The Low Speed Chase Memorial
Here is an updated timetable for Saturday’s memorial to the crew lost aboard
Low Speed Chase:
The event has shifted into BELVEDERE COVE AND RACCOON STRAITS
A detailed link is HERE
All participating boats are asked to turn on running lights
All participants shall wear Personal Floatation Devices
1845 Gather to the southeast of Elephant Rock
1900 – 1930
Tiburon Fire Boat with the USCG will lead procession using their spinning lights; boats should carefully fall in line behind. Boats will proceed in line following the FD boat between Victory and the Protector, Farallones, and may drop flowers and wreaths. Bagpipes will commence from the Protector Farallones just inside the southeast boundary of Belvedere Cove.
Participating boats please hold station in the area to the southeast of San Francisco Yacht Club race committee boat Victory.
19:30 8 Bells Sound Off from Victory
19:35 1 Minute of Silence
19:36 Danny Boy
19:40 5 Shots of Shotgun from Victory
19:45 Amazing Grace
19:50 Tiburon Fireboat will blast fire cannon
19:50 Eternal Father (Naval Hymn)
20:00 Boats are asked to blow Horns
Service concludes in memoriam:
Mark Kasanin, Alexis Busch, Jordan Fromm, Elmer Morrissey, Alan Cahill
Official communications over VHF 68.
Individual communications and questions, VHF 69.
AND here’s a tip of the hat to Bay Area Multihull Association stalwart Bob Naber for parsing out the truth about casualties from sailboats in the Gulf of the Farallones and jumping on one news organization after another and calling them to account for inaccuracies.
I agree with Bob that I hate bodycount references, but I was a daily newsman in ’82 when a southerly buster surprised the Doublehanded Farallones Fleetthose were different times, and an updated weather report was broadcast at 0800 while the fleet was in sequencewith the loss of four lives in the racing fleet. Boats returning from the islands in low visibility were swept north by a combination of current and storm (no gps), and many could not make efficient southing. No lives were lost on the island shore; everything happened on the return (and two non-racers perished aboard a cruising boat in the same storm).
There have been additional, isolated casualties, nothing on such a scale until now, and I reckon I’ve personally pulled a few stunts that came out all right more through luck than skill.
Anyone who sails the Gulf of the Farallones can identify. This is a demanding environment, and I observe the closeness felt now between the sailing community and the Coast Guard. You know their motto: You have to go out. You don’t have to come back. And the Coasties always go out.
Facebook surfaced a discussion of how such an accident might be prevented in the future, and all suggestions focused on keeping boats far enough from the rocks that they don’t become eligible for bad luck.
Station a committee boat out there? No way. It’s too rough, usually, and too nasty to ask anyone to take on that duty. And it would be too hard to either anchor or hold station, and it would be irresponsible to station our people off a lee shore.
Put a buoy out there to round? Nope. It’s a long rounding, so you would need more than one buoy, and they’d never stay in place. We have enough problems in the bay with YRA marks going walkabout.
Create a series of (probably three, minimum two) GPS waypoints? This could work. Surely there is not one of the 31 finishers of the 2012 Farallons Race that did not have a GPS aboard, and it’s more common than not for crewmembers to have a GPS in a pocket. Probably, this is part of the long, coming conversation.
I have no truck, however, with any talk of whether this race, or racing in the Gulf of the Farallones (my preferred spelling), has a future. This is our home. This is our patch of ocean. Those are our islands. And this race is a tradition begun by The San Francisco Yacht Club in 1907. It was the first ocean race ever sailed out of San Francisco Bay. It’s part of what makes us “us.” The race is not going away any more than the islands areKimball