Falling spars, lines everywhere, topped with sails

Norm Anderson's Blue Streak dismasted. No one hurt. Photo: Chris Smith

Norm Anderson’s Blue Streak dismasted. No one hurt. Photo: Chris Smith

During Saturday’s races (10/5), as the RC boat’s wind speed indicator was showing 21+ knots, Norm Anderson’s Blue Streak Merit 25 suddenly—very suddenly—dismasted. Crash! Here’s Norm’s description of what happened:

Big winds and choppy waves. We had it in tight and guess conditions were at a max. The mast broke just below the spreaders. Tom Errickson also looked at the mast break and we decided there was no apparent reason. The shrouds and stays were fine, so it just was a failure in the mast itself.

We had a spare mast and boom from a boat we salvaged out of LA a few years back (a Merit 25) and it was the correct mast. We had to do some swapping of shrouds and after we tuned it, we were good to go. The lines weren’t set up as we wanted, but as you could see, we made it work. Missed the first two races, but made it to the third and WON! How about that for persistence?

I can tell you what it was like up close—falling aluminum spars, lines everywhere and topped off with sails. Fortunately, the sails were unharmed.

It was just a bit disconcerting as being in the back of the boat, the jagged edges of the masts (virtually in half) came down about a foot from my face. Sometimes you are good, and sometimes lucky. I like the lucky part.

One for the books.

Norm

Norm’s hard-working crew: Paul and Anthony Miachika, Ed Chamberlin and John Gallagher

Bob Whyte and Peter Lehrach tow Blue Streak home after her dismasting. The new mark/safety boat performed perfectly on its first outing. Photo: Chris Smith

Bob Whyte and Peter Lehrach tow Blue Streak home after her dismasting. The new mark/safety boat performed perfectly on its first outing. Photo: Chris Smith