ALIR 2009 blowout - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > US Northeast > Long Island
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  #1  
Old 08-03-2009
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ALIR 2009 blowout

This years ALIR happened and I barely noticed it.
It seems that only 10 of 52 boats that started finished (9 DNS's): Yacht Scoring - A complete web based regatta administration and yacht scoring program
There was a report of one boat of a brand that starts with a 'T' taking on water in heavier seas then usual for this race. I also heard that the wind was gusting up to 40 kts.
Was this at the start of the race by the Rockaways? This area (NY Bight) normally has more confused seas then open ocean because of waves reflecting off 2 different shores (Jersey coast & LI).
Or, did people actually start and drop out after a storm blew up?
I have been searching the local papers for any reports on the ALIR this year but not surprisingly there is very little to be found.
Anyone have a more pithy account of what transpired?
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Last edited by CalebD; 08-03-2009 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 08-03-2009
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I was on a Farr 395, doing bow, so I missed a lot of the drama on the radio. The start was indeed off the Rockaways, in 20-25knots and ~6-8' seas. It was pretty much a greasy mess, with the committee doing some interesting things at the start. If I understood correctly, they moved the start line at one point and had to postpone because most of the fleet wasn't in the area.

We started about 4p and it just kept building. We started with 2 reefs in and the storm jib out. The boat wouldn't point, so after 1.5 hrs we only made 1 nm of course. At that point, we tacked and the shackle on the newly active sheet blew up. Before we could get it secured, the ring on the inhaul smashed the starboard coachroof window as the sail luffed. Given the size of the window (~10"x6') and improbability of repair, we pulled out of the race.

The ride back was really fun. We saw 12 knots of boat speed and 35 knot winds with seas peaking around 12'. Then the cover on our second reef line (brand new North fancy stuff) parted in the clutch, with the sail ties holding the sail down and the grommets ripping through the laminate.

The boat was from CT, but used Atlantic Highlands as a staging area. We headed back there where most people headed home and I took refuge at the bar. Another boat rocked up saying they called it when they realized it would take 46 hours to make Montauk. They clocked 45 knots sustained.

There are a couple other accounts on a Raritan YC member's blog: Messing About In Sailboats

As for the seas, they were pretty regular. The weather wasn't that cold and I was pretty well prepared for a rough ride. But, I wasn't disappointed to not spend the next 18 hours on the rail getting the crap kicked out of me.
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Old 08-03-2009
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Thanks Pschoonveld. I enjoyed the guest blog at the Raritan YC that you linked as well as your own description.
I decided to try to track down the buoy stats for 7/23 by the starting line. The wind speed data are given in meters/second which translate to miles/hour by multiplying a factor of 4.47 to m/s.
YYYY M D hr mi Wdir m/s Gdir Gspd Gtime
2009 07 23 22 50 077 15.9 80 19.0 2231 wspd = 71 mph gusts = 84 mph
2009 07 23 21 50 077 15.3 90 19.0 2135
2009 07 23 20 50 079 13.2 90 17.0 1958
2009 07 23 19 50 091 12.8 90 16.0 1945
2009 07 23 18 50 090 11.4 90 14.0 1842
2009 07 23 17 50 093 9.4 100 13.0 1655
2009 07 23 16 50 104 9.9 100 12.0 1635
2009 07 23 15 50 101 9.4 100 11.0 1541 wspd= 42 gusts = 49, start time
2009 07 23 14 50 088 7.4 90 9.0 1447

I believe that my calculations are in miles per hour and not knots but you get the idea that it was blowing stink from out of the east. It only got worse as the day wore on until the wind veered from the N/NW the following day.
Now I know why so many boats bailed out on this race without even checking the wave height/direction historical data.
I forget exactly where I was on 7/23 but I was probably on LI and we have had so much bad weather blow through that it is hard to tell one bad day from the next. Interestingly the 45 days of historical wind data show that 7/23 - 7/24 was some of the strongest over the whole period.
I would still like to do this race or route but not in weather like that. I can't blame anyone for DNF'ing or even DNS'ing. In fact, you have got to wonder a bit about the crews that did finally finish; was there a Captain Blye on board?
Any other personal accounts out there?
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Well, I don't know of anyone that clocked those numbers. I looked at buoy data the next day and saw it peak out around 45 knots. Might have been a different buoy though; can't remember if I looked at ALSN6 or 44025.

Either way, it wasn't much of a day to be at sea. But, I'll tell you, the Eddie's dark and stormies back at AHYC soothed my jangled nerves.
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Old 08-03-2009
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I looked at 44065 'Entrance to NY Harbor' historical data and my rough conversion from metric (who ever came up with this system?) to Imperial numbers was for M.P.H. and not Knots so my calculated wind speeds were necessarily high.
I would have needed a few too many dark and stormies after that experience that I would not remember the wind speeds either. I have been out in the LI Sound when it was gusting to 50 knots but it was on a 50' Bendytoe where 5' - 6' waves with short period made my nerves jangle as well.
Similar conditions on the ocean and the NY Bight in particular would have been horrible. Waves bounce off the shore of NJ and LI creating a nasty sea state. Being back at AHYC with a strong drink in hand would have been priceless had I been there.
In some ways it is amazing there weren't more problems given the conditions.
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