fragglerock

Another fatality for Clipper Around the World.

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1 hour ago, 5X-MOANA said:

Isn't it fascinating that every skipper considers himself to be an above average 'safe' skipper?
But very few have ever actually done a professional risk assessment or understand the basics of managing risks.
So.... let's have a look at what is standard in any other hazardous activity; the "Hierarchy of hazard controls"

Hierarchy_of_Controls_(By_NIOSH).jpg.787437583cef487aee6af0ce84353442.jpg

Clipping in, PFD's, personal AIS, training, experience, ... are the LEAST EFFECTIVE controls of hazards. Yes, you have to use them as well; but they won't really make you safe.
To be truly safer, you have to substitute or eliminate all hazards.
So instead of asking: "Why did his tether not keep him on board" you could ask: "Why did he have to leave the cockpit ?"
And instead of asking: "Was he fit and experienced enough to be on the bow in heavy weather ?" you could ask "Why were they in heavy weather?"
You could also ask: "Why can a boom hit a head ?"

It is possible to sail around the world without ever getting into a storm or leaving the cockpit.
But that's not interesting enough for a commercial pay-to-play product..... 

  

Where do you go sailing? On a duck pond?

Edit, dammit Jack beat me too it. 

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25 minutes ago, Ozee Adventure said:

I was on the 68's not sure what it is like on the 70's.

I forgot we used to climb up to the pole to spike too & I was over 50 doing that.

Good for you!! You get a great view from up there. 

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6 hours ago, miztified said:

What has changed in the last 2 editions? It's the boats, surely. The 70s are the biggest and least crew friendly design that Clipper has used. As the boats are bigger the sails are correspondingly larger and heavier, needing more crew to move them around The bow is extremely narrow, and with the upwind slamming inherent in the design, a very uncomfortable place to be. 

Not uncomfortable if you interogate the comparative specs i.e. see just one below.

5 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

ha ha Jack, I remember comments being made when the design was launched that is was as if someone had mated a VO70 with a Winnebego

Shang who ever had that Frankenboat idea clearly didn't have much regard for the VO70's box rule and I think the GreyNomads home on wheels was a very kind comparison. Those huge rocket cradles that crawl along at Cape Canaveral come more to mind. 

Without delving into SA/D's etc the dry displacement comes in at around 34t for the Clipper70 compared to its predecessor the 68 at 32t and the 60 at 24t. The VO70 and VO60 around 14t and the current V65's less than that at 13t. The proposed foiling V60's will be around 8t I think.

If anyone thought life was uncomfortable in a Clipper 70 then on board a Volvo boat, and the current OD V65's in particular, they would have all jumped off at the first port and run home to their accounting practises never to think about the sea again.

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I thought it was common knowledge that ocean racing, and especially in the Southern Ocean is and has always been one of the more dangerous pursuits out there. Right up there with mountain climbing, auto racing, extreme skiing, not quite at the level of BASE jumping  but nevertheless, definitely high up there in the risk department, no matter how well prepared you are. 

In these types of sports, there is inherent risk regardless of the precautions taken, and the expectation of %100 safety is unrealistic.   

I'm sure if someone wanted to compare numbers of this type of race, the fatality rate per mile travelled as compared to casual pleasure boating(power, sail, waterskiing, wakeboarding, wave runners etc), where reasonable precautions are presumed as well(though not as stringent as an ocean sailor), you might find that these sailors aren't doing so bad. I don't really know how this comparison would stack up and I'm not entirely sure it's even relevant.

I guess it's reasonable that sailing culture, a little bit lower on the risk scale than something like BASE jumping, generally has a higher expectation of safety. Though I can't get inside the head of a BASE jumper, something tells me these guys are deeply resigned to their fate, live or die. Not so in sailing, in which basic seamanship is comprised of every practice that can add further to your safety. Hopefully this tragedy will lead to insight and improved safety, but for me at least, I hope it might also serve as a reminder that even with perfect seamanship, there's really no such thing as perfectly safe. 

I don't mean to sound callous, but should anyone be surprised that this happened? It is totally within the realm of possibility, and whether a tragedy occurs through error, oversight, the sheer force of Mother Nature, or a combination of all three as is often the case, the heart of an adventurer has accepted the risks and by doing so, has already laid his fate out there. That is an individual choice. 

As for what you could have done better, sometimes there's the cold hard possibility that the answer is nothing.

...but 'nothing' clearly ain't gonna work, as it's a natural reaction to look for answers. From the above comments I've gleaned:

1)The boat might be a little bigger and harder to handle than previous boats.

2) Was surprised to hear only one pro captain and that's it, the rest are paying crew. Is this correct? I crossed paths w a captain from this race a couple of years ago and was impressed and thought to myself this guy would be the right guy for this type of job, as it definitely sounds like a handful...didn't realize it was a handful for just one person.

3) Not from the above comments, but remember some footage I think from an mob in an earlier race how easily someone was swept underneath the lifelines. I havn't followed the this story so hope I'm not repeating, but have they bolstered the webbing in the lifelines(like all open water sailors should probably do)?

Anyway these are just some thoughts, but basically my sentiments go to the family and friends.

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7 hours ago, NautiGirl said:

  But at the end of the day, you will never, ever be able to make sailing, especially ocean racing and circumnavigations, risk free.

 

nobody is saying that. We are talking about how it can be reduced, nobody cares about how fine your marriage is.

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1 hour ago, fufkin said:

I thought it was common knowledge that ocean racing, and especially in the Southern Ocean is and has always been one of the more dangerous pursuits out there. Right up there with mountain climbing, auto racing, extreme skiing, not quite at the level of BASE jumping  but nevertheless, definitely high up there in the risk department, no matter how well prepared you are. 

In these types of sports, there is inherent risk regardless of the precautions taken, and the expectation of %100 safety is unrealistic.   

I'm sure if someone wanted to compare numbers of this type of race, the fatality rate per mile travelled as compared to casual pleasure boating(power, sail, waterskiing, wakeboarding, wave runners etc), where reasonable precautions are presumed as well(though not as stringent as an ocean sailor), you might find that these sailors aren't doing so bad. I don't really know how this comparison would stack up and I'm not entirely sure it's even relevant.

I guess it's reasonable that sailing culture, a little bit lower on the risk scale than something like BASE jumping, generally has a higher expectation of safety. Though I can't get inside the head of a BASE jumper, something tells me these guys are deeply resigned to their fate, live or die. Not so in sailing, in which basic seamanship is comprised of every practice that can add further to your safety. Hopefully this tragedy will lead to insight and improved safety, but for me at least, I hope it might also serve as a reminder that even with perfect seamanship, there's really no such thing as perfectly safe. 

I don't mean to sound callous, but should anyone be surprised that this happened? It is totally within the realm of possibility, and whether a tragedy occurs through error, oversight, the sheer force of Mother Nature, or a combination of all three as is often the case, the heart of an adventurer has accepted the risks and by doing so, has already laid his fate out there. That is an individual choice. 

As for what you could have done better, sometimes there's the cold hard possibility that the answer is nothing.

...but 'nothing' clearly ain't gonna work, as it's a natural reaction to look for answers. From the above comments I've gleaned:

1)The boat might be a little bigger and harder to handle than previous boats.

2) Was surprised to hear only one pro captain and that's it, the rest are paying crew. Is this correct? I crossed paths w a captain from this race a couple of years ago and was impressed and thought to myself this guy would be the right guy for this type of job, as it definitely sounds like a handful...didn't realize it was a handful for just one person.

3) Not from the above comments, but remember some footage I think from an mob in an earlier race how easily someone was swept underneath the lifelines. I havn't followed the this story so hope I'm not repeating, but have they bolstered the webbing in the lifelines(like all open water sailors should probably do)?

Anyway these are just some thoughts, but basically my sentiments go to the family and friends.

Yes they have changed the lifelines and you should remember to change fonts when you are cutting and pasting other peoples words to look like your own.

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What is it with clipper racers and going OB? I've only had one MOB on my yacht and it was my cousin who did the clipper race the year before. 

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21 hours ago, Rail Meat said:

I don' know what the sail plan is on a Flipper, but am surprised there is not more use of furled head sails.   I know fueled versus hanked is a good performance debate, but i am not aware of any debate when it comes to safety.   

At an MOB talk given by one of the participants in one of the Clipper races, (details foggy), two things I remember:

  1. I would not have felt comfortable going to sea with the crew as he described them.
  2. Apparently the hank system is specifically to give the crew some work to do. Makes them feel all offshore and shit.

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7 hours ago, LB 15 said:

Yes they have changed the lifelines and you should remember to change fonts when you are cutting and pasting other peoples words to look like your own.

Not sure what that's about LB, those were my words only. 

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I was on the 68's not sure what it is like on the 70's.

I forgot we used to climb up to the pole to spike too & I was over 50 doing that.

 

Here is an old bow pic.  Not much space up there?  Is that poor man's DIY non skid on the pulpit or is that bumpers  to prevent head bo bo's.... Note how high off the deck that hank job is?

 

clipper-cv-11-main.jpg

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17 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

This route looks very manageable from a risk assessment viewpoint...providing of course they stay away from the water-wheel at the end of the pond.

129f3fb4195eceb042dcf263d7128706.jpg

Well what about the risk of puncturing your hull on a partially submerged swan?

Obviously you need to spend more time thinking this through...

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On 11/20/2017 at 12:06 PM, bad sandwhich said:

Massively impressive they recovered him given their latitude and the conditions. Very sad to hear given that (on the face of it) he was doing everything by the book safety wise and still didn't stay in the game.

I imagine losing a crewmate whilst racing will affect the crew in a big way - I hope they are all able to cope with it.

Comparisons between VOR and Clipper aside - who'd put a 60 year old guy on the foredeck? in the Southern Ocean?  I'll probably get a load of abuse for saying it but, abilities aside, that's a bunch of risk right there. 

Questions will be raised though - clipper have a duty of care to their subscribers, going ahead and changing nothing is clearly not an option.

 

 

I will be 62 in April and I do a 52.5 mile trail run event in October and a 44 mile event every April with about 1500 miles of other trail events and training per year to stay in shape for sailing 

How about you ? 

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5 hours ago, Boo-Yah said:

I was on the 68's not sure what it is like on the 70's.

I forgot we used to climb up to the pole to spike too & I was over 50 doing that.

 

Here is an old bow pic.  Not much space up there?  Is that poor man's DIY non skid on the pulpit or is that bumpers  to prevent head bo bo's.... Note how high off the deck that hank job is?

 

clipper-cv-11-main.jpg

Yes - I'd be standing on the white stuff on my trip (clipped on), others feeding the sail up standing on the deck, none of us would have been able to work on a short tether IMO, I haven't looked at the 70's.

On my trip a friend fell against the inner forestay at speed (clipped) & his femur wrapped around it & broke in 2 places. inherent risk is still his mantra today.

Edited by Ozee Adventure

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2 hours ago, Ozee Adventure said:

Yes - I'd be standing on the white stuff on my trip (clipped on), others feeding the sail up standing on the deck, none of us would have been able to work on a short tether IMO, I haven't looked at the 70's.

On my trip a friend fell against the inner forestay at speed (clipped) & his femur wrapped around it & broke in 2 places. inherent risk is still his mantra today.

Does anyone else feel like some of the "detuning" features Clipper has put on these boats actually puts people more at risk than on their tuned up counterparts? 
Case in point, needing to stand up out of the bow pulpit just to get the jib on.

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4 hours ago, Peanut Butter said:

Well what about the risk of puncturing your hull on a partially submerged swan?

Obviously you need to spend more time thinking this through...

Well actually the RO did a risk analysis and as no production boats have been on the pond the chances of hitting an abandoned Swan, Beneteau etc is non existent.

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2 hours ago, jackolantern said:

Does anyone else feel like some of the "detuning" features Clipper has put on these boats actually puts people more at risk than on their tuned up counterparts? 
Case in point, needing to stand up out of the bow pulpit just to get the jib on.

Those boats are not in the current fleet so that particular risk is now mitigated

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On 11/20/2017 at 9:54 AM, shanghaisailor said:

"Turns out there is a substantial likelihood of dying" - it's the frigging ocean, of course there is.

Crux would be, I suppose whether Clipper gloss over that or not.

Having said that the number of people climbing Everest has not fallen away (bad choice of words perhaps) because of multiple deaths on the mountain and the high profile injury to Michael Schumacher who was taking far more precautions than a very high % of skiers has not damaged the alpine ski market so one has to ask 'Why do people do the clipper?'

Perhaps it is BECAUSE of the risks and make no mistake and adventure without risks goes against the very definition of the word.

Either way, the cause needs to be properly investigated.

I remember (and I am blue skying here) thinking that the new fleet was a little too racey for the likes of the clipper - a bit to exposed on deck (just an opinion) but until the new fleet arrived Clipper had no issues with people falling off is I recall correctly. As I say, just blue skying.

I think that may be a large part of the problem (if it is actually a systemic problem) - maybe just racy enough to get less experienced racers in trouble.  I will, however wait until the MAIB report (or a very detailed report on the chain of events) before making a firmer opinion on the matter.

 

Fair seas and following wind to Simon Spiers and condolences to his family, friends and shipmates

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21 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

If anyone thought life was uncomfortable in a Clipper 70 then on board a Volvo boat, and the current OD V65's in particular, they would have all jumped off at the first port and run home to their accounting practises never to think about the sea again.

Indeed. We would undoubtedly have jumped off after the first real training sail, if we could have got it out of the harbor without tipping it over. Who'd be stupid enough to market that to amateurs and beginners? Though at least on a Volvo 70 or OD V65 you'd cover the distance a lot quicker. 
But it's still the Southern Ocean, whatever boat you are on. Unless you've experienced multi-week cold weather ocean passages, it's easy to underestimate the attrition to the "active" crew from relentless cold, pervasive damp, sleep deprivation, and the small injuries that accumulate.  That's what results in short-handed watches and the 60 year old being on the foredeck for a sail change.

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27 minutes ago, miztified said:

and the 60 year old being on the foredeck for a sail change.

Mate you keep banging on about age. 

I have no idea of the attributes of this poor gentleman including if he felt comfortable or not with his own capacity on these trucks. Being there suggests he was and so no one should begrudge him that.

However I do know one thing and that there are 60 year olds who can't get out of bed in the morning. There are 60 year olds who can run rings around those half their age at the pointy end of a offshore race boat with a pole.

Leave stereotyping humans to alliens.

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

Mate you keep banging on about age. 

I have no idea of the attributes of this poor gentleman including if he felt comfortable or not with his own capacity on these trucks. Being there suggests he was and so no one should begrudge him that.

However I do know one thing and that there are 60 year olds who can't get out of bed in the morning. There are 60 year olds who can run rings around those half their age at the pointy end of a offshore race boat with a pole.

Leave stereotyping humans to alliens.

Actually that was the first time I mentioned his age, though others had posted about it earlier in the thread.  "The 60 year old" is more a metaphor for "the people who wouldn't normally do that job".  For sure some of our strongest and reliable were right around that age.

Perhaps you should lay off the accountants, if stereotyping really  bothers you.

 

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Thats cool mitz I probably mixed you up with someone else on the recurrent age thingo. I just happened to know 2 accountants  that  did it  but to maintain balance will include Fireman next. Cheers.

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Ok. I’m just going to say this. I really, really fucking hate the wet-nursed, baby-diapered, nanny- pamby safety guardians who want to eliminate all risk from the world.

Please fuck off and go wrap yourselves in bubbles and duvets.

All of you.

Do it now.

This company is the *only* one on the market doing what it does. Personally, I plan on becoming a customer in the near future and have NO problems whatsoever with who dies and how they die. I will also be closer to 60 than 50 by the time that happens.

Go direct your hysteria at texting drivers, or people who ignore crossing guards, or some other much more prevalent daily threat. 

Thank you. 

PS.

That includes you Clean. The agenda of your attack on these people is so transparent. What happened? They wouldn’t buy an ad?

 

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7 hours ago, Peanut Butter said:

Ok. I’m just going to say this. I really, really fucking hate the wet-nursed, baby-diapered, nanny- pamby safety guardians who want to eliminate all risk from the world.

Please fuck off and go wrap yourselves in bubbles and duvets.

All of you.

Do it now.

This company is the *only* one on the market doing what it does. Personally, I plan on becoming a customer in the near future and have NO problems whatsoever with who dies and how they die. I will also be closer to 60 than 50 by the time that happens.

Go direct your hysteria at texting drivers, or people who ignore crossing guards, or some other much more prevalent daily threat. 

Thank you. 

PS.

That includes you Clean. The agenda of your attack on these people is so transparent. What happened? They wouldn’t buy an ad?

 

That's why I signed up & why I'd go again... that's my choice.

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+ 1000 to each of PB, Nauti and Ozee and what I tried to say at the start.  Clean you are a jerk (being nice) on this.

And while we are about it,  Norbow keep your thoughts to yourself about Nauti's very sensible approach to the obvious risk of her husband's choices.  When we are dying it will not be the things we have done but those things we have not done that we will regret. She is allowing a wonderful freedom and adopting a realistic view.  Your halyard suggestion has not received one bit of support other than the article you quote.

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46 minutes ago, Ozee Adventure said:

That's why I signed up & why I'd go again... that's my choice.

In this thread, reading your posts, I meant to ask you the question you just answered.

I'm all for reducing risk, but reality is that you can never reduce the risk in living life to its fullest. 

 

 

 

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You spend ten months above ten thousand feet...for many years...no matter how good you are, chances are it catches up to you. RIP Anatoli Boukreev.

https://www.amazon.ca/Climb-Tragic-Ambitions-Everest/dp/0312206372

https://www.mountainzone.com/climbing/fischer/letters.html

Here is a guy, who carried clients up and down the mountain during an epic, and catastrophic event on Everest. This book is a response to the more popular book 'Into Thin Air', in which the mountain climbing community urged the (limited) English speaking Kazakh legend to correct some journalistic inaccuracies and helped to get another version of events out there.

There may or may not be some parallels here, in terms of unsuspecting paying adventurers in a very dangerous sport. Let's be clear, you pay your money and you take your chances.

 

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1 hour ago, DtM said:

+ 1000 to each of PB, Nauti and Ozee and what I tried to say at the start.  Clean you are a jerk (being nice) on this.

And while we are about it,  Norbow keep your thoughts to yourself about Nauti's very sensible approach to the obvious risk of her husband's choices.  When we are dying it will not be the things we have done but those things we have not done that we will regret. She is allowing a wonderful freedom and adopting a realistic view.  Your halyard suggestion has not received one bit of support other than the article you quote.

I have a very dear friend, someone whom I love very much, who almost died after taking a hit in soccer when his spleen was ruptured. He still plays soccer, and other physically demanding sports. I think that's awesome,  He would be miserable if he didn't play.

 I think my outlook has nothing to do with my relationship with my husband or my marriage (Let the record reflect that I, in fact, am the lucky one and neither my husband nor I are perfect spouses) but with experience and age/maturity. Look at Cheeki Rafiki--that could have been any one of us on that boat, or any boat that has a catastrophic failure. There's pretty much nothing you can do in that situation. I've been with my husband on the boat in situations that scared the shit out of me, but I'd do it again in a heart beat.

My closest friends are sailors, police officers, in the military and pilots.  All of them face an increased risk every day over the average joe. And none of them would change their careers for the world regardless. They LOVE what they do far more than I love sitting in my nice, safe cubicle.

Yes, let's see what there is to learn from this incident. But for fuck's sake, can we acknowledge that things go wrong and every accident isn't preventable? 

 

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1 hour ago, NautiGirl said:

Yes, let's see what there is to learn from this incident. But for fuck's sake, can we acknowledge that things go wrong and every accident isn't preventable? 

 

For fuck's sake, why are you saying this? Is your halyard not going all the way to the top? Has anybody said that all accidents are preventable and denied that things go wrong? No.

How you and your husband organize your life has nothing to do with the possibilities to make the Clipper boats more safe, has it?

 

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And your halyard idea is just fucking stupid and would in fact make them (and any other boat) more dangerous.

We have had to put up with all your shit over the years now fuck off and leave Nauti alone.

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31 minutes ago, DtM said:

And your halyard idea is just fucking stupid and would in fact make them (and any other boat) more dangerous.

We have had to put up with all your shit over the years now fuck off and leave Nauti alone.

The idea isn't mine, it's something somebody else have tried out. I think it's an interesting thing and of course if somebody tested it more they might end up saying that it's not a safe thing to do. It's just one of many ideas. Now YOU haven't tested it so you don't actually know if it's more dangerous or not. Neither do I.

I don't have a problem with you saying that you think it sounds dangerous.  I think it's interesting to discuss new things.

And I have more likes than you.

:P

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Most of us here happily take higher residual risks to have more fun. After all, sailing around the world with no heavy weather and without ever leaving the cockpit would be boooring…
The point of my posts is to explain that the risks we are taking are not ‘inherent’, instead the residual risks depend heavily on the hazard controls we are applying.
In other words: we should choose to accept residual risks and not do so by ignorance.
Of course, we should also stop focusing the safety discussions and trainings on the least effective hazard controls (see my previous post on ‘Hierarchy of hazard controls’)

So yes, Clipper racing can be great fun, but they seem to have made decisions which increase the residual risk, to keep paying crew busy and make them feel like ‘real’ ocean racers. It is not unlikely that this is required to offer a viable product. If the customers understand this tradeoff, all is well... 

To finish my rant: Arguments like: “I could also get killed by crossing the road” are great to impress your mother in law, but won’t improve your fun to risk ratio….
 

 

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Good morning,

In earlier posts there were references to fatalities in other ocean races, amongst others that of the Volvo RTWR.

It should be noted that there were THREE deaths in the very first Whitbread RTWR in 1973/1974 stemming from MOB's. Two deaths on leg 2 and one on leg 3. These were the Southern Ocean legs. None of the people were even found after going overboard. Chay Blyth who's boat lost a man on the 3rd leg was criticized for not searching long enough before resuming racing.

By the way which some posts criticize the Clipper Race, the Whitbread/ Volvo RTWR should therefore have ended right there and then in 1974. Instead, offshore racing has grown and because of these deaths in various high profile races there has been incredible emphasis on safety awareness, and in particularly MOB has been driven  to the top of the list. The biggest benefactors of these safety developments are us weekend warriors.

In conclusion, we all sail for different reasons.....I see my sailing as an adventure. I also enjoy mountaineering which is also an adventure.

"Adventure" a noun: a risky undertaking with an uncertain outcome. 

Like the mountains, the ocean is the last place where we can still escape modern society's "let's find someone else to blame" culture. Both the mountains and the ocean requires you to accept responsibility for yourself and the group with you.

When I step out there, I practice safety, but I accept the risks.

Regards.

 

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On ‎22‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 11:17 AM, jack_sparrow said:

Mate you keep banging on about age. 

I have no idea of the attributes of this poor gentleman including if he felt comfortable or not with his own capacity on these trucks. Being there suggests he was and so no one should begrudge him that.

However I do know one thing and that there are 60 year olds who can't get out of bed in the morning. There are 60 year olds who can run rings around those half their age at the pointy end of a offshore race boat with a pole.

Leave stereotyping humans to alliens.

Dead on Jack, I have mentioned him before but at 50+ Jerry Kirby was Ken Read's first pick for the bow on Puma, a VO70

SS

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11 minutes ago, trisail said:

Good morning,

In earlier posts there were references to fatalities in other ocean races, amongst others that of the Volvo RTWR.

It should be noted that there were THREE deaths in the very first Whitbread RTWR in 1973/1974 stemming from MOB's. Two deaths on leg 2 and one on leg 3. These were the Southern Ocean legs. None of the people were even found after going overboard. Chay Blyth who's boat lost a man on the 3rd leg was criticized for not searching long enough before resuming racing.

By the way which some posts criticize the Clipper Race, the Whitbread/ Volvo RTWR should therefore have ended right there and then in 1974. Instead, offshore racing has grown and because of these deaths in various high profile races there has been incredible emphasis on safety awareness, and in particularly MOB has been driven  to the top of the list. The biggest benefactors of these safety developments are us weekend warriors.

In conclusion, we all sail for different reasons.....I see my sailing as an adventure. I also enjoy mountaineering which is also an adventure.

"Adventure" a noun: a risky undertaking with an uncertain outcome. 

Like the mountains, the ocean is the last place where we can still escape modern society's "let's find someone else to blame" culture. Both the mountains and the ocean requires you to accept responsibility for yourself and the group with you.

When I step out there, I practice safety, but I accept the risks.

Regards.

 

Rather out of context trysail. The first Whitbread was more akin to Clipper than the modern day Volvo. There was hardly a pro-sailor in the fleet and it was a Clipperesque adventure and certainly a million miles from the full on professional event that is today's Volvo Ocean Race. You are also wrong in that only two of those who went over the side were never seen again, one, if my memory serves me right was recovered but he was dead.

The rest of your post I completely agree with. We are born with adrenalin glands on top of our kidneys and for a large percentage of the population that is all there is to know. For those of us who have had them fire into action and come out of the other side know the high that results from that. The fact that we DO come out the other side is usually because we assessed the risks and took reasonable precautions.

Your last sentence "When I step out there, I practice safety, but I accept the risks" could be a one line summary of good seamanship in fact.

Just saying

SS

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9 hours ago, trisail said:

Good morning,

In earlier posts there were references to fatalities in other ocean races, amongst others that of the Volvo RTWR.

It should be noted that there were THREE deaths in the very first Whitbread RTWR in 1973/1974 stemming from MOB's. Two deaths on leg 2 and one on leg 3. These were the Southern Ocean legs. None of the people were even found after going overboard. Chay Blyth who's boat lost a man on the 3rd leg was criticized for not searching long enough before resuming racing.

By the way which some posts criticize the Clipper Race, the Whitbread/ Volvo RTWR should therefore have ended right there and then in 1974. Instead, offshore racing has grown and because of these deaths in various high profile races there has been incredible emphasis on safety awareness, and in particularly MOB has been driven  to the top of the list. The biggest benefactors of these safety developments are us weekend warriors.

In conclusion, we all sail for different reasons.....I see my sailing as an adventure. I also enjoy mountaineering which is also an adventure.

"Adventure" a noun: a risky undertaking with an uncertain outcome. 

Like the mountains, the ocean is the last place where we can still escape modern society's "let's find someone else to blame" culture. Both the mountains and the ocean requires you to accept responsibility for yourself and the group with you.

When I step out there, I practice safety, but I accept the risks.

Regards.

 

I do not think that anyone is saying that Clipper should stop. This is a misunderstanding. What many of us say is that 3 dead over 2 years and a shitload of other freak accidents happening certainly warrants an investigation. I haven't run the numbers to see if these accidents are statistically significant or not. Whether they can be explained by the unlucky coincidence of the "normal" fatality rate or RTW racing or that rate is increasing for Clipper, but my gut feeling is that people shouldn't be dying on a well managed boat. 

But this is up to the investigation to determine what , if anything, went wrong. We all know that ocean sailing is more dangerous than a lot of other hobbies and that very much depend s on the training and experience of the crew. This is where risk management of Clipper is especially important, as they more likely have to have additional controls to make up of uneven or lack of experience of the crew. Otherwise the residual risk will be higher and we'll have similar tragic events. 

So I don't think that at all that Clipper has to spot. But they do have to execute a very throughout investigation if they have any systemic problems.

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On 11/23/2017 at 4:03 AM, LB 15 said:

Welcome back NG! How the fuck are ya?

I'm OK, thanks! Gumby made laddfall earlier this week, so one less thing to worry about. He's talking about buying a bigger boat, so we'll see. I'm putting my efforts into the route halifax st pierre., which I want to do on our current boat.

Mostly I'm stressed out of my mind and can't wait to get a hug. lol

 

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On 11/23/2017 at 4:50 AM, NORBowGirl said:

For fuck's sake, why are you saying this? Is your halyard not going all the way to the top? Has anybody said that all accidents are preventable and denied that things go wrong? No.

How you and your husband organize your life has nothing to do with the possibilities to make the Clipper boats more safe, has it?

 

I've been away from this place. I don't know you. But I'm not going to give it to you as is the custom of this place. And I am particualrly uninterested in brining another woman down.

My husband makes his living on the ocean. The risks of this are very clear to me. When you have 1/2 the miles my husband has, then you can tell me that I'm out of my mind. And I do a bit myself. 

I don't know anything about you, You sound young, That's cool, I don't want to be your adversary--I feel very strongly that we need more women here.

If you are ever in Halifax, sail with my husband!

 

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Nic Interview with Sir Robin; details about the tether failure. Thanks Nic, and  safe and Merry Christmas to you too.

 

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On 11/22/2017 at 3:06 PM, Peanut Butter said:

Personally, I plan on becoming a customer in the near future and have NO problems whatsoever with who dies and how they die.

 

Don't clip on please.

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4 hours ago, nroose said:

Perhaps an application for a soft shackle?

excactly where? You want something you can release under pressure, and that sits while not under pressure. A soft shackle does neither. 

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On 20/11/2017 at 2:41 PM, IPLore said:

 However, the waivers on the Clipper contract are going to be bullet proof in light of the obvious dangers in adventure travel by sail in the Southern ocean.

Not a lawyer but I run a business in the UK and know enough to have a clue as to what you cannot weasel out of in waiver clauses in UK law. The Unfair Contract Terms Act knocks out any waivers if there has been death or personal injury caused by negligence.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/50

I am not saying there was negligence, just indicating that if Clipper ends up being sued in this or another case and there is found to neglicent, waiver clauses aren't going to make a difference.

I'm not necessarily happy about that. I think the kind of people who can raise the money to do the Clipper are bright enough to understand the risk they have chosen to take but as far as the law goes, selling places in a risk-sport expedition is the same as supplying any other consumer goods or services.

 

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19 hours ago, NORBowGirl said:

excactly where? You want something you can release under pressure, and that sits while not under pressure. A soft shackle does neither. 

Ah. I guess I was thinking that the end on the person would be able to be released under pressure. The end on the deck too?

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5 hours ago, nroose said:

Ah. I guess I was thinking that the end on the person would be able to be released under pressure. The end on the deck too?

When you move around, either end will be loose at times and the soft shackle can be undone unintentionally. You want something that sits under both circumstances and that can be clicked on/off quickly. No bullet proof solutions here I guess. I have a spinlock vest that has a little knife attatched, for cutting the tether, should I be dragged along outside the boat. I'm not very confident that I would be able to do that in a real situation....but there are tethers with shackles that opens under pressure. I should get one. 

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"Clipper boat CV5 had a sailor washed overboard late on the second afternoon of racing, with yacht HotelPlanner.com offering assistance in the manhunt. The sailor was located and safely pulled back on board within 15 minutes and given the medical all clear." 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/dec/27/wild-oats-xi-smashes-record-to-win-sydney-to-hobart-race-in-thrilling-finish

 

Again? JFC

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10 hours ago, ASP said:

"Clipper boat CV5 had a sailor washed overboard late on the second afternoon of racing, with yacht HotelPlanner.com offering assistance in the manhunt. The sailor was located and safely pulled back on board within 15 minutes and given the medical all clear." 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/dec/27/wild-oats-xi-smashes-record-to-win-sydney-to-hobart-race-in-thrilling-finish

 

Again? JFC

They seem to have a serious issue going on at the moment. 

Is it more boats and crew than previous years that’s stretched the training? Or are they just rotating the crews on for single legs where they have less time to gain experience? 

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12 minutes ago, mad said:

They seem to have a serious issue going on at the moment. 

Is it more boats and crew than previous years that’s stretched the training? Or are they just rotating the crews on for single legs where they have less time to gain experience? 

Hmmm. It has been quite good conditions, right? And it happened in daylight? Probably wasn't clipped on anyway? Maybe they just tripped and fell over!? (Haven't read the details)

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31 minutes ago, NORBowGirl said:

Hmmm. It has been quite good conditions, right? And it happened in daylight? Probably wasn't clipped on anyway? Maybe they just tripped and fell over!? (Haven't read the details)

They seem to be lacking the basic fundamental that we were taught from day one. You treat the edge of the deck like a 500 foot cliff, you fall off.... you’re fucked!! 

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I looked into this some more - Invictus Games 2018 Down Under (CV5) was where the MOB occurred, the Clipper boat HotelPlanner came to provide assistance in recovering the MOB. The Invictus boats (CV5 and CV10) are former Clipper boats crewed by veterans with injuries. 

HotelPlanner recovered the MOB first, gave him a quick medical survey - then transferred him back to CV5.

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47 minutes ago, Miffy said:

I looked into this some more - Invictus Games 2018 Down Under (CV5) was where the MOB occurred, the Clipper boat HotelPlanner came to provide assistance in recovering the MOB. The Invictus boats (CV5 and CV10) are former Clipper boats crewed by veterans with injuries. 

 

Respect.

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58 minutes ago, Miffy said:

I looked into this some more - Invictus Games 2018 Down Under (CV5) was where the MOB occurred, the Clipper boat HotelPlanner came to provide assistance in recovering the MOB. The Invictus boats (CV5 and CV10) are former Clipper boats crewed by veterans with injuries. 

HotelPlanner recovered the MOB first, gave him a quick medical survey - then transferred him back to CV5.

Thanks for the clarification. 

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On 12/29/2017 at 8:47 AM, mad said:

They seem to be lacking the basic fundamental that we were taught from day one. You treat the edge of the deck like a 500 foot cliff, you fall off.... you’re fucked!! 

If someone told you to go fight with a flogging jib on a bucking, wet, tilted, cold bow with unreliable hardware 500 feet off the ground you'd probably tell them to get stuffed. I hope.

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On 29/12/2017 at 4:59 PM, mad said:

They seem to have a serious issue going on at the moment. 

Is it more boats and crew than previous years that’s stretched the training? Or are they just rotating the crews on for single legs where they have less time to gain experience? 

as far as I know, they upped the training after the 15/16 race. they also put webbing the whole length of the guard wires to minimise the risk of folk going through them. previously, it was only bow to shrouds, in a bid to stop the headsails going for a swim.

they had 12 boats on the 13/14 race and one reported MOB, but many more unreported, tethered, incidents. I think 15/16 they raced the boats harder than we did - they'd been round once by then I suppose - but I can't see that many differences. maybe complacency? it does only take a heartbeat to forget to clip on and that's it, you're over the side or through the guard wires.

looking at the crew breakdown on the website, it looks like a similar number of RTWers per boat as on previous races. on my race, it was the leggers who tended to be more cautious, as they weren't used to the boat by the time they joined. with the exception of leg 1 where nobody is really used to the boats...

it's been said in a previous post that the RTWers 'run the boat' and this is an approach that didn't work for everyone. unfortunately, the reality on the 13/14 race is that there was only one skipper on board. there were up to 3 coxswains (an MCA approved clipper YM type program) who were there to take over in the event of a skipper injury or illness, but they didn't have any extra authority on board - they were paying crew like the rest of us. it will be interesting to see if adding a commercially endorsed first mate will change anything; will they have any authority on board?

while there are many negative aspects of clipper, there are also a lot of positives. how else was I going to get to sail round the world? I learned loads, about sailing and people and endurance and my own limits, and most of the race I had a good time. there were ups and downs, obviously. there is with everything, but I do think they are trying to learn from these incidents and improve conditions without making the race impossible to do at all. 

ultimately, it's sad there have been three fatalities. and I would imagine that weighs heavy on clipper. but I knew the risks when I signed up, I think you'd have to be daft to think that the race would be in any way similar to bimbling around the solent on your training. maybe some folk don't understand them fully, maybe they should be a little harsher when selecting crew, but (on our boat, anyway) nobody was made to do anything they didn't want to do, and we looked out for each other safety-wise. I'd take a known risk and do it again over being too scared to do it at all. but that's me, and everyone is different. 

 

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Clipper article expanding on the MAIB 

Quote

UPDATE ON SAFETY TETHERS FROM MAIB

The MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) has issued a Safety Bulletin today on the “use of safety harness tethers on sailing yachts” – this has been produced for marine safety purposes only as guidance for the maritime industry and contains lessons learnt from the tragic fatality of CV30 crew member Simon Speirs on Leg 3 of the Clipper 2017-18 Race.

The Clipper Race has been working in cooperation with the appropriate authorities to understand the reasons as to why Simon's safety tether did not keep him on board. Clipper Race Founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said: “We continue to be deeply saddened by Simon’s loss and it is important that we learn the lessons from this tragic accident. The Safety Bulletin from the MAIB reinforces what we have said to crew at our Sydney stopover and we have taken steps to prevent a situation like this ever occurring again. Sailing is essentially a safe sport but when we see something like this happening, we need to put our heads together to see what we can do to remove the problem.”

As explained at the Crew Brief in Sydney, initial investigations established that the cause of the failure was a very unusual tether clip angle, owing to the clip being pulled sideways against a hard object. This resulted in the clip failing at well below its straight test strength and measures have been taken to eliminate this risk.

Following further testing of the original tether, which is top-of-the-range, the Clipper Race and the Safety Committee of each boat unanimously agreed to return to using it at the Sydney stopover subject to these additional measures being put in place.

Sir Robin explained in a recent interview that these measures include wrapping 10mm rope around the cleats to the point that the tether now slides over them and the Clipper Race will stop at nothing to further improve the safety measures wherever possible across the fleet.

The MAIB has said that it will publish a full report on the fatality of Simon Speirs, including all identified contributing factors, on completion of the investigation, which is currently ongoing.

 

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Carabiners are all designed to be loaded in a particular way - along the major axis. Typical rock climbing ones are about 1/3 as strong when loaded sideways. Buckling/twisting in the photos of the tested one is pretty ugly and dramatic though. 

Was Clipper using a stern cleat as the anchor point for the jackline, rather than a dedicated padeye?

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Disappointing that the recommendations don't emphasize shorter tether and keeping ppl on the boat. The loads that broke that tether likey wouldn't have been generated had it been his short tether. 

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3 hours ago, Zonker said:

 

Was Clipper using a stern cleat as the anchor point for the jackline, rather than a dedicated padeye?

Here is a pic that shows the deck layout.

Image result for clipper round the world boats

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14 hours ago, Miffy said:

Disappointing that the recommendations don't emphasize shorter tether and keeping ppl on the boat. The loads that broke that tether likey wouldn't have been generated had it been his short tether. 

Looking at Figure 1 of the MAIB Safety Bulletin, a shorter tether would not have made a difference IMHO. To me it seems like the jacklines were too slack or too far outboard and thus allowed the clip (tether hook) to hit the cleat. A shorter tether would have meant the sailor still falling overboard and then a slightly different angle of the tether (red) and load, but the clip (tether hook) would have still hit the cleat.

I reckon the jackline was not the best place to attach in order to prevent the sailor falling overboard... (Please correct me if I'm wrong)

image.png

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21 hours ago, Miffy said:

Disappointing that the recommendations don't emphasize shorter tether and keeping ppl on the boat. The loads that broke that tether likey wouldn't have been generated had it been his short tether. 

I'm not sure he'd be able to do what he was doing on a shorter tether

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On 2017-11-19 at 11:25 PM, MR.CLEAN said:

Hey Shanghai, how many deaths do you need before you start to doubt the Clipper's great management of risks?  They didn't have a death in two decades and then they had two within a few months last time around, and they've already had a completely preventable grounding and now another death. 

I gotta say that 3 dead out of the total complement of - probably like 250 sailors in the two editions?  That's a pretty fucking high percentage likelihood of dying for folks who just wanted to sail around the world.

Maybe they should find another name for the Clipper. Is Life at the Extreme taken?

Clearly you have zero experience of sailing in the Southern Ocean, or the risks it inevitably entails.

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also, your guess of 250 sailors in two editions is way off. I think last count it's more like 750 per edition as the race is 8 legs which can be sailed individually,  as well as in multiples right up to RTW

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FYI:

MOB in the Volvo. No pfd, no safety gear, black suite. 

Retrieved in 7 mins. Could have been dead in the dark.

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