Re: Crissy self-rescue Sunday 4/26

From: Tim Roberts (
Date: Mon Apr 27 1998 - 14:39:39 PDT

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Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 14:39:39 -0700
From: Tim Roberts <>
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Subject: Re: Crissy self-rescue Sunday 4/26
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When needing assistance, i think it's important to wave your arms above
your head. It can be real hard to hear people say much of anything on
the water.


Bob Prevett wrote:

> Sailing at Crissy Sunday 4/26. About 2/3 the way across I jibe over
> from port to
> starboard tack and my Chinook boom broke apart once I powered up onto
> the new tack.
> Examining the trashed boom, things didn't look good. The boom snapped
> up near the
> front end on the starboard side and then snapped at the rear end on
> the port side.
> This sucks because I couldn't flip the boom and sail in on the intact
> side; there was
> no intact side.
> What I ended up doing was pulling out the back end and reinserting the
> intact
> starboard side backend into the intact port side boom/frontend.
> Basically, it looked
> like a big "S". Then, I flipped the boom upside down and put in on
> the starboard
> side. Tied off the clew of the sail to the backwards back end, pulled
> off a very
> clumsy waterstart with this contraption, and I was on my way back to
> the beach.
> Powered up, my sail looked like a big sailboat Genoa jib, but it
> worked fine for going
> on a broad reach. In the 20 minutes it took to jury rig the boom and
> sail, the strong
> ebb current had carried me to almost underneath the bridge, so broad
> reaching was
> fortunately the appropriate point of sail to get back. I actually was
> able to plane
> most of the way back with this hokey setup.
> While I was out there trying to work out a way to get back, I only saw
> one other
> windsurfer that came close (I was fairly upwind). As he sailed by me,
> I tried to wave
> him down. When he got close, I yelled "broken boom!" It would have
> been great if he
> had stopped, checked out my situation, and gone in for a boom for me
> to use to get
> back, or hung out and helped me put something together. Instead, he
> just kept sailing
> right by me, with a smug look, maybe thinking I was a struggling
> novice having
> waterstart problems.
> Lessons learned:
> * Most boom failure breakdowns will allow for some sort of self
> rescue, as long as the
> head remains intact and can still attach to the mast. Even if the
> backend was
> completely gone, I could have attached the clew to the boom spar with
> some line and
> sailed it like a spinnaker sail.
> * Breaking down in a full ebb out in the middle at Crissy is scary;
> it's amazing how
> fast you can get pulled out past the Bridge.
> * Never lose your cool; stay calm and try to work out a viable
> self-rescue plan if at
> all possible.
> * It's a good idea to checkout downed sailors. I usually do this at
> 3rd, as do
> others. You just cruise by, see if things look OK. If are not
> obviously OK, just
> yell out "Everything OK?" and get a response.
> BobP

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