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Farallon Tragedy: Key Questions

19. april 2012

Offentligtgjort af sailfeed.com

Farallon Tragedy: Key Questions

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This excellent news report has some insightful interviews with other racers about the central issue which will be examined as the post-tragedy investigation and analysis begins: was Low Speed Chase cutting too close to the Farallones?

It would be easy to just say "yes," and assume an obvious miscalculation was made. But that's rarely how things are at sea, esepcially in a race environment. Racing is all about calcuclated risk, and my gut so far (though there is still a lot to be learned) is that Low Speed Chase wasn't crazy-close, and in a place other boats have gone before, but had the bad luck to get hit with a particularly bad set of waves.

The other question that will inevitably be chewed over, is the question of tethers.That is always a judgment call, and the conditions were far from extreme. But a surprise set of very bad waves can make the fact that crew were not clipped in seem dumb, so there will be pressure (mostly from outside sailing) to look at requirments.

We'll see what an investigation of the facts turns up, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Farallon Race institutes some sort of limit mark to keep boats from getting too close as they round. I hope there are no efforts to demand tethering, but perhaps personal EPRIBs or locators for crew in the water is a direction to consider for any rough, cold-water racing. Given the terrible cost in human life, this thing will likely get ugly, with lawsuits and high-emotion recriminations.

Check out the ABC story and see what you think. It's also got some nice reporting on the crew that didn't make it.


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