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Scallywag outside assistance?


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#1 Island Time

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 05:41 PM

From sailing Anarchy :
Question from Race Director Phil Lawrence Regarding Rule 41:

“On Leg 4 Race Control noticed that SHK Scallywag was on collision course with a reef and sent the boat the e-mail below:

Hi Libby/Dave:

Just so I can relax a bit here in Race Control, tell me you are happy with you course in relation to Nerues Reef on Landsdown Bank. The Australian Charts have the Reef extending to 160 35E which is further east than the C-Map charts show.

-Rick Tomlinson, Race Control

Race Control did not give SHK Scallywag any further navigation advice. SHK Scallywag lost 50 miles whilst the crew worked out a way around the reef.

Does this constitute outside assistance under RRS 41 as the crew were in danger? Please would you consider and advise.”

Answer:

The Jury advises that Race Control’s action did not result in a breach of rule 41 by SHK Scallywag. SHK Scallywag did receive help from an outside source, in this case the Race Control.

However, the help given is permitted under rule 41(d). The information was not requested by SHK Scallywag so it was unsolicited information. The source, in this case a member of the Race Control, was a disinterested source for the purposes of rule 41 because he had no personal or other interest in the position of SHK Scallywag relative to other boats in the race. Nor would he gain or lose in any way as a result of the position of SHK Scallywag in the race.

The source was an employee of Volvo Ocean Race who, as a member of Race Control, has a responsibility for the safety of all competitors. Asking the question he did was therefore a proper action for him to take.

-International Jury, Hong Kong
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#2 Fish

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:25 PM

I think the Race Director did the right thing, safety trumps racing rules anyday.

 

The BIG question that nobody appears to have commented on though, how could it happen a second time?

The fact that the Race Director had to intervene to avoid a raceboat wrecking itself on a charted reef (again) demonstrates the Volvo Ocean Race has not been able to learn any lessons or initiate any changes from the last incident. 

 

There are major questions about the adequacy of the charting software being used, and the systems and practices required to prevent dangerous accidents.

 

A repeat of the last Vestas grounding would have been an absolute PR disaster. Combined with the current Vestas fatal collision, it may well be the end of the Volvo Ocean Race.

 

There already appears to be a vacuum in leadership in this race after the Vestas collision. A near miss of the exact same incident as the Vestas grounding raises major alarm bells about the strength of leadership, management ability and basic safe operation of the race. This is supported by the chaotic start to the race with the CEO resigning, skippers getting sacked, legal squabbles, shore team members jumping onboard the morning of the start and teams needing to borrow crew off other teams.

 

And that is only what we've heard about.


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#3 Island Time

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:39 PM

Exactly Fish! I wondered if anyone else would see that as the main issue - I sure do  :thumbup:


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#4 raz88

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:16 PM

I think the Race Director did the right thing, safety trumps racing rules anyday.

The BIG question that nobody appears to have commented on though, how could it happen a second time?
The fact that the Race Director had to intervene to avoid a raceboat wrecking itself on a charted reef (again) demonstrates the Volvo Ocean Race has not been able to learn any lessons or initiate any changes from the last incident.


Seems they have initiated one change, which is contacting the boats if they see them headed somewhere dumb. At least this time there was no crash. Hard to believe the pros on the boats are still messing it up though!
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#5 Island Time

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:24 PM

You really have to question the professionalism of the navigators at least. Their primary job is to get to the finish! 


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#6 JK

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 07:21 AM

The reef is a small part of a bank that covers 21,000km2, around the same size top-bottom as Auckland-BOI. The bank is generally 60-80m on a sandy bottom, the reef itself has 3.7m of water, 5.5m at high tide. The boats 4.78m draft, less when canted. Maybe the navigator thought they had it covered but took action to be 100% sure when contacted by the race director.


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#7 Willow

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 11:27 AM

Agree entirety JK. Can imagine the navigator was a bit nervous but thought the would just have enough water. Then got the email and thought the better of it. Bit hard to penalise if it wasn't asked for.
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#8 Fish

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 07:38 PM

Thats an interesting thought JK and Willow.

I'm not convinced though.

Looking at the Volvo tracker, they did a massive dog leg, first heading east, then doubling back around on themselves and heading west, passing their original track before heading north again.

 

Refer 6th Jan between 7:30 and 10 am UTC.

http://www.volvoocea...en/tracker.html

 

The track really does not look like someone who had a plan, or any confidence in what they were doing.They boxed right then doubled back on their track left again. This took about 2 hrs, and apparently cost a good 50 miles.

 

Navionics charts show a 12 mile reef with zero depth over it. But google maps shows no visible land there. I don't have any other charting software of that area to compare, and i have no idea how accurate Navionics is for an area like that.

Navionics does show the depths rising up from 2,000 odd m to the cover over the Landsdowne bank rather sharply.

 

You'd have to have nerves of absolute steel, and a very low risk / consequence personality to try racing over that if you thought you were going to have 1 or 2 m clearance.

 

Maybe they lost their nerve with an audacious plan, maybe they were relying on one charting package and didn't validate it with another, such as the Aust. charts.

 

Given the state of the track, that they took 2 hrs plus to get around it and lost 50 miles, I'm going with option that they weren't properly aware of it and / or didn't have a plan.

 

I agree they shouldn't be penalised for it, the information was unsolicited. The evidence shows the information cost them 50 miles. Somehow they did go on to win the leg though.

 

I'd love a descent press conference / interview on it. Bet a good bottle of whisky that wont happen.


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#9 Island Time

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 08:34 PM

Ok, I have three different charts of the area. One of the NZ LINZ ones, CM93, and Navionics. All show a reef with extensive shallows, extending past 160 35 E, the Linz one is (interestingly) the least clear. Personally i would not cross this area between 160 09 E and 161 49 E unless daylight in good conditions, then cautiously?


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#10 Willow

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 09:26 PM

Looking at the tracker looks really weird, they could have just kept going east and followed Brunel into safe water but instead did a u turn and headed west surely if they were avoiding the reef the could have just kept heading east?


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Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

 





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