Sad story from SF Lightship Race - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 62 Old 03-17-2008 Thread Starter
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Sad story from SF Lightship Race

The boat was a Cheoy Lee Offshore-31 ketch, doublehand daytime race in rough conditions, three dozen boats competing, this one went missing on the way back, one man recovered, one apparently lost;

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...L22R.DTL&tsp=1

Very sad, condolences to the family.
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post #2 of 62 Old 03-17-2008
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Interesting quote from the CG.
"Racing is a thrill sport, and they went out in challenging conditions,"

Thrill sport??

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post #3 of 62 Old 03-17-2008 Thread Starter
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It's worse than I said, both men lost, one body recovered, boat pieces found ashore.

I'd cut the Coast Guard guy quoted a bit of slack, he probably had a microphone thrust at him. Racing isn't wholly a "thrill" sport, but the challenge of sailor and boat against weather (reportedly 30 knots and up to 16' seas here) isn't exactly dull either. The thrill isn't why most of us do it, but its equivalent (some better synonym) is definitely there. So is the risk of casualty in heavy weather.

But again, condolences to both families.
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post #4 of 62 Old 03-17-2008
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I do not think I would race with that org.
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post #5 of 62 Old 03-17-2008
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Originally Posted by timebandit View Post
I do not think I would race with that org.
Why do you say that?
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post #6 of 62 Old 03-17-2008
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From 'Lectronic Latitiude


Two Sailors Lost During DHL Race

March 17, 2008 – San Francisco
The local sailing community is in a state of shock over the news that two sailors were lost during Saturday's Doublehanded Lightship Race. Kirby Gale, 67, and Anthony Harrow, 72, were on the way home from the Lightbucket aboard Gale's ketch-rigged Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Daisy when they simply disappeared.
As noted in the race report above, conditions were rough for this year's DHL — high winds and big seas. According to other racers, Daisy made it out to and around the Lightbucket in company with the last few boats. But they never made it back. Possibly the last sighting of the boat was from competitors aboard a similarly-rated boat who recall glimpsing back now and then check if a sail behind them was getting any closer. "Then, about six or seven miles out, we looked and the sail was gone," says Rob Tryon, skipper of Aaron Dunlap's Valiant 32 Feolena. "We thought it was because we were sailing faster."
Feolena finished about 2:45, leaving only Daisy still unaccounted for. When she had not finished by the race deadline of 5 p.m., nor responded to repeated calls on VHF, the Coast Guard was contacted. They began a search Saturday night that continued through Sunday. About midmorning, they found "debris that fit the description of Daisy" near her last estimated position. About an hour later, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office reported they had discovered the body of Harrow, still wearing his lifejacket, in a tidepool near Half Moon Bay. At this writing, Gale's body had not been found. The search was suspended at 6 p.m. Sunday.
What happened to Daisy and her crew remains a mystery. No distress beacon was activated, there was no 911 cellphone call, no mayday was made by radio. (It's unknown whether Daisy had an EPIRB aboard, but she did have a working VHF when she checked in with the race committee before the start). Authorities also say that, based on inspection of the debris, they do not believe Daisy collided with another vessel, although that couldn't be ruled out.

Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine
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post #7 of 62 Old 03-18-2008
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Sad story from SF lightship race

I have sailed and fished out of San Francisco for many years. Going out the ship channel during rough conditions can be a truly frightening experience. Waves breaking over the bar can be easily twice the height of the prevailing seas. My guess is that they were either run down by a ship or they got too close to the edge of the channel and were rolled by a big breaker. Years ago I made some unwiswe decisions related to going out when it was rough. I am lucky to have survived. It did cause me to think again, luckly I am still here.

Paul Thomas
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post #8 of 62 Old 03-18-2008
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Yep, getting rolled under out there and slamming the mast into the shoals while still being pounded by breakers would do a boat in. This appears to be an instance of a slow boat getting caught out. The winds didn't REALLY come up until most of the other boats had made it in. Unfortunate.
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post #9 of 62 Old 03-18-2008
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For those of you interested, here is a website that describes the SF bar.

The San Francisco Bar | Coastside Fishing Club

The southern bar is where you see all the photos of the coast guard taking their boats head on into the breakers. Straight off ocean beach. It is also worth note that the bay channels are dredged and dumped north of the south bar, the northern area of ocean beach, so there are shallows there too.

Great men always have too much sail up. - Christopher Buckley


Vaya con Dios

Last edited by bestfriend; 03-18-2008 at 05:50 PM.
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post #10 of 62 Old 03-18-2008
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wow - thanks BF. I have never read anything on the SF bar befor. Does no sound llike fun.
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