Chicago - Mackinac 2011 - the Independent Review report


30 Oct 2011                             If you have trouble reading this email CLICK HERE                    To reply to this email click here

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Chicago-Mackinac 2011 -US SAILING's Independent Investigation Released

WingNuts floats upside down in Lake Michigan after it capsized during the annual Race to Mackinac. (2011)  AP Photo/John L. Russell

The single biggest piece of sailing news to have taken place in the U.S. this year was the massive storm that swept the Chicago-Macinac fleet, resulting in the tragic deaths of Mark Morley and Suzanne Makowski-Bickel. Immediately following the tragedy, the Chicago Yacht Club reached out to US SAILING and requested that they conduct an independent investigation of the events that transpired. This report, which was written by offshore-sailing experts (and veterans) Chuck Hawley, Sheila McCurdy, Ralph Naranjo and John Rousmaniere, was presented at US SAILING's annual meeting, which took place in Annapolis this past weekend.

For people unfamiliar with the tragedy, Morley and Makowski-Bickel were racing aboard Morley's WingNuts, a Kiwi 35 sportboat that carried a narrow beam and big hiking 'wings' that helped get crew weight to weather, but certainly didn't help the boat's stability in the lashing winds that were delivered by the supercell. According to the report, 'WingNuts was a highly inappropriate boat for a race of this duration, over night, without safety boats, and in an area known to have frequent violent thunderstorms. Her capable crew and preparation could not make up for the fact that she had too little stability, which led to her being 'blown over' by a severe gust.'

Interestingly, the report also found that, 'The Selection Committee of the Chicago Yacht Club-Race to Mackinac Island used a combination of the experience of the crew and the characteristics of the vessel to determine whether a vessel would be invited to enter the race.' It will be very interesting to see what changes will be made to the race rules going forward. If the Club reacts as the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia did as a result of the inquiry findings after the six deaths in the 1998 Sydney Hobart race, then we can expect to see tighter rules but safer sailing. The summary findings which is inside this issue, is a must-read and please find the time to read the whole 70 page document.

The PUMA Ocean Racing races down the course during the first In-Port Race of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012.   © PUMA/Chris Hill

Meanwhile, the Volvo Ocean Race began Saturday in Alicante, Spain with the first in-shore race. Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing proved the boat to beat, followed by Ken Read's Puma Ocean Racing and Chris Nicholson's Emirates Team New Zealand. 'We are thrilled with second,' said Read. 'These are the types of days you're trying to escape in one piece, and it was hard work.' Get the full scoop inside, and stay tuned for next Sunday when the first offshore leg begins, taking the fleet from Alicante to Cape Town.

David Raison (747 – TeamWork Evolution) - La Charente Maritime Bahia Transat 6.50 2011  © Pierrick Garenne / GPO

In other offshore circles, David Raison has won the prestigious 2011 La Charente Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50, a race for 21-foot singlehanded Classe Minis, aboard his decidedly unorthodox boat, 747. Raison also set a new course record for this particular leg, ticking off 3,120 miles in 17 days, 6 hours, 13 minutes and 32 seconds, averaging 7.53 knots. 'Yes indeed I have the feeling that my boat is like a kick in a bees nest of naval designers. The question is whether or not we'll see 60 footers based on my design. This I do not know. There's so much to study.'

And in One Design circles, the plot has thickened substantially in the International Laser Class Association's quest to change the class' official rules. Despite designer Bruce Kirby's best efforts to keep the class, the design and the builders aligned, the ILCA itself is pressing hard for this change. If it goes through, the definition of what a 'Laser' is and who can build it becomes complicated, with little gravity to hold all key players together. Could this mean the end to the world's most successful One Design class? Be sure to check out Rob Kothe's story, inside this issue.

Also inside, check out the latest from the Global Ocean Race, the Clipper Around the World Race and the now-postponed Transat Jacques Vabre.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

US Sailing Independent Report on the sailing accident at Annapolis
John Rousmaniere,
An Independent Study Report reviewing the youth sailing 420 tragedy on Severn River at Annapolis has been released: Introduction - Following a fatal sailing accident at Annapolis on June 23, 2011, the Severn Sailing Association invited the United States Sailing Association to send representatives to Annapolis to discuss the incident with its officers and staff.... [more]
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Drama ahead as Fundamental Rule Change approved by Laser Class Members
Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team,
A major sports political development may have ramifications for One Design Dinghy sailiing world wide, with the Laser Class President Heini Heini Wellmann and Class Executive Secretary Jeff Martin announcing that after an overwhelming vote by International Laser Class membership to change a fundamental class rule they will be applying to ISAF to have that change ratified.... [more]
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WMRT Monsoon World Cup - Win a trip to Malaysia
World Match Racing Tour,
The Monsoon Cup 2011 takes place from 22nd to 27th November in Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. The Monsoon Cup has gained prominent status on the World Tour since it started in 2005, which includes winning the 'Best Event' status twice. The 2011 ISAF Match Racing World Championship will be named at the Monsoon Cup.... [more]
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Ahead of Perth 2011-Kovalenko says key to Olympic success is the Big C
Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team,
‘I am not a medal maker, the sailors are the medal-makers' says Australian sailing super coach Victor Kovalenko who has coached thirteen 470 World Championship titles winners and eight 470 Olympic-medal winning crews.... [more]
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La Charente Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 - Raison takes the win
La Charente Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50,
The victor has now been decided in the 2011 La Charente Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50. A thrilled David Raison sailed by the committee boat just before 8:00pm this evening to take line honors and the win for the event. 'This is my fourth try on this race. I come out a winner, and in full day light....'... [more]
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Transat Jacques Vabre race start postponed but show goes on
Hélène Tzara,
Transat Jacques Vabre - A series of bad Atlantic low pressure systems put paid to the scheduled start of the tenth edition of the biennial double handed race from Le Havre to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. The race start has been postponed and will not go before Wednesday.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Race - De Lage Landen set to finish second
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Today saw Gold Coast Australia secure victory in the fourth race as the race for the final two podium positions heats up. Notching their fourth win of the Clipper 11-12 Race, the Australian entry's crew were cheered on by a welcome party of friends, family and local residents.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race - Fleet work round high pressure system
Oliver Dewar,
Global Ocean Race - As the winners of Leg 1, BSL and second place Campagne de France, recovered in Cape Town from 7,000 miles of racing and adapt to life on land after 32 days at sea, the four boats in the fleet's main pack were working round a high-pressure system centred 1,300 miles west of the finish line.... [more]
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America's Cup Uncovered: Episode 14 - Coming to San Diego
San Francisco Bay celebrates Fleet Week, United States Coast Guard chats with us about waterway traffic control and the transformation of San Francisco Bay into a perfect sailing stadium for spectators during AC World Series in 2012, Louis Vuitton Cup and AC Finals in 2013. America's Cup legend John Bertrand shares his opinion on the new race format with Regatta Director Iain Murray... [more]
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Volvo Ocean race: Groupama protest Camper Team NZ after Inport Race
Groupama sailing team's protest against CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand was dismissed after deliberation by the international jury after the first Inport Race in Alicante. The protest was related to the forestay set-up on CAMPER, which was the subject of an application made to the independent arbitration panel earlier this month.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Race - Gold Coast Australia on winning streak
Heather Ewing,
Gold Coast Australia has continued its winning streak in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. The ecstatic skipper, Richard Hewson, 31, from Hobart, Tasmania, said, 'It's fantastic to be home – I love Western Australia, it's like a second home and it's fantastic to be back here.'... [more]
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US champion flies in for Sydney Etchells Worlds 2012 qualifier
Peter Campbell,
Jud Smith showed his helming skills sailing with the Sydney International Etchells class fleet racing yesterday on Sydney Harbour. Smith has long been one of the leading Etchells skippers in the world, with multiple wins in the North American championships going back 21 years and a win in the World championship in Fremantle, WA, in 2006, also finishing third in 1994 and second in 1996.... [more]
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Clipper 11-12 - Gold Coast Australia continues winning streak
Heather Ewing,
Gold Coast Australia has continued its winning streak, recording a fourth consecutive victory in the first four stages of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. The team finished Leg 4 of the 40,000-mile circumnavigation, the world's longest ocean race, at 0704 local time this morning, under clear blue skies, racing in towards the finish line off the Geraldton shore at more than 11 knots.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Iberdorla In-Port second place for Puma
Lisa Ramsperger,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg fought light winds and a shortened course to come in second place in the Iberdrola In-Port Race on the 29 October in Alicante. The Iberdrola is the inaugural race of the 2011-12 VOR. Puma collected five points in the overall standings, finishing behind Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.... [more]
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Camper recovers to finish third in opening round of Volvo Ocean Race
Thomas Pryor,
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand has had a frustrating day in the first in-port race of the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race, but still managed a podium finish. The light, shifty conditions made for challenging conditions which resulted in the course being shortened to four legs and saw CAMPER finishing third behind Abu Dhabi and Puma.... [more]
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US SAILING Inquiry into CYC Race to Mackinac capsize and fatalities
C. Hawley, J. Rousmaniere, R. Naranjo & S.McCurdy,
The 103rd Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac experienced two tragic deaths and now an inquiry into the fatalities has been released. The inquiry was conducted by a review panel which was appointed by US Sailing on July 28, 2011. Sailing is a remarkably safe sport in large part because of the caring of its close-knit community.... [more]
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Images from Alicante: Inport Race - Volvo Ocean Race
Paul Todd and Ian Roman,
Top photographers, Paul Todd and Ian Roman, present this gallery of images from the first Inport Race of the Volvo Ocean Race. The race scores for 25% of the points of a trans-oceanic leg, making competition keen.... [more]
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Transat Jacques Vabre - One day until battle begins
Hélène Tzara,
The Transat Jacques Vabre now has only one day left until the start gun is set to fire and the crowds which adorned the docks of the Paul Vatine Basin in Le Havre, snapped up opportunities presented by the pristine Autumn weather to deliver a vibrant adieu to the fleet.... [more]
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US Sailing releases independent study concerning CYC Race to Mackinac
Rachelle Treiber,
US Sailing, the national governing body for sailing, has published findings related to two deaths which occurred during the 103rd Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. The findings were contained in a detailed 70-page report authored by an independent panel, and are posted!online!new.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing pick up first race points
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 started off today, 29th October, with the In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing delivered an early blow to their rivals picking up the first points of the regatta with a comprehensive win in the race opener. The crew, led by British skipper and double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker, romped home to a massive 14-minute win over their closest rivals... [more]
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Global Ocean Race Leg 1 – Champagne de France second over finish line
Oliver Dewar,
Global Ocean Race - Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron with their Pogo 40S², Campagne de France, crossed the Cape Town finish line completing leg one of the double-handed, Class40 GOR at 19:43:40 GMT (21:43 local) on Friday evening. The Franco-British duo took 33 days 07 hours 43 minutes and 40 seconds, securing second place in the GOR's fleet of six Class40s.... [more]
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Transat Jacques Vabre race preview
Hélène Tzara,
Transat Jacques Vabre, raced every two years by duos, is due to start tomorrow, Sunday 30 October 2011 at 1302hrs CET in Le Havre, France. The Atlantic looks set to follow tradition and deliver a challenging first week for the 35 duos which are scheduled to take Sunday's start line for the race... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Gold Coast Australia extends lead
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Gold Coast Australia's team is on a high while the high pressure is making some of the other teams feel distinctly low. 'Gold Coast Australia is having a dream run up the West Australian coastline with fantastic fresh winds from the east south east,' says Richard Hewson.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race update from Puma Ocean Racing Team
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, Puma Media Crew Member, provides an update prior to the In-Port Race start: The first of two major Saturdays is upon us and it would be silly to suggest we aren't massively anxious. It's been a very long time anticipating and preparing for 'day one' of this regatta and we're finally there.... [more]
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Student Yachting World Cup win to France
Student Yachting World Cup,
The Student Yachting World Cup has been won by France, from defending champions Solent University (England) and Cork Institute (Ireland).... [more]
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America's Cup World Series: Emirates Team NZ Wingman under arrest
Rod Davis,
Emirates Team NZ coach Rod Davis discloses an incident that occurred during the America's Cup World series in Plymouth, England. Half-way through the Plymouth regatta. I am sitting in the coaches' office, well the office is a rigging/boat building container where Joe Allen and I fight for space with the shore team, with my back to mid container doors.... [more]
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Sail-World visitors – this week a two metre snake
Brendan Maxwell,,
We get an interesting range of visitors, beyond the old salts who drop by on a regular basis, the local wild-life often call in, unannounced. This two metre green tree snake, (Dendrelaphis Punctulatus) has previously attempted to venture into the office via an open window, but this week was applying for a sub-editors role.... [more]
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US Sailing Annual Meeting in Annapolis
Katie Ouellette,
The US Sailing Annual Meeting will this year take place in Annapolis, Maryland from the 27-29 October at the Loews Annapolis Hotel. US Sailing's Annual Meeting has something for everyone. These meetings are a unique opportunity for members to meet with the National Governing Body's leadership and discuss relevant industry topics facing the sport... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma Ocean Racing Team ready to race
Lisa Ramsperger,
Volvo Ocean Race - After two years of preparation, the launch of a new boat and months of training on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion team is ready to get racing underway. The first points will be awarded towards the overall standings in the race with the In-Port Race on Saturday and the Pro Am Race to follow on Sunday.... [more]
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Tornado Mixed Sailing Olympic Campaign - Challenging ISAF
Roland Gaebler,
Tornado Mixed Sailing Olympic Campaign - The ISAF annual conference is being held between 3rdand 13th November in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Tornado Class and its representatives will be in attendance. They are off to prove to the ISAF and MNAs that the Tornado has what it takes to return as the Olympic Multihull ahead of next year's trials.... [more]
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Sail-World on Facebook -Check us out!!
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
Jeraldine Kennedy, Sail-World UK and European Editor explained 'Sail-World's Facebook wall has key selections from the nine Sail-World sites world-wide posted as well as providing the opportunity for Fans to get to know the Editors. 'We have already posted feature stories from many of our editors world-wide for the last six months, going forward we will be adding key feature stories each day.... [more]
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Perth 2011 – Can they knock off Big Ben?
Rob Kothe,
Sailings Superstar British sailor Ben Ainslie, the only sailor ever to be crowned ISAF World Sailor of the Year three times (1998, 2002 & 2008), will be 35 years old by the 2012 London Olympics. He will be sailing at his fifth Olympic Games, aiming to win another gold medal, perhaps weighed down by the British public expectations media demands with three gold medals and one silver round his ne... [more]
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Etchells Worlds 2012: youth aim to join cut and thrust competition
Tracey Johnstone,
The change is in the air. Younger Etchells class skippers and crew are joining the class and hunting worlds qualification for Sydney February 2012. Dubbed by sailors in the past as the ‘old man's class', it is no longer an accepted description of the Etchells. The younger sailors have sniffed out what the older Etchells sailors have known for quite a while - high cal... [more]
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Prototype for Olympic Womens Skiff trials has great pedigree
Richard Gladwell,
A New Zealand developed prototype is being test sailed in Auckland ahead of the proposed evaluation trials for the Olympic Womens Two-Person Skiff. The boat utilizes the 49er hull, foils and boom with a new sailplan designed to suit the ISAF specified target weight of 110-130kg. The team behind the Mackay Boats' prototype oozes talent and has a track record of excellence... [more]
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Sailrocket 2 suffers damage in crash + high speed run video
Paul Larsen,
After a few good, high speed runs - disaster has struck! Vestas Sailrocket 2's main beam failed .. read on as Paul Larsen explains ....... [more]
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Sail-World set for huge coverage of Volvo Ocean Race and Olympics
Brendan Maxwell,
The 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race starts in just over a week on 5th November in Alicante Spain. The Sail-World team is planning detailed coverage, as it will be with the Olympic newsletter series starting with Perth 2011. Between the two series there will be over eight million newsletters to our world-wide audience.... [more]
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