Join Date: Mar 2006
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy
Sailboat racing is a slow speed game - it doesn't have to be any more inherently dangerous than any form of going to sea is. Also, after you crash you boat, you don't get to walk back to the pits.
Your comments sound like an echo of Grand Prix racing prior to Jackie Stewart - any thought of driver safety was regarded as unmanly. Pure nonsense. Risking blown sails, wild broaches, even dismasting is not the same as risking going on the rocks in big surf - as we have just seen.
It is more dangerous. It is a form of racing. People push the limits of their equipment and endurance. Everyone who is a competitive sailor knows that there is increased risk of injury involved. But the question is; what is avoidable? Does it make sense to require jackets/harnesses/tethers/jacklines; yet not have a layline boundary (or depth contour boundary) at the SE Farallone north shore? This accident -might- be understandable if the boat were further offshore and suffered some sort of failure like the rudder post shearing; but to be struck by a 'large set' breaking wave makes this tragedy senseless.
If accidents like this continue to happen be prepared for people outside of the sailing community to start looking for ways to restrict the freedom of sailors to race their boats (like the USCG not issuing event permits). I don't think anyone wants that so the best thing to do is to make some changes within the racing sailing organizations to ensure that senseless tragedies like this are avoided as much as possible in the future.
Between late May and early September; the SF Bay is a daily "Small Craft Advisory" area. Do people here say well it's an SCA so we should stay in. NO; everyone who likes heavy air goes sailing/windsurfing/kiteboarding because the wind is up! According to the USCG we are all taking unnecessary risk. What would happen if the USCG said that racing events will be canceled if they issue a SCA?
Last edited by KeelHaulin; 04-25-2012 at 05:31 PM.