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Old 26-04-2012, 08:19   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3
Talking about "rogue waves" in this situation is a bit misleading. What Slow Speed Chase experienced wasn't a rogue wave, but a normal part of the wave height spectrum.

NOAA and most other weather organizations use the "Significant Wave Height" to describe swell conditions, the definition being "the average of the highest 1/3 waves". What most sailors don't realize is that the "Maximum Wave Height" can be as much as twice the Significant Wave Height.

So if you're sailing along and have been properly noting the size of the swells, you'll likely have been lulled in to the conclusion that you're going to continue to see, say, 10' swells, with sets of 14' fairly frequently, as an example. The "Maximum Wave Height" in this case would be around 24'. I recall reading somewhere that Maximum Wave Height swells can occur about every 2,000th swell. For a 15 second period, that would be once in a little over eight hours. That doesn't mean you're bound to see a Maximum Wave every eight hours, but certainly some that will be much higher than the Significant Wave Height.

The sailors on Slow Speed Chase were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn't a "rogue wave" that got them, it was Statistics.
Good point. I saw that about the size of a wave could be double on maybe Passage Weather-(weather website) probably uses NOAA data. Makes you aware of the big picture.
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Old 26-04-2012, 08:23   #92
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Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Well said Hud.
Another thing we tend to forget is that waves generated by local wind conditions can and do travel at a slightly different direction than open ocean swells.
So that when a 2 ft wind wave comes acrossed the top of this 1 in 2000th swell at a thirty degree angle it just compounds the problem.
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Old 26-04-2012, 08:24   #93
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Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

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Originally Posted by bazzer View Post
According to the KTVU news channel, the accident is being investigated by the Tiburon police since the Farallons are in their jurisdiction. The officer being interviewed said that they had not yet spoken to the owner/captain. Will be interesting to see what the outcome is, still won't help the victims.

Oh for God's sake. Are they going to start investigating NASCAR and Form I races too?????

I'm terribly sorry for what happened but some sports are risky. Let's take it further, and if someone crashes in the downhill slalom at the Olympics -- yellow-tape it off and see if the coach is to blame!
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Old 26-04-2012, 08:26   #94
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Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

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Whilst I have no fundamental problem with a race being set around an island and leaving it up to the Skipper to judge and then take own risks.....in the shoes of the organisers I think it would be prudent to set an exclusion zone around the island (whether 100 yards or 10 miles - so can still say "around the island" etc), the reason being simply to head off the "something must be done" / "think of the children" brigade .

Won't prevent the next tragedy - nothing will.

I think that's a great idea. Would the kind of race marker we use here -- a weighted round buoy on an anchor -- hold there? There's no doubt where our turns are, but the waters are much calmer.
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Old 26-04-2012, 18:58   #95
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It had to happen, the USCG has pulled permits for ocean racing I the area until safety regs are reviewed. They say the next date when racing is allowed is 25th May. I expect that several boats that were from the fleet due to race next weekend will go out anyway. Next we will have a exclusion zone and gunboats at the Farallons. Talk about a knee jerk reaction!
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Old 26-04-2012, 19:03   #96
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Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
The sailors on Slow Speed Chase were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn't a "rogue wave" that got them, it was Statistics.
A good point, Hud. If there had been a rogue wave, other boats in the vicinity would have experienced it. They didn't
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