Sunday, April 29, 2012

Head Gear

This is a photo of Jean-Luc NĂ©lias, the navigator on Groupama. I have no idea what that thing is on his forehead, but he looks happy and it is obviously important to Volvo Ocean Race navigators - although I have not seen photos of any of the others wearing such a device - maybe the other MCMs are more sensitive to the public image of their navigators and keep a tight lid on this sort of public dissemination.

Does anyone know what the thing is?

Is it related to his binoculars? His glasses? Is it legal?

Where can I get one?

Does it conform to Laser Class Rules?


  1. Hmmm. I can't answer any of the questions except the last one. NO!

  2. He seems to be blissfully unaware of the object banded to his forehead...

  3. It's a Petzl E-Lite Emergency head torch... though why he needs one in broad daylight is beyond me. Maybe it is for dazzling the opposition?

  4. Thanks for that - I had never heard of this gadget, but I went to their website and learned that it is "equipped with a long-range whistle that can signal one’s position for rescue" and has a "SOS Morse code illustration on the whistle".

    So, was he fearing the worst and wanted to be ready to signal his position in Morse code with the long-range whistle?

  5. I must have the old version without the whistle! I thought that was a joke until I too went to their website and had a look... I feel cheated now!

  6. OK. So I guess you need the light so you can see the SOS Morse code illustration on the whistle so you know how to blow SOS signals on the whistle.

    As for whether it's legal under Laser class rules...

    Rule 15 says: Any additional equipment required by an international, national or other governing authority for safety purposes may be fitted or carried provided it is not used in contravention of the FUNDAMENTAL RULE.

    I don't know about Abu Dhabi but the US Coast Guard does says that boats under 16 foot long are required to carry approved visual distress signals for night-time use, and every vessel less than 65.6 ft. (20 meters) in length must carry an efficient sound producing device.

    So I think that means it's mandatory that every Laser sailor in the US must wear one of these devices all the time.

    1. In the spirit of good sportsmanship and adherence to the rules, I think it would be appropriate for you to post a photo showing that you, a renowned Laser sailor operating in US waters, are, indeed, in compliance with the above.


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