sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup: Rod Davis reflects on the Oracle nosedive
America's Cup: Rod Davis reflects on the Oracle nosedive

'Getting close to the point of no return - Oracle Team USA capsize AC72 Oct 16, 2012'    Erik Simonson © www.pressure-drop.us    Click Here to view large photo

Double Olympic medalist and long time US and NZL America's Cup crew, skipper and coach, Rod Davis, reflects on on the work that’s gone into the rescue and recovery plan in the event of a capsize…people first then recover the boat

Coach Rod Davis blogs

At Emirates Team New Zealand we have spent a great deal of time studying the Oracle 72 capsize – pitch pole to be precise.

Rod Davis  Chris Cameron-ETNZ©  
Every team has a contingency plan in the event of a capsize and hopes it never has to use it.

The reality is that nothing can prepare crew for the real thing…. and when you are the first, as Oracle was last week, the problem is magnified many times.

Team plans are based on AC45 capsizes and recovery which have been adjusted for the bigger boats which are more difficult to recover. We learned an enormous amount from the Oracle recovery operation.

Here is the hypothesis for capsize and recovery when we launched our 72 back in July.

1. We may be dealing with injuries, possibly significant injuries, as well as the capsized boat. An AC72 is 14m wide and, when a crewman falls, and someone will fall, he will have a good chance to hitting something nasty on the way down. Wing, rigging, wheel, grinder pedestals – something hard.

2. Crew members will be separated from the boat. If there is enough wind to capsize the boat, there will be enough to blow it along on its side, faster than crew can swim.

3. Recover people and deal with injuries first, boat recovery second.

4. The plan for righting the boat is straight forward enough. Just like the 45 'righting' lines, ropes run under the forward beam and attach where the hull and beam meet, on both sides as you don’t know which tack you will be on when you roll her over.

Oracle Team USA capsize AC72 Oct 16, 2012 -  Erik Simonson_©_www.pressure-drop.us  
The 45s have taught us a lot about righting cats. For example, use a short towline to the righting line, 45 degrees from the high hull down to tow boat is about right. This will allow the hull in the water to dig in and trip the boat so it can be pulled up right. If the towline is too long, the cat will just skip over the water and never 'bite'.

Have strong tow/righting lines, we broke several at Newport, and when they break, they come flying back into the chase boat, so stay out of there, or you will join the injured list.

The quicker the boat is head to wind and righted the less the damage. A problem is two of our three chase boats can’t keep up with the cat in anything other than smooth water.

Top speed to our Protectors is 39 knots. That goes down to 25 knots in waves, for the simple reason crew can’t hang on. The cat is way faster than that, regardless of the sea state. The big chase boat can keep up, but it’s a wild ride.

The fact remains that the two other support boats could be 10 minutes away.

ORACLE Team USA AC 72 capsizes during training in San Francisco Bay and is pushed out of the bay by the tide current as the team try to salvage the platform. -  Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA©   Click Here to view large photo
Another tutorial from the 45: Communication is the big challenge. One person in charge, military style, not a 20 people jabbering away on what to do next. Comms to the boat should go through normal chase boat – race boat radios, if the race boat operator is not one of the injured.

One concern is the wing failing when it hits the water. Then the hull falls and lands upside down. People could be under the trampoline which would be roughly 25cm under water and the life jacket is pushing up making it very difficult to swim to the edge.

If you were thinking of taking for life jacket off to swim under water, remember to take off the helmet first…. The life jacket can’t go over a helmet.

Sailors have knives to cut their way though the trampoline allowing a direct escape to the surface. They also have individual air bottles to breathe while they get things together. They have trained with the air force on how to keep it all together and not panic. Apparently helicopters go upside down when they crash into the sea, so they boys trained in the air force pool to prepare.

On the tender, the one that can keep up, an experienced rescue diver is suited up.

What did we learn from the Oracle capsize?

Making a head count is difficult and takes time. Clearly you need to account for everyone and count twice so there is no mistake. First you need to know who and how many people are on board (we often have extras: sailmakers, wing designers, etc)

ORACLE Team USA AC 72 capsizes during training in San Francisco Bay and is pushed out of the bay by the tide current as the team try to salvage the platform. -  Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA©   Click Here to view large photo
Helmets are numbered but they are not sequential. Dean’s number is 14 and Dalt’s is 46. The boys will be scattered around, all dressed in black. It’s like counting rugby players but they are not all on the field, some are on the sidelines and in the stands. A buddy system will help but a head count will still take time.

When training we can’t take off downwind for 20 miles or there will be one chase boat on the seen. Six miles is ok as the legs for the America’s Cup are less than that.

Thankfully and miraculously there were no injuries with the Oracle capsize. To identify the injured, we use international hand signals. Hand on top of your head is 'I’m OK'. Hand up 'I need help.' Those who are OK are to swim into groups and wait there; the dry suit and life jacket means you won’t freeze or drown. Someone will pick you up.

The paramedic will assess injuries; depending on how many are hurt and how serious others are he might leave an injured man there while he attends to more urgent cases.

Once the people are under control the focus changes to the boat. Oracle’s wing survived the initial impact but the boat was sitting nose down, making it hard to right.

Somehow they got the boat on its side and attempted to right it. The Oracle chase boat and support teams are as good as any in the world, so it not a case of should have done this or that, it’s on-the-job training.

We think there is a window of about 10 minutes after a capsize when there’s a good chance to right the boat. After that chance of righting falls dramatically.

The wing will hold out the water for only so long. To add to the problem the down hull will start sinking. Oracle went partially nose down, as the water in the 'down' hull went to the bow. That makes it very hard to right.

Water tight bulkheads and flotation at the top of the wing will buy time, and extend the 'window'.

Plan A is to right the boat, plan B is the stabilize it and then tow to smooth water to asses our next move. The last option is the separate the wing and boat to bring them in separately. That sounds simple but if the boat is on its side, you can’t really get the wing off without the boat falling upside down.

No question it will be a mess, and you plan for the worst and hope for the best. Chain of command is all important, because there is one thing I am pretty sure of: we are going to see more 72s capsize.

Final word from Grant Dalton: I hope that Rod’s last sentence is wrong.


by Rod Davis

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=103149

11:52 AM Wed 24 Oct 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup
2011 Emirates Team New Zealand news

Related News Stories:

31 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Carlo Borlenghi aboard AC72 Emirates Team New Zealand
30 Oct 2012  Youth America's Cup - Best of the best will compete on the Bay
29 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Mental mistake leads to delay for Artemis racing
28 Oct 2012  America's Cup Uncovered: Episode 61 - Oracle Team USA AC72 Capsize
28 Oct 2012  Gladwell's Line: Oracle's options to get back into the Game
27 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ puts in another day on the water
27 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA - Repairs and Construction
27 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Breaking Down The Red Bull Youth Americas Cup
27 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Luna Rossa launched in Auckland + Video
26 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Images from Luna Rossa launch
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The 117 yachts in the Rolex Sydney Hobart will face an early test this year, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecasting a sharp 20 to 25 knot southerly change on Boxing Day afternoon not long after the start. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - There’s no doubt the returned soldiers aboard Spirit of Mateship and Southern Excellence II are the kind of blokes you want around if things went horribly wrong – and for that matter, you want them for the good stuff too – because they are top blokes. ... [more]  

Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series: This event, which kick starts the Caribbean race season, is proving to be a huge attraction for overseas entries with over 20 already signed and more than 50 boats expected overall. One of the biggest draws is the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race (21 January), a 60 nautical mile ocean race round the island. There are currently 14 established records in this race. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race: The challenges of racing as a duo, not just seeking to perform at the highest level over a period of 90 to 100 days but actually co-habiting in a small, confined space whilst also experiencing extremes of discomfort – wet, damp, tired, hot, cold, emotional and physical. Here Ken Way gives an insight into how he helps the relationship between the two skippers work. ... [more]  

Comanche’s owner, Jim Clark concedes that a Rolex Sydney Hobart isn’t the ideal first race for such a big, complex machine, but: 'I am married to an Australian, and I’ve seen the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart a number of times. ... [more]  

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta are proud to announce that Cruzan Rum and Presidente beer, distributed by Glazer’s Premier Distributors, LLC, will provide major sponsorship in support for the 2015 regatta. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Warwick Sherman never really wanted to do the Rolex Sydney Hobart, he’d done plenty of ocean racing, but bashing his way across Bass Strait to get to Tasmania just didn't grab him. Perversely, all that changed when he was diagnosed with cancer. ... [more]  

The second stage of the Soto 40 South American Tour is coming up next and will be held in Algarrobo, Chile from 24 - 31 January. More than eight yachts are expected to take part in the Chille Sailing Week, a competition noted for its level of competition and close racing, where success is characterized by consistency, precision and teamwork. ... [more]  

The Flying Dutchman, regarded as one of the finest and fastest one-design dinghy classes ever designed, will return to Sydney Harbour en masse when the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron conducts the Australian and World championships, starting next week. ... [more]  

The International Moth Class isn't exactly a new sailing class, yet the learning curve would have to be one of the steepest out there. Moths have been on foils for almost 10 years, yet besides talking to fellow moth sailors, there isn't a lot of information out there to help you master the skills and techniques needed to fly ... [more]  

America's Cup: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The Decision of the Court for Arbitration of Sport over the suspension of Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder has been circulated. The report, which was earlier reported in summary form as to the decision, confirms a 18month suspension on de Ridder, one of the Netherlands' top sailors ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Australia’s premier ocean race has always had an international flavour; Captain Illingworth, who started the whole Sydney Hobart thing was, after all, an Englishman. ... [more]  

An initiative by the SuperYacht Racing Association (SYRA) led to collaboration with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and ultimately the creation of a new superyacht handicapping rule - the ORC SuperYacht Rule (ORCsy). ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Ocean sailors are daft; why else would you think it a good idea to take a modern ocean racing yacht around the world on her own bottom to compete in lots and lots of races, some thousands of miles long? ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The island is off the NSW south coast, 155 nautical miles south of Sydney’s South Head and about 6 nm south-east of Narooma. Its lighthouse, built of granite quarried on the island, began operating in 1881. The island is a protected nature reserve. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Hundreds of Australian sailors spend their lives trying to win the Tattersall’s Cup; year after year they declare in Hobart that this was their last Rolex Sydney Hobart - definitely - for sure. But 12 months later you spot them again at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, tinkering with their pride and joy and nervously eying off Boxing Day ... [more]  

America's Cup: Lawsuit against Oracle Racing lodged in San Francisco *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
In further legal fallout from the 34th America's Cup one of the New Zealand sailors named in an action bought by the International Sailing Federation has in turn lodged a lawsuit in a California Court against his former racing team, Oracle Racing Inc over boat fixing in America's Cup World Series ... [more]  

Antigua Sailing Week 2015 by Antigua Sailing Week
If you haven't been to Antigua Sailing Week for some years Antigua Sailing Week have a quick overview for you of what has changed and what makes it worth the journey along with information on bareboat and race charters, multihulls and challenges for 2015. ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic Race: The three-man team on Sérénade was the final yacht to complete the inaugural race. Having spent over 18 days at sea, the crew were understandably tired but Denis Villotte, Alain Houchard and Pit Porta were smiling from ear to ear in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. A large welcoming party had gathered to greet them. ... [more]  

2017 J/80 World Championships: The Royal Southern Yacht Club (RSrnYC) has an active J/80 fleet and attracts many more of the class to its summer series of regattas run annually from May through to September, in addition to match racing J/80s in the annual Grade 2 Match Cup. ... [more]  

Spectacular fire on Sydney Harbour captured on video *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Sydney sailing sports photographer, Beth Morley was on Sydney Harbour, capturing images of the Friday night racing, when a luxury launch caught fire nearby. I was out photographing the Ransa Sailing yacht race this evening when I saw smoke coming from the back of a large cruise boat around the back of Sow and Pigs (reef) area towards Middle Head. ... [more]  

Clipper Round the World: The award is in recognition of the way he directed his crew during a dramatic man overboard rescue in the harsh northern Pacific Ocean last March. The Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship is an internationally renowned trophy awarded annually for an act of seamanship which significantly contributes to the safety of a yacht, or one or more individuals at sea. ... [more]  

OK Dinghy Worlds: Some sailors will even be in transit over the festive period, so thoughts of overindulgence will be a long way from their minds as they focus on the challenge ahead – overcoming the strong Australian team and preparing for the conditions on Port Phillip Bay. However, if the event is true to form - there will be overindulgence in competitive and fun racing. ... [more]  

The Decision of the Court for Arbitration of Sport over the suspension of Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder has been circulated. The report, which was earlier reported in summary form as to the decision, confirms a 18month suspension on de Ridder, one of the Netherlands' top sailors ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - With the early weather outlook for next week’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Race indicating it will be a sometimes torrid all-round test over the 628 nautical miles, the highly experienced crew of race record holder Wild Oats XI is feeling comfortable but not over-confident. ... [more]  

Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club, Huki Outrigger, and Hoven Vision present the 19th Annual Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge to be held in Mission Bay, San Diego, Ca. on January 24th, 2015. ... [more]  

Photographer Andrea Francolini was on the water to provided this gallery of images of Comanche. ... [more]  

Images from Mauritius as the Team Vestas Wind recovery crew prepare to depart for the Cargados Carajos Shoals, over 200nm away. The team have acquired some salvage equipment and will live aboard a chartered boat and attempt to float the boat over the reef and into the lagoon. ... [more]  

The skipper of Mapfre, Iker Martinez will leave the Campos managed Volvo Ocean Race entry for the third Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team cites a conflict between Martinez's Olympic commitments in the Nacra 17 and the Volvo Ocean Race, as the reason for the departure which the team says was a planned move. ... [more]  

Team Vestas Wind skipper Chris Nicholson (AUS) has flown back to a remote Indian Ocean reef to help oversee a complicated operation to retrieve his stranded boat after it was grounded there during Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race nearly three weeks ago. ... [more]  

The America's Cup Competitor Forum, comprising the six teams registered for the 2017 America’s Cup, has appointed Iain Murray as Regatta Director. The appointment was tipped a month ago in Sail-World.com. Under the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup, the appointment has to be approved by the majority of the competitors. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: The intention to enter the fleet of twelve Clipper 70s in the 71st edition has just been confirmed by Clipper Race organisers. The RSHYR will form part of the biennial Clipper Race series for a second time. The round-the-world fleet created much interest in 2013 as amateur sailors from over 40 different nationalities competed as part of their 40,000 mile circumnavigation. ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, then hear the replay below. This week's show is the 34th. Sailing news in sixty seconds-ish (2:46). Sail Sydney: Josh McKnight (Moth, 9:43), Tom Spithill (Moth, 12:45), Olivia Price & Eliza Solly (FX, 15:24) Tom Burton (Laser, 23:20) James Wierzbowski (Extreme 40's, 32:08) and much more ... [more]  

Pogo 40, Bingo completes RORC Transatlantic Race 2014
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 3 - On the Atoll *Feature
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Safety Requirements published
Int'l 14 World Championships - Defending champion expects tight racing
WWA Wake Park World Series - Daniel Grant and Aaron Gunn make history
US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards
Sailing World Cup Melbourne: Highlights video from Port Philip
Bart’s Bash raises huge total for international sailing charity
Optim'X (FRA) completes RORC Transatlantic Race 2014
Perpetual Loyal unveils 1120 square metre A2 for Rolex Sydney Hobart
ISAF SWC Melbourne – Girls’ Day Out *Feature
Website for the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna is launched
Great signed Limited Edition sailing books by Bob Fisher for Christmas
Clipper Race - Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to mentor young South African
IFDS Worlds 2014 New Video Memories - Halifax is just a click away!
McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds 2015 - Must see, seriously fun event
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 2 - On the Rocks *Feature
Successful St. Maarten Regatta Beach Clean-Up at Kim Sha Beach
US Sailing releases Rio 2016 Olympic Trials System
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Oldies return
Volvo Ocean Race sets up independent inquiry into Vestas Wind disaster   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel: sweet victory   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Apollo 7 touch down   
2014 OK Dinghy Worlds Preview one - Last but not least   
Melges 24 Christmas Sprint Series - Christmas comes early for Red Mist   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 8 - Superb podium finish for Realteam   
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson on the Team Vestas Wind disaster - 1 *Feature   
USA 4 Windsurfing campaign   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - One last modification to Wild Oats XI   
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 2 - Frosty, Hoonigan and Wilbo *Feature   
RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 - Big adventure comes to an end   
ISAF World Sailing Rankings – 15 December 2014   
Comanche; Supermaxi Showdown VIDEO   
Miami Star Winter Series - Commodores Cup Final day   
2014/15 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Jason Michas wins   
2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - Yacana crosses finish line   
2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Swiss team Alinghi wins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Images from Act 8 + Series' Highlights video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team - Leg Two review   
Extreme Sailing Series: Alinghi crowned 2014 and Sydney champions   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT