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gjordan 09-03-2013 17:42

Race boat lost in Calif.
CNN is reporting a racing boat that reportedly broke up off of the Channel Islands of Calif. 1 dead and 5 rescued. The video makes it look like they were bringing people up from land rather than the ocean. Makes me think it might have hit shore and broken up. Not much information yet._____Grant.

gjorgensen 09-03-2013 18:01

Re: Race boat lost in Calif.
There's actually quite a bit of info up now. See below for some links. The front page of Sailing Anarchy has an ongoing story and link to their forum thread.

The summary: Uncontrollable Urge, a new all-carbon Columbia 32, lost it's rudder a couple miles west of San Clemente Island in the Islands Race last night at about 9:30. They notified the USCG, but reported they weren't in immediate danger, and there are some reports they turned down immediate offers of help. The wind and waves eventually swept them into the island.

Winds had been in the 30's during the day but had calmed into the 20's by that time, but other racers reported a really big, ugly, mixed sea state with the NW winds driving big waves into a SW swell.

They eventually tried to deploy a life raft, which didn't work for whatever reason, and then tried to anchor. The water is really deep back there almost right up to the rocks (100+ feet just out from shore) so not surprisingly the anchor never bit. The boat eventually washed up on the rocks and was destroyed. The 6 people on board made it to shore, but one fellow, Craig Williams, was dead by the time they helicoptered everyone out of there. No cause of death has been reported, but the water and air temps would have been in the 50's and they would have probably had to cross some ugly rocks to make it onto the beach.

Jim the owner is a good guy and very knowledgeable. He and the core of his crew did Pacific Cup in his previous Uncontrollable Urge (a Columbia 30), and he'd worked with Columbia to construct this boat specifically for offshore races.

Just a tragedy all around. My condolences to everyone involved.

Latitude 38

Local news

Rollo 10-03-2013 10:25

Re: Race boat lost in Calif.
Very sad situation. Loss of life, trauma for owner and crew. Builder was on board and has to be devastated. The boat was new, I think about one month old. No lack of experience or skill involved. My condolences to everyone.

armido 10-03-2013 10:57

Re: Race boat lost in Calif.
I have learned to never decline offers of assistance in circumstances where my boat is disabled or aground near a lee shore. I declined assistance from a commercial fisherman once when my boat was aground near Blaine, Washington. Confidence I'd get her off on a rising tide evolved into serious concern I'd lose her when an unexpected squall came in. I was luck that time, but resolved I'd never say no to an offer from someone to help again.

Lee shores in any situation are a real danger to sailors and should be passed well off.



Rollo 10-03-2013 11:02

Re: Race boat lost in Calif.
On this we can all agree. I can only assume they thought they had control of the boat and could maintain some steerage. In hindsight????

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