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Fixing something that may not be broken

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Old 09-07-2006, 11:09 AM
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Default Fixing something that may not be broken

I have been reading almost all of the comments about the tragic accident over the last few days here on OSO and I have also been reading the suggestions about how to make Poker Runs safer.

There are a lot of excellent suggestions, some of which I believe are already being instituted by certain promoters.

I am very hopeful that the accident investigation reaches a definitive conclusion about a cause, because until we actually know the cause, I think that we may be jumping the gun with a long list of suggestions that, in my opinion, simply won't be effective, like speed limits and mandatory distances between boats on the course.

I have raced Offshore for a long time, only participated in one Poker Run, but I can honestly say I feel much safer racing than I did in the Poker Run simply because I felt that I had a good baseline for trusting the skills of their person running next to me. I am not suggesting that Poker Runs are inheriently unsafe because I don;t believe that they are, I think that history proves that they are in fact, very safe if you compare the number of participants over the last several years and the number of events with the incidents that have occurred. If they were inherently unsafe events, I believe we would have seem a significantly higher number of incidents than what we have experienced.

From what I have read, the victims of this accident were very experienced with high speed operation, and smart about the way they ran their equipment and if you look at the flashgordonproductions website, the list of things that you were prohibited from doing, or were required to do on that boat looks very well thought out.

Perhaps suggestions about fixing the problem will be more effective if we are fortunate enough to have the benefit of reliable information about what, exactly went wrong.

Gregg Reichman
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Fixing something that may not be broken

I agree for the most part that poker runs that are organized by those that are in the poker run business are safe. The events that are for charities and local fun runs which are "not for profit" suffer from not having the funds that are needed to add to a safe event namely choppers, emergency boats ,etc. etc. These events usually end up being more fun than the large organized runs which is why I think they are groing in numbers and become a reflection on the whole sport.
I too have read all the posts over the last few days and am amazed that A. there is a question of drinking or not B. I've seen lots of photos on runs where there are no life jackets being worn C. I read yesterday that there should be consideration for making event insurance mandatory.
These are three basics that should be established as a minimum requirement.
One should consider the financial aspect of what could happen to our industry. If insurance becomes unaffordable and or poker runs vanish the value of our boats drops overnight and the industry that manufactures same and repairs our toys will be dealt a tremendous blow.
Just my .03
 
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Fixing something that may not be broken

Cloak:

I am not sure that the value of all high performance equipment drops overnight if Poker Runs are no longer a part of the landscape. Before Poker Runs were popular, (which was not that long ago) there was a vibrant HP powerboat market.

I don't beleive that the cost of insurace is a barrier to entry for someone who is stroking a check for at several hundred thousand dollars or more in order to purchase an exotic 100MPH plus powerboat. I can tell you that the current cost of Insrance, especially CAT Insurance is staggering, and we still have a TON of equipment out there in the 100-150MPH capability range, so apparently the Owners are willing to endure the cost.

As for drinking, this is elemenatary in my opinion, if you have even the slightest bit of common sense you shouldnot be drinking while operating your boat but as we all know people make poor choices in this area and I suspect that they will continue to do so in spite of whatever regulations are passed.

Once again, not to be redundant, the foudnation for the sudden intensity was the Texoma accident.... my GUT, (and only a GUT feeling) based upon what I have read is...

Responsible, experienced victims
Drinking not a factor
Skill level not a factor

Life Jackets probably were being worn, but does not sound like it would have mattered

Air Rescue may not have been there, does not sound like it would have mattered baed upon the intensity of the incident

Once we find out (if we find out) exactly waht happened we should take precautions / make adjustments to insure against this into the future.

Gregg Reichman
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: Fixing something that may not be broken

tTX did you send me a PM, my husband (PatriYacht) uses my computer off and on and he asked me if I got back to you, but I don't see it now. I tried to PM or email you but I guess your account will not let me.
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Fixing something that may not be broken

Jump in with both feet and a life jacket. This has been one of the best sites I have been on and hope it stays that way.
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Fixing something that may not be broken

This brings up a very good point. The organizers of the poker runs try VERY hard to implement as many safety precautions as possible. I have had the pleasure to run the Havasu Heat Poker Run a couple of times. It was very well run and I was impressed with the stringent focus on safety that was implemented.

I am not saying things can not be improved, they always can. Many, many great ideas have already surfaced. This was a horrific accident, one in which 5 people were tragically killed. The Families will forever feel the incredible loss. I am not minimizing the unimaginable pain that they are going through right now. I am sure Bruce is going through a roller coaster of emotions few of us will ever know.

With that said, no matter what SAFETY precautions are implemented, accidents are going to happen. I am actually surprised that more fatalities have not occurred at the 100s of poker runs that have been organized. As I alluded earlier, I am in no way minimizing this tragedy. It is unfathomable the pain and suffering amongst the Families. I Pray for their healing and understanding.

God Bless All involved,
Sam
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Fixing something that may not be broken

Neverfastenuf:

I totally agree about the depth of the tradgedy, unimaginable for the famalies.

The sole and exclusive reason for my post is that I was starting to see a patter, a strong undercurrent that "blamed a flawed system", and I think that the record speaks for itself, the system is not flawed... we have one terrible incident we are discussiing and there have been a few more, very few.

They are (Thank God) isolated and rare.

I think what this reinforces (at least for me) is just the opposite of a flawed system, it reinfiorces that like any high risk persuit, we will have our share of very sad and tragic events, and this one is certainly at the top of the heap, but we should judge it on its merits and the specific event that surrouned it once we learn then, which we can only do once we can find out exactly what transpired.

When we find that out, it will not lessen the intenslty of the tradgedy, however it may reinforce that bigger life jackes, more air support, and a long lsit of other proposed "rules" would not have made one bit of difference in the outcome.

Gregg Reichman
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Fixing something that may not be broken

Gregg, very well put.

Sam
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: Fixing something that may not be broken

I was not inferring that any of the points I mentioned would have made a difference or were pertinent to last weekends accident in fact I agree none of them would have but this thread started with no reference to that tragedy.
Not everyone that goes 100 plus has spent the hundreds of thousands that some of us have and insurance costs especially as you have said for cats is getting signifigant.Forget the cost of insurance the availability of insurance is another consideration.
I'm on my third cat with my 43 Nortech and getting insurance this year in the Toronto area was difficult.
I wouldn't own this boat if there wasn't a support group behind me namely the people that build and maintain it near my home lake and they won't be around if poker runs and or events similar to poker runs didn't exist.
The typical boat repair facility is not geared up to rebuild #6 s or maintain 1075 s and without poker runs the few high perf shops that currently exist just won't be there.At least not here in Ontario where the high perf market is miniscule compared to the USA
 
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: Fixing something that may not be broken

Cloke wrote:

I wouldn't own this boat if there wasn't a support group behind me namely the people that build and maintain it near my home lake and they won't be around if poker runs and or events similar to poker runs didn't exist.

Cloke:

I agree, there are limited facilities for the servicing of exotic equipment. I totaly respect that your personal descison to purchase this type of equipment was heavily weighted uppn local talent and useing it at Poker Runs, but you are one grain of sand in the Ocean. I have several boats, including a 32 Skater, and I have had high performance boats for years. I live in Arizona, and actually ship my #6 drives to Florida for service so I feel your pain on the services issue, but unlike you, the existance of Poker Runs or similar events has never been a motivating factor for my pleasure boating, I just like to go boating at high speeds, and all alone is just fine, I do not need to have others with me. I save the "racing" for the race course, but that is just my choice as another grain of sand, right next to you.

All I was saying is that I don't see a vision of the "bottom dropping out" of the HP Poerboat market if Poker Runs dry up, and I think that the foundation that supports that thinking is that for many, many, many years, we never kner what a Poker Run was becuase there simply were no events like that, yet the market kept building.

Gregg Reichman
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