Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Oceanside CA
Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed
I don't think safety is even factored into the designs of these boat. They are designing the boat to go fast. They are then strapping O2 tanks on the crew and stocking the first aid kit on the chase boats to mitigate the danger in the designs. Safety is secondary to speed, durability is secondary to speed. These are super wealthy, super competitive individuals backing these campaigns to take home the cup. The sailors on the boat are also super competitive and willing to put it all out there to take home the cup. Everything is secondary to speed and winning.
Besides the chance of catastrophic failure and pitchpoling there is the chance of collision with these ultra high speed non maneuverable boats. Having watched the previous cat races, I feel that also has the potential for fatalities. There are a lot of ways that these boats are dangerous.
The comparison to Nascar is not really accurate. As Nascar as a sport has been evolving for decades. America's Cup changes venue and boat parameters every 3 years. These drag racing cats have been being developed for a few years. The drag racing cats 3 years from now there will be different parameters and different boats.
I think any crash or tragedy will cause a new band aid added to the racing of boats that are dangerous. Each crash will also teach ways to help mitigate the dangers. I believe in the recent death the sailor was missing for a while before being discovered.
I would think lessons learned is
Better accounting of crew after crashes.
More support boats with rescue divers.
Maybe the cup itself can provide a fleet of safety boats to supplement the team boats. Knifes and O2 bottles won't help an incapacitated sailor and the potential for that to happen on these boats seams greater than in past AC races.
West Wight Potter 14 "Lemon Drop"
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