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#1 Editor

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:05 AM

San Diego, Monday, 15 July 2013; Transpac competitor B’Quest arrived back in San Diego On Wednesday, July 10.  Having had their entry unilaterally revoked at roughly 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening, the double-handed team of disabled veterans decided to return to San Diego Tuesday, July 9th.   After sailing for roughly 16 hours and reflecting on their status, Urban Miyares and David Hopkins decided to return to San Diego in part because their participation was clearly unwanted despite earlier congratulations and support by Transpacific Yacht Club (TPYC).  The B’Quest crew now wants to clear the record concerning their status as an entry.  

 

From the time of its entry in January, 2013, B’Quest made clear that they intended to sail as a double-handed crew with a blind skipper, Miyares and a David Hopkins, a hearing impaired veteran. Initially, B’Quest was one of several double-handed entries.  

 

On June 23rd, a safety inspector from TPYC came to San Diego and conducted a safety inspection of the vessel. Some items were not present at that time but he was shown receipts that proved the crew had ordered the equipment. The inspector raised the issue of the required Man Over Board (MOB) test.  A discussion of MOB took place between David Hopkins and the inspector because Miyares was working at a boat show at the time.  The TPYC inspector told Hopkins that the missing items would need to be on the boat when they arrived in LA. The inspector asked Hopkins to have Miyares call him and left.

 

Upon arrival in LA, B’Quest was again inspected.  Roby, who was introduced as the lead safety inspector for the TPYC to Miyares and Hopkins, conducted complete safety equipment check, questioned Hopkins on MOB, and received the medical information form and SAT phone number. According to Hopkins, “Roby told me he does not see many vessels as well organized with their safety equipment as B’Quest.” When he was done, according to Miyares, “he asked me to raise my right hand and then jokingly told me to “… solemnly swear that, upon crossing the Diamond Head Transpac finish Line, to drink as many Mai Tai’s as I wanted.” With that oath, the safety inspection was concluded and B’Quest was led to believe that it had passed.  

 

Unfortunately during this stressful time, Miyares did not get much sleep before the race. When he went to pick up the transponder, a couple hours after completing Sunday’s (July 7) required Safety at Sea all-day seminar (with his crewmate Hopkins), Miyares was handed the attached letter from Dave Cort dated 7/7/13 stating TPYC would not accept their entry in the 2013 Transpacific Yacht Race. This letter (not on official TPYC letterhead)  was provided fewer than 24 hours before the scheduled start on 7/8/13 and . Severely upset, especially after the priors day’s emotional roller-coaster ride of events, to include receiving the official TPYC Skipper’s Package and having his and David’s photo taken at the Transpac before-race gala the day before (Saturday, July 6), Miyares immediately left the Shoreline Yacht Club’s room where David Cort was stationed and other Transpac skippers were getting their transponders.  

When Miyares returned to the Shoreline Yacht Club where the Team Challenged America transponder was assigned to him, Miyares signed the agreement stating he would return the transponder upon completing the Transpac Race.  This again put the team under extreme stress and sleeplessness just prior to a long distance offshore race, which they were now being told they could not participate in.

 

With regard to the failed email test, Hopkins tried several times to do the e-mail test and it did not go through. When he inquired of the race personnel about it, Hopkins was told that TPYC was having problems with their computers receiving the tests. Hopkins believes he did get one through and that the requirement was completed.

 

B’Quest decided to start the race the next day with its protest flag flying.  At the start line the race committee gave a “thumbs up.”  When David Hopkins announced the protest, TPYC Race Committee told them they were not a participant and to stay off the course. B’Quest continued its course towards Hawaii although they were fatigued from the stress of the previous weeks and months of preparation.  As they continued, the B’Quest crew realized that they were not really sure if they wanted to complete the race after being shown a very unwelcome attitude by TPYC.  This was no longer a “fun” and “enjoyable” race.  

 

They believed they had completed all that was required and did not agree that the TPYC had any right to question Miyares’ abilities as skipper of the vessel, especially because, as far as they knew, they were the only entrant who was asked to demonstrate MOB abilities. This was not in the Notice of Race, nor written anywhere in any of the race instructions or requirements for entrants, which they had applied for and accepted by TPYC months previously.

 

Hours after the July 8 start, around 4:00 a.m., Miyares and Hopkins hove to and reflected on whether to continue or not. They realized that the mission and objective in doing the Transpac had dramatically changed, and their desire and competitive spirit had left them.  Being fatigued as they were, B’Quest made the decision to retire from the race and proceed to San Diego under jib. They arrived in San Diego at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. A Challenged America team member notified Dave Cort by e-mail they had retired.

 

Challenged America has dedicated its organization to getting those suffering from a handicap into a therapeutic program involving sailing. Urban Miyares, a disabled and blinded Vietnam veteran has dedicated his life to this effort, with safety being first and foremost in all of his training of his students. He is a very experienced offshore competitor and a veteran of 2 other TransPac races. He was very instrumental in bringing the annual VA Summer Sports Clinic to San Diego which enables severely wounded war veterans to compete in Sailing, Surfing, Cycling, Track & Field, and Kayaking as part of their rehabilitation.  He has been recognized by many, to include US SAILING, for his efforts in advancing rehabilitation and advancing the sport of sailing to youth, adults and veterans with disabilities.

 

David Hopkins, also a disabled veteran, is a lifelong sailor and surfer. He joined the team at Challenged America as a volunteer 7 years ago and works to raise money for the organization through boat donations. He has dedicated the last year to getting the B’Quest fit and ready for the TransPac race. His dream was to compete in the race, double handed, with Urban. They have a long history of sailing together and he has dedicated the past year to getting the B’Quest fit and ready for the TransPac race. He took particular pride in all of the safety aspects of preparing for the race. Safety is most important to Challenged America mission working with disabled sailors.

 

Miyares and Hopkins are dejected that they were refused a start after they had filed and paid for an entry, solicited donations and undertaken the year long preparation for sailing to Hawaii.  The B’Quest crew wishes good luck to their fellow competitors and they hope that all arrive safely and enjoy the Aloha of Hawaii upon their arrivals.  Challenged America and B’Quest will await the outcome of their protest against TPYC.  B’Quest does not agree with the TPYC’s allegation that B’Quest failed the safety inspection or the specifics of TPYC’s allegations.  B’Quest will await the results of the protest and any subsequent appeals to ISAF.  

 

Miyares, Hopkins and the entire Challenged America Team are understandably disappointed that their year long quest to win the double handed division was refused.  Regardless of the reasoning or goal of TPYC, its last minute decision and spurious allegation that B’Quest failed the safety inspection were simply unnecessary actions.  From the beginning, Challenged America and B’Quest sought to be treated the same as any other entry - equally.  If TPYC had required a MOB demonstration from each competitor, B’Quest would have complied.  Challenged America, like any disabled person, simply sought to be treated with equal dignity.

 

Challenged America’s many supporters, sponsors, and donors, both here and in Hawaii are also disappointed. They stood by the team and made sure their goal to race was achieved. None of B’Quest’ sponsors, suppliers or supporters ever questioned Miyares’ ability to sail the race with Hopkins.  Those who know and supported B’Quest know the crew’s abilities and commitment to safety.  

 

Challenged America thanks its individuals, sailors, maritime businesses, and government supporters. Despite TPYC’s statement that B’Quest failed its safety inspection, Challenged / B’Quest was not allowed to race because they did not perform a MOB demonstration, a requirement which was not forced on any other competitor.



 



#2 Monkey

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:26 AM

Sorry Scot, I still call bullshit on your discrimination nonsense. Back in the day, I did a gazillion races where I worked round the clock to have our ride ready for race day. I could wax on for hours with horror stories of pre race deliveries. I was the newbie on the boat, but the bulk of its after guard was there with me. We hit the starting line running. Every time.

Fatigue over qualifying issues is a horseshit excuse.

#3 RHough

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 04:06 AM

Did they meet the qualifications as stated in the NOR and Si's?

Was there entry fee accepted with no conditions?

Did they incur expense based on the fact the entry was accepted?

Do they have a lawyer?

 

I suspect there is something more than stated here. Otherwise it is a simple breach of contract case that Clean can handle pro-bono for the good press to SA.

 

R



#4 Editor

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 04:37 AM

Sorry Scot, I still call bullshit on your discrimination nonsense. Back in the day, I did a gazillion races where I worked round the clock to have our ride ready for race day. I could wax on for hours with horror stories of pre race deliveries. I was the newbie on the boat, but the bulk of its after guard was there with me. We hit the starting line running. Every time.

Fatigue over qualifying issues is a horseshit excuse.

 

bro, this ain't about me.



#5 flatearth

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 04:38 AM

So after reading this I quickly see that in preparing for the race, this competitor may have not read or had reviewed, the documents that apply to the event.

1. The Notice of Race references the 2012-2013 ISAF Offshore Special Regulations including US Sailing Prescriptions for Catagory 1

The race will be governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2009-2012 including US SAILING prescriptions and the 2012-2013 ISAF Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) for Category 1 including US SAILING prescriptions (except as any of these are changed by the Notice of Race or the Sailing Instructions.)

And right in the OSR is this US Sailing Rx

5.09 Annual Man-Overboard Practice
US SAILING prescribes that the "Quick-Stop" man-overboard procedure shall be practiced aboard the yacht at least once annually. A certificate of such practice shall be signed by participating crew members and kept aboard the yacht.
Was this document on the B'Quest? No, then they did not meet the requirement as required in the NoR.

Another error in the document is that they wish to protest the Transpac YC.

The RRS is quite clear that you request redress(how many times do we have to correct this mistake?). Specifically rule 76.1 says this:

The organizing authority or the race committee may reject or cancel the entry of a boat or exclude a competitor, subject to rule 76.3, provided it does so before the start of the first race and states the reason for doing so. On request the boat shall promptly be given the reason in writing. The boat may request redress if she considers that the rejection or exclusion is improper.

While emotions run high on this matter, just as in the M32 and Opti thread, the competitor would have been better served if they sought out someone that has some experience with the racing rules and also process to at least vet their press release.(better yet, advise them on the requirements in the rules, for entry from the beginning)

Last, the TPYC does not use an International Jury so all decisions are subject to appeal, but ISAF is not a body that would hear an appeal. In the USA, there is a two tier system with the national authority at the top.(Rx Appendix R)

While possibly a PR stain to TPYC, I do not see what would pass the sniff test for the boat to be entitled to redress via the information provided in the TPYC letter, TPYC statement, or statement provided by B'Quest. It may not be a popular decision, but there is no merit within the request by B'Quest, in my opinion.

If anything, that a blind man was unable to review the race documents, would have merit, if these documents were required to be 508 compliant under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, but they are not. Nor are the websites that would be referenced in this event.

#6 Monkey

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:06 AM


Sorry Scot, I still call bullshit on your discrimination nonsense. Back in the day, I did a gazillion races where I worked round the clock to have our ride ready for race day. I could wax on for hours with horror stories of pre race deliveries. I was the newbie on the boat, but the bulk of its after guard was there with me. We hit the starting line running. Every time.

Fatigue over qualifying issues is a horseshit excuse.

 
bro, this ain't about me.
You are absolutely right sir. I don't really think there are any bad guys here, but the B'Quest gang over promised, and couldn't get their ducks in a row in time. They screwed up. Claiming discrimination is nonsense. By their own account, they were a train wreck of preparation.

I only called you out because you insist on making noise about this imaginary injustice. You should take a lesson from Clean. He's been nothing but reputable lately. I still think he's an ass, but IQ's are beginning to become apparent.

#7 amro

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:50 AM

If you put as much effort into your own problems as you do championing yet another non cause you might still be married and own a boat that qualifies to race under phrf. And maybe, just maybe, the membership would then be more receptive to helping you out of your little pickle. But you have your head so far up your ass you just can't see the big picture. Let it go scot. Just let it go. It ain't your fight.

#8 soak_ed

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:30 AM

If you put as much effort into your own problems as you do championing yet another non cause you might still be married and own a boat that qualifies to race under phrf. And maybe, just maybe, the membership would then be more receptive to helping you out of your little pickle. But you have your head so far up your ass you just can't see the big picture. Let it go scot. Just let it go. It ain't your fight.

Congratulations amro, on a web site that has its share of shit fights, douchebaggery, outrageous behavior and gratuitous insults, you have managed to reach a new low.  If you don't know Scot except what you read here, your personal insults involving aspects of his life you know nothing about are totally uncalled for. If you do personally know Scot and are intimate with the private details of his personal problems, then your comments are even more reprehensible.  It is one thing to come on this site and hurl venom in a general way at people that have for some reason pissed you off.  It is in no way acceptable by the precepts of civilized argument to drag the details of someones personal life to help make your point.  What you have done is unacceptable, uncalled for, impolite and just plain un-corinthian.   No matter what you post on this site from this point on will be forever tainted by your display of behavior that is uncalled for even on a site such as this where anarchy rules.  

 

Disclaimer:  I don't know Scot and I don't always agree with him and I am certainly open to criticism of him but by god there are limits.



#9 mycsailor.com

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:58 AM

Old news...yawn....tell us something new.

This site is really beginning to suck?!?!?!



#10 Terrafirma

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 12:43 PM

Unfortunately safety comes first. This also happened to Wild Thing just before the Hobart and they couldn't race. Dammed if you do and dammed if you don't. Had B'Quest been allowed to race and something happened then Transpac YC and organisers would have been held accountable. I don't believe this is a case of discrimination but more a case of a lack of preparation on a boats behalf. Perhaps organisers could have communicated their concerns and not made any promises but sounds like nobody wanted to tell them in person they couldn't race and I see this happen quite a bit also. I must agree that SA seem to want to make a big issue of this one, we all feel for B'Quest but when in doubt safety comes first.



#11 On the Hard

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:12 PM

I can only imagine the outrage about having this crew sail the Transpac only to lose one member of the crewe en-route. There would have been lots of breast beating about "personal responsibility, sure, but come on! How was this ever a good idea?"

 

I have no idea  what went on with the organizers but will assume the entry caught the organizers off guard and at the last minute (unfortunately) they decided to pull the plug.

 

Honoestly, and there a lots of details I acknowledge I don't know, I probably would have made the same decision. I question whether either sailor would have had much of a chance of conducting an open sea rescue, difficult under the best of circumstances.

 

Doesn't mean I don't feel for the team. I'm sure they are fine people and I admire their courage in attempting the race.



#12 McGyver

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:41 PM

Have them sign the most bullet-proof liability disclaimer ever, and then...

 

Suicide is painless,

it brings sooo many changes...

 

After all, the death ratio of climbers of Annapurna is like 40%.  This cannot be worse.



#13 Liquid

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 04:48 PM

After all, the death ratio of climbers of Annapurna is like 40%.  This cannot be worse.

 

...?????  and prostate cancer is a top killer of men with cancer!  How that is relative to a disabled, double handed race entry, I'm not really sure....

 

Pre race preparation fatigue?  Really....  



#14 Mustered

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:20 PM

I don't know the facts or the law (ahhh an expert), but it is sad to me that any sailors let some tighty whitey boys affect their mood to the point they retired. That is just too fucking depressing for me. Surely, that would not be the biggest challenge of that type of event. Golden opportunity to show some douches where to put their hardware.

I also think last minute trick by yachties sounds like inexplicable bs, but I don't really understand why that mattered to someone heading out on a grand adventure.

#15 Snapper

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:51 PM

If all of the preparation caused so much stress that they were fatigued and losing sleep before the start I would have not wanted to have seen what would have happened when the spin wraps at night in a squall (assuming it was up at night).

Given the spate of recent sailing related deaths, and the part of the story we do not know (TPYC perspective after interacting with the crew), I think TPYC feel they were doing the right thing here.

 

Or, as my friend McGyver says, make them sign the end all of releases well before this became a last minute decision (if it was) and send them on their way.

 

This perspective is brought to you by Words For Turds LLC. All rights reserved.

 

-Snap 



#16 starboardblown

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:48 AM

TPYC can Succcc my Disabled Weanus!!!!






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