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 Rough Day for American Magic
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Peregrine
Admiral

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Initially Posted - 01/17/2021 :  09:21:29  Show Profile  Visit Peregrine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A gust threw American Magic up in the air. Even though they righted the boat it was sinking.
Video of the event and trying to save the boat.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBUTJG3Hf_s


John Gisondi
Peregrine
#4762


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Edited by - Peregrine on 01/17/2021 09:22:35

Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 01/17/2021 :  09:45:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The organizers were well prepared. They got a high volume pump there before it sank, even though it was swamped. I saw an Etchells sink in about 30' while racing near Annapolis, and the boat was raised, cleaned and on the race course the next day. They anticipate this sort of occurrence at major events, because things go wrong when you're pushing equipment to the limits.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Peregrine
Admiral

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Response Posted - 01/17/2021 :  10:51:58  Show Profile  Visit Peregrine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Milby

The organizers were well prepared. They got a high volume pump there before it sank, even though it was swamped. I saw an Etchells sink in about 30' while racing near Annapolis, and the boat was raised, cleaned and on the race course the next day. They anticipate this sort of occurrence at major events, because things go wrong when you're pushing equipment to the limits.



They did a great job and American Magic was appreciative. But it did take them till 10:30 PM, their time, just to get the boat back to the yard.


John Gisondi
Peregrine
#4762


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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8603 Posts

Response Posted - 01/18/2021 :  12:20:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And to think everyone was assuming Magic was struggling because the air was too light--they'd be doing 4 kts sitting in the water while the other two would be going over the horizon at 30+ up on their foils... All Magic needed was some wind... Then along came the wind, and..... So what now??

More power to the Brits--they really turned it around. Can anybody figure out how to catch them in time?

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Derek Crawford
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 01/19/2021 :  07:46:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anyone know what caused the square hole in the bottom of the boat?
This is going to be a Series quandary for an ex-pat Brit...

Derek Crawford
Chief Measurer C25-250 2008
Previous owner of "This Side UP"
1981 C-25 TR/FK #2262 Used to have an '89 C22 #9483, "Downsized"
San Antonio, Texas
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 01/19/2021 :  08:16:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Derek Crawford

Anyone know what caused the square hole in the bottom of the boat?
This is going to be a Series quandary for an ex-pat Brit...

Just before the boat capsized, it briefly became airborne. It came down hard and stopped suddenly. Those hulls are made as light as possible to minimize their weight. I'd guess it popped a panel at the seams. Here's a video that shows it. At the end you'll see the boat rise well clear of the water and crash back down. Normally, the only parts of these boats that are in contact with the water are the foil(s) and the rudder. When the boat became airborne, you can see that even the leeward foil came out of the water, and very little, if any, of the very high aspect rudder was touching the water.

When I first saw the videos, I couldn't understand why they didn't ease the traveler and/or mainsheet, but these boats have running backstays, and, if the leeward backstay isn't fully eased, it will prevent the boom from freely swinging to leeward.

https://youtu.be/Q2iyVMMsO2k

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore

Edited by - Steve Milby on 01/19/2021 08:26:51
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 01/19/2021 :  10:41:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One of the slow motion analysis videos I watched last night did show that the leeward backstay had not been eased and the main sail did catch on it, preventing it from being let out.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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dmpilc
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Response Posted - 01/19/2021 :  10:49:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe in boats like these, and any boat for that matter, the main needs to be restricted in size, for safety reasons, so it will clear a tensioned backstay. In our C-22, with the large roach racing mains, with 2 full battens, that are allowed, we sometimes have one of the full battens snagging on the backstay. It's always annoying, but fairly easy to clear.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
8603 Posts

Response Posted - 01/19/2021 :  23:05:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think I saw evidence that the leeward running backstay was holding the mainsail leading up to the capsize--suggests to me a mistake in their last tack, not releasing the leeward runner. Not only does that prevent the sail from being eased, it would seem to "power up" the sail at exactly the wrong time.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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5502 Posts

Response Posted - 01/20/2021 :  08:22:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Stinkpotter

I think I saw evidence that the leeward running backstay was holding the mainsail leading up to the capsize--suggests to me a mistake in their last tack, not releasing the leeward runner. Not only does that prevent the sail from being eased, it would seem to "power up" the sail at exactly the wrong time.


When rounding a mark, most folks round it and then adjust their mainsail for the next heading, but, when you do that, there are a few seconds when the sail is out of trim and not drawing. In fact, during that period, neither the mainsail nor the jib is drawing. After rounding a mark, most people trim the jib first and then trim the mainsail. During that time, the boat loses speed, and sailboats take a long time to re-gain lost speed. A racer doesn't want either sail to be luffing anymore than absolutely necessary.

Immediately before rounding a mark, I always adjust the mainsail traveler for the new heading the boat will be on after the rounding. By doing so, the mainsail will start drawing as soon as you steer the boat onto the new heading. Thus, while you are tacking the jib, the mainsail will be driving the boat and preventing it from losing as much speed as it would lose if coasting with neither sail drawing.

There's another major benefit to doing it this way. When singlehanding the boat, re-trimming the mainsail for the next heading is a task that I can get done in advance of the rounding, so I won't have to do it after the rounding. It's more efficient in terms of the way you use your time and your motions.

Those boats are so fast that they are trimming their sails for a close reach even when sailing downwind, because, as boat speed increases, the apparent wind moves forward. Thus, unlike our conventional sailboats, there's ordinarily no reason for them to ease the boom far out to leeward. Accordingly, they would have eased the leeward backstay enough to allow that, but no more, because if they ease it too far, then they'll just have to bring it back in, which is an uneconomical use of their time and manpower. Also, there's some risk that a running backstay that is flying loosely in the wind might snag on the other boat's rigging if the two boats pass close by during the rounding.

When the sudden, unexpected gust struck (at least one person called it a microburst, but it might have just been an exceptionally strong gust), the leeward running backstay was not loose enough to permit the mainsail to be dumped enough to keep the boat on it's feet.

Thus, the only arguable mistake I see is that perhaps the crew member assigned to handling the running backstays should have been standing ready to release the leeward backstay in anticipation of an unexpected gust during the rounding.

I'm not inclined to call it a mistake, but rather an unexpected occurrence, because I had this same thing happen while racing my C&C35 singlehanded. I didn't see the gust coming and the boat was knocked down faster than I could react and release the mainsheet.

But, maybe I'm being too easy on them. Maybe we have a right to expect perfection from them at the epitome of the sport.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8603 Posts

Response Posted - 01/20/2021 :  22:18:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Magic survived the first "fly-away", and had a chance to head up to recover, but the leeward lower runner (to mid-mast) seems to have squashed that. It looks to me like a missed step in the mark rounding, or one they need to examine.

At the speeds they expect, the apparent wind is just a few degrees off the bow. Maybe the sudden slowdown moved the apparent wind much further aft, suddenly overpowering the sail that they couldn't release because of the stay. Or, they didn't want to release the main because, being in a virtual tie, they wanted to stay up on the foils at all costs... Or there was no time to even think about those things...

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 01/20/2021 22:38:31
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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5502 Posts

Response Posted - 01/21/2021 :  06:58:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For anyone who might be interested in learning about running backstays, here's a link to a very good article that explains them clearly in a few brief paragraphs. https://www.cruisingworld.com/how/backstays-future/

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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