unreasonably risky, the destination and/or the schedule has to change.

That's risk management -- just like going to the foredeck in heavy weather -- but clipping on to do it. If the rule were "safety at all costs", we wouldn't go at all, but we do go, but we manage the risk by clipping on and using skill to stay on the boat.


As to this particular case -- I wouldn't rush to condemn the whole idea of this race. It's not any different from putting amateurs up on mountains or a million other things people these days do for adventure. It's a fact of life in the modern world that people crave experiences, and now spend more and more money on having adventures and experiences, and less and less (proportionately) on buying stuff, and why shouldn't they? And frankly I don't think it's the end of the world if people get killed occasionally doing something extraordinarily interesting -- what else is life for? People get killed every day just banally driving (or cycling) to their stupid cubicles.


Management of risks is very different, when you're dealing with amateur crew on such a voyage, than when you're dealing with people with years of experience and training. I would not condemn the idea of this voyage, but I guess the organizers did not adequately account for what is required to achieve a reasonable level of safety with amateur crew, and this is probably a failure on the part of the captain as well. In my opinion, this is a very simple case with a simple cause -- failure to be clipped on when it was absolutely necessary. The risk of green water sweeping the cockpit should have been clear, in the conditions these folks were sailing in. The captain should not have allowed anyone to move around the cockpit unclipped, and there should have been procedures in place to ensure that the crew were properly instructed about this, and that someone was keeping an eye on this issue at all times. Differently than you would do it with pro crews who have it in muscle memory.


I am speculating (like we all are) that she was just wandering around the cockpit unclipped. Maybe it wasn't like that. We will have to wait for the MAIB report to know for sure, probably. It could be that the wave caught her in the split second when she was changing from one hook to another, or something, or fixing a tangle in her tether, say, and that it was just a freak accident which happened despite excellent training and procedure and management. We don't really know.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:04   #197
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
There is much reasonable thought here, but I don't think you are seeing the balancing of risks and objectives which always goes on in these situations.

You can't solve the problem of risk management at sea with a categorical statement like "safety first" or "just get safely into any port". If it were literally like that, then you would just never go to sea at all -- why would you, if you're already safe in port, and if your whole purpose is safety at all costs? Why would you ever do a Pacific crossing, which is inherently risky?

In reality it's far more complicated than that. We go to sea for fun, and part of that fun is adventure -- in doses which can vary a lot depending on your values and priorities. It can't be done without taking risks, and the more adventure we want, the more inevitable some of the risks become.

But this is also fun -- because good management and good mitigation of these risks requires skill and diligence, and it is deeply satisfying to slouch towards mastery of the various disciplines required to do it well.

Pressing on in dangerous conditions after the risks become unmanageable, rather than diverting to another port, or heaving to, or slowing down, is just poor risk management -- poor evaluation of the risks and balancing against the options -- and very rarely, I daresay, because the skipper just doesn't think at all about safety. The lesson is not that you must never sail with a schedule -- everyone always (we're mortal after all) has some kind of a schedule, or another, and as long as mankind has put to sea, he has always needed to get to his destination in some kind of time frame or another. The lesson is that the risks should be understood clearly, and evaluated soberly, and if getting to that port in this time frame becomes unreasonably risky, the destination and/or the schedule has to change.

That's risk management -- just like going to the foredeck in heavy weather -- but clipping on to do it. If the rule were "safety at all costs", we wouldn't go at all, but we do go, but we manage the risk by clipping on and using skill to stay on the boat.


As to this particular case -- I wouldn't rush to condemn the whole idea of this race. It's not any different from putting amateurs up on mountains or a million other things people these days do for adventure. It's a fact of life in the modern world that people crave experiences, and now spend more and more money on having adventures and experiences, and less and less (proportionately) on buying stuff, and why shouldn't they? And frankly I don't think it's the end of the world if people get killed occasionally doing something extraordinarily interesting -- what else is life for? People get killed every day just banally driving (or cycling) to their stupid cubicles.


Management of risks is very different, when you're dealing with amateur crew on such a voyage, than when you're dealing with people with years of experience and training. I would not condemn the idea of this voyage, but I guess the organizers did not adequately account for what is required to achieve a reasonable level of safety with amateur crew, and this is probably a failure on the part of the captain as well. In my opinion, this is a very simple case with a simple cause -- failure to be clipped on when it was absolutely necessary. The risk of green water sweeping the cockpit should have been clear, in the conditions these folks were sailing in. The captain should not have allowed anyone to move around the cockpit unclipped, and there should have been procedures in place to ensure that the crew were properly instructed about this, and that someone was keeping an eye on this issue at all times. Differently than you would do it with pro crews who have it in muscle memory.


I am speculating (like we all are) that she was just wandering around the cockpit unclipped. Maybe it wasn't like that. We will have to wait for the MAIB report to know for sure, probably. It could be that the wave caught her in the split second when she was changing from one hook to another, or something, or fixing a tangle in her tether, say, and that it was just a freak accident which happened despite excellent training and procedure and management. We don't really know.
Amature climbers on Everest have now been banned, regardless of how much they pay.

Likewise, after the 1998 S 2 H fiasco, untested amature teams were also banned and lessor trials to qualify were introduced.

There have only been two deaths in the Clipper race though. Hardly enough to make any significant changes.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:09   #198
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pirate Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

I think what he is trying to say is something I see fairly often..
The skipper sailing the boat to 'His Limits'.. and not to the limits of his weakest crew..
These are not just 'Adventures'.. they are also 'Team Building' exercise's and I would imagine the competition between the skippers is pretty fierce so they'll be pushing the crew and building a competitive spirit every chance they get.. and mistakes will be made as a repetitive task gets completed for the 1000th time.. Go.. Go... GO...!!
To my mind there's to much of the 'HooRahhhh..!!' element to sailing these days.. all these Reality Boot Camps and G.I.Jane movies.. Slap Palms.. FFS
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:14   #199
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Amature climbers on Everest have now been banned, regardless of how much they pay.

Likewise, after the 1998 S 2 H fiasco, untested amature teams were also banned and lessor trials to qualify were introduced.

There have only been two deaths in the Clipper race though. Hardly enough to make any significant changes.
Everest is not the only mountain in the world.

Amateurs on organized "adventures" are crawling over most of the major peaks of the world, and more and more.

This activity is much more dangerous the ocean racing, so risk management is far more complicated.
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:45   #200
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Amature climbers on Everest have now been banned, regardless of how much they pay.
hmmm . . . . not exactly true . . . . . Nepal has banned climbers who have not previously reached the peak of at least one 6,500-meter (21,325-foot) mountain.

So that does not ban amateurs (which by definition means those who don't do it for pay) at all.

And even if you are a complete novice, you can still make the attempt by either climbing from the non-Nepal side, or by paying a climbing service to take you up another mountain first. (there are some 'easy' 6500m peaks - like Lenin Peak, Chamsher Kangri, Lungser Kangri, Cordillera Blanca)
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:57   #201
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

Anyone who suggests that they should have stayed further south apparently missed the part of this that included racing. By its nature racing of any type in any sport increases the risks. Wether it is Wednesday night beer can races to the Americas Cup racing involves a much higher risk than just going out for a daysail. To suggest that all of those who choose to race are making an unreasonably risky decision are suggesting something I find abhorrent.

People die every year playing baseball should we outlaw it? People die every year racing cars, playing soccer, jogging, bike riding, day sailing, cruising, heck almost all physical activities involve some risk that could have been avoided. And I refuse to accept a society in which all risky activities are prohibited.

In this case, some of the safest boats in the world, commanded by some of the most experienced skippers, then crewed by very well trained if inexperienced crew, were racing around the world for the sheer enjoyment of doing so. Yes there was a safer route just get on an airplane, but there wasn't a faster one, and so while racing it was the correct one to take.

Personally I love blue water racing, I love the dedication to speed, a whole crew coming together to push as hard as possible. There is something amazing in seeing a crew of 10-15 people coming together to act as a unified whole, and I love speed. I take those risks knowingly, intelligently, and with an open eye that I could very well be killed at sea doing what I love. On the other hand I also love cruising, and slowing it all down, taking the safe route, and spending time offshore alone with my thoughts.

Different mentalities for different times. But even in cruising you accept risks you don't have too. Cruising is inherently more dangerous than commercial travel, so what you are really saying is that you should be allowed to take the risks you choose, but I shouldn't be allowed the same.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:40   #202
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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We all know we should be clipped on all the time ,but I can understand coiling sheets and halyard tails big ones on a 70 footer and long, they are in a heap all round your tether
it is tempting to unclip ,pull your tether free rather than thread the sheets through.You are not watching the waves coming you are concentrating on the mess around your feet,just as you unclip to pull it free a wave washes over too late gone second wave takes you under the life lines.
...
It has much to do with the way the clipping lines and points are set up on the boat.

And that leads me to a question: do all that are posting on this thread have permanent clipping lines over their boat? Lines that give secure accessibility to any point of the boat and that don't allow going overboard?

I see many times lines rigged occasionally from the bow cleat to the stern cleat, lines that would not prevent someone to go overboard.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:52   #203
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Anyone who suggests that they should have stayed further south apparently missed the part of this that included racing. By its nature racing of any type in any sport increases the risks. Wether it is Wednesday night beer can races to the Americas Cup racing involves a much higher risk than just going out for a daysail. To suggest that all of those who choose to race are making an unreasonably risky decision are suggesting something I find abhorrent.

People die every year playing baseball should we outlaw it? People die every year racing cars, playing soccer, jogging, bike riding, day sailing, cruising, heck almost all physical activities involve some risk that could have been avoided. And I refuse to accept a society in which all risky activities are prohibited.

In this case, some of the safest boats in the world, commanded by some of the most experienced skippers, then crewed by very well trained if inexperienced crew, were racing around the world for the sheer enjoyment of doing so. Yes there was a safer route just get on an airplane, but there wasn't a faster one, and so while racing it was the correct one to take.

Personally I love blue water racing, I love the dedication to speed, a whole crew coming together to push as hard as possible. There is something amazing in seeing a crew of 10-15 people coming together to act as a unified whole, and I love speed. I take those risks knowingly, intelligently, and with an open eye that I could very well be killed at sea doing what I love. On the other hand I also love cruising, and slowing it all down, taking the safe route, and spending time offshore alone with my thoughts.

Different mentalities for different times. But even in cruising you accept risks you don't have too. Cruising is inherently more dangerous than commercial travel, so what you are really saying is that you should be allowed to take the risks you choose, but I shouldn't be allowed the same.
I agree with you except on the part of putting an inexperienced crew, that can even never have sailed before, after some weeks of training, on a 70ft Ocean racer on a racing circumnavigation through some of the most difficult and dangerous waters on the planet.

Sure I agree with you sail racing is great but if someone is inexperience than it should start racing on a small boat, passing then to a bigger boat and a bigger before reaching a 70ft racer and that would take years, not weeks.

Simply the speed of a 70ft racing boat (they speak of a max speed around 35K), the consequences that can have in what regards waves washing the boat and the huge forces involved are not indicated for someone that is starting sail racing. Not to mention the difficulty to recover someone that goes overboard when one of these big racers go at speed downwind in heavy seas and winds.

That's why nobody, except this rich guys, start learning sailing or sail racing on a 70ft fast racing boat.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:57   #204
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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hmmm . . . . not exactly true . . . . . Nepal has banned climbers who have not previously reached the peak of at least one 6,500-meter (21,325-foot) mountain.

So that does not ban amateurs (which by definition means those who don't do it for pay) at all.

And even if you are a complete novice, you can still make the attempt by either climbing from the non-Nepal side, or by paying a climbing service to take you up another mountain first. (there are some 'easy' 6500m peaks - like Lenin Peak, Chamsher Kangri, Lungser Kangri, Cordillera Blanca)
Many ocean sail races on top racers demand prove that smaller qualification races have been made with success, if someone has not never made a big one.

I guess that a racing circumnavigation on a 70ft racer qualifies as a difficult race.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:04   #205
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
. . .
And that leads me to a question: do all that are posting on this thread have permanent clipping lines over their boat?
Absolutely. Both jacklines and padeyes.

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
Lines that give secure accessibility to any point of the boat and that don't allow going overboard?

I see many times lines rigged occasionally from the bow cleat to the stern cleat, lines that would not prevent someone to go overboard.
Certainly not from the leeward side -- and no such thing exists. To prevent you from going under the lifelines from the leeward side, your tether would have to be anchored to a point which is further inboard from the rail, than the distance between the end of your tether and the CG of your body, with the tether and harness fully stretched out. Even the centerline of the boat wouldn't be far enough inboard for many cases.

To keep you from going under the lifelines from the leeward side, netting is the only real solution (in combination with being clipped on).

I clip on to jacklines only on the windward side, and there any usual arrangement will work. The usual bow cleat - to stern cleat arrangement is fine for this. On the leeward side, if you don't have netting, you're on your own. Clip on to something else besides the jackline. Someone was on here recently who used a halyard, which strikes me as a damned good idea.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:05   #206
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
It has much to do with the way the clipping lines and points are set up on the boat.

And that leads me to a question: do all that are posting on this thread have permanent clipping lines over their boat? Lines that give secure accessibility to any point of the boat and that don't allow going overboard?

I see many times lines rigged occasionally from the bow cleat to the stern cleat, lines that would not prevent someone to go overboard.
I have jacklines installed at night and offshore / ocean. Also if I am expecting heavy weather / seas.

Some have crews that use their own tethers. My preference is to have tethers all over the boat, in strategic locations: a few in the cockpit on pad eyes, two on each jackline, one at the base of the mast, and one on the bow. As you move around, you clip on one tether before clipping on another.

I should mention that my preferred technique does not work well with Spinlock pfd's and tethers, which are cow hitched.

Tether are designed to keep you attached to the boat in the event you fall overboard.

First thing - take off as much way as possible by heaving-to.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:06   #207
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Anyone who suggests that they should have stayed further south apparently missed the part of this that included racing. By its nature racing of any type in any sport increases the risks. Wether it is Wednesday night beer can races to the Americas Cup racing involves a much higher risk than just going out for a daysail. To suggest that all of those who choose to race are making an unreasonably risky decision are suggesting something I find abhorrent.

People die every year playing baseball should we outlaw it? People die every year racing cars, playing soccer, jogging, bike riding, day sailing, cruising, heck almost all physical activities involve some risk that could have been avoided. And I refuse to accept a society in which all risky activities are prohibited.

In this case, some of the safest boats in the world, commanded by some of the most experienced skippers, then crewed by very well trained if inexperienced crew, were racing around the world for the sheer enjoyment of doing so. Yes there was a safer route just get on an airplane, but there wasn't a faster one, and so while racing it was the correct one to take.

Personally I love blue water racing, I love the dedication to speed, a whole crew coming together to push as hard as possible. There is something amazing in seeing a crew of 10-15 people coming together to act as a unified whole, and I love speed. I take those risks knowingly, intelligently, and with an open eye that I could very well be killed at sea doing what I love. On the other hand I also love cruising, and slowing it all down, taking the safe route, and spending time offshore alone with my thoughts.

Different mentalities for different times. But even in cruising you accept risks you don't have too. Cruising is inherently more dangerous than commercial travel, so what you are really saying is that you should be allowed to take the risks you choose, but I shouldn't be allowed the same.
Here, here. Very well said.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:21   #208
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

I happen to know, albeit barely, someone who is in this race. He's a relative of a wife of my relative. Funny enough I believe he was inspired by my stories of being bitten by the sailing bug as told to him by my relative. The guy is a professional in totally unrelated field and took a year off to do this at a cost of Euro70K for a full course. He did previously take a Master 50 course, or some such, at a local sailing club but had very limited if any sailing experience otherwise prior to this race.

I was surprised by the ease with which he was accepted but my understanding was that this is a pure money making enterprise for the race organizers as they collected close to 1mil from each boat's crew times 16 entries not including the fees paid by the advertisers, etc. I do understand this guy's motivation though which IMO was to leapfrog years and years of coastal and occasional offshore sailing to get to any level of proficiency. That which took me almost 20 seasons to achieve he would theoretically obtain in one year by doing this race. And in his field of work it would be difficult to do weeks of sailing at a time not to mention the overall cost such slow learning curve wold exact - I most likely spent way more than 70K in the 20 seasons. So this seems to me the best alternative for anyone wishing to get experience fast. But of course as with any shortcuts it comes with potential costs and risks. IMO as long as people are adults and understand those costs and risks they are entitled to go after their dreams.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:27   #209
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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...
But back to the situation at hand:

I heard a great definition of an adventure. "Anyone, even if they have never stepped on a boat before, can join the adventure."

An adventure is a disaster that almost happened.

I don't like adventures. I had one sailor complain sailing with me was so "boring".
....
My mother, that has long gone, passed many years terrified and always concerned with the activities I enjoy making, from airplane aerobatics, through crossing mountains on motorcycle navigating the path by a military maps, to solo sailing and racing motorcycles.

Late in is life, I should have way past 40, I was preparing for doing one more motorcycle Baja, putting the motorcycle on the trailer and I noticed that she was not nervous as I use to see her on past occasions when I was to leave for this kind of activities.

And I asked with a smile on my face: Mam are you not afraid anymore? and I received an answer that I cherish till today: No son, it took time but I know now that you know very well what you are doing.

Yes I do not like adventures at all. Adventure is when somebody as no real control, don't know really what he is doing and luck plays a big part in outcome. Sport is when somebody trained is skills to enlarge his control and knows very well what he is doing, even if some small controlled risk is involved.

Adventure is the opposite of sport were an individual trains for years to excels in an activity transforming in regular practices stages that for a beginner would be very dangerous.

Everybody that made sports that involved risk knows that what is dangerous for a beginner it is not dangerous for a medium skilled sportive and that what is not dangerous to a top sportive can be dangerous to a medium skilled sportive.

This was a race, the objective of a race is to win and to arrive first, the boat is a 70ft racer that would be a very safe boat with a crew of medium level racing sailors (sportsmen) but not a safe boat when it is crewed not by highly trained sportsmen but by adventurers without a significant racing experience.

The boat is safe and the danger is not of boat loss but on adventurers causalities and it is good to remember that it was not only the two dead ones but several med evacuations during this race.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:35   #210
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
My mother, that has long gone, passed many years terrified and always concerned with the activities I enjoy making, from airplane aerobatics, through crossing mountains on motorcycle navigating the path by a military maps, to solo sailing and racing motorcycles.

Late in is life, I should have way past 40, I was preparing for doing one more motorcycle Baja, putting the motorcycle on the trailer and I noticed that she was not nervous as I use to see her on past occasions when I was to leave for this kind of activities.

And I asked with a smile on my face: Mam are you not afraid anymore? and I received an answer that I cherish till today: No son, it took time but I know now that you know very well what you are doing.

Yes I do not like adventures at all. Adventure is when somebody as no real control, don't know really what he is doing and luck plays a big part in outcome. Sport is when somebody trained is skills to enlarge his control and knows very well what he is doing, even if some small controlled risk is involved.

Adventure is the opposite of sport were an individual trains for years to excels in an activity transforming in regular practices stages that for a beginner would be very dangerous.

Everybody that made sports that involved risk knows that what is dangerous for a beginner it is not dangerous for a medium skilled sportive and that what is not dangerous to a top sportive can be dangerous to a medium skilled sportive.

This was a race, the objective of a race is to win and to arrive first, the boat is a 70ft racer that would be a very safe boat with a crew of medium level racing sailors (sportsmen) but not a safe boat when it is crewed not by highly trained sportsmen but by adventurers without a significant racing experience.

The boat is safe and the danger is not of boat loss but on adventurers causalities and it is good to remember that it was not only the two dead ones but several med evacuations during this race.
Funny you should mention motorcycles --

I had a great passion for riding motorcycles in my youth. It was something I loved and craved and dreamed about, much like sailing now. I rode both on and off road.

I was in a few accidents (like all motorcyclists), and a few of my friends were killed or crippled, and one day I came to the conclusion that you are actually NOT in control of what other drivers do, and I decided that the risks were unreasonable, and I stopped. It hurt me, and even now, decades later, hurts me, but I just could not justify in my mind the risks over which I had no control.

Sailing, even ocean racing, is vastly safer than that, and the risks are much more controllable, albeit the knowledge required is vastly greater.
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