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post #61 of 387 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

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OMG, I'm going to stop taking baths because I just heard that one can die in 2 inches of water!
At least Bart died doing something he had a passion for, and was quite good at, by all accounts.
Beats rotting away with cancer or some such, which happens to those his age, too.
I am sure everyone participating in this race feels the loss of Mr Simpson and thinks more about the danger of these boats. I doubt they that any of the participants are having second thoughts on their career choice at this point, even with the recent tragedy. There is a danger in so many things you do in life. The amount of sacrifice the participants in these events have made just to be able to sail for a living, sail as fast as they can and possibly be part of winning AC team; they are not giving that up for anything.

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post #62 of 387 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

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Originally Posted by PalmettoSailor View Post

If you don't like the new AC boats, that's great, but don't fool yourself into thinking the new boat or format is more or less dangerous than any other. There just is no evidence to support that assertion at this point.
Seriously??? Sorry, but I have to disagree with you there, bigtime...

Until now, perhaps the most dramatic - and potentially tragic - catastrophe that occurred in modern AC racing was the sinking of ONE AUSTRALIA in the trials off San Diego... Watching this video, it appears to have happened in slow motion, compared to the suddenness and violence of the pitchpoling and capsizing of the cats we're seeing today:


Compare with what happens to some of the crew aboard Coutts' AC 45 last year:


Now, extrapolate that up to the size of an AC 72, with the potential for crew falling from a height of 50-60 feet, through the wing as Coutts himself did, or on top of part of the rig, or boat... If you watched any video of the aftermath of ORACLE's AC 72 capsize, the most terrifying aspect is the manner in which the rig gave way, and the hulls folded over on top of the whole affair... All those guys dangling from the netting in such a situation, could be immediately pinned underneath it all... From the accounts and pictures I've seen, that appears to be pretty much what happened to ARTEMIS this week...

But what frightens me most about these boats, is the fact that the remarkable speeds they're achieving - unlike a Formula 1 car, for example - does not appear to be matched by their nimbleness, or maneuverability... Something goes wrong, if a wing can't be eased quickly enough, or whatever, the ability of the helmsman to control the boat can essentially vanish... Watch this, keeping in mind these are among the best sailors on the planet:


At the speeds these 72-footers will be crossing tacks, closing speeds potentially in the range of 60-70 knots, that sort of mistake does not even bear thinking about...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 05-11-2013 at 12:16 PM.
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post #63 of 387 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

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Smack, have you seen what the inside of a NASCAR drivers seat looks like these days? The safety of the driver is paramount and the cars have very strict rules intended to improve safety each year. The NFL has made great strides in seeing that the quarterbacks are not broken into bits anymore.

I'm good with the thrill, just not with the abandonment of safety. All of these sports spilled some blood before they got it. I just see AC going the other way from these risky sports analogies, as the spectacular crashes of the cats has been going on for a while and it was just a matter of time before one killed someone. Everyone knew it.
True - but safety is an evolution...always. Nascar is the perfect example of this. Think about the HANS system - or restrictor plates - or whatever. Everyone knew these were problem areas too before something was finally done after fatalities. Safety follows innovation. That's just the way it's always been in sport.

I don't think that the AC is by any means abandoning safety. But to expect them to pull away from pushing it JUST for "safety" (however that is defined) is an unreasonable expectation. What about the moon mission? Was NASA being irresponsible?

It will all come together. Remember, these are the FIRST vehicles of these kinds in history. The Wright brothers didn't even wear helmets!
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post #64 of 387 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

I don't disagree with all these activities originally taking on risk. But whether it is flight, space missions or formula one racing, the next evolution of the activity was safer than the last.

This specifically not the case with AC racing at the moment. They amp'd up to cats, then to 45s, then to 72s. All the while, they were getting more and more dangerous, with more accidents and injuries.

That's my point.


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post #65 of 387 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

I also agree that these crews are all big boys and should be able to make their own decisions. (any girls? that's another thread )

However, there is no mistaking the lifetime status of having "I was crew on an Americas Cup race boat" on your resume. All will be involved in the sport to make a living for their lifetimes. Whether applying for a job at a sailing school, university coach or yacht club, that is extremely valuable. They are vulnerable to being in a position to have to take on whatever risk is presented to have that value.

(on a completely unrelated track, I've only met a few sailors over my lifetime that were AC crew. Ironically, each was somewhat of a jackwad. Not sure what to make of that. )


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post #66 of 387 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

I work in construction. According to OSHA 721 people were killed in construction accidents in 2011.

Should I stay home and not earn a living? It is orders of magnitude more dangerous than the AC.

Give me a break. $.02
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

My issue with AC isn't that anyone was ever hurt or killed. Its that they are making it more dangerous, not less.

How about next year in construction, we remove the guards from the saws, ask you to put the wood through faster and make the ladders more fragile? It would never happen, but is exactly what the AC looks like to me.


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post #68 of 387 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

It is an elective event , the AC. If I were forced to work in unsafe conditions your line of argument would have merit. But at least here, in New England, I'm not forced to do anything except pay taxes. These sailors are not forced either. They are pursuing something unique and frankly amazing. Human beings die by the thousands every day engaged in nothing more than sitting around waiting for food. Wouldn't you rather go out as the test pilot of the fastest sailboat on the planet? Of course no one wants to die, or get hurt, but someone smarter than us created adrenaline. Why not use it.
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

I'm not really following the difference. Every member of each crew is paid and its their career and job. They intend to leverage this experience into the next job. In fact, I see that as worse. They almost have to take this risk to qualify for the top jobs that might think a former AC crew member was who they wanted to hire.


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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

"I'm not really following the difference"

Ok
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