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Author: JB
Subject: Part II CORINTHIAN RACE 2020, the hellish beat
Info: (168 views) Posted: Friday 6-12-20 08:37:35 PM
Regarding incident with rock grounded Olson 29 loosing steerage after trying to avoid second right of way vessel or potential collision.

Some thoughts for those who may be considering short handing, single handing and making race changes.

Very unfortunate and it sucks to have fiberglass jumping up and down on the rocks. Some of us have been there or on the giving or receiving end of a serious collision. I have not seen a pattern that would make it more or less prone across or within One Design, YRA, beer can or mixed classes like SSS.

My thoughts as a SH’er and DH’er coming from the competitive one design Express 27 class are as such:

The Racing Rules of Sailing are well thought out and refined over many years. I would like to adhere to the right of way rules and NOT make them conditional based upon crew size. I do not want to be treated differently, because I am single handing and I do not expect to receive any extra time or room.

Protest boats who violate the right of way rules and restrictions. I witness people who willingly or unknowingly do not follow the rules and/or fail to take penalty turns. Race committees should be matter of fact and procedural when protests are filed. Not discourage or encourage.

Racing has risks to fiberglass, health and life. SH’g increases that risk more so. There has and will continue to be contact/collision between boats, earth and boats. It will happen at the starting lines, rounding marks and off the course.

Single handing requires more conservative race strategies, tactics and boat handling. There are times to sail up to those limits and other times to give oneself extra cushion.

One design DH’ers… Personally, I prefer crossing tacks amongst them, because they tend to be better handled or have two people for lookout.

Seamanship before racing. Careful of lee shores. When it blows, I am no longer racing but rather in seamanship or survival mode. Expect to blow a tack especially on the city front or windy conditions. During Corinthians, I favored deep water & less tacks. It allowed me to go “downstairs” and boil some earl grey tea when clear of traffic.

Stay away from the crowd at the start. Delay hoisting your jib or keep it down for congested starts like 3 bridge fiasco.

Though you may have the right of way, this is not enough to prevent collisions or a reason be less vigilant. Do not press stand on rights. I recall Buddy Melges writing something like, “I try to avoid situations that will lead to protests.”

From a high level safety systems view, we are sailing with this “bill board” sail that leaves us with half of ONE eye when driving up wind. Pilots and drivers are taught to scan frequently. Scan after each tack and anticipate who will be trouble later. If you are wondering who is below, it’s time to visually check.

What is the end goal. First, to finish the race and place well later. Others, finish first even if it breaks the boat. We have different levels of comfort, physical and skill ability and preference. Single handing & Double Handing is not for everyone AND is for everyone. All should be welcome in a sport that is not growing.

More space and time can be had by going elsewhere. Yes, it may not be the shortest distance, but it will be manageable and you can watch the tacking battles from a distance.

Windows in all the head sails and main sails. Have them replaced when they get cloudy.

Get to know your SSS sailors and competitors. Wave hi or participate on the forum. It’s amazing how much nicer racing gets when it’s someone you know or because you know that person will be single handing.

In a blow and with time, use a whistle or horn to get attention. Verbal hails are difficult. Use the race VHF channel to hail boats by number or name when voice hails are difficult.

Training. Racing Rules training and single handing tips as it applies to racing. Let’s hear from more veterans and experts as well as the membership.

Insurance, don’t race without it. The other insurance company can pursue you if at fault.

Some changes to the race event for consideration…

A group vs. B group. The B group starts after the A group for less aggressive action.

Different course for SH, but my personal preference is to race with the One Design DH’d class. It’s more fun.

Maybe rolling starts like 3 bridge fiasco will help separate boats.

Start SH’ers a significantly later or earlier.

Other thoughts…

Encourage potential cross tackers give and receive either verbal or visual signals indicating “we see each other.”

There are rules and there is also kindness or consideration when crossing tacks. Don’t get too close to other boats who may not be as competitive. It can freak them out and cause them to alter course even as the stand on, right of way vessel. If you see a boat who is having challenges, do the right thing and give them extra room.

If involved in a collision, do not try to perform an onsite determination of who is at fault, take care of life, property and write down everything you remember and saw. Even yourself as a witness to your accident can be unreliable. The rest is for the protest committee and insurance company.

Carry the entry list to help identify witnesses or boats. Use cameras/videos to help with protests.

Know what the steps are to be carried away or hail for help. What does it cost? $150 salvage tow per linear foot was eye opening.

There have been a few points in time where I thought I would leave racing because of a bad incident. But, having seen David’s previous determination, perseverance and performance, I trust he will return with his fine Olson 29 and kicking butt.

Joe B. Archimedes

:: I then posted this on the SSS forum:

:: I have long enjoyed doing the SSS races. I do them
:: doublehanded, with the exception of the Vallejo I. I
:: admire singlehanders, but racing singlehanded is not my
:: cup of tea. I love racing my Express 27 double handed in
:: the SSS events. While racing these events it has been my
:: pleasure to modify my racing to accomodate those racing
:: singlehanded. I do not push the limits at mark roundings
:: or crossings with singlehanded boats. I take more then
:: my usual cautions to avoid confrontations and
:: collisions.

:: The SSS races are some of the best offered. They offer
:: interesting distance courses. They are priced fairly.
:: Lots of bang for the buck. It would be a great loss to
:: have the SSS close their racing to the E27 fleet. We can
:: modify our behavior on the race course and prevent that
:: loss.

:: My heart goes out to Dave Herrigel. I saw Hedgehog being
:: pounded on the rocks. It was a sight from a nightmare of
:: any boatowner. SDK

:: There is much discussion going on about this. Go to
:: sfbaysss.org then go to forum.

:: Look for Corinthian Race 2020 and Thread for discussion
:: of the sss doublehanded/singlehanded.

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