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Author: Pat Brown
Subject: Waiver for 12 inch stanchions & synthetic lifelines for oyra
Info: (869 views) Posted: Friday 2-3-17 04:01:30 PM
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:: 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.
::
:: Thanks!
::
:: 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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