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How to tow an injured or broken-down windsurfer

 
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windswell



Joined: 20 May 2010
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: How to tow an injured or broken-down windsurfer Reply with quote

Any suggestions - experience towing an injured or broken-down windsurfer? One sailing buddy has back issues, and I'd rather be prepared ahead of time if he needs to be pulled ashore. THere's also very few rescue operations near us like SeaTow or jetskis.

My uphaul is actually crochet-knotted polypro ski tow line which becomes 20 feet of line by untyping one knot. My thought is to tie around the unijoint with a loop snug around the bow about 12 inches back and to my rear footstrap. Ditch the rig if it's a real emergency and come back for it later. We'll be on short boards.
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rswabsin



Joined: 14 May 2000
Posts: 202
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last year I tried to help a sailer at Kanaha who lost his board and sail - they just blew downwind too quickly for him to catch. Anyway, for me it was almost impossible to tow him back in on my board by trying to sail back to shore with him holding onto the back footstrap. Each time I water started and tried to sail, the drag from his body threw off my balance and the sail would eventually pull me over the front of the board. I must have tried like 20 times - each time leaning way back to compensate for his weight and body drag but it never worked. We then swam for about 1/2 hr. using the board as flotation and made a few hundred yards progress but it looked like it would take another hour to make it all the way back. Luckily there were several kiters out who eventually saw us and sent a lifeguard with rescue ski to bring him to shore.

So I'm curious myself as to whether there is a better way to tow some one back in to shore using your rig.

Rob
Rob
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Search this forum with keyword towee (i.e., the guy being towed). You'll find many great ideas.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2144

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My then g/f, all 132lbs of her, on a 4.5 sail and 82 liter board, towed a 200lbs guy across the mouth of FlyingTigers back to his car after he lost his rig. If she could do it.......
I went for the rig, managed to derig and tie it together just past the buoy marker out in the channel, and drag the menegerie back upwind to the N runway, where the old CoastGuard station was.
Injured sailor, best to place on board, tow him in.
Broken mast, same thing.
Towing is physically hard work, but any good sailor can tow someone bigger than them a mile to shore.
Just don't plane, wide stance one foot against mast track, hook in, and slog directly across the wind.
Little SteveYong, all 112lbs of him, was credited with over 25 rescues at Crissy before 1996.
Any good sailor can tow a person in, or a person on a rig. I've even towed RickVoss and his rigged sail and board in when he got stomach cramps at Crissy, and we started from the middle of the bay outside the incoming shipping channel.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2144

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need for rope, just have them grab your rear strap.
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Sailboarder



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 323

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tow my kids for fun in non-planing mode with my longboard. It is much easier with a rope. It is also much easier if the rope is attached only to the unijoint. When it's attached to the back straps, the pull also forces the board direction, whereas the boards dynamics are nearly not affected when pulling a kid from the unijoint. I never tried that in an emergency situation, but I suspect taking the time to setup the rope would be productive.

As a side note, I normally carry a small rope in my harness. I lost it maybe 3 weeks ago and didn't care to replace it. I could have used it yesterday to support a kiter who parted ways with his board but managed otherwise!
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb wrote:
Towing is physically hard work

Doesn't have to be. Done right, it's very relaxing ... much less work than a simple, solo, planing beam reach.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1347

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In some circumstances, Iso may be right. However, try towing a formula rig with a 9m in 2-3' chop (broken mast). We tried to de-rig, but it wasn't an option with the broken mast. I gave it a go for 5 minutes or so and could easily see that it was futile (line tied from my back foot strap to his mast base). The wave action allowed the line to slack, then pop, slack, then pop and I was on a beam reach. It was about as far from relaxing as anything could be. Luckily, a shore line was only 1/4 mile downwind so I let him go, returned to my van, drove around to pick him up.

Way easier than towing if you have that option.
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you even read my technique? I almost nodded off a couple of times in my last long tow, which was four hours into a single sinker session >4 miles upwind (Event Site to the middle Tunnels and back) and overpowered by then on a 4.2. The tow was literally so refreshing that I kept sailing for another hour after dropping the towee off at his launch.

Use your hardware, guys, not muscles and pasta.
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