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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-11-2014 08:45 PM
Re: New Safety Rules?

Perhaps it is time that all Cat 0 - Cat 1 -Cat 2 Off shore races additionally carry a parachute anchor and rode for your area..

If they had off had a parachute anchor with a inspected boat builder certified Samson post then all arguments would not have transpired as they would have had the time stated to be rescued.

What is a parachute anchor.

New Zealand Maritime law now requires that boats venturing into the open seas must carry a Para Sea Anchor as part of the safety equipment on board. Plus a SSB Radio. Race organisers require 2 certified first aid 1 with advanced certification crew or 1 First aid cert crew and a registered medical GP. as crew for each boat.

Not just a sound investment - but a life saver.

Parachute Anchor.

A large underwater parachute manufactured from high strength materials, impervious to sea water and resistant to wear.

The Sea Anchor is operated when deployed over the vessels bow, where it opens beneath the oceans surface. Its resistance brings the vessels head to sea, providing stability and safety.

Providing Self Sufficiency
A Sea Anchor provides a skipper with a self-sufficiency that equips them with security, peace of mind and the confidence to take on the challenging crisis that is happening to them .


Numb from fatigue, a sailor can place himself and his crew in severe danger. This is when the Sea Anchor comes into its own. Set the Sea Anchor, rest, get the brain back in working order and live to fight another day / night . Beating into heavy seas places wear and tear upon your boat and crew. Deploy a Sea Anchor and wait for better conditions.

Drift control

A Sea Anchor prevents drift when deployed enabling you to keep on station / the water mass night and day until conditions improve or until help arrives..
Many boats are lost when, initially disabled, they drift out of control and run aground. A Sea Anchor forces the bow back into the seas and keeps you off the rocks / shoals / bars / sand banks / danger zonesuntil help arrives.


With sails down or engine off, a vessel loses much stability sideways! A Sea Anchor, forcing the bow back into the seas, restores stability while you bail, pump, rest or repair.

Finding land safely

Making a landfall by night is difficult and many vessels have hit reefs or rocks in the hours of darkness. Deploy a Sea Anchor and wait to enter port by the light of day or until help arrives..
02-08-2014 06:42 PM
Re: New Safety Rules?

Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
It's so strange to see some GPS tracks running across the islands given the accuracy of GPS these days.
These tracks are not from the boat's onboard GPS systems, but from a satellite tracking system such as YellowBrick. The satellite tracking systems don't report positions continuously, but at some set time interval. Then it just draws a straight line to represent the travel that occurred during that time interval between reports. Also the trackers don't always succeed in getting their signal out, so it would be possible for the tracking system to miss several position reports, and then just draw a straight line between the last known position and the next known position. These lines don't necessarily represent where the boat actually sailed....
02-07-2014 12:13 AM
Re: New Safety Rules?

Originally Posted by paulk View Post
The "findings" section mentioned how the other racers who were at all nearby were well to leeward, and would have taken too long to work back to where Uncontrollable Urge was to be helpful. The Captain seems to have misjudged his danger and should have agreed to help from the USCG sooner.
My memory might be off, but when the Low Speed Chase report came out, it indicated that boats in the vicinity could and should have provided assistance, which probably was not as as likely for the Islands Race because of how close the vessel was to the lee shore. Then, when the sailing rules were updated in 2013, there was an emphasis on "rendering assistance" as a basic obligation and law of the sea. Perhaps this was also one of the changes to the RRS, I forget. Anyway, it definitely was stressed in a class I took that it is incumbent on sailors to help, provided their assistance does not put them in harm's way, which is a hard one to gauge. Just read about the successful rescue of Solid Air's skipper during the Bermuda One-Two race. You can feel the conflict from the rescuer when the call for assistance came in, but he very likely saved that person's life in that situation, resulting in no tragic post situation report to mull over...
02-06-2014 11:59 PM
Re: New Safety Rules?

Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post

It's so strange to see some GPS tracks running across the islands given the accuracy of GPS these days.
02-06-2014 09:03 PM
Re: New Safety Rules?

The "findings" section mentioned how the other racers who were at all nearby were well to leeward, and would have taken too long to work back to where Uncontrollable Urge was to be helpful. The Captain seems to have misjudged his danger and should have agreed to help from the USCG sooner.
02-06-2014 08:48 PM
Re: New Safety Rules?

Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
"yacht’s emergency steering shall be constructed to the same or greater strength standard as required for the yacht’s primary steering and that can be deployed in any weather condition".

...Emergency steering that is as strong or stronger than the original? Is that really possible?

I have no idea of what they are talking about except if it is that steel bar that you use when the wheel stops working. Of course, that does nothing if the problem has to do with a broken rudder.

I agree with you, it is not very bright to think that an emergency rudder can be as strong as the one permanently fixed on the boat.

What strikes me as odd in all that is why anyone (among the racers) stopped to pull them out of trouble? Normally the lost time is discounted from the elapsed time of the race.

Also, as a safety precaution why do they not recommend that this type of races to be followed by support boats that can take care of any problem as an alternative to upgrading the class of the race letting out many boats out next year?

That's what they do on the around the Island race where more than 1700 boats of all types participate. There are always incidents and accidents, specially when it is windy but never had been a causality, not even in capsized multiulls. Help is always at hand.


02-06-2014 06:52 PM
Re: New Safety Rules?

Disclaimer: I have never raced in SoCal, not a member of their YRA, and I don’t think I’ve even had a drunken barroom conversation with a SoCal racer.
At first glance, I was thinking the USCG was doing a category inflation but when I look at the tracks of the race, they are going pretty far out. They encountered 30kt winds on windward side of the islands which was similar to what I experienced further north off of the Channel Islands. Perhaps it raises this race to the level of a Cat 2. The “Run for the Border”, “MDR – Ensenada” and that July 4th “MDR-SD” race are all inside the islands and probably are an honest Cat 3. My problem with raising the Category levels is the YRA then goes in and modifies them downwards. So, our Cat 1 ocean races here in NorCal are really Cat 2½. The growth in requirements really hit in the pocket book. For example, a full set of SOLAS flares that are now required, will set you back some $700. We are getting priced out of the racing gig altogether. I also have a problem with the MOB and EMRUDD demonstrations. Those will add a couple of hundred bucks to our annual certificates… Then add in the costs of hauls and rudder surveys… our sport will be priced out of reach of us Corinthians and sailing will become a spectator sport like it is in Europe.

02-06-2014 12:04 PM
Re: New Safety Rules?

Oh great. Thanks for inflating the whole page RG.
02-06-2014 12:03 PM
Re: New Safety Rules?

See, here's another image of Randi wearing a PFD that lacks thigh or crotch straps and probably wouldn't be good in a surf on a rocky shore:
02-06-2014 11:59 AM
Re: New Safety Rules?

Paul, I don't think the weather was extraordinarily bad in the California sinkings and losses of life. It was rough in the case of Low Speed Chase and the Farallons, but that is something that can be expected off of San Francisco, and the boat was steered into shoal water with breaking wave potential near a lee shore that was a rounding mark for a race. PFDs were somewhat of an issue and tethering was an issue, IMHO. Uncontrollable Urge got caught with critical gear (rudder) failure off a lee shore that is normally a lee shore, and didn't call for help until too late. PFDs in surf were an issue. Aegean ran into a rocky shore, apparently with the crew asleep and the boat on autopilot.

Possible take-aways--

Many PFDs don't perform well in rough water. (It didn't help that the professional skipper of LSC was wearing a belt pack inflatable -- in high seas, winds, and breaking waves against a lee shore.)

Pretty close to 100% of the west coast is a lee shore, and very often a hostile one.

Many boats are not set up to survive a steering failure in active wind and wave conditions, and lee shores can loom up very rapidly.

Many crew are not set up to stay on board, even in unfriendly weather or poor visibility (tethering).

"Normalization of risk" or complacency or pressure to cut corners or reluctance to call for help, particularly for racers -- these are deadly mofos.
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