The Coast Guard temporarily stopped the sailboat races taking place in San Francisco on Friday after a fatal yachting accident in the waters outside of the San Francisco Bay. During the April 14 race, a 38-foot boat was hit by waves while rounding the Farallon Islands and five crew members on board died.
Chris Larose, a San Francisco sailor who was prohibited from participating in an offshore race on Saturday said, “We’re all saddened by what happened. But to cancel the race is overreaction. Tragic accidents occur in all kinds of competitions. We don’t stop fishing boats from going out when one of them is lost.”
Larose is not alone in being disappointed that the offshore races were prohibited pending further review of the accident, though the Offshore Yacht Racing Association Duxship Race is still being held, just within the San Francisco Bay. A second race, the Single-handed Sailing Society for Farallones Race, has been scheduled for May 12. This race will incorporate an alternative route, however, there is also a possibility that it may be canceled all together, depending on the findings of the crash investigation.
New restrictions set in place on Thursday require all racing vessels to remain within the limits of the Bay and all racers must get a permit from the Coast Guard.
According to Coast Guard Captain, Cynthia Stowe, “This temporary safety stand-down from offshore racing will allow the Coast Guard and the offshore racing community to further our common safety goals.” It will also allow the Coast Guard and offshore racing community to further study the accident and determine whether changes are needed to improve safety. The review is expected to be completed by the end of May.
Source: Huffington Post