Home Features In Depth

Featured Stories on Boating and Boater Safety

Jury-rigging, mentors and the call of the sea

In 2009, Rich Wilson became only the second American to finish the Vendee Globe.Editor’s note: In 2008-09, Rich Wilson became only the second American to finish the Vendée Globe, the non-stop single-handed sailboat race around the world that has been called the “most grueling and dangerous prolonged competition on the planet.” Wilson, 58 at the time and a severe asthmatic, came in ninth among 11 finishers (out of 30 starters), sailing 29,000 miles over 121 days in his Open 60 Great American III. He endured broken ribs, a facial gash, a climb up the mast on his run to Cape Horn, sleep deprivation and fear. He recounts his adventure in his just published “Race France to France: Leave Antarctica to Starboard,” available in paperback and e-book formats. The next edition of the Vendée starts Nov. 10.



Ocean racing’s A-Team is French

At its core, the Vendee remains a human adventure first and a sports event second. That is what is so compelling.The French are the major-leaguers of short-handed ocean racing, yet many U.S. sailors are unaware of the great French ocean races and racers.

I offer two comparisons:



Enlivening classrooms

For 15 years, sitesALIVE! (www.sitesalive.com) has produced programs linking adventures and expeditions with K-12 classrooms to get students excited and engaged and to show them real people doing real things in the real world.



Setting boats ablaze in the name of safety

Daniel K. Rutherford has spent 30 years as a certified marine investigator, looking into fires, explosions, sinkings, boat disappearances. His job is to determine the cause of boat casualties and he investigates about 150 claims a year.



Understanding boat fires

Here is some insight from Daniel K. Rutherford's three decades as a marine investigator:
• Most fires, excluding arson, are fuel- or electrical-related — "If it's a fuel fire, we're probably dealing with a leak in a hose or fitting, maybe a tank," he says. "It's probably a single-source leak of some kind that results in gas vapor accumulation with some sort of an ignition spark."



Page 12 of 30

fbtwit yt