Doug finally got around to updating his Worlds Journals with his recollections from the Worlds in Japan in 1994. It was the only time he was actually frightened by the conditions and it was also the only time he sailed in an event where the conditions were likely responsible for the death of a sailor.
Update at link below:
1994 Laser Master World Championships (Wakayama, Japan)
It's very sad regarding the death of that sailor. We should learn from these cases but the message gets diluted over time. Every time I go to a regatta I see some sailors using pretty dodgy PFDs. It seems that it is quite a common thing for Laser sailors to rip out the bulky foam and replace it with thinner stuff that will barely provide adequate flotation. I know that the PFDs we use for dinghy sailing are not meant to support an unconscious person on their back, but it's just silly to mess with the sailing/regatta rules and wear equipment that doesn't even meet minimum requirements.ReplyDelete
I agree 100%. Even though it was apparently Jeff Martin himself who found the sailor, we never received any details about what happened. I have always assumed that it was going downwind, he hit a wave coming at him, and he was knocked unconscious. For sure, a better PFD might have helped.Delete