Cruiser Steve Kingsley Dies in Baja Traffic Accident
August 26 - San Quintin, Baja California
"Steve Kingsley of the Formosa 41 Valkyrie (Class of '00), died Friday in an auto accident near San Quintin, Baja," reports Lucie van Breen. "Sue Robertson, Kingsley's wife, was not in the car with him. Kingsley had apparently planned on hitchhiking to a wedding. Sue wanted to go with him, but he advised against it. Kingsley was reportedly riding in a trailer being pulled by a vehicle with a family - including kids - inside. During a passing incident, the trailer was sideswiped, lost a wheel, and flipped over. Kingsley was thrown out of the trailer and killed. We don't know anything about the other passengers or the reason why Kingsley was near San Quintin, since Valkyrie is believed to be near Bahia de Los Angeles. Up until that time, Steve and Sue had been happily cruising in the Sea of Cortez, enjoying being away from the hustle and bustle, and loving the sea life and friendships they were making.
"Paul Kamen reminded me this morning that Kingsley really lived many lives," continues van Breen. He and Sue had crewed on the Bird boat, Falcon, which sank in Raccoon Straits during a race about 10 years ago. As the boat was rapidly sinking, Kingsley's PFD became caught in the rigging and he was pulled down - until he was able to free himself and return to the surface. His chosen profession, professional diver, no doubt helped him survive the accident."
Upstart Brits Steal the Stars
August 26 - Marina del Rey
Rich Roberts reports from Marina del Rey:
Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell, mere rookies among many of the world's best sailors, won the final race of the 81st Nautica 2002 Star Class World Championship Friday to give Britain its first title in the venerable class. "That's the way to take the pressure off, isn't it?" Mitchell said as they sailed into the California YC dock with the Union Jack flying from their mast. "He put that in the cool box this morning and didn't tell me," Percy said. "I would have thought it was bad luck."
The way they sailed, luck didn't matter. Neither Percy, 26, the 2000 Olympic Finn class gold medalist from Winchester, nor Mitchell, 32, of London, had sailed a Star until 10 months ago, although they had already worked their way up to the No. 17 ranking in the class. With finishes of 4-1-3-2 in the 103-boat fleet in the previous four races, they entered the sixth and final race with a four-point lead over 1990 champions Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira of Brazil, and nine points over France's Xavier Rohart and Yannick Adde. Although Grael finished fourth and Rohart 10th, neither ever threatened seriously Percy and Mitchell, who led at every mark. Boosted by breezes as strong as 14 knots, which they prefer, they finished 41 seconds ahead of 1998 winner Colin Beashel of Australia, who had David Giles as crew. Three-time winner Bill Buchan, 67, of Seattle, with Mark Brink, was third - by far the best performance of the week by one of the class's enduring icons. Counting Grael, Beashel and Buchan, Percy/Mitchell put away 11 former champions. Paul Cayard, the '88 champion sailing with Hal Haenel - also a world and Olympic champion as crew - placed fifth Friday to score fourth overall.
The crowd approaches W1.
The winners on the water . . .
. . .and back at California YC
Photos Dick Hampikian, Courtesy www.starworlds2002.com
The top 10 (worst score discarded):
Jobson Missing the Right Recommendation?
August 26 - Long Island Sound, NY
"I am upset by Gary Jobson's article in the September 2002 Sailing World about the tragic death of Jamie Boeckel," writes Jim Quanci, "because Jobson doesn't recommend the one action that would have most likely prevented this horrible accident - and the one action that most amateur sailors crossing oceans use - wearing a safety harness.
"I have participated in numerous ocean races up and down the West Coast, including a number of TransPacs and West Marine Pacific Cups. On every offshore race, the rule at night is one must have a harness on and must be clipped in at all times. Jacklines run from bow to stern allowing all maneuvers at night to be completed without being disconnected from the boat. I have been involved in numerous safety at sea seminars where time and again people are told to use harnesses - especially at night. In the West Marine Pacific Cup, skippers have been required to tell their crew in writing the boat's requirements for the use of flotation and harnesses - impressing on the skippers and crew how important flotation and harnesses are.
"I also believe there is a growing danger among the more professional crews - that they believe because of their experience and talent - these safety requirements don't apply to them. In this year's West Marine Pacific Cup, there was a man overboard from one of the professionally crewed boats - and as with Blue Yankee - the man overboard had no flotation and no harness on. In this case, thank God, they recovered the person. On the amateur boats, no one would think of performing maneuvers at night without being harnessed in.
"Anyone who has been out to sea knows that if someone goes overboard at night, with flotation on or not, the odds of not being able to find them are too high. This is doubly true on a big fast boat with a spinnaker up, where it can take many yards and many minutes to stop and return to where the crew went overboard. Jobson's article does the sailing community a real disservice as it doesn't strongly recommend - doesn't recommend at all - the one most effective remedy one can take. Do not get disconnected from the boat - use a harness. The use of a harness is only mentioned in passing- and virtually written off because the crew felt it wasn't necessary. Since when do skippers pass on responsibility for the safety of their crew to the crew? Was the obvious need for crew to be harnessed in at all times during the night not mentioned due to potential liability - or feelings of guilt? Surely Jobson and Isler know everyone on the boat should have been wearing a harness - and owe it to the sailing community to say so.
"I get a sick feeling in my stomach saying all this, as I am sure the crew of Blue Yankee already feel terrible and guilty about what happened, and this letter is rubbing salt in the wound. But we need to learn from this tragedy and let the sailing community know how to prevent it from happening again."
From One U.S. Island to Another
August 26 - Honolulu, HI
If you want to carry paying passengers on a boat in the United States, the boat has to be built in the United States. Captain Andy - he's standing on the transom steps with Keith, the deckhand - has long been doing catamaran charters on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai. His first cat was built by Golden Coast Yachts of St. Croix, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands, which is why it's legal. After 10 years or so of good service, he went to Gold Coast for this second charter cat for the Na Pali Coast. He and Keith had just sailed the 55-footer to Hawaii by way of Panama and Cabo San Lucas. They hadn't found much wind, so it's good that the new cat motors well. Real well. Thanks to huge engines and four-bladed props, it does 25 knots to weather.
August 26 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace
Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/
August 26 - Pacific Ocean
San Francisco Bay Weather
To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/. The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at www.wrh.noaa.gov/Monterey/.
California Coast Weather
Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/Maps/Southwest.shtml.
Pacific Winds and Pressure
The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.
Pacific Sea State