September 21, 2009

Cruisers Save the Day – and a Finger

Talk about multi-function accommodations, the salon aboard Solace was temporarily turned into an ER.

© 2009 Gina Rae

While cruising, one thing you can count on is the unpredictability of what each new day will bring. That fact was reinforced early this month for Paul and Gina Rae when the salon of their New Zealand-based Hylas 44 Solace was suddenly turned into an operating room.

"William from the sailboat Eagle Wing had dropped a hatch on his finger, all but severing the top off through the nail down to the knuckle," reports Gina. With the help of Paul, who is an O.R. nurse, Doctor Betsy from the Washington-based Qayak put her best sewing skills to the test and the finger was saved.

William was particularly fortunate that both Solace and Qayak were in the anchorage, as the mishap occurred on a Sunday, when everything in Tonga is closed, including the local medical services.

Windsurfer Found Dead Outside Bay

The Coast Guard recovered the body of windsurfer John ‘Bret’ Drasky, 65, on Saturday, about two hours after receiving a report of an unmanned windsurf board. A Coast Guard helicopter spotted Drasky’s wetsuit-clad body 2.5 miles west of the Golden Gate, and was recovered by a lifeboat. The crew performed CPR until reaching Station Golden Gate, where Drasky was pronounced dead.

Weekend Wrap-up

Some the world’s top talent in Nordic Folkboats was on the Bay this past week. Bay Area sailors claimed the top two spots.

© 2009 Peter Lyons

It was another big racing week(end) on the Bay, with no fewer than four big events that concluded over the weekend. Saturday marked the final race for the Folkboat Internationals, held biennially on the Bay. With a bullet in the final race, ’07 winner Dave Wilson from San Francisco held off a consistent performance from another Bay Area sailor, Eric Kaiser — who counted nothing lower than a third in the seven-race, one-throwout series — to take the title. Sailing with his father Don, and Tom Urbania, Wilson’s final bullet was one of three that propelled him to his two point win at the Corinthian YC-hosted regatta. Following the Bay Area sailors were a pair of Danes — Per Jørgensen and Per Buch — and German Christoph Nielsen, who shipped his own boat over just for the event. The fleet hit many of the Central Bay venues for the racing that started last Monday — sailing on the Circle, the Cityfront and the Knox areas on different days. Look for more coverage on this awesome class in the October issue of Latitude 38.

Twenty-five 29ers showed up at St. Francis YC this weekend for the class’s 2009 US Championship. Nor Cal Sailors Max Fraser and David Liebenberg were practically untouchable in cruising to a 20-point win.

© 2009 Erik Simonson

Over at St. Francis YC, Max Fraser and David Liebenburg gave the 25-boat fleet gathered for the 29er US Nationals a severe spanking — they finished the regatta with a 20-point cushion over the runners-up in the eight-race, one-throwout series. After dropping a sixth, Fraser and Liebenberg counted all bullets and a fourth, and were one of only six teams to not take at least one letter score.

St. Francis and San Francisco YCs also hosted racing for the Leukemia Cup with the former hosting the one-design racing on Saturday and Sunday and the latter hosting the handicap racing and festivities on Sunday. We’ve been chained to our desks, cranking away on the October issue of Latitude, and we haven’t yet been able to find results other than from the first day of racing, or heard how it all went, so if you’ve got a good story or pictures, please send them here.

The Catalina 30 Nationals were held out of South Beach YC over the weekend, with 21 boats in three divisions showing up — seven in the spinnaker division, five in the jib and main division, and nine in the cruising division. Although the results are provisional pending protests, at this point Jack McDermott’s Adventure took the spinnaker division, John Ford’s Avalon the jib and main division, and Dan Courter’s Ross’ Dream the cruising division.

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