N. Fanariotis, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nautilus: Aggelos Aggelidakis
- Nikos Sofroniadis
- Sofoklis Morfopoylos
was one lovely Sunday morning, January the 11th 1992, sunny, windless, and
warm for this time of the year.
were quite excited because we had been planning for some time to take part
in a series of four inshore races organised by the Yacht Racing Club of
Athens. Little did we know about what was about to take place!!
race was supposed to start 10am but it was delayed and we were sailing
around the RC boat with the mains up and the engines on. At about 11am we
decided to approach "Sidhartha", an X-412 whose owner is a very
dear friend, to say "good morning" and have a drink. As soon as
we got next to them, the captain (the "dear friend", we do not
name names) and 11 members from his crew stormed us in a very pirate like
of demanding any gold we might have been carrying, or taking prisoners the
women we did NOT have with us!, one of them started climbing up the mast
while the others leaned over the right side of the boat "for the fun
of it", later we have been explained that their goal was simply to
"upset" us, but....
first time the "J" turned upright again and everybody was
laughing.This wasn't enough for them and they had a second go.
While everybody was watching the "happening", the race
photographer Paul Kourkoulos, was photographing the event!.
the "invaders", had a second go, but this time, the main got
into the water. Most of us jumped into the cold water, but not everybody
the beginning (for some seconds) we thought that the "J", it would do its "magic"
and turn upright again, so a few more jumped into the water too.
second week of January is not exactly the best time of the year for a swim!!).
poor "J", however, was already too exhausted from the
first try and refused to make the effort.
It helped that three guys kept
hanging from the mast, even when it was in the water, refusing to jump
into the water. After that, water started getting into the boat through
the hatches that we had opened before we reached "Sidhartha" in
order to get the fenders out and not secured again because of the very
only one who did not get "wet" in the end is Sotiris, the one
who had climbed up the mast. You can see him on the third picture walking
on it as the boat has already tilted at more than 90 degrees angle, and
then sitting on it as it capsizes. He is also seen on the fifth picture
sitting on its bow as the "J" is being towed into port.
"J" capsized in about three minutes and that was when the
situation started getting serious. We were picked up by other boats that
where waiting for the start of the race while others helped to turn the
"J" upright again.
was then towed back into port and just before reaching the crane that
would lift it to safety, it decided that life was too harsh and sunk. :-(.
is also when Sotiris, the "mast climber" finally got wet!.
operation to resurrect the poor victim turned into a bit of a party, or a
shouting match if you will, with half the people present yelling advises
to the other half as to how this should be done! It took about one hour to
lift it from the dark world that it had entered and about at least four
hours to clean it up.
was wet inside the boat but nothing was lost, people around they started
giving us dry clothes and brandy to get warm. We where very excited
commenting the story to the port staff and anybody else who cared to
whole incident raised quite a few doubts about the stability of the J/24's
in general which lasted for more than a month and still go on whenever the
subject is brought up.
We would like to attest that the boat is very
stable, provided Sotiris is not climbing up to the mast and nobody is
hanging from it when it heels 90 degrees!! :-)
we found very surprising was that the water was not too cold at all, and
although considered to be "dirty" nothing happened to us.
Actually since then and if the weather is warm, we do not hesitate to have
a quick dive, germs if any, made us indestructible!. Maybe there is
something to be said about those who swim all year round after all!!
Needless to say that we did not participate in that race nor any of the
others the following Sundays. We did, however, get the chance to make a
set of unique T-shirts with the inscription in the back "Up side down
"J" you turn me", and Sidhartha carries a "scratch"
on the boom, indicating: "One boat sunk, now the next....
if you ever see anybody wearing such of these T-shirts around Mikrolimano
you will know that he is one of the "heroic J/24 crew". :-)
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