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post #149 of Old 07-21-2008
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I got knocked down on one of the first few times i went sailing. I was probably 12 years old, sailing with my dad and our friend travis in his pearson 424. Travis is easily the most experienced sailor I know, he's been sailing for probably 50 years now, owned many sailboats, gone many places and says he's never been knocked down like that. We were sailing in the chesapeake bay.. dodging squalls all day when we got hit by what we think were microbursts. We were motorsailing with just the genoa up in about 7-10 knots of wind (main had a problem and was left on the boom) and I remember it was raining lightly but otherwise no sign of what was about to come. Out of nowhere we got hit by a 60+ knot (in our estimate) gust that lasted about 5 seconds (it felt like 30) and put the boat right on its side. I almost fell out of the cockpit and I remember looking out over the water and seeing the mast about 5 feet off the surface. The boat bobbed back up, and then before we had time to react we were hit by another gust, although this one not quite as strong, maybe around 40 knots.
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