Monday, March 20, 2017

Death Roll Capsize, Moored Boats and a Broken Mast

Irony "a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result."

Irony indeed. Two weeks ago I blogged some less than flattering comments about aluminium Laser spars being unreliable.  How the outdated design,  bimetallic corrosion and metal fatigue cause them to break after just a few years of use. 

You have to try harder to break an Aero mast and yesterday I achieved it. Had a great practice session in 15 to 20 knots, lots of tacks and jibes, working the waves, planing downwind in the gusts, even had a chance to pace the Australian Laser Sailing Squad who were training in the Sound for the 2020 Olympics.

Coming in back to club through the moorings I capsized backwards.  Traveling well on a broad reach, on semi plane and hit by an abnormal gust. In a flash the classic death roll capsize. Unfortunately over the shoulder there was a moored boat just a mast length away. Cue cracking sound of breaking composite carbon.

A sad and confusing moment swimming around after that capsize, finding the sail floating on the surface and the hull turtled.  

Fortunately Simon from The Life Aquatic has a spare (and an invoice) so back on the water the next day.  Just three more sails before the boat gets shipped to Melbourne for the Aero Nationals.

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