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VOR: Bring back the horses
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John Tormey
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Jan 4, 2006, 9:23 AM

Post #1 of 79 (164740 views)
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With two VOR entries out of Leg 2, and the rest of the fleet set out on the most perilous leg of the event, should the RC raise the Abandonment flag and figure out what else these boats need to survive?


Steve Gregory
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Jan 4, 2006, 10:05 AM

Post #2 of 79 (164722 views)
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Logistics, logistics, logistics. The VOR admin has been planning this race for years, with each leg's estimated finish time lining up with when the next leg starts. To change the sked now would be disasterous, with all the sponsor events, transportation arrangements, etc., already made. Can't take the train off the tracks.

Tell the remaining boats to center and lock their keels and proceed.


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Jan 4, 2006, 12:53 PM

Post #3 of 79 (164694 views)
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Why do I get the feeling that the bergs in the Southern Ocean are all licking their chops as the VOR fleet approaches.


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mike@catamarans.com

Jan 4, 2006, 1:37 PM

Post #4 of 79 (164684 views)
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This is what "Racing" is all about, you pays your money and takes your chances. Respect for the trying conditions required prudent skippers to back off during the third day. In almost every running of this race there have been structural failures in the Bows or rudders during the beginning of this leg.


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john_green@unitel.com.au

Jan 4, 2006, 5:10 PM

Post #5 of 79 (164658 views)
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I agree with magnus, enough is enough. the conditions met by these boats have not been exceptional, and the worst is still to come. I love the event, but any risk/benefit analysis ( which I hope the skippers are doing constantly!) would suggest that the risk of a major catastrophe is currently higher than the benefits of completion.


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david.irvine@iproductsgroup.com

Jan 4, 2006, 5:18 PM

Post #6 of 79 (164647 views)
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As with all yacht racing, the decision to compete lies with the skipper of each yacht.


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Jeffc@gen-probe.com

Jan 4, 2006, 5:42 PM

Post #7 of 79 (164630 views)
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This isn't Yacht racing anymore, either rename it to the VOR Demolition Derby or stop the carnage


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Jan 4, 2006, 5:44 PM

Post #8 of 79 (164628 views)
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The difference between this Volvo and its predecessors is the canting keel, which has proven problematic in the Sydney to Hobart last year and the Volvo this year (and who knows how many other problems elsewhere). Normal rules no longer apply, and with sponsorship money and "logistics" at stake, the decision of the skipper to race isn't quite as simple as during a local regatta around the buoys, or even for the pros in the Sydney to Hobart. Are downwind conditions in the Southern Hemisphere "easier" on the mechanism? I don't know, but if I were Volvo, I'd sure be asking Mr. Farr and the builders. Volvo's reputation is for safety, yet the design brief for the VO70 seems to have forgotten this prerequisite.


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skip@wayf.org.au

Jan 4, 2006, 6:24 PM

Post #9 of 79 (164615 views)
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Like any race - to finish first - first you have to finish. As the crews describe: the up wind sailing in 20 - 30kts and short sharp seas is brutal on the crews and boats. It is up to each skipper to decide at what speed he can safely sail his boat at to safely complete the course. Like any skipper that is a hard call to make and it would seem that some have got it wrong - as they have broken their boats.
It won't be long before they will be downwind in the southern ocean rolling off the waves and miles with spectaular speeds and vision coming of the boats - so let them continue.


Guest
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Jan 4, 2006, 6:33 PM

Post #10 of 79 (164608 views)
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like auto racing, carnage sells.
the skippers are no doubt all accutely aware of the dangers. and presumably, most have kids they want to see again. let them decide their own fate. if they all lose faith in the designers and builders (and if i was on a Farr boat i probably would by now) or if they get really scared, perhaps they will all call it quits together. a wildcat strike so to speak.
I wish them well. \


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Jan 4, 2006, 7:11 PM

Post #11 of 79 (164597 views)
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It's a little harsh to expect new technology of such an extent to be introduced and be perfect from day one. Sure there's been a alarming failure rate that wouldn't usually be expected for the bill the Farr office hands out for a design. But i'm sure they're going to learn a huge lesson about sefety factors + what goes and what breaks. Hopefully designs in the future will be better thought out. But till then.....

GO THE AMRO!


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gpeet@isconline.net

Jan 4, 2006, 9:22 PM

Post #12 of 79 (164562 views)
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The crews and skippers are able to evaluate and make a decision regarding the condition of their equipment. Each boat is designed from the same set of rules based on what each team feels are the type of conditions they will encounter. Let them go! after all it is a race! They know what is involved and safty is certainly on their mind. To use the F-1 or any racing anaolgy "This is racing!" "Shit Happens" to quote a bumper sticker that I see quite frequently. It is a new design rule and is definitely cutting edge. This is what sailing needs if it is going to grow with the younger generations. You need to push the envelope if you want to move ahead. I agree with a few of our fellow buttheads that maybe this is what the AC needs! Hooray for Phillipe!


Rhett Roback
**

Jan 4, 2006, 10:34 PM

Post #13 of 79 (164549 views)
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I'm worried for the crews of the races, but I'm worried as much as I'm worried when I read of any climber attempting any new feet on Everest ( or any other peak) or about Steve Fosset's solo flying around the world. These guys take chances, often very very dangerous, and for pretty much all of us, ridiculously stupid chances, but they choose to do it. These crews and skippers all know what they are dealing with, and are all wise enough to know when enough really is enough. They may push too hard, they make break, but that's their call. They need to hold themselves together, and the all will, one way or another.

Rhett


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wavedancerj29@aol.com

Jan 5, 2006, 12:16 AM

Post #14 of 79 (164537 views)
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[reply]With two VOR entries out of Leg 2, and the rest of the fleet set out on the most perilous leg of the event, should the RC raise the Abandonment flag and figure out what else these boats need to survive?[/reply] You must be joking. Granted, the Farr boats seem to be a bit on the tender side, but abandon? In 30 years of yacht racing, many of which as skipper, I always knew that the burden was on "me" to decide if it was safe to continue on the race course. In the event of a disaster, just as in past races the closest boat would be diverted to aid the strickened boat. If a skipper decides it is unsafe to continue, I would respect his decision to withdraw, but I sure don't respect the panty waste armchair whatever comments presented here.


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fploetz@san.rr.com

Jan 5, 2006, 1:12 AM

Post #15 of 79 (164522 views)
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[reply]
As in all races, the skipper is fully responsible for the safety of his boat and crew, and will put the necessary reefs in to slow the boat down to a safe level when he sees it necessary.
Some people will always push the limits in all sports, and hope for the best. it is not the duty of the race committee to cancel a race that has been sailed many times - with some losses.


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steiner@swisscarbon.com

Jan 5, 2006, 5:00 AM

Post #16 of 79 (164489 views)
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A great man admits his mistakes and makes tough decisions without short term financial considerations in mind.

So yes: Magnus Wheatlay is right. Stop the race and create a round the cans circuit. in every stopover. That's what their made for. As we've seen in Cape Town these boats are fantastic for the cans, but forget the Round the World Race. , Andy Steiner


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Jan 5, 2006, 5:15 AM

Post #17 of 79 (164484 views)
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Yes, the ultimate decision rests with the skippers. But in this case, there are a number of others who CAN make a decision to protect the lives of the crews. If they have that opportunity and fail to exercise it, then woe be unto them when the seemingly inevitable catastrophe occurs. If I were a member of the Board of Directors of Volvo, Ford, Disney or any other sponsor, I would be demanding intervention in order to protect my company from liability.


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Bill Spalding

Jan 5, 2006, 5:16 AM

Post #18 of 79 (164483 views)
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Skippers decision. On the other hand can the organizer have a candid private communication with each skipper on the boats. Allow the oppurtunity for "If it were up to me I would cancel this leg, but if you run it I will go" comment frm the skipper to guide the organizer.

Bill Spalding


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Concerned

Jan 5, 2006, 6:05 AM

Post #19 of 79 (164462 views)
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When these races where scored on an elapsed time format instead of points, the burden to build an indestructable boat was very high. When Tokio dropped her mast in 93-94, that ushered in the points format.

If we returned to an elapsed time format, more seaworthy boats would emerge.


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support@goVOR.com

Jan 5, 2006, 6:17 AM

Post #20 of 79 (164455 views)
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with the concept behind these technologically advanced yachts, it may be that they are under designed. However this is yacht racing, the crews (the best in the world) have the responsibility to get from A to B or even A to A if that is how they choose. But the choice will be made and we will see all safe and well again. For once could we not be critical but rather be in awe of what these boats can do and support and encourage those lucky enough to be out racing them. There is probably a very good reason why those criticising are not out there doing it themselves, they do not have the courage or the skill.


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aklein@thegrid.net

Jan 5, 2006, 6:49 AM

Post #21 of 79 (164444 views)
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The Volvo brand has represented family, safety, structural integrity and saving lives. The design of these boats and the construction seem to be the exact opposite of these principles. Why Volvo wants to continue a race that will result in loss of life represents machismo and stubborn stupidity that is beyond any rationale that I can comprehend. The fact that these boats can break this easily at lower wind speeds, does not bode well for being able to survive this leg even if they are running under bare poles... Andy Klein


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emmapaull@gmail.com

Jan 5, 2006, 7:00 AM

Post #22 of 79 (164439 views)
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They are fantastic boats but I think the teams have to learn that they can't push them as hard. If you look at any of the really big maxis with canting keels they don't take abuse very well - just watch the ones in the hobart. Yes you can sail them at max speed and get great results but not for a long time.
There is no way that Volvo or the individual sponsors can or should pull out but maybe Mr Bourke should be giving a prize to the skipper with the most sea sense and less breakages. That would take the pressure off the skippers to push the boats so hard.


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jocko4444@cox.net

Jan 5, 2006, 7:16 AM

Post #23 of 79 (164436 views)
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I voted "no" because I think the responsibility lies with each competitor to decide how much to push and what needs to be done to complete the leg. If they feel that would involve going back and getting "ready" then that is their decision. Why do they need to do more "preparation" than they already did?
They are very aware of the stress and dangers they are going to face and should act accordingly in order to get the best result for the boat and the crew.


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jdcarver@aol.com

Jan 5, 2006, 7:25 AM

Post #24 of 79 (164429 views)
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sailing those boats in those conditions is stupid and any truely accomplished skipper deserving of the respect these guys should be afforded needs to realize that and turn the hell around. I think after the disaster of the '79 fastnet someone asked ted turner if he was scared. His reply was something like "no because i knew my boat could handle it". I dont think anyone on those V70's can possibly be comfortable with what they are getting into


e30
*


Jan 5, 2006, 7:44 AM

Post #25 of 79 (164425 views)
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It is each persons choice to stay in the race or abandon it. Some of us do not smoke cigarettes, others do, some of us wear seatbelts, others hate them, it's our choice. No body is out there racing against thier will. They are pushing the limits of what we have known previously. Sailing and the boats we use will change because of this. If they want to get out and take the risk to advance the sport, then good on them!
1983 Ericson 30


ocs
*

Jan 5, 2006, 8:12 AM

Post #26 of 79 (164375 views)
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The boats simply aren't strong enough for the conditions. It is time to abandon the race.


Guest
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Jan 5, 2006, 8:23 AM

Post #27 of 79 (164371 views)
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Let them race!
Its not for us armchair experts to decide!

Poll the racers, I'll bet they want to race, and accept the risk. I would gladly trade out with any one of them who wanted to bail out!!!!!

Come on guys, with this Overprotective Mindset we would never have 'invented' Ocean Racing; back in the day we would have voted to not let them race accross oceans at all!!! Then they did not have Satellite communication, GPS, etc, etc.

The risk is an integral part of the race, it always has and always will.


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mike.walbolt@gmail.com

Jan 5, 2006, 8:24 AM

Post #28 of 79 (164370 views)
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STOP, STOP, don't go into that ocean with those boats!!!


Guest
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Jan 5, 2006, 8:56 AM

Post #29 of 79 (164360 views)
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No Let them run. Then sue the heck out of designers, equipment manufacturers, sponsors and skippers. It's the American way to regulate responsibility elsewhere.


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mick.christensen@hp.com

Jan 5, 2006, 9:57 AM

Post #30 of 79 (164334 views)
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I voted not to recall, however, for the race organizers to not have a 'chase boat' with adequate rescue and medical capability is ridiculous. Using the F1 analogy, do you think a F1 event would start without ambulances, trackside medical, cranes to remove damaged cars and the merc-doctor car following the first lap? Paying so little heed to a dangerous race venue is simply derelict. I am beginning to think that Volvo has made a grave error to sponsor this event (no pun intended).


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rjlewy@cox.net

Jan 5, 2006, 10:16 AM

Post #31 of 79 (164326 views)
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I don't think that canting keels should be allowed on yachts that race 'round the world. As a matter of fact, the VOR 70'S should have fixed keels, full galley with oven and freezer and full head with showers. Remember when Sir Peter Blake won all 6 legs of the Whitbread? Steinlager was a real yacht and it could sail 5 more 'round the world races without breaking. The VOR Open 70's aren't fit for the task at hand and are only a disaster waiting to happen.


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townsend03@earthlink.net

Jan 5, 2006, 10:23 AM

Post #32 of 79 (164325 views)
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It is the responsibility of the skipper and the
skipper alone to decide whether to continue racing or not. It can be no other way, in ocean racing. Cayard, for example, is in no way bound by any other constraint other than his need for glory and recognition and possibly money. In this race he will be constantly weighing his crew's safety against this need. They are all pros and know full well what is going on. It is the nature of competition that they are engaged in.

Furthermore, Bruce Farr's organization has been designing boats since the late '70s, and for the last 5 Volvo/Whitbread races (at least). From Discd'or (sp?) on...

For what it's worth, I do not consider any sailboat that uses an engine to cant it's keel a legitimate racing sailboat. Money of course overrides this notion, but adding horsepower with the engine represents the antithesis of the corinthian spirit. Make the crews grind the keel manually and see if some of the systems come back to sensibility.

Andrew Vare
San Francisco


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steveboothe21@hotmail.com

Jan 5, 2006, 11:15 AM

Post #33 of 79 (164303 views)
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The race has started, the participants are being paid, millions of viewers want the race to continue; some want it to end. There will be trajedy. We can't put seat-belts on everyone and expect safety to rain supreme. People take chances so future generations of racers and their equipment can be safer. If we stayed on a lake and raced El Toros we would never advance our sport. People and boats taking chances advance our sport and ulltimately make it safer and more exciting. I say "carpe diem"!


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pjjacobs@itol.com

Jan 5, 2006, 11:45 AM

Post #34 of 79 (164291 views)
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As this (V-70) is a "one-design" race there is no need for the boats to be 'ultra-light bleeding-edge race-till-she-blows' machines. The round the world format of the race continues to be a danger not only to the boats and crews, but also to the rescue personnel who have to reach out into the southern ocean trying to save them. The V-70 should be refined as a strong, seaworthy class that can be safely raced in the conditions expected in the round the world course. There is no need for people to die, it's already been done, enough.


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solosailor@hotmail.com

Jan 5, 2006, 12:05 PM

Post #35 of 79 (164282 views)
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The race will go on. The race however is no longer an around the world race but a series of legs that half the fleet will not complete all legs.

If this race survives this disaster will there be another in 4 years? By then the 70,s will be more reliable.

A race should be scored on time not points.


Mad Mel
*

Jan 5, 2006, 12:33 PM

Post #36 of 79 (164274 views)
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These guys are the best of the best and many have raced around the world before and know what to expect (I couldn't do it as I don't need that much of an adrenlin rush). Sailors have raced in these waters for centuries bringing back spices, teas and furs to their corporate sponsors with much more tragic and fatal results - it was their jobs. Let these guys go - they seem to like it!


sailstoo
***

Jan 5, 2006, 3:18 PM

Post #37 of 79 (164239 views)
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If I were a Volvo Brand Manager I wouldn't want my brand associated with what could become an international rescue effort. There's a certain irony here in that Volvo's reputation is largely predicated on "Safety" and the Farr V-70's are proving anything but. Crazy





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jgwalker@jgwalker.com

Jan 5, 2006, 3:54 PM

Post #38 of 79 (164230 views)
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Come on, guys get a grip. This is ocean racing, not Mrs Pattycake and her sisters' muffin cooking class. The WRTWR & VOR have always been about man, boat and ocean, risk of life and limb and the skippers' and crews' choice to continue or not.

Anyone remember Bernie Hosking, Paul Waterhouse and Dominique Guillet? Thought not. They were the three guys lost overboard in the first Whitbread in 1973. Did Whitbread abandon their sponsosrhip? No way.

Recalling the race now for any reason whatever will just play into the hands of the armchair whiners, permanently discredit the sport, and kiss off the sponsors. It might even result in a global ban on ocean racing for everyone.

The horses have left the barn.


Cuts
*

Jan 5, 2006, 4:24 PM

Post #39 of 79 (164222 views)
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If Bourkey is really worried he could put a waypoint like Amsterdam Island in to keep the boats away from the worst of the Southern Ocean - it does not address the issues of the keels but it would help keep them safe. I am sure MovieStar would be happy with that solution & Capey's track.


Mummy
****

Jan 5, 2006, 4:59 PM

Post #40 of 79 (164213 views)
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Uhhhh, they did put waypoints in! The ice is particularly bad this year so the waypoints are rather far north.

What a bunch of pussies some of you people are. This is SUPPOSED to be cutting edge, else what's the point?

Go VOR!!!!!!


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