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15 September - Les and Graham Capsize

15th September - Les and Graham capsize


There was a brisk wind on 15th September and the RYA Sailing School were practicing their capsize drill.  In the middle of the race, Les and Graham decided to demonstrate how the experts really do it.

Unlike the RYA Method, Les and Graham choose to get the helm on the centreboard to right the boat.  Graham explains that this is in order to make most efficient use of weight.

Having righted the boat and scooped Graham up perfectly, Les was perhaps unaware that the tip of the mast had managed to catch a fairly enormous clump of weed.

The next part of the Burton / Parry Method probably needs some refinement.  At the moment the Method is as follows:

In order to retrieve the helmsman from the water, the crew is required to heel the boat until a perpendicular line drawn from the top of the mast is precisely 85cm outboard of the gunwale.  This is deemed to be the perfect angle for the recovery of the helm.

Unfortunately what Les and Graham have failed to appreciate is that this also places the top of the mast directly above the helmsman's head.

Those of my readers who possess a vivid imagination can probably see where this is going.  For the rest of you I attach a sequence of pictures.  If you roll your mouse over the images you should see a close-up of the picture.


Les capsize 0002 


At this point Les is wearing a tasteful weedy ponytail as a result of a small piece of weed landing on his head.  Our 2 intrepid sailors seem oblivious to what is about to happen as the majority of the weed makes its way back to the water where it belongs.


 Les capsize 0004


The approximate moment of impact of the large clump of weed.  The trick here is to remember to keep one's mouth shut.  It is tempting to shout at your crew, but this risks a mouthful of weed and foul smelling mud.  Here it is important to note Graham's concern for his helmsman.


Les capsize 0006


Les is well and truly plastered!  Note that Les is adopting the "eyes wide shut" mode to ensure the minimum of weed / mud ingress.


Les capsize 0008


Les looks pretty grim.  Graham says that there is nothing new there.

If anyone can suggest improvements to the Burton / Parry Method, please contact Les & Graham direct.