San Francisco Yacht Club Official Agrees With Temporary Racing Ban

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A top official at the San Francisco Yacht Club said he thinks the U.S. Coast Guard’s temporary ban on offshore boat races is appropriate in light of the recent incident off the Farallon Islands that killed five of the club’s members.

Vice Commodore of the San Francisco Yacht Club Tad Lacey said this weekend’s Duxship Race and the Singlehanded Sailing Society Farallones Race on May 12 had their racing permits pulled, but it doesn’t appear that races beyond that will be impacted.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“We actually have the next ocean race, the Spinnaker Cup, in five weeks,” Lacey said.

In addition to the Coast Guard’s investigation, US Sailing will put a safety panel together to look into the fatal April 14 accident near the Farallon Islands.

Lacey said that a similar inquiry was done in 1979 when 15 people died in the Fastnet race in what remains the worst disaster in offshore racing history.

“The findings and results and implementations of safety measures that they put in for ocean racing boats after that was I think a big part of the reason that there were only four lives lost in the 1998 Hobart race,” said Lacey.

The races affected by the Coast Guard’s decision were banned from going one mile past the Golden Gate Bridge.

Lacey said that he’s sure some sailors are disappointed but hopes that the understand the reasons behind the decision.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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