We finally have means of communications… – Wouter Verbraak Sailing | Facebook

We finally have means of communications… – Wouter Verbraak Sailing | Facebook:

Earlier tonight Wouter made a brief post on Facebook. It confirms what a lot of commenters on Sailing Anarchy and elsewhere had been speculating about the underlying causes of the grounding: fatigue, time pressure, a last-minute course alteration, and the misfeature of the boat’s electronic charting software obscuring relevant detail (including the presence of a 50-km reef) at lower zoom levels.

Something I’ve seen repeatedly over the past few days are people willing to glibly say Wouter must have been guilty of “gross negligence”. That term carries extra weight because of its use in legal proceedings, but some of those using it seem to think it’s just another way of saying “a mistake that had really bad consequences, and that I don’t believe I would ever have made myself.”

Something else I’ve noticed: commenters’ willingness to assert that appears to be negatively correlated with their level of personal experience with long-distance offshore racing navigation.

Everyone makes mistakes. Wouter’s was a really bad one, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a prudent, competent, careful navigator. It just means that even a prudent, competent, careful navigator, under precisely the wrong set of circumstances, can screw up in a big way. He failed his team. But his tools, and the system of oversight that needs to be in place to prevent unavoidable human error from spiraling into catastrophe, also failed him.

No one died. A few people got scrapes and bruises, but otherwise there were no injuries. Hopefully the lessons learned will help save other boats, and other lives, in the future.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/12rbxNG.

Tags: vor, volvo ocean race, team vestas wind, wouter verbraak.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.