Viking Sky Mystery SOLVED?! Cruise ship engine killed by low oil off Norway. #VikingSky #CruiseShip #mayday

Did low oil pressure cause the Viking Sky to nearly sink? The Norwegian Maratime Authority (NWA) has issued their findings on why the 2-year old, 749-foot Viking Sky cruise ship lost all diesel engine power on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The engine oil pressure got too low due to up to 26-foot seas on the rocky southern Norway coast. Only anchors hastily deployed saved the 1,379 people onboard from abandoning a sinking ship hundreds of meters from the rocks. 479 people were airlifted off the boat.

1,373 lives were in the balance on the 749-foot cruise ship Viking Sky. After losing all its engines on March 23, 2019, signalling a “Mayday” distress call, and anchoring off a lee shore in 6-to-8-meter waves and gale force conditions, several engines were working on March 24, 2019. The Viking Sky launched in 2017.

enginefail16by9

The MV Hagland Captain a 300-foot cargo ship had to be abandoned by all 9 crew due to engine failure. The rescue of the Hagland Captain crew by helicopter delayed the air lift of the guests of the MV Viking Sky.

Over half of its 915 passengers were air lifted by CHC Helicopters and the Southern Norway rescue services (Hovedrningssentralen) on March 23 ,to March 24. MV Viking Sky arrived in Molde, Norway at 16:30, on Sunday, March 24, 2019.

We liked this article
https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2019/03/25/cruise-ship-norway-wants-know-why-ship-sailed-stormy-weather/3265772002/

Quoted tweets by PhD Meteorologist Ryan Maue @RyanMaue on twitter:
“The ship sailed in worst possible area of ‘bomb cyclone’ storm …
Hurricane force winds + Maximum wave height of 60-80 feet.”
“There was some question about the update frequency of the Captain’s hurricane tracking information from a private provider.

Anyways, we are still having 19th Century marine mishaps 20 years into the 20th Century”.

Videos and pictures by the following on Twitter reproduced with permission:
S.Hava on Twitter @Air_4U
Adelaide on Twitter @skurstil
Author of “From Both Sides Now: One Woman’s Journey to Love and Living Life to Its Fullest”

Alexus Sheppard on Twitter @alexus309
Ryan Flynn on Twitter @RyanDFlynn11
David Hernandez on Twitter @oxman78

Before losing its engines near Hustadvika, Norway, the 749-foot long, 47,800 gross ton cruise ship was on a 12-day cruise from Bergen, Norway to Tilbury on the River Thames in England.

HRS Southern Norway
@HRSSorNorway
Gave us permission to use the video below in the following tweets

The Slow Boat Sailing t-shirts and mug are at

Support the videos at
http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing
On the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast Linus Wilson has interviewed the crew of Sailing SV Delos, WhiteSpotPirates (Untie the Lines), Chase the Story Sailing, Gone with the Wynns, MJ Sailing, Sailing Doodles, SV Prism, Sailing Miss Lone Star, and many others.

Get Linus Wilson’s bestselling sailing books:
Slow Boat to the Bahamas

Slow Boat to Cuba

https://gumroad.com/l/cubabook
and How to Sail Around the World-Part Time

https://gumroad.com/l/sailing
have been #1 sailing ebook bestsellers on Amazon.
You can get the full audiobook of Sailing to Treasure Island by Captain John C. Voss. at

http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing

SAILING TO TREASURE ISLAND: The Cruise of the XORA (Annotated) by Captain J.C. Voss
The paperback at

or
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/paperback/product-23887731.html

or the eBook at
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/ebook/product-23887490.html

or audiobook
https://www.audible.com/pd/B07LC35H18/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-136779&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_136779_rh_us

Get the paperback or eBook
Sailing the Ogre: The Log of a Woman Wanderer (Annotated)
by Mabel M. Stock
at

or the audiobook at http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing
or audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/B07N7LT2DQ/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-140980&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140980_rh_us

Senior Associate Producer, Calvin Stuart Holt
Associate Producers Larry Wilson, Kevin Yager, and Rick Moore (SSL).
Sign up for our free newsletter for access to free books and other promotions at http://www.slowboatsailing.com
Copyright Linus Wilson, Oxriver Publishing, Vermilion Advisory Services, LLC, 2019

Low Oil Pressure Caused by High Seas Stopped Cruise Ship, Viking Sky, Leading to Massive Mayday in Norway

 

The Norwegian Maratime Authority (NWA) has issued their findings on why the 2-year old, 749-foot Viking Sky cruise ship lost all diesel engine power on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The engine oil pressure got too low due to up to 26-foot seas on the rocky southern Norway coast.

Only anchors hastily deployed saved the 1,379 people onboard from abandoning a sinking ship hundreds of meters from the rocks. 479 people were airlifted off the boat.

The full press release from NMA is below:

Press release: Viking Sky

  • PUBLISHED: 27/03/2019

Throughout the night, the NMA has worked together with the ship’s classification society, Lloyd’s, and the company in order to identify the reason why the Viking Sky suffered power “blackout” at Hustadvika in challenging weather conditions on Saturday 23 March. For the present, our conclusion is that the engine failure was directly caused by low oil pressure.

Picture of Viking Sky

PHOTO: Erik Johan Landa, Sjøfartsdirektoratet

Last night, the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) granted the company a permit to sail on a single voyage to Kristiansund to have necessary repairs made. Throughout the night, the NMA has worked together with the ship’s classification society, Lloyd’s, and the company in order to identify the reason why the Viking Sky suffered power “blackout” at Hustadvika in challenging weather conditions on Saturday 23 March.

For the present, our conclusion is that the engine failure was directly caused by low oil pressure. The level of lubricating oil in the tanks was within set limits, however relatively low, when the vessel started to cross Hustadvika. The tanks were provided with level alarms, however these had not been triggered at this time. The heavy seas in Hustadvika probably caused movements in the tanks so large that the supply to the lubricating oil pumps stopped. This triggered an alarm indicating a low level of lubrication oil, which in turn shortly thereafter caused an automatic shutdown of the engines.

The NMA has drawn up a general safety notice about ensuring a continuous supply of lubricating oil to engines and other critical systems in poor weather conditions. This should be done in cooperation with the engine supplier and, moreover, be included in the ship’s risk assessments in the safety management system.

Viking Ocean Cruises has made the following statement: “We welcome the prompt and efficient investigation carried out by the NMA and we fully understand and acknowledge their findings. We have inspected the levels on all our sister ships and are now revising our procedures to ensure that this issue could not be repeated. We will continue to work with our partners and the regulatory bodies in supporting them with the ongoing investigations,”

Norwegian Maritime Authority is in a continuous dialogue with the company and classification society, and this cooperation has been successful. We will follow up the ongoing work to rectify damages on vessels. Furthermore, we will continue the constructive dialogue with the classification society, company and the Accident Investigation Board Norway in order to reveal underlying causes and identify appropriate measures.

The earlier press release on Monday, March 25, 2019, ruled out that the ship’s hull was damaged or the seawater cooling intakes were clogged.

The NMA has had two inspectors from our survey office in Kristiansund, as well as a representative from our Section for Passenger Vessels in Haugesund, onboard the vessel. Our team will carry out further inspections/follow-up tomorrow, then in cooperation with the Police and the marine department at the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board (AIBN).

The ship has also been examined by a diver, to verify whether or not there was any damage below the waterline. No damage to the hull of the ship was discovered. When the diver was down, the inlets for cooling water were also inspected, to make sure that they were not clogged. The inlets have been confirmed by the diver to be open and seemingly in order.

On Monday, the NMA was joined with the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board and US and UK representatives to investigate the causes for the rescue and engine failure:

Investigation of marine accident at Hustadvika, Møre og Romsdal county

Description

The Accident Investigation Board Norway has initiated a safety investigation after the incident with the cruise ship Viking Sky’s engine failure at Hustadvika Saturday 23 March 2019. The United States and the United Kingdom consider they are substantially interested states and will participate in the investigation with their respective accident investigation branches.

Latest update: 25.03.2019

Location
Hustadvika, Fræna municipality, Møre og Romsdal
Occurrence date
23.03.2019
Accident category
Technical failure
Area
Norwegian Territorial Waters
IMO number
9650420
Name of vessel
Viking Sky
Accident type
Technical failure, propulsion or auxiliary engines
Vessel type
Passenger Ship – Ferry
Register
The Norwegian International Ship Register
AIBN conducts its investigations for the sole purpose of improving transportation safety. The object of a safety investigation is to clarify the sequence of events and root cause factors, study matters of significance for the prevention of transportation accidents and improvement of transportation safety, and to publish a report with eventually safety recommendations. AIBN shall not apportion any blame or liability. Use of information from this investigation for any other purpose than for improvements of transportation safety shall be avoided.

UPDATE: Disabled Cruise Ship Arrives in Molde, Norway after Airlifting Half the Passengers #VikingSky #mayday #cruiseship

After losing all its engines on March 23, 2019, signalling a “Mayday” distress call, and anchoring off a lee shore in 6-to-8-meter waves and gale force conditions, several engines were working on March 24, 2019. The 749-foot cruise ship Viking Sky launched in 2017 is made its way to the closest port in Molde, Norway, approximately ten miles from its emergency anchorage next to a lee shore.

The ship has four diesel engines and two electrical engines. During part of the airlift, only one engine was operational to take pressure off the anchor and chain in the big seas. Over half of its 915 passengers were air lifted by CHC Helicopters and the Southern Norway rescue services (Hovedrningssentralen) on March 23 ,to March 24. MarineTraffic.com said the MV Viking Sky arrived in Molde, Norway at 16:12 local time (UTC+1), on Sunday, March 24, 2019. It should be able to disembark all the over 800 remaining passengers and crew.

Viking Ocean Cruises issued the following statement on March 24, 2019:

Viking Sky Update

We can confirm that as of 10am (Norwegian time) today March 24, the Viking Sky, is safely travelling to Molde under its own power. The ship is being accompanied by two offshore supply ships and one tug assist vessel. The evacuation of passengers has ended and there are currently 436 guests and 458 crew onboard.

The 479 passengers who were airlifted from the vessel are currently on shore and arrangements have been made to fly them home, with the first passengers leaving today. Currently we understand 20 people suffered injuries as a result of this incident, and they are all receiving care at the relevant medical centres in Norway, with some already having been discharged.

Throughout all of this, our first priority was for the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and our crew. We would like to thank the Norwegian Redningssentral and the Norwegian emergency services for their support and skill displayed in managing the situation in very challenging weather conditions. We would also like to thank the local residents who throughout the whole process have been extremely supportive and hospitable. If you have questions or concerns about any guests please call this number for US/AU booked guests 1-888-889-8837, and for UK booked guests 07585 779 853 or 0208 780 7900.

The next sailing, Scandinavia & the Kiel Canal, which was scheduled to embark on March 27th has been cancelled, and guests and their travel agents have been contacted directly. We do not anticipate any additional cancellations at this time.

blog

Cruise Ship MAYDAY in a STORM | Viking Sky Evacuates 1300 People in Norway

The 749-foot MV Viking Sky cruise ship lost its engines off the coast of Norway in a storm and rough seas. It called a Mayday at 2PM on March 23, 2019, and five helicopters frantically tried to evacuate the 1,300 passengers and crew, while the ship pitched and rolled in its dangerous anchorage. You will see flying debris and water in the ship. The Viking Ocean Cruise ship was being evacuated by the southern Norway rescue service @HRSSorNorge, CHC Helicopters, and Hovedredningssentralen.

As of early on March 24, 2019, air evacuations had ceased with 350 people off the ship. The tugs were in place and towing the ship into port, according to Alexus Sheppard @Alexus309. Alexus was a passenger onboard the vessel and along with Rynn Flynn (@RyanDFlynn11) supplied some of the video.

Ms. Sheppard’s book From Both Sides Now: One Woman’s Journey to Love and Living Life to Its Fullest is available at

Before losing its engines near Hustadvika, Norway, the 749-foot long, 47,800 gross ton cruise ship was on a 12-day cruise from Bergen, Norway to Tilbury on the River Thames in England.

yellow16by9

Tweets videos by Alexus Shepherd used with her permission

Tweets videos by Ryan Flynn used with his permission

HRS Southern Norway
@HRSSorNorway
Gave us permission to use the video below in the following tweets

The Slow Boat Sailing t-shirts and mug are at

Support the videos at
http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing
On the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast Linus Wilson has interviewed the crew of Sailing SV Delos, WhiteSpotPirates (Untie the Lines), Chase the Story Sailing, Gone with the Wynns, MJ Sailing, Sailing Doodles, SV Prism, Sailing Miss Lone Star, and many others.

Get Linus Wilson’s bestselling sailing books:
Slow Boat to the Bahamas

Slow Boat to Cuba

https://gumroad.com/l/cubabook
and How to Sail Around the World-Part Time

https://gumroad.com/l/sailing
have been #1 sailing ebook bestsellers on Amazon.
You can get the full audiobook of Sailing to Treasure Island by Captain John C. Voss. at

http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing

SAILING TO TREASURE ISLAND: The Cruise of the XORA (Annotated) by Captain J.C. Voss
The paperback at

or
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/paperback/product-23887731.html

or the eBook at
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/ebook/product-23887490.html

or audiobook
https://www.audible.com/pd/B07LC35H18/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-136779&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_136779_rh_us

Get the paperback or eBook
Sailing the Ogre: The Log of a Woman Wanderer (Annotated)
by Mabel M. Stock
at

or the audiobook at http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing
or audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/B07N7LT2DQ/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-140980&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140980_rh_us

Senior Associate Producer, Calvin Stuart Holt
Associate Producers Larry Wilson, Kevin Yager, and Rick Moore (SSL).
Sign up for our free newsletter for access to free books and other promotions at http://www.slowboatsailing.com
Copyright Linus Wilson, Oxriver Publishing, Vermilion Advisory Services, LLC, 2019

Acorn to Arabella update: NOT Sailing after 3 yrs of BIG Wooden Sailboat Project

Stephen Denette and Alix Kreder are building a 38-foot Atkins ketch sailboat named Arabella by cutting down trees in Stephen’s backyard. After three years, the boat is still in the shed. The Acorn to Arabella creators quit their jobs to work on the boat frame full-time in frigid rural western Massachusetts. Neither of them know how to sail, but they will surely sail around the world once they finish the boat in 2-10 years. At least, that is what they say. Linus Wilson argues that this is a really slow way to go sailing.

There are pictures of Abhilash Tomy’s wooden boat built in India before it was lost in the 2018 GGR race.

Screenshot from http://bluewaterboats.org/ingrid-38/

“2018 Golden Globe Race. Start of construction of Commander Abhilash Tomy’s Indian yacht – a replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s winning Erick designed 32ft SUHAILI, 50 years before The Golden Globe Race starts from Les Sables d’Olonne”

Abhilash Tomy/PPL/GGR

Non-copyrighted photos taken by PPL/GGR by

Christophe Favreau

Commander Abhilash Tomy, KC

Gregor McGuckin

Barry Pickthall

Tim Bishop

Indian Navy

AMSA

Additional photos from the Australian Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

The Slow Boat Sailing t-shirts and mug are at

Support the videos at

http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing

On the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast Linus Wilson has interviewed the crew of Sailing SV Delos, WhiteSpotPirates (Untie the Lines), Chase the Story Sailing, Gone with the Wynns, MJ Sailing, Sailing Doodles, SV Prism, Sailing Miss Lone Star, and many others.

Get Linus Wilson’s bestselling sailing books:

Slow Boat to the Bahamas

Slow Boat to Cuba

https://gumroad.com/l/cubabook

and How to Sail Around the World-Part Time

https://gumroad.com/l/sailing

have been #1 sailing ebook bestsellers on Amazon.

You can get the full audiobook of Sailing to Treasure Island by Captain John C. Voss. at

http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing

SAILING TO TREASURE ISLAND: The Cruise of the XORA (Annotated) by Captain J.C. Voss

The paperback at

or

http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/paperback/product-23887731.html

or the eBook at

http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/ebook/product-23887490.html

or audiobook

https://www.audible.com/pd/B07LC35H18/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-136779&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_136779_rh_us

Get the paperback or eBook

Sailing the Ogre: The Log of a Woman Wanderer (Annotated)

by Mabel M. Stock

at

or the audiobook at http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing

or audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/B07N7LT2DQ/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-140980&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140980_rh_us

Senior Associate Producer, Calvin Stuart Holt

Associate Producers Larry Wilson, Kevin Yager, and Rick Moore (SSL).

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Copyright Linus Wilson, Oxriver Publishing, Vermilion Advisory Services, LLC, 2019

Sinking Sailing Yacht Rescue, Two Saved by Coast Guard Near Venice, Louisiana

The Coast Guard rescued two people from a sailboat that was sinking in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 20 miles south of Venice, Louisiana, Wednesday [March 20, 2019]. The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack received a report at 8:30 a.m. of a sailboat taking on water approximately 2 miles from the cutter. The cutter crew arrived on scene at 8:56 a.m., rescued the two people and transported them to Coast Guard Station Venice in stable condition. The sailing vessel sank after the rescue.

“Accidents can happen at any time on the water, which is why it is so important for mariners to be prepared for the worst,” said Cmdr. Michael Wolfe, a search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans. “The survivors were wearing life jackets and were able to contact the Coast Guard in a timely manner because they brought reliable forms of communication.”
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDHSCG/bulletins/2381f17

VENICE, LA, UNITED STATES
03.20.2019
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis Magee
U.S. Coast Guard District 8

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack rescues two people from a sailboat that was sinking in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 20 miles south of Venice, Louisiana, March 20, 2019. The cutter crew arrived on scene at 8:56 a.m., rescued the two people and transported them to Coast Guard Station Venice in stable condition. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack /Released)

Thumb16by9

HOUSTON, TX, UNITED STATES
07.18.2009
Courtesy Video
U.S. Coast Guard District 8

HOUSTON – In this video by the U.S. Coast Guard, a 41-foot rescue boat crew from Station Freeport and the Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack search for a man who was reported to have gone overboard a 60-foot shrimping boat off Matagorda, July 17, 2009.

(U.S. Coast Guard video/Air Station Corpus Christi)

GALVESTON, TX, UNITED STATES
08.07.2012
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Metcalf
U.S. Coast Guard District 8
Subscribe 29

GALVESTON, Texas – The US Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack, a 110-foot cutter, sits at its berth in Coast Guard Sector Galveston August 7, 2012. The Skipjack is designed for law enforcement operations along the Texas coastline. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Metcalf.

GALVESTON, TX, UNITED STATES
08.07.2012
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Metcalf

GALVESTON, Texas – The US Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack, a 110-foot cutter, sits at its berth in Coast Guard Sector Galveston August 7, 2012.

MIAMI, FL, UNITED STATES
09.12.2018
U.S. Coast Guard District 7

Two Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews fly to Savannah, Georgia to pre-stage for Hurricane Florence response efforts, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard video by Lt. j.g. Kyle Unger

The Slow Boat Sailing t-shirts and mug are at

Support the videos at
http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing
On the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast Linus Wilson has interviewed the crew of Sailing SV Delos, WhiteSpotPirates (Untie the Lines), Chase the Story Sailing, Gone with the Wynns, MJ Sailing, Sailing Doodles, SV Prism, Sailing Miss Lone Star, and many others.

Get Linus Wilson’s bestselling sailing books:
Slow Boat to the Bahamas

Slow Boat to Cuba

https://gumroad.com/l/cubabook
and How to Sail Around the World-Part Time

https://gumroad.com/l/sailing
have been #1 sailing ebook bestsellers on Amazon.
You can get the full audiobook of Sailing to Treasure Island by Captain John C. Voss. at

http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing

SAILING TO TREASURE ISLAND: The Cruise of the XORA (Annotated) by Captain J.C. Voss
The paperback at

or
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/paperback/product-23887731.html

or the eBook at
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/ebook/product-23887490.html

or audiobook
https://www.audible.com/pd/B07LC35H18/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-136779&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_136779_rh_us

Get the paperback or eBook
Sailing the Ogre: The Log of a Woman Wanderer (Annotated)
by Mabel M. Stock
at

or the audiobook at http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing
or audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/B07N7LT2DQ/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-140980&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140980_rh_us
Senior Associate Producer Calvin Holt
Associate Producers Larry Wilson, Kevin Yager, and Rick Moore (SSL).
Sign up for our free newsletter for access to free books and other promotions at http://www.slowboatsailing.com
Copyright Linus Wilson, Oxriver Publishing, Vermilion Advisory Services, LLC, 2019

Former Stanford Sailing Coach Gets More Bad News After Admissions Scandal

John Vandemoer, Stanford’s former sailing head coach for eleven years, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering on March 12, 2019, as part of an probe into a nationwide admissions scam. Vandemoer accepted $770,000 for Stanford and promised William “Rick” Singer, an admissions consultant, that he would designate a non-sailor as a top sailing recruit to win that student’s admission. Ironically, Stanford, not Vandemoer, received all the payments in question.

Stanford quickly fired Vandemoer who faces 18-months in prison with his sentencing due in June 2019. Other sailing organizations have distanced themselves from the Mr. Vandemoer. Club 420 has named John Barbano to be Interim Executive Director replacing Vandemoer.  Club 420 has not posted an official statement. The Capital Gazette is reporting that Vandemoer was uninvited from a talk to the Annapolis Yacht Club and expelled from the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA). The Capital Gazette reports on ISCA’s statement:

uninvited

“The charges brought forth Tuesday are troubling for all of us in college sailing. Currently, available public information indicates that no other Stanford coaches, Stanford athletes or any other college sailing programs were involved. The Intercollegiate Sailing Association strives to provide fair, affordable, competitive opportunities for undergraduates in a non-scholarship, co-educational and student-centered environment. College sailing characterizes the values that most universities hope to provide for all their student-athletes, whether varsity, club or recreational. The ICSA Executive Committee has removed John Vandemoer from all standing, and ad hoc committee positions within the Intercollegiate Sailing Association. At this time, no further action will be taken.”

Kopar crosses the line in Les Sables D’Lonne after 263 days at sea

Here is an official rundown of Istavan Kopar’s race from the Golden Globe Race. I did some minor grammar edits:

Dateline: 21/3/2019 Les Sables d’Olonne, France

Hungarian-born, American solo yachtsman Istvan Kopar finally reached the finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne, France at 13:58 UTC today to take 4th place in the 2018 Golden Globe Race.

“This is the happiest day of my life…And this [Les Sables d’Olonne] is the best place to be…The Capital of offshore sailing.” He said on arrival at the dock.

Istvan Kopar and his Tradewind 35 Puffin heading towards the Les Sables d’Olonne finish line today.

The 66-year old yachtsman from Delray Beach, Florida, who suffered continuing steering problems almost from Day 1, overcame setback after setback throughout the race. The water tanks in his Tradewind 35 yacht Puffin became contaminated soon after he sailed down into the Southern Ocean, and by Cape Horn, the black mould growing inside the boat became so bad that his health began to suffer.

And the problems continued right to the end. He happened to arrive back in the Bay of Biscay shortly after the container ship Great American had caught fire and sunk, 180 miles due west of Les Sables d’Olonne, generating large tracks of oil and chemical pollution on the surface being blown onshore. And if that was not enough, Istvan also had to pick his way through a web of ship’s containers floating on or near the surface. On Tuesday, he was down to his last litre of drinking water but dared not process any sea water through his emergency desalinator, fearing the pollution would clog up the unit’s membrane.

His steering problems centred around Puffin’s wind vane self-steering which Istvan admits he had failed to test adequately during sailing trials before the race start on July 1st. He first reported the problem on July 10 but continued for another 7 days before announcing that he was exhausted by lack of sleep and would stop in the Cape Verde Islands to replace the unit. He pulled into Sao Vincente on July 19 and joined the Chichester Class for making one stop, only to find that the replacement wind vane would take a further week to arrive.

A night’s reflection at anchor led Kopar to realise that his Windpilot wind vane had been wrongly assembled, and once this had been corrected, and knowing that he had not stepped ashore or gained any outside assistance, he applied to return to the GGR classification. This was granted, but the GGR Committee awarded him a 6-hour penalty for going into port and a further 18 hours for using his emergency satellite phone.

Once round the Cape of Good Hope, Istvan went to the aid of Swedish solo skipper Kjell Litwin, who was running short of water. Istvan handed across some of his vital supplies on September 27, not knowing that his own water tanks had become polluted which put pressure on him to collect rain water at every opportunity. He was given a 6-hour credit for the time lost.

On November 20, a navigation error led him into the Southern Ocean no-go zone, which led to another 6-hour 40 minute penalty – 24 hours 40 mins in total. Kopar should have served this in a ‘penalty box’ at sea, but because of continued issues with steering and health problems he faced from all the mould growing inside the boat, the GGR Committee ruled that this additional time would be added at the finish.

Rounding Cape Horn on January 1st, Istvan used this unique opportunity to scatter his Father’s ashes within site of the Cape. “That is one of my best memories” he said.

His biggest reward was, he says “Solving all the problems en-route.”

The self-steering issues led to an overload on the gearbox within Puffin’s pedestal wheel, which he had to strip down and refashion broken cogs from what he had onboard. He tried to circumvent the wheel steering altogether by fitting an emergency tiller, but that too broke and the lash-up he made to strengthen it used up the last of his epoxy resin supplies.

Kopar said: “It was torture for me. My self-steering failed almost from Day 1. The boat itself did not have a problem. It was I who had the problems. Luck was just not with me. I think I’m done with sailing now and will take up gardening instead” he joked.

That was today…Tomorrow it may be a very different story!

Kopar’s return leaves just one more skipper at sea – Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen and his Gaia 36 Asteria, still 4,227 miles from the finish. He is not expected to finish before mid-May.263

Istvan Kopar finishes 4th in GGR 2018 Sailing Race, Golden Globe Race

Istvan Kopar went from last (13th place) to 4th place from day 27 to day 263 of the 2018 Golden Globe Race. The Hungarian-American solo sailor battled broken steering, busted windvanes, lost log lines, broken radios, and peeling fingernails to best 14 other competitors at the start of the the 2018 Golden Globe Race (GGR). The GGR 2018 is a retro race that bans the use of satellite phones and GPS navigation. Kopar got a 24-hour time penalty added to his 263 days at sea because of an unsanctioned stop and sat phone use. All the first four finishers of the sailboat race for full-keel yachts of 32-to-36 feet long have been penalized for breaking the retro rules of the yacht race.

The video quotes from his GGR bio:

“Istvan Kopar, a Hungarian-born American, is a professional sailor and U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain who has logged more than 60,000 nautical miles sailing solo. His proudest accomplishment to date was his solo one-stop circumnavigation in 1990-1991 without the aid of GPS. He relied on a sextant, manual chart plotting, and weather forecasts broadcast in Morse code. Sailing a 31-foot boat that he had built himself, Istvan completed the voyage in record time for the size of his yacht. Istvan also skippered the winning yacht in the 1996/97 Hong Kong Challenge around the world yacht race. He was among the top finishers in the 1992 America 500-Columbus Transatlantic Race, and won the Kapry’s Trophy in the 1995 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC).

He says of the GGR: ‘This race is custom-made for me. My first hero and role model was Joshua Slocum, the first recorded solo circumnavigator. He had no land support, no modern navigation and communication devices, or even a mechanical wind vane. He was the real deal. And he was able to accomplish this historic achievement due to his upbringing and constant connection with the oceans and sailing.'”

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“Boat
RACE NO 37

Name Puffin
Type Tradewind 35 Cutter
Designer John Rock
Builder Tradewind Yachts (NL)
LOA 35.01ft / 10.67m
LWL 25.82ft / 7.87m
Beam 10.50ft / 3.20m
Draft 5.51ft / 1.68m
Displacement 19442 lbs / 8819 kgs
Sail area 725sq. ft / 67.35sq. m

Istvan Kopar purchased the 1986-built Tradewind 35 class yacht Puffin in 2015 to compete in the GGR…”

Photo by Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR
Video reproduced with permission by GGR/PPL/VNR
Some of the GGR video taken by Istavan Kopar.

The GGR/PPL pictures and VNR video are in the public domain and were used with permission.

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Stanford admits it pocketed $770k in sailing team admissions scandal

Former Stanford sailing head coach John Vandemoer pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering in Boston on March 12, 2019, but Stanford University cashed the checks for $770k associated with a pay for admissions scheme. The San Jose Mercury News uncovered court transcripts that implicated a 3rd student in the pay for admissions scam organized by William “Rick” Singer who is cooperating with federal prosecutors. The other two students whose dad paid $270,000 to Stanford via Singer and Vandemoer did not end up attending. Singer wrote a check for $500,000 to Stanford that Vandemoer collected. Vandemoer’s lawyer and Stanford claims that the sailing head coach for eleven years did not designate the 3rd student who is attending Stanford as a sailing recruit. Allegedly Singer had her falsify her sailing credentials, but Vandemoer’s lawyer Rob Fisher claims that the coach was not involved in that. Stanford is investigating and may rescind its admission. Stanford University is trying to decide a graceful way to get rid of the $770,000 in ill gotten gains. Does the university get to keep the interest?

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See the full statement from Stanford University below:

Stanford information on college admissions case

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged a number of people around the country in an alleged scheme in which payments were made to try to win the admission of prospective students to a number of U.S. colleges and universities. Stanford’s former head sailing coach pleaded guilty to a charge in this case. There have been no allegations regarding any students who are members of the sailing team. This page provides information from Stanford University about these issues and will be updated as new information becomes available.

Frequently asked questions

What is Stanford doing in response to the revelations this week?

The government’s charges included one against Stanford’s former head sailing coach, who was terminated from his Stanford employment and pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy on Tuesday, March 12. The government did not find that any other Stanford employees were involved, and based on the government’s investigation, we are not aware of anyone who was actually admitted to Stanford with an improper recommendation from the sailing program.

The steps we are now taking include:

  • We have launched a process to confirm that no other Stanford staff members, whether administrative or associated with any other Stanford teams, were involved in this kind of activity. We have no reason to believe they were, and no evidence so far suggests they were.
  • Regarding the financial contributions that were made to the sailing team, we are working to determine the most appropriate way to redirect the funds to an entity unaffiliated with Stanford, consistent with the regulations concerning such gifts. We do not have details at this point, but we want to do the right thing with funds that were contributed as part of a fraudulent activity.
  • We are reviewing everything we have learned in this case to determine additional steps we need to take regarding our policies and processes. We are committed to ensuring that financial contributions to Stanford receive the proper level of scrutiny, and to ensuring that donors are never under the impression that a financial contribution will lead to a favorable admission decision. More on our admission process is below.

What does this mean for current members of the sailing team?

We fully support the incredibly accomplished and hard-working student-athletes who are members of the Stanford sailing team. Their season continues as planned. Clinton Hayes, who is in his ninth year as an assistant coach at Stanford, is serving as interim head coach.

It is critical to emphasize that there have been no allegations about any students who are members of the Stanford sailing team.

Stanford also has confirmed the legitimate sailing credentials, prior to admission, of all Stanford sailing team members who received an athletic recommendation during the admission process, going back to 2011 (before the fraudulent activity of The Key Worldwide Foundation began, according to the government).

How much money did The Key Worldwide Foundation contribute, and how many students were involved?

We have continued researching this and at this point know that a total of $770,000 was contributed by the foundation to the sailing program, in the form of three separate gifts.

The head sailing coach pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges that he accepted financial contributions to the sailing program from this foundation in exchange for agreeing to recommend two prospective students for admission to Stanford. Neither of these two students subsequently completed the application process; therefore, neither was admitted to Stanford nor enrolled at Stanford. (One of them had previously gone through Stanford’s admission process, without any involvement of the head sailing coach, and had been denied admission.)

Some of the funding from the foundation was associated with a third student, who was not named in the government’s charges on Tuesday. This student received no recommendation from the head sailing coach but was admitted to Stanford and is currently enrolled. The student has no affiliation with the sailing program. We are working to better understand the circumstances around this student and will take whatever actions are appropriate based on what we learn.

How could Stanford not have known the fraudulent nature of these gifts to the sailing program?

Absolutely fair question. Our process for reviewing gifts has rigorous checks and balances to prevent abuse, but the facts of this case are causing us to re-examine those checks and balances to determine what, if any, additional controls may be implemented to prevent such abuses in the future. This scheme was complex and sophisticated, and it used legal means (a gift from a foundation) to achieve a fraudulent purpose.

How does the admission process work, including for student-athletes?

Every student admitted to Stanford must meet the university’s high academic standards. There are no exceptions. Our admission office conducts a holistic review of each applicant, focused on academic excellence, intellectual vitality, extracurricular activity and personal context.

For students who have special talents – artistic, athletic, musical or otherwise – those talents are factored into the process. In the case of athletics, we have a process through which coaches can identify the most promising athletic recruits, who also have strong academic credentials, for the consideration of the admission office. This athletic recommendation does not at all “reserve a spot” for an applicant to Stanford; it simply designates applicants who are judged by coaches to be competitive recruits. All applicants, including those who are recommended by coaches, still must meet Stanford’s very high academic bar for admission, and the final judgment is made by the admission office.

It is well known that this high academic bar makes it harder for Stanford coaches to recruit, across the nation. But this is a critical, long-standing cornerstone of our admission process, and it is one on which we will never compromise.

How do financial contributions to Stanford affect the admission process?

We have many people, including alumni, who believe in Stanford’s mission and support it with their contributions. But a donation does not purchase a place at Stanford, and we work very hard to ensure that prospective donors to Stanford understand this.

Stanford does not accept gifts if it knows a gift is being made with the intention of influencing the admission process. We are examining how to further strengthen our policies and protocols to try to ensure there is never a misunderstanding about this.

The reality is that Stanford sends rejection letters to the vast majority of applicants from families of alumni and donors to the university. Admission to Stanford is highly competitive; our admission office conducts a rigorous review of applicants; and we absolutely insist that every admitted student meet Stanford’s high academic standards.

The nationwide news has reinforced perceptions that selective colleges only cater to the elite, the wealthy, the connected. What is Stanford’s perspective on this?

Many people don’t know about the focus that many selective colleges, including Stanford, place on providing opportunity to students who are not wealthy or do not have a family history of attending college. We conduct extensive outreach efforts to encourage applications to Stanford from high-achieving students of all backgrounds. At Stanford, nearly 20 percent of our admitted students each year are the first generation in their family to attend college.

Financial aid is also a critical part of our approach to accessibility for students of all backgrounds and means. Stanford admits U.S. students without regard to their ability to pay, and the university provides financial aid such that every student admitted to Stanford can afford to attend. Families with annual incomes of under $125,000 pay no tuition at Stanford, and 82 percent of our students graduate without any student debt to follow them.

What will Stanford do if it discovers that a student did not provide accurate information on an application for admission?

Applicants to Stanford sign a statement verifying that the information they are providing is accurate. If it is found to be inaccurate, they can be disenrolled from the university or have their admission cancelled, as has regretfully happened in the past.

If some of the funds provided to the sailing program already have been spent, how will Stanford redirect the funds to other sources?

We are working through the details, but our intention is to ensure that the total amount originally provided to the sailing program is redirected.

Will this issue delay admission decisions for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year?

No. We plan to issue admission decisions as scheduled.