Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It Was Over Before It Began - Gold Cup 2009

For GER 656: Fritz Schaarschmid, Bjoerge Dehn and Martin Lewin the Gold Cup was over before it began. During the tune up race sailing well (about 5th place) in 6 foot swells and good wind their regatta ended... without even a collision.
This gives me and others reason for concern. As you can see, the mast broke at the point where the screws attach for the vang attachment. Not all boats are equipped this way, but most are. Most don't think about how the screws weaken the wood... especially if they are longer than the diameter of the wood or in a straight line/plane across the mast. These don't look any bigger than the ones I have in the same location on my mast.
This was a two year old mast that can be repaired, but does make getting an aluminum mast appealing.
Quite unsettling that without so much as a bump from another boat the mast just failed. But, whenever a breakdown such as this happens there is really only one clear course of action: crack open a beer or three...
... load the boat on the trailer....
... crack open a few more beers...
Designate a driver...
.. and head back home. In this case, Germany. Sorry guys... If you ever come to SF and race in our SF Cup and the mast fails, rest assured we have a spare just in case.
Glad to hear no one was hurt in this unfortunate tragedy.


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