Fred is in SO much trouble

paularsen1

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I'm sitting upright here in bed looking out the window at the bent over bushes in front of Portland Harbour, Weymouth. Too windy to take Invictus out this morning so the team members who have come down for our final sail before shipping get to have a sleep in. Yesterday could have been a good day with wind around 15+ knots. Normally we would have sailed... but we erred on the side of caution. She gets shipped this Thursday from Southampton. We have a new set of carbon rudders replacing our 'woodies' thanks to a big effort by Sito who worked flat out to make them... in Spain... and personally delivered them to make sure they would be on for this final sail (pictures and more about Sito to follow). The new much reduced dolphin striker has been installed which buys us another 10cm of water clearance. The old one was like a hand brake down wind in choppy seas. Jules and Phil have made the mods to the upper element 2 to give a better shape and overlap... but we are yet to try it out. They are back in the shed this weekend making detailed fairings for some of the little draggy bits on the wing. Helena spent all yesterday sorting out the electronics/ data loggers/ load cells etc. It is something I fully appreciate... but have about, oh... 0 patience for.

So overall, all is well. We are hoping that the wind drops off this evening as forecast so we can get one last check sail in. Of course we have all these little things that need to be checked out on this final sail. That's one part of it. The other part is I'm just itching to go gliding along on this big, funky, slippery, graceful, wonderous, silent lady one more time.

I'll let you know how we get on.

 

blunted

Super Anarchist
1,517
366
Toronto
Well Larso you're decision to keep her in the barn was probably a good one on balance.

If you don’t want to read the long version the précis version is, we lost one wing and nearly lost a second all in ten minutes………………………

This weekend we are playing host to the French team, Benjamin and Antoine came over to see how we handle the boats and to get to know PL in the shop back in the city.

Yesterday AM we set up Orion and Canann for a sail and some two boat testing. Fredo and I on Canaad and Robbie and Dan or Orion. We knew there were some squalls in the forecast but nothing too heavy from the sounds of it so off we went.

On leaving the harbour there was some nasty chop right at the channel entrance with the breeze seeming to be about 13 or so knots. Hogan in the tender said there was less breeze but not a big deal either way, so we proceed offshore to some flatter water. Had a good session going up and down a few times a couple of miles at a time. Things were going pretty well. We had a few big black clouds come down over the course with some more pressure, so we sailed around those.

Eventually we decided to head in and beat a bigger cell to the city. We thought we could get to the harbour where it wasn't too choppy and the French guys could have a go inside on the boats. Not a good idea to start them in this chop.

Well we sailed a few miles North then gybed East to the channel along the island. The pace was picking up the whole time, we were taking it as slow as we could and still doing 16-20's. Orion was about a mile behind us and we were happy to see them taking it slow. As we approached the spit we paced the Lake Ontario 300 crowd who was sliding downhill just off the city. Once we got to the spit we had to execute another gybe as we were out of water. So it was flat and getting breezy by this point but no big worries, we put the helm over, popped the wing and blasted off on port straight towards the channel. Now things were getting choppy again and crowded with 4KSB's and all manner of dinghies. We were almost making the channel so we decided to slide low to avoid another two gybes in a busy channel. The pace is picking up and the waves steeper.

Finally as we got to the mouth of the Eastern Gap we were following a Bene 50. They were heading in as well on Port, the same as us. no problem, we'd slide to leeward of them once inside the channel. We're now doing 20, with the wing flat against the shrouds and nowhere to ease out, two hulls down blasting through the back of the chop.

I look up to see the Bene spin out in a puff to their left. No problem, we're going to his right, another hundred yards and we'll be in the channel, flatter water and we can head up and have room to breathe. Another puff, I'm leaning back to hold the edge of the tramp and Fred is right off the transom. Then the Bene continues his spin out and crash tacks and ends up heading back almost towards us. No worries, Fred slides a little deeper, we're almost by the lee now and moments from getting past him and into safety. But alas, the behemoth has his jib still pegged to windward and is now bearing away uncontrollably hunting us in a crowded channel. We're now doing 22 and more pressure hits. The Bene lays down further as we try sliding even further to the lee, there's no hope of gybing out of this right were we are with our bows in the back of a wave every 5 seconds and the wing completely barn doored.

One last blast,,,,and,,,,we're done. both bows go down the mine in a big hard puff. My eyes are just forward as I desperately am leaning back trying for the back beam. Then I lose it, sliding forward on the tramp feet first. On the way down I know this means the unthinkable in a flash, the wing is gonna be gone, just try not to eat carbon or get killed. Green water back to the beam with the wing accelerating forward the platform at 45 degrees into the water. I manage to grab the mast step on the way by the wing so I won’t get mowed down by the boat. My feet hit the water so hard my shoe gets blown off my foot. I am lifting my head up to get one last breath when I see Fredo go airborne, again, over my head, way way way over my head, I see him long enough that I can watch him cannonball into the water 40 feet away from me at the tip of the wing. I thought well at least he's clear.

The wing hits the water about the same time I do so I cannot hear anything. Just as fast the boat pops up out of the water and flips over on one side. [email protected]$)($%*)!!!!!. Then it gets weird. I am hanging in my harness from the wing just above the water. I had been strapped in acting as a running backstay and I'm still plugged in. I desperately try to get unhooked but I cannot lift myself off the hook. The boat starts downhill at 5-6 knots. With the tramp up there and now 30 knot gusts coming through we're picking up steam. I decide I better stay with the boat as the channel is Chaos now. The tender goes and retrieves Fredo while I try to figure something out and fast. With the tramp heading downhill and the wing up, it's not too bad, the wing is mostly in tact, if we can get this under control, we might save it. Then the next hit comes. One good waves lifts the tip of the wing and it starts to fly, very slowly, almost floating at first and then a gust picks the whole thing up and flings the boat upright.

I think, "Fantastic, I might save this" As the boat comes up it spins around and heads almost head to wind. I am still plugged into the trap so it picks me up to and I land on the tramp. I throw myself as far forward as possible off the front beam to get the bows down, then I'll go for the tiller.

Oh Fuck, one more puff and the whole boat blows over backwards. Enough of the top of the wing was damaged that the drag just killed it. That's when I head the nastiest carbon crunching I have heard since they pulled the BOR mast out of the water in SD with a forklift. The trailing edge hitting the water at speed was the end of it. The boat flips on its side again. This time I am trapped under the hull with my legs wrapped around god knows what. A quick near drowning and I get out of it. I duck under the hull to the dagger board side and find Antoine clinging to the bow in the water.

He’s got the tow line with him from the tender and works at getting it onto the bow near the forestay. He finally gets that on and we get the tender to go into the breeze slowly as we’re only a hundred yards from the lee shore. We have a quick discussion about options and take a breath.

Meanwhile Fred is on the radio to Orion, I see them cruising slowly down the South side of the outer harbour with a partially cacked wing, the clew is broken on the flap. They are trying to sort out where to gybe in some flat water to make for the inner harbour.

Back on board we have the tender go a little faster up wind. By now we’re watching large sections of wing float off to leeward through the channel to the beach. As we move upwill the remains of the wing start to clear the water. There no way we can cut if off easily at this point and I am just thinking we have to save the platform, the wing is toast but Canaan is OK so far. A few more feet uphill and I manage to stand up on the hull and grab the bottom of the tramp, a few good tugs and we pull the boat upright.

Antoine climbed on board as the boat even with a portion of a wing started to accelerate. He helped me up and then grabbed the tiller. In a few moments we were towing through the channel and to the club. The breeze was still on and the boat still was doing 12 knots or more without the tow line taught.

We dragged the whole show back to the dock and pulled her out. By now we had sent another tender out to retrieve Orion. Despite their best efforts, Orion had a broken tiller a broken flap and serious control issues. As soon as they got back to the dock we dropped Orion’s wing first as there was still serious squalls blowing through.

Subsequently we talked to someone who had sailed past us in the channel right before we killed it they had reported a 41 knot gust less than a KM from the death zone.

Later in the day some nice folks at St James Town YC called us to say they had retrieved some of our wing. We popped out to find out upper #3 in only 2 pieces, which was encouraging.

So a big thanks to Antoine for literally jumping right in there, Ben and Hogan for tender support, the guys at SJYC for getting #3 for us, Irwin and the boys for on shore help and as always. most of all, Fredo for making it all possible.

Now the big push is on to get the new Canaan wing out of the shop in the next week and functional. Then we have to fix the 06 wing which will now go on Alpha instead of Orion.

Unfortunately this now means 6 boats for the event. There is a slim chance that Robbie could stitch that wing back together in time for the event, but it’s a long shot. So we’ll see how that all goes.

We all knew this was the risk of sailing these boats and in retrospect it would have been prudent to head in after we saw the first squall. But C’est la vie.

More to report later 

IMG_7563.jpg

 

Xlot

Super Anarchist
8,697
1,139
Rome
OUCH !!! Painful just looking at the pictures.

When you guys meet to discuss the Class rules, might you not consider mandating a shroudless wing, one that would be able to rotate 360o ?

 

 

MR.CLEAN

Moderator
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Holy shit mag. Glad to hear that no one got drowned or maimed. What an exciting story - thanks for sharing it despite what must be a huge nightmare you have in front of you.

 
Our condolences to our Canadian brethren. That really sucks.

To clarify my last update we spent yesterday on the water with Cogito's wing on the Aethon platform. Got off the beach around 2:00 into a nice building seabreeze. Went up and down the bay several times first with Duncan and Steve sailing then I switched in for Duncan. Then returned to the dock to pick up Lars and Andrew. More laps up and down the bay trying to start figure out where the go buttons are. Early indicators suggest there is a lot in the tank of the beast. The breeze ranged from 8 to 15 knots depending where you were on the bay. After many good rocket rides we returned to base for debriefing and cocktails and made plans to sail again on Sunday. While getting ready to go sailing to day we noticed some issues with the rudders that need to be addressed so sailing was called off. All in all a very encouraging weekend for team Rhode Island.

Aethon 7-17 D&S 1.jpg

 

Steve Clark

Super Anarchist
OOPH....

As bad as it looks, it seems there is still plenty to work with. The mast and control system seem intact, and it seems that many of the moldings are OK as well. This wing is not dead, it is just pining for the fjords. No doubt it is a big setback, but people have lost more wing with less dramatic crashes. Glad all survived!

I guess Antoine and Benjamin got the full program on how it can fuck up.

For us, it has been an interesting coupe of days. The first 7 hours have been logged on the new platform and so far we believe it doesn't suck. There are multiple things to figure out and then to figure out how to race with. We also have a wing to finish and test. So it is going to be a great month.

SHC

 

Tornadosail2012

Super Anarchist
1,006
0
New Hampshire
OOPH....

As bad as it looks, it seems there is still plenty to work with. The mast and control system seem intact, and it seems that many of the moldings are OK as well. This wing is not dead, it is just pining for the fjords. No doubt it is a big setback, but people have lost more wing with less dramatic crashes. Glad all survived!

I guess Antoine and Benjamin got the full program on how it can fuck up.

For us, it has been an interesting coupe of days. The first 7 hours have been logged on the new platform and so far we believe it doesn't suck. There are multiple things to figure out and then to figure out how to race with. We also have a wing to finish and test. So it is going to be a great month.

SHC
Steve,

The one shot of the new ride sailing looks great. I will have to see if I can get down your way to see the boat on the bay.

fair winds and may your fortunes stay great,

TTS

 

SkyDfr

New member
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Magnus, Fred,

Glad you guys are ok and you have no serious injuries to report! By the sound of it this could have been much worse! Sorry to hear the sad news about the wing though! It shows how hard everyone is pushing to be at their best

Having said that, I agree with Steve! As Paul will probably testify from his experience with Vestas Sailrocket, things often look bad when you reach the beach after a crash but after a night sleep you start to feel more optimistic about your chances to recover. When we first looked at the Invictus wing after our capsize, things were looking a bit bleak but we got to work and were back on the water within a week. Clearly you have a lot to work on, but I'm sure you guys will figure something out;-)

Here, from what I have heard from the guys so far, it looks like we had a good weekend. The new rudders and dolphin striker worked well and the boat is now packed away and on its way back to Bristol. Here Phill and I worked on a few add-ons... We now have just 3 days to complete the list of jobs that the guys will no doubt bring back from Weymouth!!!

I guess Paul will follow with some more news from the weekend and maybe a few last snaps before we entrust the shipping company with our racing machine! Scheduled departure is July 25th... Newport here we come!!!

Can't wait to be out there with all you guys! That's where the fun really starts!

Keep up the good work... try and stay safe;-)

Cheers,

Juls.

 

blunted

Super Anarchist
1,517
366
Toronto
It was a major oversight of mine to not give full credit to Dan and Robbie for bringing home Orion upright and mostly in one piece.

For a few kilometers of the trip home I doubt the leeward hull would have even been visible. It was the worst possible conditions for that boat and they did a great job all day.

Good job boys.

\

MC

 

blunted

Super Anarchist
1,517
366
Toronto
Our condolences to our Canadian brethren. That really sucks.

To clarify my last update we spent yesterday on the water with Cogito's wing on the Aethon platform. Got off the beach around 2:00 into a nice building seabreeze. Went up and down the bay several times first with Duncan and Steve sailing then I switched in for Duncan. Then returned to the dock to pick up Lars and Andrew. More laps up and down the bay trying to start figure out where the go buttons are. Early indicators suggest there is a lot in the tank of the beast. The breeze ranged from 8 to 15 knots depending where you were on the bay. After many good rocket rides we returned to base for debriefing and cocktails and made plans to sail again on Sunday. While getting ready to go sailing to day we noticed some issues with the rudders that need to be addressed so sailing was called off. All in all a very encouraging weekend for team Rhode Island.
Congrats Steve, I hope you had lots of fun.

MC

 

blunted

Super Anarchist
1,517
366
Toronto
OUCH !!! Painful just looking at the pictures.

When you guys meet to discuss the Class rules, might you not consider mandating a shroudless wing, one that would be able to rotate 360o ?

 
I personally don't think so. I mean that would ruin the purity of a class that has only 5 rules right now. It's our responsibility to sail the boat we design and build as a team. We could do an offshore boat, or we could sail what we built better.

No nanny state mentality here.

B

 

hoom

Super Anarchist
6,398
528
Orkland
Youch! Pleased everyone is alright :)

If there is a good time to break a wing, losing it just before the new one comes out of the shop is probably about as good a time as possible :unsure:

When you guys meet to discuss the Class rules, might you not consider mandating a shroudless wing, one that would be able to rotate 360o ?
Such a thing is surely legal under the existing rules but unless by being the only boat left sailing it wouldn't be likely to win any races.As previously stated by Steve the Cs use the shrouds for keeping the platform rigid which is part of why they are so light. To provide sufficient rigidity with no shrouds would involve a lot more material -> much higher weight -> slower.

If you under-build then you get a smaller version of Team Philips which would rather be against the point.

 
OUCH !!! Painful just looking at the pictures.

When you guys meet to discuss the Class rules, might you not consider mandating a shroudless wing, one that would be able to rotate 360o ?

 
I personally don't think so. I mean that would ruin the purity of a class that has only 5 rules right now. It's our responsibility to sail the boat we design and build as a team. We could do an offshore boat, or we could sail what we built better.

No nanny state mentality here.

B
I doubt that there is a rule in place that would stop you from using shroudless set up. I would hate to be desiging the control systems though!

I also wonder if the world needs another saftey rule. They don't put training wheels on a MotoGP bike just because a rider falls off every second corner!

Glad you guys are all OK. Sound like great work all round just to limit the damage.

Best of luck to all of you for the big clash!

 

paularsen1

Member
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Magnus and Fred... that sounded like one hell of an epic ride that only a high stakes multi-hull can deliver. We got the news whilst sitting in a restaurant having a beer and going over the job list after a very satisfactory final sail on Invictus. I just let Jules and Phil know that the boat was fine, the new mods worked well and that everything was cool. They gave us the brief of what happened so we checked out this forum on an iphone and sat transfixed as it was read out. The constantly changing environment, the rapid fire decision making, the comittment, the speed, the fact you're on a boat you really, really don't want to piss in and of course the randomly spinning Bene 50 in restricted waters... and the bit I really liked..."then it got weird"!!!!! Like I said, epic. I've had it happen a couple of times now where the crash has only been part of the story... and then it gets weird. Well told Magnus, at the end of the post I let out a long breath. Felt like I was onboard.

Damn shame if the event does lose a boat... but then today is a new day and I'm sure plans are underway with options already becoming clearer.

It's certainly all adding great flavour to what could be a fantastic overall event.

Thankfully we managed to put INVICTUS back in the trailer although our final whistle did come in the form of the sound of cracking carbon. Nothing major and certainly barely worth mentioning in the context of your day. The new rudders were a dream and will continue to improve with some detailed mods, the new dolphin striker was a big improvement... because we didn't even notice it (meaning it wasn't dragging) and the new upper element 2 looks much better, but it is hard to quantify. In some pretty powered up conditions the Cosworth logger box recorded shroud loadings of around 350-420 kg max. This is with the leeward shroud slack. The 3mm MARLOW SK78 line we are using for the shrouds is damned fine stuff... but I think we need to go to something with still less stretch in order to get more platform stiffness. Probably wire... or PBO if we can squeeze it in the budget. The sea was pretty flat so we didn't get any big spikes in the loads, but I would expect it likely that we could double the above seen loads, especially if we really start pre-tensioning the rig.

So here we are. We've made it to a pretty satisfying stage where we have developed the boat to a point of reliability and performance where the only thing left to do is go and race it. As a project we have had our ups and downs but in the big picture we haven't fumbled the ball and we have a half decent package to send to the event. What happens on the other side is a whole different chapter. The next time we sail the boat will be in Newport. It's up to Steve to deliver the thrills and spills for now but I'm sure he's in no hurry to top that.

Here's a few pics from the weekend, note the new rudders (good one Sito) and lower profile dolphin striker.

And to the guys doing the hard yards on repairing the wings... I hope the cowboys' have your end-of-the-day beers sorted out;)

Invictus_wkend_17-18_July_012_corr_1024x683.jpg

Invictus_wkend_17-18_July_098_corr_1024x668.jpg

Invictus_wkend_17-18_July_142_corr_952x768.jpg

 




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