May 18, 2013

Luna Rossa will race. Bertelli Stament: Common Sense & Sailors safety.


The right words were spoken by Patrizio Bertelli in this case focusing on the security of his team.
Sailors are main asset, and all should revolve now around them. This is no kamikaze game, and only them should decide whether to race or not beyond any possible indication they might get from the management.


The right thing to do at this stage instead on blaming x or y as some are doing, is acting as Bertelli: Asking your team what & how they feel about current situation.
He has not hide or blame a protocol/rules they have agreed to participate in, there is no room for this now.

As there is no excuse for LR or any team to ignore before hand that some degree of risk was involved in this Cup. Andrew's death was sadly a huge wake up call for all.

This risk on the table demanded to design , build and work accordingly beyond of course fortuity or non avoidable  tragic accidents.

As if someone thought there was no way to race these AC72s at SF in 25knots, they should have act in consequence before accepting to enter the event, as the boats were not provided the Org but designed & built by each team according their own visions & capabilities based on proposed rules.

I remember already asking for helmets on first AC45s hard pitchs, before all teams wearing them. I remember speaking on the bareaways and pitchs way before ORs one ot Dalton and Bertelli pointing that those bareaways were the defining risk moment on this event. The AC45s ended being quite reliable in all conditions (remember Plymouth experienced teams performance) beyond some initial and later specific pitchs.

This was just common sense, you don´t need to be a Phd in Physics, CFD & Quantum Mechanics to know how things would be magnified with a 72' racing cat in 25knots.
And the key to this common sense warning always was the design approach focused on performance but also on a safe ride to avoid pitchs and losing the race and thinking ultimately and as direct consequence on the sailors security.

Some have told me comparing our F18 experience in high winds was not applicable, and I think even more now that yes, it applies 100%.

In the same F18 Class rule box, in a cloned 25knots windward mark bareaway situation and with the same crew but in two different boats you have two totally different outcomes:
1 - Smooth transparent and comfortable secure ride& transition to the downwind leg
or
2- Grab to your pants and pray

The difference between these two situations is due to a design concept 100% aplicable to the AC45, AC72s or any other racing Multi. Add another maginifying factor with boats flying high.
Now, structural failures, if any are a total different game, way beyond any analysis capability without information been released.

So looking in a way at possible scenarios described above LR has asked their sailor team if they are confident on their boat and they've said; Yes, we are. And that is the main thing I would demand at this point  if managing any team.

LR will continue to race but they have asked though additional safety measures regarding the organization like confirming quick action units on the water and land, helicopters, plus every logistic detail that will help to react in any emergency.

Bertelli listed the previous ACup boat failures mentioned on last Cup post, and also pointed out that they will not concede changes on the AC72 Class rules, specifying that it is not right that someone may propose technical changes to the boats at this point based on this tragedy.
And I think he is right about this point too, based on the words above regarding a previous assessment on what to design according expected conditions and racing aerea at SF.

ETNZ have chosen the most stable flying and most suitable design a priori to race at SF in 25knots, note I'm not saying is the fastest one, and LR trusting them are receving now the same benefits. As if this event continues the design game related to the conditions expected will be the defining factor to win the Cup as boats ended being quite diff.


Finally LR proposed for wind limits to be lowered.  25knt to 20knt for LV Round Robins & Semifinals, and 28knots to 25knots for LV Final.  For ACup final 33knots to 25knots, and I think even hurting their chances to win, as their boats are better designed to handle extreme conditions.

Wind limits is the major aspect that can act as a global security belt for the entire event after all other logistics are in place.

In short :
- Sailors should decide in their own right to continue racing based on the confidence on their boat/crew team.
- Attached to above all thinkable logistical & security measures should applied by the organization and the team themselves.
- LR will not allow technical / rule modifications to the boats.
- Wind limits should be revisited.

All common sense requests or positions , with wind limits acting as a good  main global reassurance.
Try to listen and view to Bertelli in the clip above.

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