In this summer’s running of the Singlehanded TransPac from San Francisco to Kauai, Derk Wolmuth of the B.C.-based Vindo 40 Bela Bartok abandoned his boat — his home — when a staph infection turned septic. Fellow racers hatched a plan to recover Bela, and Ruben Gabriel and Ronnie Simpson volunteered to do the deed. We covered the story in the August issue of Latitude 38 but, due to space limitations, were forced to omit many of the details of the Dynamic Duo’s successful mission. On Wednesday, sailors can hear their firsthand account of Bela‘s recovery at St. Francis YC’s weekly Yachting Luncheon.
"We’ve put together a really terrific video from GoPro footage of the entire thing, from our boarding the boat to into Honolulu," says Gabriel. The luncheon, which is open to members of any PICYA yacht club, starts at 11:45 a.m. and costs about $25. The presentation will start around 12:30 p.m. and run for about an hour.
The pair have had their own share of at-sea disasters — Ruben lost his mast during the ’08 edition of the race and sailed 680 miles under jury rig to Hanalei; Ronnie lost his first boat on his first ocean crossing in ’08, and during his return trip from the ’10 race lost his keel, sailing 800 miles (yes, without a keel) to San Francisco — so their perspective is unique and undoubtedly worth hearing.
UPDATE (9/11): Having just arrived in Seattle from a yacht delivery from Hawaii, Simpson will unfortunately not be able to make the presentation but Gabriel has put together a fantastic talk you don’t want to miss.