Fastnet, Force 10
January 5, 2013 2:58 PM Subscribe
posted by the man of twists and turns (9 comments total)
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The Fastnet Race
is a biennial sailing race from Cowes to Fastnet Rock to Plymouth, in England. In 1979
, it was the venue for one of the most famous storms
and greatest disasters
in yacht-racing history.
There were 15 deaths, and one man left for dead
as his crewmates got into
According to the race inquiry, 70 per cent of the entrants faced Force 11 or above with winds of 55 knot or more and waves of 30 feet or more. Many faced waves of more than 40 feet. Close to half the boats reported a knock-down to horizontal or almost horizontal, a third reported that their boat rolled beyond horizontal. Most terrible of all, one eighth of the fleet were capsized entirely and dismasted.
The boats most affected by the storm were the 35' and under group, as the larger boats has enough speed to get out of the way of the storm.
, Ted Turner's yacht, was the winner on corrected time. Turner: "The '79 race had the roughest conditions I can remember when actually racing"
Here's an interview
with two J30 skippers in the race. The BBC
has an hour-long recreation of the race. The findings resulted in
increased safety standard for offshore races.
The definitive account is John Rousmaniere's Fastnet Force 10
The "force" referred to is the Beaufort scale.