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Team Vestas grounded

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You guys are all whack... the boys on deck had NO clue what was in front of them, port, starboard, windward or leeward. They were sailing like it was deep water all around.

Nobody below had much clue either, otherwise the nav station would have be full go at low zoom. They would have been shooting info to the on deck team. there would be a lookout standing on the windward rail.

They wouldn't have been sailing directly to the reef!

The second they hit they were doomed! The rudders sheared, the boat went into a skid and they skipped up on the reef.. Game over.
Exactly. Hitting a rock at 20kts and going into a spin sheared what was left of all the foils except the keel. There was nothing they could do. All these people talking about "turning head to wind". Like it is some old war pony. Not how these machines are made. Maybe despite having two rudders, they still need an emergency rudder? One not in the water?

And yeah, they had no clue what was in front of them or port or starboard. And who's fault is that? Wouter is trying to take the blame by talking about zoom levels. That is awful big of him, but these boats are so short-handed, and so fast, that you can't just put yourself on auto-pilot and expect just one other person has you covered. The captain, watch captains, helm and navigator all have to have 100% acknowledged awareness of the entire 360 degree path and routing options for at least the distance you cover in one watch, plus the watch overlap. They should also be aware of safe harbor options in case of emergency (and I don't know if anybody has brought that up). What if something else catastrophic had occurred and they were forced to quickly abandon ship in open water, but didn't know that this land was so close by? If they didn't properly share information like this, what else was not shared?

Acknowledged communication in this case means you record that you have completed your handoff checklist. You have a checklist of things you do when you come on and go off watch. A simple spreadsheet documenting crew shift essentials: "Brief new WC of routing option details for next watch" - initialed check. With a corresponding "Review of previous WC routing option details" - initialed check. Granted, a procedure like this may engage two crew for 20-30 minutes, but that is not really avoidable.

I keep hearing people talk about this as a navigation problem, a technology problem, a personal failing, etc.. Sure, those are all elements of it, but on reflection (IMO), it was a breakdown of the watch system, or a watch system that was not good enough to begin with.

 

CraftyBob

Member
120
0
Dublin
SailBlueH2O said:
Sad on so many levels....it seems the facts will never be made public.
If this was the Cup, I'd agree, and I think it's sad that their lack of transparency has infected you to think that the rest of the sport works that way too.

The facts may never be made public, but they'll come out one way or another as long as I am around.
Yeehaw!

 

CraftyBob

Member
120
0
Dublin
JZK I am sorry to publicly embarrass you like this but... you must do most of your sailing on the apartment toilet and any navigation from the back of your moms old stationwagon. GSM phones are at best line of sight. That means you phone no matter what the guy told you at the mall cannot see a tower 400 feet in the air beyond 20 miles. See means you might get those simpleton bars on your big waterproof screen. Now to some complex GSM sh*!. The towers are time division multiplexing. That is how the towers talk to a bunch of phones. When the tower sends your phone a signal for data you have a tiny time slot to respond. If you phone does not get its message back in time you are not there and the tower moves onto the next phone or device. Those messages fly back and forth at the speed of light. GSM times slots are set at 35km. In perfect conditions a GSM device can sink with a tower and communicate with a tower 35KM away. The laws of physics and the GSM standards get in the way of connecting to a tower past 35KM. The signal just cannot get back and forth fast enough. These guys were 200 miles from everywhere and nowhere. NO CELL COVERAGE. GSM CELL PHONES ARE WORTHLESS FOR MARITIME NAVIGATION. Yes, you can use the toy you picked up from the guy chewing gum at the mall in downtown miami and a few other places where you should not need it. But, in short order your mother will drive the family wagon to a Teddy Kennedy parking spot. Yea... come to think of it. Teddy should have done a 180 just before he entered the bridge and splashed the car.
PicardDoubleFacepalm-1.jpg


see here

 

LeoV

Super Anarchist
13,465
4,363
The Netherlands
2. This area was originally excluded (we are still not 100% certain about that but I am guessing it was so, with a non-public exclusion zone). It was opened up the day before the start, and 'should have been' examined in detail then. But everyone was busy with specific pre-start activities and it was not done. It seems that there was the idea that it would happen after the start, but again everyone was busy and it did not get done. This was a management (priority/follow-up) failure.
The team has not specifically mentioned fatigue as a root cause of either of the above errors. So, we don't (yet) know how important that factor was.
Nice post.

I think this is not an excuse anyway. Because you are in a race boat, responsible for a few lives on board.
So a normal way would be to study the charts and find safe harbours all along the way, whether they are in inclusion zones or not.
And this island group was one of the safespots after Mauritius.
I know top sailors who handle it like this, but some lack this attitude. They will see along the route and decide.
The best one I encountered, Brian Thompson. He takes it damn serious. We marked the Med over-sailor with all weather entry ports in one occasion.
And he was just a solo skipper then.
Because of the short stay in South Africa, the experienced electrical problems this task would normally not be only for the navigator. Even someone outside the boat team would be helpful. From the ABN AMRO campaign I am sure there was extra input in the weather information in the stops from a Dutch meteorologist.
If I was navigator I would be very glad with any help. Maybe the short lead time in building this time did bite them in this aspect.

With modern navigation on computers you can simply put whole areas under shading, making that areas were you should wake up the nav guy.
 

couchsurfer

Super Anarchist
18,324
136
NA westcoast
SailBlueH2O said:
Sad on so many levels....it seems the facts will never be made public.
If this was the Cup, I'd agree, and I think it's sad that their lack of transparency has infected you to think that the rest of the sport works that way too.

The facts may never be made public, but they'll come out one way or another as long as I am around.
Yeehaw!
.

.....you don't think that approach would get you named in every sailor's non-disclosure contract? :mellow:

 

southerncross

Super Anarchist
10,347
281
jzk, have you ever gone aground?
Probably dozens of times with me in charge of the vessel, and a few not. My groundings were all my fault but maybe one because the obstruction was not marked on the chart. There are places in the Bahamas/Florida that you just can't get to without feeling your way through. In those instances we are going slowly anticipating the bottom. One time was trying to get a good view of Dexter's apartment building in a powerboat. It was gentle in sand, and we were able to just winch off with the anchor. The sand there shoals differently all the time and is in a constant state of flux.

If I ever just sail right into an Island because I didn't zoom into the chart when there were 2 specs of land showing with massive depth contours, it will have been my fault. And that fault will have been gross negligence. If it is not my boat, I will tell the owner that it was my fault, no excuses. There is no excuse for not "zooming in."

Is your point that other people in the world have been grossly negligent a time or two in their lives? Despite that fact, these sailors were grossly negligent here.

Or is your point to just attack when you run out of intelligent arguments? You wouldn't' be the first here guilty of that.

When I was 20, I wrecked a car on Lake Shore drive due to pure gross negligence. These guys should still zoom in on their chart.

We aren't kicking these guys when they are down. Just asking for honest analysis of what happened and responsibility where warranted. Most of those here have been too busy circle jerking your heroes to do that. And hey, we have freedom of religion in this country, so continue your worship if you like. Chris' statement about how there was a breakdown, but just not his was embarrassing. Again, give him a blow job if you feel the need.
I love when sailors try to play lawyer, but if you learned everything you know about the law from LA Law and CSI Miami, you shouldn't talk about it as if you understand it.

"Gross negligence" does not mean 'lots of negligence'. it means something that has literally zero relevance to this situation under international maritime law.
"Lot's of negligence". Classic. LOL

 

southerncross

Super Anarchist
10,347
281
jzk, have you ever gone aground?
Probably dozens of times with me in charge of the vessel, and a few not. My groundings were all my fault but maybe one because the obstruction was not marked on the chart. There are places in the Bahamas/Florida that you just can't get to without feeling your way through. In those instances we are going slowly anticipating the bottom. One time was trying to get a good view of Dexter's apartment building in a powerboat. It was gentle in sand, and we were able to just winch off with the anchor. The sand there shoals differently all the time and is in a constant state of flux.

If I ever just sail right into an Island because I didn't zoom into the chart when there were 2 specs of land showing with massive depth contours, it will have been my fault. And that fault will have been gross negligence. If it is not my boat, I will tell the owner that it was my fault, no excuses. There is no excuse for not "zooming in."

Is your point that other people in the world have been grossly negligent a time or two in their lives? Despite that fact, these sailors were grossly negligent here.

Or is your point to just attack when you run out of intelligent arguments? You wouldn't' be the first here guilty of that.

When I was 20, I wrecked a car on Lake Shore drive due to pure gross negligence. These guys should still zoom in on their chart.

We aren't kicking these guys when they are down. Just asking for honest analysis of what happened and responsibility where warranted. Most of those here have been too busy circle jerking your heroes to do that. And hey, we have freedom of religion in this country, so continue your worship if you like. Chris' statement about how there was a breakdown, but just not his was embarrassing. Again, give him a blow job if you feel the need.
I love when sailors try to play lawyer, but if you learned everything you know about the law from LA Law and CSI Miami, you shouldn't talk about it as if you understand it.

"Gross negligence" does not mean 'lots of negligence'. it means something that has literally zero relevance to this situation under international maritime law.
I've learned the hard way that Maritime Law has nothing to do with the Law.

 

jzk

Super Anarchist
12,972
476
jzk, have you ever gone aground?
Probably dozens of times with me in charge of the vessel, and a few not. My groundings were all my fault but maybe one because the obstruction was not marked on the chart. There are places in the Bahamas/Florida that you just can't get to without feeling your way through. In those instances we are going slowly anticipating the bottom. One time was trying to get a good view of Dexter's apartment building in a powerboat. It was gentle in sand, and we were able to just winch off with the anchor. The sand there shoals differently all the time and is in a constant state of flux.

If I ever just sail right into an Island because I didn't zoom into the chart when there were 2 specs of land showing with massive depth contours, it will have been my fault. And that fault will have been gross negligence. If it is not my boat, I will tell the owner that it was my fault, no excuses. There is no excuse for not "zooming in."

Is your point that other people in the world have been grossly negligent a time or two in their lives? Despite that fact, these sailors were grossly negligent here.

Or is your point to just attack when you run out of intelligent arguments? You wouldn't' be the first here guilty of that.

When I was 20, I wrecked a car on Lake Shore drive due to pure gross negligence. These guys should still zoom in on their chart.

We aren't kicking these guys when they are down. Just asking for honest analysis of what happened and responsibility where warranted. Most of those here have been too busy circle jerking your heroes to do that. And hey, we have freedom of religion in this country, so continue your worship if you like. Chris' statement about how there was a breakdown, but just not his was embarrassing. Again, give him a blow job if you feel the need.
I love when sailors try to play lawyer, but if you learned everything you know about the law from LA Law and CSI Miami, you shouldn't talk about it as if you understand it.

"Gross negligence" does not mean 'lots of negligence'. it means something that has literally zero relevance to this situation under international maritime law.
Why don't you define it for us? I already have. I do admit that I have not practiced Admiralty law since the 1990s, and I am only admitted to practice in Illinois, Florida, US District Courts for the Southern District of Florida and the Northern District of Illinois, but I still know what gross negligence is.

They were grossly negligent. The penalty for such is not death or anything, but why are you so afraid to call this what it is?

 

jbc

Anarchist
jzk, have you ever gone aground?
Probably dozens of times with me in charge of the vessel, and a few not. My groundings were all my fault but maybe one because the obstruction was not marked on the chart. There are places in the Bahamas/Florida that you just can't get to without feeling your way through. In those instances we are going slowly anticipating the bottom. One time was trying to get a good view of Dexter's apartment building in a powerboat. It was gentle in sand, and we were able to just winch off with the anchor. The sand there shoals differently all the time and is in a constant state of flux.

If I ever just sail right into an Island because I didn't zoom into the chart when there were 2 specs of land showing with massive depth contours, it will have been my fault. And that fault will have been gross negligence. If it is not my boat, I will tell the owner that it was my fault, no excuses. There is no excuse for not "zooming in."

Is your point that other people in the world have been grossly negligent a time or two in their lives? Despite that fact, these sailors were grossly negligent here.

Or is your point to just attack when you run out of intelligent arguments? You wouldn't' be the first here guilty of that.

When I was 20, I wrecked a car on Lake Shore drive due to pure gross negligence. These guys should still zoom in on their chart.

We aren't kicking these guys when they are down. Just asking for honest analysis of what happened and responsibility where warranted. Most of those here have been too busy circle jerking your heroes to do that. And hey, we have freedom of religion in this country, so continue your worship if you like. Chris' statement about how there was a breakdown, but just not his was embarrassing. Again, give him a blow job if you feel the need.
I love when sailors try to play lawyer, but if you learned everything you know about the law from LA Law and CSI Miami, you shouldn't talk about it as if you understand it.

"Gross negligence" does not mean 'lots of negligence'. it means something that has literally zero relevance to this situation under international maritime law.
Why don't you define it for us? I already have. I do admit that I have not practiced Admiralty law since the 1990s, and I am only admitted to practice in Illinois, Florida, US District Courts for the Southern District of Florida and the Northern District of Illinois, but I still know what gross negligence is.

They were grossly negligent. The penalty for such is not death or anything, but why are you so afraid to call this what it is?
The coolest thing about the SA forums is that they offer such a wide range of individual viewpoints, from well-informed expertise to complete bullshit wankery.

Of course, that's also the worst thing about them.

 
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288
0
Some very good points. I've kept quiet for a while now, but I think this does provide some useful starting issues that are not just the peanut gallery claiing with 20/20 hindsight that it would never have happened if they had been navigating (especially if they had their cell phone wit them)

1. The team admits they simply did not ever zoom in on the chart. That's a simple human error given all the signals on the chart that it should be zoomed in on (both shoal area and the purple territorial limit lines cry out for further investigation). It is also a management process error (lack of double checking of a very fundamental process crying out for checking)
I don't think they ever said they "did not ever zoom in". That would make no sense anyway. What - they navigated with the screen showing the entire Indian ocean? What has been said, is what has been suggested here many times - they didn't zoom enough at the right point.
Double checking is a good point about sensible safety critical process. But here is the thing. Who here has a process instituted on a boat where such double checking is institutionalised (ie done in a formal manner that can be itself be checked?) Who thinks that any of the other VOR boats double check? Really? This leads into the cultural issues mentioned below.

>2. This area was originally excluded (we are still not 100% certain about that but I am guessing it was so, with a non-public exclusion zone). It was opened up the day before the start, and 'should have been' examined in detail then. But everyone was busy with specific pre-start activities and it was not done. It seems that there was the idea that it would happen after the start, but again everyone was busy and it did not get done. This was a management (priority/follow-up) The team has not specifically mentioned fatigue as a root cause of either of the above errors. So, we don't (yet) know how important that factor was.
I doubt anyone thinks it wasn't a contributor.
3. Correct use of the depth sounder (min depth alarm) and/or radar (guard zone) could have avoided this incident, even given the above two errors, but they were (apparently) not used. That is a process error.
From what I read, they expected the depth the rise to 40m. But no less. This is problem in the reverse. It seems they did have the depth sounder operational and it did notify them of the sudden rise. But they expected it. So no guard zone.


4. The charting zoom is a problem. It appeared as a systematic problem, to other boats in the fleet, and not just on this boat. It should be 'fixed'. The Nav and Skipper 'should have' been well familiar with the problem and had process to deal with it, because it is a well known and documented issue. But the charting industry needs to get its act together and address this. The charting should help, not hinder, safe operation. It will be slow and painful, but Volvo, Vestas and the incident team could leave a lasting mark on the sport if they got the industry to fess up and start working on the problem.


Agreed. A big problem is that the market for ocean racing charting and routing software is pretty limited. It is a niche cottage industry. There isn't the money or the people. Human factors in software systems is just plain hard, and you have to be ever careful that well intentioned fixes to problems don't introduce new hazards. A huge problem is the use of the conventional laptop as the basic unit of operation. This besets software systems everywhere. They are cheap, perform well, and ubiquitous. But they are limited, and there are lots of reasons that they are not the right platform. Massive clutter on a small screen is very likely the single biggest contributor. Yes all the navigators should be used to it, and they should know to work around it. But accidents are made of "should haves".

5. When the crew saw the breaking water there was no reaction. They had little time, and they thought they knew there were no dangers, and it unfortunately timed at the bottom of the sleep cycle. But there 'should be' a trained reaction/process (which did not happen) when the deck spots an unexpected hazard. Someone should at least immediately check the plotter at high zoom, the AIS and the radar. I am not sure with these boats when in the process the helmsman should react, but given their speeds, it would have to be pretty early on. I know they would hate to lose ground and it will be one of those racing vs. safety trade-off, but there should at least be a very clear bright line when(and how) the helm reacts to such events.

I doubt there was any chance to do this. From the first sign of breaking waves to impact, nobody could have even made it to the nav station, let alone started to mess about trying to work out what was happening. The AIS would not have helped, and the radar was almost certainly not operating due to its power draw. Once they saw the breakers they were already doomed. A codified set of reactions is very hard. It is hard becuse you want to be sure that the reaction is not itself more dangerous than the thing you might be avoiding. Fully powered up a sudden course change can lead to a wipeout with not a lot of effort. A broach in the middle of the night with not everyone clipped on just because a pod of dolphins surfaced nearby is not what you want to be telling someone's widow.
6. The (aft) watertight bulkhead most likely saved lives. The keel design was structurally 'strong enough' and it was excellent that the bulb broke first. Generally the boat builders and designers deserve praise.

Indeed. This bit worked well. Had this been a VO70 it would have been grim.

7. It is not clear that pfd's or tethers would have been any benefit if the boat had sunk, but it may reflect a lack of 'safety culture' that the crew did not (appear to have) have gear on. I know racers (and in fact most of us with a bunch of offshore miles) tend to not wear this stuff on 'nice tropical nights', but this is a pro work environment. Yes, this is a race, and racing priorities sometimes conflict with safety priorities (as in the 'how close is safe' decisions) but in most of the factors of this incident they did not conflict except in that the safety side simply did not seem to get sufficient attention.

This gets us to a core issue. And one that progress is only ever made with when bad things happen. This is a pro work environment. But this does not excuse the amateurs that don't clip on. The risks are the same. Just that the pro sails more, and the time x risk adds up.

Where we are seeing issues is that there isn't the culture of process that is required to make this work with such a short-handed boat. The VO70 races probably got away with laxness because they had more hands - however this doesn't mean the risk wasn't there - just that they got away with it. It is clear that all the boats are on the edge. Dong Feng nearly hit the reef. The others didn't. But this does not mean that the other boats are somehow immune from the problems that led to Vestas hitting the reef. So much of the commentary above is of the form "these guys are clearly idiots, they should never sail in the VOR again". This utterly misses the point. Vestas were probably no more lax than any of the other teams. They were just the first team to screw up when it really mattered. We are only half way into the second leg. There is every chance that another screw-up on another boat will happen. That is the real issue.

I like to make comparisons with other accidents that have complex underpinnings. The Mancondo accident in the Gulf of Mexico saw BP drop well over $20Billion in a screwup so huge that it takes some comprehending. For months millions of gallons of oil spewed from the well. Yet it took a series of about five different failures to allow it to happen. Multiple safety processes and systems failed. The question that was never voiced was simply - how close have other wells come to a similar disaster? And the answer was chilling. Many. A few times a year a well would come within one safety system of a disaster. Mancondo was the one where the last safety system also failed. It is the one you hear about. I will bet that Vestas is also the one we hear about because all the bad things lined up for them. The other teams could easily be thinking "there but for the grace of God go I". A witch burning is neither appropriate or useful. Working out, in detail, all the contributing factors, and working on processes and system design to avoid it happening again is what needs to be done (and is clearly what is being done. The VOR office are - for a change - smarter than the pundits on SA.)

But the point above about a pro work environment is very pertinent. The reactions of the Vestas team after the accident have received universal praise. This is codified action in practice. It isn't as if this is new. But the level of meticulousness needed is clearly higher in normal operation. Also, the VOR may need to reconsider the crew levels. It may be that 8 simply is not the right number.

Still beating up on the poor VO70? Really? You do know that Volvo could have required aft bulkheads, or two or three or four extra bulkheads in a new generation VO70.

That said, the boat held together well and the build integrity needs to be acknowledged. It saved the crew's lives and that is fabulous. Not that VO70's couldn't have been mandated to that level of integrity (and the extra crew they could carry would be a big safety plus, :p ).

Anyway, you guys are basically on the same wavelength as I am. I would say this about procedures, this boat was owned by Volvo and leased to the team. Volvo could require any documentation or watch procedure they want to protect their investment. They could have some kind of "Required Shift Change Documentation Checklist", or whatever. This kind of thing is ubiquitous in all sorts of fields (Daily Toolbox Safety Meeting, etc.). If they implemented this documentation across the board, it would be just one more part of the game. As well as something you could hand your insurers, or forensic investigators. In some ways, this is also a failure by VOR. I've said many times that nobody could get off by throwing someone else under the bus, or be able to shoulder all the blame. Well, the blame goes in all directions.

 

Presuming Ed

Super Anarchist
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London, UK
And the nice thing about a long running thread like this one is the way it lets you discover who the bullshit wankery artists are. And put them on ignore.

 
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southerncross

Super Anarchist
10,347
281
jzk, have you ever gone aground?
Probably dozens of times with me in charge of the vessel, and a few not. My groundings were all my fault but maybe one because the obstruction was not marked on the chart. There are places in the Bahamas/Florida that you just can't get to without feeling your way through. In those instances we are going slowly anticipating the bottom. One time was trying to get a good view of Dexter's apartment building in a powerboat. It was gentle in sand, and we were able to just winch off with the anchor. The sand there shoals differently all the time and is in a constant state of flux.

If I ever just sail right into an Island because I didn't zoom into the chart when there were 2 specs of land showing with massive depth contours, it will have been my fault. And that fault will have been gross negligence. If it is not my boat, I will tell the owner that it was my fault, no excuses. There is no excuse for not "zooming in."

Is your point that other people in the world have been grossly negligent a time or two in their lives? Despite that fact, these sailors were grossly negligent here.

Or is your point to just attack when you run out of intelligent arguments? You wouldn't' be the first here guilty of that.

When I was 20, I wrecked a car on Lake Shore drive due to pure gross negligence. These guys should still zoom in on their chart.

We aren't kicking these guys when they are down. Just asking for honest analysis of what happened and responsibility where warranted. Most of those here have been too busy circle jerking your heroes to do that. And hey, we have freedom of religion in this country, so continue your worship if you like. Chris' statement about how there was a breakdown, but just not his was embarrassing. Again, give him a blow job if you feel the need.
I love when sailors try to play lawyer, but if you learned everything you know about the law from LA Law and CSI Miami, you shouldn't talk about it as if you understand it.

"Gross negligence" does not mean 'lots of negligence'. it means something that has literally zero relevance to this situation under international maritime law.
Why don't you define it for us? I already have. I do admit that I have not practiced Admiralty law since the 1990s, and I am only admitted to practice in Illinois, Florida, US District Courts for the Southern District of Florida and the Northern District of Illinois, but I still know what gross negligence is.
They were grossly negligent. The penalty for such is not death or anything, but why are you so afraid to call this what it is?
The coolest thing about the SA forums is that they offer such a wide range of individual viewpoints, from well-informed expertise to complete bullshit wankery.

Of course, that's also the worst thing about them.
Very true. It's unique in that regard. Some of the funniest shit I've ever read too.

Some people have no fear to say what many are thinking but do not say for one reason or another. And even in some of the most outlandish remarks comes a kernel of truth sometimes. I say, go ahead and bang the corners with the remarks and ideas. Better to say it than not. It's the best way to hone in on the truth. Get it out there.

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
28,061
5,881
Kent Island!
To end the stupid cell phone sub-thread:

My iPhone GPS and Navionics app work great with no cell coverage at all. The phone has a GPS in it!

OTOH Google Maps does not because it is constantly downloading new maps as you go, but Navionics allows you to download all your charts in advance.

Question: Does it seem like they had the skipper and navigator on the same watch? That would seem to be concentrating too much ability/responsibility on one watch and the leave the other one - the one that hit the island - lacking. My own preference when short handed was to stay out of the watch rotation and try and span both watches so each got some extra help from the nav/skipper. YMMV on that.

 
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southerncross

Super Anarchist
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281
^^^ I don't want to waste page space by quoting everyone. Some good points by Mr Vaughan, as usual, and by Mr alcoholfunnycar.

I just want to make mention that the OD aspect of this race is a new beast and has changed the race substantially. It doesn't exclude basic seamanship and common sense but it brings to light a whole bunch of realities perhaps not considered by the VORC. A learning process, Leg by Leg. All good just as long as there is learning and the changes are implemented. Can't anticipate everything but pretty good so far, no?

 

couchsurfer

Super Anarchist
18,324
136
NA westcoast
^^^ I don't want to waste page space by quoting everyone. Some good points by Mr Vaughan, as usual, and by Mr alcoholfunnycar.

I just want to make mention that the OD aspect of this race is a new beast and has changed the race substantially. It doesn't exclude basic seamanship and common sense but it brings to light a whole bunch of realities perhaps not considered by the VORC. A learning process, Leg by Leg. All good just as long as there is learning and the changes are implemented. Can't anticipate everything but pretty good so far, no?
.

...race?.....there's a race going on!? :rolleyes:

 

jzk

Super Anarchist
12,972
476
To those of you that think "gross negligence" does not apply to the general maritime law, see these cases:

The City of New York, 147 U.S. 72 (1893).

Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471 (2008).

In Re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" In The Gulf of Mexico, 808 F.Supp.2d 943 (E.D Lou. 2011).

 
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2. This area was originally excluded (we are still not 100% certain about that but I am guessing it was so, with a non-public exclusion zone). It was opened up the day before the start, and 'should have been' examined in detail then. But everyone was busy with specific pre-start activities and it was not done. It seems that there was the idea that it would happen after the start, but again everyone was busy and it did not get done. This was a management (priority/follow-up) failure.

The team has not specifically mentioned fatigue as a root cause of either of the above errors. So, we don't (yet) know how important that factor was.
Nice post.

I think this is not an excuse anyway. Because you are in a race boat, responsible for a few lives on board.

So a normal way would be to study the charts and find safe harbours all along the way, whether they are in inclusion zones or not.

And this island group was one of the safespots after Mauritius.

I know top sailors who handle it like this, but some lack this attitude. They will see along the route and decide.

The best one I encountered, Brian Thompson. He takes it damn serious. We marked the Med over-sailor with all weather entry ports in one occasion.

And he was just a solo skipper then.

Because of the short stay in South Africa, the experienced electrical problems this task would normally not be only for the navigator. Even someone outside the boat team would be helpful. From the ABN AMRO campaign I am sure there was extra input in the weather information in the stops from a Dutch meteorologist.

If I was navigator I would be very glad with any help. Maybe the short lead time in building this time did bite them in this aspect.

With modern navigation on computers you can simply put whole areas under shading, making that areas were you should wake up the nav guy.
Sorry I didn't read before. I agree with all this. I don't know why they didn't have this island group marked out as potential safety, as well as an obstruction. The team shore support aspects are critical, but it all comes down to what you do on the boat. You can't count on that, and when you are captain, navigator or watch captain, you are responsible for lives. Listening to the interviews, there just seems too much emphasis on the technological failings. It is concerning, actually.

Zooming in was not the problem here, it was the nail in the horse shoe that wasn't driven. The shoe was lost, the horse was lost the race was lost.

 
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