STANLEY PARIS: What Really Happened On Kiwi Spirit?
People, bluewater sailing, News & Views, Stanley Paris
Kiwi Spirit under sail
Thank goodness I was off having my own misadventure when Stanley Paris
announced in his
blog that he
was abandoning his
solo circumnavigation attempt and pulling into Cape Town.
It seems that what set Andy off was a single phrase in Paris's
announcement: "that the design of the rigging attachments to the yacht were inadequate for ocean sailing.
The implication in Shaughnessy's response, as published by Andy, is that the phrase in question refers not to the original design of the "rigging attachments," but to the design of some jury rigs created by Paris
One big problem in trying to figure out exactly what happened on Kiwi Spirit
is that Stanley Paris
is not very good at blogging.
blog we can learn little or nothing about the rigging failures he
experienced and how he
tried to make repairs.
Kiwi SpiritFacebook page I did find one post put up by his
shore team, on January 9, with photos they'd received of damage to Kiwi Spirit
's staysail furling rod and the staysail stay's deck attachment.
According to an e-mail that Paris sent Andy, this damage was caused after "a spinnaker halyard wrapped around the top of the furler at the head and the furling torque caused the separation.
In his e-mail to Andy, Paris
says the boom itself was cracked and that the "boom end pulleys" (the sheaves, presumably) for the preventer, first reef clew line, and outhaul were also damaged.
In the News4Jax report, Paris
also states that "the block that holds [the boom] to the boat" (a sheet block presumably) was broken and cracked.
sent photos of all relevant damage to interested parties on shore for appraisal, but so far no photos, save for those two above, have been shared publicly. (I note now that the original January 9 post containing the two staysail photos is no longer on the Kiwi Spirit
Facebook timeline, though the pix themselves are still accessible.)
According to the News4Jax report, Paris
fell while trying to repair the boom damage and cracked two ribs, but this may be inaccurate. (I know from my own recent experience that TV reporters aren't always very careful with their facts when covering yachting mishaps.) According to a blog post by Paris
dated January 4, what sounds like this injury occurred on January 1, as Paris was recovering "a light headwind sail" that had blown out during the night.
states that he
had been scared during the night as the wind increased, and that he'd had to handsteer the boat as the sail was overpowered.
After the sail tore, he
could not take it down in the darkness, but could only watch it "self destruct" until dawn came.
It is interesting to note that Paris
makes no mention of this event or of his
injury in his
January 2 blog post, which is a perfectly boring anodyne account of passing a ship at night.
's route to Cape Town
It is also interesting to note that even as I am drafting this post, Paris
, who is now back in the U.S. (he's letting a delivery crew bring Kiwi Spirit
back from Cape Town as far as the West Indies), has just made another post on his
blog stating that he
will now "have extensive meetings with the sail maker, designer, builder and others to determine the best course of action that will restore my confidence in the boat and its fittings.
Which implies to me that his
problems with the boat may have involved more than just a couple of isolated rigging failures.
When I last blogged about Paris
, my operating assumption was that all the money and expertise he
had available to throw at this project pretty much guaranteed its success, barring something unforeseen happening.
I mean, hell, according to the story I read in the February 2013 issue of Cruising World
was going to carry "a second carbon-fiber rig that will be stowed below in several sections in the event that the first fixed one fails."
This denotes an extremely high level of preparedness.
And now we're supposed to believe that he
had to stop because of a crash jibe, a halyard wrap, a lost retaining nut, a broken block, and some busted battens?
told Cruising World magazine
that Bruce Farr designed an extra rig to be stowed onboard
Why couldn't Paris
simply roll up the sail before it was damaged?
-How many times was Paris
more badly injured than he
has let on?
-Were there other problems with the boat that we haven't been told about?
Some larger questions I have include:
having second thoughts about his
"green voyage" goal?
The whole notion of burning hydrocarbons up the wazoo to build a super-sophisticated boat, then pledging to burn none at all on a voyage around the world-while relying on gear like electronic autopilots, microwave ovens, and electric stoves-seemed a bit disingenuous in the first place.
Judging from Paris's
blog posts, the green goal turned out to be both a distraction and potentially counter-productive.
had a smaller, simpler boat?
BOTTOM LINE: And I mean this-Dr.
is to be APPLAUDED for stopping when he
I am sure, given all the preparation he
and others put into this, that it was not an easy decision to make.
Otherwise, why would Stanley
make such a statement as he
will now "have extensive meetings with the sail maker, designer, builder and others to determine the best course of action that will restore my confidence in the boat and its fittings."
February 10, 2014 at 9:32 PM
Saint Brendan took a "green" voyage; Dr. Paris
So if you look at it that way, he
didn't have a cause, he
was just taking a boat ride.