Here's my summary of my adventure on Sizzor during this years EC 2013. As usual it's oftern the small issues that expand into big issues. I had a small but persistant leak in the forward section of my center hull that I was not aware of. At check point #1 I checked the main hatch and found only one sponge of water. What I failed to do was check the front inspection port on the center hull for water.
In preparation for a conservative night offshore (if there is such a thing on Sizzor) I put a reef in the Mainsail before leaving checkpoint #1 in the early afternoon. I sailed out Gasparilla Pass with breaking waves on both sides, then went just outside Boca Grand pass. With the reefed main and jib all was going well despite breaking waves while over 14 miles off Fort Meyers. Before sunset while cruising along at about 12 knots I was estimating that I could beat the 3am low tide and associated quick sand mud at check point #2. Then my life changed. The accumulated water in the bow of the center hull rushed forward when I surfed down a rather large wave. In a instant I was capsized in a pitchpole fashion.
No problem, I had my drysuit on and the water was actually much warmer than the chilly North West winds. With my intentionally flooding ama and some gymnastics staying on the boat in the breaking waves, I managed to proceed to right Sizzor frm 180 degrees to 90 degrees. As the sun was setting I got upright and managed to loose no gear. However. a carbon support connection on one of the Ama's cracked in the breaking waves.
Having no interest in calling the Coast Guard, I took off the Ama and tied it to the top of the hiking rack on the same side as the remaining Ama. So, now I had a proa or outrigger, rather than a trimaran. On one tack with the good ama to leeward I could sail at full speed. On the tack with the Ama on the windward side it was a more precarious. If I flew the ama in the air at all the leeward rack would drag in the water and promote another capsize. While I possibly could have continued to the finish it didn't seem prudend based on the weather forcast for increased winds.
'Living Right' (Matt McGee) was at checkpoint #2 with my trailer. While I couldn't initially reach him by phone I was able to send him a phone text message giving him my situation. He downloaded an app converting his Iphone to a strobe light so I could see him when I approached the beach at Naples that evening. We found a motel that night and I gorged on the free breakfast. We completed the 10 hour drive home to Fort Walton Beach, FL by Sunday evening.
Yes, Sizzor will happily sail again soon.
SewSew, Randy Smyth