How to survive 30 knots, or, what to do if you've bitten off more than you can chew
How to Survive 30 knots: class outline (this class was given in CSC Advanced Dinghy several times). The student executes the following nine steps, which are those recommended under the conditions in the title. Under mild conditions, please try to imagine waves over three feet and rain in the face like shotgun pellets.
- Sail to upwind Junior line.
- Deploy anchor
- Lower mainsail
- Right boat
- Furl mainsail
- Raise anchor
- Jibe jib only at least twice (for practice)
- Sail back to dock
- Before launching in exciting conditions, it is wise to carry a radio and to notify the Day Leader they may be needed.
- When deploying the anchor, the rode must go out the front of the boat (to keep the bow pointed into the wind) or this maneuver will not work.
- Before the drill capsize, please get at least 90% of the way from the rocks to the upwind line. If you capsize too much before you get there, try sailing main only.
- It is hard to point very high sailing jib only, and nearly impossible to tack, so to go upwind you need to jibe quickly so as not to lose much ground during the turn. Use this opportunity to practice pointing as high as possible and making quick jibes. Make sure centerboard is fully down, and do not oversheet as this would make it hard to point very high.
- If you have an unconscious sailor, particularly one with a head injury, contact the Coast Guard immediately on channel 16.
- The Coast Guard will only pick up sailors, not boats. (If you have to go, leave it anchored and maybe the Club can get it back.)
- If you need help but can’t reach the Dayleader on 69 (might happen if you’re north of the Berkeley Pier), you might try contacting the Berkeley Marina harbormaster on 68 and asking her to pass a message to the DL.
Supplement: How to survive 40 knots
In an incident in the first half of 2017, on a Thursday race night most of the club’s best sailors were confronted with 40-knot winds. All boats capsized. Most were unable to right their boats even with mainsails down. Only two crews were able to survive with any grace.
The first set of survivors, both highly-skilled sailors, were able to perform the above-listed steps and sail back in jib only, but it was very hard, they reported. Pulling up the anchor, in the teeth of very high waves and winds, was exhausting.
The second set of survivors simply set their anchor and swam back to the dock, recovering their boat the next day.