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If at First You Don’t Succeed, Tri, Tri Again

On the Saturday of the crewed Farallones race, the Swan 48 Free was out for a sail when they passed a boat in the maritime yoga pose of ‘inverted tri.’ Fortunately, everyone on board was OK and the situation was under control.

As we heard the story, Rafi Yahalom, owner of the Corsair F-24 Lookin’ Good 3, was heading back from the Lightship (from a shortened Farallones race) when a quick puff arrived during a jibe. Those who’ve sailed a Hobie 16 know the feeling. As the spinnaker filled the lee bow buried, and suddenly the race was over.

Fortunately this is not a common sight when sailing the Bay.

As multihull sailors are quick to remind you, even in an inverted position multihulls still float. That’s a good thing. The boat could be towed through the Bay Bridge and into the lee of the city, where she was righted.

It wasn’t easy, but with the help of TowBoatUS, Lookin’ Good 3 is upright, and after drying out and getting some repairs she will be back to tri-racing on the Bay.

These things happen to the best of us, and we were reminded of the video of Jimmy Spithill and the flipping of USA 17 in October 2012. Here it is, just for the heck of it …

A spectacular capsize just eight days into the new boat’s sailing career.
© 2021 Oracle Team USA / Guilain Grenier

Lookin’ Good 3 will be back on the Bay, though with far less trauma and effort than USA 17.


  1. TR5642 3 years ago

    Never seen a tri righted. Is that fore-aft flip common? As a monohull guy, I assumed rolling on the side

    • Yes, the tris get pulled by straps around the front beams, over the top. Sometimes you need tricks to get the sterns to dig in, but when they do, enough forward thrust from the tow boat pulls it 180. Many have been done this way with the rigs coming back up completely intact, and usually sails in relatively good shape. In fact one must be careful the righted boat doesn’t take off sailing again! (Which has happened)

  2. Bert Kornyei 3 years ago

    The righting would have been smoother and simpler without the lean to starboard had the tow boat used a bridle connected wide to the front beams. I was cringing and hoping the tow line would not break the rudder as it was initially pulling against it.

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