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Old 30-04-2007, 02:07   #31
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Oh wheels how right that is. Entred Cook Straight from the west and it was nothing much. An hour later undies were changing colour.

Those ranges do redirect and increase wind speed a lot. Sometimes all it takes is a 5 degree wind shift and it can go from OK to 'Holy Crap' in minutes.

I was watching the weather in the lead up to the Solo Trans Tasman Race and it was not looking good and had the look that it could go real real bad. It did.

That's why I prefer the timid waters of the Hauraki Gulf, all we have to watch out for is small penised bald beer bellied gents in big plastic tupperwaer fizz boats To any Aussies watching they are called Rivieras, please keep them over there
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Old 30-04-2007, 02:45   #32
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By Friday they report much worse conditions. F12 not F9.
make some good fiction
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Old 30-04-2007, 05:11   #33
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Can't say it would never happen to me because you never know, but they made some pretty big mistakes. If you actually analyse where they had sailed from (West Coast) USA if I'm not wrong - pretty much they would have sailed down wind with wind speed not much more than 35 knots most of the way. Then throw in a stop over in NZ for six months to wait out cyclone season, these guys were probably a little sailing rusty. The boat was obviously still in 'live aboard' mode and not completly ready for an offshore trip. Couple that with possibly no recent experience in sailing in rough conditions in a yacht that is not that stiff, and you have a recipe for some problems.

Of course if the yacht had to comply with NZ cat 1 it would have had appropriate storm sails that allowed it to sail to windward without the use of baggy roller furling sails, then they may have stood a chance. As it sounds they were sailing with the seas on their beam - a recipe for disaster me thinks.

I see another yacht in Nelson this week dismasted last week as well.
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Old 30-04-2007, 12:32   #34
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I have obtained copies of some of the forecasts for Wednesday 11/4/07. At 20.09 NZ time a gale warning was in force for the relevant area – 25 knots with gales and heavy swells.

23.12 Wednesday gale warning with the northern developing low clearly mentioned and winds 40kts.

At 0018 Friday gale warning winds 40 kts

Comment from a meteorologist is “The winds on Friday 13th April were gale to storm force off shore Nelson to Taranaki reaching 50 knots sustained with gusts no doubt up around 75 knots , swells that would have been something like 5 to 8 occasionally 8 to 10 metres offshore.”

In summary gales were forecast from Wednesday evening at the latest, together with warnings about the approaching deepening northern low. The forecast winds increased on Thursday although storm warnings appear to have been confined to other areas. Gusts increase the stated speeds by 50%. The actual storm conditions were greater than forecast for that area on the forecasts I have. It would be unwise to take forecasts as absolute indications of actual conditions.

Although one may subjectively increase estimated wave size, they would have had wind instruments, and in any particular location they could well have had the conditions they report certainly as to wind, and significant swells of 8-10m, possibly more depending on depth. The actual conditions may have been F10-F11 rather than F12 but it seems churlish to get pedantic.

It is one thing to say one should be prepared to cope with a gale, however given the choice it is surely prudent to endeavour to avoid it. Storm conditions tend to be more a matter of survival.

Few people have never been caught out. Cruisers are not professional sportsmen or sailors. Most would empathise with what happened and hope they are not deterred from continuing their cruise, hopefully in more benign conditions.



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Old 30-04-2007, 13:53   #35
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OK so here is a different tack to the questions. For those that have sailed these routes...If they left Nelson and the destination was Sydney, why were they 100miles off the coast of New Plymouth???? To me, that is sailing the wrong direction, entering an area that is greatly influenced by land as we have a dirty great Volcanoe and the land area is called Cape Egmont. Just one more nasty area of NZ. IM(very nieve) Opinion, they should have headed out to deep Tasman sea.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:34   #36
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Alan, to take a direct course to Sydney your heading would be around 112 deg True once you had cleared Farewell Spit. If you were on course you would be around 100 nm from New Plymouth anyhow, so they were probably on course for Sydney, and not near to New Plymouth as you suggest.
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Old 01-05-2007, 13:16   #37
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Arrrr yeah, when I thought about it this morning, I suddenly thought, 100nm is a long way. That's the problem when we work everyday in Kms and have to boat in Nm.
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Old 01-05-2007, 17:07   #38
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That course assumes he is sailing backwards or the long way round.
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Old 01-05-2007, 19:38   #39
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might want to add 180 degrees to it!
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