A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.
The 1979 Fastnet race was the twenty-eighth Royal Ocean Racing Club's Fastnet race, a yachting race held generally every two years since 1925 on a 605-mile course from Cowes direct to the Fastnet Rock and then to Plymouth via south of the Isles of Scilly. In 1979, it was the climax of the five-race Admiral's Cup competition, as it had been since 1957.
The Royal Ocean Racing Club is a gentleman's club in London. It was established in 1925 as the Ocean Racing Club, as a result of a race to the Fastnet Rock from Cowes, finishing in Plymouth. The RORC is the principal organiser of offshore yacht races in the United Kingdom, including the Fastnet Race, the Admiral's Cup and the Commodores' Cup. RORC was founded to encourage long distance yacht racing and the design, building and navigation of sailing vessels in which speed and seaworthiness are combined.
Yachting refers to the use of recreational boats and ships called yachts for sporting purposes. Yachts are distinguished from working ships mainly by their leisure purpose.
Cowes is an English seaport town and civil parish on the Isle of Wight. Cowes is located on the west bank of the estuary of the River Medina, facing the smaller town of East Cowes on the east bank. The two towns are linked by the Cowes Floating Bridge, a chain ferry.
A worse-than-expected storm on the third day of the race wreaked havoc on over 303 yachts that started the biennial race,resulting in 19 fatalities (15 yachtsmen and 4 spectators). Emergency services, naval forces, and civilian vessels from around the west side of the English Channel were summoned to aid what became the largest ever rescue operation in peace-time. This involved some 4,000 people including the entire Irish Naval Service's fleet, lifeboats, commercial boats, and helicopters.
The English Channel, also called simply the Channel, is the body of water that separates Southern England from northern France and links the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the busiest shipping area in the world.
The Naval Service is the maritime component of the Defence Forces of Ireland and is one of the three branches of the Irish Defence Forces. Its base is in Haulbowline, County Cork.
The 1979 race started on 11 August. BBC Radio shipping forecast, broadcast at 13:55 that day predicted "south-westerly winds, force four to five increasing to force six to seven for a time."By 13 August, winds were reported at Force 6, with gusts of Force 7. Forecasters were predicting winds of Force 8. The leading boat, Kialoa , trailed closely by Condor of Bermuda , was on course to break the Fastnet record set eight years earlier.
BBC Radio is an operational business division and service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The service provides national radio stations covering the majority of musical genres, as well as local radio stations covering local news, affairs and interests. It also oversees online audio content.
The Beaufort scale is an empirical measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea or on land. Its full name is the Beaufort wind force scale.
Kialoa was a maxi yacht campaign founded and led by Jim Kilroy spanning from 1956 to 1989.
A large depression, known as "low Y," formed over the Atlantic Ocean during the weekend of 11–12 August. On 13 August it began to intensify rapidly and turn northeastwards, reaching about 200 nautical miles southwest of Ireland. By the 14th, the low was centred over Wexford. Land-based weather stations reported gale-force winds, with the strongest winds out to sea over the race area. The Meteorological Office assessed the maximum winds as force 10 on the Beaufort scale; many race competitors believed the winds to have reached force 11.Lowest pressure was 979 hPa.
Explosive cyclogenesis is the rapid deepening of an extratropical cyclonic low-pressure area. The change in pressure needed to classify something as explosive cyclogenesis is latitude dependent. For example, at 60° latitude, explosive cyclogenesis occurs if the central pressure decreases by 24 mbar (hPa) or more in 24 hours. This is a predominantly maritime, winter event, but also occurs in continental settings, even in the summer. This process is the extratropical equivalent of the tropical rapid deepening. Although their cyclogenesis is totally different from that of tropical cyclones, bombs can produce winds of the same order as the first categories of the Saffir-Simpson scale and give heavy rainfall. Even though only a minority of the bombs become so strong, some have caused significant damage.
Wexford is the county town of County Wexford, Ireland. Wexford lies on the south side of Wexford Harbour, the estuary of the River Slaney near the southeastern corner of the island of Ireland. The town is linked to Dublin by the M11/N11 National Primary Route; and to Rosslare Europort, Cork and Waterford by the N25. The national rail network connects it to Dublin and Rosslare Europort. It had a population of 20,188 according to the 2016 census.
Over 13–14 August, of the 303 yachts that started, 24 were abandoned, of which 5 were lost and believed to be sunk, due to high winds and "mountainous seas". The Daily Telegraph (15 August 1979, p. 1) described the situation, where "Royal Navy ships, RAF Nimrod jets, helicopters, lifeboats, a Dutch warship Hr MS. Overijssel and other craft picked up 125 yachtsmen whose boats had been caught in force 11 violent storm strength gusts midway between Land's End and Fastnet". The effort also included tugs, trawlers, and tankers. Rescue efforts began after 6:30 am on 14 August, once the winds had dropped to severe gale Force 9. [ dead link ]
The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.
A rescue lifeboat is a boat rescue craft which is used to attend a vessel in distress, or its survivors, to rescue crew and passengers. It can be hand pulled, sail powered or powered by an engine. Lifeboats may be rigid, inflatable or rigid-inflatable combination hulled vessels.
Land's End is a headland and holiday complex in western Cornwall, England. It is the most westerly point of mainland Cornwall and England, situated within the Penwith peninsula about eight miles (13 km) west-south-west of Penzance at the western end of the A30 road.
"15 sailors died, five boats sank, and at least 75 boats flipped upside down."In any event, adopting heaving to as a storm tactic proved to be a good preventive of capsize and turtling during the race. One author opines that not one of the hove to yachts were capsized or suffered any serious damage, but the official inquiry makes no such conclusion. One Fastnet participant, John Rousmaniere, writes that
|“||If there is a fault in this debate, it is that the factions sometimes say that one tactic or piece of gear is always right, regardless of the boat and the conditions. There is nothing always about a storm at sea except its danger.||”|
This seminal disaster resulted in a major rethink of racing, risks and prevention.
The coastguard requested support resulting in a Nimrod from Kinloss being ordered to the scene to act as the Scene of Search Coordinator. As the scale of the disaster became apparent other rescue assets were requested and HMS Broadsword was ordered to the scene taking over as the Scene of Search Coordinator on arrival 17:30 on 14 August.
The corrected-time (i.e. handicap) winner was the yacht Tenacious, designed by Sparkman & Stephens, owned and skippered by Ted Turner.
The winner on elapsed time in the race was the 77-foot SV Condor of Bermuda skippered by Peter Blake, which gained around 90 minutes on the leader at the Fastnet rock, the SV Kialoa by chancing a spinnaker. Jim Kilroy of the Kialoa had broken his ribs and there was damage to the yacht's runners. SV Condor of Bermuda broke the Fastnet record by nearly eight hours (71h25m23s).
|Corrected Time |
|0||1||Tenacious||SS 61||Ted Turner||93:44:19|
|0||2||Condor of Bermuda||Sp 77||R Bell||97:57:24|
|0||3||Kialoa||J B Kilroy||98:03:40|
|1||1||Red Rock IV||Fr||E Mandelbaum||98:35:05|
|2||1||Eclipse||PtR39||J C Rogers||97:05:27|
|2||2||Jubile VI||Pt 42||H Hamon||97:40:15|
|2||3||Impetuous||Hd||G Lambert & J Crisp||97:53:53|
|3||1||Revolution||Fn 37||J L Fabry||97:42:53|
|3||2||Blue Bird||NI 34||A Gerard||110:48:52|
|3||3||Ceil III||MW 40||W Turnbull||116:33:18|
|4||1||Black Arrow||UFO 34||Royal Air Force S.A.||110:35:10|
|4||2||Samsara||Fr 33||Madame O. Trans-Van-Dom||110:44:19|
|4||3||Mahuri||UFO 34||G M Lowson||122:03:38|
|5||1||Assent||Contessa 32||W & A Ker||116:58:55|
Of the 303 starters, only 86 finished. There were 194 retirements and 24 abandonments (five of which were "lost believed sunk").
Early press reports were often confused. The Daily Telegraph reported that 69 yachts did not finish. Main source: Daily Telegraph, p. 3, 16 August 1979.
Polar Bear was abandoned but remained afloat and raced again. She is berthed in Plymouth.
Over 4000 people aided in the rescue efforts. The Royal Navy coordinated efforts to find around 80 vessels and rescue 136 crew members.
Key contributors to the rescue
These RNLI lifeboats spent 75 hours at sea in 60-knot (110 km/h) winds
The Fastnet Race Memorial at Holy Trinity Church, Cowes, Isle of Wight lists 19 fatalities, the 15 above and Olivia Davidson, John Dix, Richard Pendred & Peter Pickeringwho were aboard Bucks Fizz (a yacht shadowing the fleet to view the race). Denis Benson and David Moore were lost from Tempean (not a competitor). Their names were added to the Fastnet memorial at Cape Clear Island harbour.
HMS Broadsword was the lead ship and first Batch 1 unit of the Type 22 frigates of the Royal Navy.
The Fastnet Race is a famous biennial offshore yacht race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club of the United Kingdom, named after the Fastnet Rock, which the race course rounds. Generally considered one of the classic offshore races, 'Fastnet' is a difficult contest testing both inshore and offshore skills, boat and crew preparation and speed potential. From its inception, the Fastnet Race has proven highly influential in the growth of offshore racing, and remains closely linked to advances in yacht design, sailing technique and safety equipment.
The 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race was the 54th annual running of the "blue water classic" Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It was hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia based in Sydney, New South Wales. It was the most disastrous in the race's history, with the loss of six lives and five yachts. 55 sailors were rescued in the largest peacetime search and rescue effort ever seen in Australia.
The Admiral's Cup was an international yachting regatta. For many years it was known as the unofficial world championship of offshore racing.
The International Offshore Rule (IOR) was a measurement rule for racing sailboats. The IOR evolved from the Cruising Club of America (CCA) rule for racer/cruisers and the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) rule.
In dinghy sailing, a boat is said to be turtling or to turn turtle when the boat is fully inverted with the mast pointing down to the lake bottom or seabed. The name stems from the appearance of the upside-down boat, similar to the carapace, that is the top shell of a sea turtle. The term can be applied to any vessel; turning turtle is less frequent but more dangerous on ships than on smaller boats. Relative to monohulls, it is more hazardous on multihulls, because of their inherent stability in an inverted position. Measures can be taken to prevent a capsize from becoming a turtle.
771 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm was formed on 24 May 1939 at Lee-on-Solent as a Fleet Requirements Unit with 14 Fairey Swordfish TSR biplanes. The Squadron carried out various exercises with ships and provided towed targets for naval air gunners and was decommissioned on 22 March 2016.
The limit of positive stability (LPS) or angle of vanishing stability (AVS) is the angle from the vertical at which a boat will no longer stay upright but will capsize, becoming inverted, or turtled.
The capsize screening formula (CSF) is a somewhat controversial figure. It is defined for sailboats as:
The 1993 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race was the 49th annual running of the Australian "blue water classic" Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It was hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia based in Sydney.
John Rousmaniere is an American writer and author of 30 historical. technical, and instructional books on sailing, yachting history, New York history, business history, and the histories of clubs, businesses, and other organizations. An authority on seamanship and boating safety, he has conducted tests of equipment and sailing skills, and led or participated in fact-finding inquiries into boating accidents. He has been presented with several awards for his writing and his contributions to boating safety and seamanship.
Wells-next-the-Sea Lifeboat Station is an RNLI operated lifeboat station located in the town of Wells-next-the-Sea in the English county of Norfolk. The station operates both inshore and offshore lifeboats. The inshore boat is called Jane Ann III (D-661) and is a D-class (IB1) lifeboat, whilst the offshore boat is called Doris M, Mann of Ampthill, and is a Mersey class lifeboat. The station boathouse is located at the beach on the western side of Wells Harbour mouth.
Jeremy Charles Rogers, MBE is a British boat builder and sailor, based in Lymington, Hampshire, in the United Kingdom, and the manager of an eponymous boatyard, Jeremy Rogers Limited.
Morning Cloud was the name given by the British politician Edward Heath to a series of five yachts which he owned between 1969 and 1983.
Baltimore Lifeboat Station is situated in Baltimore, Ireland and was established in 1919. The station currently runs two lifeboats, RNLB Alan Massey, a Tamar-class All-Weather lifeboat, and RNLB Bessie (B-708), a B-class Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat.
Drum is a maxi yacht owned by Scottish car sales group Arnold Clark Automobiles, formerly co-owned by lead singer of Duran Duran Simon Le Bon who was rescued from the vessel while competing in 1985 Fastnet Race.
RNLB Freddie Cooper is the current all-weather lifeboat on station in the town of Aldeburgh in the English county of Suffolk. The Freddie Cooper has the operation No: 12-34 and has been on station since 1993. She is a Mersey-class fast carriage lifeboat.
RNLB Keith Anderson was an Arun-class lifeboat which served at Newhaven Lifeboat Station for six years, in the relief fleet for one year and finished her RNLI career in Hartlepool in 2003 after serving for three years.
UFO 34 is a cruising and racing fibreglass monohull sailboat class. It is a sloop based on a design by Holman and Pye. The design features a spade rudder and a Bermuda rig with a large, overlapping headsail. Over 150 UFO 34's have been built both in the United Kingdom and Australia.