SIGHTINGS amigos and Loose Lips for more on the show.) For the last few months, we’ve been periodically asking circumnavigators who have started and ended their roundabouts from the West Coast or Hawaii to let us continued in middle column of next sightings page
piranha — cont’d Falso. No one was injured in the grounding. Alerted to the situation by delivery skipper John Rosenfeld, Voss flew down the next day and then endured a several-hour ride over dirt roads and no roads (even part of the Baja 1000 course) to get to the boat. Upon arrival, his early hopes that Piranha could be saved quickly evaporated. “I saw the first chunks of red hull almost two miles from the wreck,” he said, “and more as I got closer. Ultimately we figured out that the starboard side was no longer there.” From that point on, the recovery crew battled to get — in order — personal gear belonging to the delivery crew or left aboard by the racing crew, as well as sails, spinnaker poles, lines, etc. They didn’t get much. “Even though we could see this stuff, and get a line around it — and were using a 3” diameter seawater pump to blow sand away — we got almost nothing,” said Voss. The “maddeningly fine” sand might as well have been concrete. “We even put a rope around the top of the jib, hooked it to a tow cable on a winch on a Mercedes 4WD and pumped seawater into the sand around it. All that happened is we ‘towed’ the car 8 feet closer to the boat.” After four days of salvaging what little they could, the bruised, cut (from the broken fiberglass and jagged pieces of carbon hiding in the sand) and exhausted crew said their good-byes to the boat and left her to the elements. She was sinking so fast into the beach that Voss felt she’d be gone in a few more days. There were lots of conflicting reports coming out of Mexico in the days following the grounding. One thing Voss did confirm is that Rosenfeld had agreed to deliver two boats home, Piranha and the SC 50 Hula Girl. Voss was advised of this situation ahead of time and, if anything, “I thought it was an advantage, as the two boats could travel together on the way home.” The only change to the plan was that Rosenfeld ended up on Hula Girl, while another skipper he had hired was on Piranha. We were not able to corroborate the exact sequence of events which led to the grounding so will not add to that speculation here. Voss did confirm that, contrary to early reports, Piranha did not hit a submerged object before the grounding. “The bottom line,” said Voss, “is that Piranha is no more. For now, how she got there doesn’t matter. No one was hurt, the insurance company has been great and I look forward to having a replacement Farr 40 sailing in Southern California before you go to press. We will see you at the Big Boat Series in September!” Voss joined the Farr 40 class in 2004 after a very successful Shock 35 program in SoCal. He’s been active with Piranha (ex-Quintessence, hull #83, launched in 2001) ever since, trucking her as far north as San Francisco for the 2004 Farr 40 Worlds and Big Boat Series, and as far east as Newport, Rhode Island, for the 2006 Worlds. — jr
circumnavigator’s rendezvous Latitude 38’s second Circumnavigator’s Rendezvous is a ‘go’ and getting better all the time. Just before deadline, the super folks of the nonprofit Lynx Educational Foundation came on board as sponsors — so this special get-together will take place on the Lynx, which is a privateer-replica, topsail schooner. We don’t know where exactly she will be docked during the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show at Jack London Square, but at 122 feet, she shouldn’t be too hard to find. Official date and time for the Circumnavigator’s Rendezvous are Friday, April 20, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. We apologize for the odd timing, but Latitude personnel have several other commitments that continued on outside column of next sightings page
April, 2007 •
• Page 129
The April 2007 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.