Wide-open discussion of the loss of Low Speed Chase

KeelHaulin

Member
79
0
Right you are NS; and that's why I am sorry that I posted in anger and frustration here. I kinda lost sight of that goal and went all-out in the realm of SA 'anything goes' here on this thread. Again, I'm sorry for losing composure; I was just trying to reach those who I thought could not be reached under a normal, civil discussion. I wish I could take it back because it makes me look like the raving lunatic on the thread now; but I just want people to get some perspective on what the consequences are for f'ing up a rounding or going across the bar in insane conditions. It's your life and your prerogative to do such things, but Please, Please, Please don't put innocent crew in the no-win situation that you may choose to enter.

Again, let me be clear, I know there are risks. There are risks when my wife and I doublehand my 41' boat inside and outside SF and we know what the outcome can be if we do something wrong or if an unforeseen accident happens. Do we wear tethers constantly to prevent one of us from going in? NO. Do we sail with the lee rail buried? Yep. We clip in if it looks rough outside SF but generally we don't; knowing that the loss of one of us overboard would make it incredibly difficult to recover by the other.

To be quite honest; if I were sailing in the CF or DHF (which I wanted to enter this year but was not prepped for), I would have followed those sailors in front of me thinking it was OK to take that line around SE Farallone. I might have wondered why it was being done in terms of being so close to the existing surf line, but I would not be concerned about a larger wave. But this is also a problem; when people new to the racing circuit adopt the poor seamanship practices of peers, and not thinking there is anything wrong with what everyone else has been doing. I think this is how a cultural problem with regard for sailing safety begins and is perpetuated.

It is the loss of LSC that got me thinking about the possibility of a large set; not prior knowledge that this problem existed at the SE Farallone NW Reef. Analysis of the area on charts and photos tells me that it has the potential to produce waves every bit as big as Mavericks, but before LSC I would not have seen it so clearly. So please don't get the notion that I am being any less critical of myself than I am of everyone else. It really bothers me that I would not see such a problem prior to this tragic, preventable event (aside from the issue with Bonita Channel and/or SF Bar); but I hope that I have the ability to learn something from it and apply the knowledge gained to the ability to see what the potential for a bad lee shore situation may be and when/where to stay very clear of crossable reefs.

 

KeelHaulin

Member
79
0
KH,

Which are the "7 boats that we know of"?? How do you know they were acting "irresponsibly"?? This is really important, all opinions expressed here aside. A lot of folks will want to interview them.. Who is it and how do you know?

It is absolutely critical to establish and document facts. Can you help with this?

BV
With regard to this question; I don't know specifically who was taking that tight line around SE Farallone; but in another thread (or maybe this one) I recall that No Strings posted that he knew of 6 other boats who sailed the inside line. Including LSC that makes seven boats total. I don't think NS is bullshitting anyone and I don't think he wants to call out the other six skippers directly. Neither do I. I'm sure it will be discussed with the USCG during their deeper investigation, and that is all that is needed. We don't need to 'name names' here; just recount the situation.

 

estarzinger

Super Anarchist
7,630
1,018
sailing really is about surviving in nature at it's most raw. We cannot remove all of the risk, nor would we want to. It's the difference between riding a thoroughbred and riding a dairy cow.

We will, however, make incremental changes that make it more challenging for that minority to kill themselves and their crews.
One of our challenges is that really the only way in our sport to build your skill and experience and judgement in dealing with harsh conditions is to actually experience harsh experience (hopefully progressively more harsh).

Virtual walls and wave limits are an 'obvious' reaction to this specific incident, but it would be a terrible unintended consequence if those were executed in a way that limited our sailors ability to gain experience and skill and judgement. We might reduce the already very low risk of this specific incident reoccurring while reducing their ability to deal with other situations they will surely face.

And in (proven in the grand prix world) such limits might progressively lead to lighter and less seaworthy vessels, fundamentally reducing the fleet safety when the unexpected happens.

We have to be very careful.

 

beauvrolyk

Super Anarchist
KH,

Which are the "7 boats that we know of"?? How do you know they were acting "irresponsibly"?? This is really important, all opinions expressed here aside. A lot of folks will want to interview them.. Who is it and how do you know?

It is absolutely critical to establish and document facts. Can you help with this?

BV
With regard to this question; I don't know specifically who was taking that tight line around SE Farallone; but in another thread (or maybe this one) I recall that No Strings posted that he knew of 6 other boats who sailed the inside line. Including LSC that makes seven boats total. I don't think NS is bullshitting anyone and I don't think he wants to call out the other six skippers directly. Neither do I. I'm sure it will be discussed with the USCG during their deeper investigation, and that is all that is needed. We don't need to 'name names' here; just recount the situation.
KH,

That's fine. I am pretty sure NS will, if he hasn't already, provide the names of the boats that he thought were "too close" to the folks who are to study the situation. Indeed, he may be one of them. I was jerking your chain a little because folks here will re-state or re-post something that someone else said without context, attribution of who said it and as if it were fact.

Until someone turns up some hard evidence like a first-person account or gps track, we don't really "know" most of the things that are shouted in forums like this as if they were gospel. As the out come of this wreck could include a perminent alteration of ocean racing where I live, if not elsewhere, in addition to the deaths, missing sailors and lost of the LSC that has already occurred, I'd like folks to be very careful with what they state as "fact". I do realize this is SA and this thread in particular was started by Bob precisely as a home for the yelling match that always breaks out on SA. But the folks who will make the ultimate decision are probably reading and thinking about what's being said, even if they never ever post here.

Beau

 

amolitor

Super Anarchist
1,446
0
Good god, now people are conflating absolute numbers of people killed doing one thing with absolute numbers of people killed doing another thing, without any regard for the populations involved.

Unless we happen to know that the number of people or working hours or something involved in golf course maintenance is in any way comparable to the same metric with respect to ocean racing, comparing the absolute numbers is meaningless.

I despair for my species, sometimes.

 

pogen

Super Anarchist
5,092
8
SF Bay
Until someone turns up some hard evidence like a first-person account or gps track, we don't really "know" most of the things that are shouted in forums like this as if they were gospel.
Thanks BV, this has been said multiple times before but that does not deter know-it-alls from converting their speculations into 'fact'.

The one 'fact' I am sure of is that as a result of this thread, I have a great many more fuckwits on my 'ignore' list than previously. B)

 

sailflat

Super Anarchist
1,084
2
Keel Slogging

You clearly don't know what the hell you are talking about.

And it is not up to you to decide what is risky for others.

If you are that risk adverse you clearly don't know what you are dong and shouldn't be making those decisions, you should stay in the bay. Enjoy your buoy racing.

Perhaps you should take RC boat racing in the club pool.

K38BOB said:
You're proving to me how little you know, or you have some agenda.

Very familiar with that line of breakers link That's been the whole point many have been trying to make. The whole area requires skill and seamanship, and you can't get into or out of the bay in 10 fathoms of water.

I'm also very close to the person who first recommended that the RC call the CG wrt to Daisy. I'm still waiting for your knowledge on that incident- how big was that wave?
You know, you might want to pick a photo that is on the CORRECT FUCKING YEAR to try and make a point about what the conditions were the day Daisy was lost CROSSING THE BAR. IT IS A WELL KNOWN FACT THAT THERE WERE LARGE CONDITIONS ON THAT DAY. MOST BOATS DECIDED TO SAIL THE SHIP CHANNEL TO AVOID THE KNOWN AND VISIBLE BREAKERS ON SF BAR. WHO FUCKING KNOWS OR CARES HOW LARGE THE WAVE WAS THAT TOOK OUT DAISY.

I know you can't go in or out in less than 10f. Even the ship channel which runs closer to 10f has risks. I also know that the RC told everyone pre-race that the conditions would be big and that it was everyone's personal choice whether to go out or not. I call BS on that. Either hold the race on a safe course or cancel the fucking thing. Don't send people out in a RACE BY THE CORUSE THAT YOU PLANNED AND APPROVED FOR SAFENESS OF CONDITIONS and tell skippers to 'do whatever you like but don't blame us if you and your crew die'.

MY AGENDA IS TO TELL ASSHATS LIKE YOU THAT YOU CANT TAKE RISKS THAT PLAINLY AND VISIBLY PUT THE LIVES OF YOUR CREW IN PERIL. IT STOPS HERE, WE IN THE COMMUNITY OF RESPONSIBLE SAILORS ARE NOT GOING TO PUT UP WITH THIS BULLSHIT ANYMORE.
 

beauvrolyk

Super Anarchist
All,

If I could make a "serious" suggestion that I think might help a lot with improving the safety of sailboat racing on our coast. I'm sorry if someone already suggested this, but a scan of the threads didn't show it.

It wouldn't be expensive nor difficult to require that all competitors turn in a GPS track of their course at the end of the race. It can be sent via mail from most GPSs that can be plugged into a computer and can be gathered by simply turning on an iPhone and letting it record the track, so I don't think that the "cost" or "inconvenience" would be too great. At times like this, it would provide a tremendous amount of useful information and even some "facts" that would aid those who are trying to figure out if there was what flyers call "Pilot Error" or if something else happened to LSC. Of course, to function in a sort of "flight recorder" manner it would need to be waterproof so it could be recovered from a boat like LSC, and my iPhone example might not work without a good plastic bag to keep the phone dry.

I, for one, would be happy to provide (at the least) a GPS track to the Organizing Authority on demand up to two weeks after a race. Then, I don't have to do anything unless they need the thing, other than turn the GPS on to record the track.

Obviously, anyone with a transmitting AIS can have their information recorded in that way, although the update rate is a bit slow to capture some of the details that would be useful in figuring out exactly where a boat like LSC really was just prior to landing on Maintop Island.

Thoughts?

Beau

 
A

Amati

Guest
The temptation to use GPS tracks to determine race results after the fact would be difficult to resist.

Is on course judging in closed course racing considered a failure?

These island races may be held off the shore, but are they offshore like California to Hawaii?

 

12345

Super Anarchist
2,793
36
Chicago
Anyone who sets foot on a boat and does not understand the potential risks involved with this sport we here on SA love is an idiot that should not be on a boat. We play in a world where small goofs can result in catastrophic problems and I as a sailor accept that as a chance I take when out on the water.

I do not want US Sailing, USCG, or any other governing body to get all up in new safety rules and regulations because of unfortunate accidents or outright failures by other sailors. Personal responsibility is a dying trait in this world resulting in more people like KH calling for more oversight. Sailing is a great place of freedom and responsibility one which I don't need you to ask for more intrusion into my life. Once a proper investigation is done into the LSC and the facts are laid bare then I will make a decision as to the proper course of action for my sailing.

Getting kind of tired of the arm chair QB/knee jerk rules and regulations that happen after these unfortunate, but not unexpected, occurances based on the medium we choose to play.

Whats next KH
213HEZ2WEdL.jpg
. <_<

 
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beauvrolyk

Super Anarchist
Amati,

John Craig, AC PRO, has been giving a little talk around town saying that now that GPS is so accurate the various protest discussion have moved along past "where were you and where were you going" to the rules and how they apply. Finding facts has improved tremendously. One could limit the delivery of GPS track to after a disaster, like the one we just had. Or, one could get with the program that the AC guys are using and stop trying to determine course, speed and distance from a set of naturally and/or interested witnesses.

Of course, there will be folks who don't actually want to have accurately reporting of where sailboats were and where they were going, even after a race. I won't get into the way that interacts with Rule 2 and 69. For that reason I suppose it's better to only ask for the tracks after a serious incident and then only for the use of those investigating that incident. I really doubt that any of the competitors in the CF race who were anywhere near LSC would object to providing their track - I know some of them and I can't image them doing so.

BV

 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
62,332
5,515
De Nile
Anyone else hear the NPR blurb this morning - with a quote from Jobson? Sounds like US Sailing is going to focus on the OAs and their policies/procedures to see if they align with "best practices". So nothing new there.

But the factual reporting was atrocious. 5 "Men" died, and they still haven't found the body of the captain…. sigh.

 
A

Amati

Guest
1...5, I understand and respect the personal responsibility argument, but seriously, would you be willing to sign a waiver rejecting any outside help or assistance during a race? Would you demand your crew sign the same waIver?

 
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A

Amati

Guest
Amati,

John Craig, AC PRO, has been giving a little talk around town saying that now that GPS is so accurate the various protest discussion have moved along past "where were you and where were you going" to the rules and how they apply. Finding facts has improved tremendously. One could limit the delivery of GPS track to after a disaster, like the one we just had. Or, one could get with the program that the AC guys are using and stop trying to determine course, speed and distance from a set of naturally and/or interested witnesses.

Of course, there will be folks who don't actually want to have accurately reporting of where sailboats were and where they were going, even after a race. I won't get into the way that interacts with Rule 2 and 69. For that reason I suppose it's better to only ask for the tracks after a serious incident and then only for the use of those investigating that incident. I really doubt that any of the competitors in the CF race who were anywhere near LSC would object to providing their track - I know some of them and I can't image them doing so.

BV
It's after the fact, Beau. Maybe it's because I was a lifeguard for many years. I didn't like hauling dead people out of the water. I considered part of my job was to get folks out of the way of danger. Most folks just don't know. At the very least, adequate, reasonable warning seems benign, even in a racing environment. Given what I'm reading about the short distance between being in the impact zone and being in the swell for LSC, a few more minutes of warning might have made a big difference, at the very least. As it was, the crew had a tiny bit of time to head towards the swell, albeit as it started to break. How much more time would have done the trick? Purity of endeavor is a siren song, but it takes a crew to tie the captain to the mast, and to untie him. Look at the Oddyssey as a an accident/ incident report. A cautionary tale. The slaughter of men.

 
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K38BOB

Super Anarchist
4,474
2
Bay Area
Amati,

John Craig, AC PRO, has been giving a little talk around town saying that now that GPS is so accurate the various protest discussion have moved along past "where were you and where were you going" to the rules and how they apply. Finding facts has improved tremendously. One could limit the delivery of GPS track to after a disaster, like the one we just had. Or, one could get with the program that the AC guys are using and stop trying to determine course, speed and distance from a set of naturally and/or interested witnesses.

Of course, there will be folks who don't actually want to have accurately reporting of where sailboats were and where they were going, even after a race. I won't get into the way that interacts with Rule 2 and 69. For that reason I suppose it's better to only ask for the tracks after a serious incident and then only for the use of those investigating that incident. I really doubt that any of the competitors in the CF race who were anywhere near LSC would object to providing their track - I know some of them and I can't image them doing so.

BV
This was one of those talks

BAMA has been downloading and replaying races for fun, analysis, entertainment, education and to promote race participation for a few years now Haven't needed to do the protest thing yet. My earlier suggestion on rule 2, 69 and sportsmanship protests could obviously benefit from such info when cross correlated to video, pics, visual observations

Instructions to download and send in tracks are in the link.

120414OYRAFarallon.JPG


 
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K38BOB

Super Anarchist
4,474
2
Bay Area
Amati,

John Craig, AC PRO, has been giving a little talk around town saying that now that GPS is so accurate the various protest discussion have moved along past "where were you and where were you going" to the rules and how they apply. Finding facts has improved tremendously. One could limit the delivery of GPS track to after a disaster, like the one we just had. Or, one could get with the program that the AC guys are using and stop trying to determine course, speed and distance from a set of naturally and/or interested witnesses.

Of course, there will be folks who don't actually want to have accurately reporting of where sailboats were and where they were going, even after a race. I won't get into the way that interacts with Rule 2 and 69. For that reason I suppose it's better to only ask for the tracks after a serious incident and then only for the use of those investigating that incident. I really doubt that any of the competitors in the CF race who were anywhere near LSC would object to providing their track - I know some of them and I can't image them doing so.

BV
It's after the fact, Beau. Maybe it's because I was a lifeguard for many years. I didn't like hauling dead people out of the water. I considered part of my job to get folks out of the way of danger. Most folks just don't know. At the very least, adequate, reasonable warning seems benign, even in a racing environment. Given what I'm reading about the short distance between being in the impact zone and being in the swell for LSC, a few more minutes of warning might have made a big difference, at the very least. As it was, the crew had a tiny bit of time to head towards the swell, albeit as it started to break. How much more time would have done the trick? Purity of endeavor is a siren song, but it takes a crew to tie the captain to the mast, and to untie him. Look at the Oddyssey as a an accident/ incident report. A cautionary tale. The slaughter of men.
You're assuming those inside didn't know what they were doing. I never did and don't assume that now.

 
A

Amati

Guest
They didn't know what they were were doing as far as the swell. They couldn't.

Based on your previous arguments, it's hard for me to believe that you buy into the line that since they knew what they were doing, what happened was what- Necessary? Good? OK? Inevitable? Hubris punished?

 

K38BOB

Super Anarchist
4,474
2
Bay Area
They didn't know what they were were doing as far as the swell. They couldn't.

Based on your previous arguments, it's hard for me to believe that you buy into the line that since they knew what they were doing, what happened was what- Necessary? Good? OK? Inevitable? Hubris punished?
Well some people have different levels of skill and knowledge and boat handling and risk taking. In college I observed that the some boats in a round robin would always be in the last 3 places- a great sailor consistently placed 2nd, 3rd in the same boats over a multi day regatta- went on to greatness in the sailing world and met a tragic end in gear failure on the bay. Super nice guy too

I think its believable that some are playing at that level knowing about outside breaks and timing their entrance to a gate after a big set flushes through or watching carefully and relying on a fast tack away.

I didn't ski down icy black diamonds or through the trees or throw myself off a cliff. Others can and do.

I do think those that went inside violated rule 2, 69 in the ultimate way (sadly, unfortunately). Putting stand offs in place is treating the symptom. I want to address the fundamental cause.

Education on conditions and risks should always be paramount. I certainly hope that all the insiders knew what they were risking/doing. It would be particularly tragic if someone who didn't was playing follow the leader.

And I still believe in Rule 4

 
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JustDroppingBy

Super Anarchist
1,547
0
You really can't start painting every boat with the same brush based on their tracks... unless it were a one design race and they all were rounding the island at essentially the same time.

What may very well have been fine an hour previously might have been marginal an hour later and could have been either safe again or downright crazy yet another hour later. And what might have worked for a bigger, faster, differently designed boat might not have worked for a smaller or otherwise dissimilar boat in similar conditions.

Don't presume that just because Boat A had a problem that Boat B would have as well, especially if Boat B did not have a problem.

As has been stated here and in written reports, more than one boat was sailing nearly the same track at the same time and it didn't result in all the boats having the same problem.

If you take the Ensenada case, we weren't there this year, but groups of boats are generally clustered together on the trip down the coast. We rarely have had an overnight where we didn't see numerous lights from other racing boats and have occasionally had to take avoiding action in relation to those racing boats. Without details or certainty, the current indication is that a collision with a large commercial vessel was the cause - and the boat was in the Cruz class so it could very well have already been motoring when it happened, so turning on the engine may not have been changing any circumstances, who knows?

Both are tragic circumstances that mar an otherwise perfect safety record (no fatalities) in completely different scenarios for the respective races. Attempting to lump them into a single group -- that of something overall being wrong with how races are run -- is ludicrous and only serves to give the nanny staters something to agitate for more regulation about than solving any real problems.

LSC - professional onboard, owner who had completed SAS seminar (still valid), raced offshore up here before, done a Pac Cup. Aegean - owner who had competed 7 times and twice won his class in the race. Neither of these boats in their respective environs was novice, should have been prepared and had at least a basic sense of how to get a boat around a race course without killing anyone repeatedly.

The similarities exist in that both boats were boats, with sails (though the Aegean maybe didn't have sails up if they did happen to be motoring). And were both in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. That's pretty much where it ends.

 
A

Amati

Guest
They didn't know what they were were doing as far as the swell. They couldn't.

Based on your previous arguments, it's hard for me to believe that you buy into the line that since they knew what they were doing, what happened was what- Necessary? Good? OK? Inevitable? Hubris punished?
Well some people have different levels of skill and knowledge and boat handling and risk taking. In college I observed that the some boats in a round robin would always be in the last 3 places- a great sailor consistently placed 2nd, 3rd in the same boats over a multi day regatta- went on to greatness in the sailing world and met a tragic end in gear failure on the bay. Super nice guy too

I think its believable that some are playing at that level knowing about outside breaks and timing their entrance to a gate after a big set flushes through or watching carefully and relying on a fast tack away.

I didn't ski down icy black diamonds or through the trees or throw myself off a cliff. Others can and do.

I do think those that went inside violated rule 2, 69 in the ultimate way (sadly, unfortunately). Putting stand offs in place is treating the symptom. I want to address the fundamental cause.

Education on conditions and risks should always be paramount. I certainly hope that all the insiders knew what they were risking/doing. It would be particularly tragic if someone who didn't was playing follow the leader.

And I still believe in Rule 4

+1

An old Finn sailor

 

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