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  #51  
Old 04-17-2012
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Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race

My thoughts are with the crew of Low Speed chase, both lost and living, and their families and friends. It is a sad loss which will stay with the living the rest of their days. There will be plenty of time to assess the crew's action after the facts are in and time is taken for reflection.

My guess is that, as is usually the case, this tragedy will spark rule changes aimed at making the sport safer - rules that generally meet resistance until incidents like this happen. Just as last year's Chi-Mac initiated rules changes for future runnings of that race, I'm sure that will be the case here too. I would guess that some issues already brought up on this thread (tether requirements, regulating the course, etc.) will be considered. The key, of course, will be to find the proper balance between safety and allowing the races to remain competitive and challenging.

BTW, while watching the video posted by curtcee, one striking observation stood out to me. By listening to the narrative of the crew of that boat (which was an hour behind Low Speed Chase), it became obvious that they were unaware of the incident and were only surmising that the wreck they observed was from that day's race because of the presence of the CG helicopter. That seemed a little odd to me and would seem to indicate a lack of communication amongst the fleet. It may have been a problem isolated to this one boat, but I think at the very least it shows that communications might be one of the safety issues addressed.
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  #52  
Old 04-17-2012
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Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
That picture gives "Too close to a lee shore" a new meaning. What the H are they thinking?
Julie,

From the picture and GeorgeB's description it appears they rounded the SE island from east to west around the north end of the island although the sketch you referred to shows the opposite?

Chart 18643

Paul T
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  #53  
Old 04-17-2012
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Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race

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Originally Posted by dabnis View Post
Julie,

From the picture and GeorgeB's description it appears they rounded the SE island from east to west around the north end of the island although the sketch you referred to shows the opposite?

Chart 18643

Paul T
Julie,

Made a mistake on the chart, here is the right one:

Chart 18645

Also the picture is on page 3 about half way down.

Paul T
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  #54  
Old 04-17-2012
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Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race

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Originally Posted by dabnis View Post
Julie,

From the picture and GeorgeB's description it appears they rounded the SE island from east to west around the north end of the island although the sketch you referred to shows the opposite?

Chart 18643

Paul T
Paul,
Looking at chart 18645 and comparing it to photo image 12 in the gallery, it looks like the boat ended up on the north end of Maintop Island. I just wonder how much the Middle island outcroppings effect wave action on the north end of SE island. That's why I was thinking rounding SE island could be dangerous, especially in bad weather. It seems every quote I've read from experienced sailors mentions how dangerous it can be if you're too close.

It looks like keeping well away from the north point of Maintop Island is imperative.
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  #55  
Old 04-17-2012
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Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
...
I'm not at all familiar with the Pacific, San Francisco or the race but I looked at the NOAA chart. Would the race route be around SE Farralon, and south of Middle Farralon? (that looks dangerous) Or would the route require them to round Fanny Shoals or some other point more northerly than SE or Middle Farralon before heading back to SF?

I realize the image showing their path is probably someone guesstimating but if they were rounding SE Farralon on the west and ended up on the east, that would indicate some pretty rough and harrowing conditions that would have carried the boat there.
From the sailing instructions for the race:

5. START
5.1. Between Mark "A" and an orange marker on the St Francis Yacht Club race deck.
Cross the line from East to West.

6. COURSE
6.1. From the start, to and around the Southeast Farallones Island leaving same on either
port or starboard, then to the finish. Calculated distance 58 nautical miles

7. FINISH
7.1. Same as the starting line except cross the line from West to East.
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  #56  
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Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
Paul,
Looking at chart 18645 and comparing it to photo image 12 in the gallery, it looks like the boat ended up on the north end of Maintop Island. I just wonder how much the Middle island outcroppings effect wave action on the north end of SE island. That's why I was thinking rounding SE island could be dangerous, especially in bad weather. It seems every quote I've read from experienced sailors mentions how dangerous it can be if you're too close.

It looks like keeping well away from the north point of Maintop Island is imperative.
Right, it is. There is a generally a one to two knot north to south current. Most of the time the wind/swell comes from the north west unless there is an active storm, then generally from the south to south west. Either way you go around the island the north shore will be the lee shore in north west conditions. Many years ago I had a commercial salmon troller and fished that area a lot. I always stood well inside the islands in case of tangling gear in the prop or engine trouble. Sea room can be your friend when things go wrong.

Paul T

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  #57  
Old 04-18-2012
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Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race

Just shows how things can go quickly down the chute in a matter of a couple minutes...when playing dangerous games...which we all do if you ever venture off your front porch...some more than others...but The Farralones race is definitely in the "dangerous game" category...never been there but from all the pics it looks simply treacherous out there and wide clearance should be the rule..race or no race...or you are asking for trouble... Condolences to the friends,families...very sad...

Last edited by souljour2000; 04-18-2012 at 12:19 PM.
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  #58  
Old 04-18-2012
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Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
In the last picture in the photo gallery, it shows the route Low Speed Chase supposedly took, and that put the boat on the rocks. One would assume from that image that the boat was trying to round SE Farralon to end up on the east side of the rocks. I'm not at all familiar with the Pacific, San Francisco or the race but I looked at the NOAA chart. Would the race route be around SE Farralon, and south of Middle Farralon? (that looks dangerous) Or would the route require them to round Fanny Shoals or some other point more northerly than SE or Middle Farralon before heading back to SF?I realize the image showing their path is probably someone guesstimating but if they were rounding SE Farralon on the west and ended up on the east, that would indicate some pretty rough and harrowing conditions that would have carried the boat there. I can only imagine what they must have gone through.
No guesstimating required. Another boat saw the incident. (From link below)
"At least one other yacht was within eyesight, and its horrified crew watched the tragedy unfold but was unable to help in the tumultuous waves.
"It's a disaster - they were inside, too close to the rocks," said one of the onlooking sailors, Steve Hocking, a Sausalito Yacht Club member who finished the race in a 45-foot craft. "Once you get in that close and a wave hits you like that, it rolls you over. There's not much you can do."
Sailing fans reel over yacht race death - 4 missing
The course is used often, without incident. You simply have to respect the forces at work, and take prudent precations for offshore sailing.

Last edited by L124C; 04-18-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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  #59  
Old 04-18-2012
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Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race

http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/...eedChaseLL.jpg

Look at the white breaker to the left of the pic. See how far out it started, and look at the height of it.
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  #60  
Old 04-18-2012
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Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/...eedChaseLL.jpg

Look at the white breaker to the left of the pic. See how far out it started, and look at the height of it.


Nasty. Those are some sharp teeth.
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