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Worst/scariest moment in a dinghy?

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What's your worst moment in a dinghy?

We've all had a few proper heart in mouth moments, maybe even actually dangerous moments that didn't turn out to be... luckily

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F'ing powerboats. One swerved and barely missed us -- we were doing 18kt on a foiling cat -- about 2 months ago.

On foiling dinghies, the main foil ventilates at speed, and there's a split second in which you know you're going smack face first into the next wave.

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2 hours ago, boatbore said:

fucking power boats! 

Need I say more?

^ this ^

I've come close to getting run down twice and a good friend was killed that way. That's rather scary, worse when sailing with my wife.

Had a couple of difficult-to-cope breakages but not in ways that anybody was at risk of getting hurt. The worst was a rudder that had a fitting crack and then jam at a gybe mark. Fortunately the other skippers believed my hail of "My rudder just broke, please keep clear!" and we got it sorted out. I even did a 720. Probably the most dangerous thing I've done is get careless and let a capsized boat blow away from me in heavy air. I was singlehanding, and fortunately there was a fairly safe lee shore not too far away. It was a long swim and an embarrassing homecoming. Could have turned out bad. I had a life jacket on and the water was not cold, so I was not scared or in real danger (assuming no dumbass powerboat or jetski ran over me while swimming)

FB- Doug

 

 

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Being upside down without a centerboard (broke in two) 4 miles from shore wasn't fun. Another time, broken board windward capsize in Barnegat Bay in 40 degree water and 25 knot winds was "scary" except we dealt with it quickly and weren't far from shore / help.

Actual mortal danger? Motorboats. Repeatedly. Fucking murderous drunken dumbfucks.

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I don't know if it's the worst, but it's consistently nerve wracking.  Our beach where we keep our boat isn't too bad to find during day light, but coming in after dark is always a bit dicey. 

Steep forested shore line, every lot has a boat/boats anchored in front of it and all manner of docks protruding into the river and none of them are lit.  Always fun threading the needle under sail through the unmarked hazards in the dark.

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17 minutes ago, Running with Scissors said:

Had a submarine surface right next to me when sailing a Laser. Nearly pooped my boardshorts.

I can see that... they leave a hell of a wake when running on the surface too.

This wasn't really scary but way back when Rodman Naval Sta.. was a working unit, at the Pacific side of the Panama Canal , they had a sailing club there. Couple of Lightnings and some Lasers and some other boats IIRC. The ship I was on at the time stopped there and we had various drama/hilarity but among the things that happened is a nice man (who turned out to be a full Captain and the base C.O.) invited me to sail in their upcoming regatta. As an engineer I would not normally be given liberty time to do this, but apparently some message went across and I was ordered to go sail that day. So I (and about 4 other Lasers) tack out the canal into the Pacific, and go thru the motions... start line, signals, blah blah... at that point it had been a couple of years but it all came back to me.

The water is pretty clear and also pretty polluted, but there are other reasons not to swim. I noticed big dark shapes moving in the water under us, just far enough away/deep enough to not see them clearly. When I say "big" I mean some of them were bigger than the Laser. I asked another Laser sailor about it, loitering between races. "Sharks!" he answered cheerfully.

FB- Doug

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The race at the Laser Masters Worlds in Australia in 2008 when another sailor managed to hook his sheet around my neck, drag me off my boat, and take off towing me along my by neck with my head underwater.

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While doing national service in the Navy, sailing a dinghy into the gunnery shooting range. Being shot at was not too much fun. Being escorted out by a patrol launch also caused us some anxious moments. Luckily we were not charged.

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Regattas with Turkey in their name are never the best event of the year.  There was a forecast of 30 knots on Puget Sound but I figured "Great, that's V15 wind."

Problems started when crew tore a hole in the foot gasket of a borrowed dry suit (now deathbag) and kept it to himself.

A 30 knot southerly at Silshole constitutes big water and wind.  We got into some serial capsizes.  In the post mortem, we agree that it was because the mast was full of water and wouldn't empty fast enough.  V15 owners should get a drill and poke a bunch of holes in the casting in the base of the mast and then put the drill away and never use it again.

After about 3 capsizes, deathbag couldn't get back in the boat, even when scooped, his butt would just hang over the side and no effort could pull him in.  Eventually it set in that righting the boat was just wearing us out so I sat on top of the turtled boat with him floating around in the water begging me to flag down support from the committee.

(rescue details ommitted for brevity)

Deathbag has never gone sailing with me again. I was young and uneducated but if I could face those conditions again, with the right crew, I would.  Kinda like how I wish I had another chance with that girl back when I was a sophomore.  I'd be all over it now.

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Sailing alone in the Tampa Bay Florida ship channel at night on my dad's 22-foot Suicide development dinghy in maybe 1962. I could go on a broad reach standing on the bow to windward of the jib and heel the boat left or right to steer. 

It was amazing to see the phosphorescence streaks when fish would quickly swim out of the way.  Some of the streaks were pretty big and really fast. All of a sudden a massive glow occurred that was huge, as big as the boat. I dashed back to the tiller and headed up, sails luffing.

Then, a twittering, tinkling sound made it apparent it was a big school of minnows. First thing I did was to look around to see if anyone had seen my panic.

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A regatta in Michigan City, Indiana. I think it was the Laser North Americans in 1989 but not sure. Anyway a storm blew in overnight from the north with winds gusting 30’s. Woke up on the final day with enormous waves and still blowing. As I recall the waves were so big that in the troughs you couldn’t see anything around you. On the crest you were looking down on the boats around you. I remember it as survival conditions. We were finishing I think the final race and the coast guard was waving us in. A waterspout was to weather. Down wind to the club. The entrance  was very narrow surrounded by concrete breakwaters.  Had to jibe right in front of the wall to make the entrance. Some didn’t make the jibe and the waves launched their boats into the wall with them in the water. Memory tends to exaggerate though.... maybe someone else remembers that regatta.

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Scariest overall for me was back in my junior sailing days in Annapolis in the 80s.   We were in a mid-afternoon weekly race with  20 or so 420s in the mouth of the Severn River.   A thunderstorm came on really fast over the South Shore of the river and the winds went from 10 knots to 30+ in minutes.   We capsized in a gust and decided to simply hang on the centerboard until the squall blew over.   Lots of lightning around, none particularly close to us thank goodness.   We watched several boats trying to sail in, including one that nose dived into a deep wave trough and did a perfect pitchpole, spinning the skipper and crew off in graceful arcs.   No one was hurt and no boats were lost.   At the time, I don't even remember being particularly scared, but once back in the boat and sailing in, the possibilities began to occur to me.   We were very lucky.

More recently, I was skippering our old One Design 14 with my son crewing.   Great afternoon, we had the spinnaker set and were both on the traps.   All of the sudden the tension on the mainsheet went light and I looked in the boat to see that it had broken and I was now holding a loose line.   Crap.  The main eased, we both touched the water and without a sheet to keep me in I was stripped off the side of the boat.   At least I remembered to let go of the tiller so I didn't break it.   But the boat was moving fast, and with the spinnnaker and jib full, the boat wasn't capsizing to windward quickly.   With the tiller beyond his grasp, my son realized that there was no good outcome after this turn of events, so he eased the spin sheet to let the boat slowly capsize to weather.   Likely the best option given the situation.   But there were a few high speed seconds where I really didn't know how it was going to end.   

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I wasn’t scared at the time, but probably should have been. In the late ‘60’s I sailed my Sunfish from Bayville, NY to Grreenwich, CT, and back. I just looked it up, and it’s over 8 miles. 
Ah youth!

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On 9/5/2020 at 10:10 AM, Running with Scissors said:

Had a submarine surface right next to me when sailing a Laser. Nearly pooped my boardshorts.

Good thing it wasn't the Hartford.

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2 hours ago, europa said:

I wasn’t scared at the time, but probably should have been. In the late ‘60’s I sailed my Sunfish from Bayville, NY to Grreenwich, CT, and back. I just looked it up, and it’s over 8 miles. 
Ah youth!

There used to be a race around all of Long Island and Sunfish were known to compete.

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5 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

Scariest overall for me was back in my junior sailing days in Annapolis in the 80s.   We were in a mid-afternoon weekly race with  20 or so 420s in the mouth of the Severn River.   A thunderstorm came on really fast over the South Shore of the river and the winds went from 10 knots to 30+ in minutes.   We capsized in a gust and decided to simply hang on the centerboard until the squall blew over.   Lots of lightning around, none particularly close to us thank goodness.   We watched several boats trying to sail in, including one that nose dived into a deep wave trough and did a perfect pitchpole, spinning the skipper and crew off in graceful arcs.   No one was hurt and no boats were lost.   At the time, I don't even remember being particularly scared, but once back in the boat and sailing in, the possibilities began to occur to me.   We were very lucky.

More recently, I was skippering our old One Design 14 with my son crewing.   Great afternoon, we had the spinnaker set and were both on the traps.   All of the sudden the tension on the mainsheet went light and I looked in the boat to see that it had broken and I was now holding a loose line.   Crap.  The main eased, we both touched the water and without a sheet to keep me in I was stripped off the side of the boat.   At least I remembered to let go of the tiller so I didn't break it.   But the boat was moving fast, and with the spinnnaker and jib full, the boat wasn't capsizing to windward quickly.   With the tiller beyond his grasp, my son realized that there was no good outcome after this turn of events, so he eased the spin sheet to let the boat slowly capsize to weather.   Likely the best option given the situation.   But there were a few high speed seconds where I really didn't know how it was going to end.   

Ah, those CB Tstorms. We had one come ripping in from the west over Sillery Bay and we barely made it to the dock. Left the laser sails up, boats just pulled onto the dock, and ran for cover. Lighting all over the place.

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1- On my Laser did a full on round down, rail ride torpedo into my friends overturned hull while he was standing on the board.  My bow went right through the hull like a knife through hot butter....I was a deer in headlights. completely frozen hanging onto the rail.

2- On my Laser trying to beach on an actual ocean beach with running surf.  Get into a deep pitchpole.  With my ass on the transom the bow plows into the sand allowing the wave to go under the boat and I plop back down like nothing happened.  I swear I just about vertical.

 

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36 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

the bow plows into the sand allowing the wave to go under the boat and I plop back down like nothing happened.  I swear I just about vertical

I recently spotted a video (instagram? fb?) of a Laser in a swell doing exactly that - bow into the back of a wave, hull almost vertical, and then the seemingly impossible happens: the stern comes back to the water, with a splash, as if nothing had happened... Weird as.

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I was crewing in a Thistle when a fighter jet from a nearby Air-Force Base crashed in the middle of our course. One of the pilots splashed down just a few feet from several boats.I remember the skipper of the closest boat continuing to race as normal, and a following boat stopping to rescue the pilot. It was unbelievable!

I just found an article about it in the Tampa Tribune archives for June 17,1968.

1968-06-17_The_Tampa_Tribune_MalloryCupQuarterfinals-JetCrash.jpg

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I was about 14 sailing my first Laser. Back in the days when we only had full rigs. I’m out practicing my roll gybes. Light air, pushing the rolls to the extreme. The sun was behind the sail and messes with my vision. The boom comes down a Mach 8 hits me square in the forehead. I wake up in the water. The boat is a few lengths in one direction my hat in the other direction. Thankfully I was wearing a life jacket. 

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Mid 2000s in high 20 kts on a 420 in the LI sound off of Fire Island. Unbeknownst to me , a small powerboat crashed into the boat while on the dock and decided to say nothing about it. Boat hit the stern and left a split just fore of the rudder below the waterline, weakening the lower rudder gudgeon. About 2 hours later, ripping the boat under spinnaker back and forth about a mile off of the beach, the lower rudder gudgeon finally decided to fail, the rudder was then bent under the boat by our own wake with only the shock cord holding it on. Boat crashed through a few waves and it ended up taking us 30 minutes to recover the rudder, by which point, we noticed how low the boat was riding on the water, and the fact that the ocean currents had about doubled our distance from the beach in that time. Needless to say, I never forgot swimming out of the surf on Robert Moses Beach with a 420 rudder in hand and nothing else...oh yah and the crewmen (who owned the boat).

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21 minutes ago, JBOATTROUBLEMAKER said:

Mid 2000s in high 20 kts on a 420 in the LI sound off of Fire Island. Unbeknownst to me , a small powerboat crashed into the boat while on the dock and decided to say nothing about it. Boat hit the stern and left a split just fore of the rudder below the waterline, weakening the lower rudder gudgeon. About 2 hours later, ripping the boat under spinnaker back and forth about a mile off of the beach, the lower rudder gudgeon finally decided to fail, the rudder was then bent under the boat by our own wake with only the shock cord holding it on. Boat crashed through a few waves and it ended up taking us 30 minutes to recover the rudder, by which point, we noticed how low the boat was riding on the water, and the fact that the ocean currents had about doubled our distance from the beach in that time. Needless to say, I never forgot swimming out of the surf on Robert Moses Beach with a 420 rudder in hand and nothing else...oh yah and the crewmen (who owned the boat).

See. Fucking motorboater AGAIN

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4 hours ago, CaptainAhab said:

I was about 14 sailing my first Laser. Back in the days when we only had full rigs. I’m out practicing my roll gybes. Light air, pushing the rolls to the extreme. The sun was behind the sail and messes with my vision. The boom comes down a Mach 8 hits me square in the forehead. I wake up in the water. The boat is a few lengths in one direction my hat in the other direction. Thankfully I was wearing a life jacket. 

We didnt wear lifepreservrrs on lasers in the 70s. The mast wore them.

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18 hours ago, Doug Halsey said:

I was crewing in a Thistle when a fighter jet from a nearby Air-Force Base crashed in the middle of our course.

 

I think we have  winner for scariest dinghy experience!

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Not a dinghy, but a whitewater kayak.  Grew up on ocean kayaks, so figured, lake, small Kayak, what could go wrong.  Lateish 80's, Jumped in, instantly flipped, no peoblem, blow skirt, oh oh...  Teva got caught on the brace in the bow, like jammed.  Could not get out.  Could not role the thing cause not in my skill set.  Buddy literally jumped off a 20 ft rock and swum over about 100 yds to me and flipped the damn thing on the beach (I had been doggy paddling under h20 for a min or so to get to the beach, fingertips were touching I was seconds from serious panicking) .  I am a water baby btw, grew up in situations like that had my padi cert at 15 WSI at 16...  so ya.  Never been that scared in my life...  

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24 minutes ago, Champlain Sailor said:

I think we have  winner for scariest dinghy experience!

I have a similar (albeit less severe) story that took place during the Stewart Airport Airshow in the Hudson River just south of Newburgh in 2015. A stunt plane's tail disintegrated while in a pylon turn and the angle sent the burning debris flying into the river, a piece landed withing a hundred feet of me.

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Sailing Finns in San Diego.  J105s on the same racecourse.  I get to the gate with about 5 of them, in 15 or so kts of wind. Theyre all yelling at each other, spinnakers in the water, pointing the boats all over the place, me in the middle.  They didn't even know I was there.  I thought I was going to die. Scary AF

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Fairly early on in my IC sailing career, I had borrowed a friend's boat while my new build was under construction. It was winter in SF and I was rusty, having not sailed much in a year or so. I sailed out into the bay--chilly-and suddenly the breeze turned on to about 22kts. I stuffed the boat and crashed violently. I threw out my back and it went into spasms. I got the boat upright and realized I couldn't lift my left leg enough to get it onto the seat. Hitting the cold water froze my back stiff and I was in a lot of pain. I looked around and didn't see many people out sailing and wasn't rightly sure I could sail it back in. Sailing Canoes in 20+ is hard enough when your body works. 

 

Second story, also on an IC. I have my new boat and found out at the 2014 Worlds, somewhat to my surprise, that I had serious pace upwind and kept getting to the weather mark in the lead or close to it. It turns out that the winners had figured out how to haul it on those nasty 20kt reaches, and when I tried to keep the pace, I was crashing. Since I was rather unexpectedly in contention, I was still pushing hard. I wrapped my foot around the hiking strap, holding it firmly in place, to help survive the wave hits or stuffing the bow at pace. I stuffed it bad and couldn't stay on the seat and got launched forward as the boat pitchpoled and capsized. My foot and ankle stayed on the strap and I got yanked around, upside down and backwards, with the ankle and knee begging for me to tap out while my head was just underwater. Fortunately some rope was available for me to carefully haul myself out into breathing position while I tried to figure out how to escape before tearing something important. I think I made it out of that one because the guys at my BJJ gym had been using me as their meat puppet for leg-lock drills for a while and had stretched everything out down there. I got the boat back up but was psychologically defeated by those reaches after that. 

 

The lightning stuff is scary, too, but I've done so many stupid things with thunderstorms that it doens't seem as bad as it should. I recall sailing an FD once when a Texas thunder-boomer hit. The cat next to me had a taller rig and had St. Elmo's fire on the masthead as we fled for the club. About two hundred yards behind me, a lightning bolt hit and electrocuted a guy onshore--killed him. Oh, to be 15 again-- I shook that right off. I did stop intentionally chasing thunderstorms at that point, though.

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Pop-up summertime thunderstorm in the middle of a race.  I thought I was going to be electrocuted.

As I was tacking towards the end of one race, I thought I saw a dark cloud on the horizon.  I saw lightning and heard thunder by the time I finished.  I immediately started heading back to my launch point (which wasn't close), but the storm blew up really fast.

I was soon in a microburst and could not keep the boat flat.  I just let it turn turtle and lay flat on the bottom of the hull.  I don't know how safe this was, but it seemed safer than having the mast pointing up or being in the water.  It eventually let up and I started sailing back to the launch ramp, but there were still many lightning strikes in the area.

Turns out i should have sailed the opposite direction which would have gotten me out of the storm somewhat, but in my mind I needed to get off the water completely.

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Thunderstorms are deadly, and certainly can be very scary. My wife and I (and 3rd crew) were caught in a thunderstorm at Wrightsville Beach, winds in the 40~50 range, pelting rain you could not hold your face into, the water sizzling as lightning bolts hit all around. My wife said, once it had cleared and we were safe ashore, "I am -never- doing that again" and she has not... we have sailed and even raced (a few times) together but not in small hiking boats. And even before that, I much preferred to avoid T-storms. We could not avoid that one. Oddly enough, I was not scared, just thinking like a computer to try and figure the best way to get thru our predicament.

I was just thinking of a relatively dangerous experience in a dinghy-type dinghy, a cruising dinghy not a racing class. This is the "one thing leads to another" kind of story.

I had built a 6' pram modeled after Bolger's 'Shoebox' design, and carried it in the back seat to show my cousin, who also has a small keelboat. We took off for a cruise and had a number of adventures in that dinghy, rowing around in blasting Buzzards Bay squalls, toting it up a hill to shoot rapids in a rushing creek, and finally surfing behind his cruising boat running down Buzzards Bay. Unfortunately, I had was a bit clumsy and somehow snapped the boat full force backwards on the painter, which snatched the bow eye right out of the plywood.

There I was, in a shoebox, with about 6' swells running (some breaking but not badly), in the middle of Buzzards Bay. Well, I had oars, so theoretically I could have made shore (I knew about where we were and you can see shore from there). It took my cousin a really long time to get the much-too-large genoa down, the boat turned around, and beat back up to get me.

FB- Doug

 

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My events have generally happened so fast I've not had a chance to get frightened. Normally it's been "What the "  splat.

I've bounced off many a power boat as there is a hire boat industry on the Norfolk Broads, 40ft floating caravans that can go 6mph, driven by people who've never been in a boat before..

 However I have seen events in races I was competing in..

A friend was crewing a Enterprise Dinghy when they were dismasted by a much bigger boat sailing the other way, the mast came down hit him on the head and he went head first down into the boat out cold..  By this time the whole clubhouse was watching just up river. His helm hauled him upright, and there visible from the club house was a huge red gash across his forehead.... an audible gasp was heard from the club....

 

 

Only it wasn't a gash, the helm kept forgetting the course , so my friend had written it on some red tape and stuck it on his forehead... He recovered OK and they were racing the next day after repairs..

 

Another friend out in Saudi was sailing his Wayfarer, and his mainsheet had got into a bit of a mess, so on a long leg of the race, he threw it overboard to let it stream out. When he was hauling it back in not 3 ft from his hands was... A sea snake wrapped round the mainsheet. Needless to say it got dumped back in the water rapidly, and was shaken a lot before carefully pulling back in.. The Snake had gone..

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I was 13 years old, sailing home from Tenby to Pembroke Dock with my dad in our Mirror 16 dinghy in 1970. We'd gone the other way the previous day in light winds but now there was a stiff breeze and we hit the notorious tidal race off St Govan's Head at the worst time. Very frightening. All by ourselves, big waves, cold water, rugged Atlantic coast, nothing but steep cliffs for miles and no means of communication.  We somehow managed to turn around across breaking waves without capsizing and after surfing down huge seas against the tide we eventually put in at Freshwater East.  Phoned my Mum who brought the trailer to the car park. Pulling the boat up the beach the mast hit the bare overhead power line to the the ice cream shop. Several people, including kids, had been helping us push the boat on the trailer across the soft sand -  bare feet, hands on the shrouds, but amazingly nobody was touching them at that instant and it just burned through the aluminium mast. Even by the standards of the time, the whole adventure was ridiculously dangerous.  

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On 9/9/2020 at 6:00 PM, Doug Halsey said:

I was crewing in a Thistle when a fighter jet from a nearby Air-Force Base crashed in the middle of our course. One of the pilots splashed down just a few feet from several boats.I remember the skipper of the closest boat continuing to race as normal, and a following boat stopping to rescue the pilot. It was unbelievable!

I just found an article about it in the Tampa Tribune archives for June 17,1968.

1968-06-17_The_Tampa_Tribune_MalloryCupQuarterfinals-JetCrash.jpg

“One a day, in Tampa Bay”

- Stumbling 

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On 9/13/2020 at 9:04 PM, TalonF4U said:

Fairly early on in my IC sailing career, I had borrowed a friend's boat while my new build was under construction. It was winter in SF and I was rusty, having not sailed much in a year or so. I sailed out into the bay--chilly-and suddenly the breeze turned on to about 22kts. I stuffed the boat and crashed violently. I threw out my back and it went into spasms. I got the boat upright and realized I couldn't lift my left leg enough to get it onto the seat. Hitting the cold water froze my back stiff and I was in a lot of pain. I looked around and didn't see many people out sailing and wasn't rightly sure I could sail it back in. Sailing Canoes in 20+ is hard enough when your body works. 

 

Second story, also on an IC. I have my new boat and found out at the 2014 Worlds, somewhat to my surprise, that I had serious pace upwind and kept getting to the weather mark in the lead or close to it. It turns out that the winners had figured out how to haul it on those nasty 20kt reaches, and when I tried to keep the pace, I was crashing. Since I was rather unexpectedly in contention, I was still pushing hard. I wrapped my foot around the hiking strap, holding it firmly in place, to help survive the wave hits or stuffing the bow at pace. I stuffed it bad and couldn't stay on the seat and got launched forward as the boat pitchpoled and capsized. My foot and ankle stayed on the strap and I got yanked around, upside down and backwards, with the ankle and knee begging for me to tap out while my head was just underwater. Fortunately some rope was available for me to carefully haul myself out into breathing position while I tried to figure out how to escape before tearing something important. I think I made it out of that one because the guys at my BJJ gym had been using me as their meat puppet for leg-lock drills for a while and had stretched everything out down there. I got the boat back up but was psychologically defeated by those reaches after that. 

 

The lightning stuff is scary, too, but I've done so many stupid things with thunderstorms that it doens't seem as bad as it should. I recall sailing an FD once when a Texas thunder-boomer hit. The cat next to me had a taller rig and had St. Elmo's fire on the masthead as we fled for the club. About two hundred yards behind me, a lightning bolt hit and electrocuted a guy onshore--killed him. Oh, to be 15 again-- I shook that right off. I did stop intentionally chasing thunderstorms at that point, though.

Yes those reaches broke me as well, I remember people saying "its going to be windy..." but people always say that so I took it with a pinch of salt.....but it was and I cant remember another week of being terrified each day by sailing as much as I was that week...

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On 9/15/2020 at 4:58 AM, The Q said:

My events have generally happened so fast I've not had a chance to get frightened. Normally it's been "What the "  splat.

I've bounced off many a power boat as there is a hire boat industry on the Norfolk Broads, 40ft floating caravans that can go 6mph, driven by people who've never been in a boat before..

 However I have seen events in races I was competing in..

A friend was crewing a Enterprise Dinghy when they were dismasted by a much bigger boat sailing the other way, the mast came down hit him on the head and he went head first down into the boat out cold..  By this time the whole clubhouse was watching just up river. His helm hauled him upright, and there visible from the club house was a huge red gash across his forehead.... an audible gasp was heard from the club....

 

 

Only it wasn't a gash, the helm kept forgetting the course , so my friend had written it on some red tape and stuck it on his forehead... He recovered OK and they were racing the next day after repairs..

 

Another friend out in Saudi was sailing his Wayfarer, and his mainsheet had got into a bit of a mess, so on a long leg of the race, he threw it overboard to let it stream out. When he was hauling it back in not 3 ft from his hands was... A sea snake wrapped round the mainsheet. Needless to say it got dumped back in the water rapidly, and was shaken a lot before carefully pulling back in.. The Snake had gone..

A serpent! In Arabia!

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The first time my Sabot did a nose dive, I was 9 and scared!

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