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

Rolex Sydney to Hobart: Replay video coverage on Sail-World *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Replay of the start of the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race. The fleet is expected to experience fresh to strong headwinds for the start and first 24 hours, although winds will moderate towards the end of this period. ... [more]  

Will Comanche take a scalp? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
After blasting off the startline earlier today, Jim Clark's Comanche continues to hold the lead in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart race eight hours into the race. ... [more]  

A stiff southerly is testing the boats and sailors on the first afternoon of the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart and by late afternoon, four yachts had retired from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual race. The first casualties of the race were Tina of Melbourne, forced out because of hull damage and Bear Necessity with a damaged rudder, just two hours into the race. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: The 117 competing yachts, including five 100-foot Maxis, represents the race’s largest number of starters since 1994. Of the five Maxis, Jim Clark’s Comanche (USA) made the early gains in the race’s 70th edition, reaching the first mark in record time and setting a blistering pace. Seven-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI was in close pursuit. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: A memorable edition of the 628-nm race appears certain, with the contest between the fleet’s five Maxi yachts living up to the pre-race hype. At 8:00pm local time, Comanche leads seven-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI by one nautical mile, with Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal and Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100 just a few miles behind the leading duo. ... [more]  

Top international photographers, Carlo Borlenghi and Daniel Forster were on the water, and in the air, for the start of the 70th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Here is a selection of their images of the day. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Start photos by Andrea Francolini. ... [more]  

Comanche skipper Ken Read was in fine form in this video interview. He says On the first night, will there will be too much upwind to be able to send it? It absolutey plays on my mind as the skipper this boat is untested. We’re completely cutting edge, and when it's cutting edge it’s a Formula 1 race car that blows up its engine on the first lap. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Brad Kellett, Brindabella’s sailing master, reported that while he was doing his regular checks this evening he discovered larger than normal quantities of water in the bottom of the boat, found to be coming from damaged rudder bearings. 'We were just coming into our own after a risky tactical decision to go offshore paid off,' a disappointed Kellett said. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Day 1 start images by photographer Carlo Borlenghi ... [more]  

One of the largest fleets in many years started the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race today in a building southerly and in bright sunshine. There seemed to be some mind games going on amongst the super maxis during the pre race dry runs as each in turn put in a single reef in the 30 minutes before the start. Possibly there was some tossing of the coin as to whether it was ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Tony Cable just keeps going on. Last year he finished his 48th Sydney Hobart, setting a record for the number of races by an individual - this year it is number 49 - 49 not out, just one off the half ton! ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Designed for fast broad reaching, the 15 knot plus south-easterly breeze on the harbour was made to order for the big red and black hulled yacht owned by American Jim Clark and his Australian wife, Kristy. After a brilliant start slightly ahead and to leeward of Wild Oats XI, Comanche swiftly unfurled her giant spinnaker and took off, quickly ‘rolling the Oats’. ... [more]  

America’s Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill could well be the most overqualified grinder you’ll see in action in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart start line today. 'He’s been a wonderful team player and literally in the pre-start you’re going to see him grinding, he said he’d do whatever it takes, and he’s lived up to that,' Comanche skipper Ken Read said. ... [more]  

Expect a spectacular and very fast start down Sydney Harbour in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this year. At the final briefing for crews at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this morning, the Bureau of Meteorology’s Andrew Treloar told the sailors that a southerly front is expected to move through Sydney about an hour before race start. ... [more]  

Chicken pies, the gooseneck and the voodoo stick were the last items to be ticked off today in Wild Oats XI’s preparation for a record-breaking bid in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race, which starts on Sydney Harbour at 1pm tomorrow. ... [more]  

The 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart coverage will go live at 0800 AEST with interviews, but will play the promo until then. ... [more]  

In the media scrum for interviews with the skippers and owners of the five super maxis that followed a short press conference at the CYCA on Christmas Eve, anyone from outside the yachting scene might not have noticed one of the world’s finest sailors and circumnavigators standing quietly to one side chatting with Iain Murray and Steve Jarvin ... [more]  

America’s Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill could well be the most overqualified grinder you’ll see in action in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart start line today. 'He’s been a wonderful team player and literally in the pre-start you’re going to see him grinding, he said he’d do whatever it takes, and he’s lived up to that,' Comanche skipper Ken Read said. ... [more]  

When most would have been sitting down for Christmas lunch the Wild Oats XI team were to be seen out on Sydney Harbour testing their new - and appropriately named - gooseneck, that replaces the one that failed when out training earlier in the week. In a puffy nor'easter Wild Oats XI headed to Manly on the wind, swung around close to the Manly East mark and headed back down the harbour for home. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - The Weather Gate *Feature by John Curnow and Rob Kothe, Sydney
In order to win this iconic ocean race,on handicap, there are three things you absolutely need to have accomplished. Two you can do something about, whereas the third is entirely out of your control. ... [more]  

For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature by Brendan Maxwell
Santa’s elves started on January 7th 2014 building a set of shiny new Sail-World.com websites and just minutes before Christmas morning in one of Santa’s first touch downs Auckland New Zealand , TetraMedia General Manager Jedda Murphy flicked the switch on the dedicated TetraMeda servers in Frankfurt Germany to take almost all our world-wide audience to the new Sail-World sites. ... [more]  

Professor Pat Pending had the most amazing Convert-a-Car in the 60s cartoon series, the Wacky Races. It could do just about anything. Come Boxing Day and the start of the 70th Sydney-Hobart, some may well wish they had a Convert-a-Boat. Being a hundred feet at the start would be cool. You get away off your own line and in clear breeze. You’re also well inside the rulebook. ... [more]  

Few Americans have won more sailboat races than Ken Read, 53, the President of North Sails . Read is skipper of Comanche, Jim and Kristy Clark’s new 100-fooer, one of five that will be lining up on the startline of the Sydney to Hobart. I caught up with Read some 48 hours before the start to get his pulse on the race, Comanche, and the adventure that lies ahead, en route to Hobart. ... [more]  

The skippers of the five 100 foot super maxis battling for Line Honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race speak about the boats, the weather and their expectations. ... [more]  

For sure Christmas is upon the 16 skippers of the Barcelona World Race, but the way they enjoy it or deal with it will be different from team to team, and skipper to skipper. But for everyone the thoughts of the 31st December start, and what lies ahead for the coming three months, are impossible to suppress. Even on Christmas Day. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovery video *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Three and a half minute video of the Team Vestas Wind recovery operation from the reef at St Brandon. The Volvo Ocean Racer struck the reef on November 29, just after nightfall breaking off both rudders, she also ;ost a considerable part of her stern section. ... [more]  

The magnitude of this 70th edition is reflected in the size of the international fleet: the forecast 117 race entrants, comprising yachts from seven different countries, represents the most sizeable Rolex Sydney Hobart depart since 1994. 'This year is both the 70th edition of the race and the 70th anniversary of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia,' explains John Cameron. ... [more]  

The lightest of the supermaxi's Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin 100 suffered a major structural deck failure in pre-Hobart training. Sailing master David Witt explains in his usual laconic manner just what happened. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Sydney Hobart yacht race record holder, Wild Oats XI, is the centre of an intense repair effort on the eve of the big race after suffering damage during her most recent training run. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race images are provided by Photographer Carlo Borlenghi. ... [more]  

Images of five faces behind the 100ft super maxis taking part in the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart provided by Photographer Andrea Francolini. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Sailors in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart should watch what they eat on Christmas day or they may well watch Christmas dinner all over again on Boxing Day. ... [more]  

Comanche Designers talk before Sydney Hobart
Olympic Sailing Waters - Rio de Janeiro
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - To Hobart in Style
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: Ken Read's notes on Comanche
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Rio 100 - A supermaxi is reborn + Video *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Video of Team Vestas Wind being removed from reef
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!
Entries open for 2015 ORC Championship events
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Levelling the playing field
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race video preview
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - It's a Woman’s world too
Moth Worlds – Looping the loop *Feature
Miami Winter Series - M32 racing gets underway
Rio 2016 - Super-bugs found in Rio sailing waters
Building the bridge from Optimist to Laser and beyond – with Byte C1 *Feature
Kieler Woche - Notices of Race published – entry systems are now open
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from December 22 show
RORC Transatlantic 2014 Race Lanzarote-Grenada - Overall report
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind images from the reef recovery
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovered from reef   
RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 - Prizegiving   
Qingdao to continue as Asian ISAF Sailing World Cup venue   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Will it be Bash and Crash?   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: USA's RIO 100 trains off Sydney Heads   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Weather early Xmas gift for small yachts   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Hollywood focused on victory   
Soldiering on in the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race   
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series - Count down to Caribbean opener   
Barcelona World Race 2014-15 - The mental game + Videos   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Jim Clark's thoughts on Comanche's maiden race *Feature   
St Thomas International Regatta announce sponsors   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Salt water therapy   
Soto 40 South American Tour - Coming soon   
Flying Dutchman Worlds on Sydney Harbour   
Moth Tutorials - Presented by Nathan Outteridge   
America's Cup: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault *Feature   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – One race many nations   
ORC announces new ORCsy rule for superyachts   
Rob and Scarlet’s big adventure before Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT