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Old 03-05-2012
chris_gee chris_gee is offline
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Boat lost owner rescued

There is an excellent e mail from the sailor on crew.org.nz - the online home of New Zealand sailing and a thread discussing it. I don't feel free to copy it.
Essentially a well prepared sailor in a sound boat tried a round the North Island NZ trip.
He anticipated a possible gale and was 60 miles offshore. After he deployed a Jordan drogue a second hit with winds of 70+ and breaking waves of 8m+ .
He drifted at 3.5 knots/hr to the lee shore with the water shallowing. At 15 miles off it was clear he was going to run out of room. After discussion with Maritime safety he was airlifted by helicopter from the liferaft. The boat was destroyed.
A sad ending to presumably planned cruising further afield but at least he is alive.
The thread is of interest because of the drift rate with the drogue the need for distance off and the feasibility of any other approach, including the difficulty of a 32 ft yacht making way to windward in those conditions. Perhaps the likely conditions were underestimated as the passage and the Tasman can be very difficult with no real potential shelter. I think about 10 boats were also in the general area on a 2 handed around NZ race. Two ran into problems and 3 were far enough ahead to seek shelter.
Sobering reading for the single handed or even the shorthanded. Not all storms can be avoided although it seems to me that is a good starting point.
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