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  #41  
Old 04-25-2007
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Now there's a lady who's thinking right.

I think the fenders place a very important role and they were indeed involved with another boat.

Kacper
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  #42  
Old 04-26-2007
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Things all seem to point in the same direction (well, to me they do ).

The table was set for lunch. the engine was running in the background charging the batteries. It was stinking hot. There was no wind, zilch, nix, nada. The boys were on deck getting toasted. The sails were gently flogging. The fenders were not taken in when they left wherever they left from but were pulled up and laid on the deck, not uncommon especially on a cat with lots of deck space.

The boys were TOTALLY becalmed and decided to go for a swim before lunch. One sensibly said "No, I'll wait on deck until you guys are done". The others said "Ah, come on, just a quick dip. After all, the boat's standing still isn't it". So he let the sails completely free, put his clothes on the deck, took off his glasses and put them on top and dived in. His dive may have even pushed the boat the first ten feet.

But then a little zephyr came along and moved the boat another 20 yards. All three swam for the boat and as they reached out to touch it, it went another 20 yards. There are only so many 20-yard stretches that a 60-year-old can swim before the boat starts to open the gap. Finally they are too knackered to go any further and the inevitable horrible truth becomes real. They're never going to get back on board again.

Some time later the wind came up, the headsail was completely free and flogged itself to pieces because the boat went head to wind. The mainsail doesn't have the same motion and wouldn't suffer the same damage. A headsail flogging for hours will do exactly the damage that was evident. And the motion of the boat in the rough weather also tipped the fenders off the deck.

In reality, when I was a lot younger and a lot less cunning, we all went for a swim without sails up and it was suprising how quickly just the windage on the boat moved it away from us. I am a big fellow and a strong swimmer and with a huge effort was able to catch up with the boat but today I never go over the side for a swim unless there is 100 feet of rope trailing.

No, there is no sinister element here, this is a simple but fateful error made by three guys, easy done.
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  #43  
Old 04-26-2007
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Good analysis of the situation, and a fully-battened main, as theirs appears to be would take a lot of flogging before it showed any damage.
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  #44  
Old 05-05-2007
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Interesting. This mornings Oz media is carrying reports that after inspection it has been discovered that missing from the vessel are sunglasses and hats. Last radio report recieved was from close by a well known sandbar near George Point. Speculation seems to be that maybe they either stopped on the sandbar for a while or ran aground and the crew jumped off to push her back into deep water. You can guess the rest. Pure speculation at this stage and still doesn't account for the fenders.

Given the area auhorities are also confused that no bodies have yet been found.

In later news.

A fisherman is lost presumed drowned after his 14' tinny was found circling in the Coral Sea off Mackay North Queensland and a Japanese solo sailor has been rescued after abandoning his round the world record attempt off Western Tasmania near Bathurst Harbour. The ocean around that area is probably the worst stretch of water down here. From Western Tasmania there ain't nuffink until yo get to Antarctica and with prevailing south westerly winds in can give you a serious wake up call.
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  #45  
Old 05-05-2007
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...and 68 year old Tony Bullimore is struggling w/ 50knot winds and a busted staysail furler as he single hands his 102 ft. catamran at 55 degrees south just east of New Zealnad.

Team Bullimore - Day 4 - Battling a 50knot Southern Ocean buster
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  #46  
Old 05-05-2007
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Single-handing a 102 ft. cat? Well nigh impossible without a furler, especially as his staysail must be the size of a main on a 40 footer. But the size, the fact it's a cat, the single-handed thing and his age seem at first glance to be "stunt"-oriented.

I wonder how much of the sponsorship money is slated for SAR...or are the Australians, New Zealanders or Chileans expected to cover that?
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  #47  
Old 05-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente
Single-handing a 102 ft. cat? Well nigh impossible without a furler, especially as his staysail must be the size of a main on a 40 footer. But the size, the fact it's a cat, the single-handed thing and his age seem at first glance to be "stunt"-oriented.

I wonder how much of the sponsorship money is slated for SAR...or are the Australians, New Zealanders or Chileans expected to cover that?
Valiente, do you have an idea who he is?? Bullimore??

What do you think he is a "sailnet" sailor??
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  #48  
Old 05-05-2007
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It is a pity that he lost the staysail so quickly after the start. And he would need it now a lot. I just hope he will be able to fix it somehow.
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  #49  
Old 05-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta
Valiente, do you have an idea who he is?? Bullimore??

What do you think he is a "sailnet" sailor??
I know exactly who he is, Giu. But 68 is 68, and a 102 foot cat is about twice the boat than Francis Chichester's Gypsy Moth IV was, if you want to compare old but experienced sailors circumnavigating in the Southern Ocean.

Accidents can happen to extremely experienced sailors: look at Eric Tabarly or even the Canadian Gerry Roufs and Mike Plant in the Vendee Globe races in the '90s. Look at Joshua Slocum: lost at sea and never found. I would say that after a certain, admittedly variable age, experience won't save you if you are simply too old to be racing competitively in "cutting-edge" races of this type.

Relative youth can supply the energy without which experience cannot serve. I know Derek Hatfield, a Canadian ocean racing sailor in his early 50s in peak physical condition, who has said that while experience is an enormous help in making the right decisions, fatigue is by far the biggest obstacle, and that it takes a huge amount of discipline to snatch sleep in dozens of tiny naps in a day just to keep functioning. Do I think he can do it in an Open 60 next year? Yes. Do I think he could do it in 10 years time? No. And yet in 10 years, he'll still be seven years younger than Bullimore is today.
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Old 05-06-2007
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One thing wrong with the swimming theory - one couldn't swim. The kidnapping theory could be right but why would anyone want three naked aussies?
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