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Doublehanded Farallones Race

Heat Wave, along with 10 other racers, waited out the lull near Pt. Bonita and wound up rounding the rocks. Unfortunately, they didn’t finish the race.

© Peter Lyons

For most competitors, the 30th Annual Doublehanded Farallones Race was a bust windwise. But in the drama department, it was the ‘most listened to radio program’ since War of the Worlds.

The event began normally enough early Saturday morning, with 79 starters escorted out the Golden Gate by scraps of westerly and a dying ebb. But the wind pretty much shut off at Point Bonita, and the fleet parked. When folks could still see the lighthouse around noon — when they should have been rounding the island — they started dropping out and heading for home. Ultimately, only 11 boats toughed it out to finish, with Stephen Marco and Curtis Pitts leading the way across the finish line on the Newick 38 trimaran Native after 10 1/2 hours on the course. Second in — and the first monohull — was Trevor Baylis and Paul Allen on the J/100 Brilliant. They finished at 7:35, after 11 1/2 hours. For the rest of the results, log onto

John Woodhull and Bill Wilson of the Hinckley 42 Dream Chaser, along with many other DHF drop-outs, enjoyed a lovely day on the Bay.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

But if the 2009 Doublehanded Farallones Race itself will be best remembered for its almost 90% attrition, it will also be remembered for one of the most dramatic rescues in recent memory. It played out over the VHF radio on Saturday night and, for anyone listening in (ourselves included), beat out any ‘reality’ show TV could ever cook up. Read about it next.

(Because we wanted to bring you the most up-to-date information on the rescue, we’ll continue the weekend racing roundup on Wednesday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude.)

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When longtime Sausalito resident and friend of Latitude Dave Wilhite was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004, he moved to Bellingham, WA, to be close to his parents while he waited to die.