Kynntana (Freedom 38)
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: San Francisco
Thanked 36 Times in 36 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: First time crewing/racing this weekend
Coincidentally and kinda pertinent for this discussion, Latitude 38 just came out online and reported the following on SF Bay this past weekend....similar outcomes may be quite different offshore or without support vessels.
The weekend's sailing conditions were summer-like in their intensity — a welcome change for many of us who've become tired of medium- to light-air sailing. Among the many races taking place in the Olympic Circle off Berkeley, there were stark reminders of what can go right and what can go wrong in heavy air.
This year the Knarrs participated in San Francisco YC’s Resin Regatta — a welcome addition to the starting line. The six-fleet, 52-boat regatta had the Melges 24s, Etchells, Express 27s, Cal 20s, Open 5.70s and Knarrs sailing on a course just east of Southampton Shoal. Weekend winds built into the low 20s with gusts as high as 26 knots on Saturday — keeping crews busy during each of the five races.
The blustery conditions led to a series of incidents that remind us just how important our safety equipment is. "The first water rescue was a young woman on a Melges 24 who rolled off as the boat jibed for the finish," says PRO Vicki Sodaro." She was wearing a PFD, put her hand up for the support boat to find her, stayed calm and was ferried back to her Melges to sail in the next race." In another instance, a skipper fell off his Cal 20 during a jibe after a finish and his inflatable didn't inflate. This, coupled with his crew being unable to retrieve him, led race officials to rescue him and take him to Richmond YC to warm-up. Race volunteers also assisted in sailing his boat back to the harbor.
In another situation, a young woman was retrieved by her crewmates aboard the Express 27 Abigail Norton after slipping off the deck during a blustery downwind leg in Saturday's third race. Fortunately, she held onto the lifeline the entire time and merely got very wet in the process.