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PaulinVictoria

Team Vestas grounded

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One of mentors once said, everyone has an opinion, but some peoples opinions are better than others. People who actually race on the ocean on actual yachts I believe would think - "There but for the grace of god, go I" - translation:

I too, like someone seen to have suffered misfortune, might have suffered a similar fate, but for God's mercy.

It's easy to judge from the safety of a typist chair or the couch... for the house bound and opinionated my advice is, if you are granted the opportunity to race across the ocean - take a change of undies (or two) for those moments when you are so scared - you'll be squirting poo into your pants. :-).

 

Ok, you win! That was indeed THE WORST first post on Sailing Anarchy - EVER!

JSBF thank you - you are welcome, is there a trophy? Although make it a small one, my trophy shelf is full from winning so many Ocean Races... so you'll need to make the award small... like your dick. ;)

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Look, Mr Clean,

 

I am not the one that sailed a multi million dollar yacht into a well charted reef in nice weather.

 

And don't worry. You never will.

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While it seems a few are trying to pin the blame on a few I, by contrast, see a little bit of blame with many.

In addition to the decisions and processes on the boat I have questions about the following:

hey were in an area previously excluded for security reasons so presumably someone at VOR watched a boat (with more caution than usual) head toward a collision (with supposedly 10 second accuracy) for 3hrs?

Scratches head.

An area previously excluded was opened for passage without someone (teams or VOR) delivering a "playbook" on dangers in that newly opened area. Remember that the boats are data limited for competitive reasons and everyone is well aware of the short-handed nature of these boats.

Scratches head.

While the practicalities of laptops down below for navigating should be acknowledged there are obviously far far better solutions available. The strain of looking at a screen of that size and type for the number of hours required wouldn't pass many OHS reviews if they weren't on a boat; there are better solutions and yes they cost more (but less than a VO65).

Scratches head.

Given the (now?) obvious importance of navigation I find the position of the nav screens limiting in terms of access such that they might create a pinch point on onboard procedures. I wonder why there aren't screens available somewhere in the pit to better enable on-deck crew to achieve some level of multi-tasking without having to move around the boat to achieve it.

Scratches head.

 

It's quite possible I'm ignorant of some of the facts, but I'd suggest that limiting the scope of blame will likely only place more pressure on people who have shown themselves to be very fallible under the existing regime.

I'm not so sure that their safety wasn't somewhat compromised from the get-go because the balance between competition and safety was overly biased toward competition.

In the end humans adapt, they do the best they can with what they are given, and unfortunately it wasn't good enough.

They're not using 9" laptop screens. Look at the pics of the nav stations in the thread. The laptop is just the driver. The monitors are full sized...17-19".

 

As for the rest of your head scratching, it'll be interesting as hell to read the results of the investigation. Hell, I'd love to be involved in it.

864x486.jpg

not 19" (it's a shot from Brian Carlin, though the credit doesn't show

Maybe it's good enough; there are plenty of workplaces where it wouldn't be.

 

The laptops on DF look bigger on DF:

Dongfeng_BG_Photo_credit_I_Roman.jpg

But it turns out they are only 14" Panasonic Toughbook 53's - 14.0" High Definition (720p) LED 1366 x 768 (yuck)

http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughbook/semi-rugged-laptop-toughbook-53.asp

 

Again the point is not to blame a single point of failure, just have a bigger picture look at ways to avoid it happening again.

If there aren't enough eyes on the screen then maybe there needs to be more screen(s) in front of the eyes.

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Look, Mr Clean,

 

I am not the one that sailed a multi million dollar yacht into a well charted reef in nice weather. And I am not the one putting out statements that, sure I am the captain, but the breakdown wasn't my fault. And I am not the navigator putting out a statement that my mistake was assuming I had the right tools onboard. That the zoom was a problem, and they changed the course. All it would take here is just the slightest bit of ownership. But that is not contained in those statements despite your ability to single out the word "mistake" contained therein.

 

OK, jzk. Why don't you write the mea culpa that satisfies you. But then expand it to include a certain amount of description of what might have led to the error in the first place, so that those inquisitive with minds like many on this thread are also satisfied... this will of course force you to recognize that Nico isn't considering you his entire audience. This may be humbling, and the first inkling that you are acting like an ass.

 

Then consider that you are the leader of men, and the designee of corporations to fly their banner and sail their boat... what you write will be parsed by those whom employ you, crew for you, and cheer you on, and will to some degree determine your family's economic future. Be sure to express how glad you are that you and your crew are alive, but how disappointed that all your hard work in this project may become merely an asterix in the fullness of sailing records, and you will possibly only be remembered for a single (grievous) error.

 

But, you must write this missive after being shipwrecked, sleep deprived, and having undergone days of torturous soul searching. Oh, did I mention you need to write it in a foreign language? I think Clean said English isn't his native tongue.

 

 

I doubt it will be as good as the example Nico has provided for your sanctimonious critique.

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(............) I think Clean said English isn't his native tongue.

.

 

...gawrsh no...the guy speaks 'stralian :mellow::rolleyes:

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Look, Mr Clean,

 

I am not the one that sailed a multi million dollar yacht into a well charted reef in nice weather.

 

And don't worry. You never will.

Now we are taking shots at he value of my boat? And this from a Hunter owner? It is amazing what those without a lucid argument come up with to avoid the facts. And now the problem is that they didn't have big enough screens? This isn't about screen size or software or paper charts or anything else. It is about checking the chart ahead of the vessel often enough to ensure this doesn't happen. They should have done that, but they didn't.

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Look, Mr Clean,

 

I am not the one that sailed a multi million dollar yacht into a well charted reef in nice weather. And I am not the one putting out statements that, sure I am the captain, but the breakdown wasn't my fault. And I am not the navigator putting out a statement that my mistake was assuming I had the right tools onboard. That the zoom was a problem, and they changed the course. All it would take here is just the slightest bit of ownership. But that is not contained in those statements despite your ability to single out the word "mistake" contained therein.

 

OK, jzk. Why don't you write the mea culpa that satisfies you. But then expand it to include a certain amount of description of what might have led to the error in the first place, so that those inquisitive with minds like many on this thread are also satisfied... this will of course force you to recognize that Nico isn't considering you his entire audience. This may be humbling, and the first inkling that you are acting like an ass.

 

Then consider that you are the leader of men, and the designee of corporations to fly their banner and sail their boat... what you write will be parsed by those whom employ you, crew for you, and cheer you on, and will to some degree determine your family's economic future. Be sure to express how glad you are that you and your crew are alive, but how disappointed that all your hard work in this project may become merely an asterix in the fullness of sailing records, and you will possibly only be remembered for a single (grievous) error.

 

But, you must write this missive after being shipwrecked, sleep deprived, and having undergone days of torturous soul searching. Oh, did I mention you need to write it in a foreign language? I think Clean said English isn't his native tongue.

 

 

I doubt it will be as good as the example Nico has provided for your sanctimonious critique.

I already wrote it. Go back.and look.

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It was sooooooooooooo complicated that I had to crash into something wouldn't work at my flying job. Just sayin......

 

EDIT - seriously now, I think you just pointed out the issue. The navigator isn't navigating. The magic GPS puts the dot on the chart and there you are. The navigator is doing all the weather and speed analysis for his boat and the competition. This apparently is such an all consuming job that actual normal nav stuff went by the wayside.

Hats Off

 

Firstly, hats off to Wouter (and Nicho) for ending the speculation with an honest upfront admission. Thank goodness SA published it before it disappeared off his FB page. They do themselves proud, their team, their sponsors, their supporters and particularly their sport. I for one think their standing in this game is not diminished by this episode. In fact their actions post incident have probably enhanced what were already gold-rolled reputations.

 

Secondly, I find some of the comments here pretty wacky, if not offensive so I only offer these comments in the hope it may help some authors to be a bit more circumspect when posting their views.

 

Navigating/Weather Routing skills with the opportunities and constraints of short-crewed offshore/ocean racing boats (particularly where wind speed and boat speed are the nearly constantly the same), simply cannot be compared with other norms people may be familiar with. By way of example:

 

Modern racing navigation programs like Expedition, Adrena etc are extremely powerful and sophisticated. In fact only those at the very top of the game use these programs to their full potential. At any one time a navigator may be manipulating dozens or more weather/current orientated routes including their own and those of other competitors. Overlaying this are the tactical route options that may not be weather related.

 

Putting aside covering competitors, a Navigators numerous route options will possible cover more than a thousand square miles for just the next 24 hours and tens of thousand of square miles beyond that. To add to the complexity these routes will all change many times a day due to onboard peer review, outside weather updates, onboard weather analysis, real time over the deck weather and observations, competitor route changes etc, This is all being done while doing around 400 - 500 mile a day!!! This offshore environment should not be confused with coastal racing where landforms and short races of say 600 mile or so reduce course options and therefore reduce workload let alone compare it with cruising navigation techniques.

 

As a consequence of this complex and exhausting process it is literally impossible to "zoom in" every time on a selected route and check it out for say obstructions, then drag out updated paper charts and other references to spot discrepancies which are an accepted shortfall in modern electronic charting.

 

To counter this problem a race navigator does as much planning as possible before leaving the dock where there is more time to make appropriate race notes and external information is readily to hand. For instance once this race is underway the internet and say Google Earth is off-limits. As Wouter attested to he followed these normal practises of pre-race planning for Leg 2 to the letter using the Sailing Instructions as issued.

 

Potential Review / Improvements

 

1. Reduce Navigator/Weather Router Overload:

 

Race Organisers restricted the amount of external data allowed including supplying all fleet weather updates and there is a media crewman. Whether this was done to reduce Navigator overload or simply to amplify it as a "one design" / "even playing field" event and improve media coverage, I don't know. However I don't think it has worked in the Navigators favour. Having a designated Navigator also having to drive/trim etc as available simply makes it all the more difficult for them to do their job. Some more thought needs to be given to this resource intensive area for short-crewed races like this.

 

2. Other Equipment

 

With B&G's involvement most boats would be running as a minimum Deckman and their own personal PC Navigation Software preference. My added preference is addition of a cheap and cheerful standalone bulkhead mounted plotter running a second tier of different electronic charts such as Navionics (in addition to C Maps on PC) and always running on a larger scale and possibly with other alarms set such as depth AIS etc. This works for me and allows the PC based Navigation Package to be used to its full potential plus any crew member can easily use it without touching information sensitive PC screens. It is also helpful for this chartplotter to have its own external GPS receiver that can be hardwired in as an instant redundancy for main system as well other uses such as system monitoring, auto pilot head for deliveries etc.

 

On some other suggestions I have read here it has to be understood these boats simply don't have the power to run anything else such radar etc continuously as a collision prevention mechanism. Suggestions of software shortfalls such as "zooming" is way off mark as that is a normal mapping constraint and no different a constraint than using paper charts of differing scales. It is not a software problem, though I suspect some programmers like Nick White at Expedition may be looking at some "zoom in alarm" feature in future programs after this incident, albeit that may come with undue added liability for them and added computer/power capacity for the user to run it.

 

In the same vein as chartplotter for keeping everyone informed regardless of whether up top or below (and for close quarters decision making) they already employ on-deck waterproof handheld Deckscreens that interface with PC below.

 

3. Competitors Navigating Practises

 

It is a crazy to suggest regular paper chart position plots can be practically employed or in fact adds anything useful anyway in this racing environment. Since the advent of decent PC based software the only time racing navigators write anything down about history (they don't have to as it is automatically recorded) or course/position is probably running an updated lat/long/COG in a waterproof notebook as a contingency for total system failure and or for quickly abandoning the vessel being able to communicate a reliable position. I know few people in 6k cruising world who even do that.

 

4. VOR RC Race Planning

 

In recognition of the realities of modern racing navigation the Amended Notice of Race that removed this area as an exclusion zone post start and after Navigators had completed their race planning should have included warnings consistent with what was there and the limited time and conditions under which they had to prepare for this. Having the race course suddenly change post start from being solely a offshore to a combined offshore/coastal course in this particular area further amplifies the need for appropriate warnings in that Amended Notice of Race.

 

The comments made those who went though the same area in daylight such as ADR and saw what Vestus didn't at night appear to support the above.

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Hats Off

 

Firstly, hats off to Wouter (and Nicho) for ending the speculation with an honest upfront admission. Thank goodness SA published it before it disappeared off his FB page. They do themselves proud, their team, their sponsors, their supporters and particularly their sport. I for one think their standing in this game is not diminished by this episode. In fact their actions post incident have probably enhanced what were already gold-rolled reputations.

 

Secondly, I find some of the comments here pretty wacky, if not offensive so I only offer these comments in the hope it may help some authors to be a bit more circumspect when posting their views.

 

Navigating/Weather Routing skills with the opportunities and constraints of short-crewed offshore/ocean racing boats (particularly where wind speed and boat speed are the nearly constantly the same), simply cannot be compared with other norms people may be familiar with. By way of example:

 

Modern racing navigation programs like Expedition, Adrena etc are extremely powerful and sophisticated. In fact only those at the very top of the game use these programs to their full potential. At any one time a navigator may be manipulating dozens or more weather/current orientated routes including their own and those of other competitors. Overlaying this are the tactical route options that may not be weather related.

 

Putting aside covering competitors, a Navigators numerous route options will possible cover more than a thousand square miles for just the next 24 hours and tens of thousand of square miles beyond that. To add to the complexity these routes will all change many times a day due to onboard peer review, outside weather updates, onboard weather analysis, real time over the deck weather and observations, competitor route changes etc, This is all being done while doing around 400 - 500 mile a day!!! This offshore environment should not be confused with coastal racing where landforms and short races of say 600 mile or so reduce course options and therefore reduce workload let alone compare it with cruising navigation techniques.

 

As a consequence of this complex and exhausting process it is literally impossible to "zoom in" every time on a selected route and check it out for say obstructions, then drag out updated paper charts and other references to spot discrepancies which are an accepted shortfall in modern electronic charting.

 

To counter this problem a race navigator does as much planning as possible before leaving the dock where there is more time to make appropriate race notes and external information is readily to hand. For instance once this race is underway the internet and say Google Earth is off-limits. As Wouter attested to he followed these normal practises of pre-race planning for Leg 2 to the letter using the Sailing Instructions as issued.

 

Potential Review / Improvements

 

1. Reduce Navigator/Weather Router Overload:

 

Race Organisers restricted the amount of external data allowed including supplying all fleet weather updates and there is a media crewman. Whether this was done to reduce Navigator overload or simply to amplify it as a "one design" / "even playing field" event and improve media coverage, I don't know. However I don't think it has worked in the Navigators favour. Having a designated Navigator also having to drive/trim etc as available simply makes it all the more difficult for them to do their job. Some more thought needs to be given to this resource intensive area for short-crewed races like this.

 

2. Other Equipment

 

With B&G's involvement most boats would be running as a minimum Deckman and their own personal PC Navigation Software preference. My added preference is addition of a cheap and cheerful standalone bulkhead mounted plotter running a second tier of different electronic charts such as Navionics (in addition to C Maps on PC) and always running on a larger scale and possibly with other alarms set such as depth AIS etc. This works for me and allows the PC based Navigation Package to be used to its full potential plus any crew member can easily use it without touching information sensitive PC screens. It is also helpful for this chartplotter to have its own external GPS receiver that can be hardwired in as an instant redundancy for main system as well other uses such as system monitoring, auto pilot head for deliveries etc.

 

On some other suggestions I have read here it has to be understood these boats simply don't have the power to run anything else such radar etc continuously as a collision prevention mechanism. Suggestions of software shortfalls such as "zooming" is way off mark as that is a normal mapping constraint and no different a constraint than using paper charts of differing scales. It is not a software problem, though I suspect some programmers like Nick White at Expedition may be looking at some "zoom in alarm" feature in future programs after this incident, albeit that may come with undue added liability for them and added computer/power capacity for the user to run it.

 

In the same vein as chartplotter for keeping everyone informed regardless of whether up top or below (and for close quarters decision making) they already employ on-deck waterproof handheld Deckscreens that interface with PC below.

 

3. Competitors Navigating Practises

 

It is a crazy to suggest regular paper chart position plots can be practically employed or in fact adds anything useful anyway in this racing environment. Since the advent of decent PC based software the only time racing navigators write anything down about history (they don't have to as it is automatically recorded) or course/position is probably running an updated lat/long/COG in a waterproof notebook as a contingency for total system failure and or for quickly abandoning the vessel being able to communicate a reliable position. I know few people in 6k cruising world who even do that.

 

4. VOR RC Race Planning

 

In recognition of the realities of modern racing navigation the Amended Notice of Race that removed this area as an exclusion zone post start and after Navigators had completed their race planning should have included warnings consistent with what was there and the limited time and conditions under which they had to prepare for this. Having the race course suddenly change post start from being solely a offshore to a combined offshore/coastal course in this particular area further amplifies the need for appropriate warnings in that Amended Notice of Race.

 

The comments made those who went though the same area in daylight such as ADR and saw what Vestus didn't at night appear to support the above.

Great post. +1

 

Well done sir

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Thanks jack_sparrow ! That was a great post.

 

I'm hoping with that post we can leave this issue on a high note until we learn more from those involved - once they have had time to physically and mentally recover and take stock of the events leading up to the accident...but sadly I suspect not.

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Just curious, can you crash tack one of these canters, and how long does it take?

.

 

.....if you don't mind going from ~3' draft to ~15' :mellow:

 

Two good points for anyone thinking "Could the helmsman have thrown the helm over if he was in doubt?"

 

1. The boat on the other tack would have been on it's ear with shit everywhere in the dark… i.e. high risk of MOB.

 

2. The keel would most likely have struck as it arced down through the tack anyway

 

Makes you realise it's not easy to throw an instant manoeuvre at a fully powered up canter.

 

My 1.04c worth.

 

 

In hindsight of course, wouldn't the correct course of action be to simply bear away? From video they appear to be sailing close-hauled on port tack. The waves first appear on port side. This is consistent with google earth images that show the boat approached the reef at a point where it is oriented SW to NE. Simply bearing away from the shallow stuff at port to a NNE course might have allowed them to quickly get back in deeper water. No tack necessary. Said with 20/20 hindsight from the comfort of a keyboard.

 

This was my first thought....

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Thanks jack_sparrow ! That was a great post.

 

I'm hoping with that post we can leave this issue on a high note until we learn more from those involved - once they have had time to physically and mentally recover and take stock of the events leading up to the accident...but sadly I suspect not.

.

...wouldn't it be customary to go to the earlier part of the thread and start re-hashing some details?

 

...edit,,,oh,,I see JB beat me to it! ;)

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Why do people keep talking of salvage? That boat is toast!

 

 

Although I notice the keel is still attached. Clearly that indicates a well-proven pivot structure, so that should be re-used. (sorry Couchsurfer!)

It's a VO 55 now.

 

Bazinga! :lol:

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Thanks jack_sparrow ! That was a great post.

 

I'm hoping with that post we can leave this issue on a high note until we learn more from those involved - once they have had time to physically and mentally recover and take stock of the events leading up to the accident...but sadly I suspect not.

.

...wouldn't it be customary to go to the earlier part of the thread and start re-hashing some details?

 

...edit,,,oh,,I see JB beat me to it! ;)

 

Bite me. I was racing yesterday and am just now catching up on the happs.

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With everyone pointing at Wouter, I think he made it clear that more than one person is looking at the screens and that neither one of them, or none of them, saw the reef - for whatever reason which is yet to be determined.

 

Wouter said "we" but that doesn't necessarily mean shit, and it's a little ridiculous for you to be parsing words like that. First, english is his third or fourth language. Second, he's been on a rock for three days and now he's on a slightly more luxurious rock. He still has no possessions. And he is closer to his team than he ever has been. So yeah, he's gonna use "we" for a lot of things that you might not.

 

He seemed to accept the responsibility very damned well, and I don't see shit in the way of excuses. What I do see is a guy that genuinely addressed the questioning and criticism he saw online, answering the question exactly the way a sailor would hope he would, and seeking to learn more.

 

Agree

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Wouter's post on facebook has been deleted. Strange as it has been copied & posted everywhere (well, at least here on the FP). ¿the sponsor was not aware of his outing?¿insurance claim issues??

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Knut's investigation team looks like it going to be headed by Chris Oxenbould - good guy, did a very honest job with the Finder's incident report. Stan will be involved/contribute, but he is tied up short term with the Sydney to Hobart.

 

BRW, The Finder's incident was another "fully crewed racing yacht hits island" incident. Somewhat different details surounding the incident than with Vestas, but overall likely a similar cascade of human failure. The report is worth a read just to be reminded what mistakes good people can make.

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I've never been even close to this kind of racing boats, so please forgive if my question is ignorant.

Do these teams have kind of 'incident response' procedures, like other industries? By planning ahead for possible error scenarios and developing actions to execute in these cases, we avoid the time wasted by the WTF moments and also avoid wrong decisions due to hurry and stress.

Obviously everyone has this for MOB, but are there others?

The sounder coming alive where it should not, would certainly initiate the "we're not where we should be" procedure, which may include for example immediate action for the helmsmam.

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Knut's investigation team looks like it going to be headed by Chris Oxenbould - good guy, did a very honest job with the Finder's incident report. Stan will be involved/contribute, but he is tied up short term with the Sydney to Hobart.

 

waste of money to be honest. It is pretty clear what happen, isn't it?

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Knut's investigation team looks like it going to be headed by Chris Oxenbould - good guy, did a very honest job with the Finder's incident report. Stan will be involved/contribute, but he is tied up short term with the Sydney to Hobart.

 

waste of money to be honest. It is pretty clear what happen, isn't it?

 

Not really.

 

They ended up on the bricks...yes: blindingly obvious.

A human cock up:yep

 

Why a bunch of talented, respected sailors did so? Not so clear & worth a look.

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Who gives a rats.? Couldn't care about what Knut does. Make you own decision re protocol or throw that out and say it's up to me. It's pretty simple you take your eye off the road for one second and it could be your life. You take your eye off the water and it could be the end game? You control your own destiny. Circumstances dictate what and where you sail and how successfully.? This fuck up says there is minimal difference between amateur and professional, your call..!

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Who gives a rats.? Couldn't care about what Knut does. Make you own decision re protocol or throw that out and say it's up to me. It's pretty simple you take your eye off the road for one second and it could be your life. You take your eye off the water and it could be the end game? You control your own destiny. Circumstances dictate what and where you sail and how successfully.? This fuck up says there is minimal difference between amateur and professional, your call..!

 

I give up. You got me

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The sounder coming alive where it should not, would certainly initiate the "we're not where we should be" procedure, which may include for example immediate action for the helmsmam.

Will be interesting to hear if depth was up on any display below. Doubt very much it was showing on the mast displays.

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The sounder coming alive where it should not, would certainly initiate the "we're not where we should be" procedure, which may include for example immediate action for the helmsmam.

Will be interesting to hear if depth was up on any display below. Doubt very much it was showing on the mast displays.

I suppose if you're not expecting to turn at a depth & you think your in the middle of an ocean with no hazards, have a professional nav keeping an eye on everything you probably have other stuff on the display.

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I spent some time looking at the 3 YouTube videos of Vestas' crash, and writing out the time sequence as well as what is said on board (at least what's intelligible).

 

Highlights:

- First communication (on deck) of a potential risk was 32 secs. before impact: "We're passing… we're going over the top of some shoals right now, 40m deep". (said by a fluent English speaker - sounds potentially like Nico, but I'm merely guessing based on other videos of him speaking)

 

- 5 secs later (T-27) someone then says "Aw yeah, you can see the line here". It's not clear whether this is someone looking in the distance at the reef line, or looking at a contour line on a chartplotter screen (however the latter seems less likely since there appears to be no chartplotter on deck).

 

- In the best of cases, had they then reacted immediately (crash gybe or rounding up to stop), they would have had no more than 27 secs to stop the boat -- likely much less since they would have increased their draft in this maneuver. In terms of distance, 27 secs @ 19kts left them 850ft / 260m until impact... I think it would be very unrealistic to expect any race boat to suddenly come to a full stop within that distance at night...

 

- I do not really buy the "shorthanded crew" argument made by some posters above. Yes, the crew are small for a boat this size and the navigator is highly taxed, however there are enough people they they should have maintained much better situational awareness: 3 crew on deck (helm, mainsail trimmer, foresail trimmer), plus a 4th in the companionway (seemingly looking at Nav). That's more than enough to check the route ahead at least each watch, & inquire on any anomalies such as shoal lines on maps.

 

- The two longer 9:37 and 6:25 videos do have different soundtracks which complement each other (see transcript below) - however, my uneducated guess is this is due to multiple mics, and the video editor selecting a different mic for each video, rather than selectively blanking out sentences as suggested by some posters above. The shorter 2:03 video is duplicative, nothing interesting there.

 

Links to videos:

VOR - Inside Track - Team Vestas Wind Special (length: 9:37):
Team Vestas Wind aground (length: 6:25):
VOR - Race Yacht Crash caught on camera (length: 2:03):

Detailed timing (black font based on 9:37 video, blue font based on 6:25 video):

0:28: Footage starts; helmsman visible (port wheel); Crew #1 in middle of cockpit, is moving to behind helmsman (off camera)

0:44-0:52: Boat heels over significantly [gust?]; Crew #2 [mainsail trimmer who is invisibe forward of helmsman, sheets out the mainsheet]

0:53-1:07: Crew #1 reappears from behind helmsman, moving to forward grinder, and then grinds mainsheet back in.

1:05: Crew #3 appears to poke head through port companionway [blury]. Crew #1 looks in his direction but stays put.

1:09: Crew #1 moves forward to port companionway hatch.

1:11: Voice #1 [presumably Crew #3, native English speaker, sounds like could be Nico]: "There's a bit of current [into]…" [Fairly unintelligible]

1:13: Voice #2 [presumably Crew #1, foreign accent]: "Fifteen" [presumably wind speed]. Crew #1 starts moving to foresail sheet winch (starboard)

1:15: Voice #1: "There's a bit of current right [in the way]…"

1:16: Voice: "[stop] it" [fairly unintelligible, could also be "Lock it" or "Drop it"]

1:17-1:20: Crew #1 takes turn off winch and eases foresail sheet

 

1:27-1:32: Voice #1: "We're passing… we're going over the top of some shoals right now, 40 meters deep"

1:30: Right after hearing "shoals", Crew #1 heads to forward part of cockpit [presumably to approach Crew #3, or potentially check-out a chartplotter screen]

1:32: Voice #3 [good English speaker]: "Aw yeah, you can see the line here" [unclear if he's referring to a line in the distance, or a depth contour on the chartplotter]

1:33: Voice: "Wow"

1:34: Voice [faint]: "Yeah"

1:35: Voice (good English speaker): "Check this out" [0:00 of 6:25 min video, which starts here]

1:36-1:39: Voice #1: "What is this?". After saying this, Crew #1 then heads to port railing to peer into the distance towards 9 o'clock [moving more quickly than before - suggests some concern]

1:41: Crew #3 quickly emerges from companion way

1:41: Voice: "There's water"

1:41-1:43: Crew #3 also quickly moves to port railing and peers over port beam

1:42-1:43: Voice: [unintelligible commentary, sounds like "There's a line…"]. Crew #1 half-steps out of cockpit to lean further out as he peers towards port

1:45: Voice [same as 1:41]: "There's water"

1:44-1:47: [Other unintelligible chatter in 6:25 long video, around 0:10-0:13]

1:47-1:48: Voice: [unintelligible commentary, could be "There's a line in the water" but unclear]

1:49-1:50: Voice #1: "There's three thousand feet of water" [0:14 of 6:25 min video] [suggests crew is surprised to see shoals]

1:48-1:50: Crew #1 turns towards port quarter [may be peering further towards port bow at 10-11 o'clock], Crew #3 turns towards aft, starts pulling up his foullie pants.

1:52-1:53: Voice: "It's [wind]" [fairly unintelligible]

1:53-1:54: Voice: [unintelligible commentary]

1:55-1:56 Voice: [unintelligible commentary]

1:57-1:58 Voice: "Three thousand feed of water" [0:23 of 6:25 min video]

 

1:59: [3 IMPACTS] Bam (soft), BAM! (loud), BAM/CRASH! (really loud) [0:24 of 6:25 min]

 

2:00: Camera goes dark

2:01: Camera view reappears

2:04: Voice #3: "Fack!". Crew #1 starts moving from port side of cockpit towards foresail sheet winch on starboard.

2:05: Voice: "Are you guys all right?"

2:06: Voice #3: "Yeah, yeah!"

2:07: Voice: "Ease the sheet". Crew #1 is already on the foresail winch and dumps the sheet

2:09: Another fairly big impact, water sloshes over starboard rail into the cockpit

2:09: Voice #3: "Fack, there's a big rock here guys! It's a rock". Crew #2 [mainsail trimmer] moves from LHS railing [off camera] into cockpit. Crew #4 appears in companionway.

2:12: Voice: "Oh, Fuck!"

2:13-2:14: Voice #3: "Furl, furl the sail"

2:14: Crew #4 starts climbing out of companionway

2:16: Voice: "Holy shit!"

2:17: Crew #5 appears in view in companionway (behind Crew #4)

2:18: Voice #1: "It's all right guys". Voice #3: "Furl the sail"

...

9:37: End of video

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I spent some time looking at the 3 YouTube videos of Vestas' crash, and writing out the time sequence as well as what is said on board (at least what's intelligible).

 

Highlights:

- First communication (on deck) of a potential risk was 32 secs. before impact: "We're passing… we're going over the top of some shoals right now, 40m deep". (said by a fluent English speaker - sounds potentially like Nico, but I'm merely guessing based on other videos of him speaking)

 

- 5 secs later (T-27) someone then says "Aw yeah, you can see the line here". It's not clear whether this is someone looking in the distance at the reef line, or looking at a contour line on a chartplotter screen (however the latter seems less likely since there appears to be no chartplotter on deck).

 

- In the best of cases, had they then reacted immediately (crash gybe or rounding up to stop), they would have had no more than 27 secs to stop the boat -- likely much less since they would have increased their draft in this maneuver. In terms of distance, 27 secs @ 19kts left them 850ft / 260m until impact... I think it would be very unrealistic to expect any race boat to suddenly come to a full stop within that distance at night...

 

- I do not really buy the "shorthanded crew" argument made by some posters above. Yes, the crew are small for a boat this size and the navigator is highly taxed, however there are enough people they they should have maintained much better situational awareness: 3 crew on deck (helm, mainsail trimmer, foresail trimmer), plus a 4th in the companionway (seemingly looking at Nav). That's more than enough to check the route ahead at least each watch, & inquire on any anomalies such as shoal lines on maps.

 

- The two longer 9:37 and 6:25 videos do have different soundtracks which complement each other (see transcript below) - however, my uneducated guess is this is due to multiple mics, and the video editor selecting a different mic for each video, rather than selectively blanking out sentences as suggested by some posters above. The shorter 2:03 video is duplicative, nothing interesting there.

 

Links to videos:

VOR - Inside Track - Team Vestas Wind Special (length: 9:37):
Team Vestas Wind aground (length: 6:25):
VOR - Race Yacht Crash caught on camera (length: 2:03):

Detailed timing (black font based on 9:37 video, blue font based on 6:25 video):

0:28: Footage starts; helmsman visible (port wheel); Crew #1 in middle of cockpit, is moving to behind helmsman (off camera)

0:44-0:52: Boat heels over significantly [gust?]; Crew #2 [mainsail trimmer who is invisibe forward of helmsman, sheets out the mainsheet]

0:53-1:07: Crew #1 reappears from behind helmsman, moving to forward grinder, and then grinds mainsheet back in.

1:05: Crew #3 appears to poke head through port companionway [blury]. Crew #1 looks in his direction but stays put.

1:09: Crew #1 moves forward to port companionway hatch.

1:11: Voice #1 [presumably Crew #3, native English speaker, sounds like could be Nico]: "There's a bit of current [into]…" [Fairly unintelligible]

1:13: Voice #2 [presumably Crew #1, foreign accent]: "Fifteen" [presumably wind speed]. Crew #1 starts moving to foresail sheet winch (starboard)

1:15: Voice #1: "There's a bit of current right [in the way]…"

1:16: Voice: "[stop] it" [fairly unintelligible, could also be "Lock it" or "Drop it"]

1:17-1:20: Crew #1 takes turn off winch and eases foresail sheet

 

1:27-1:32: Voice #1: "We're passing… we're going over the top of some shoals right now, 40 meters deep"

1:30: Right after hearing "shoals", Crew #1 heads to forward part of cockpit [presumably to approach Crew #3, or potentially check-out a chartplotter screen]

1:32: Voice #3 [good English speaker]: "Aw yeah, you can see the line here" [unclear if he's referring to a line in the distance, or a depth contour on the chartplotter]

1:33: Voice: "Wow"

1:34: Voice [faint]: "Yeah"

1:35: Voice (good English speaker): "Check this out" [0:00 of 6:25 min video, which starts here]

1:36-1:39: Voice #1: "What is this?". After saying this, Crew #1 then heads to port railing to peer into the distance towards 9 o'clock [moving more quickly than before - suggests some concern]

1:41: Crew #3 quickly emerges from companion way

1:41: Voice: "There's water"

1:41-1:43: Crew #3 also quickly moves to port railing and peers over port beam

1:42-1:43: Voice: [unintelligible commentary, sounds like "There's a line…"]. Crew #1 half-steps out of cockpit to lean further out as he peers towards port

1:45: Voice [same as 1:41]: "There's water"

1:44-1:47: [Other unintelligible chatter in 6:25 long video, around 0:10-0:13]

1:47-1:48: Voice: [unintelligible commentary, could be "There's a line in the water" but unclear]

1:49-1:50: Voice #1: "There's three thousand feet of water" [0:14 of 6:25 min video] [suggests crew is surprised to see shoals]

1:48-1:50: Crew #1 turns towards port quarter [may be peering further towards port bow at 10-11 o'clock], Crew #3 turns towards aft, starts pulling up his foullie pants.

1:52-1:53: Voice: "It's [wind]" [fairly unintelligible]

1:53-1:54: Voice: [unintelligible commentary]

1:55-1:56 Voice: [unintelligible commentary]

1:57-1:58 Voice: "Three thousand feed of water" [0:23 of 6:25 min video]

 

1:59: [3 IMPACTS] Bam (soft), BAM! (loud), BAM/CRASH! (really loud) [0:24 of 6:25 min]

 

2:00: Camera goes dark

2:01: Camera view reappears

2:04: Voice #3: "Fack!". Crew #1 starts moving from port side of cockpit towards foresail sheet winch on starboard.

2:05: Voice: "Are you guys all right?"

2:06: Voice #3: "Yeah, yeah!"

2:07: Voice: "Ease the sheet". Crew #1 is already on the foresail winch and dumps the sheet

2:09: Another fairly big impact, water sloshes over starboard rail into the cockpit

2:09: Voice #3: "Fack, there's a big rock here guys! It's a rock". Crew #2 [mainsail trimmer] moves from LHS railing [off camera] into cockpit. Crew #4 appears in companionway.

2:12: Voice: "Oh, Fuck!"

2:13-2:14: Voice #3: "Furl, furl the sail"

2:14: Crew #4 starts climbing out of companionway

2:16: Voice: "Holy shit!"

2:17: Crew #5 appears in view in companionway (behind Crew #4)

2:18: Voice #1: "It's all right guys". Voice #3: "Furl the sail"

...

9:37: End of video

 

And your point is..?

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the whole thing is even worst if they knew there were in the proximity of a reef / shoal ....almost reckless behaviour....

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Jack while you raised some great points, I have to post differing opinions on these..

 

Hats Off

1. Reduce Navigator/Weather Router Overload:

 

Race Organisers restricted the amount of external data allowed including supplying all fleet weather updates and there is a media crewman. Whether this was done to reduce Navigator overload or simply to amplify it as a "one design" / "even playing field" event and improve media coverage, I don't know. However I don't think it has worked in the Navigators favour. Having a designated Navigator also having to drive/trim etc as available simply makes it all the more difficult for them to do their job. Some more thought needs to be given to this resource intensive area for short-crewed races like this.

 

It is not clear if you are placing the duty of getting the navigator more rest with the team, skipper or race organizers. It is the duty of the team to plan on how the navigator should get rest. Once off the dock, it is the skipper's job. I am also of the opinion, that if there is some tricky navigation, that the navigator should have a second set of eyes check him. There are numerous examples of this (commercial airlines, etc).

 

 

2. Other Equipment

 

With B&G's involvement most boats would be running as a minimum Deckman and their own personal PC Navigation Software preference. My added preference is addition of a cheap and cheerful standalone bulkhead mounted plotter running a second tier of different electronic charts such as Navionics (in addition to C Maps on PC) and always running on a larger scale and possibly with other alarms set such as depth AIS etc. This works for me and allows the PC based Navigation Package to be used to its full potential plus any crew member can easily use it without touching information sensitive PC screens. It is also helpful for this chartplotter to have its own external GPS receiver that can be hardwired in as an instant redundancy for main system as well other uses such as system monitoring, auto pilot head for deliveries etc.

 

On some other suggestions I have read here it has to be understood these boats simply don't have the power to run anything else such radar etc continuously as a collision prevention mechanism. Suggestions of software shortfalls such as "zooming" is way off mark as that is a normal mapping constraint and no different a constraint than using paper charts of differing scales. It is not a software problem, though I suspect some programmers like Nick White at Expedition may be looking at some "zoom in alarm" feature in future programs after this incident, albeit that may come with undue added liability for them and added computer/power capacity for the user to run it.

 

In the same vein as chartplotter for keeping everyone informed regardless of whether up top or below (and for close quarters decision making) they already employ on-deck waterproof handheld Deckscreens that interface with PC below.

 

 

First the zooming is a user error. They screwed the pooch by not know how to operate the software. The software program did not change while they were at sea. The team failed to familiarize themselves with the hazards and software. I emphasize the team, as more than one person should be 100% familiar with any system. That issue falls squarely on the skipper. A day or two of looking at these shoals using the on-board PC would have let the team know that when you zoom out, you loose detail. Seems odd that this is a revelation for some...

 

Several pages back I posted that even Garmin software allows the user to set proximity alarms. The software should allow users to set hot zones and proximity alarms to those zones. If this feature existed, and if the crew did proper preparation, then an alarm would have gone off at the helm advising the helmsman they were entering a hot zone. Based on a standing order, the helmsman would have immediately altered course pending clarification of the alarm. This is a feature that should be ready by the next leg.

 

4. VOR RC Race Planning

 

In recognition of the realities of modern racing navigation the Amended Notice of Race that removed this area as an exclusion zone post start and after Navigators had completed their race planning should have included warnings consistent with what was there and the limited time and conditions under which they had to prepare for this. Having the race course suddenly change post start from being solely a offshore to a combined offshore/coastal course in this particular area further amplifies the need for appropriate warnings in that Amended Notice of Race.

 

While I do not know you personally, I am respectfully calling "bullshit" on this. It is not the duty of the race official to warn of any and all hazards. If so, should they have told the teams to look out for Madagascar?

 

If you are a big enough boy to enter the race you should know how to avoid hard objects that could break your boat. Regarding pre-race warnings of possible hazards, I defer to no lesser authority than "The Chief" at Water Tribe.

 

The opening paragraph of his pre-race warning states, "All people, companies, and agents associated in any way with any WaterTribe Challenge or event do not accept any liability or responsibility what so ever for your safety and well being. Your safety and well being are your responsibility." (emphasis added) http://watertribe.org/warning/

 

 

All this said, there has been a lot of good lessons from the incident. Because the vessel was well designed and built she did not break apart and served as a safe haven. Given the speed when she hit, it was impressive that the rig stayed up! After contacting the reef, the skipper and crew were calm and professional. Finally, the skipper and crew appear to be avoiding the CYA game.

 

For the rest of us this will be a great opportunity to learn.

 

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I spent some time looking at the 3 YouTube videos of Vestas' crash, and writing out the time sequence as well as what is said on board (at least what's intelligible).

 

Highlights:

- First communication (on deck) of a potential risk was 32 secs. before impact: "We're passing… we're going over the top of some shoals right now, 40m deep". (said by a fluent English speaker - sounds potentially like Nico, but I'm merely guessing based on other videos of him speaking)

 

- 5 secs later (T-27) someone then says "Aw yeah, you can see the line here". It's not clear whether this is someone looking in the distance at the reef line, or looking at a contour line on a chartplotter screen (however the latter seems less likely since there appears to be no chartplotter on deck).

 

- In the best of cases, had they then reacted immediately (crash gybe or rounding up to stop), they would have had no more than 27 secs to stop the boat -- likely much less since they would have increased their draft in this maneuver. In terms of distance, 27 secs @ 19kts left them 850ft / 260m until impact... I think it would be very unrealistic to expect any race boat to suddenly come to a full stop within that distance at night...

 

- I do not really buy the "shorthanded crew" argument made by some posters above. Yes, the crew are small for a boat this size and the navigator is highly taxed, however there are enough people they they should have maintained much better situational awareness: 3 crew on deck (helm, mainsail trimmer, foresail trimmer), plus a 4th in the companionway (seemingly looking at Nav). That's more than enough to check the route ahead at least each watch, & inquire on any anomalies such as shoal lines on maps.

 

- The two longer 9:37 and 6:25 videos do have different soundtracks which complement each other (see transcript below) - however, my uneducated guess is this is due to multiple mics, and the video editor selecting a different mic for each video, rather than selectively blanking out sentences as suggested by some posters above. The shorter 2:03 video is duplicative, nothing interesting there.

 

Links to videos:

VOR - Inside Track - Team Vestas Wind Special (length: 9:37):
Team Vestas Wind aground (length: 6:25):
VOR - Race Yacht Crash caught on camera (length: 2:03):

Detailed timing (black font based on 9:37 video, blue font based on 6:25 video):

0:28: Footage starts; helmsman visible (port wheel); Crew #1 in middle of cockpit, is moving to behind helmsman (off camera)

0:44-0:52: Boat heels over significantly [gust?]; Crew #2 [mainsail trimmer who is invisibe forward of helmsman, sheets out the mainsheet]

0:53-1:07: Crew #1 reappears from behind helmsman, moving to forward grinder, and then grinds mainsheet back in.

1:05: Crew #3 appears to poke head through port companionway [blury]. Crew #1 looks in his direction but stays put.

1:09: Crew #1 moves forward to port companionway hatch.

1:11: Voice #1 [presumably Crew #3, native English speaker, sounds like could be Nico]: "There's a bit of current [into]…" [Fairly unintelligible]

1:13: Voice #2 [presumably Crew #1, foreign accent]: "Fifteen" [presumably wind speed]. Crew #1 starts moving to foresail sheet winch (starboard)

1:15: Voice #1: "There's a bit of current right [in the way]…"

1:16: Voice: "[stop] it" [fairly unintelligible, could also be "Lock it" or "Drop it"]

1:17-1:20: Crew #1 takes turn off winch and eases foresail sheet

 

1:27-1:32: Voice #1: "We're passing… we're going over the top of some shoals right now, 40 meters deep"

1:30: Right after hearing "shoals", Crew #1 heads to forward part of cockpit [presumably to approach Crew #3, or potentially check-out a chartplotter screen]

1:32: Voice #3 [good English speaker]: "Aw yeah, you can see the line here" [unclear if he's referring to a line in the distance, or a depth contour on the chartplotter]

1:33: Voice: "Wow"

1:34: Voice [faint]: "Yeah"

1:35: Voice (good English speaker): "Check this out" [0:00 of 6:25 min video, which starts here]

1:36-1:39: Voice #1: "What is this?". After saying this, Crew #1 then heads to port railing to peer into the distance towards 9 o'clock [moving more quickly than before - suggests some concern]

1:41: Crew #3 quickly emerges from companion way

1:41: Voice: "There's water"

1:41-1:43: Crew #3 also quickly moves to port railing and peers over port beam

1:42-1:43: Voice: [unintelligible commentary, sounds like "There's a line…"]. Crew #1 half-steps out of cockpit to lean further out as he peers towards port

1:45: Voice [same as 1:41]: "There's water"

1:44-1:47: [Other unintelligible chatter in 6:25 long video, around 0:10-0:13]

1:47-1:48: Voice: [unintelligible commentary, could be "There's a line in the water" but unclear]

1:49-1:50: Voice #1: "There's three thousand feet of water" [0:14 of 6:25 min video] [suggests crew is surprised to see shoals]

1:48-1:50: Crew #1 turns towards port quarter [may be peering further towards port bow at 10-11 o'clock], Crew #3 turns towards aft, starts pulling up his foullie pants.

1:52-1:53: Voice: "It's [wind]" [fairly unintelligible]

1:53-1:54: Voice: [unintelligible commentary]

1:55-1:56 Voice: [unintelligible commentary]

1:57-1:58 Voice: "Three thousand feed of water" [0:23 of 6:25 min video]

 

1:59: [3 IMPACTS] Bam (soft), BAM! (loud), BAM/CRASH! (really loud) [0:24 of 6:25 min]

 

2:00: Camera goes dark

2:01: Camera view reappears

2:04: Voice #3: "Fack!". Crew #1 starts moving from port side of cockpit towards foresail sheet winch on starboard.

2:05: Voice: "Are you guys all right?"

2:06: Voice #3: "Yeah, yeah!"

2:07: Voice: "Ease the sheet". Crew #1 is already on the foresail winch and dumps the sheet

2:09: Another fairly big impact, water sloshes over starboard rail into the cockpit

2:09: Voice #3: "Fack, there's a big rock here guys! It's a rock". Crew #2 [mainsail trimmer] moves from LHS railing [off camera] into cockpit. Crew #4 appears in companionway.

2:12: Voice: "Oh, Fuck!"

2:13-2:14: Voice #3: "Furl, furl the sail"

2:14: Crew #4 starts climbing out of companionway

2:16: Voice: "Holy shit!"

2:17: Crew #5 appears in view in companionway (behind Crew #4)

2:18: Voice #1: "It's all right guys". Voice #3: "Furl the sail"

...

9:37: End of video

 

And your point is..?

.

I think the evidence suggests he doesnt get to sleep in the same room as his missus, and stays on the internet as such

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.

 

...with a bit of luck, I might have found a good way to deal with the situation.....

 

http://goa.craigslist.co.in/boa/4792635555.html

 

All the,,, commas are telling here :)

 

If you get a good price you're shouting the pints.

.

 

...after collecting the winning bid and receiving a removal fee from Vestas,,,I'll even buy -2- rounds! :)

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With regard to comments about nav responsibilities, it will be interesting to see if Chris Nicholson maintains the view he expressed in one of the first vids:-

 

"As skipper, you end up with ultimate responsibility, but below that there are different sections where people take individual control of these areas.

 

One of these areas was the breakdown that let this happen.

 

As a skipper, you have to, you cannot be 100% on top of every role, you have to trust the individual"

 

Of course, these comments can be interpreted different ways, but I can't believe it would be the case that sole responsibility for nav/routing/weather was down to Wouter, with no checks on even the most critical part of that role - i.e. not hitting the bottom. Surely for that part of that nav role, you can't trust the individual, and as skipper, have to ensure the appropriate checks are in place.

 

Easy from an armchair, and genuinely glad they all got off alive and intact, it could have been very different.

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While it seems a few are trying to pin the blame on a few I, by contrast, see a little bit of blame with many.

In addition to the decisions and processes on the boat I have questions about the following:

hey were in an area previously excluded for security reasons so presumably someone at VOR watched a boat (with more caution than usual) head toward a collision (with supposedly 10 second accuracy) for 3hrs?

Scratches head.

An area previously excluded was opened for passage without someone (teams or VOR) delivering a "playbook" on dangers in that newly opened area. Remember that the boats are data limited for competitive reasons and everyone is well aware of the short-handed nature of these boats.

Scratches head.

While the practicalities of laptops down below for navigating should be acknowledged there are obviously far far better solutions available. The strain of looking at a screen of that size and type for the number of hours required wouldn't pass many OHS reviews if they weren't on a boat; there are better solutions and yes they cost more (but less than a VO65).

Scratches head.

Given the (now?) obvious importance of navigation I find the position of the nav screens limiting in terms of access such that they might create a pinch point on onboard procedures. I wonder why there aren't screens available somewhere in the pit to better enable on-deck crew to achieve some level of multi-tasking without having to move around the boat to achieve it.

Scratches head.

 

It's quite possible I'm ignorant of some of the facts, but I'd suggest that limiting the scope of blame will likely only place more pressure on people who have shown themselves to be very fallible under the existing regime.

I'm not so sure that their safety wasn't somewhat compromised from the get-go because the balance between competition and safety was overly biased toward competition.

In the end humans adapt, they do the best they can with what they are given, and unfortunately it wasn't good enough.

They're not using 9" laptop screens. Look at the pics of the nav stations in the thread. The laptop is just the driver. The monitors are full sized...17-19".

 

As for the rest of your head scratching, it'll be interesting as hell to read the results of the investigation. Hell, I'd love to be involved in it.

864x486.jpg

not 19" (it's a shot from Brian Carlin, though the credit doesn't show

Maybe it's good enough; there are plenty of workplaces where it wouldn't be.

 

The laptops on DF look bigger on DF:

Dongfeng_BG_Photo_credit_I_Roman.jpg

But it turns out they are only 14" Panasonic Toughbook 53's - 14.0" High Definition (720p) LED 1366 x 768 (yuck)

http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughbook/semi-rugged-laptop-toughbook-53.asp

 

Again the point is not to blame a single point of failure, just have a bigger picture look at ways to avoid it happening again.

If there aren't enough eyes on the screen then maybe there needs to be more screen(s) in front of the eyes.

 

That makes spares, swap out, and total redundancy much easier. Might even be some sponsorship there.

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the whole thing is even worst if they knew there were in the proximity of a reef / shoal ....almost reckless behaviour....

 

 

It is not the Navy. This is professional racing. But, in the US Navy the instant the officer of the deck has a hint they have lost situational awareness. The clear order is given to "stop the boat".... You do not keep you foot on the gas when you are blind and do not know where you are. Hindsight... the help should have stuck the boat head to wind instantly. Just like a standard. MOB. The crew on deck clearly kept "their foot on the gas".

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This is not about lynching anyone, burning at the stake, or ruining careers. It is about the idea that employing basic seamanship will prevent this from happening every time. They, as a team, were simply not on top of basic seamanship.

 

The statements from the captain and navigator so far were weak. Had either of them done their job, this wouldn't have happened.

 

The number one person at fault is the watch captain. Even though, perhaps, he was handed a course headed for disaster, he should have been independently verifying the charts to be sure there was clear water ahead. Anyone that thinks that this is not necessary on any vessel is an idiot. And all this about how fast they go is pure bullshit. They are not F-16 fighters in constant maneuvers, they are travelling at bicycle speeds.

 

Second is the navigator. Just beyond me that he didn't properly check the charts. And, when are we going to stop talking about "zoom level" and "screen size." This was evident at any zoom level. And, besides, are these sailors supposed to be somewhat competent with their navigational equipment, or not?

 

Third is the captain. He needs to be checking too. And asking questions. Keeping the discussion going. "I am hitting my berth for a few hours, are you sure we have clear water ahead? How long to the next trouble spot" Etc. It is not as if this incident happened at the satellite factory and the CEO is still responsible. He was there.

 

Finally, everyone else on watch at the time except, perhaps, the driver. It is understandable that the driver has a single purpose with 100% focus on that purpose. But the rest of the guys should be talking about everything all the time, not the least of which is whether there is clear water ahead. The driver has the last chance to head the boat up, but only if someone alerts him to the danger.

 

To those of you that are making excuses, you do no service to the sport or sailing/boating in general. We need boaters out there that are checking the water ahead, not just turning the key and going. That is a terrible message. This behavior is just not ok.

 

And to those of you acting like we are criticizing your mother, chill the fuck out. Bill Buckner took more crap for blowing a world series than these guys ever will. And Buckner never put lives at risk or totaled a multi-million dollar yacht. He was just an entertainer.

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Hey Snore you say to me... "While I do not know you personally, I am respectfully calling "bullshit" on this. It is not the duty of the race official to warn of any and all hazards. If so, should they have told the teams to look out for Madagascar?

 

You go on to say "If you are a big enough boy to enter the race you should know how to avoid hard objects that could break your boat. Regarding pre-race warnings of possible hazards...."

 

I would normally agree ...however you have missed or ignored that the race course was set after the race started and after pre-race navigation planning was completed. An unusual circumstance like this and having regard for the constraints competitors experience as I have outlined IMO warranted a navigation warning. Warnings in Sailing Instructions are quite common.

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in addition to the various course change options, they also had the option of just blowing the sheets, luffing the sails, and coming to a slow stop until they eased their obvious concern, and figured out what was going on.

 

I don't think I would have been able to do it in that situation - it happened too quickly...and nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

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nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

 

It's much better to stop it temporarily then to stop it permanently...

.

....err,,thank you Captain Hindsight :rolleyes:

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nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

 

It's much better to stop it temporarily then to stop it permanently...

 

No doubt. Still would be hard to do. Everyone comes running to see what is going on, and all is fine. "I thought I saw something...."

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nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

 

It's much better to stop it temporarily then to stop it permanently...

.

....err,,thank you Captain Hindsight :rolleyes:

 

It's not hindsight, it's basic logic... If you see or hear something strange you have to react... How many times have you been sailing along at night when you see or hear something in the water up ahead?... maybe it's a fishing net floating on the surface, or an unlit boat, or even a whale... or in this case breaking waves... Your first reaction has to be to turn the boat either up or down (depending on your wind angle, of course)... It's common sense, really.

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in addition to the various course change options, they also had the option of just blowing the sheets, luffing the sails, and coming to a slow stop until they eased their obvious concern, and figured out what was going on.

 

I don't think I would have been able to do it in that situation - it happened too quickly...and nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

 

It it blindingly obvious from the tracker and all media releases that they had no idea whatsoever that they were in reef county.

I do think that their reaction would have been much different if they had known that reefs were around.

 

"Huh? Did you hear that too? What could that possible be?" vs.

"Something on port. If thats one of those reefs we are fsked! Port or starboard, decision, now."

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They knew it got much shallower than the depth of water they had been in for the previous week. They didn't know it was a reef they couldn't sail over.

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nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

 

It's much better to stop it temporarily then to stop it permanently...

.

....err,,thank you Captain Hindsight :rolleyes:

 

It's not hindsight, it's basic logic... If you see or hear something strange you have to react... How many times have you been sailing along at night when you see or hear something in the water up ahead?... maybe it's a fishing net floating on the surface, or an unlit boat, or even a whale... or in this case breaking waves... Your first reaction has to be to turn the boat either up or down (depending on your wind angle, of course)... It's common sense, really.

.

 

...by the time the team saw,heard the waves they were most likely in less water than their draft....it was already too late.

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nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

 

It's much better to stop it temporarily then to stop it permanently...

.

....err,,thank you Captain Hindsight :rolleyes:

 

It's not hindsight, it's basic logic... If you see or hear something strange you have to react... How many times have you been sailing along at night when you see or hear something in the water up ahead?... maybe it's a fishing net floating on the surface, or an unlit boat, or even a whale... or in this case breaking waves... Your first reaction has to be to turn the boat either up or down (depending on your wind angle, of course)... It's common sense, really.

.

 

...by the time the team saw,heard the waves they were most likely in less water than their draft....it was already too late.

 

It's never too late... Hesitation is what gets you into trouble in these cases... They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening.

 

Neither of us was there so we'll never know, but saying that "they were most likely in less water than their draft" is just guessing on your part... if that's the case then why didn't the keel hit earlier?... if they bore away the keel would have still been canted so they might have been fine.

 

They had plenty of time to react after the first person noticed something wrong... Looking at the angle of the reef and their heading, a bear away of only 45 degrees might have been enough to miss it.

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Knut's investigation team looks like it going to be headed by Chris Oxenbould - good guy, did a very honest job with the Finder's incident report. Stan will be involved/contribute, but he is tied up short term with the Sydney to Hobart.

 

waste of money to be honest. It is pretty clear what happen, isn't it?

 

Not really.

 

They ended up on the bricks...yes: blindingly obvious.

A human cock up:yep

 

Why a bunch of talented, respected sailors did so? Not so clear & worth a look.

 

It's really important to remember that Dongfeng almost did the same thing, and from outward appearances it seems the only difference was that they arrived in daylight. If there's something that several boats are doing procedurally that's leading to a risk of recurrence, they need to figure that out ASAP.

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in addition to the various course change options, they also had the option of just blowing the sheets, luffing the sails, and coming to a slow stop until they eased their obvious concern, and figured out what was going on.

 

I don't think I would have been able to do it in that situation - it happened too quickly...and nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

 

It it blindingly obvious from the tracker and all media releases that they had no idea whatsoever that they were in reef county.

I do think that their reaction would have been much different if they had known that reefs were around.

 

"Huh? Did you hear that too? What could that possible be?" vs.

"Something on port. If thats one of those reefs we are fsked! Port or starboard, decision, now."

What are you talking about Nico is heard on the recent video that "we are sailing over shoals... 40m deep"

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It's never too late... Hesitation is what gets you into trouble in these cases... They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening.

 

Neither of us was there so we'll never know, but saying that "they were most likely in less water than their draft" is just guessing on your part... if that's the case then why didn't the keel hit earlier?... if they bore away the keel would have still been canted so they might have been fine.

 

They had plenty of time to react after the first person noticed something wrong... Looking at the angle of the reef and their heading, a bear away of only 45 degrees might have been enough to miss it.

 

 

post-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpgpost-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpgpost-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpg

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Looking at the video again, nobody fell forward but sideways almost. The helm who grabbed onto a grinder was thrown to starboard.

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Looking at the video again, nobody fell forward but sideways almost. The helm who grabbed onto a grinder was thrown to starboard.

post-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpgpost-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpgpost-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpg

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It's never too late... Hesitation is what gets you into trouble in these cases... They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening.

 

Neither of us was there so we'll never know, but saying that "they were most likely in less water than their draft" is just guessing on your part... if that's the case then why didn't the keel hit earlier?... if they bore away the keel would have still been canted so they might have been fine.

 

They had plenty of time to react after the first person noticed something wrong... Looking at the angle of the reef and their heading, a bear away of only 45 degrees might have been enough to miss it.

 

 

attachicon.giffacepalm eduardo.jpgattachicon.giffacepalm eduardo.jpgattachicon.giffacepalm eduardo.jpg

 

You've obviously never sailed offshore and/or at night, have you?

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It's never too late... Hesitation is what gets you into trouble in these cases... They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening.

 

Neither of us was there so we'll never know, but saying that "they were most likely in less water than their draft" is just guessing on your part... if that's the case then why didn't the keel hit earlier?... if they bore away the keel would have still been canted so they might have been fine.

 

They had plenty of time to react after the first person noticed something wrong... Looking at the angle of the reef and their heading, a bear away of only 45 degrees might have been enough to miss it.

 

 

 

 

You've obviously never sailed offshore and/or at night, have you?

post-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpgpost-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpgpost-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpg

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Opinions have swung widely, some outrageous and some reasonable and insightful. Both are good in my oppinion. "Banging the corners" with extreme ideas eventually settles into some rational thinking as evidenced above. It's like a concept car. Extreme and impractical but the useful parts are extracted.

 

It's good to see that some are recognizing this as a team and systems failure rather than the witch hunt it started out as. My exchange with Clean, that so many have quoted, was really just pointing out this fact, that it never is just about one person. There are a litany of breakdowns, that rational minds have pointed to above, that need to be addressed. Why? Because who in the hell ever wants to see see anything like this ever happen again?

 

In retrospect, I'm not sure I/we should scrutinize what was said in the early days following the accident. The impact and magnitude of these incidents doesnt always sink in right away. There is a period of shock and disbelief. As seen in some of the early videos, I don't think it had sunk in. I can imagine at this point though, in the calm of their hotel rooms and in the middle of the night, the nightmare is sinking in and they are gutted.

 

I would love to see the triumphant return of Vestas to the race. But make no mistake, as anyone who has been in a major boating accident can attest to, it's traumatic. It fucks you up for a while and you hear and feel impact of the keel in your bones and the splitting of glass (carbon) in your skin for years to follow. It's a sickening feeling and you are changed.

 

If they do come back, if they all get back on that boat and finish this race, it will be a triumph for everyone on board and one for the VOR history books. It should end this way. Not on the reef.

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It's never too late... Hesitation is what gets you into trouble in these cases... They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening.

 

Neither of us was there so we'll never know, but saying that "they were most likely in less water than their draft" is just guessing on your part... if that's the case then why didn't the keel hit earlier?... if they bore away the keel would have still been canted so they might have been fine.

 

They had plenty of time to react after the first person noticed something wrong... Looking at the angle of the reef and their heading, a bear away of only 45 degrees might have been enough to miss it.

 

 

 

 

You've obviously never sailed offshore and/or at night, have you?

post-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpgpost-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpgpost-3217-0-15670100-1417877958.jpg

 

I take that as a "no".

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nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

 

It's much better to stop it temporarily then to stop it permanently...

 

No doubt. Still would be hard to do. Everyone comes running to see what is going on, and all is fine. "I thought I saw something...."

 

 

It looks appears all on deck saw something. Some with their heads in the boat noted shoals and shallower depth. Others with their head out of the boat noted changes in the water or sea state ahead of them. The helm kept charging ahead, same with at least one trimmer.

 

While the buck always stops at the skipper who owns any and all the skipper must diligently "inspect what he inspects"

 

The watch captain somehow failed to maintain situational awareness during his duty cycle. That is a clear dereliction of duty. What lead up to that and how it can be prevented in the future is the responsibility of the board of inquiry.

 

The skipper did not know where the boat was and where it was going. Guilty

 

The navigator did not know where the boat was and where it was going. Guilty

 

The watch captain or officer on duty did not know where the boat was and where it was going. Guilty

 

The crew on deck sensed danger or a least a changing environment and continued to plow ahead. (Is that an error in basic seamanship?)

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nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

 

It's much better to stop it temporarily then to stop it permanently...

 

No doubt. Still would be hard to do. Everyone comes running to see what is going on, and all is fine. "I thought I saw something...."

 

 

It looks appears all on deck saw something. Some with their heads in the boat noted shoals and shallower depth. Others with their head out of the boat noted changes in the water or sea state ahead of them. The helm kept charging ahead, same with at least one trimmer.

 

While the buck always stops at the skipper who owns any and all the skipper must diligently "inspect what he inspects"

 

The watch captain somehow failed to maintain situational awareness during his duty cycle. That is a clear dereliction of duty. What lead up to that and how it can be prevented in the future is the responsibility of the board of inquiry.

 

The skipper did not know where the boat was and where it was going. Guilty

 

The navigator did not know where the boat was and where it was going. Guilty

 

The watch captain or officer on duty did not know where the boat was and where it was going. Guilty

 

The crew on deck sensed danger or a least a changing environment and continued to plow ahead. (Is that an error in basic seamanship?)

 

Yes

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Was there any point in this race or in the previous Leg or in previous races where sailing offshore over a depth of 40nm was considered normal? Had they skirted shoals successfully prior to this?

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Opinions have swung widely, some outrageous and some reasonable and insightful. Both are good in my oppinion. "Banging the corners" with extreme ideas eventually settles into some rational thinking as evidenced above. It's like a concept car. Extreme and impractical but the useful parts are extracted.

 

It's good to see that some are recognizing this as a team and systems failure rather than the witch hunt it started out as. My exchange with Clean, that so many have quoted, was really just pointing out this fact, that it never is just about one person. There are a litany of breakdowns, that rational minds have pointed to above, that need to be addressed. Why? Because who in the hell ever wants to see see anything like this ever happen again?

 

In retrospect, I'm not sure I/we should scrutinize what was said in the early days following the accident. The impact and magnitude of these incidents doesnt always sink in right away. There is a period of shock and disbelief. As seen in some of the early videos, I don't think it had sunk in. I can imagine at this point though, in the calm of their hotel rooms and in the middle of the night, the nightmare is sinking in and they are gutted.

 

I would love to see the triumphant return of Vestas to the race. But make no mistake, as anyone who has been in a major boating accident can attest to, it's traumatic. It fucks you up for a while and you hear and feel impact of the keel in your bones and the splitting of glass (carbon) in your skin for years to follow. It's a sickening feeling and you are changed.

 

If they do come back, if they all get back on that boat and finish this race, it will be a triumph for everyone on board and one for the VOR history books. It should end this way. Not on the reef.

This is not a witch hunt. But it is about one person. Each person must do their job as if no one else will be checking. As soon as you take the attitude that "we have the greatest navigator in the world, I don't need to check.his work," you are on the reef.

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Was there any point in this race or in the previous Leg or in previous races where sailing offshore over a depth of 40nm was considered normal? Had they skirted shoals successfully prior to this?

Previous race Iker on Telephonica interviewed about sailing close to reefs for several hours in the dark when racing to the finish of Leg 2 part 1 against Nico on Camper

 

http://www.teamtelef...RY-HARD"/page/3

 

 

Q: This area, there’s quite a lots of reefs to deal with and stuff like that. Was that quite scary for you guys?

Iker: Yeah, we spend -aaah, pffft— a few hours sailing very close to reefs, an, ah, there was no moon at all, no moon, so we couldn’t, couldn’t see the, the waves, but we could hear all the waves there, and we knew they were, ah, were maybe 15 or 20 metres close so, yeah, was, was very difficult and, ah, was a little bit a-scary.

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nobody wants to stop the boat in a race

 

It's much better to stop it temporarily then to stop it permanently...

.

....err,,thank you Captain Hindsight :rolleyes:

 

It's not hindsight, it's basic logic... If you see or hear something strange you have to react... How many times have you been sailing along at night when you see or hear something in the water up ahead?... maybe it's a fishing net floating on the surface, or an unlit boat, or even a whale... or in this case breaking waves... Your first reaction has to be to turn the boat either up or down (depending on your wind angle, of course)... It's common sense, really.

.

 

...by the time the team saw,heard the waves they were most likely in less water than their draft....it was already too late.

It's never too late... Hesitation is what gets you into trouble in these cases... They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening.

 

Neither of us was there so we'll never know, but saying that "they were most likely in less water than their draft" is just guessing on your part... if that's the case then why didn't the keel hit earlier?... if they bore away the keel would have still been canted so they might have been fine.

 

They had plenty of time to react after the first person noticed something wrong... Looking at the angle of the reef and their heading, a bear away of only 45 degrees might have been enough to miss it.

 

"They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening."

 

Ahhhh NO! You either stick the boat head to wind to try and slow or stop it or you reverse course (tack) 180 degrees and head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on. The bear away will likely send you surfing downwind into the unknown...... more reckless gross negligence. Unless you can see to steer around the hazard the drill every boat should be ready to execute when you have a MOB is the move all on deck should be ready and able to handle and the fastest act to get away from the hazard or danger. It is the move or act every helmsman should have in his back pocket.

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phillysailor....I too hope the software issues will be addressed and they certainly will be. But as I read your post it occurred to me just how much the modern offshore sailor has come to rely on working technology and just assumes it will always be so. There are many ways it could down,without boring you. What then....offshore..well in my time late 60's -mid 80's offshore 20,000 +- miles...racing...building offshore race boats... one was always thinking what to do and be prepared what if....basic seamanship

I still can not get over the lack of proximity awareness...they were clueless and plotted a course directly over a shoal...and the instruments took them there

If Team Vestas gets back on the racecourse, I bet they take Blue's advice and use a paper chart folded appropriately when giving report and handing off to the navigator and driver of the next leg. Simple, robust method of ensuring improved situational awareness and a establishing hard copy documentation of position independent of continued functioning of high tech devices.

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Was there any point in this race or in the previous Leg or in previous races where sailing offshore over a depth of 40nm was considered normal? Had they skirted shoals successfully prior to this?

they skirted Rodrigues Island and the Maldives last time. Didn't one or two of the boats hide in there for repairs? Not sure what the depths were though

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"They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening."

 

Ahhhh NO! You either stick the boat head to wind to try and slow or stop it or you reverse course (tack) 180 degrees and head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on. The bear away will likely send you surfing downwind into the unknown...... more reckless gross negligence. Unless you can see to steer around the hazard the drill every boat should be ready to execute when you have a MOB is the move all on deck should be ready and able to handle and the fastest act to get away from the hazard or danger. It is the move or act every helmsman should have in his back pocket.

 

I disagree with you... If the danger is on your port side (which was the case here) you do not want to turn to port... The smart move is to turn to starboard and then, as you say, "head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on".

 

Going head to wind when moving along at 19 knots will take you a long time to stop... then it could be too late.

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They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening."

 

Ahhhh NO! You either stick the boat head to wind to try and slow or stop it or you reverse course (tack) 180 degrees and head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on. The bear away will likely send you surfing downwind into the unknown...... more reckless gross negligence. Unless you can see to steer around the hazard the drill every boat should be ready to execute when you have a MOB is the move all on deck should be ready and able to handle and the fastest act to get away from the hazard or danger. It is the move or act every helmsman should have in his back pocket.

 

Easier said than done with a powered up V65 but agree in principle.

 

Clearly the helm had no idea he was straight-lining into <40m of water "wow." ("You can see the lines here") Which indicates no-one told him.

 

If Nico was on watch that shift, which looks like he was, helm probably interpreted his "we're sailing over shoals right now" as if Nico knew their route and carried on.

 

Perhaps with a bit more mindfulness, lack of fatigue or whatever, helm might have heard that and gone "WTF! That's not right." We're not supposed to be going over shoals. Left hand down?

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Was there any point in this race or in the previous Leg or in previous races where sailing offshore over a depth of 40nm was considered normal? Had they skirted shoals successfully prior to this?

they skirted Rodrigues Island and the Maldives last time. Didn't one or two of the boats hide in there for repairs? Not sure what the depths were though

Well, then. There you have it. If they would have just stuck to the old course and sailed around the Southern Ocean all they would have had to worry about would have been 40+ knots and 10 metre seas

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I disagree with you... If the danger is on your port side (which was the case here) you do not want to turn to port... The smart move is to turn to starboard and then, as you say, "head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on".

 

Going head to wind when moving along at 19 knots will take you a long time to stop... then it could be too late.

 

Debatable.. they were going straight at it. For sure... bearing away would have sent them into it at an angle. Could have crashed gybed it too. but either way it was all too late

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You guys are all whack... the boys on deck had NO clue what was in front of them, port, starboard, windward or leeward. They were sailing like it was deep water all around.

Nobody below had much clue either, otherwise the nav station would have be full go at low zoom. They would have been shooting info to the on deck team. there would be a lookout standing on the windward rail.

 

They wouldn't have been sailing directly to the reef!

 

The second they hit they were doomed! The rudders sheared, the boat went into a skid and they skipped up on the reef.. Game over.

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I disagree with you... If the danger is on your port side (which was the case here) you do not want to turn to port... The smart move is to turn to starboard and then, as you say, "head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on".

 

Going head to wind when moving along at 19 knots will take you a long time to stop... then it could be too late.

 

Debatable.. they were going straight at it. For sure... bearing away would have sent them into it at an angle. Could have crashed gybed it too. but either way it was all too late

 

The closest danger was on their port side, you can see the guys looking that way in the confusion... you can also see it in their track in the images below... bearing away would have been the best thing they could have done in their situation

 

post-20582-0-98070300-1417888205_thumb.jpg

post-20582-0-44014500-1417887668_thumb.jpg

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I disagree with you... If the danger is on your port side (which was the case here) you do not want to turn to port... The smart move is to turn to starboard and then, as you say, "head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on".

 

Going head to wind when moving along at 19 knots will take you a long time to stop... then it could be too late.

 

Debatable.. they were going straight at it. For sure... bearing away would have sent them into it at an angle. Could have crashed gybed it too. but either way it was all too late

 

The closest danger was on their port side, you can see the guys looking that way in the confusion... you can also see it in their track in the images below... bearing away would have been the best thing they could have done in their situation

 

attachicon.gifvestas1.jpg

attachicon.gifmap3.jpg

We know that. But they didn't. That was the whole problem. Had they known what was in front of them and around them, they would't have been in the situation in the first place.

 

On every boat all the time there needs to be someone that knows what is ahead of it. That is the problem here. They didn't know.

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I disagree with you... If the danger is on your port side (which was the case here) you do not want to turn to port... The smart move is to turn to starboard and then, as you say, "head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on".

 

Going head to wind when moving along at 19 knots will take you a long time to stop... then it could be too late.

 

Debatable.. they were going straight at it. For sure... bearing away would have sent them into it at an angle. Could have crashed gybed it too. but either way it was all too late

 

The closest danger was on their port side, you can see the guys looking that way in the confusion... you can also see it in their track in the images below... bearing away would have been the best thing they could have done in their situation

 

attachicon.gifvestas1.jpg

attachicon.gifmap3.jpg

We know that. But they didn't. That was the whole problem. Had they known what was in front of them and around them, they would't have been in the situation in the first place.

 

On every boat all the time there needs to be someone that knows what is ahead of it. That is the problem here. They didn't know.

 

I understand that they didn't know, but that doesn't change what I'm saying... My point is that when you see and/or hear something strange (like breaking waves) you need to react, and when the closest danger is on your port side the best thing to do is turn to starboard... whether it's breaking waves, a container, a fishing net or even a whale, your first instinct should be to turn to avoid it... not carry on straight ahead and hope it just goes away.

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They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening."

 

Ahhhh NO! You either stick the boat head to wind to try and slow or stop it or you reverse course (tack) 180 degrees and head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on. The bear away will likely send you surfing downwind into the unknown...... more reckless gross negligence. Unless you can see to steer around the hazard the drill every boat should be ready to execute when you have a MOB is the move all on deck should be ready and able to handle and the fastest act to get away from the hazard or danger. It is the move or act every helmsman should have in his back pocket.

 

Easier said than done with a powered up V65 but agree in principle.

 

Clearly the helm had no idea he was straight-lining into <40m of water "wow." ("You can see the lines here") Which indicates no-one told him.

 

If Nico was on watch that shift, which looks like he was, helm probably interpreted his "we're sailing over shoals right now" as if Nico knew their route and carried on.

 

Perhaps with a bit more mindfulness, lack of fatigue or whatever, helm might have heard that and gone "WTF! That's not right." We're not supposed to be going over shoals. Left hand down?

 

 

well the navigator knew they were sailing over shoals - he intended to sail over them.., that's what he said in his post.

 

his problem was that he thought it was going to be 40 or 50M everywhere - and it wasn't!

 

we may never know what he said to the captain, or the WC"s but presumably he did tell them they were sailing into an area of shallower water.

 

I might have more sympathy if the navigator didn't even know they were sailing into 50M!

 

The colossal blunder is that _he knew_ that the water was shoaling from 2500M to 50M, and apparently didn't think that required a more detailed examination.., maybe zooming in on it to see what else was going on there...

 

That to me is what is so incredible that I can only assume that extreme fatigue played a role - I can't conceive of any other explanation for one of the best pro's to make such a fundamental mistake

 

people can go on all they want about the software and the charts - but they were not the problem

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The colossal blunder is that _he knew_ that the water was shoaling from 2500M to 50M, and apparently didn't think that required a more detailed examination.., maybe zooming in on it to see what else was going on there...

 

That to me is what is so incredible that I can only assume that extreme fatigue played a role - I can't conceive of any other explanation for one of the best pro's to make such a fundamental mistake

 

people can go on all they want about the software and the charts - but they were not the problem

 

100% agree

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I disagree with you... If the danger is on your port side (which was the case here) you do not want to turn to port... The smart move is to turn to starboard and then, as you say, "head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on".

 

Going head to wind when moving along at 19 knots will take you a long time to stop... then it could be too late.

 

Debatable.. they were going straight at it. For sure... bearing away would have sent them into it at an angle. Could have crashed gybed it too. but either way it was all too late

 

The closest danger was on their port side, you can see the guys looking that way in the confusion... you can also see it in their track in the images below... bearing away would have been the best thing they could have done in their situation

 

attachicon.gifvestas1.jpg

attachicon.gifmap3.jpg

 

 

At the time the crew on deck had no idea whether port or starboard was clear. 180 degrees from where they were was and always is the best choice. Slam the boat to weather(the brakes) slow or stop the boat as up get out the way you got in. If you are going to crash the slower the better. You must be one of the guys who gets in trouble and tries to bear away at the start...... boom, crunch

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Hey Snore you say to me... "While I do not know you personally, I am respectfully calling "bullshit" on this. It is not the duty of the race official to warn of any and all hazards. If so, should they have told the teams to look out for Madagascar?

 

You go on to say "If you are a big enough boy to enter the race you should know how to avoid hard objects that could break your boat. Regarding pre-race warnings of possible hazards...."

 

I would normally agree ...however you have missed or ignored that the race course was set after the race started and after pre-race navigation planning was completed. An unusual circumstance like this and having regard for the constraints competitors experience as I have outlined IMO warranted a navigation warning. Warnings in Sailing Instructions are quite common.

 

 

 

Jack-

 

Honestly I missed that the course changed after the start.

 

That said, prudent navigators would have made note of the shoal, even though they were off limits at the start. If something went to shit and the boat needed to head west, knowing that the shoals existed- in Garmin, dropping some waypoints with proximity alarms-- would be part of my planning. But that is just how my mind works.

 

Assuming that the skipper and navigator normally study the only the charts for the immediate race area before leaving the dock, once the course changed- the skipper had the obligation to give the navigator and himself time to study them.

 

I agree notices can contain warnings, but the presence of a warning does not constitute advising of any and all threats- once again check out the Water Tribe warning.

 

Truly looking forward to the results of the official inquiry.

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Hey Snore you say to me... "While I do not know you personally, I am respectfully calling "bullshit" on this. It is not the duty of the race official to warn of any and all hazards. If so, should they have told the teams to look out for Madagascar?

You go on to say "If you are a big enough boy to enter the race you should know how to avoid hard objects that could break your boat. Regarding pre-race warnings of possible hazards...."

I would normally agree ...however you have missed or ignored that the race course was set after the race started and after pre-race navigation planning was completed. An unusual circumstance like this and having regard for the constraints competitors experience as I have outlined IMO warranted a navigation warning. Warnings in Sailing Instructions are quite common.

This is a key point,IMO, which should have hightened attention and a new look at the charts by those on thew boat itself...sure a warning from the race organizers too, but the captain and the whole of the crew should have looked and discussed the new sailing grounds ...a new look at the waters they would NOW be sailing in....
Check the amended exclusion zones on the web! Where they hit the shoal banks was never excluded! A line heading NNE from the northern tip of Madagascar, to a point in the ocean, due east of the Seychelles, was added just before the leg 2 start. That line, not to be crossed, was well to the west of where the yachts all sailed. The shoal banks they hit are part of the same underwater structure that includes Mauritius to the south and Seychelles to the north! Any navigator sailing north from Mauritius, damn well should have known about this obstruction, whatever exclusion zones were or were not in place, before they left Cape Town, as part of his general knowledge of the route!

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They could have at least bore away until they knew what was happening."

 

Ahhhh NO! You either stick the boat head to wind to try and slow or stop it or you reverse course (tack) 180 degrees and head away from the unknown danger as close to the path as possible you came into the danger on. The bear away will likely send you surfing downwind into the unknown...... more reckless gross negligence. Unless you can see to steer around the hazard the drill every boat should be ready to execute when you have a MOB is the move all on deck should be ready and able to handle and the fastest act to get away from the hazard or danger. It is the move or act every helmsman should have in his back pocket.

 

Easier said than done with a powered up V65 but agree in principle.

 

Clearly the helm had no idea he was straight-lining into <40m of water "wow." ("You can see the lines here") Which indicates no-one told him.

 

If Nico was on watch that shift, which looks like he was, helm probably interpreted his "we're sailing over shoals right now" as if Nico knew their route and carried on.

 

Perhaps with a bit more mindfulness, lack of fatigue or whatever, helm might have heard that and gone "WTF! That's not right." We're not supposed to be going over shoals. Left hand down?

 

 

well the navigator knew they were sailing over shoals - he intended to sail over them.., that's what he said in his post.

 

his problem was that he thought it was going to be 40 or 50M everywhere - and it wasn't!

 

we may never know what he said to the captain, or the WC"s but presumably he did tell them they were sailing into an area of shallower water.

 

I might have more sympathy if the navigator didn't even know they were sailing into 50M!

 

The colossal blunder is that _he knew_ that the water was shoaling from 2500M to 50M, and apparently didn't think that required a more detailed examination.., maybe zooming in on it to see what else was going on there...

 

That to me is what is so incredible that I can only assume that extreme fatigue played a role - I can't conceive of any other explanation for one of the best pro's to make such a fundamental mistake

 

people can go on all they want about the software and the charts - but they were not the problem

But this was presumably also communicated to others - hence someone (guessed as Nico) making the comment in the vid, "we/'re going over shoals - 40m", so hopefully also watch leaders, and from there to helm/trimmers, and no member of that team thought a more detailed analysis was necessary..... And its not like Wouter, or others, wouldn't be aware of the zoom issue....

 

Perversely, that could be taken as an indication of the high regard Wouter is, quite rightly, held in.

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Hey Snore you say to me... "While I do not know you personally, I am respectfully calling "bullshit" on this. It is not the duty of the race official to warn of any and all hazards. If so, should they have told the teams to look out for Madagascar?

You go on to say "If you are a big enough boy to enter the race you should know how to avoid hard objects that could break your boat. Regarding pre-race warnings of possible hazards...."

I would normally agree ...however you have missed or ignored that the race course was set after the race started and after pre-race navigation planning was completed. An unusual circumstance like this and having regard for the constraints competitors experience as I have outlined IMO warranted a navigation warning. Warnings in Sailing Instructions are quite common.

This is a key point,IMO, which should have hightened attention and a new look at the charts by those on thew boat itself...sure a warning from the race organizers too, but the captain and the whole of the crew should have looked and discussed the new sailing grounds ...a new look at the waters they would NOW be sailing in....
Check the amended exclusion zones on the web! Where they hit the shoal banks was never excluded! A line heading NNE from the northern tip of Madagascar, to a point in the ocean, due east of the Seychelles, was added just before the leg 2 start. That line, not to be crossed, was well to the west of where the yachts all sailed. The shoal banks they hit are part of the same underwater structure that includes Mauritius to the south and Seychelles to the north! Any navigator sailing north from Mauritius, damn well should have known about this obstruction, whatever exclusion zones were or were not in place, before they left Cape Town, as part of his general knowledge of the route!
http://www.volvooceanrace.com/static/assets/content_v2/media/files/m30768_leg-2-addendum-final-amdt-1a-20141119.pdf

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Hey Snore you say to me... "While I do not know you personally, I am respectfully calling "bullshit" on this. It is not the duty of the race official to warn of any and all hazards. If so, should they have told the teams to look out for Madagascar?

You go on to say "If you are a big enough boy to enter the race you should know how to avoid hard objects that could break your boat. Regarding pre-race warnings of possible hazards...."

I would normally agree ...however you have missed or ignored that the race course was set after the race started and after pre-race navigation planning was completed. An unusual circumstance like this and having regard for the constraints competitors experience as I have outlined IMO warranted a navigation warning. Warnings in Sailing Instructions are quite common.

This is a key point,IMO, which should have hightened attention and a new look at the charts by those on thew boat itself...sure a warning from the race organizers too, but the captain and the whole of the crew should have looked and discussed the new sailing grounds ...a new look at the waters they would NOW be sailing in....
Check the amended exclusion zones on the web! Where they hit the shoal banks was never excluded! A line heading NNE from the northern tip of Madagascar, to a point in the ocean, due east of the Seychelles, was added just before the leg 2 start. That line, not to be crossed, was well to the west of where the yachts all sailed. The shoal banks they hit are part of the same underwater structure that includes Mauritius to the south and Seychelles to the north! Any navigator sailing north from Mauritius, damn well should have known about this obstruction, whatever exclusion zones were or were not in place, before they left Cape Town, as part of his general knowledge of the route!

 

Old exclusion zone in pink, new exclusion zone in green:

 

post-20582-0-49670900-1417895538_thumb.jpg

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exclusion zone...schmoozon zone......they had NO idea the shoal lay ahead....tracks don't lie...

 

the navigator knew about the shoal, he said so - it was the reef he didn't know about....

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