So I bought Tami Oldham Ashcraft's book "Red Sky in Mourning," and here is what I learned.
- Richard Sharp's boat, Mayaluga, was a 36' ferrocement cutter that was built at a South African boatyard where he had worked.
- The boat for the delivery trip from Tahiti to California during which they encountered the storm was Hazana, a 44' Trintella ketch.
- On October 8, they had a WWV broadcast that informed them that Tropical Storm Raymond was headed toward them on a westerly course, so they steered north-northeast.
- On October 10, they changed their course to north-northwest and flew as much sail as they could carry to try to get as far north of Raymond as possible.
- The genoa blew out on the morning of October 11. They replaced it with the number one jib.
- On the morning of October 11, the broadcast reported Hurricane Raymond on a west-northwest course. They changed course and steered toward the southwest. This proved to be a mistake.
- On the afternoon of October 11, the broadcast reported Hurricane Raymond on a westerly course, which put them on a collision course with the storm. They changed course again and steered toward the northeast.
- That evening, the mizzen sail was damaged and had to be taken down.
- At dawn on the morning of October 12, the wind was a steady 40 knots. They continued under sail with a deeply reefed main and jib.
- At 10:00, the wind was a steady 60 knots. They took down all sail and headed into the wind with the engine running. They had one EPIRB, and Richard insisted that Tami wear it.
- By noon, the wind was a steady 100 knots. Richard clipped his tether to a cleat on the cockpit coaming and sent Tami below. The anemometer registered 140 knots before failing. The barometer was below 28 inches.
- At about 1:00 that afternoon, the boat pitchpoled or capsized. Tami was knocked unconscious and didn't come to until about 4:00 that afternoon. When she went on deck, she found that the D-ring at the end of Richard's tether had failed and he was gone.
The armchair sailor in me says they should have run before the storm under bare poles with warps or a sea anchor streaming astern. I would think that a center cockpit boat would be especially well suited for taking the seas from the stern as the cockpit and companionway hatch are not so vulnerable. Perhaps I've spent too much time reading Adlard Coles's book.