List of fatal accidents in sailboat racing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Oceanic yacht racing is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. It was particularly dangerous in the early days when oceanic racing was more like early mountain climbing in terms of sense of adventure and achievement. Modern safety and communication equipment has improved safety however like any sport in natural environment risk is always present. In many races, participants have changed from explorer to professional athlete.

Accidents during crewed round the worlds races and record attempts[edit]

Race Name Date Name Place Boat Description
Whitbread / Volvo Ocean Race 1973 Paul Waterhouse,
Dominique Guillet
and Bernie Hosking
Whitbread / Volvo Ocean Race 1989 Tony Phillips Southern Ocean Creighton Naturally Swept overboard and recovered too late
Volvo Ocean Race 18 May 2006  Hans Horrevoets (NED) Off Land End United Kingdom ABN Amro Volvo 70 Washed overboard and recovered
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 5 Sep 2015  Andrew Ashman (GBR)[1] IchorCoal / Clipper 70 Head Injury Boom/Mainsheet
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 1 April 2016  Sarah Young (GBR)[2] IchorCoal / Clipper 70 Swept overboard
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 18 Nov 2017  Simon Speirs (GBR)[3] Great Britain / Clipper 70 Swept overboard
Volvo Ocean Race 26 Mar 2018  John Fisher (GBR)[4] Southern Ocean Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag Volvo Ocean 65 Swept overboard

Accidents during solo round the worlds races and record attempts[edit]

Race Name Date Name Place Boat Description
Vendée Globe 1992  Nigel Burgess (GBR)
Vendée Globe 1997  Gerry Roufs (CAN)

Accidents during offshore racing[edit]

Race Name Host Club Date Name Place Boat Description
1979 Fastnet race Royal Ocean Racing Club 15 Sailors
1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 27 December 1998 Phillip Charles Skeggs
Bruce Raymond Guy
Australia Business Post Naiad drowned
heart attack
28 December 1998 John Dean,
James Lawler
and Michael Bannister
Australia Winston Churchill all drowned
28 December 1998  Glyn Charles (GBR) Australia Sword of Orion
Doublehanded Farallones Race 27 March 1999  Harvey Shlasky (USA), 51, of Berkeley, California United States White Lightning, J/29 ,[5][6]
Doublehanded Lightship Race Island Yacht Club of Alameda 16 March 2008  Matthew Gale (USA), 68, Mill Valley, California

 Anthony Harrow (USA), 72, Larkspur, California

United States Daisy, Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 [7]
Cowes-Cherbourg Race Royal Ocean Racing Club June 2011  Chris Reddish (GBR), 46 United Kingdom Lion, Reflex 38 [8]
Chicago-Mackinac Race Chicago Yacht Club July 2011  Mark Morley (USA), 51
 Suzanne Bickel (USA), 41
United States Wingnuts, Kiwi 35 head injuries and drowning during capsize[9]
Farallones Race San Francisco Yacht Club 14 April 2012  Alexis Busch (USA) of Larkspur
 Jordan Fromm (USA) of Kentfield
 Alan Cahill (USA) of Tiburon
 Elmer Morrissey (IRL)
 Marc Kasanin (USA)
United States Low Speed Chase, Sydney 38 ,[10][11]
Calif. to Ensenada, Mexico yacht race. 28 April 2012  Kevin Eric Rudolph (USA), 53, of Manhattan Beach, Calif.,

 William Reed Johnson Jr. (USA), 57, of Torrance, Calif.,
 Joseph Lester Stewart (USA), 64, Bradenton, Fla.

United States Aegean, Hunter 376 ,[12][13]
Islands Race Newport Harbor and San Diego Yacht Club 9 March 2013  Craig Thomas Williams (USA), 36, California
United States Uncontrollable Urge, Columbia 32 Carbon ,[14][15]

Accidents yacht racing[edit]

Race Name Host Club Date Name Place Boat Description
Big Boat Series St. Francis Yacht Club 18 September 1994  Larry Klein (USA), 42, San Diego United States San Francisco Twin Flyer, 38 foot sloop [16]
America's Cup Testing Golden Gate Yacht Club 9 May 2013  Andrew Simpson (GBR) United States San Francisco Artemis Racing, AC72, Boat 1 Entrapped after the boat broke apart and capsized.


  1. ^ "Andrew Ashman: Fatal Injury Official Statement". Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Fatality Statement - Sarah Young". Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  3. ^ "Clipper Race fatality: Great Britain crewmember washed overboard". Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  4. ^ "An Update on John Fisher". Volvo Ocean Race. Retrieved 27 March 2018. 
  5. ^ "Sailor Struggles With `What-Ifs' of Boat Race / His friend died after being swept overboard". SFGate. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Scuttlebutt: Sailing news with a North American focus". Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  7. ^ "Experts mystified by loss of sailboat and 2 aboard". SFGate. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sail World - The Worlds largest sailing news network: Sail and sailing, cruising, boating news". Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Report: Boat in deadly accident unfit for Mackinac race". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude". Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-08. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  13. ^ "Panel: Newport-Ensenada yacht ran aground". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  14. ^ Daisy Nguyen, Associated Press (9 March 2013). "1 dead, 5 rescued in Calif. sailboat race accident". Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude". Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "Routine Race Ends Tragically : Sailing: Perch collapses and ends life of Larry Klein, one of America's brightest hopes, during event in the Bay Area". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 December 2014.