sail boat race "permits" withheld in Frisco after "Low Speed Chase" deaths?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Squidly-Diddly, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/20...cean-boat-races-after-fatal-farallones-crash/

    Two views on this:

    1) why is the USCG (taxpayers) paying for this rich kids hobby?



    2) who is the USCG to determine what is a 'race'? Will this quickly degenerate into the USCG giving out tickets for sailboat version of "exhibition of speed" (they can't tell you what it is, but they know it when they see it) when they feel two boats sailing in more or less same direction are "racing"?
     
  2. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    For the same reason the taxpayers are 'paying for' commercial shipping, and for poor kids playing in dinghies. Because safety on the water is part of what the Coast Guard does....



    I didn't see anything in that article that even hinted the Coast Guard is trying to redefine what is and isn't a 'race.' It's pretty clear they're addressing traditional yacht races as defined by US Sailing, the body that governs them.
     
  3. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

  4. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    People died. The Coast Guard was correct to get involved and discipline the race committee. A race committee is responsible for protecting the safety of competitor. They do this by classifying sailing races into categories. http://www.sailing.org/specialregulations.php

    These categories define the scantlings of the boat, safety equipment and professionalism of the crew. Category 6 is an around the buoys beer can race for amateurs. Category 0 is full professional Volvo Ocean Race oceanic conditions. Obviously this race carried the wrong classification and sent armetur sailors into danger. I don't know the category of this particular race but obviously the crew and vessel was not up to the conditions. . .
     
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  6. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    Read the article, Michael. The vessel had a paid profession running the team. They weren't newbies. (one was, six weren't, and Alan was a Pro.) They ended up in the surf. Having said that, the entire article reads like a Keystone Cops episode. No one on the boat was clipped in at the time. No one even reacted to the situation by clipping in. I don't know what a race committee could do about a crew that gets caught in the surf (okay, you can mandate clearing waypoints that are out of harm's way, but then it isn't an "around the island race", is it); but the non-use of safety gear, which at least some of them were wearing, will doubtless be discussed. The author of the article argues that being clipped in is detrimental to racing in conditions where you need to be able to respond quickly. Aren't those pretty much the same conditions when the crew is at risk? I'm guessing that boat racing is the only endeavour that these particular folks do that requires a harness, and it is the lack of experience that causes them to find it a nuisance. If they'd used harnesses at work and in other sports and wore them throughout all training sails, I don't think the author would have found them to be a problem. The author also said that the first thing you would need to do to rescue a crewman overboard would be to unclip:rolleyes: So do recovery training while clipped in and (securely) place recovery aides with that in mind.
     
  7. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Michael, I disagree with your statement. It is the sea, everyone should be responsible for their own safety.
    No race committee can stop a tornado, or an imbecile with a suicidal behavior. Everyone should be prepared and well trained by their own choice and work.
    Racing, meaning sailing, is dangerous, and deadly. But we love it, and fortunately in the US they leave us alone to our passion.
    I hope we will not ends up like in Europe,where Bruxelles decide which boat is safe, which is not. Absurd bureaucratic attitude of greedy politicians.
    By the way Michael, I read often your posts, and I really enjoy them. You seams to be quite a knowledgeable sailor. And I miss your country for the food and the nice and friendly people I meet. :)
     
  8. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    This is not how yacht racing works. Race committees screen competitors and yachts for their events, then set a course which keeps these competitors clear of known dangers. Several times Ive sailed category 1 events whose start has been cancelled , postponed , due to aggressive approaching weather. This is an example of due diligence.

    If the race committee cant handle these tasks, then the US Coast Guard must intervene.

    I personally don't know the situation with the California accident, but I have raced yachts all over the world for the past 4 decades and always observe that race committees always CATAGORIZE their event , then carefully screen competitors and the race course.

    Sailing is and should be a self governing sport. When this self governing fails ,authority must step in to increase the professionalism of race organizers.

    I respect the Coast Gaurd for stepping in and reminding the race organizers that people died and that the situation must change.
     
  9. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    What nonsense. It was not like that at all. The RCD was demanded from manufacturers (especially American ones) who wanted one consistent set of construction standards to apply across the European Market, so they wouldn't have to build different models for different countries. It wasn't instigated by politicians, but by the marine industry and in response, the RCD is an 'equalization of trade' directive and places no constraint on how a boat might be used in either a leisure or race context once it is sold by the dealer.

    In addition, most of the 'safety' component in the RCD (around stability and seaworthiness) was done by adopting the work already underway by the RORC with its SSSN numbers. And by then, this methodology had already been adopted by the ORC as a worldwide method of matching races with suitable entrants. These requirements were laid out in the ORC Special Regulations to ensure there was some commonality in the way race boats should be equipped. The motivation for this was the Fastnet Race in 1979 and various Sydney Hobarts following that that showed significant short falls in the normal practices of the time.

    So for decades, any races sailed anywhere in the world under the auspices of the ISAF have exactly the same requirements placed on both the race committee and the entrants.

    What differs is the additional authority exercised by government agencies at a national level in different countries. Some European country's do this, some like the UK don't. In the USA, the USCG has always had the prerogative to be the final arbiter of who can race, when and where. Obviously they feel they have to act in San Franscisco for 'the public good'. Whether this 'final authority' is a good idea is for the citizens of the USA (and some other countries) to discuss with their governments. But don't make up 'foreign bogey men' to make you feel better about your domestic situation. Leave that sort of tactic to the likes of Fox News. It has no place on a here.
     
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  10. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    I was talking about boat, not general politic. so cool off. Don't tell me that you are not regulated by Bruxell.
    As for freedom of work for little yard and small design office, yes you are the Bogey man. It's not your fault personnaly, but it is a fact. Sorry if you don't see it.
     
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