July 15, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT: Bela Bartok Abandoned

Early this morning, Derk Wolmuth on the 31-ft Vindo 40 Bela Bartok, an entry in the Singlehanded TransPac, activated his EPIRB about 450 miles off the finish line at Hanalei Bay on Kauai, and broadcast on the SSB that he was requesting a medical evacuation. The Coast Guard enlisted the help of a ro-ro cargo ship that was about 80 miles away to effect the rescue. Around dawn, Wolmuth was safely taken aboard the ship and is scheduled to arrive in Oakland on Wednesday. The Coast Guard reports that Wolmuth had been ill for three days with what he suspects is a staph infection. Bela Bartok is currently adrift, or possibly sailing slowly toward Kauai thanks to her windvane, but the race tracker on the boat will continue to send position reports, which will be helpful in salvaging the boat as well as keeping mariners  — including the 46 entries in the Pacific Cup — updated on her position.

It’s not unusual to see lovely ladies aboard sailboats. But nine of them?
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There was misfortune on the coast of Baja last month, as 81-year-old Bill Fox of San Francisco lost his Beneteau 42 Rocinante on the beach at Punta Redonda, which is about 9 miles down the Pacific Coast of Isla Margarita.