Horror in Paradise...behind a race tragedy, the lessons...Name Australia's baby white whale and win...biobags for a clean ocean...avoid that sinking feeling with a bung hole reminder...and much more...
We cruising sailors often don't take notice of what's going on in the racing world, but sometimes there are lessons to be learnt, this time from way over in the USA's midwest.
Looking at the pictures of WingNuts in which two crew died in the Chicago Yacht Club race to Mackninac (see story below) one can't help thinking that, intuitively, this boat would not right itself if it tipped over – yet it passed the required ORR (Offshore Racing Rule) measurement. U.S. Sailing is to make recommendations at the end of this month after three months of research, and the results will be just as relevant for the cruising sailor as for the racer - not only about righting moments, but also about tethers and self-inflating life jackets.
An avalanche of other news both on the Australian scene and internationally: In success stories, Sail-World's publishers Tetra-Media top the list as we are reporting growing sales while print media continues to struggle; and Try Boating Day in New South Wales is judged a great success. Over in Western Australia Port Coogee waterways are now open for business, and the country kids of WA have taken up sailing in a big way this year.
Am I imagining it or are the oceans getting more dangerous? We all know that the western Indian Ocean should be a no-go for yachts these days, but just this week the remains of a cruising sailor were found in a camp fire in the Marquesas in French Polynesia, and five scientists are thought to have been the victims of pirates in the seas north of New Guinea. Then there's the debris in the North Pacific that came from the Japanese tsunami earlier this year. It's a real hazard for those wanting to cross the Pacific Ocean in small yachts.
For the rest it's a great pot pourri of contrasting news. Read what the polluting of New Zealand's Bay of Plenty with 350 tonnes of oil from a ship is doing to the local wild life, and another kind of wildlife - sharks - are making their presence felt in South East Queensland - no diving off the boat please.
There are some practical stories too - biobags and drain-hole bung reminders, and some quirky titbits – the true tale of the mother who sent her son to jail because he used the yacht without asking!
Browse down the headlines and find what catches your attention, and...
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