Join Date: Oct 2010
Thanked 53 Times in 51 Posts
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed
I don't see the CG preventing boats from racing in over 25kts of wind. The CG issues permits for events that take place both on SF Bay and outside of SF Gate in heavier wind/sea conditions. Usually what happens if the weather is extremely rough is that the Race Committee holds a meeting before the race and everyone is warned about the wind/seas and given the opportunity to scratch from the race; or postpone the race altogether. This gives skippers a chance to assess the seaworthiness of the boat, their sailing skills, and that of their crew. The crew also has the opportunity to decline to sail in the conditions; knowing what they will be going out in.
The CG issues the permit weeks before the race day so they have no jurisdiction on the event's weather conditions. There have been times when USCG did not issue an event permit (following the Low Speed Chase accident); to determine what the cause was and give the racing fleet time to re-assess their internal safety protocols. This did not happen during the Lightship race when Daisy and her crew was lost in heavy conditions a few years back; instead USCG did an escort for the following offshore race to the Farallones. These are offshore events that have had more scrutiny because of the extreme conditions that occur on SF Bar when the wind and swell are up during the winter months. It's not uncommon for the swell to be 12-15' on short period with breakers out on the bar. The races are still permitted and it's not a common occurrence for the racing boats that do go out to be lost.
But if the CG wants to stop a race, because of conditions or the boat itself, they could declare the voyage manefestly unsafe. Note I said "could". They do have the jurisdiction to do this.