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PaulinVictoria

Team Vestas grounded

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as you can see in the Expedition screen shots i posted above, even with the blue shading turned off.., and at the most zoomed out view, there is still a depth contour at the reef..., and any navigator is going to take a closer look - at least you would think....

 

so, with C-Map in expedition, the feature _doesn't_ disappear completely at _any_ zoom level

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Poor Vestas. really feel for them! Sad news, but not the end of the world. Great they are all safe.

 

This is a screen grab of Wouter calling in the mayday from todays video. The reef/island is visible on the computer on the left?

 

 

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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.

I believe they were off the wind at the time. Apparent wind was forward because the boat is so fast, but bearing away to starboard would have required gybing, with (as has been mentioned) a dramatic increase in draft to get the keel vertical on its way to the starboard side.

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Would be way interested in how they got out, how they got the gear out, and what they plan to do next.

 

No offense the the blame mongers intended - but - considering the crash is over - it would seem far more interesting to see the solutions they came up with rather than endless discussion concerning how the crash came about to start with.

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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.

 

Of course this is all almost irrelevant since it appears that `cognitive dissonance' that Kent IS mentions would not permit a split second reaction.

 

However… I doubt they were close hauled since the boom was well off centre and they had 19 knots on the clock, more likely 100-120 TWA. Bearing away would have powered the boat up more at high speed with a possible gybe thrown in. I don't know how quickly the helmsman can cant the keel, though?

 

Tacking would have scrubbed speed off and reduced the mayhem but you are right that a tack would have initially taken the boat closer so not ideal.

 

Pretty much the worst speed and point of sail to find a low lying reef on a dark night. :mellow:

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Cognative dissonance I think is the issue. I once was surfing down a wave hundreds of miles from land and almost ran over a floating chest freezer. My brain did not go into evasive action mode right away, it was more like "WTF is a freezer doing here "!

The crew's brains were most likely going "that looks like a reef, but we are in the middle of the ocean where there are no reefs, so WTF am I looking at" :ph34r:

 

Fight or flight reflex is controlled by the amygdala portion of the brain. That automatic reaction to snap back at someone who snaps at you or duck when someone hits a line drive at you.

 

Pro sailors would have the experience to "pause" this reaction and assess the situation before making a decision. No rash knee-jerk reactions.

 

Mex

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That vid puts chills down the spine - I went back for a second look but something stopped me...

 

too sad to watch

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Its gross negligence. It is an intentional and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care. Reasonable care is periodically checking the chart for the upcoming course of the boat. Whoever was supposed to do that didn't.

 

I have no doubt he WAS checking the electronic chart regularly.

 

The question is whether he was grossly negligent in not knowing that a reef (particularly of that large size) could be left off the screen at certain scales.

 

or… whether it is grossly negligent not to have the paper charts out at the same time throughout the race. (which I personally think is not workable with those boats' navigatorium setups)

 

What scales are we talking? In the Android navionics version I can see land right where they hit surrounded by significant depth contours at a zoom level such that it is 300 miles from one side of the chart to the other. This is gross negligence. If someone looked at the chart and saw those land specs surrounded by those depth contours and didn't bother zooming in, then it is recklessness.

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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.

 

Of course this is all almost irrelevant since it appears that `cognitive dissonance' that Kent IS mentions would not permit a split second reaction.

 

However… I doubt they were close hauled since the boom was well off centre and they had 19 knots on the clock, more likely 100-120 TWA. Bearing away would have powered the boat up more at high speed with a possible gybe thrown in. I don't know how quickly the helmsman can cant the keel, though?

 

Tacking would have scrubbed speed off and reduced the mayhem but you are right that a tack would have initially taken the boat closer so not ideal.

 

Pretty much the worst speed and point of sail to find a low lying reef on a dark night. :mellow:

 

If I'm reading the tracker correctly, it shows that in the final update that did not reflect the grounding in its 15-minute average, the TWD was 277 and the heading was 009, which gives a TWA of 92. I don't know how close to dead downwind they could have gone, but it sounds like if they had it to do over again and knew the situation, they might have been able to bear off without gybing and escape into deeper water.

 

Of course, if they had it to do over again and knew the situation they wouldn't have been anywhere near there. But I do wonder, watching the video, if someone had been able to see things clearly enough to identify the nature and orientation of the reef, if they could have escaped by turning to starboard.

 

post-114647-0-55656600-1417732798_thumb.png

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Was that the Argentinian Cicchetti at the helm? Poor bastard. Sickening to watch.

Pretty full disclose, I'd say. And the comment at the very end by Nicholson pretty much places the (fault) on one person, paraphrasing - like in any organization, you have put a certain amount of trust in every individual, and this is where the breakdown happened. Taking responsibility, but letting it known it wasn't his mistake.

What do you guys think of the comments? Any way you slice it, he is throwing the navigator under the bus. Appropriate or bad form?

This is sailing no one gets thrown under a bus.

 

 

they get Keel Hauled. on a fin keel and bulb 15' draft that really hurts.

 

I am glad they are all right after that mess. i can see why they were taking on water in the stern.

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[.....]

What are the odds that the boats get an additional body to deal with the fatigue/CRM issues?

 

Just an additional body does not necessarily help. If you want to keep fatigue out of the picture for some roles you need to limit their job list like it is done with the OBR for other reasons. For arguments sake say:

Naviguesser: Navigation only. No driving, trimming, ... cooking, sponging, ..., etc. May be the medic. Not the OBR so no touching of the OBR gear.

Skipper: Leadership and navigation only. No driving, trimming, ... cooking, sponging, ..., etc. May be an additional medic. Not the OBR either so no touching of the OBR gear.

 

Then force them into opposite shifts.

That should remove most of their fatigue issues. OTOH the additional workload for the rest of the crew may very well incite a mutiny. :ph34r: So most likely not a good idea. ;)

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Its gross negligence. It is an intentional and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care. Reasonable care is periodically checking the chart for the upcoming course of the boat. Whoever was supposed to do that didn't.

 

I have no doubt he WAS checking the electronic chart regularly.

 

The question is whether he was grossly negligent in not knowing that a reef (particularly of that large size) could be left off the screen at certain scales.

 

or… whether it is grossly negligent not to have the paper charts out at the same time throughout the race. (which I personally think is not workable with those boats' navigatorium setups)

 

What scales are we talking? In the Android navionics version I can see land right where they hit surrounded by significant depth contours at a zoom level such that it is 300 miles from one side of the chart to the other. This is gross negligence. If someone looked at the chart and saw those land specs surrounded by those depth contours and didn't bother zooming in, then it is recklessness.

There are many questions and they seem to centre around the electronic charting.

 

The navigators are pivotal to strategy and tactics so they are using those screens constantly.

 

An analysis of what hardware and software is being used and how the fleet's navigators are commonly setting up their screens will need to be made.

 

Suffice to say there has been a FUBAR in the `avoiding bricks' department.

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Did I get that right? OBR was on the can? Interesting way to avoid trouser stains but certainly a rude surprise.

Also includes more shaky cam chart shots from shortly after the hit. Trying to find a clean one.

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Wow. 19 knts into a friggin reef and no one hurt. Miracle.

 

Some have said good old Nico would take full responsibility, fall on his sword, well watching that video he did, but he also brought someone unnamed with him on the way down to said sword. :lol:

 

WetHog :ph34r:

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Well if they can be trained to pause and think in moments of extreme stress, maybe that same trainer can show them the zoom button on the plotter :rolleyes:

 

Cognative dissonance I think is the issue. I once was surfing down a wave hundreds of miles from land and almost ran over a floating chest freezer. My brain did not go into evasive action mode right away, it was more like "WTF is a freezer doing here "!

The crew's brains were most likely going "that looks like a reef, but we are in the middle of the ocean where there are no reefs, so WTF am I looking at" :ph34r:

 

Fight or flight reflex is controlled by the amygdala portion of the brain. That automatic reaction to snap back at someone who snaps at you or duck when someone hits a line drive at you.

 

Pro sailors would have the experience to "pause" this reaction and assess the situation before making a decision. No rash knee-jerk reactions.

 

Mex

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Here is a zoom level such that it is 600 miles from the right side of the chart to the left. Would you zoom in if you were sailing into that center section with the two blue specs?

post-12175-0-49380600-1417734696_thumb.png

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The video starts with them looking at something to port. One guy comes up on deck to look. Then the big smash.

 

What had their attention just a minute before the big crash?

I would think somebody heart the surf…and maybe did not have the guts to initiate an immediate maneuver. A crash jibe could have taken them into deeper water again. But than, I know nothing about the possibility of a crash tack or gybing a VOR 65.

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This one is 200 miles from right to left. See anything in the center of concern?

post-12175-0-49111900-1417734859_thumb.png

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Unfortunately, when there's large amounts of money and careers involved, somebody gets thrown under the bus. Like or not, thats life and it's cruel. I must say looking at that grounding footage was absolutely terrifying. It did not look to me that any of the crew were wearing tethers and certainly no pfd's. If anyone was thrown overboard in the impact they would not have been able to recover them. They would have had to swim to shore assuming if they could even see where that was in pitch darkness. This could have been far worse. It's only a f**king boat at the end of the day, and insurance is for that purpose. Never feel sorry for an insurance company. If there was no risk there would be no insurance.

 

+1

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100 miles right to left. How is that center part looking now? Any indication to exercise caution?

post-12175-0-74535500-1417735016_thumb.png

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20 miles right to left. It is true that this more highly detailed version of the reef only shows at this level of zoom, but there were plenty of indicators in the others to take caution and even zoom in further.

post-12175-0-64466500-1417735051_thumb.png

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I don't have the charts installed here, but it is quite easy for individual rocks. This is why many of us like the raster Bsb charting. This is somewhat bigger though.

 

That said and without knowing any details of the event, it might be more related to sailing these boats with only 8 people. We sailed the Whitbread 60s with 11 and then 12, which was two watches of 5 and a skipper and navigator floating.

 

We did a Transpac with 8 on the 52, which was 4 x2 on rotating watches and were under-manned. So navigation becomes less of a dedicated role.

 

The Volvo boats will be a lot more boat than a 52 and the race is more demanding that the Transpac, so ...

It is a very important point.

 

Knuts drive to make the event cheaper by reducing the head count may have just come back to bite him in the Arse.

 

See on board video from ADOR recently, Sifi is up trimming. Explain that.

This Navigator agrees. Crew number limits mean that navigators who trim and drive are in big demand in this race. That means risk to rheir Nav activity, plus an increased risk of sleep deprivation if they need to spend long hours concentrating off watch.. I usually do watches too when navigating, but if we're in a zone with lots of speed bumps I drop out of watches to stay focused on missing terra firma.

 

+10000. However, I would say that there really is commensurately less for a navigator to do, except strategize position against the other boats and NOT RUN UP ON LAND.

 

And no, there isn't any (good) excuse for a professional boat to run aground on a charted island.

 

None. Nunca. Zed.

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Just got a chance to watch the video. They loss the rudders with the second bang. The steering wheels start spinning freely. It is that or the person on the helm from the leeward side tried to steer onto the reef hard.

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100 miles right to left. How is that center part looking now? Any indication to exercise caution?

 

Out of curiosity, what units are those depth contours in?

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Not sure the navionics app screen shots are all that relevant

 

we know they have Adrena and Expedition - Adrena uses C-Map and Maptech charts, and Expedition uses C-map and a variety of raster charts

 

they appear to have chartplotters, which may or may not have navionics charts.

 

even if the chartplotters have navionics charts, they may well look different on the chartplotter than they look in the navionics app

 

as an aside - i think the navionics app sucks...

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Just got a chance to watch the video. They loss the rudders with the second bang. The steering wheels start spinning freely. It is that or the person on the helm from the leeward side tried to steer onto the reef hard.

Peragrin,

 

I hesitate to say it, because this is totally splitting hairs. After they tack (around the bulb I think) the wheels spin all the way one way, stop abruptly and then back again. Without rudder blades loaded by sway, yaw or waves, how would that happen. I think at this point they are in a few m of water still and the rudders (or at least one) is still there.

 

Again, not that it matters. The die was cast.

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20 miles right to left. It is true that this more highly detailed version of the reef only shows at this level of zoom, but there were plenty of indicators in the others to take caution and even zoom in further.

I think it is difficult to objectively answer your questions in hindsight. In my experience, I have always zoomed in as far as possible when routing a course and cross referenced a paper chart. Obviously, the others successfully navigated around it.

 

Such a sad situation and completely gut wrenching to watch. The situation handled professionally and environmentally for sure.

 

BTW, these look like screen grabs from your phone. What app are you using?

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100 miles right to left. How is that center part looking now? Any indication to exercise caution?

 

Out of curiosity, what units are those depth contours in?

Meters.

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Just got a chance to watch the video. They loss the rudders with the second bang. The steering wheels start spinning freely. It is that or the person on the helm from the leeward side tried to steer onto the reef hard.

Peragrin,

 

I hesitate to say it, because this is totally splitting hairs. After they tack (around the bulb I think) the wheels spin all the way one way, stop abruptly and then back again. Without rudder blades loaded by sway, yaw or waves, how would that happen. I think at this point they are in a few m of water still and the rudders (or at least one) is still there.

 

Again, not that it matters. The die was cast.

You're spot on. Those wheels weren't freewheeling. At least one rudder was going lock to lock.

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20 miles right to left. It is true that this more highly detailed version of the reef only shows at this level of zoom, but there were plenty of indicators in the others to take caution and even zoom in further.

I think it is difficult to objectively answer your questions in hindsight. In my experience, I have always zoomed in as far as possible when routing a course and cross referenced a paper chart. Obviously, the others successfully navigated around it.

 

Such a sad situation and completely gut wrenching to watch. The situation handled professionally and environmentally for sure.

 

BTW, these look like screen grabs from your phone. What app are you using?

Yes, it is the navionics android app. Those are screen grabs. The point is that a cell phone app available for like $25 has everything a barely competent boater needs to avoid that reef.

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From

~1m16, scrolling through 4 different zoom levels.

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas1.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas2.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas3.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas4.jpg

 

well done. smoking gun?

I wonder if they had it in a different color scheme for night and changed when they were trying to figure stuff out. A bright screen like that would be annoying on a dark night.

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20 miles right to left. It is true that this more highly detailed version of the reef only shows at this level of zoom, but there were plenty of indicators in the others to take caution and even zoom in further.

I think it is difficult to objectively answer your questions in hindsight. In my experience, I have always zoomed in as far as possible when routing a course and cross referenced a paper chart. Obviously, the others successfully navigated around it.

 

Such a sad situation and completely gut wrenching to watch. The situation handled professionally and environmentally for sure.

 

BTW, these look like screen grabs from your phone. What app are you using?

Yes, it is the navionics android app. Those are screen grabs. The point is that a cell phone app available for like $25 has everything a barely competent boater needs to avoid that reef.

Ah, righto

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I don't have the charts installed here, but it is quite easy for individual rocks. This is why many of us like the raster Bsb charting. This is somewhat bigger though.

 

That said and without knowing any details of the event, it might be more related to sailing these boats with only 8 people. We sailed the Whitbread 60s with 11 and then 12, which was two watches of 5 and a skipper and navigator floating.

 

We did a Transpac with 8 on the 52, which was 4 x2 on rotating watches and were under-manned. So navigation becomes less of a dedicated role.

 

The Volvo boats will be a lot more boat than a 52 and the race is more demanding that the Transpac, so ...

It is a very important point.

 

Knuts drive to make the event cheaper by reducing the head count may have just come back to bite him in the Arse.

 

See on board video from ADOR recently, Sifi is up trimming. Explain that.

This Navigator agrees. Crew number limits mean that navigators who trim and drive are in big demand in this race. That means risk to rheir Nav activity, plus an increased risk of sleep deprivation if they need to spend long hours concentrating off watch.. I usually do watches too when navigating, but if we're in a zone with lots of speed bumps I drop out of watches to stay focused on missing terra firma.

 

+10000. However, I would say that there really is commensurately less for a navigator to do, except strategize position against the other boats and NOT RUN UP ON LAND.

 

And no, there isn't any (good) excuse for a professional boat to run aground on a charted island.

 

None. Nunca. Zed.

+1

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From

~1m16, scrolling through 4 different zoom levels.

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas1.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas2.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas3.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas4.jpg

 

well done. smoking gun?

I wonder if they had it in a different color scheme for night and changed when they were trying to figure stuff out. A bright screen like that would be annoying on a dark night.

This is the most telling video I've seen.

at 75s you can see what they had up on screen shortly after the impact - no doubt the same as these screen caps. But that doesn't prove that was on screen at the actual moment they hit the bricks, or beforehand, or whether anyone was actively monitoring it. Clearly Nicho was off watch at the impact, can't tell from the vid who was on deck. Looks like 4 up 4 down.

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From

~1m16, scrolling through 4 different zoom levels.

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas1.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas2.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas3.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas4.jpg

 

well done. smoking gun?

I wonder if they had it in a different color scheme for night and changed when they were trying to figure stuff out. A bright screen like that would be annoying on a dark night.

This is the most telling video I've seen.

at 75s you can see what they had up on screen shortly after the impact - no doubt the same as these screen caps. But that doesn't prove that was on screen at the actual moment they hit the bricks, or beforehand, or whether anyone was actively monitoring it. Clearly Nicho was off watch at the impact, can't tell from the vid who was on deck. Looks like 4 up 4 down.

Yeah, those are telling shots. Certainly they are in WTF mode at that point so the lights are on. No question that in that mode the screens make the situation totally evident. I'm just curious to see if a more muted color scheme which is more typical at night obscures the reef. Not that it changes the fundamentals. Just trying to get as much lesson as possible out of the disaster.

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From

~1m16, scrolling through 4 different zoom levels.

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas1.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas2.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas3.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas4.jpg

 

well done. smoking gun?

 

Dunno. I'm not in the blame assignment business.

 

I think it's a good illustration that the reduction of map information is handled in a wrong and potentially deadly manner. Lets interpose a sat picture of the archipelago on the last screen to illustrate. (Quick work going for 95% accuracy or so.)

 

post-106437-0-22195500-1417738819_thumb.jpg

 

This is not a small feature that got dropped out.

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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!)

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^^ so that does answer one question - they were using Expedition rather than Adrena, and did have weather overlays up. And it looks like the "Optimal panel" (7070 or expedition will know for sure).

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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.

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Everybody is talking zoom levels, but that is not what this is about. This is about proper prep. There is a video out there with Ian Walker talking about it and he says that they had outlined that atoll as being an 'exclusion zone' for them. This means that in preparing for the leg, Vestas did not do the same. I imagine that if something is marked as an exclusion zone than there is no way it disappears on the nav software. This then begs the question, why isn't headquarters making sure all boats have outlined all potential known hazards? Such as, say.... a fucking island in the middle of there path that is many miles wide and only a meter or two high?

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Yeah, those are telling shots. Certainly they are in WTF mode at that point so the lights are on. No question that in that mode the screens make the situation totally evident. I'm just curious to see if a more muted color scheme which is more typical at night obscures the reef. Not that it changes the fundamentals. Just trying to get as much lesson as possible out of the disaster.

 

Stills from video shot some time after the impact obviously can't show what was on screen before and during impact. That is something to keep in mind.

 

It does provide a response to questions like "Did their maps even show the reef?" that have been raised earlier.

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From

~1m16, scrolling through 4 different zoom levels.

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas1.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas2.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas3.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas4.jpg

 

well done. smoking gun?

yes, well done and it sure seems like it. And look how long they were on that course (as previously stated). Plenty of time to zoom in and look around.

 

 

there is something visible at all zoom levels.

 

any navigator would, or should, know to investigate further.

 

there's no "smoking gun"..., and i think blaming the software is BS

 

i'm a navigator - i've navigated numerous ocean races...

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This one is 200 miles from right to left. See anything in the center of concern?

.

 

....okay,I get it

 

20 miles right to left. It is true that this more highly detailed version of the reef only shows at this level of zoom, but there were plenty of indicators in the others to take caution and even zoom in further.

 

.yes I really get it.

 

.

 

 

20 miles right to left. It is true that this more highly detailed version of the reef only shows at this level of zoom, but there were plenty of indicators in the others to take caution and even zoom in further.

I think it is difficult to objectively answer your questions in hindsight. In my experience, I have always zoomed in as far as possible when routing a course and cross referenced a paper chart. Obviously, the others successfully navigated around it.

 

Such a sad situation and completely gut wrenching to watch. The situation handled professionally and environmentally for sure.

 

BTW, these look like screen grabs from your phone. What app are you using?

Yes, it is the navionics android app. Those are screen grabs. The point is that a cell phone app available for like $25 has everything a barely competent boater needs to avoid that reef.

.

 

...yes JZ,,we really really REALLY get it now...these sailors were very much less than competent.

. ....happy now?? :mellow:<_<

 

...where can I send you your well deserved Captain Astute hat? :D

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Everybody is talking zoom levels, but that is not what this is about. This is about proper prep. There is a video out there with Ian Walker talking about it and he says that they had outlined that atoll as being an 'exclusion zone' for them. This means that in preparing for the leg, Vestas did not do the same. I imagine that if something is marked as an exclusion zone than there is no way it disappears on the nav software. This then begs the question, why isn't headquarters making sure all boats have outlined all potential known hazards? Such as, say.... a fucking island in the middle of there path that is many miles wide and only a meter or two high?

There's no pre leg preparation spoken of in the video.

 

Ian Walker actually says they "actually didn't have a lot of time to prep" because that the area was a new area "released to them " because of the forming tropical storm. i.e. His prep was done in the days or hours as they approached that area, not in "preparing for the leg" as you say.

 

His talk of `exclusion zone' was describing where the race organisers had previously required them to stay out of that area.

 

He also goes on to talk about zoom levels and how it is easy to miss the reef.

 

Also the island was tiny, it is the reef that is "many miles wide" and it is covered by ocean at high tide and is depicted in a different way to land on the chart.

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[.....]

What are the odds that the boats get an additional body to deal with the fatigue/CRM issues?

 

Just an additional body does not necessarily help. If you want to keep fatigue out of the picture for some roles you need to limit their job list ......

.
...actually I lean towards this answer...simply having an extra crewmember means an instant 15% less fatigue all-round,,,but a designated roll would create a dramatic difference on fatigue and focus all around. I don't like how fatigued some get to be at times.

This is sailing no one gets thrown under a bus.

 

they get Keel Hauled. on a fin keel and bulb 15' draft that really hurts.

 

I am glad they are all right after that mess. i can see why they were taking on water in the stern.

.

 

......actually,this is modern sailing mister. No longer do crew get keel-hauled,that's just barbaric in this day and age.

 

...nowadays it's a simple matter of stuffing the errant fool into the keel mechanism just before a gybe. ;)

 

 

 

Did I get that right? OBR was on the can? Interesting way to avoid trouser stains but certainly a rude surprise.

Also includes more shaky cam chart shots from shortly after the hit. Trying to find a clean one.

.

 

...it'd be hard to find a clean -anything- after that rude awakening...

. .......no wonder they're all running around yelling sh--t!! :wacko:

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Also the island was tiny, it is the reef that is "many miles wide" and it is covered by ocean at high tide and is depicted in a different way to land on the chart.

 

To me, jzk's screenshots are very telling. Even though zoomed out the island and reef don't show, there are a hell of a lot of contours that indicate something is going on with the seabed in that area. I'd take a closer look. And when the word Isle pops up, I'd take a very close look. I'm sad that Vestas doesn't seem to have done the same. Let's face it - if they knew it was there, they wouldn't have hit it. Ergo, it appears they didn't know it was there.

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Couple of comments: it has to be grossly negligent, skipper & navigator have no future. Surely they, together, perused proper charts and "Admiralty Pilot" books (or equiv) ashore, for several hours on end, planning the passage to Dubai from Cape Town. Part of that prep would be awareness of all "hard", rock type features anywhere near their sailing course, as apparently on Ian Walker's boat where the shoal was already ring fenced to be avoided? Sailing north, offshore of Mauritius, that shoal, about 50km long, would surely have been annotated into notes for the course, by any reasonable navigator/skipper combo? Hence, I think, grossly negligent. I agree with comments about lack of major disruption to crew hitting at 19k, blow must have been softened by slowing/breakage of rudders first. We hit rocks off Newport at 10k with 76' of boat, running, and crew went literally flying down the deck as boat stopped dead.

Worth remembering what happened on Condor of Bermuda in '79, when they sailed the boat onto a reef out of Tahiti, due, apparently to elementary navigation errors.

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I wonder about the contrast between merchant navy type protocols and racing boats. AIUI, in the world of commercial marine, you don't get to be master until you've got the requisite ticket. This means that there is a well defined chain of command, and the master can insist on standing orders - thou shalt not leave cups of coffee or plotting tools on the working chart, for instance.

 

The more fluid nature of sporting teams means, I would think, that you can't really do the same. Do you imagine that on any of the Volvo boats, the skipper has given a direct order to the nav to keep the boat off the putty/bricks?

 

Tricky.

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[.....]

What are the odds that the boats get an additional body to deal with the fatigue/CRM issues?

 

Just an additional body does not necessarily help. If you want to keep fatigue out of the picture for some roles you need to limit their job list ......

.
...actually I lean towards this answer...simply having an extra crewmember means an instant 15% less fatigue all-round,,,but a designated roll would create a dramatic difference on fatigue and focus all around. I don't like how fatigued some get to be at times.

Racing is one of those tasks that expand to the limit of the available resources.

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Also the island was tiny, it is the reef that is "many miles wide" and it is covered by ocean at high tide and is depicted in a different way to land on the chart.

 

To me, jzk's screenshots are very telling. Even though zoomed out the island and reef don't show, there are a hell of a lot of contours that indicate something is going on with the seabed in that area. I'd take a closer look. And when the word Isle pops up, I'd take a very close look. I'm sad that Vestas doesn't seem to have done the same. Let's face it - if they knew it was there, they wouldn't have hit it. Ergo, it appears they didn't know it was there.

 

All true.

 

In this thread we have some here saying "I would have taken a look"… well yes, but he didn't, so where did it go wrong?

 

Was he lulled into a false sense of security by the lead pack passing through only 5 miles to the west but well off the `island'?

 

Did he leave the chart on a certain scale to include the island for the on watch crew to check as they approached?

 

When did the race organisers change the exclusion zone obliging the fleet's navigators to do some new planning?

 

I can't believe he wasn't looking up the track and planning his moves with regards to hazards and since it is an effing large coral reef why didn't he see it? It extends past the atolls much farther than most.

 

I still think it is the way the information on the chart is represented at different scales. I don't say this to lift the blame but rather to examine what mistake a tired navigator may have made.

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Fabergekiwi, you are just wrong. This area was an exclusion zone before it was opened up as a result of the Storm so no need to look at it in Cape Town.

Ian Walker had not excluded it the organisers had.

 

There is no way that Nico and Wourter's careers are finished.

 

There is a world of difference in getting it wrong (which they did on their own admission) and being negligent let alone grossly negligent.

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Couple of comments: it has to be grossly negligent, skipper & navigator have no future. Surely they, together, perused proper charts and "Admiralty Pilot" books (or equiv) ashore, for several hours on end, planning the passage to Dubai from Cape Town. Part of that prep would be awareness of all "hard", rock type features anywhere near their sailing course, as apparently on Ian Walker's boat where the shoal was already ring fenced to be avoided? Sailing north, offshore of Mauritius, that shoal, about 50km long, would surely have been annotated into notes for the course, by any reasonable navigator/skipper combo? Hence, I think, grossly negligent. I agree with comments about lack of major disruption to crew hitting at 19k, blow must have been softened by slowing/breakage of rudders first. We hit rocks off Newport at 10k with 76' of boat, running, and crew went literally flying down the deck as boat stopped dead.

Worth remembering what happened on Condor of Bermuda in '79, when they sailed the boat onto a reef out of Tahiti, due, apparently to elementary navigation errors.

First off, I doubt they perused anything in that area while ashore. It was squarely in an exclusion zone. VOR opened that area mid race to let them dodge a storm.

 

Get your facts right before you talk nonsense.

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I wonder about the contrast between merchant navy type protocols and racing boats. AIUI, in the world of commercial marine, you don't get to be master until you've got the requisite ticket. This means that there is a well defined chain of command, and the master can insist on standing orders - thou shalt not leave cups of coffee or plotting tools on the working chart, for instance.

 

The more fluid nature of sporting teams means, I would think, that you can't really do the same. Do you imagine that on any of the Volvo boats, the skipper has given a direct order to the nav to keep the boat off the putty/bricks?

 

Tricky.

In your scenario skipper would be responsible anyway regardless of the standing orders. Sure some blame could be shared but skipper bears the brunt. Do they have a master mariner per boat?

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Also the island was tiny, it is the reef that is "many miles wide" and it is covered by ocean at high tide and is depicted in a different way to land on the chart.

 

To me, jzk's screenshots are very telling. Even though zoomed out the island and reef don't show, there are a hell of a lot of contours that indicate something is going on with the seabed in that area. I'd take a closer look. And when the word Isle pops up, I'd take a very close look. I'm sad that Vestas doesn't seem to have done the same. Let's face it - if they knew it was there, they wouldn't have hit it. Ergo, it appears they didn't know it was there.

 

All true.

 

In this thread we have some here saying "I would have taken a look"… well yes, but he didn't, so where did it go wrong?

 

...

 

When did the race organisers change the exclusion zone obliging the fleet's navigators to do some new planning?

 

I can't believe he wasn't looking up the track and planning his moves with regards to hazards and since it is an effing large coral reef why didn't he see it? It extends past the atolls much farther than most.

 

I still think it is the way the information on the chart is represented at different scales. I don't say this to lift the blame but rather to examine what mistake a tired navigator may have made.

 

Agree. My understanding is that the exclusion zone was lifted less than a day before. What I can't figure is why Vestas didn't examine the new area thoroughly. They would have course notes for everything of interest in the originally available area. A new area is opened up, that hasn't been course-noted - it's nav 101 to peruse that area so you know what's there.

 

Why didn't that happen? My best guess is that the navigator was too busy attending to tactical navigation and didn't get to attend to the basics.

 

I might be wrong, but I just can't see any other scenario that makes sense.

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Also the island was tiny, it is the reef that is "many miles wide" and it is covered by ocean at high tide and is depicted in a different way to land on the chart.

 

To me, jzk's screenshots are very telling. Even though zoomed out the island and reef don't show, there are a hell of a lot of contours that indicate something is going on with the seabed in that area. I'd take a closer look. And when the word Isle pops up, I'd take a very close look. I'm sad that Vestas doesn't seem to have done the same. Let's face it - if they knew it was there, they wouldn't have hit it. Ergo, it appears they didn't know it was there.

 

as i said above - the screenshots are probably not that relevant, because there is no evidence that the boat had those charts

 

neither of the routing programs use navionics charts, so unless a chartplotter was running those charts, they weren't looking at them

 

and because each pl;otter renders charts differently, the navionics app screenshots would be different anyway.

 

the evidence we have now is that they are mostly navigating with c-map charts

 

so, if anyone wants to go down the "software is the problem" route, it might be better to look at the c-map charts.., and to look at them in adrena or expedition

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Also the island was tiny, it is the reef that is "many miles wide" and it is covered by ocean at high tide and is depicted in a different way to land on the chart.

 

To me, jzk's screenshots are very telling. Even though zoomed out the island and reef don't show, there are a hell of a lot of contours that indicate something is going on with the seabed in that area. I'd take a closer look. And when the word Isle pops up, I'd take a very close look. I'm sad that Vestas doesn't seem to have done the same. Let's face it - if they knew it was there, they wouldn't have hit it. Ergo, it appears they didn't know it was there.

 

All true.

 

In this thread we have some here saying "I would have taken a look"… well yes, but he didn't, so where did it go wrong?

 

...

 

When did the race organisers change the exclusion zone obliging the fleet's navigators to do some new planning?

 

I can't believe he wasn't looking up the track and planning his moves with regards to hazards and since it is an effing large coral reef why didn't he see it? It extends past the atolls much farther than most.

 

I still think it is the way the information on the chart is represented at different scales. I don't say this to lift the blame but rather to examine what mistake a tired navigator may have made.

 

Agree. My understanding is that the exclusion zone was lifted less than a day before. What I can't figure is why Vestas didn't examine the new area thoroughly. They would have course notes for everything of interest in the originally available area. A new area is opened up, that hasn't been course-noted - it's nav 101 to peruse that area so you know what's there.

 

Why didn't that happen? My best guess is that the navigator was too busy attending to tactical navigation and didn't get to attend to the basics.

 

I might be wrong, but I just can't see any other scenario that makes sense.

I think you are right, but he also may have looked up the track… remembering that if you are a day or 300 + miles away with many gybe/tack options included in the possibilities; he may not have used the scale necessary for the surrounding reef to show up.

 

These boats cover charts fast with random changes in course thrown in by changes in strategy or tactics.

 

I trust Ian Walker's take and that was that it was "very easily done".

 

A reef this size may as well be shown as land on any scale since only a Hobie 16 can cross it at high tide, but it is not by convention so he stupidly missed it.

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Also the island was tiny, it is the reef that is "many miles wide" and it is covered by ocean at high tide and is depicted in a different way to land on the chart.

To me, jzk's screenshots are very telling. Even though zoomed out the island and reef don't show, there are a hell of a lot of contours that indicate something is going on with the seabed in that area. I'd take a closer look. And when the word Isle pops up, I'd take a very close look. I'm sad that Vestas doesn't seem to have done the same. Let's face it - if they knew it was there, they wouldn't have hit it. Ergo, it appears they didn't know it was there.

as i said above - the screenshots are probably not that relevant, because there is no evidence that the boat had those charts

 

neither of the routing programs use navionics charts, so unless a chartplotter was running those charts, they weren't looking at them

 

and because each pl;otter renders charts differently, the navionics app screenshots would be different anyway.

 

the evidence we have now is that they are mostly navigating with c-map charts

 

so, if anyone wants to go down the "software is the problem" route, it might be better to look at the c-map charts.., and to look at them in adrena or expedition

In the video above, at 1:16 you can see Wouter zooming out and the reef desappears just like on those screenshots. There must be a reason why they included that few seconds of video.

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In the video above, at 1:16 you can see Wouter zooming out and the reef desappears just like on those screenshots. There must be a reason why they included that few seconds of video.

 

I was thinking that too.

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Couple of comments: it has to be grossly negligent, skipper & navigator have no future. Surely they, together, perused proper charts and "Admiralty Pilot" books (or equiv) ashore, for several hours on end, planning the passage to Dubai from Cape Town. Part of that prep would be awareness of all "hard", rock type features anywhere near their sailing course, as apparently on Ian Walker's boat where the shoal was already ring fenced to be avoided? Sailing north, offshore of Mauritius, that shoal, about 50km long, would surely have been annotated into notes for the course, by any reasonable navigator/skipper combo? Hence, I think, grossly negligent. I agree with comments about lack of major disruption to crew hitting at 19k, blow must have been softened by slowing/breakage of rudders first. We hit rocks off Newport at 10k with 76' of boat, running, and crew went literally flying down the deck as boat stopped dead.

Worth remembering what happened on Condor of Bermuda in '79, when they sailed the boat onto a reef out of Tahiti, due, apparently to elementary navigation errors.

Seriously Faberge, you're going to step onto this discussion with your FIRST POST EVER and call these guys grossly negligent? You speak with some apparent 'experience' so I'm guessing sock puppet.

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Also the island was tiny, it is the reef that is "many miles wide" and it is covered by ocean at high tide and is depicted in a different way to land on the chart.

To me, jzk's screenshots are very telling. Even though zoomed out the island and reef don't show, there are a hell of a lot of contours that indicate something is going on with the seabed in that area. I'd take a closer look. And when the word Isle pops up, I'd take a very close look. I'm sad that Vestas doesn't seem to have done the same. Let's face it - if they knew it was there, they wouldn't have hit it. Ergo, it appears they didn't know it was there.

as i said above - the screenshots are probably not that relevant, because there is no evidence that the boat had those charts

 

neither of the routing programs use navionics charts, so unless a chartplotter was running those charts, they weren't looking at them

 

and because each pl;otter renders charts differently, the navionics app screenshots would be different anyway.

 

the evidence we have now is that they are mostly navigating with c-map charts

 

so, if anyone wants to go down the "software is the problem" route, it might be better to look at the c-map charts.., and to look at them in adrena or expedition

In the video above, at 1:16 you can see Wouter zooming out and the reef desappears just like on those screenshots. There must be a reason why they included that few seconds of video.

 

those are the c-map charts, so those are the right ones to be talking about if you want to go down that route.

 

and, we know they are actually the charts he was using - what i was saying is we should not be making conclusions based on the navionics charts, and especially not the app

 

in this thread i posted 6 levels of the c-map charts at the reef and you can see something at every zoom level - it never completely dissapears

 

So, as i said above, speaking as a navigator, there appears to be _plenty_ visible at the most zoomed out level in those screen shots from on board to cause me to examine the feature in more detail.

 

my feeling is that it wasn't the software that was the problem but poor use of the software - assuming the crash happened because he didn't know about the reef.

 

now, it could well be that poor use of the software was caused by lack of sleep, or something like that - i don't know.

 

but as a navigator, i am just not ready to blame the software in this case

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In the video above, at 1:16 you can see Wouter zooming out and the reef desappears just like on those screenshots. There must be a reason why they included that few seconds of video.

 

The 4 screenshots are from exactly that 2 second sequence.

 

And yes, there will be a reason for all of the content. After such an major incident all media releases go trough quite a bit of scrutiny before going public. VOR, Team Vestas, Vestas corporate, ...

Heck, probably even the good old "Will I get a knuckle sandwich if I post this?" trade off.

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At a 20 nm scale, you're only looking at about 70 sailing minutes of chart. IOW, the scale is too small to be of use planning the route for a 20-25 kt yacht. Now, we do know that the atoll shows up at greater scales, particularly if you're looking for them. Two weeks into a leg of rotating watches is a looong race for most of us. On a race to HI, two weeks at sea is only for the 7 ktsbs. I don't think fatigue can be ruled out. This watch schedule for this amount of time in these conditions isn't allowed for any commercial truck driver, airline pilot, or ship's officer on the planet. It"s the game that we choose to play, but we have to acknowledge that it comes with some risks. If you can fall asleep and drive into a ditch, you can drive onto a reef.

 

IMHO, they ought to add up to two bodies/boat. Even if the navigator takes a turn at the wheel, because driving is a shitload of fun, it would increase his/her sleep cycle by 30%.

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At a 20 nm scale, you're only looking at about 70 sailing minutes of chart. IOW, the scale is too small to be of use planning the route for a 20-25 kt yacht. Now, we do know that the atoll shows up at greater scales, particularly if you're looking for them. Two weeks into a leg of rotating watches is a looong race for most of us. On a race to HI, two weeks at sea is only for the 7 ktsbs. I don't think fatigue can be ruled out. This watch schedule for this amount of time in these conditions isn't allowed for any commercial truck driver, airline pilot, or ship's officer on the planet. It"s the game that we choose to play, but we have to acknowledge that it comes with some risks. If you can fall asleep and drive into a ditch, you can drive onto a reef.

 

IMHO, they ought to add up to two bodies/boat. Even if the navigator takes a turn at the wheel, because driving is a shitload of fun, it would increase his/her sleep cycle by 30%.

Maybe an `assigned' navigator per watch.

 

… or an assigned `awake' navigator.

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I lost a 4ksb once.

Was a serious blow the the ego, still get down thinking about it.

These poor guys must be absolutely destroyed.

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but as a navigator, i am just not ready to blame the software in this case

I'm sure Wouter could hold his own in this very discussion. You don't get the job of navigator on a VO 65 without his resume.

 

It's more about understanding all the factors leading up to his/and or crew's mistake.

 

There is always a pattern to human error and it is mostly a cascade of events that contribute.

 

I think that electronic chart scale for this spot in the ocean was a contributing factor as its a huge reef to be left off any scale, don't you think?

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Even if its someone rotating into the on deck team, it's better than an empty seat. At a minimum though, both the primary nav and skipper absolutely need to know what is in front of them on each board, and that has to be passed to the watch captains.

 

I've used Expedition both on offshore passages and inshore coastal races. I'm hard pressed to blame the charting package or software. I have been so f-ing tired that I could barely function.

 

Fatigue leading to a breakdown in command, control, and communications...the holes in the swiss cheese became perfectly aligned with an atoll.

 

That's my guess.

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At a 20 nm scale, you're only looking at about 70 sailing minutes of chart. IOW, the scale is too small to be of use planning the route for a 20-25 kt yacht. Now, we do know that the atoll shows up at greater scales, particularly if you're looking for them. Two weeks into a leg of rotating watches is a looong race for most of us. On a race to HI, two weeks at sea is only for the 7 ktsbs. I don't think fatigue can be ruled out. This watch schedule for this amount of time in these conditions isn't allowed for any commercial truck driver, airline pilot, or ship's officer on the planet. It"s the game that we choose to play, but we have to acknowledge that it comes with some risks. If you can fall asleep and drive into a ditch, you can drive onto a reef.

 

IMHO, they ought to add up to two bodies/boat. Even if the navigator takes a turn at the wheel, because driving is a shitload of fun, it would increase his/her sleep cycle by 30%.

Maybe an `assigned' navigator per watch.

 

… or an assigned `awake' navigator.

Isn't that the watch captain? Skipper and navigator both asleep, the wc looks after the nav and does a handover back when one or the other comes back on deck/watch.

 

Then there's the on-watch crew member who is making coffee and taking a curious look at the plotter to see where they are.

 

OK, that last one might not have happened.

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At a 20 nm scale, you're only looking at about 70 sailing minutes of chart. IOW, the scale is too small to be of use planning the route for a 20-25 kt yacht. Now, we do know that the atoll shows up at greater scales, particularly if you're looking for them. Two weeks into a leg of rotating watches is a looong race for most of us. On a race to HI, two weeks at sea is only for the 7 ktsbs. I don't think fatigue can be ruled out. This watch schedule for this amount of time in these conditions isn't allowed for any commercial truck driver, airline pilot, or ship's officer on the planet. It"s the game that we choose to play, but we have to acknowledge that it comes with some risks. If you can fall asleep and drive into a ditch, you can drive onto a reef.

 

IMHO, they ought to add up to two bodies/boat. Even if the navigator takes a turn at the wheel, because driving is a shitload of fun, it would increase his/her sleep cycle by 30%.

Maybe an `assigned' navigator per watch.

 

… or an assigned `awake' navigator.

Isn't that the watch captain? Skipper and navigator both asleep, the wc looks after the nav and does a handover back when one or the other comes back on deck/watch.

 

Then there's the on-watch crew member who is making coffee and taking a curious look at the plotter to see where they are.

 

OK, that last one might not have happened.

I wonder how `formed' their watches are?

 

Warm weather, sometimes a lot of work, sometimes none.

 

Assigned roles get hazy?

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.

...all a good plan....I have a feeling everyone will be taking a regular look now. :huh:

 

 

. ...one less set of eyes to spot an inevitable container! :o

 

 

....of course the blamesayers will blab about too many heads below-decks! :lol:

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Just finished catching up on the latest 100 posts or so... a couple random thoughts about the latest thinking...

 

- Comments about Nico falling on his sword and bringing an un-named crew member with him... I don't think he fell on his sword at all. He said it's ultimately his responsibility, but then thoroughly set up the point that as skipper, he must be able to trust each crew member to do their job, and one crew member was essentially at fault for the whole thing. It appears to me that he's chucking that guy (presumably Wouter) on the sword and saying his only mistake was to trust that guy. I'm not judging Nico, as I think his feelings may be somewhat fair, and we don't know the whole story yet... I just didn't hear him falling on his sword in those comments.

 

- As a few people have said, most disasters aren't due to a single root cause. They're due to a series of events that come together to produce the end result. This wasn't a reckless, inexperienced, or stupid navigator. It was a chain of events. Will part of the conclusion be that the one un-named person made serious mistakes as part of the equation? Probably. Hard to imagine that isn't part of it. Is the zoom part of it? Probably. Is the fact that this happened in an area that was exclusion zone until shortly before the start, and therefore there was little time to research the possible hazards prior to the start? Probably. Given that the event happened a couple weeks after the actual start, should that hazard research have been completed aboard by the time they arrived? Probably. Was fatigue a factor? Probably. Were there other factors that none of us has thought of yet? Probably. Is there a single root cause that can explain the whole event? No way. It's a combination of events.

 

- Don't forget that Dongfeng almost did the same thing. As far as I can tell, the only reason they altered course at the last minute while Vestas plowed into the reef was that Dongfeng arrived before sunset. I'm hoping that when they do their root cause analysis, they involve Dongfeng to see whether or not there were commonalities in between the near miss and the brutal hit. I'm guessing yes, and those commonalities would likely need the most urgent attention because those would be factors that could imply continued risk for the remaining 6 competitors if not resolved.

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From

~1m16, scrolling through 4 different zoom levels.

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas1.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas2.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas3.jpg

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas4.jpg

 

well done. smoking gun?

 

Dunno. I'm not in the blame assignment business.

 

I think it's a good illustration that the reduction of map information is handled in a wrong and potentially deadly manner. Lets interpose a sat picture of the archipelago on the last screen to illustrate. (Quick work going for 95% accuracy or so.)

 

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-vestas4+sat.jpg

 

This is not a small feature that got dropped out.

great work

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Just finished catching up on the latest 100 posts or so... a couple random thoughts about the latest thinking...

 

- Comments about Nico falling on his sword and bringing an un-named crew member with him... I don't think he fell on his sword at all. He said it's ultimately his responsibility, but then thoroughly set up the point that as skipper, he must be able to trust each crew member to do their job, and one crew member was essentially at fault for the whole thing. It appears to me that he's chucking that guy (presumably Wouter) on the sword and saying his only mistake was to trust that guy. I'm not judging Nico, as I think his feelings may be somewhat fair, and we don't know the whole story yet... I just didn't hear him falling on his sword in those comments.

 

- As a few people have said, most disasters aren't due to a single root cause. They're due to a series of events that come together to produce the end result. This wasn't a reckless, inexperienced, or stupid navigator. It was a chain of events. Will part of the conclusion be that the one un-named person made serious mistakes as part of the equation? Probably. Hard to imagine that isn't part of it. Is the zoom part of it? Probably. Is the fact that this happened in an area that was exclusion zone until shortly before the start, and therefore there was little time to research the possible hazards prior to the start? Probably. Given that the event happened a couple weeks after the actual start, should that hazard research have been completed aboard by the time they arrived? Probably. Was fatigue a factor? Probably. Were there other factors that none of us has thought of yet? Probably. Is there a single root cause that can explain the whole event? No way. It's a combination of events.

 

- Don't forget that Dongfeng almost did the same thing. As far as I can tell, the only reason they altered course at the last minute while Vestas plowed into the reef was that Dongfeng arrived before sunset. I'm hoping that when they do their root cause analysis, they involve Dongfeng to see whether or not there were commonalities in between the near miss and the brutal hit. I'm guessing yes, and those commonalities would likely need the most urgent attention because those would be factors that could imply continued risk for the remaining 6 competitors if not resolved.

Thanks Mum.

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Just finished catching up on the latest 100 posts or so... a couple random thoughts about the latest thinking...

 

- Comments about Nico falling on his sword and bringing an un-named crew member with him... I don't think he fell on his sword at all. He said it's ultimately his responsibility, but then thoroughly set up the point that as skipper, he must be able to trust each crew member to do their job, and one crew member was essentially at fault for the whole thing. It appears to me that he's chucking that guy (presumably Wouter) on the sword and saying his only mistake was to trust that guy. I'm not judging Nico, as I think his feelings may be somewhat fair, and we don't know the whole story yet... I just didn't hear him falling on his sword in those comments.

 

- As a few people have said, most disasters aren't due to a single root cause. They're due to a series of events that come together to produce the end result. This wasn't a reckless, inexperienced, or stupid navigator. It was a chain of events. Will part of the conclusion be that the one un-named person made serious mistakes as part of the equation? Probably. Hard to imagine that isn't part of it. Is the zoom part of it? Probably. Is the fact that this happened in an area that was exclusion zone until shortly before the start, and therefore there was little time to research the possible hazards prior to the start? Probably. Given that the event happened a couple weeks after the actual start, should that hazard research have been completed aboard by the time they arrived? Probably. Was fatigue a factor? Probably. Were there other factors that none of us has thought of yet? Probably. Is there a single root cause that can explain the whole event? No way. It's a combination of events.

 

- Don't forget that Dongfeng almost did the same thing. As far as I can tell, the only reason they altered course at the last minute while Vestas plowed into the reef was that Dongfeng arrived before sunset. I'm hoping that when they do their root cause analysis, they involve Dongfeng to see whether or not there were commonalities in between the near miss and the brutal hit. I'm guessing yes, and those commonalities would likely need the most urgent attention because those would be factors that could imply continued risk for the remaining 6 competitors if not resolved.

Well reasoned, Mom. You raise some valid points.

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Also the island was tiny, it is the reef that is "many miles wide" and it is covered by ocean at high tide and is depicted in a different way to land on the chart.

 

To me, jzk's screenshots are very telling. Even though zoomed out the island and reef don't show, there are a hell of a lot of contours that indicate something is going on with the seabed in that area. I'd take a closer look. And when the word Isle pops up, I'd take a very close look. I'm sad that Vestas doesn't seem to have done the same. Let's face it - if they knew it was there, they wouldn't have hit it. Ergo, it appears they didn't know it was there.

 

All true.

 

In this thread we have some here saying "I would have taken a look"… well yes, but he didn't, so where did it go wrong?

 

...

 

When did the race organisers change the exclusion zone obliging the fleet's navigators to do some new planning?

 

I can't believe he wasn't looking up the track and planning his moves with regards to hazards and since it is an effing large coral reef why didn't he see it? It extends past the atolls much farther than most.

 

I still think it is the way the information on the chart is represented at different scales. I don't say this to lift the blame but rather to examine what mistake a tired navigator may have made.

 

Agree. My understanding is that the exclusion zone was lifted less than a day before. What I can't figure is why Vestas didn't examine the new area thoroughly. They would have course notes for everything of interest in the originally available area. A new area is opened up, that hasn't been course-noted - it's nav 101 to peruse that area so you know what's there.

 

Why didn't that happen? My best guess is that the navigator was too busy attending to tactical navigation and didn't get to attend to the basics.

 

I might be wrong, but I just can't see any other scenario that makes sense.

 

 

I agree.

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The remark about the 3-4000 deep (and ft vs meters) made me think that if they where not where they should have been: Deeper water is was to the east of the Island. Perhaps the driver did something different than expected.

 

Two things striked me as odd watching the replay. All day and in similar wind conditions the TWA of V is 130-140 just like the rest of the fleet and when they make the final major course change and take on the collision course towards the island the this is due to a sudden TWA shifts from the 130-140 towards the 110-120. TWA stays in that range and speed is much much faster than at TWA 130-140 but VMG with wind around 14knt lower. Why would they do that?

 

With the TWA at 130-140 and wind shifting form 240 - 270 they would have easly steared clear and east of the island

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Isn't that the watch captain? Skipper and navigator both asleep, the wc looks after the nav and does a handover back when one or the other comes back on deck/watch.

 

Then there's the on-watch crew member who is making coffee and taking a curious look at the plotter to see where they are.

 

OK, that last one might not have happened.

 

Ha! Finally the guilty party has been identified by this Sailing Anarchy Kangaroo Court. After all the On Board Restaurateur was on the can and not checking the course during the crash. By own admission, no less.

 

That said, I doubt that the OBRs know how to use Expedition and recognize the signs that zooming in further to find hard bits is a must in a given area. Even if we ignore for a moment that they are not supposed to navigate.

 

 

Edit:

I concur, not a single failure accident. As virtually every single time it's a chain of events that led to the result.

Which is why abort conditions are used in other areas. Situations where something goes wrong (say loosing an engine while crossing a river bar) and where a second failure (any second failure) has way too much of a chance to led to disaster.

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The remark about the 3-4000 deep (and ft vs meters) made me think that if they where not where they should have been: Deeper water is was to the east of the Island. Perhaps the driver did something different than expected.

 

Two things striked me as odd watching the replay. All day and in similar wind conditions the TWA of V is 130-140 just like the rest of the fleet and when they make the final major course change and take on the collision course towards the island the this is due to a sudden TWA shifts from the 130-140 towards the 110-120. TWA stays in that range and speed is much much faster than at TWA 130-140 but VMG with wind around 14knt lower. Why would they do that?

 

With the TWA at 130-140 and wind shifting form 240 - 270 they would have easly steared clear and east of the island,

 

Interesting. So are you thinking the driver was on the wrong angle?

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those are the c-map charts, so those are the right ones to be talking about if you want to go down that route.

 

and, we know they are actually the charts he was using - what i was saying is we should not be making conclusions based on the navionics charts, and especially not the app

 

in this thread i posted 6 levels of the c-map charts at the reef and you can see something at every zoom level - it never completely dissapears

 

So, as i said above, speaking as a navigator, there appears to be _plenty_ visible at the most zoomed out level in those screen shots from on board to cause me to examine the feature in more detail.

 

my feeling is that it wasn't the software that was the problem but poor use of the software - assuming the crash happened because he didn't know about the reef.

 

now, it could well be that poor use of the software was caused by lack of sleep, or something like that - i don't know.

 

but as a navigator, i am just not ready to blame the software in this case

 

I agree completely...

 

However, since we're talking about C-Map, here, I'll just mention this anomaly I ran into last summer up in Labrador. Again, this has nothing to do with what I suspect may or may not have happened aboard VESTAS WIND - but is simply a reminder that e-charts can sometimes offer up something in the way of a surprise...

 

I was running this area in very heavy fog. A bit discomfiting, as my radar had gone tits up halfway up the coast of Nova Scotia about 6 weeks earlier... When I got to this spot, no amount of further zooming would pull up any detail in this curious 'void' in the C-Map coverage. Turned out to be a very tricky spot with several unmarked ledges, one could very easily lose a boat here:

 

 

c-mapvoid_zps653cabfc.jpg

 

 

I was also running Navionics on an iPad, which showed the requisite detail... However, all of my planning was initially done on paper, the appropriate chart always folded in quarters on my puny nav table... That coast is so intricate, the only safe way - at least for me - to gain the big picture at a glance is with paper, the amount of zooming one has to do on a 10" plotter, or an iPad could quickly drive one mad...

 

For the coast of Labrador alone, that's 49 CHS charts... At $19.80 a pop from Maryland Nautical Sales, that adds up to a pretty expensive pile of paper...

 

For me, worth every penny - that's my insurance, after all... So, it would take a far braver man than I, to cruise Newfoundland or Labrador without the necessary paper charts...

 

'Cause, well, you just never know... :-))

 

 

grandbruitchart.jpg

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Couple more random thoughts:

 

Re: poor prep of new territory etc... I seem to recall a video on one of the Inside Tracks or suchlike of a Vestas team member saying they were time pressured trying to get everything ready in time for the start. Perhaps they in fact didn't pre-prepare well enough? A casualty of a lesser funded team & less shore based numbers? Just postulating.

 

I also recall mention that Wouter has his own software written for navigation/route selection that is designed to exclude random routes or suchlike. I wonder if the use of this contributed? The way other teams stated this was easy to do suggests not though.

 

Considering some ex-Telefonica Blue team members are going around this time, we haven't heard much from Bekking or SiFi about this. Wasn't Nico also on Movistar?

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