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Deadly Accident During Sequoia YC Race

April 18, 2014 – Redwood City, CA

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The well-kept Catalina 42 Bella sits mastless after the tragic accident, cordoned off by police tape. © 2018 John Tuma

Two sailors were injured, one fatally, when the Catalina 42 Bella became entangled with a day mark during the first race of the Sequoia Yacht Club’s popular Wednesday night race series. A racer aboard another boat reported that Bella was sailing upwind on port tack in 15 knots of wind when a sail or shroud wrapped around the number 5 day mark, causing the forestay to snap and the mast to collapse into the cockpit. 

Although other boats that were racing stopped to offer assistance, shallow waters around the day mark prevented them from being able to reach the stricken vessel. Both of the injured sailors were ferried ashore by a US Geologic Service survey vessel, however, crewman Yong Son, 39, of Burlingame did not survive the accident. The other injured sailor, whose name has not been released, is hospitalized at Stanford Hospital. There were five sailors total aboard Bella during the race.

An eyewitnesses reported that the crew was preparing to tack when the boat or its gear struck the mark, and that a strong ebb current may have caused the crew to misjudge the speed with which they were closing on the mark. Police sources confirmed that Bella's skipper, Ted Eberle, passed a sobriety test after the accident.

According to Winston Bumpus, Commodore of the Sequoia YC, Eberle is a very accomplished sailor who is meticulous in his preparations and attention to maintenance. "We are all in shock," he said, noting that this was the first racing fatality in the club’s 75-year history. Sequoia YC has suspended racing for at least the next three weeks.

"The Sequoia Yacht Club is a family," added Bumpus. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who are affected by this tragedy."

- John Tuma

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Weekend Racing Preview

April 18, 2014 – San Francisco Bay and Beyond

There are a host of Friday night races to participate in this evening. Berkeley YC holds its Friday Night Series, Corinthian YC kicks off its ever-popular beer can racing series, there's the Friday Night Grillers series at Ballena Bay YC, and at South Beach YC you can sort out your gear and fine-tune your crew work during the club's Friday Night Series practice race.

The Clipper Round the World Race sets off for Panama on Saturday © 2018 Clipper Ventures PLC

Saturday's weather should be beautiful for the start of the OYRA's Crewed Lightship, which gets underway at the St. Francis YC at 9:45. A few hours later Clipper Round the World's Race 11 to Panama starts off the Golden Gate YC at 1 p.m. — read about the day's scheduled boat parade and more here. Sausalito YC's Twin Island Race begins at noon. Racers can choose which direction to round Angel and Alcatraz islands.

On Sunday at Presidio YC in Horseshoe Cove, racing begins with the first race of the season at noon.

Looking ahead a little, don't forget the 30th annual Konocti Cup April 26. The 26-mile race will be held on Clear Lake and hosted by the Konocti Bay Sailing Club, located at Braito's Buckingham Marina. Participants can also race the 13-mile Half Cup.

The races are open to monohulls that are at least 19 feet long and multihulls 14-feet, four inches and over. One design fleets are welcome.

For more information contact Pat Brown (707) 350-3667 or Jim Carlsen (707) 953-7059, or go online.

- latitude / ross

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Ad: Open House at Club Nautique

April 18, 2014 – Sausalito and Alameda, CA

Check out Club Nautique's Open Houses

© 2018 Club Nautique /

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How Much Do Pro Racers Get Paid?

April 18, 2014 – The World of Sailing

How much do professional yacht racers get paid? It's a question weekend sailors often ask, but is rarely answered. However, a recent Associated Press item gives us some insights into the question. It states that Oracle Team USA America's Cup 34 team member Dirk de Ridder is on the verge of being suspended by the International Sailing Federation from ISAF-sanctioned events for five years. It's been reported that "not only is de Ridder banned from the 2017 America's Cup, he'll be unable to accept a $500,000 contract to sail in the Volvo (around the world) Ocean Race, which starts later this year. De Ridder, 41, who is Dutch, was found guilty of having illegally modified OTUSA's AC45s. He can still appeal the decision from a review board or the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Despite being slightly tarnished by the hull tampering scandal, the America's Cup World Series was a huge success worldwide. Fleet racing was the highlight. © 2018 Lynn Ringseis

We don't have any problem with crew for a Volvo getting paid half a mil. After all, it's an extreme event, takes lots of skill, and is far more dangerous than the majority of sailors, let alone non-sailors, appreciate.

What do helmsmen get paid for driving in the St. Francis Big Boat Series? What do crew get paid for the TransPac? Certainly it varies depending on the sailors and the owners and the event, but we really don't have a clue.

- latitude / richard

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