In memory of Jeff (batshitcrazy)

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In memory of Jeff (batshitcrazy)

Postby leavesofgreen » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:33 am

Jeff Knowles, who posted here as batshitcrazy, passed away at 2 AM this morning following a kiteboarding accident earlier this week that drowned him.

He will be sorely, sorely missed by those of us lucky enough to have known him.

Stay safe out there guys.

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jeffknowles
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Re: In memory of Jeff (batshitcrazy)

Postby reyrivera » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:57 pm

RIP

Sad to hear another person lost to kiteboarding accidents. Please keep us posted to how his accident in Crissy happened so it can possibly be avoided in the future. 3 kiteboarding related deaths in a span of one year is not good.
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Re: In memory of Jeff (batshitcrazy)

Postby leavesofgreen » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:00 pm

I'm not sure anyone knows the details. I'm a member of the same lab he was in, and not a kiteboarder, but I felt the need to post here because I know he was active and had friends here.

From what I've heard, second hand, he may have gotten tangled in his rigging and was unable to self-rescue once he hit the water. He spent at least ten minutes under before another kiteboarder and/or the coast guard hauled him back to shore, by which time he wasn't breathing. Paramedics were able to get his heart back and beating, but by that point, brain death was setting in, and his lungs were not able to operate by themselves.

From talking to him, he was not inexperienced. He'd been sailing for maybe a decade or more, and kiteboarding for quite a few years as well. He was an instructor at some local places, and knew the ins and outs of being safe on the water. It goes to show that something like this could happen to anyone, even you, the person reading this post.

He was a really good guy. We're all very shaken by this.
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Re: In memory of Jeff (batshitcrazy)

Postby Cehayes » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:41 am

Bonefire tonight 6pm at Ocean Beach: https://www.facebook.com/events/1794967 ... 3656856475

We accidentally made the group private so here are the details:
Please gather with the Knowles family on Ocean Beach to celebrate the life of their son, Jeff Knowles, before they return to his hometown in Rhode Island.

All are welcome to share in the wet sand + bonfire that Jeff loved, so please extend this invitation to his friends, colleagues + fellow sea-people that haven't yet made it onto the invited list.

Fire wood will be provided.
Drinks (NO GLASS), Snacks + Musical Instruments are encouraged.
Official Ocean Beach burn time ends at 9pm.

Fire pit number will be posted below on Friday afternoon.
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Re: In memory of Jeff (batshitcrazy)

Postby Svyatoslav » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:52 pm

I remember him. I saw him last summer on Sherman riding his foil and wearing the blazer. We used to chat a little because we park in the same spot at Sherman. Maybe the reason was hypothermia while he was trying to relaunch his foil? What kind of wetsuit did he wear that time? On a relatively flat water, it is hard to tangle yourself.
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Re: In memory of Jeff (batshitcrazy)

Postby Tony Soprano » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:57 am

Svyatoslav wrote:I remember him. I saw him last summer on Sherman riding his foil and wearing the blazer. We used to chat a little because we park in the same spot at Sherman. Maybe the reason was hypothermia while he was trying to relaunch his foil? What kind of wetsuit did he wear that time? On a relatively flat water, it is hard to tangle yourself.



No !

I was there the day of the accident . Jeff was using a Fone foil kite and a custom homemade bar/safety setup. He was not wrapped in his lines, he for some reason was not able to release his kite that had an issue and was looping over and over and each time it powered up it submarine him violently underwater. Those foil kite have so many bridle lines and control lines that if they slack for a moment they get false knots and then you can have this helicoptering /looping problem. It just happen again to another foil Kite rider, yesterday, but he was able to release.

Most all Crissy foil kite racers have modified their bars in some fashion.
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Re: In memory of Jeff (batshitcrazy)

Postby mastermindty » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:20 am

Tony Soprano,

I was a good friend of Jeff and have been kiting with him for 3 years. I was at Crissy with him the day of the accident but I did not see what happened, and I have been trying to piece it together ever since. I can understand he was not able to eject, it is true that he was riding his own modified kite bar with a shackle system. I've read these can be unsafe and tend to not release under heavy load.

I have a couple questions that remain unanswered that I'm hoping you can help me with. First, did he not have a knife on him? Or was it too hard to reach while being pulled with the force of the kite. Secondly, I'm not a foiler but was told his kite was looping more like a propeller, as you mentioned something could have went wrong with the bridles. But i'm trying to understand why this would hold someone under. There is a discussion on reddit about it https://www.reddit.com/r/Kiteboarding/c ... es_anyone/ but the only examples of being held under are if you get caught around a buoy or in a wave, but neither was the issue in this case. If you have any input on this it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Ty
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Re: In memory of Jeff (batshitcrazy)

Postby sflinux » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:53 am

I am very sorry to hear about Jeff's passing, my condolences to all of his friends and family.
To those that don't understand the submarine effect, it has to do with being overpowered . I didn't see the incident, but imagine that the kite was rotating in the power zone. It is similar to doing a kite loop while body dragging, but for him the kite never reached the edge of the window.
With a helicopter effect, you could get enough coils in the lines where the steering would become unresponsive due to friction in the lines.
With foil kites, they are also prone to bow tying, which is very difficult to recover from.
The use of hook knife is effective with a kite at rest. But with a looping kite, the flying lines would have been too far out of reach. A hook knife would not be effective on the leader lines nor the depowerloopline for a bar.
A quick release would have been his best option, in one of the lulls of the submarine effect. Over the years there has been much conversation as to the effectiveness of shackles while under heavy load. If someone could post a picture of the shackle that Jeff used, that could possibly help prevent another shackle incident.
Again, I am very sorry for your loss.
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