View Full Version : GGR 2022 as a vaulable safety reference

11-18-2022, 07:57 PM
I went to the SHTP seminar that David and Brian gave this week and they referenced the Route du Rhum incidents (a sad finish to this race). I found this: https://www.yachtingworld.com/races/a-torrent-of-flames-came-out-of-my-cabin-dramatic-mid-ocean-rescues-in-the-route-du-rhum-141468 I thought the description of fire on board was scary and I've been told the real reason to have the liferaft handy is for fire not so much for sinking. That seems to have been true in this case. Again I was reminded how much more difficult everything becomes in a real emergency. I definitely want to follow up with David on his live Safety at Sea course and what he learned about liferafts (he had said righting a liferaft is not easy).

However this post is about the massive amount I have been learning by following the GGR; in particular by listening to the satellite safety calls. Each time a skipper describes a failure, and there have been many, I learn something. These boats are all old, many older than mine, but have been prepared to a very high safety standard. I should make a summary of what I have learned and post it and will if I get time. Right now there is a rescue underway after a sinking in the Southern Ocean and that will be a valuable lesson about real emergency situations, particularly tracking and rescue.

The GGR day-by-day with logs is here: https://goldengloberace.com/day-by-day/
The Facebook page with live reports is here: https://www.facebook.com/goldengloberace/
The tracker is here: https://goldengloberace.com/live-tracker/

11-19-2022, 09:58 AM
Rescue was successful. When I did some research into the similar Vendee Globe incident that David and Brian referenced in our SHTP seminar all I could really find on that rescue was here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOzJglDgDF4 and here: https://www.practical-sailor.com/safety-seamanship/incredible-rescue There is some unofficial discussion with some speculation here on what happened with EPIRBs and PLBs https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f158/why-so-hard-to-find-kevin-escoffier-safety-gear-question-pls-read-before-reply-243337.html but if anyone knows what really happened I would be interested. I think my focus is on one hand, the gadgets: the use and effectiveness of EPRIRBs, PLBs, VHF, satphones, MOB signals, and SARTs. On the other hand is the practical side: liferafts, survival suits, and just what you need to know and do or not do.

Just to give you an idea, I'll put down here a couple of things that I haven't seen in discussions, safety lists and talks, and that's what I'm really getting at, the real experience as opposed to the theory, but I'm collecting a much larger list: 1. It would be useful for everyone in a race to have an MMSI to boat lookup table. When I got a DSC in the Drake's Bay race it was impossible for me to know who it was from. Took me over an hour to finally nail it down by texting back-and-forth with USCG. 2. I think Dave mentioned LED signals and laser flares and Brian at some point mentioned to me that a helo pilot he talked to could see an e-flare at up to 8 miles, so the usefulness of pyrotechnics may be gradually being eclipsed. It was certainly a pain to get all mine shipped. The official rules, which were just changed are here: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-46/chapter-I/subchapter-Q/part-161/subpart-161.013 but somewhere there's a really good write up on all this, maybe from the CG, but I cant find it right now.

Anyway, GGR is pretty good about releasing and posting information, so I'll post this here for reference describing the comms as the rescue concluded, in case it scrolls down and out on the media pages.

UPDATE: At 0639 UTC Kirsten spoke to GGR CMT and confirmed that they can now speak to each other and see each other. Earlier on Tapio could see Minnehaha but she could not see his liferaft in the swell, and Kirsten could hear Tapio but his VHF would not receive her transmission. GGR CMT guided Kirsten closer to Tapio’s latest position, and they are now planning recovery.

UPDATE: At 0639 UTC Kirsten spoke to GGR CMT and confirmed that she can now speak to Tapio via VHF. She is on direct course to the liferaft now.

So another real-world practical concern I have is with VHF, which in my experience really doesn't work very well (or perhaps more accurately as well as you might think). Somewhere there is an account of Will's experience with Sea Wisdom and VHF (I think maybe only on Jackie's video) and the only thing that worked for him in his rescue was a SART. I had an incident in the LongPac where I was hailed by a ship on 16, responded, he requested transfer to a non-16 channel and I lost him - later to find out the new channel was auto-low-power, something that was not obvious on my set - we reconnected on 16 after some minutes but lesson learned.

I was about to hit enter but after listening to all the details, I guess I should add the obvious: that there was a massive amount of stuff going on behind the scene, coordination and so on, in this rescue.

11-29-2022, 06:20 PM
Here's a very interesting update with summary of the Tapio rescue and another breakage. Elliott broke his bowsprit: https://goldengloberace.com/golden-globe-race-lifesaving-regulations-asteria-sinking-lessons-to-be-learnt/

Somewhere there's a report of an investigation by the French national sailing safety organization (not sure who that is, perhaps someone can tell me) and the consensus was that GGR has the highest safety standards they had ever seen, including Vendee Globe. If anyone can find that reference LMK. I think it might have been in one of the dock walk videos on YouTube but I cant find it again.

In another thread somewhere I mentioned most GGR folks seem to be using Iridium sat phones. However, they cant be using iridium Extreme 9575 as that has GPS, so most must be using the 9555. I will repeat again that I am very impressed with the GGR use of the YB3i handhelds, they really seem to have worked well. Tapio texted (albeit badly) throughout the rescue and into the liferaft. Anyone here had experience with either the YB3i puck or the handheld?

11-30-2022, 08:10 PM
At the risk of talking to myself…
1. Here's some "Intenet analysis" of the failure that sank Tapio's supposedly bullet-proof boat: (starts about page 12) https://forums.sailinganarchy.com/threads/ggr-2022.230140/page-24
2. And a detailed analysis by someone who I think helped refit the boat: https://windpilot.com/blog/en/golden-globe-race/ggr-2022/tapio-lehtinen/

I dont have any experience with crash bulkheads and foam but I'm learning … https://www.proboat.com/2013/03/the-unsinkable/

12-01-2022, 10:35 AM

Thanks for the informative links to the potential causes of the loss of Tapio's boat. In particular, I found the details on the rebuild of the boat most interesting https://windpilot.com/blog/en/golden-globe-race/ggr-2022/tapio-lehtinen/

In the photo below, it's striking to see the difference between the boat's rudder which is completely protected by the keel and the Hydrovane rudder completely exposed to floating debris. Combined with the author's commentary on the fragility of the lower bolt connections to the hull and transom, it's not hard to speculate that something in the water caught the Hydrovane rudder and ripped the mounting pads it off the boat causing uncontrolled water intrusion.

Peter Foerthmann's (owner of Windpilot vanes) linked commentary on his issues with the GGR management on autopilot and windvane restrictions in the race is also relevant.

It's also possible that an undersized and poorly reinforced 50 year old transom failed due to backstay tension.

12-01-2022, 09:32 PM
Hi Grace: I did find this, from https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/boat-events/golden-globe-race/golden-globe-race-tapio-lehtinen-within-two-minutes-the-water-had-gone-from-knee-to-waist-height-i-knew-i-had-to-leave-the-boat-91250

>> ‘Everything happened so quickly. I was sleeping in my bunk when I woke up around 0830. I woke up to a big bang. Although I was sleeping, I do react to the movement of the boat and I am 99% sure we didn’t hit anything. The bang came from the deck or inside the boat. I felt no impact. I have a safety net on top of the bunk so it took around 20 seconds to crawl out of my bunk and put my feet on the floor, and it was already knee deep in water. The water was rushing rapidly from the stern of the boat forward into the cabin,’ Lehtinen told Yachting Monthly from the bulk carrier Darya Gayatri.

Tapio basically completely rebuilt that boat from ground up. Some of Tapio's more detailed accounts are in Finnish and slowly finding their way out but…
1. I'm not sure he really knows what happened.
2. I think everyone including Tapio was stunned. If you listen to Simon's sat call right after the sinking he basically said "I've told everyone we may lose rigs and masts but these boats are unsinkable. I have to re-think that now."
3. It seems to me, and I have no idea what I am talking about, that it could be, by the amount of water flowing into the cabin and the fact Tapio thinks there was no collision, that the compartment(s) were filling and then a bulkhead failed. Now that water ingress could be triggered initially because of the Hydrovane connection, I surely dont know. It is an interesting conundrum: A. Do you use a Hydrovane and have built-in emergency steering, but with huge forces on the large vane rudder area? I've seen a Hydrovane and they are massively built but you wonder about the attachment to the hull and the large forces at play in areas that were never designed to take them. I'd be very interested to get Jim's opinions if he is listening. Maybe I'll ask him. B. Get a Monitor (or other servo-pendulum) and deal with how you an handle emergency rudder (I have an M-RUD which I can see is going to be tricky to fit at night in a swell which is when the rudder will fail). I am sort of feeling good about the expensive decision to get a new rudder this winter.

Anyway, for me, it is a bit of a wake up call. I too wonder what Tapio's rigging tension was with 1/2" shrouds. You can't get around Hooke's Law. I upsized my rigging by two sizes and maybe should not have done that: it's too easy to destroy the boat when you have that much destructive power at hand. Jim Antrim helped me with reinforcing my mast and I have read some of what Jim says about keeping a boat afloat but I know I cant add crash bulkheads everywhere, and certainly not strong enough to withstand the hydrostatic pressure (see 3.11 in https://globalsolochallenge.com/regulations/ for example). Maybe I could put some foam down and foam fill some milk jugs. I just dont know. I'm certainly going to get the best liferaft I can and mount it where I can use it toute de suite.

I'll move on from trying to speculate what happened to Tapio and continue to learn from other GGR safety incidents. There was an interesting GGR issue on DSC distress calls the other day and I will add that here when I figure it out...


12-02-2022, 08:19 AM
On the 10 day passage from Vava'u Tonga to Auckland New Zealand, I woke up one morning with the boat well off course. The fact that we were about 15 nm abeam of Minerva Reef was top of mind. I looked over the transom at the Monitor windvane rudder being merrily towed a few feet behind the boat on top of the water with its safety line attached. The connecting tube between the windvane rudder and the windvane frame had broken sometime during the night. Monitors are made with a sacrificial tube designed to break if the windvane rudder strikes something in the water. All new Monitors come with additional sacrificial tubes for this purpose.

While it was awkward to remove the hinged joint at the bottom of the vane and install another down tube, it only took about 30 minutes start to finish. There was no other damage to the boat.

Hydrovane makes their windvane rudder post from solid stainless steel - virtually indestructible. If the vane rudder strikes something in the water, most of the force is transferred into the brackets holding the windvane onto the boat. In Tapio's case, I'll bet there was no engineering analysis or load calculations done to determine likely failure points of his Hydrovane installation.

12-02-2022, 07:14 PM
Grace: I did find a few pictures that nobody else seems to have posted that show the rear of Tapio's boat. I really have no idea what might have happened but maybe these pictures might help you guys who have way more experience than me.

You can use this first picture / cut-away drawing to figure out what the others show remembering that Tapio's goal was to place all the thru-hulls in one watertight compartments between the aftmost and next-to-next-to-aftmost compartments. So I recknon there are three bulkheads between the Hydrovane and the cabin. I'm no longer sure that the Hydovane must be the problem… but I don't know.




01-15-2023, 02:34 PM
I think there is a GGR incident debrief interview with Tapio scheduled pretty soon. I did find a couple more pictures and made the attached. Credits are https://www.nordicrefitcenter.fi/Benello-Gaia---S%26S-36/ and https://goldengloberace.com/skippers/tapio-lehtinen/ I deliberately did not use the same numbers for what I believe are corresponding bulkheads in the different pictures. I'm pretty sure I know which is which, but whats there are just the facts.

My question is: What does everyone recommend for bulkheads? See #11. Do you seal around the hoses in all the inevitable hose holes? Do you leave them "open" around the hoses (and add fire hose jacket or other chafe protection)? Do you add a relief valve? Do you add detection and pump to every compartment (I think Puffin did)? I ask because I had not considered what happens if the bulkhead gives way…

PS: I should make my thinking explicit: what happens when you have a cascading failure: A, B, C, D … ? A = slow or fast leak that fills compartment; B = compartment bulkhead fails; C = bulkhead collapse takes a hose or two with it and what happens, does the hose pull off, is the hose stronger than the fitting D = Boat sinks faster. Jim has a great practical summary at https://www.pacificcup.org/sites/default/files/kbfiles/Hull_Integrity_r3_JKA_0.pdf but I cant find much of anything else on this kind of stuff. I dont mean the regulations that state you have to have valves in the wall, but the discussions on what is practical?


01-30-2023, 07:35 PM
Analysis of Tapio's sinking: https://www.facebook.com/goldengloberace/videos/3705938189633240

01-31-2023, 09:02 AM
This is a really impressive, detailed and insightful discussion of the sinking of a singlehanded yacht by its skipper and naval experts involved in the refit of the boat. Their consensus seems to be that only a large breach of the main compartment (the salon) and not the other watertight bulkheads would have swamped the boat in such a short time. So possibly hitting a submerged object like a shipping container at just the right angle was the cause.