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Thread: OYRA Duxship

  1. #21
    Without taking a finite side on this issue. I would think that anyone taking on the responsibility, which includes the liability of running an offshore event where human life can be at peril
    is certainly going to take the conservative road. Anyone who does not agree with that, should step up to the plate and run a no constraints offshore event or series and see how far they get
    before realizing how much exposure they are putting themselves into. The USCG does not issue permits to anyone and with no USCG permit, good luck getting insurance, And with no insurance,
    would you risk all your personal assets for the sake of running a sailboat race?

  2. #22
    Dan, also with respect, we do get your point. I know people who are pro-life (as they call it) and I am not going to agree with nor change their mind on that subject either. Moving on...

    We made a call based on the data available. The forecast was not 25+ it was sustained 30 gusting to 40. I think things change exponentially with each 5 knot increase over 25. If we had 25 gusting to 30 and did not have "steep, fresh swell" (height and period the same, even in single digits can be a problem) we would have gone out the gate. We like racing on the ocean on all but the most extreme days. That's why we spend so much time and energy working to organize these races. It just so happens that the 2014 Duxship race coincided with one of those extreme days this year. Forecast for this afternoon is 18 gusting to 23 which would have been delightful, we just missed by a couple of days.

    We are not trying to pussy-fy ocean racing, just not send the fleet out in extreme conditions. I agree that 25+ (but not sustained 30 gusting to 40) can be considered the upper end of normal in the Gulf of the Farallones.

    This was a one time call by the OYRA board in cooperation with the PRO. Next time all the indications might say 25 gusting to 30 and we would send the fleet out and they might get slammed with the same 30+. Oops, sorry, looked at the data just like we did this time and it said something different. We are still going to look at it every time and might make the same call if the data all stacks up the same. Sorry.

    The USCG does not want to manage us or our races. They just want to know that we are using reasonable judgement so they don't have to babysit us. Two years ago we had a "stand down" because they did not trust us, and possibly with good reason. Things are different now due to lots of effort by a fairly small group of people.

    OYRA is only one of several organizing authorities that holds ocean races. Each of them need to make their own decision on how to handle extreme conditions coinciding with a race.

  3. #23
    Gotta go with POW and Andy on this one. I've had my beefs with OYRA and NCORC, and, I've also recently gone successfully to Drake's Bay in 35 kt winds on the nose, with 16 ft seas at 10 secs, in a Cal 20 (2012). And, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    Maybe Darwinism is good at the bar, laughing about some silly who shot himself in the 'nads, trying to put his piece back in his belt. But the OA has to take the heat, however, should serious carnage ensue. The waiver we all sign means nothing in that situation, only the willingness of the first responders, to go out and clean it up.

  4. #24
    Question for the OYRA folks:

    By selecting the inshore course for Saturday's race, hasn't the OYRA now exposed themselves to a greater threat of liabilitty in the future, anytime they send a fleet out the Gate???

    If something "bad" happens in a future OYRA Ocean Race, isn't the first questtion asked now going to be..."why didn't you use the alternate course, instead of sending the victim(s) out in conditions that contributed to the unfortunate events?

    It is the unfortunate consequence of the litigious society that we now live in.


  5. #25
    Pretty sure that liability already exists, although I don't think the magnitude of the liability is very large. AFAIK no RC has ever been sued for damages due to injury or death resulting from a race (citation needed).

    The OYRA RC's have, in the past, abandoned races when conditions looked rough outside. Not often--I think the last time was about 3 or 4 years ago, and I think it was a duxbury race. It was Andy's predecessor who made the call. There was *much* grumbling then. But it did not cause a lawsuit when LSC went on the rocks--nobody claimed the RC shoulda abandoned the race.

    As Andy said, the idea of the in the bay alternative course was a way of avoiding having no race at all.

    I think the idea that the RC's hands are tied and they MUST use the offshore course to avoid opening themselves to criticism in the future is something of a stretch.

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