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Santa Cruz Opti surfing


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Holy **** how did they even get out or is that a tide/current change induced swell? Hell of a place for a beginners Opti class.  Guessing the sport just lost a few future supporters who fortunately didn't lose their lives.  Damn what a video. 

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41 minutes ago, Wess said:

Holy **** how did they even get out or is that a tide/current change induced swell? Hell of a place for a beginners Opti class.  Guessing the sport just lost a few future supporters who fortunately didn't lose their lives.  Damn what a video. 

Combination of unprecedented big surf, seasonal extreme low tide, and a shallow harbor.  I have worked with this YC youth sailing program for many years and they are very responsible and organized.  My experience was that the students are beach and surf experienced.  However something went very wrong with the tow in technique.   I am sure anyone who has faced a "crossing the bar" the first time will agree that you must be prepared for the unexpected.  I hope cooler heads prevail and a sober review is conducted.  I look forward to working with them in the spring.

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39 minutes ago, sailhmb said:
1 hour ago, Wess said:

Holy **** how did they even get out or is that a tide/current change induced swell? Hell of a place for a beginners Opti class.  Guessing the sport just lost a few future supporters who fortunately didn't lose their lives.  Damn what a video. 

Combination of unprecedented big surf, seasonal extreme low tide, and a shallow harbor.  I have worked with this YC youth sailing program for many years and they are very responsible and organized.  My experience was that the students are beach and surf experienced.  However something went very wrong with the tow in technique.   I am sure anyone who has faced a "crossing the bar" the first time will agree that you must be prepared for the unexpected.  I hope cooler heads prevail and a sober review is conducted.  I look forward to working with them in the spring.

Yes if the scenario was that they -had- to tow in thru those breakers, the only hope would be to do it at the same or slightly faster than wave-train speed... not something any coaches around here are experienced with.

But wotta disaster! Really glad nobody got hurt.

FB- Doug

 

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

the only hope would be to do it at the same or slightly faster than wave-train speed

Yeah ... but then if any opti digs the bow, it's a mess with the added danger of the towing force. 

Not sure what good options, if any, were available. 

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1 hour ago, martin 'hoff said:

Yeah ... but then if any opti digs the bow, it's a mess with the added danger of the towing force. 

Not sure what good options, if any, were available. 

Tow them through the dangerous part one at a time, then let them sail/paddle/drift to the beach?

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27 minutes ago, Black Sox said:
2 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

Yeah ... but then if any opti digs the bow, it's a mess with the added danger of the towing force. 

Not sure what good options, if any, were available. 

Tow them through the dangerous part one at a time, then let them sail/paddle/drift to the beach?

I dunno, I watched the video trying think of how to cope. You make a better suggestion than anything I thought of. It really looks like a situation that beginners (by which I mean first or 2nd week sailors) are just not going to be able to cope with

FB- Doug

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Good evening,

Just a few observations:

The TV headline says "12 kids rescued" I count 6 boats in the tow, all singlehanders. How can it be 12 sailors, or did the second group also get dumped?

Interesting that most of the boats stayed upright after getting smacked by that first very large wave. The second wave finished off a few more.  Not all of them required rescuing though.

I would like to hear what the kids themselves had to say about what it felt like after a shower, a hamburger and a coke.

Depending on where kids have grown up, but the little ones I know who grow up at a coast with nice surf, all have boogy boards etc and are pretty surf - wise. They might be a bit shaken if dumped by a big set, but are soon out again, a bit wiser, a bit tougher, but not deterred. Lets not underestimate kids.

Hopefully it will be the same with these chappies. 

But having said all this, I'm glad for all involved  that they were all okay in the end.

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9 minutes ago, trisail said:

 

I would like to hear what the kids themselves had to say about what it felt like after a shower, a hamburger and a coke.

 

"come onnnnn lets do it again"

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2 hours ago, Black Sox said:

Tow them through the dangerous part one at a time, then let them sail/paddle/drift to the beach?

As a sailing coach that would be my preference if I were caught out like that. Then in the worst case there's only one kid in the water that needs saving.

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Few points of failure: 

  • heading out during the biggest swell of the winter
  • heading out during the biggest swell of the winter on a dropping tide
  • attempting to enter on the set wave
  • attempting to enter slowly on the set wave
  • stopping on the bar while all boats were still upright

Glad everyone is Ok. 

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9 hours ago, Wess said:

Holy **** how did they even get out or is that a tide/current change induced swell? Hell of a place for a beginners Opti class.  Guessing the sport just lost a few future supporters who fortunately didn't lose their lives.  Damn what a video. 

Only slightly more sporty than the Delaware River.

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7 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Yes if the scenario was that they -had- to tow in thru those breakers, the only hope would be to do it at the same or slightly faster than wave-train speed... not something any coaches around here are experienced with.

But wotta disaster! Really glad nobody got hurt.

FB- Doug

 

When I towed optis and needed speed, I'd pile the kids in the Whaler, pull the boards and rudders off, and Plane on! The trunk water geysers made the kids love it.

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26 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

When I towed optis and needed speed, I'd pile the kids in the Whaler, pull the boards and rudders off, and Plane on! The trunk water geysers made the kids love it.

Best idea yet

I towed single Optis like that but never a string of 6

Some of the coaches I worked with had a hard time adapting, I had to be very persuasive to show them that Optis are best towed with the painters daisy-chained and the daggerboards out. Some of them ended up quite good. But one thing I found out, and one big reason why I like working with kids... they assume you have at least a slight clue unlike grownups who start out assuming you're full of shit and trying to trick them.

- DSK

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17 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Best idea yet

I towed single Optis like that but never a string of 6

Some of the coaches I worked with had a hard time adapting, I had to be very persuasive to show them that Optis are best towed with the painters daisy-chained and the daggerboards out. Some of them ended up quite good. But one thing I found out, and one big reason why I like working with kids... they assume you have at least a slight clue unlike grownups who start out assuming you're full of shit and trying to trick them.

- DSK

I towed ten at a time that way. We had a second whaler so not overloaded. But was easier if I did the towing. The high school kid drivers weren't really up to it.

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The kid in the red El Toro did quite well, until he jumped out of the boat into the 3rd wave - the boat stayed upright! Good on the local surfers, who quickly got there to help.

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There but by the grace of god go I.  

Ok, having been dumped by the first wave, opinions on what the correct thing to have done then?

various thoughts:

1) pull the remaining boats QUICKLY out of harms way, cast them off and go back to rescue those in the water.  Remove most from danger and then retrieve those already in danger

2) cast off all the boats, circle round and pick up those in the water (and then those that will soon be in the water as now adrift)

Having got in that pickle, what is the best course of action?  Waiting for the rest to be knocked down would appear not to be a good idea

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Considering there were 2 groups I would have done quick tows in with one coach boat 2 or 3 at a time leaving the rest with tied to the coach boat outside.  With the current going out swiftly and no wind allowing the boats to just drift they'll get scattered pretty quickly.

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