Started Sailing

Biggest Crash Ever!!!

by Alex
(London, UK)


Well I was in a race and on the starting line. Let me say first that I was in an emotional state and made lots of mistakes! First I made the mistake of coming above the committee boat at 30 seconds to go and try to muscle my way in on top - I ended up over the line. Next big mistake was staying there and not going round to the back. My final mistake was tacking too fast!

What happenned was that the start line was very near the left edge of the lake, so the boats starting on starboard had to tack almost immediately. There were loads of boats coming towards me saying room to tack and then coming at me on port. I had to tack, but unfortunately, I did it too quickly and did not bear away enough. I ended up hitting a starboard boat on its side.

The damage was substantial. There was a gaping hole in the boat I had hit and the boat I was in had the front pretty much ripped off.

Is your story any worse?

Comments for Biggest Crash Ever!!!

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Nov 26, 2009
For me..
by: Pedro

For me it was when I was about 14. I was racing in a topper and I crashed into another topper, whilst going around the downwind mark. It was because I hadn't left him enough water. Well anyway, I capsize and couldn't get the boat up. I was so cold (this was not in Miami!) that I almost got hypothermia. The experience has I think scarred me and for a long time I couldn't get into a boat.

Until my job demanded me to get in the water, I decided I might give sailing another go. And here I am today cruising around in my RS. But I won't ever race again.

Nov 26, 2009
My biggest crash...
by: lilja

My biggest crash happened just 2 months ago :P

I was in a competition and our boat had just come through the starting line and where starting our second lap. Things were not going to well for us, we had messed up the start and tipped twice already in lens...i don't know how to say lens in English... its when you are going strait downwind.
Anyway we where in 4th place and we tacked, There was another boat (who was in our team) and they had the right of way, so they shouted right of way. We where going full speed towards them and i panicked. I forgot to let out the sail a bit to get more control of the steer so i could turn on time and we crashed right in to the side of them :oops: . No damage was done to the boats (Thank god) but the other team tipped and while they where tipping i saw a little hand point up in to the air and Isak (the captain of the other boat) shout Kæring! (which translates to Penalty). we did 3 360 degrees turns around ourselves although we where only superposed to only do two...We took one more by mistake and then held on with the race. The other boat unfortunately could not tip there boat around again because there boom had fallen off :P they never forgave us for that.

Nov 26, 2009
by: Alex

Hi Lilja

Sounds like a bad crash!

Its called running. See this:

Team racing is good fun, I tried it on my lake with the University Sailing Club. You really have to know what your doing and know your rules well.

Your crash sounds a bit like mine. I didn't let out enough mainsheet either and so couldn't bear away fast enough.

Nov 26, 2009
by: Tonette

well i could say that i haven't experienced that one yet since i always go with my dad and never join any competition and the likes..but your experiences here makes me aware of all those possible mistakes that im gonna make in the near future..

Nov 26, 2009
by: nakchura

What!? You made a hole on the other boat!? I don't think I still want to join competitions now. I wouldn't want to pay for someone else's boat. :D

Nov 26, 2009
I hope...
by: Nakchura

I hope its alright to say a crash even if its not from a competition. I haven't joined any actually.

When I first learned how to ride a sailboat, I was just allowed to sail near the shore and docks, with a lot of yachts. So far so good, I could steer it smoothly and turn nicely until this one stupid moment of mine. I was day dreaming! Before I knew it I was gonna crash into a yacht. I was able to steer it but it did slid through the side of it and made a little damage to the paint. It was so embarrassing because many people saw me and the owner was there. After wards I just went to our cottage and continued after a week. :D

Nov 26, 2009
by: takatenamano

:lol: Good thing nothing bad seemed to happened to you. I guess you we're also scared when the owner saw you. Oh well, there's always a first time for everything so cheer up. :D

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