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landofrainandgray
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Discussion Starter #1
Our local club had a 26 mile race on Saturday. Out of 15+ boats, only 4 finished. I put my footage together in case anyone is interested-we had a full crew so taking a few shots here and there was better than the fear I was feeling. The storms are often better than expected but not on Saturday-the gusts were 45+, seas 3-5 ft and angry!

Enjoy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZuYj_hQ7ms
 

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We had a race like that a while back. Started out as a 35 mile beat, however, into a 35 knot easterly. It had been blowing like that all day, so the waves had built to about 4-6'. Ripped our main at the second batten from the luff to the leach, but it got us there and back, finishing second to a J/109. Couldn't make a movie since it starts after sundown. Finished before breakfast, though. Twelve boats started, three finished.
 

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Nice!

Our race a few miles north in Seattle was cancelled (which was the right call by the organizers for this particular race). We didn't get out, but I was down on the docks working on my boat and wondering what it was like out there.

Thanks for sharing!
 

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landofrainandgray
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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, we heard all the races north of us were cancelled only after we all had started. I've heard about the boat carnage all week--torn mains, jibs, etc. We were lucky. This weekend the forecast is for rain and 3 knot winds so it's feast or famine...
 

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Irresponsible?

Not directed at the OP or his decision to race, but if the Race Committee knows that the weather is going to deteriorate to a point where there is a potential for property damage or compromised personal safety, should they cancel the race?

A couple of years ago, winds were in the 30 kt range with gusts to 40+ and waves 4 to 6 feet in pouring rain and 45 deg F (8 deg C) temps. The J105 group collectively decided to not race and told the committee. Once the committee heard this, then they canceled the rest of the fleet.

What's everyone's take on when is it irresponsible for the Race Committee to hold a race?

DrB
 

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We seemed to have two types of conditions for racing this summer in Scotland - no wind or a lot of wind. We didn't wallow to well but when the wind piped up we got out the no. 3 (our best sail) and flew. In three races we saw winds up to 40-45kts and in another we had a peak of 50kts. Our highest boat speed was 14.9kts. Not bad for a 34 footer. Heading to NZ soon and hope the winds will be consistently as good for racing as they were last year.
 

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What's everyone's take on when is it irresponsible for the Race Committee to hold a race?
First I would say the ultimate responsibility lies with the captain for their boat and crew.

In the conditions you describe I think it depends. If the races were for one design light boats then maybe but again I think the decision should be up to the captain. If it's a handicap race then no because those conditions aid the heavier boats whereas in light conditions the lighter boats have an advantage. If canceled I think the racing would always favour the light boats so would be patently unfair.
 

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As in the America's Cup and one design, where boats might have some pretty defined limitations, it would seem to be the committee's mandate to make the call.

Most fleet/handicap racing leave it to the skipper. A couple of years back the Southern Straits race committee started a race in the face of a storm warning.. this is a long standing event with a good percentage of 'gear busters' over the years.. everyone knew the predictions and forecasts.. Some chose to start, others did not. As it happened conditions were worse than forecast, and at the end of day one, in view of several dismastings, mass retirements, and a dangerous swamping with 2 MOBs (thankfully recovered) the committee abandoned the race for the first time in the event's history..

At that point pretty well everyone had withdrawn except for a couple of boats that, IIRC, were 'training' for Vic Maui and Sydney Hobart.
 

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Cheers for fixing my quote Faster - I don't seem to be able to use all the facilities available on the forum due to my computer.

I think we are on the same page regarding query on responsibility.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Sweet race... I'd be TOTALLY onboard with sailing in it! When the vid started I was like OK why wasn't anyone forward putting up a painter! Later in the vid with you guys surfing up a storm with barely a rag for a sail... I was like YEEEEEEAAAAAH, duly noted, no need for a jib!

Yep, responsibility is up to the skipper for sure, but I didn't see anything unsafe there. You guys rock!
 

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The race that was cancelled in Seattle was the last race for Duck Dodge. This is a non-handicapped mostly-fun beer can race where a big highlight is the raft up and sharing of drinks at the end. It was the right thing to cancel it when there were 50 knot gusts 3 hours before the race given the nature of this race and the boats involved.

They still had the after-party!
 

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Sweet race... I'd be TOTALLY onboard with sailing in it! When the vid started I was like OK why wasn't anyone forward putting up a painter! Later in the vid with you guys surfing up a storm with barely a rag for a sail... I was like YEEEEEEAAAAAH, duly noted, no need for a jib!

Yep, responsibility is up to the skipper for sure, but I didn't see anything unsafe there. You guys rock!
Close on the heels of the Straits race I referred to above, a Utube video was posted by a participating J109. It was a fascinating thing to watch. At first, kite up, boat surfing, smiles and high fives all around, maybe 20-22 knots of breeze and boat speed in the teens.. later, wind over 30 knots, mainsail only, a less exuberant crew.. later still, 50 knots plus, everyone looking pretty grim, hanging on as they fought to get into shelter at Nanaimo.. the transition from YEE HAW to 'oh Sh*t' to 'gemmeouttahere' was very apparent....
 
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landofrainandgray
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Discussion Starter #16
It was a close call whether to go or not-the waters in this location are *relatively* protected and we've done so much work on the boat in the last year replacing halyards, new traveler, blocks, and adjustable backstay that it gave us a good op to try out our new systems.

Ultimately, it should be the skipper's call and the most disconcerting thing in those conditions is the thought of anyone going overboard. Water temp is around 50 degrees so you don't have much time to figure it out. We finally decided conditions had deteriorated enough that we dropped the sails and motored back. It's a judgment call, I suppose, but we were happy with the lessons and experiences we gained.
 
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