Chris Rast hits 32.2 Knots on a Moth...then crashes! Check out how far he ends up from the boat after pitching! We like at exactly 1:32 when you can see nothing but the sun, spray and his feet flying through he air. Send it!
The Columbia 32 Uncontrollable Urge has gone up on the rocks on San Clemente Island, and there is one confirmed dead and five rescued. Reports suggest that Uncontrollable Urge activated a DSC on their VHF, then refused Coast Guard assistance. They did, however ask for assistance from a salvage company, who could not launch an effort due to the rough sea conditions. Uncontrollable Urge made their initial distress call around 9:00pm, went into the surf after attempting to anchor at approximately 11:00pm. A Coast Guard Jayhawk, and a cutter were sent to the scene, and rescue and recoveries were made.
We'll update this as soon as we hear more. Our thoughts are with the families and survivors.
Here is a link to the rescue video from the fine folks in the US Coast Guard.
Today in Trade Only Today, a publication for Marine Professionals, there was an interesting article, including several lines from the Coast Guard transcripts, published about the Energy Team’s drama with Bay Area sailor Todd Tholke. Tholke, who towed Energy Team’s AC45 off of the rocky shore of Treasure Island after it broke free from its mooring, caused a stir amongst the Bay Area sailing community when he initiated a lawsuit asking to be compensated for up to $200,000. When the Energy Team’s AC45 broke free of its mooring in the wee hours of September 30, Tholke boarded his tiny Boston Whaler for the 3am salvage op.
There are several reports that have suggested that the mooring’s chain became entangled during low tide, on debris from the old City Front piers, which litters the bottom. As the tide rose, stresses on the tether from the mooring to the boat became too great and it snapped, freeing the AC45. Depending on the line sizes that were used for the tether, and assuming it was all affixed properly, the forces that broke the 45 free must have been tremendous.
They’re the guys that pluck your flailing arse out of the sometimes frigid water, after you try to pull of some heroic acrobatics around the forestay. They take a lot of abuse, not only physically when the conditions turn rough, but oftentimes from the very sailors that they’re trying to help. Let’s face it, if you crash and burn, especially if you’re a dude, emotions are high, adrenaline is flowing, the last thing that you want is another dude on a stink pot motoring over to you; it’s akin to asking directions, and on some primal level emasculating. In my experience, A Class sailors are generally…shall we say, quite particular with their boats. How’s that for politic speak? I’d be like that if I were sailing a $25,000, 165 pound carbon boat too.
When you’re looking like a drowned rat in all of your sailing gear, the tide is cranking, the breeze is howling, you’re separated from your boat, the fleet is coming down on you like a hive of angry bees, and you’ve just realized that your boat sails on its side faster than you can swim, these volunteers are there to scoop you out of harms way. Rarely is a regatta lucky enough to have a person aboard a safety boat that has actually sailed in the class. Knowing the particulars of how a boat is rigged, how it moves through the water, and having a personal connection to the sailors, can be invaluable when things go sideways. Literally.
Our friend Davi Ottenheimer was one of the first guys that we knew to sail in the A Class here in California. In the early 2000s Davi bought a Flyer from AHPC when Jim Boyer was still around, and all of the other cat sailors in town ogled the technology. Carbon is cool! Davi is currently in Islamorada at the 2012 A Cat Worlds volunteering as a safety boat driver, and I hope that after reading this sailors gain more appreciation for the volunteers on their racecourse. And since the races were called off today due to strong winds, if you’re currently in Islamorada, go buy every mark boat driver, safety boat driver, and regatta volunteer a rum for picking up all of your carbon litter.
I caught up with Davi just as he had gotten off the water after the big blow on the first day of racing. I could tell from his voice that he was beat, yet still adrenalized from all of the action. Live from a safety boat at the 2012 A Cat Worlds, meet my friend Davi.
How are you Davi?
I’m tired, exhausted and wet [Laughs]!
Tell me what happened out there on the water.