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post #235 of Old 08-03-2011
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I had my first knockdown in the Marlbourough Sounds on the South Island of New Zealand a few years back. One minute we were gliding along then boom, a 50 + knot gust came down on us. Full sails up etc. No signs of bad weather, sun shining etc. Broke my lee cloths, filled the cockpit with water etc, a few hairy moments before getting the main sheet loose, this on a 14 ton, full keel cruising boat. Some really fierce katabatic winds in here. My friends told me later that the area we were sailing in is known as "what a mongrel bay". I always expected a knockdown to happen in heavy seas, big winds off just never know. Another day in the life as an offshore sailor.

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