We all know offshore sailboat racing can be dangerous. But the southern Californian sailing community certainly is enduring some tragic times.
Last summer, it was four dead aboard Aegean during the Newport-Ensenada Race. And this past weekend a young father was killed during the Newport-San Diego Island Race, when the boat he was sailing on--James Gilmore's Uncontrollable Urge--apparently lost its rudder coming off a big wave, and eventually ended up wrecked in big surf.
Here's Latitude 38 with the details:
"The California sailing community has once again been thrown into mourning. San Diego's Craig Williams, 36, died this weekend during the Islands Race. Williams was crew aboard James Gilmore's San Diego-based Columbia Carbon 32 Uncontrollable Urge for the 130-mile race from Newport Harbor YC to San Diego YC, which leaves Catalina and San Clemente Islands to port. According to crew reports, the brand-new all-carbon boat had come off a particularly large wave when the rudder exploded, leaving the boat disabled.
Gilmore and crew — Mike Skillicorn, Doug Pajak, Craig Williams, Ryan Georgianna and Vince Valdes, theRacingUncontrollable Urgetragedynewportsan diegoshipwreck
We gathered ourselves up this morning and finished motoring the last ten miles or so down to La Paz. We’re trying to get some things checked off the boat list once and for all and have a long list of mostly minor things that we’re going to buckle down and finish up on this stop. The plan then was to head in to Marina de La Paz, but it seems that too many people have turned that marina into their permanent home for any short-timers to get in.
And ETNZ tactician Ray Davies talking about it, and saying little, here (though the footage is excellent):
The America's Cup teams have been in the desisgn phase, and will no doubt stay that way through September. But eventually they will have to race against other boats, which is why you see the teams going head-to-headRacingamerica's cupEmirates Team New ZealandLuna RossaOracleArtemis
I took the kids out for a dinghy ride around the bay this afternoon. We hadn’t been toddling along for more than five minutes before Ouest announced with some urgency, “I have to poop.” I raced back to the boat, threw her up on deck, and she stomped downstairs to the bathroom where Ali joined her and asked, “What’s going on?”
“I had to go poop. And papa turned the dinghy and went really fast. And Lolo’s hat fell in the water. And papa said, ‘Shoot.’ And papa turned around and got Lolo’s hat.”
“Papa said, ‘Shoot?’” Ali asked incredulously.
“Yeah, Papa said ‘oh shoot’” answered my sweet little girl.
I don’t know what happens some nights. We spent the day in water so calm we could clearly see the bottom at twenty-five feet. I went to bed at ten and only a slight breeze rippled the water. And by 11:30 the bowsprit was dipping into the waves as we bobbed up and down—over and over and over again. Ouest slept through it for a while but eventually the noise—combined with nearly catching air on every bounce—woke her up. Which is how I ended up sleeping on the floor the rest of the night. The two girls, snug as bugs, aside from the fact that Ali can’t sleep a wink in conditions like that.
Today was one of our beach days. Nothing was done all day really other than playing on the beach and in the water. In the water takes on a whole new meaning in this strange bay. From our boat it is a hundred yards or so to water that is just barely deep enough for the dinghy. From there the bay goes inland for what must be close to a mile—a mile of knee deep or less water.
Swimmers, surfers, and sailors worry about them. But science knows surprisingly little about where they go and what they do. That's why a research group called Ocearch is out putting sophisticated tracking tags on great white sharks.
Here's the latest tagging operation:
As you can see, the tagging procedure is a big deal, and not an easy experience for the shark. But the teamMiscellanygreat white sharkOcearch
We have a friend on another boat who is obsessed with "keeping the weight down". This isn't directed at any of the crew (luckily for him - you take your life in your hands with that kind of action,) but rather at the boat itself. Every few months, a sort of fever grabs Mr Light Boat, and he starts sorting through their possessions with a grim and critical eye.Categories: Cruisingbooks
Once upon a time ocean racing was going gangbusters. Every new boat seemed important, and the new boats kept on coming. In the 1970s, the racing yacht Imp was born in a sketch on a napkin at the bar at The San Francisco Yacht Club. No one could have imagined what was coming.Categories: RacingImpSan FranciscoCal Maritime
I HAVE ALWAYS been very attracted to junk rigs, first, I suppose, because they seem so very strange and archaic. As one early Western proponent, a British cruiser named Brian Platt, who sailed from Hong Kong to California under junk rig in the late 1950s, once wrote: "Nobody could have designed the Chinese Sail, if only for fear of being laughed at. A device so elaborate and clumsy in conception, yet so simple and handy in operation could only have evolved through trial and error."Categories: Boats and Gearsails and rigging
Let us call this the official start of my marathon training blog. And my marathon training in earnest. I tried doing this last year a bit, when I had the brazen idea of running a marathon in under three hours. Which I now realize is downright impossible unless I totally change my lifestyle to accommodate it. Which I do not really want to do. But that effort (both the training and the blog), quickly faded. Time to start over.Boats and GearriggingDynex Dux
There are many perks to being a billionaire. One of them, apparently, is that if you get a crazy-ass idea to build a replica of the Titanic you can, well, go ahead and build a replica of the Titanic. And that's exactly what Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer is doing (with launch slated for 2016):
The ship will largely recreate the design and decor of the fabled original, with some modifications to keep it in line with current safety rules and shipbuilding practices, and the addition of some modern comforts such as air conditioning, Palmer said at a press conference in New York.
The three passenger classes, however, will be prevented from mingling, as in 1912, Palmer said.
“I’m not too superstitious,” Palmer said when asked whether recreating a ship best known for sinking was tempting fate.
Palmer will not claim that Titanic 2 will be unsinkable, but he does say it will have adequate lifeboats. Ironically, however, the first plans for Titanic 2, and its lifeboats, didn't quite hit that mark:
No discussion of the Titanic II is complete without a mention of the lifeboats. The lack of adequate lifeboats on the original Titanic was a major contributor to the deaths of over 1,500 passengers. Unfortunately, as reported in the press, it appears that the new ship will not have adequate lifeboat capacity to meet the current Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) rules. Frankly, we think that this is carrying authenticity a bit too far.
As reported by the Daily Mail and elsewhere:
There will be capacity for 2,435 passengers and 900 crew. There will also be lifeboats that can carry 2,700 and a life rafts with an additional capacity of 800. The original Titanic had just 16 wooden lifeboats that accommodated 1,178 people, one third of the total capacity. Some 1,502 people died when it sank on April 15 1912.
So here is how the math works out. 2,435 passengers + 900 crew = 3,335 people. The advertised lifeboat and raft capacity is 2,700 + 800 = 3,500. The problem is that SOLAS regulations require that there are sufficient lifeboats and life rafts to accommodate 125% of the total number of people on board, which in this case would be 3,335 *1.25 = 4,169. So based on the press reports, the new ship would be 669 lifeboat/liferaft spaces short.
Oops. Well, that shortcoming is being rapidly rectified. And one presumes that the new Titanic will be able to avoid hitting any icebergs. That leaves us with a very cool project, that will give the modern public a taste of the extraordinary romance and appeal of the original ship.
The Daily Mail gets into it by comparing a series of artist renderings of the new ship with photographs from the original:
If Palmer is to be believed, lots of potential passengers are very excited. he claims that so far 40,000 peopleMiscellanyTitanicClive Palmercruise ship
SpeedDream is definitely worth following. But I wonder if there is a path to superfast that goes through foiling instead of the slim, wave-piercing, swing keel approach SpeedDream is chasing. Because this foiling businessBoats and GearSpeedDreamMurnikovTED