April 11, 2011

Local Heroes Win Award

Delta Doo Dah vets Erik and Brian Jones of the Berkeley-based Glastron Spirit 28 Sizzle were honored with US Sailing’s Hanson Rescue Medal last week for their role in rescuing two Bay sailors on July 19, 2009. The Joneses and their friends were sailing home in typical summer Bay conditions when a sharp-eyed crewmember spotted a small capsized skiff. Skipper Erik sailed closer and asked the two men in the water — both were wearing PFDs and wetsuits — if they needed assistance. "The younger sailor, who looked to be in his early 20s, waved us off indicating that they were okay," Erik recalls. "We ignored his refusal for help and remained nearby, circling their boat."

The ‘Sizzle Boys’, Erik and Brian Jones, were instrumental in the rescue of two sailors on the Bay.

© 2011 Erik Jones

After watching for 15 minutes as the two men worked hard to right their boat only to have it capsize again and again, Erik called the Coast Guard to advise them of the situation and tell them that they would remain on station until the pair either got underway or requested help. Several minutes later, the sailors were able to right the boat and get back aboard, but it was clear that cold water and exertion had taken their toll. "The older sailor — in his 40s or 50s — asked me to accompany them the four miles to Richmond," said Erik. Just as Erik’s crew had readied a tow line, the Marin County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol boat pulled up and took charge of the situation. “The lesson here is that just because someone isn’t asking for help or initially rebuffs an offer of help, doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t remain on station to monitor or activate emergency services anyway,” Erik noted.

The victims were aboard what looks to be an International 14 skiff. Erik says there appeared to be some damage after the capsize.

© 2011 Erik Jones

Congratulations to Erik and Brian for receiving such a prestigious honor — it was well-earned for using excellent judgment and seamanship during a potentially deadly situation. Not only are we proud that these real-life heroes are once again joining the Delta Doo Dah, but we’ll probably sleep just a little bit better in Potato Slough knowing they’ve got our backs!

Get an Education at Strictly Sail Pacific

Few things will get you more pumped up about sailing on the Bay and beyond than a visit to Strictly Sail Pacific — the West Coast’s largest sail-only boat show. The annual four-day event runs this Thursday through Sunday at Oakland’s Jack London Square.

Take a break from boat show shopping and spend some time with experts on all sorts of topics – such as singlehander Zac Sunderland.

© Zac Sunderland

In addition to checking out the latest gizmos and gadgets, perusing brand new yachts, and shopping for boat show bargains, we’d strongly recommend that you take advantage of the free hourly seminars that run throughout the show. We’re told the show’s roster of seminars has never been larger, offering first-hand insights from industry experts on a wide range of topics that include everything from basic diesel maintenance to international cruising, and just about everything in between.

Take a quick look at the schedule and we’re sure a whole line-up of topics will jump out at you. We suggest you study the list and make a game plan so you won’t miss out on the incredible wealth of info offered by Strictly Sail’s brain trust of experts. A few examples: learn the subtleties of the Bay’s tides and currents from longtime racer/sailmaker Kame Richards; hear about the highs and lows of solo circumnavigating from Zac Sunderland, the youngest ever from the West Coast; or learn to be a self-reliant weather interpreter from meteorological guru Lee Chesneau.

In addition to these and many more, we’ll be hosting a few seminars of our own: Baja Ha-Ha How-To, both Friday and Saturday at 2:15 p.m., and Tahiti and the Pacific Puddle Jump on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. See you then!

In late 2007 Harker rounded Cape Point, South Africa, thus returning to the Atlantic Ocean where he would complete his mostly solo circumnavigation.
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