DN NA Class

Guests & Members Post & Read => Racing and Rules discussions => Topic started by: tasar on February 09, 2009, 08:46:44 AM

Title: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: tasar on February 09, 2009, 08:46:44 AM
Sunday's Worlds was a travesty of sportsmanship. While W lie with "unknown" injury, the race continued. Any other sport players from both benches show their respect for a fallen competitor as play is stopped. It was with disbelief, we witnessed DNers enter and round the mark, showing no regard for W, only yards away. What were you guys thinking ? Is the class that callous, perhaps wreckless, that winning truly trumps decency ? What kind of organization of a supposed "world event", have so little regard for their competitors, and yes, bystanders. Many witnesses, some DNers, quickly realized the sport needs supervision. Where was the on ice paramedic ? If W's injury was life or death based on immediate intervention, the class failed him. Where was the crowd control ? Had any been hurt as boats scattered around the carnage, what make's you think lawsuits wouldn't come your way ? Why isn't there safety protocol for all, as we watched the few respectful competitors risking life and limb, by waving off fellow racers ? Why wasn't a black flag IMMEDIATELY put in place, especially on the windward course leading to the wreck ? Where indeed were the monitors about the entire course, with phone in hand, communicating ?

This class needs to look inside themselves. There are serious flaws, frankly, somewhat unbelievable. The class talks alot about the future, promoting participation. There are arguably many of us that refrain from racing, and today's events fortified those reasons. Sure, we all know the perils of this activity and choose our paths, but the lack of simple SAFETY measures, is INEXCUSEABLE. It's really a case not for what happened, but what did NOT happen. "World Class" sports put safety first ! For this, the DN Class is an embarrassment !!!

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: Ken Smith on February 09, 2009, 08:19:00 PM
This post is a bit coarse, but it brings up a topic we need to air out.  THere are some good points made.

By the way, the class grants redress should assistance of anyone in distress were the cause for a loss of a race.  If that were to make anuy differnce.

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: dn4379 on February 09, 2009, 10:13:29 PM
   First; no one was seriously injured.  Secondly, five racers stopped to assist. Thirdly, a nurse and an orthopedic surgeon were on the scene as quick as possible, with stretcher, first aid kit, and electronic defibrillator.This is standard equipment we have ready at our major events. Find me a sailing class that has anything even close to this.  The injured sailors were found to be stable and transported to shore.  The EMS people were standing by at the launch when the "injured" sailors arrived at the launch site.
   Yes, it can be a dangerous when competitors make poor decisions in tight situations.  That is why we are prepared so well.
Racing was suspended for the day after this race because it was determined that the bright sun shine on the glare ice was impeding visibility for starboard tack boats approaching the weather mark.
   Fortunately the boats absorb a lot of energy when they collide.  In other words, the boats break instead of the people.  It is just wood. 
   W incidentally, is doing just fine; walking, talking and enjoying his scotch. 
   On one point, you are correct sir.  We should have black flagged the race in this instance; however the race only lasted another twelve minutes or so.  We diligently  debrief at the end of each season and update our protocols as necessary. 
   Our By-Laws require that members be Corinthian.  We would appreciate if your  future contributions to our class discussions
     kept that in mind.
                                                  John Harper   Commodore IDNIYRA

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: 4695 on February 13, 2009, 09:53:23 AM
$0.02 and some strong words...

The volunteer race committee didn't have the information or means to suspend the race...

In the Corinthian Spirit, Five Sailors Stopped to Assist? 

And that's somehow good?

That means 40+ failed to do so!

The moral, and imho slightly less important, legal obligation of "a Sailor" to render assistance to Any Soul In Peril on the Water (hard or soft) is Ancient, it's Timeless, it predates all recorded history and law, failure to do so is criminal in almost every country on earth, people who violate this are generally banished for life from any decision making position on the water, they can't be sailors, once they get out of prison. 

Because we race in a dangerous environment, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard.

DN 4695
Class Member

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: DN4099 on February 13, 2009, 01:26:14 PM
As we are sailing, it can be hard to descern the extent of the severity of a collision.  On the other hand, it should be easy to see if someone is hurt and needs assistance.  I think it would be prudent if sailors that have stopped to render assistance and immediately feel something is critical that they go to the mark and drop it so that the race committee knows immediately that there is an immediate concern.  Race committee members can't see the extent of damage from the finish line and many times spectators at the upwind mark are not much help.  It is important that we all render help as we can.  At the end of the day, the race means nothing if we let one of our comrades down.
Bill Condon

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: LorRehe on February 17, 2009, 11:57:42 AM
I feel bad.  There is a lot of finger pointing going on.  I knew as a scorer that we did not have about 8 boats come down and round the leeward mark the first time.  The problem was we could not tell why.  We eventually saw a grouping of boats up near the weather mark.  But we still did not know what happened.

So lets learn from this to prevent it from happening again.

At the skipper's meeting, Jim Mc Donagh informed the racers that the North Americans was declared an "ACCIDENT FREE ZONE".  That was wonderful.  I discussed the fact that there would be a "BLACK FLAG" at both the windward mark and leeward mark.

Then we discussed the " O O T A"  rule.  When two boats are on a collision course the rule is "OUGHT OH, TURN AWAY".  Ron Sherry and Dan Hearn taught this to the opti kids as the first rule.  Imagine if even only one boat turns away, the collision is avoided.  If both boats turn away, the collision is avoided.

Stuff happens out there and we were reminded that we all need to keep on our toes.  And communication is key.

Fair winds,

Loretta Rehe
MOM DNUS 5144, Scorer

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: 4695 on February 18, 2009, 04:56:47 AM
I didn't hear any finger pointing.

What I heard was a restatement of similar concerns about collisions prevention & injury/incident assessment and response systems.   How we might have some gaps, and things that are being done to make the game a little bit safer.


Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: ERIC ANDERSON on February 18, 2009, 09:06:22 AM
Iceboat racing is an awesome sport.  Iceboating is also inherently a risky sport.  When you have 50 boats converging on a windward mark in a very short time period you are going to have occasional collisions.  If you sail and or race iceboats long enough, you are going to go swimming, you are going to hit pressure ridges and you are going to hit or get hit on the race course.  I don’t like it, and would prefer it was not the norm, but I accept it.   The reality is that you can’t stop a race every time a collision occurs on a race course.  We would never be able to sail on windy days or on shorter courses.   
It is easy to say with hindsight the race should have been black flagged.   Having an  RC  member with a 4 wheeler and a black flag available at the windward mark is probably a good idea.  Unfortunately, there is a finite limit to how many RC members  are at an event and this is not always practical.   In retrospect, the safest thing that was done was moving the windward mark down 75 yards to get the boats rounding away from the collision.  On the other hand, I sailed past the collision twice while racing and did not observe anything different from other collisions.  There were a lot of boat pieces and parts strewn about and everybody I could see was standing up and waving.   
Now I am absolutely in favor of doing things that decrease the likely hood of collisions.  I strongly agree with the use of Darling marks at the windward and leeward marks and I like the use of a secondary finish mark so the scorers can have some distance between themselves and the boats finishing down wind.  I would be happy to see requirements to strengthen the sideboards in the cockpit area only to keep the cockpit area intact in a collision.  I think the plank breakaway mechanism needs to be rethought and I think breakaway tillers should be mandatory.  I also think we need to reexamine the Balsa S glass boats currently being built as I think they are too strong relative to the all wood boats and this may contribute to the severity of accidents in the future.
All food for thought
Eric Anderson US 5193

Title: Lowering the risk in DN racing.
Post by: DN 805 on February 18, 2009, 10:36:25 AM
  I would like to see a formula developed that would indicate the ratio of fleet size to the size of the sheet of ice upon which the course will be set.  A sheet of ice 1.0 mile X 1.5 miles = X number of boats.   .5 miles X 1.0 mile =  Y number of boats in the fleet, etc. etc.    This system would automatically allow for changes in course length when the wind shifts.  (How many times have you gone to an event when the organizers said they could set a course 2 miles between the marks, only to learn that if the wind shifts 90 degrees that now there will be only be .6 miles between the marks?)

  Another, less popular, consideration would be to make the boats slower with, perhaps, only 30" runners.  A drawback would be that on rough ice the boats might actually have less control than if they used 36" runners.

  A specification amendment might require that the head of the sail (thereby influencing the height of the tack and foot) be no lower than a measurement band placed on the mast at a specified height from the base of the mast.   Raising the sail will make the boats slower and improve visibility as the sailor will be able to sail more upright in the boat, if he chooses.

An additional  amendment that would improve visibility could establish a minimum dimension from the deck at the steering post to the uppermost part of the mainsheet block (usually a ratchet block) that is mounted on the steering post.  Such measurement to be taken with a minimum 10 lbs pull on the mainsheet so the block would take the normal position it has when sailing.  I understand that some skippers might choose to have the boom block overlap the ratchet block, but they would tend to reduce control of luff tension and mast rotation.

DN 805

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: US4961 on February 18, 2009, 11:13:41 AM
With regards to boat construction, I agree that the traditional wood boats MAY be too fragile relative to the speeds we are reaching now.  Reinforcement of the cockpit area may be a good idea – like the cockpit of an F1 racecar.  However, to say that the Glass/Balsa boats are too strong is unfounded and it is my opinion that we should be always looking forward with regards to robustness of design.  I don’t know of any Glass/balsa Sitka collision that would indicate there is some inherent problem.  All we know is that Sitka boats don’t fair well in collisions.  If we want to require/encourage building of stronger hulls, I would suggest we increase the minimum hull weight to allow reinforcement without making an overweight boat.  However, my hull weights 51 lbs and I don’t think it is an issue.  We must keep in mind that when collisions happen, we are not expecting that the boat is somehow going to protect us like seatbelts & airbags.  The skipper weighs more than the boat and is unrestrained.  When the boat stops, the skipper keeps going and exits the boat.  Weather the boat is destroyed or not, in my opinion, has little effect on injury except for being cut by jagged wood shards.


John Davenport  US-4961

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: ERIC ANDERSON on February 18, 2009, 12:28:19 PM
My point is quite simple.   Based on 2 collisions I have observed, the balsa glass boats do not have a mechanism of dissipating the kinetic energy of a crash when the nose of the balsa glass boat impacts another boat.  A sister ship to my boat was in a collision hard enough to bend a plate runner 90 deg and bend a steering chock post made with a 1.25” diameter steel tube with a 1/8” wall thickness 90 degrees and the nose of the boat was fine.  Personally I think this is a problem.   Now if everyone was sailing balsa glass boats would we be safer?  I don’t know.  I think the whole front end of a clone is a crumple zone and it probably helps lessen the effects of a crash.  This is my opinion and I have only anecdotal evidence to support my position

I once saw a M1 Abrams tank collide with a M888 recovery vehicle at around 30 mph.  Neither vehicle was even dented but  both crews were badly hurt.

Eric Anderson  US 5193

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: Paul Goodwin - US 46 on February 19, 2009, 06:23:55 AM
I agree with Eric's "anecdotal evidence".  I've been amazed for years at the relatively minor injuries when two boats collide at 40 mph.  I attribute this to the destruction of the wooden hull using up a large amount of energy.  Two boats traveling 40 mph carry a significant amount of kinetic energy that must be dissipated, and the friability of the wood structure must certainly help to reduce the amount that goes into the sailors.

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: DN4287 on February 19, 2009, 09:12:54 AM
The idea of the size of the fleet vs the size of the ice may be a good idea, but will be difficult to do.  If we look at the past 10 years or so that the Mountain Lakes RC has run the GC and NAs, we have never set a course larger than 1 mile with the average probably around .8 miles.  This is because of the available ice and not that we enjoy small courses.  On Green Bay 2 years ago we attempted to set a 1.25 mile course and were requested by the competitors to reduce it because of rough ice on the layline to the windward mark.  This year, when we got to the ice for the GC, I was told that we should be able to easily set a 1.25 mile course. After spending about 2 hrs sailing the area prior to setting the course, we determined that the max length was only about .9 miles considering wind shifts.  When checking the ice prior to setting a course we do consider windshifts and what length of course we can get in for the different wind directions and ground features.  This was one reason we switched locations for the 2nd day of the GC this year.   Remember the fleet splits are done the night before - so you would have to have fleet splits for each course length and decide and post on the ice. 

Having a Black Flag at the windward mark is a great idea and if the ML RC runs another major regatta we will add that to our inventory.  We typically post our 4-wheeler at the windward mark but it's only one vehicle and one person.  If a boat breaks on the course, he will typically race off to that boat and place the 4 wheeler in front of the downed boat as protection and offer assistance.  The problem arises if another incident occurs during that time.  Also, he typically doesn't have time to stand and wave a black flag, but having it there is definitely the RIGHT thing to do.  If possible he can hand it off to a competitor or a spectator at the Windward mark or where ever he is on the course.

Communications is another real issue.  Over the years we have tried CBs, Personal Radios, VHF and found the most reliable are Cell phones but this year both mine and John's went dead that 1st day even though they were on charge the night before.  So even cell phones can fail.  I suppose the next method would be to attempt to get 2 Military Man-pack radios.

I will be very interested to see a course diagram using the Darling Marks.  Hopefully with distances and angles from the Windward/Leaward marks.  We always carry spare marks so adding another 2 marks would not be a but issue.  Course changes will take additional time but if it prevents ONE collision it will be well worth it.   

John Atkins

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: US4961 on February 20, 2009, 02:44:55 PM

Firstly, you started a thread broadly implying that one construction method is too strong relative to another.  You should be fully prepared to debate this viewpoint if you are willing to throw it up on the WWW.  Secondly, your Engineering analysis of the dissipation of energy is unqualified.  To assume that there is a LARGE amount of energy absorbed by a crumple zone, like a car is again, unfounded.  I know because my early years in engineering were in auto safety – airbags and restraints.  The M1/M888 crash example shouldn’t surprise anyone.  Do you think anyone in either of those vehicles was wearing a seatbelt?  AND I can only assume, which I am trained not to do, that there wasn’t a soft dashboard in either vehicle, but probably a bunch of hard metal surfaces.  I’ll ask one of my fellow Engineers tomorrow who was an M1A1 tank Captain in Germany and several other guys who were ARMY Officers that might be familiar with M888s, I’m not, but I will ask.  Like I mentioned before, in a DN, the skipper is on “IN” the boat when the collision happens.  He/she is lying in a trough, and generally exits the boat.  Again, the skipper is more massive than the boat and therefore has the largest portion of the kinetic energy.  It would be an interesting engineering project to capture a collision with high-speed video to see what really happens in a T-bone type collision.  We nearly have this view from the GC this year.  What is clear from this sequence of pics is one thing.  That Sitka boats are truly “Friable”, Webster’s definition;  “Easily crumbled or pulverized”.  Is this is the desired safety standard we should be striving for?  I DON’T THINK SO!  If we actually had any data on this topic, I would wager that the majority of the injuries from collisions are due to lacerations from sharp edges due to Friability.  If the hulls were to stay intact, we would be safer.  Planks shear off – good.  Runners bend – fine.  Hulls vaporize – BAD!  I'm not saying we need to change anything, but I do fee safer in Balsa boat.

Humbly submitted,

John Davenport  US-4961

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: Kentski on February 23, 2009, 08:15:34 PM
I have just posted actual picutres form the accident at the worlds. it is in aanimated formatto study   these are not here for enjoyment  I hope you all see what really happend and closely watch it over and over to see the many collisions that took place and when they did.      please try to learn something from this     it shows when people come into close quarters especially on port they should be well aware of the consequences that can happen      one must anticipate from a much greater distance and time before , whether to go in there or not   

you will see that the accidents may be quite different from what you thought and heard about      Even I do not remember what I see in pictures  now   

so please look  and study them closely

we will have more accidents in the future if something is not changed   it quite amazing the injuries were as little as they ended up to be

you can find the sequence on my web site www.csi-composites.com  in the dn section  in dn picures

regards to all    jeff kent  3535

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: DN5355 on February 23, 2009, 09:35:05 PM
They are every difficult to study in animated mode.

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: Geoff Sobering on February 23, 2009, 09:50:21 PM
They are every difficult to study in animated mode.

I used IrfanView (http://www.irfanview.com/) to pull apart the animated GIF into individual frames.

Even with that it's hard to understand what happened since it appears the initial impact was just off the right edge of the photo in the first few frames...

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: glovejoy on February 24, 2009, 07:15:49 PM
On the third race of the WC, I started on starboard tack a few boats to windward from US 45.  I tacked before he did and was close to the port layline.   Coming into the windward mark on the first leg of the race, I probably had to duck at least half dozen starboard tackers before finding a spot to tack.  That was tight but not risky or dangerous.  I was to windward one to two boat lengths and aft of US 2000 when the collision occurred.  We were very close to rounding the windward mark at the time.  In the pictures you can see me dragging the remains of US 2000’s bow on my leeward side stay.  To get to the point, I feel that coming in on port tack so tight to the windward mark is extremely dangerous and reckless.  It’s more than a port starboard situation.  Overstanding the layline because of a wind shifted or any other reason is not an excuse.  I did not read anything regarding this except Randy Rogoski’s excellent comment regarding “the key to safe racing” under the Racing and Rules Discussion section regarding darling marks.  Rules need to be enforced with serious penalties and not more complicated formulas or procedures or whether one boat is more dangerous then another.  The damage was done by the time US 3535 became involved.  Any other boat would have caused the same additional damage and injury.

For my part I knew it was a serious collision and I continued racing while I should have stopped and gone back.

Guy Lovejoy
US 4638

Title: Re: WORLD CLASS ???
Post by: Ken Smith on February 24, 2009, 10:39:50 PM
So would the use of a darling mark have moved the situation far enough that it would have been avoided?

The group near the lay line coming in on port would have been a hundred yards from the rounding mark, and merging into traffic further away.

What additional problems might the darling mark have caused?

Honestly, besides discussing the addition of darling marks, there is little to change here, other than we all depend on everyone's vigilance.