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Best sailing wipeouts/stories?


PinkSpinnaker

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oldie but goodie. Buddie of mine at the offset mark, 1997 I14 worlds. Note he's still holding the tiller extension. Never give up!

14 Pitchpole

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Not the "best" story but interesting nevertheless.

 

In the 1979 Fastnet race (survival conditions) one of the Argentine Admiral´s Cup team boat was hit by an enormous wave. The impact resulted in a very serious (mast past the horizontal) knockdown.

 

As was related to me, after the boat righted the helmsman "KF" discovered that he had lost one of his just purchased Top Sider shoes.

 

He started shouting obsenities, not as a result of the life-threatening conditions, but because of the misspent "x" dollars (or pounds) now floating in the ocean.

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Less than 15 minutes after the Start of the Chicago Mac ages ago, we do a death roll on the Tartan 10 with the preventer on the boom tied down to the rail. We are stuck held down and the water is going down the companionway below. We're thinking we're going to sink. With the spinnaker under water and the boat pirouetting around it, the main jibes, the boom snaps in half taking the pressure off and we stand up.

 

Bob Chatain asks if we are going into Belmont Harbor nearby. Hell no, we went on two jibs wing and wing, we lashed what we could around the boom, reset the main, reset the spinnaker and took off again. The next morning we were in 1st, only to have the wind fill in on the other side, giving victory to them. We ended up 6th.

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My F20. Semi-foiling on SydneyHarbour. Pitch-pole:

 

  • Snapped tiller bar;
  • Snapped jib sheet;
  • Snapped carbon batten;
  • Three battens pushed through batten pockets and sail;
  • Snapped index finger;
  • Busted pride: dragged home by water police.

 

post-108299-0-43298300-1471652552_thumb.jpeg

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The people who built the shrouds appear to have used an undersized "Tapered Stem ball" fitting on the upper shrouds. This fitting slides up on the rod and is stopped by the mushroom formed at the end of the rod. This item has a formed cup that fits snuggly against the cold formed head at the end of the rod to thicken it.

The smaller diameter stem ball simply pulled through the hole in the cup causing the dismasting. The stamping that sticks out of the mast (that the Rod End/Stem ball fitting and Cup sit inside) and the cup were found inside the broken section of the mast. The mushroom and tapered stem fitting were still on the starboard cap shroud. There were no cracks found. All the parts are there. The rod simply pulled out of the hole.

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The people who built the shrouds appear to have used an undersized "Tapered Stem ball" fitting on the upper shrouds. This fitting slides up on the rod and is stopped by the mushroom formed at the end of the rod. This item has a formed cup that fits snuggly against the cold formed head at the end of the rod to thicken it.

The smaller diameter stem ball simply pulled through the hole in the cup causing the dismasting. The stamping that sticks out of the mast (that the Rod End/Stem ball fitting and Cup sit inside) and the cup were found inside the broken section of the mast. The mushroom and tapered stem fitting were still on the starboard cap shroud. There were no cracks found. All the parts are there. The rod simply pulled out of the hole.

 

 

 

Did you texted or call the owner to tell him about the mess you left in the slip? Or did you leave that shit in the slip closest to the bar?

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On a beer can race, we were three guys in the boat.
While sailing upwind, one of the guys asked if my echo sounder had a depth alarm.
The third guy said: "on my boat, my wife is the alarm, she screams whenever the depth goes below 7 meters."
We all laughed pretty hard and lost concentration, until the boat stopped, and we stood firmly on only 0.7 meters of water....

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Probably my best one.

 

2006 on the open 60 Hugo boss, a few hundred miles from point nemo (the furtherst point from land int he world) and just short of 2000nm from cape horn. Water about 3 degrees, wind about 40kts+, boat speed about 30kts, waves like liquid himalayas.... Had been HAULING ASS for about 5 days, averages around 450nm a day.

Snuffed it into the back of a sizable southern ocean wave (they have to be seen to be believed...) pretty badly and almost pitchpoled. Boat stopped- rig kept going.

Chainplates ripped clean out of the boat and the whole lot landed in the water in front of us, spun us around pretty quick... Stay terminal went right through the deck beside my head.

Wasnt too bad for a while while the rig section was in one piece and was floating but as soon as it started to sink the game changed a whole lot. A few more big waves broke over us and the rig section snapped and was now banging against the hull, a bit more urgency to cut the lot free as we were dead if the boat was holed. Finally cleared the mast and only had the boom. Pretty helpless feeling drifting around out there....

Spent the next few days rigging up a jury rig and me as the sailmaker on board made a full set of sails to fit. Sailed 1870nm through the southern ocean and around cape horn under the jury rig and finally towed up the Beagle channel into Ushuia by a salvage tug with the shore team on board.

Good times.

Top speed 23kts under jury rig, and average daily run 180nm a day.

 

Now have dropped 9 rigs at sea over 130000nm of yachting. All of them due to rigging failure rather than any crew error (although some of them being pushed pretty hard...) and all have a cool story.

 

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You win!

 

This thread is now closed. :D

 

23 knots under a spinnaker pole jury rig? :o Holy shit! How many here have ever gone 23 knots under sail?

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You win!

 

This thread is now closed. :D

 

23 knots under a spinnaker pole jury rig? :o Holy shit! How many here have ever gone 23 knots under sail?

24 knots across Bass Strait on Scavenger is my best

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You win!

 

This thread is now closed. :D

 

23 knots under a spinnaker pole jury rig? :o Holy shit! How many here have ever gone 23 knots under sail?

24 knots across Bass Strait on Scavenger is my best

 

 

31 knots across Bass Strait under delivery sails ;)

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You win!

 

This thread is now closed. :D

 

23 knots under a spinnaker pole jury rig? :o Holy shit! How many here have ever gone 23 knots under sail?

 

24 knots across Bass Strait on Scavenger is my best

31 knots across Bass Strait under delivery sails ;)

1990's 47 footer versus 2015 canting 100 footer... You should have been twice as fast!

 

(I am seriously jealous)

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You win!

 

This thread is now closed. :D

 

23 knots under a spinnaker pole jury rig? :o Holy shit! How many here have ever gone 23 knots under sail?

24 knots across Bass Strait on Scavenger is my best

31 knots across Bass Strait under delivery sails ;)

1990's 47 footer versus 2015 canting 100 footer You should have been twice as fast!

 

(I am seriously jealous)

 

 

:D I guess the main focus was to not have another wipeout, like during the race. I haven't experienced a serious wipeout myself (yet), but often find myself being under water, on the bow. I make sure to thank the driver after.

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It was a pretty windy day, Thomo looked back at me after peeking Into the companionway hatch and the look on his face scared the crap out of me. All he said was, there is only West End Draught left.

 

Worst day sailing ever

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So, the story was told to me, something like this...

 

- All I can say is; the bigger the boat, the bigger the wipe-out!

 

70' wipe out in 25-35 kts. up in Canadian waters in the middle of the night, 10'-12' waves (probably 12' - 15') , with heavy fog no less; quite surreal.

 

When I came up on watch, the on watch trimmer starts explaining to me the trim on the kite, and my comment was; "we have a kite up?" Dude, the fog was so thick, I couldn't see jack 'diddly' squat. Then, in the haze, I slowly started to make out the tape lines.. Fuck me..... Worst watch ever.... Round down. Big style. De-powered the boat as best we could; when the guy line snapped and hit me in the leg like a fucking moose bite, shit got interesting. Sure, some spreaders got dipped, so what. The rig was up, the kite was getting washed. Head count! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17.... Okay, let's haul in the catch of the day and get the fuck out of here! A few repairs later, a course mark rounding, we were beating up the course like we owned the lake. Actually, she was quite merciful that evening. I'm sure a few prayers were answered that night.

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Few come to mind:

 

1. Day after hurricane Gloria in LIS in my friend's S2 7.9. Wind was still kicking strong and blowing spray off a flat sea state. Wind lines were blowing the spray upwards into a rising spiral. Line of wind but us and and knocked us flat. We were 14/15 at the time.

 

2. Age 9, sailing a Blue Jay with my father (who was not a sailor). Coming into tight and completely full finger docks at the end of a day of racing. Club house over-looking the finger docks had three levels of porches filled with drinking racers waiting for their turn on the hoist. Performed wild gybe knocking my father off the boat and nearly capsizing. Rounded up hard and knocked a good size hole in the side of the commodore's Mako. Much applause from the peanut gallery.

 

3. International 14. 25knts of breeze. Enough said. Still have a scar from that one.

 

4. Worst big boat was in J35 at one of first NOODs in Newport. Downwind in good size seas. Saw 17knts before a crushing and violent death roll.

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50' Swan, 30kts+ wind, 8-10' seas, Kite & full main, 11'ish knots. Me... at the masthead (where else).
Death rolls commence. Fat Swan's don't surf. Hard roll right, harder roll left. Rudder becomes visible --> "Bad Juju Bwana".
Broach.
Water rushing towards me. Fast. Me, thoughts of cutting loose. Flash of wisdom says they won't retrieve me till next week if I do. Ergo, Enjoy the ride
Half of my hooting & screaming was enjoying the adrenaline, the other 1/2 directed at the crew for 'doing it on purpose'. They didn't let me down for 20min ouf of fear. LOL.

Good times :)

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Probably my best one.

 

2006 on the open 60 Hugo boss, a few hundred miles from point nemo (the furtherst point from land int he world) and just short of 2000nm from cape horn. Water about 3 degrees, wind about 40kts+, boat speed about 30kts, waves like liquid himalayas.... Had been HAULING ASS for about 5 days, averages around 450nm a day.

Snuffed it into the back of a sizable southern ocean wave (they have to be seen to be believed...) pretty badly and almost pitchpoled. Boat stopped- rig kept going.

Chainplates ripped clean out of the boat and the whole lot landed in the water in front of us, spun us around pretty quick... Stay terminal went right through the deck beside my head.

Wasnt too bad for a while while the rig section was in one piece and was floating but as soon as it started to sink the game changed a whole lot. A few more big waves broke over us and the rig section snapped and was now banging against the hull, a bit more urgency to cut the lot free as we were dead if the boat was holed. Finally cleared the mast and only had the boom. Pretty helpless feeling drifting around out there....

Spent the next few days rigging up a jury rig and me as the sailmaker on board made a full set of sails to fit. Sailed 1870nm through the southern ocean and around cape horn under the jury rig and finally towed up the Beagle channel into Ushuia by a salvage tug with the shore team on board.

Good times.

Top speed 23kts under jury rig, and average daily run 180nm a day.

 

Now have dropped 9 rigs at sea over 130000nm of yachting. All of them due to rigging failure rather than any crew error (although some of them being pushed pretty hard...) and all have a cool story.

 

that's a rig every 14,500 miles or so.. before I ask if you want to go sailing, how many miles since the last lost rig? :D:P

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Probably my best one.

 

2006 on the open 60 Hugo boss, a few hundred miles from point nemo (the furtherst point from land int he world) and just short of 2000nm from cape horn. Water about 3 degrees, wind about 40kts+, boat speed about 30kts, waves like liquid himalayas.... Had been HAULING ASS for about 5 days, averages around 450nm a day.

Snuffed it into the back of a sizable southern ocean wave (they have to be seen to be believed...) pretty badly and almost pitchpoled. Boat stopped- rig kept going.

Chainplates ripped clean out of the boat and the whole lot landed in the water in front of us, spun us around pretty quick... Stay terminal went right through the deck beside my head.

Wasnt too bad for a while while the rig section was in one piece and was floating but as soon as it started to sink the game changed a whole lot. A few more big waves broke over us and the rig section snapped and was now banging against the hull, a bit more urgency to cut the lot free as we were dead if the boat was holed. Finally cleared the mast and only had the boom. Pretty helpless feeling drifting around out there....

Spent the next few days rigging up a jury rig and me as the sailmaker on board made a full set of sails to fit. Sailed 1870nm through the southern ocean and around cape horn under the jury rig and finally towed up the Beagle channel into Ushuia by a salvage tug with the shore team on board.

Good times.

Top speed 23kts under jury rig, and average daily run 180nm a day.

 

Now have dropped 9 rigs at sea over 130000nm of yachting. All of them due to rigging failure rather than any crew error (although some of them being pushed pretty hard...) and all have a cool story.

 

And we have a winner.

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You win!

 

This thread is now closed. :D

 

23 knots under a spinnaker pole jury rig? :o Holy shit! How many here have ever gone 23 knots under sail?

 

22.9 (it rounds up, see) on a J/120 surfing downwind. I know this because I was grinding and had the luxury of looking at the knotmeter while the trimmer and driver hung on for dear life focused on keeping the boat upright.

 

I do remember another instance where I was sent forward in the pitch-dark night to take down the #3 due to the fact that the masthead light a few boat lengths in front of us rotated 80 degrees clockwise and then disappeared. That wasn't quite enough warning before the 60-knot wind, so instead of hauling the sail down, I dangled from the high-side shrouds with my feet hooked in them, and pulled the sail up, off the forestay, and into the hatch.

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Hitting 15+ knots downwind on an Evelyn 32 in 30+ knots of wind. The jib starts to drag in the water of the deck, acts like a brake. Boat slows down, the mast does not. Ripped the backstay crane off the top of the mast. Clean break 2' above cabin top. No injuries to the crew. I was having the time of my life. It was like a once in a lifetime experience (hopefully), and great fun for me, having no financial interest in the boat.

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Ha, yeah hadnt thought of it like that....

Last one was about a year ago on an 8.5m Cat (modified GBE) swage just let go and the stay pulled out. Under a mile from the marina so not too much drama.

 

Found a couple more pictures, one is my parents 50 ft gaff rigged ketch I lived on until I was 16 (my parents still live on it 20years later) and my brothers home built 8.5m trimaran. That mast was an second hand carbon keelboat rig that we bastardized in my back yard so no great loss. Now back together and sailing again.

 

 

Probably my best one.

 

2006 on the open 60 Hugo boss, a few hundred miles from point nemo (the furtherst point from land int he world) and just short of 2000nm from cape horn. Water about 3 degrees, wind about 40kts+, boat speed about 30kts, waves like liquid himalayas.... Had been HAULING ASS for about 5 days, averages around 450nm a day.

Snuffed it into the back of a sizable southern ocean wave (they have to be seen to be believed...) pretty badly and almost pitchpoled. Boat stopped- rig kept going.

Chainplates ripped clean out of the boat and the whole lot landed in the water in front of us, spun us around pretty quick... Stay terminal went right through the deck beside my head.

Wasnt too bad for a while while the rig section was in one piece and was floating but as soon as it started to sink the game changed a whole lot. A few more big waves broke over us and the rig section snapped and was now banging against the hull, a bit more urgency to cut the lot free as we were dead if the boat was holed. Finally cleared the mast and only had the boom. Pretty helpless feeling drifting around out there....

Spent the next few days rigging up a jury rig and me as the sailmaker on board made a full set of sails to fit. Sailed 1870nm through the southern ocean and around cape horn under the jury rig and finally towed up the Beagle channel into Ushuia by a salvage tug with the shore team on board.

Good times.

Top speed 23kts under jury rig, and average daily run 180nm a day.

 

Now have dropped 9 rigs at sea over 130000nm of yachting. All of them due to rigging failure rather than any crew error (although some of them being pushed pretty hard...) and all have a cool story.

 

that's a rig every 14,500 miles or so.. before I ask if you want to go sailing, how many miles since the last lost rig? :D:P

 

 

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post-2072-0-11982300-1471898531_thumb.jpg

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Here is an other good wipeout story.

Mid North atlantic racing on a 100ft canting keeler. Started blowing pretty hard and we were caught with the gennaker up. Boat was out of control and touching mid 30s boat speed (36 i believe was the top). Took the keel cant from 45 to 20 degrees before blowing the kite to keep it on its feet. The keel button locked on and the keel went right through to leward, boat tipped over, kite in the piss...... A Messy, messy, messy few hours followed....

After that we learnt that you need to have a drop line on the main as you just cant get it down. It keeps blowing back up.

 

1 more.

 

Mid south atlantic on a cape town based Simonis 57. Delivering it home after we did the cape town to Rio race (17 day race and 25 day delivery home). Cracked main bulkhead after bashing upwind in big breeze for a few weeks. Storm jib and 3 reefs in the main middle of the night. Helmsman got caught out by a massive breaking wave that knocked us down and somehow sent us into a crash tack. I woke up mid air going from one side of the main cabin to the other along with a pile of soaking wet gear that landed on top of me.. Then a really strange silence, no flapping, no movement, no wind noise just a gurgling sound and water coming in the main hatch. I honestly thought the keel had come off, we were going upside down and I was traped inside. Took me a a while to regain my senses and work out where I was and what was going on.

The backed storm jib and main with traveler to windward and runners on and 40+kts of wind had completley pinned the boat down.

Still probably the scariest thing I have encountered at sea, the silence is what got me. Normally you can hear and feel the sails flapping and have an idea of what was going on.

The 10 or so seconds where I thought I was trapped in an upside down boat mid atlantic still sends chils down my spine thinking about it.

I have never been so happy seeing Table mountain apear over the horizon. That was a shitty trip.

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Here is an other good wipeout story.

Mid North atlantic racing on a 100ft canting keeler. Started blowing pretty hard and we were caught with the gennaker up. Boat was out of control and touching mid 30s boat speed (36 i believe was the top). Took the keel cant from 45 to 20 degrees before blowing the kite to keep it on its feet. The keel button locked on and the keel went right through to leward, boat tipped over, kite in the piss...... A Messy, messy, messy few hours followed....

After that we learnt that you need to have a drop line on the main as you just cant get it down. It keeps blowing back up.

 

1 more.

 

Mid south atlantic on a cape town based Simonis 57. Delivering it home after we did the cape town to Rio race (17 day race and 25 day delivery home). Cracked main bulkhead after bashing upwind in big breeze for a few weeks. Storm jib and 3 reefs in the main middle of the night. Helmsman got caught out by a massive breaking wave that knocked us down and somehow sent us into a crash tack. I woke up mid air going from one side of the main cabin to the other along with a pile of soaking wet gear that landed on top of me.. Then a really strange silence, no flapping, no movement, no wind noise just a gurgling sound and water coming in the main hatch. I honestly thought the keel had come off, we were going upside down and I was traped inside. Took me a a while to regain my senses and work out where I was and what was going on.

The backed storm jib and main with traveler to windward and runners on and 40+kts of wind had completley pinned the boat down.

Still probably the scariest thing I have encountered at sea, the silence is what got me. Normally you can hear and feel the sails flapping and have an idea of what was going on.

The 10 or so seconds where I thought I was trapped in an upside down boat mid atlantic still sends chils down my spine thinking about it.

I have never been so happy seeing Table mountain apear over the horizon. That was a shitty trip.

Keep em coming ...

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Ah yes, those 10 or so seconds of silence feels totally surreal after you have been going balls to the wall. You look around and everyone is dead quiet just trying to hang on and the boat is slowly dragging sideways through the piss on its ear while everything feels like it is in slow motion, then bang something breaks or gets let off and it's game on. Usually served best around 2am.

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Best one for me was about 13 years ago on a Dufour 44. A friend of the owner who I regularly raced with was the Australian agent for Dufour and our crew got the gig of setting them up and making them go "fast"

 

There was a distance race on our lake that the regular boat wasn't doing so we got asked if some of us would like to do the race on the Dufour with the agent and some of his regular crew. Things started looking sketchy before the start, most of the agents crew didn't turn up because "the forecast looked a bit windy" so there was myself, 5 other regular guys I sail, the agent and 1 of his crew who turned up.

 

So off we went, race started in about 10-15 from memory, a bit hectic being shorthanded but we made it work.

 

Wind started increasing midway through one of the early upwind legs, bare head change from a Heavy 1 down to No.3 and sitting happily, next leg was a 2 sail reach with a gybe at the following mark and shy run to the other end of the lake. We ran assy's with the tackline attached to the anchor roller with a soft loup, wind still across the reach, probably around low to mid 20s and gutsting higher and sitting around the 25+ mark when we reached the mark.

 

Made it around the mark, kite set and that's when things got interesting. I was on the bow tidying up from the hoist and noticed the spinnaker pole was sitting on top of the tackline and being pushed up into the underside of the pulpit, I put both hands on the pole and started sliding it aft when I heard the mother of all bangs, there was a split second to wonder wtf broke, then next thing I know I'm 10ft off the deck with one arm around the pole and shit going very bad around me

 

Lost my grip on the pole and managed to catch a kite or jib sheet as my next stop before losing that and ending up in the water, I went in deep enough that I missed most of the hull as I went under and under bumped my shoulder and top of my head on the way up, came up probably 15m away from the boat and see that the cockpit had emptied and the foredeck full of people trying to pull the runaway jib back on deck as they thought I'd got caught up in that and sucked over the side, managed to make enough noise that the agent at the back of the boat heard me and threw the lifering overboard for me, didn't get anywhere near it, spent the next probably 15 minutes bobbing around in the water and dodging boats from further down the fleet as I was still in thr runway after the mark.

 

Was eventually picked up by another boat that had retired and taken back to the club, the boat I was on was still having a shitfight trying to get everything sorted and cutting kite halyards as they got knotted behind the clutch in the hurry to get every down.

 

From memory the wind continued to build throughout the day and peaked in the mid 40s later that afternoon.

 

All round a shit house experience and not one I've been through again and don't wish it on anyone else either

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You win!

 

This thread is now closed. :D

 

23 knots under a spinnaker pole jury rig? :o Holy shit! How many here have ever gone 23 knots under sail?

 

24 knots across Bass Strait on Scavenger is my best

31 knots across Bass Strait under delivery sails ;)

1990's 47 footer versus 2015 canting 100 footer You should have been twice as fast!

(I am seriously jealous)

:D I guess the main focus was to not have another wipeout, like during the race. I haven't experienced a serious wipeout myself (yet), but often find myself being under water, on the bow. I make sure to thank the driver after.

As a driver, I like that :)
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