By Don Ford

SAUSALITO (KPIX 5) — A pair of sailors competing in a boat race on San Francisco Bay this weekend got a little more that they bargained for.

The Three Bridge Fiasco is a very popular, casual and fun race with more than 300 boats scattered all across the bay. For one of those boats, things didn’t go quite as planned.

That assumes some of the 334 boats actually have a plan. The idea is to circle the bay near all three bridges, in any order you like. “About halfway to Angel Island, we hit a Whale!” said Ben Pedrick, crewmember on the J105 sailboat Jam Session.

When whales and small fiberglass sailboats meet, whale usually wins. Jam Session is now in the repair yard with deep scratches and a broken rudder.

Pedrick said there was no warning before the collision happened. “We couldn’t see because it was right under the water. [Did you see any blood or anything in the water?] “No.”

He says the whale simply swam away. Another sailor says with all those boats he isn’t surprised. “The probability goes up when there’s more boats on the bay,” said sailor Rudy Wyatt. “Ya know, there’s a lot of life out there.”

No one know for sure if the whale was hurt or not. The sailboat will be in the yard for several weeks.

Comments (2)
  1. Chuck Lantz says:

    It must be a slow news day, since this is a fairly common occurrence. A 49′ boat I was on hit a whale when we were moving at about 15mph. Since we were sailing downwind, after we hit the poor thing, we bounced back a bit and when the sails refilled, we hit it again, going much slower. The whale just swam away. One of the crew was a cetology researcher, and she told us the whale’s body could easily absorb a hit like that, and the worst we most likelydid was wake it up from a nap.

  2. William Wonkan says:

    Judging from the amount or rainfall in Northern California recently, the resulting high water flows move logs and decayed pilings out into the bay. The “sailors” most likely hit a floating log or old piling which had come loose.
    I call BS on the whale story.