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#34498 - 06/18/04 04:32 PM Re: What you ppl think about this? [Re: MauganN20]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,459
Keith Offline
veteran
Keith  Offline
veteran

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,459
Annapolis,MD
I was going to post the names of the sailors, but I've decided not to for now. Suffice to say that both of them are veterans. I consider both to be good friends and excellent sailors. Both have sailed the C-100 in good conditions and bad. The boat was an I-20.

The sailor crewing was injured, perhaps suffering permanent damage to his eye, only time will tell. So, one inaccuracy is that there was a minor injury. I don't believe the hypothermia claim, I do however believe the injured sailor was treated in a manner consistent with treating shock - blankets and such were appropriate. The skipper stayed on, even going back into the water to assist righting his boat with the Boat U.S. aid - just a little inconsistent with hypothermia.

The claim that the boat was capsized due to being overwhelmed by the large seas is a bit dramatic.

What happened, if I remember right from their story - After rounding Bloody Point, they stuffed the bows a couple of times, no problem. Then they stuffed and the skipper's foot came out of the foot strap. He did the usual tour of the front of the boat, then swung around the back to the other side. His trap line came unhooked and the dogbone shot toward the crew, hitting him in the face/eye. They capsized. I believe they righted the boat successfully, but ended up capsizing again after they got going. I think they righted this time too, but then the skipper got separated from the boat, the boat capsized (I believe it went turtle). The injured crew was having problems seeing, so there wasn't much he could do to help by himself, and that probably contributed to the final situation. It's at that point that the assisters came upon them.

I don't recall them saying that the CG was called, but two Boat U.S. boats ended up coming out - one took the injured sailor to land, while the other helped right the boat and tow it back to Galesville. The injured sailor ended up at one hospital, then was transferred to Hopkins because it was believed the injury was beyond the capabilities of the first hospital. Initial reports we got were of a shattered cheek bone and fractured orbital socket. In the end, there no broken bones at all, but he did suffer a injury to the eye itself, and only time will tell if sight will properly return to that eye. We're all pulling for a full recovery for our good friend and mentor.

I don't believe they were in risk of a fatality, they were well equipped and would have used the radio for help if they needed it. As it was, the boat that assisted them happened along at an opportune moment. That all having been said, it is serious to be separated from your boat in heavy weather, and shouldn't be treated lightly. But, as they were second around the lighthouses, other cats would soon be coming through that area and would have assisted.

As for the rescuers other statements about judgement and racing catamarans, well, I'd say those come from ignorance. I personally believe that the conditions were very tough, but not out of the acceptable range. Out of the 15 or so boats that registered, 7 finished (one was a DNF for not making the proper roundings). Of those that did not finish, some did not take the start, and some retired after experiencing the conditions near the West River. So, people did excercise judgement based on the conditions and what they felt confortable with. The boat designs in use have proven themselves in such conditions and worse. Had the eye injury not occured, I have no doubt that these guys would have been in the top of the finishing order on Saturday.

From our personal experience in the race, the conditions were rougher getting out of the mouth of the West River and around Thomas Point then they were after Bloody Point. We broke some stuff but our biggest realization was that it would be better after the lighthouses, and it was, for us at least.

That all having been said - I agree with Bill that a drogue is a good thing to have in conditions where the boat might blow away after capsize. I used to carry a righting bag on my 18 with just such a purpose as one of the reasons. We also encountered driving spray that made vision difficult - good protective eyewear is a must even if you don't need sunglasses. But eyewear that's also able to take a hit would be a great thing to have, and could have helped the injured sailor. It might also be prudent in heavy conditions to wear head protection - I never thought much about this before, but I'm giving it more thought. Tethers are worth considering.

As for the folks who assisted - many thanks, it was truly good that you came along and helped. Thanks again. But it's a shame that tone was taken in the article without true knowledge of the capabilities and preparation of the sailors involved. Badness can happen to all of us, and as sailors we all face the prospect of receiving aid in a bad situation. I'd stand by their decision to race on that day.

Even though I've told this story, I'll not claim that I speak for the sailors involved, they may have their own to add and may disagree wtih what I've said.

-- Have You Seen This? --
#34499 - 06/19/04 05:46 AM Re: What you ppl think about this? [Re: Keith]  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 39
Abstrait Offline
newbie
Abstrait  Offline
newbie

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 39
Wrightsville Beach, NC
Keith, you should mail this post in to the publication/site with perhaps the participants reviewing and/or adding material. I think it's worth the trouble and they might print it, surely a worthwhile follow-up with far more facts than the previous story, which focused on the 84 year old man and the tale of a "valiant rescue."

kh

#34500 - 06/19/04 09:13 AM Re: What you ppl think about this? [Re: Abstrait]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 248
SteveT Offline
enthusiast
SteveT  Offline
enthusiast

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 248
Colorado
Quote
Keith, you should mail this post in to the publication

ABSOLUTELY


I don't know this publication, but it has done a disservice to catamaran sailing and sailors. The editor has a responsibility to get this one right. I suspect that the guys on the I-20 were far more competent than the farmer on his way to a Singles on Sailboats gathering. His help was warrented, but his comments were ignorant, as was pointed out. Kieth, if you know the full story, and it sounds like you do, a call and/or a letter to the reporter and his editor is a good idea.



H-20 #896
#34501 - 06/20/04 10:00 PM Re: What you ppl think about this? [Re: Abstrait]  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 805
dacarls Offline
old hand
dacarls  Offline
old hand

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 805
Gainesville, FL 32607 USA
Just 2 more cents...Where was the chicken line? There is no good reason to take a ride round the forestay by stuffing the bow. A chicken line is easy to use, does not need to be a hawser, and is [color:"red"] not [/color] a mark of incompetence.


Dacarls:
A-class USA 196, USA 21, H18, H16
"Nothing that's any good works by itself. You got to make the damn thing work"- Thomas Edison
#34502 - 06/20/04 10:19 PM Re: What you ppl think about this? [Re: dacarls]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,459
Keith Offline
veteran
Keith  Offline
veteran

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,459
Annapolis,MD
Yes - I think some response to the editor is in order, we'll work out what's appropriate between the sailors themselves and CRAC.

If there were chicken lines, I don't believe they were in use. I do know the skip was using the footstraps.

We had chicken lines on our boat, but I honestly felt comfortable just using the footstraps myself in that area. Maybe that was a false sense of security...

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