Sunday July 16, 1995
from Chicago, Muskegon, and Mackinac Island, Micigan
Saturday at about 7:00 pm Pied Piper, the Santa Cruz 70, owned by Dick Jennings was taken from the Chicago Mackinac Race by a dis-masting. Approximately 50 miles up the rhumbline a 52 knot wind caused the rig to fail.
According to Jamie Schwartz, member of the Pied Piper crew, the problem started with the failure of a running backstay block. “It just blew up, starting the mast forward. From that point our Barient winch went to pieces, flying thirty feet in the air with parts everywhere. Then the mast fell to the deck in three pieces.”
Schwartz, who usually likes to see winds about 40 called the gusts “…a little above normal.”
“It is just one of those things that happen. This is the third time I have lost a big rig You just hope for the best and that no one gets hurt. Everyone did a fine job.” Schwartz adds his crew is full of experienced people and that contributed to the fact that this accident was without injury of any kind. Other than the rig itself, some minor problems at the mast collar, and three broken stancions, the boat sustained very little additional damage.
Schwartz also noted that this problem will mark the end of the 1995 race season for the Pied Piper.
Up to that point in the race it was just a real average run according to Schwartz. The wind was averaging 12 knots at the start and somewhat patchy.
Dick Jennings and Pied Piper are an important part of Chicago/Mackinac history. For more information, be sure to check out the Yachting Magazine Article from the Torresen Marine, Chicago/Mackinac race update page.
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