GGR dis­as­ter or tri­umph?

Practical Boat Owner - - Letters -

Loïc Lepage’s res­cue by bulk car­rier from his dis­masted yacht Laa­land in the Golden Globe Race sparked a Prac­ti­cal Boat Owner Face­book page de­bate.

Steve Papil­lon wrote: Is it me or is this race a bit of a dis­as­ter? How much has all the res­cue ef­fort cost never mind the ad­verse PR for the sport? Won­der if the pre-reqs were rig­or­ous enough? No idea... but lot of sailors with bro­ken kit and bro­ken bod­ies and bro­ken boats from where I’m sit­ting.

Mark Phillips replied: I did won­der whether run­ning a race with 1960s kit was such a good idea. In prin­ci­ple yes – hark­ing back to pre-GPS days etc. In prac­tice equip­ment has ad­vanced for a rea­son: be­cause the ocean is a dan­ger­ous place and safety is para­mount.

Rob But­tress said: Steve, I re­spect your per­spec­tive but sug­gest it’s wise to wait un­til the race has fin­ished and all the data on the var­i­ous fail­ure modes have been soberly con­sid­ered by those qual­i­fied to do so, be­fore declar­ing it any­thing. In an un­der­tak­ing like this fail­ures are in­evitable. In the 1968 incarnation only one com­peti­tor tech­ni­cally fin­ished, and with Moitessier, call it two. So any more than four fin­ish­ers makes this a suc­cess by my reck­on­ing.

A still from the Aus­tralian Mar­itime Safety Au­thor­ity (AMSA) res­cue video of Loïc Lepage’s aban­doned yacht

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