Horror in Paradise...behind a race tragedy, the lessons...Name Australia's baby white whale and win...biobags for a clean ocean...avoid that sinking feeling with a bung hole reminder...and much more...

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 20 Oct 2011

The fatal yacht that flipped and didn't come back

WingNuts  Event Media
We cruising sailors often don't take notice of what's going on in the racing world, but sometimes there are lessons to be learnt, this time from way over in the USA's midwest.

Looking at the pictures of WingNuts in which two crew died in the Chicago Yacht Club race to Mackninac (see story below) one can't help thinking that, intuitively, this boat would not right itself if it tipped over – yet it passed the required ORR (Offshore Racing Rule) measurement. U.S. Sailing is to make recommendations at the end of this month after three months of research, and the results will be just as relevant for the cruising sailor as for the racer - not only about righting moments, but also about tethers and self-inflating life jackets.

An avalanche of other news both on the Australian scene and internationally: In success stories, Sail-World's publishers Tetra-Media top the list as we are reporting growing sales while print media continues to struggle; and Try Boating Day in New South Wales is judged a great success. Over in Western Australia Port Coogee waterways are now open for business, and the country kids of WA have taken up sailing in a big way this year.

Am I imagining it or are the oceans getting more dangerous? We all know that the western Indian Ocean should be a no-go for yachts these days, but just this week the remains of a cruising sailor were found in a camp fire in the Marquesas in French Polynesia, and five scientists are thought to have been the victims of pirates in the seas north of New Guinea. Then there's the debris in the North Pacific that came from the Japanese tsunami earlier this year. It's a real hazard for those wanting to cross the Pacific Ocean in small yachts.

For the rest it's a great pot pourri of contrasting news. Read what the polluting of New Zealand's Bay of Plenty with 350 tonnes of oil from a ship is doing to the local wild life, and another kind of wildlife - sharks - are making their presence felt in South East Queensland - no diving off the boat please.

There are some practical stories too - biobags and drain-hole bung reminders, and some quirky titbits – the true tale of the mother who sent her son to jail because he used the yacht without asking!

Browse down the headlines and find what catches your attention, and...

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Horror in Paradise - suspected murder of cruising sailor
Nancy Knudsen, BW Media,
When German cruising sailor 40-year-old Stefan Ramin disappeared in suspicious circumstances in Nuka Hiva in the Marquesas and some remains thought to be his were found in a camp fire, it was easy leap for the international press to cry 'Cannibal'**! After all, history tells us that the ancestors of today's easy going and peaceful Polynesians in the islands of the Marquesas were once cannibals... [more]
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Indian Coastguard rescues Australian yacht
Nancy Knudsen,
First reports from India indicate that the yacht Dish Dash had been sailing for four days after an electrical breakdown before it notified the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination centre in Kuala Lumpur that help was needed.... [more]
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Hazard warning for yachts in the Pacific - debris from Japan's tsunami
Our Amazing Planet/Sail-World,
Cruising sailors crossing the Pacific Ocean, particularly the north Pacific, should be aware that floating debris from the devastating tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 is a hazard. The good news is that predictions of the drift are proving accurate. Debris from the devastating tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 has turned up exactly where scientists predicted it would... [more]
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TetraMedia's report card: Video and Feature stories increasing
Brendan Maxwell,
While conditions continue to toughen for traditional print media, the world's largest online marine news group reports ongoing growth.... [more]
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Papua New Guinea: scientists/sailors missing, pirates now suspected
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
Not only Somalia and Nigeria are dangerous for the roving adventurer of sailor. Three scientists missing after setting sail from New Britain Islands in New Guinea are now thought to have been killed by pirates, along with the crew of the boat, with two others are still held hostage.... [more]
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Club Marine Mandurah Boat Show closes with positive vibe
Premiere Events,
The signs of a still flat economy may have been felt at this year's Club Marine Mandurah Boat Show, but nothing could take away the atmosphere that makes this show a winner year after year.... [more]
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Waterways open at Port Coogee Marina, WA
Just in time for spring, boating enthusiasts can now navigate the waterways at Port Coogee Marina with the opening of Phase 1 in Australand's multi-award winning estate.... [more]
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Inaugural Try Boating Day a huge success
Domenic Genua,
The Boating Industry Association of NSW ran its inaugural Try Boating Day yesterday as a pilot program in preparation for a state wide launch in 2012.... [more]
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Exhaustion, heart-attack, the rescue authorities are always there
Sail-World Cruising,
Whether it's returning exhausted sailors to safe mooring or saving a life by quick thinking and a defibrillator, the rescue authorities seem to be everywhere at once and making a positive difference to the lives of the Australian sailing community. Thanks all - these two stories from Sunday paint the picture:... [more]
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In too deep - Behind the Race to Mackinac tragedy
Dawn Reiss,
While Sail-World Cruising does not usually cover racing events or their aftermath,this story and analysis by Dawn Reiss, Chicago-based journalist who researched the article for six weeks, is relevant for all sailors whether cruising or racing, because of the issues that are raised by the circumstances of that tragic capsize:The Chicago to Mackinac race had never seen a racing-related death... [more]
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Biobags for cruising sailors - helping towards a cleaner ocean
Lee Mylchreest,
Every cruising sailor agrees that our ocean is precious and under more and more pressure from garbage, from overpopulation and acidification. However, plastic seems to be an inevitable part of the modern world, and they are apt to end up in the ocean. But here's a practical way that YOU can help to keep your part of the ocean clean - by using and advocating Biobags.... [more]
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Book Feature: 'Deadly Waters'
Sail-World Cruising,
Are you fascinated by modern-day pirates? Then this might just be the book for you. Somali pirates have for many years terrorised long range cruising sailors with robbing and looting, but the game changed radically in the last year or two, with kidnapping, ransom demands and murder. Author Jay Bahadur, who has spent months infiltrating the world of the Somali Pirate, gives us a close-up look... [more]
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Product of the Week: Avoid that sinking feeling - Drain Plug Reminder
David Pilvelait/Sail-World Cruising,
Have you ever launched the dinghy from the boat and then, in horror, watched it start gurgling to the bottom? Or slid the dinghy down the beach, waved goodbye to your friends, pushed off and got your feet wet as you paddled away, sinking fast and feeling stupid because you forgot to replace the bung? This Product-of-the-Week will ensure that you'll never have that sinking feeling again.... [more]
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Country kid numbers surge in WA sailing development camps
Yachting WA,
Well done country sailors in Western Australia - the annual Yachting WA Development Camps have this year attracted a notable increase in participation by country sailors for the first time in many years.... [more]
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Sharks make their presence felt in south east Queensland
Jeni Bone,
Sharks are out in force in Queensland, feeding on bait balls close to popular beaches and sending local enforcement into action to avoid mishaps or worse.... [more]
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Student takes family yacht for a spin, jailed for 8 months
Mailonline/Sail-World Cruising,
In an extraordinary case in Britain, a university student who took his family's 30ft yacht for a sail without permission- and knew little about how to sail it - has been jailed for theft after being reported to police by his mother... [more]
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One hull, ten outboards - such is our disposable world
Mark Rothfield,
My father has owned the same 18ft fibreglass trailer sailer for 42 years. It has had two mainsails, one new spinnaker and one new genoa ... but is about to get its tenth auxiliary outboard.... [more]
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Pesky Caribbean rock 'n roll monster!
John Jamieson,
Friends of mine returned from a two-week sailing charter in the crystal-blue waters of the Lesser Antilles--a chain of pristine islands in the Caribbean. On a typical day, they'd get underway right after a nice, lazy breakfast. Get onto a reach and sail across the northeast trades to the next island down the chain and find a protected spot to drop the hook.... [more]
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Name Australia's new baby whale and win a sailing holiday
Tourism Whitsundays,
Every sailor loves spotting a whale, but it was a fisherman who first spotted Australia's amazing new baby white whale. Now the baby whale needs a name. Following the spectacular sighting in the Whitsundays two weeks ago, a campaign has been launched to name the baby.... [more]
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Cruising Croatia: Lightning strikes twice
Jean de Keyser,
Captain Jean de Keyser, who led the American Sailing Association (ASA)'s 2011 Croatia flotillas and operates the affilliated Gulfcoast Sailing School, recounts the story of the ASA's second Croatia Flotilla for 2011, he and his wife/first mate sailing the Ana B. If you have never joined such a flotilla or rally, this description may give you a picture of what you are missing:... [more]
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Maritime NZ Public Update and Advisory - Rena Disaster - 14 October
Maritime NZ,
Photos from onboard the stricken container ship on Friday 14 October. Maritime NZ, on Friday 14 October, issued a media release/public notice in regard to the Rena Disaster updating on the situation and containing public information relating to the environmental disaster. All media outlets have been asked to run this information.... [more]
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Australian companies stand tall at international trade shows
Australian companies are sure to impress at this year's International Boatbuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) - a well known platform to launch new products and technologies.... [more]
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Australian marine industry to showcase at Fort Lauderdale
The presence of the Australian marine industry will be as prominent as ever at this year's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.... [more]
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Melbourne Leisurefest shines through the gloom
Shoemark & King,
Melbourne Leisurefest shone through overcast weather to attract another 30,000-plus crowd to its ever-growing display of caravans, RVs, four-wheel-drives and boats at Sandown Racecourse.... [more]
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Disaster clean up begins in earnest around Rena wreck
As winds and seas calm around the Astrolabe Reef, Tauranga, the New Zealand authorities are focusing their efforts on the clean up operation as 350 tonnes of oil and 70 containers make their way ashore from the stricken container ship Rena. A large exclusion zone has been declared around the Rena... [more]
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Vale Keith Williams CMG: A tribute from his family
Rob Mundle,
The Williams family today paid tribute to a husband and father who through foresight, vision, passion, commitment and determination was suitably rewarded by seeing people enjoying themselves.... [more]
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Online boat auctions the way forward
Jeni Bone,
Marine Auctions has added an online auction component to its sales arsenal, launching the innovation from 14 November as an additional medium for clients selling their boats and those interested in buying from afar.... [more]
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Boat Show Survey winner: Geoffrey Folliott wins $14,000 in prizes
Jeni Bone,
A Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show veteran, and seasoned sailor, who has done more than his fair share of boating all over the world, professionally and for fun, has taken out the prize package for completing this year's Boat Show Survey - the first of its kind in Australia.... [more]
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Boat Shows evolve to meet the market and deliver for exhibitors
Jeni Bone,
Competing against a myriad of different forces – from the football to the internet, extra work hours and ferrying kids about between activities – boat shows the world over are coming to realise they have to change in order to appeal to families, professionals, couples and these days, exhibitors who are weighing up ROI for each and every dollar spent on marketing.... [more]
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