Monday, February 2, 2009

Canting keels - how they work

Rich Wilson's horrifying knockdown in the Vendee Globe  prompted Shira Arnow to search out some technical information on canting keel systems.

NYT Discovers Rich Wilson & the Vendee

The Times used to cover sailing.  When I was a kid the paper listedthe results for one design racing on Manhasset Bay.  I followed enviously from the South Shore. Until a few years ago Herb McCormick, editor of Cruising World, covered the Whitbread/Volvo and Vendee races.

But now niche sports get the occasional human interest story only. The Vendee is one.

But at least the Times woke up for Rich Wilson, sailing Great American III.  The only American and the oldest sailor in these cans that don't even have a 厕所, just a bucket.

Wilson nearly lost the boat the other night, as Desjoyeaux arrived home - with a 5,000 mile lead over Wilson who is in 10th place, with only 2 behind him. 18 have been forced out.

Finishing this race is a huge accomplishment.  remember the rules: 
One man on a boat (an Open 60)
No outside assistance
Leave Antarctica to starboard
Pass a couple of waypoints in the Indian Ocean to pull you away from the ice
Leave from and return to France, propelled only by the action of wind and waves on sails, hull, spars and rigging

Here's the Times account