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Things That Go Bump

There were more boats out sailing the Bay last weekend than we’ve seen in a long time. In addition to participants in several racing events, there were tons of daysailors, their crews likely driven to the cool Bay breezes by off-the-charts high temperatures. We even saw a few boats whose streaky topsides indicated they hadn’t been out of slips in a long, long time. As the saying goes, a great time was had by all.

Well, maybe not quite all. Two racing boats had ‘too close for comfort’ encounters. Timo Bruck’s J/120 Twist was midway through the second race of StFYC’s Stone Cup Regatta when, in between Treasure Island and Alcatraz, bowman Rich Hudnut shouted, "Whale!” Sure enough, a small whale estimated at 25 feet surfaced only about a boatlength in front of Twist. With no time to react, they crossed over the location and felt a soft bump, which they think must have been the keel grazing the end of its tail. “We were all very surprised with this close encounter, and didn’t see the whale again,” says Hudnut. “After reading about all the crazy whale strikes over the years, I was glad that this one was very minor.”

Not so minor was the hit-and-run experienced by another racing boat, causing damage that may put it on the ‘disabled’ list for the better part of the summer. We can’t give you details right now, but when we can, there’s lots to be learned. Stay tuned.

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