the Story from Low Speed Chase

JaySea

Member
97
1
I think it took a lot of guts for Bryan to send his story out and I commend him for it. There are times in life where you just have to get your story out, and this was certainly one of them. His recount of the events helps many of us who lost friends out there, but also helps the greater sailing community understand the situation, to think deeply again about safety, and well explains to those outside sailing why we put ourselves out there in the first place.

Thank you Bryan - tremendous and powerful work. And congratulations on your beautiful baby.
Well said Dixie -

Bryan,

Thanks for getting your story out - it is a great service to put your perspective out there and bring some first hand truth into what so far has been second hand and often inaccurate. I particularly respect your words:

Fellow sailors can relate to trimming sails during intense racing or weather conditions. We assimilate data in a series of snapshots taken from within the boat and across the race course. I suspect that's the reason sailors show up to race protest rooms with 5 different accounts of an incident that happened at a speed no faster than a run.
So true. What happens during an investigation (especially insurance investigations) is not focused on what the sailors experienced or understand. It's about coming to a determination that 'settles' things from the point of view of the legal parties involved. There are going to be different experiences and the participants with the first hand experience are likely to be left unsettled.

I really appreciate your crediting Nick with having a different perspective:

As for what happened in that first wave, my head was down and I initially thought we might have pitch-poled. Nick, who broke his leg while it was wrapped around a stanchion and had a better view, tells me the boat surfed backwards with the wave for a stretch then rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise before the wave finally barrel rolled it.
 

hobie18rich

Super Anarchist
1,690
0
Well, Scot or whatever the F_ _ _ K his name is has finally stooped to a new low. So he adds THE STORY on his website and very conveniently removes the other sailing publications that the original story from Bryan went to. Scuttlebutt, Latitude 38 and Seahorse were all listed along with SA. But Scot removed those other publication names and made readers think Bryan had sent it to only him.

I hope that Bryan chimes in and confirms that his original story went to FOUR PUBLICATIONS, not just SA. And thank you Bryan for the well written, absoulutely critical recap on what happened.

Shame on you Scot.

From Colorado
+ 1

 

the_chick_on_the_boat

Super Anarchist
1,251
0
Eastport
Bryan Chong is a surviving crew member of the Sydney 38 Low Speed Chase which lost the lives of five people during the disastrous Full Crew Farallones Race in San Francisco. Here, he tells his story.

This letter goes out to a devastated sailing community still confused about the events surrounding the 2012 Full Crew Farallones Race. There have been inaccuracies in the media, mostly stemming from the survivors’ silence as James (“Jay”), Nick and I are still reeling from tragedy and the loss of close friends and loved ones.

I’ve chosen to use Sailing Anarchy for distributing this story because they’re of a kindred spirit and were the favorites amongst the crew of Low Speed Chase and those who already know the answer to the question, “Why would you sail in the ocean on a windy day with big swells?”

I’ve also included the Marin Independent Journal and The Tiburon Ark, as they’re the hometown newspapers in an area teeming with sailors. Many sailors relocate from around the world to Marin and the Tiburon Peninsula in order to live in proximity to the world’s best sailing. Alan Cahill moved from Cork, Ireland to race sailboats professionally in the Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean. He was the best man in our wedding and will be dearly missed while I journey this planet.

This letter does not contain every detail, but my account should provide a basic understanding of our day on the water and what happened after the first wave hit our boat. It is meant both to illustrate how things can look normal until one event changes everything and to begin to address what we can learn. It’s my hope and intention that it will spark a wider dialogue within the sailing community about safety standards and, more importantly, safety practices.

Why do we sail?

A sailor’s mind set is no different from that of any other athlete who chooses to participate in a sport that has some risk. It’s a healthy addiction. Despite the highly publicized deaths of Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy, skiers all over the world continue to hit the slopes each winter. Sitting on the couch is safer than ripping down a slope, but the reward makes the risk worthwhile. Continued on the front page.

Bryan -- add my thanks to all the others for sharing this with us. You really conveyed how normal everything was . . . until it wasn't.

I think you've achieved your goal of sparking a wider dialogue about safety standards and practices. I've shared it with my skipper and crew in the hopes that it starts them thinking about their own safety practices and what we all do and don't do when we're racing, and I will be bringing it up for conversation before we start our next race. I hope many others do the same.

What you've shared with us is significant -- on many levels. Fair winds to you.

 
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bustedgristle

New member
7
0
I am sensitive to the loss oflife and the tragic consequences for friends and family, my deepest sympathies.



I’ve had similar experiences inmy sailing career. I was in THAT race.



I wish to focus on preventingfuture loss of life/best practices.



My opinion is: landing onserpentine rock (Farallones/Marin Headlands) with an inflatable PFD leads torapid loss of buoyancy due to wave/rock/body abrasion.



Non-inflatable (Inherently buoyant)dingystyle PFD’s provide padding, have no mechanical bits to fail and, just float.When in the ocean, the ADDITION of a ‘suspender’ style (inflatable) PFD withharness/ring provides a secondary level of floatation along with an attachmentpoint.



Harnesses – I’ve been clipped inand washed over wishing I could release and couldn’t (heavy boat smashing downon my head a few times) and have been washed over not wearing a harness beingseparated from the boat wishing I’d have clipped in (when they couldn’tretrieve me soon enough for my comfort). I like the idea of a ‘central’jackline along the midline of a boat rather than two lines along each side but,never see this arrangement used.



I am interested in learning from marinesafety professionals what harness/pfd strategies are ultimately recommended.



Fair winds brothers. Be safe.

 

busted



 

Guitar

Super Anarchist
Bryan, thank you for surviving this horrible ordeal and sharing the story of the events. Sometimes you can bank on luck when prepared just a little bit and you did.

My condolences to family and friends and my highest respect for the other survivors and yourself.

Hold the hugs a long time.

Rick Nelson

"Mr. Bone"

International Tempest

 

JSoup

Anarchist
679
8
Portland, OR
Bryan - You are an excellent writer and presented the account very well. Thank you very much for sharing. We will be going offshore in just over a week and will definitely take lessons from your letter.

Eric

 

smartwool_elmo

New member
21
0
Well, Scot or whatever the F_ _ _ K his name is has finally stooped to a new low. So he adds THE STORY on his website and very conveniently removes the other sailing publications that the original story from Bryan went to. Scuttlebutt, Latitude 38 and Seahorse were all listed along with SA. But Scot removed those other publication names and made readers think Bryan had sent it to only him.

I hope that Bryan chimes in and confirms that his original story went to FOUR PUBLICATIONS, not just SA. And thank you Bryan for the well written, absoulutely critical recap on what happened.

Shame on you Scot.

From Colorado
+ 1

Wow - not surprising, unspeakable low, use a tragedy like this to try to promote yourself.

 
Well, Scot or whatever the F_ _ _ K his name is has finally stooped to a new low. So he adds THE STORY on his website and very conveniently removes the other sailing publications that the original story from Bryan went to. Scuttlebutt, Latitude 38 and Seahorse were all listed along with SA. But Scot removed those other publication names and made readers think Bryan had sent it to only him.

I hope that Bryan chimes in and confirms that his original story went to FOUR PUBLICATIONS, not just SA. And thank you Bryan for the well written, absoulutely critical recap on what happened.

Shame on you Scot.

From Colorado
+ 1
Ed might want to do an edit & mea culpa so as to not become a distraction.

 

Editor

Administrator
Staff member
6,695
1,112
carlsbad
Well, Scot or whatever the F_ _ _ K his name is has finally stooped to a new low. So he adds THE STORY on his website and very conveniently removes the other sailing publications that the original story from Bryan went to. Scuttlebutt, Latitude 38 and Seahorse were all listed along with SA. But Scot removed those other publication names and made readers think Bryan had sent it to only him.

I hope that Bryan chimes in and confirms that his original story went to FOUR PUBLICATIONS, not just SA. And thank you Bryan for the well written, absoulutely critical recap on what happened.

Shame on you Scot.

From Colorado
how interesting that you choose to bring up such a petty complaint in the midst of such a serious discussion. seems to me i have the right to edit content as i see fit. and isn't it interesting that i received an e-mail today from the queen of all whiners, craig leweck, complaining about the very same thing. and finally, isn't it interesting that your ip address indicates that you are in san diego, not colorado. don't you have enough to do without reading every word that we publish and bitching like a pussy when you feel slighted? and for the record, bryan sent it to us first, and had no objection to the edits. now back to the real story...

 
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Well, Scot or whatever the F_ _ _ K his name is has finally stooped to a new low. So he adds THE STORY on his website and very conveniently removes the other sailing publications that the original story from Bryan went to. Scuttlebutt, Latitude 38 and Seahorse were all listed along with SA. But Scot removed those other publication names and made readers think Bryan had sent it to only him.

I hope that Bryan chimes in and confirms that his original story went to FOUR PUBLICATIONS, not just SA. And thank you Bryan for the well written, absoulutely critical recap on what happened.

Shame on you Scot.

From Colorado
+ 1

Wow - not surprising, unspeakable low, use a tragedy like this to try to promote yourself.
Really. We knew he was a left coast douchenozzle long before this. Why the surprise?

 

spudy69

Member
76
0
SF Bay
Thanks Bryan...your courage on and off the water speaks to your person. Again our thoughts and prayers go out to your crew, family and friends. There's always a bottle of rum on AC for you...

AC

 
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Thanks Bryan for what was clearly a difficult essay to write. And thanks for sharing it across multiple great insider publications, including SA. I can't imagine how tough these past ten days have been for you and the other survivors; I only hope you were able to find at least a little cathartic value in writing and sharing your very well-written and even more cogent insight.

 
Well, Scot or whatever the F_ _ _ K his name is has finally stooped to a new low. So he adds THE STORY on his website and very conveniently removes the other sailing publications that the original story from Bryan went to. Scuttlebutt, Latitude 38 and Seahorse were all listed along with SA. But Scot removed those other publication names and made readers think Bryan had sent it to only him.

I hope that Bryan chimes in and confirms that his original story went to FOUR PUBLICATIONS, not just SA. And thank you Bryan for the well written, absoulutely critical recap on what happened.

Shame on you Scot.

From Colorado
+ 1

Wow - not surprising, unspeakable low, use a tragedy like this to try to promote yourself.
Bryan's words should Not be edited

This is an open window into a Soul coming from Bryan's Heart

should Not need the Broom in this thread nor the FP

of note the other FP did not edit out SA from their story

Sad place to take cheep shots !!
sad.gif


Sorry Bryan Can't believe that happened !

May you (and the other survivors) never get to pay for your Drinks where ever you go for the rest of your Life !

And Thank You for taking the chance in sending your story here too - Sorry your words weren't left alone

You Have Plenty to Deal with w/o shife like this
sad.gif
sad.gif


 

Harnesscreek

Member
93
0
To begin with my best to Bryan, the crew of Low Speed Chase, their families and friends,

After I read the account, I followed the directions and watched the youtube video of the SC 50 rounding just in front of you. Then reread the account. Many lessons learned.

Thank you for putting it out there in such a public forum.

 

btbotfa

Super Anarchist
1,683
1
Bryan, thanks for having the integrity and courage to tell this difficult tale so soon after the tragedy. Some folks on this site may have been on a Volvo boat or done some other mind-bendingly out there stuff but the majority of us are sailors just like you and your crew and this really hits very close to home. As a skipper who frequently takes younger sailors on their first overnight coastal race, I always emphasize safety but we all get cavalier at times. Your story will definitely be discussed this year and I don't think I am off the mark in agreeing that you undoubtedly are saving lives here with your candor.

 

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