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Speed Kills

Jetskis account for a disproportionately large number of watercraft injuries and deaths. Why? Because of speed. Check out the accompanying video for proof:

Video courtesy MediaEntertainmentTV

Sailboats, particularly those over 25 feet, account for a very proportionately small number of watercraft injuries and deaths. Why? Because of a lack of speed. Want proof? Check out the following video that appeared in SoCal Sailing News.

 Video courtesy Celebrity.

The video was taken during last month’s Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race, and shows impact between Gary Green’s Beneteau 44.7 Green Dragon, which without greater context would appear to be the overtaking boat, and Jerry Finnegan’s Cal 40 Celebrity, the boat from which the video was taken. Nobody was hurt because it was a low-speed impact, relatively speaking, as are most collisions between sailboats.

A reminder to everyone: In cases of collisions between two boats where there is damage of $500 or more — meaning almost every collision — state law requires that a written accident report be filed with the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways. Not that many sailors know the law — or in cases between friendly competitors — bother with it.

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The unprecedented speeds of AC72s blasting across San Francisco Bay last summer made race viewing exhilarating even for non-sailing viewers.
One of the most impressive nonprofit sailing organizations in Northern California is the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors, whose staff works tirelessly to share the joys of sailing with folks who have a wide range of disabilities.