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(Broken) Heart of Gold

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  • (Broken) Heart of Gold

    Joan Byrnes Olson 911s Heart Of Gold was well in the lead during Saturdays XBAY Friendship Regatta when boom when the boom!


    Blustery conditions were also on tap for the StFYC's Ronstan Bay Challenge where 35 Foiling Kiteboards, Formula Kiteboards and Formula Windsurfers completed and most completed the long distance course, where a new record was set by Joey Pasquali of 54m:54s...thats from the StFYC, up to Presidio Shoal, down to the eastern gap in the Berkeley Pier and back to the StFYC!

    Erin Loscocco was excited to complete the course and pointed out that he beat Johnny Heineken. (Johnny's lines blew up just above the spreader during a "brutal downwind portion) We pointed out to Erin, sailing a foil kite that he came in behind 8 windsurfers, and a girl...Erika Heineken continues to impress...

    Ronstan Challenge Long Distance Results
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Bummer for them, but good that nobody was hurt.

    I notice that the fellow on the cabin top had his hand on the boom--which I imagine was for the purpose of monitoring where it was by feel--but was his light pressure on it on the second try bringing it across the "straw that broke the camel's back"?

    ps--I couldn't watch this on the main page and got the message that I didn't have "permission"; might be a problem with my unusual browser setup though.

    pps--was an internal outhaul what held the boom together?


    • #3
      Got the same message on the FP.
      Curious as to why people were trying to pull down the main while the spinnaker was still out of control. Wrinkled but stable. The young lady that moved up on the cabin top between the broken sections of the boom while everything was still out of control made me cringe....


      • #4
        Booms most commonly break / fail due to bi-metallic corrosion at the vang attachment point, which was the case here. Yes, an internal outhaul and reefing lines most likely 'held it together'. The hand on the boom had nothing to do with the failure, IMHO.
        As to getting the main down while others were still getting the kite down, why not if you have enough hands? Leaving the main up longer only increases the likelihood of damaging that sail.


        • #5
          Wow, eight people on a 911S.

          Might have been corrosion, might have been vang on too hard gybing over the years - or a combination of the two.


          • #6
            I discard my earlier notion that the crewperson's hand had a role in the boom's breakage and suspect your analysis is all that there may be to it. The mass of the boom by itself coming to an abrupt halt at the end of the mainsheet would be enough to push it out of column and let the force exerted by the strapped outhaul do its thing on any weakness present at the vang attachment point... though--and this may be me once again grasping at straws which don't exist--it occurs to me upon the third viewing that just maybe the loose end of the spinnaker pole played a part...

            As for the crew's attempt to douse the main before having gotten the spinnaker under control, I agree with family sailor--though I wouldn't fault the Heart of Gold crew since having such catastrophic gear failure creates a strong urge to douse sails.

            On the other hand, sitting here behind my computer I imagine how with the lee shore of Alcatraz somewhere in the vicinity I would have wanted to keep the main pulling until the spinnaker was in the boat and all lines out of the water; plus pulling down it down while hard up against the spreaders isn't the best thing for it either.

            Thanks to the skipper and crew for sharing this video as it is the sort of thing which can help others prepare for surprises.



            • #7
              That is the most awkward looking reach/run angle/kite trim I have ever seen. At first I thought they were trying to reach up to make it over the rock but then at the end they are going for a gybe? Pole is super low and too far forward, kite is way over trimmed; whole thing is shaking like somebody on bath salts. No wonder the boom wouldn't come over, they were cruising along at half speed.

              Glad homeboy on the cabin top didn't get smoked though, thats some loaded up jagged metal!
              Pointing like a traffic cop, footin like a track star.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rainier View Post
                whole thing is shaking like somebody on bath salts.
                I find bath salts produce a less erratic shaking.

                The guys on the foredeck who kept saying square the pole back new what was up. Looked like a classic case of everyone prepares for a gybe and forgets to sail the boat. Nothing breaks so long as you don't slow down.


                • #9
                  It looked to me like the kite was not fully hoisted.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by willy_boykin View Post
                    I find bath salts produce a less erratic shaking.
                    You might be the last one who actually uses them in a bath!
                    Pointing like a traffic cop, footin like a track star.


                    • #11
                      I'd still credit the skipper and crew for sharing the live video and suspect that other generally well-sailed boats might appear to be less well-sailed when watched under the cold clear eye of unedited CCTV.

                      Anyhow, not to diminish the comment above regarding corrosion, but it occurs to me to ask: is a vang of 16:1* excessive for such a boat? I see the value of enabling the smallest crew to put proper force on such a control even when they are reaching over their shoulder from the rail, etc., but has anyone devised a system for limiting the ultimate force from such tackle? Perhaps a heavy extension spring or some sort of slip clutch?

                      It seems to me that if there is nearly a half-ton of pre-load on a vang and the boom crashes outward suddenly, even a new boom on a fast-moving boat is going to have trouble dealing with the upward bending stress as the main's leech snaps tight. Is that a valid thought?

                      *might just be 12:1 but from another video of the boat it looks like four part tackle at the base of the mast.


                      • #12
                        Sanity, agree with your point on everyone looks bad showing a video of that type of event. While I've never made a mistake, I have seen Rainer break 4 spinnaker poles trying to learn to sail a boat with more then just one sail.

                        I think the focus on vang purchase is kind of missing the point. If you have a 1:1 vang and pull it on while going upwind with the mainsheet cranked you will break your boom if it's windy when you ease the main off to turn downwind. If you want to engineer protections into every system on the boat you will either have the worlds heaviest boat or one that can never be sailed to it's full potential. When someone is adjusting the vang they, or someone behind them, need to look at the sail and confirm it's trimmed properly. We used to write VOC (vang, outhaul, cunningham)- COV on the centerboards of the juniors to remind them (us) what to check prior to a mark rounding.

                        When things break on proven designs 99% of the time it's operator error or poor maintenance. Don't mean to knock the owner/crew but the video either showed one or both of those things. The cool thing about sailing is everyone always has more they can learn and the video should be a great learning tool for the boat and the rest of us that watch it.

                        Back to the real point, I find the one for the doctor one for the bath approach works best for bath salts. The trick is to have someone throw the radio in the bath when the white rabbit peaks.


                        • #13
                          Glad nobody was hurt and hope Joan gets her back on the water soon... Heart of Gold is a well-sailed boat with a nice crew! Sometimes these crazy equipment failures just happen, and glad it wasn't more major and that it didn't fall on someone!


                          • #14
                            She got a loaner boom and scored a bullet in her last race if I'm not mistaken.