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Author: Lori Tewksbury ( contact the author
Subject: Waiver for 12 inch stanchions & synthetic lifelines for oyra
Info: (8136 views) Posted: Tuesday 1-24-17 08:13:33 PM
Hi fellow Express 27 owners & racers

I am petitioning OYRA to allow Express 27's to use our class legal 12" stanchions and synthetic lifelines (instead of the soon to be wire only requirement beginning this season). I am including the text of my letter below and would appreciate any/all who would like to add their name.


Lori (half of Hang Dear Andy Newell, This letter is intended to ask that the minimum equipment requirement for OYRA racing during the 2017 season be changed or that an exception be made for the Express 27 boats. Specifically, the taller (18) stanchions and wire lifelines should be changed so the Express 27 boats can use their standard, class-legal 12 stanchions and 18 bow and stern pulpit, and optional synthetic lifelines. This request is being made to address safety issues as described in the following. I am a relatively new Express 27 owner. My co-owner, Moni Blum, and I bought our Express (Hang 20) in October of 2015 and did the entire 2016 OYRA series doublehanded in addition to some other 40+ fleet and long distance races on the bay (crewed and doublehanded). While I am new to owning an Express 27, I am not new to racing both in the bay and offshore (my crewed offshore experience goes back 10 years). During the 2016 season, we followed the set OYRA minimum equipment list, that was to be in place for the next two years (2016 and 2017), and dutifully changed our stanchions to the taller 18 stanchions for ocean races and then back to the 12 stanchions for all other races. After a year of using both the 18 and 12 stanchions, we firmly believe that the 12 stanchions are safer for a smaller boat like the Express 27, especially offshore and doublehanded. The taller stanchions leave a bigger gap under the lifelines and thus increase the risk of slipping under them. There were several occasions while being offshore when one of us came close to going overboard due to the gap under the lifelines. Granted we were tethered in, but it was very scary nonetheless. Given that we have never had this experience with the 12 stanchions (as there is less space under the lifelines) we will be using the 12 stanchions during the doublehanded Farallones race on March 18 2017, through BAMA, because it is safer. In addition, the taller stanchions necessitate going forward more often to skirt the jibs, increasing the risk of an unsafe situation. Based on our experiences last year, we feel very strongly that the 12 stanchions with the standard 18 bow and stern pupits are safer for us when we race and entreat to either change the equipment requirements or to make an exception for the Express 27 boats. We started racing our boat with wire lifelines. After two months of intense racing they started to unravel and we replaced them with spectra. The spectra worked well, both crewed and double handed, and we were very vigilant to constantly check for chafing. Before the Express 27 Nationals in October of 2016, we replaced our spectra lifelines with WR2 (wire to rope replacement) synthetic lifelines, made of 100% dyneema double braid (SK-78 fiber), specifically designed to replace wire in lifelines and standing rigging and with a longer service life than wire. This is what is currently on the boat. While we can change back to wire, after our season doublehanding offshore, we are worried that if one of us got caught in the lifelines due to a broach, especially while doublehanded offshore, the ability to cut ourselves free, gives us sense of security and safety that the wire lifelines do not. Further, the WR2 synthetic lifelines are designed to replace wire lifelines and rigging and has a longer service life than wire. Finally, when the offshore equipment list that was updated and mandated last year and distributed, racers were promised the list would be in effect for two years. Now, one year later, changes are being made. For these reasons, we are asking that wire lifelines not be mandated for offshore racing. We are asking that the minimum equipment list be changed or an exception be made so that the Express 27 boats can race in the OYRA season with our class-legal 12 stanchions (with the 18 bow pulpit and stern pulpit) and the WR2 synthetic lifelines. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Both Moni and I love racing offshore doublehanded our Express 27. Sincerely, Lori Tewksbury Signing in support of this request are other Express 27 owners and racers: Name​​​​​​​​Boat

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