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    Re: Sailing Tragety In Southern California
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2012 May 05, 04:04 -0400

    On 5/4/2012 8:56 PM, Greg Rudzinski wrote:
    ...> Harry and I discussed some of the possibilities and it does look like
    > technology over reliance may have contributed to the accident. It is
    > quite possible that Coronado Island, where the accident took place, was
    > used as a GPS waypoint. The helmsman might have gone below for a bit at
    > the wrong time or I hate to say it fallen asleep at the wheel. No one
    > was wearing their PFDs either.
    This is a pet peeve of mine. I do agree that there is an over reliance
    on electronics, but I suggest it goes beyond that. I race. Small
    sailboats and Alpine skiing. Without going into a lengthy rant about
    Lake Michigan (Tri-State and Chicago-Mac races) DSO examples ad infinitum:
    Racing involves egos and winning.  We push it to the limits. I do not
    have the budget for big boats, racing software/electronics, or a full
    compliment of sails for every leg or wind condition (often replaced
    every year). Doubt they want me as a grinder at 64 ;-)
    A well-equipped big racing boat's electronics include a laptop loaded
    with tactical and strategic software and pods (digital information
    displays) on--or near--the mast to relay everything from bearing, speed,
    velocity made good, and target speed to the crew (calculated from polar
    diagrams for wind, waves and point of sail--often custom tailored to the
    boat and crew).
    They also have the usual GPS chart plotters, true and apparent wind
    directions, and depth information. Maybe even a compass! When in the
    history of navigation have we had better information about our location
    and sea conditions?
    Like a teenager behind the wheel of a car on a cell phone, or texting
    while manipulating the music on their iPod they have all the information
    they need to drive safely; they are just too distracted to pay the
    necessary attention to what is important. (Or too driven to win.) Just
    drive the *blank* boat!
    If a prudent navigator knows/suspects a piece of equipment is off
    kilter, they place a piece of tape across the face so everyone
    understands it can not be trusted. Sadly we cannot do that with a person
    in charge who is pushing the crew or boat past their limits or putting
    souls in peril.  That would be mutiny.
    A closing thought for those "seasoned" enough to remember the 70's and
    Ted Turner, AKA "Captain Outrageous." He won the America's Cup, and  won
    the horrific Fastnet Race on corrected time. (15 competitors died.)
    Somewhere during this period he was in a "short" race when the weather
    turned on the fleet and battered several boats and crew.  He handed off
    the helm as conditions became serious. When he came ashore the media
    hounded him.  They asked if he handed off the helm to win. He replied
    something to the effect of, "No, I handed off the helm to live."
    And there I submit is the difference between being extremely
    competitive/cocky and stupid. You have to finish to win.

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