the departed

the departed

Our hearts go out to the San Francisco sailing community on this tragic day, and we especially send our thoughts to family and friends and everyone standing vigil for the missing sailors in Tiburon at the San Francisco Yacht Club.

SFYC Director Ed Lynch today identified 46 year-old Marc Kasanin as the deceased sailor pulled from the water, and named Alan Cahill, Jordan Fromm, Irishman Elmer Morrissey and Alexis Busch as those still missing. This was a crew with plenty of experience, filled with the kind of young and passionate sailors that should have been part of San Francisco sailing for decades. For the families and friends, and especially for those that survived, we think we’re right to say that all of us, and every sailor in the world, is sharing your pain just a little right now. Photo of Marc thanks to Tom Zinn.

It seems the incident itself could have happened to any of us; a race around the Farallones is not one for the fair weather sailor, yet for the avid race,r it’s a spirited challenge.

The West side of the Farralones can be a nasty place, with huge swell, and big steep waves rebounding off the rocky shores mixing with the kind of bottom features that amplify the size and chaos of the sea state. Racers from other boats reported extremely confused waves topping 12 feet and 20-30 knots of wind and said they saw James Bradford’s Sydney 38 Low Speed Chase sailing close to Maintop island when she was picked up and thrown on her side by a nasty wave, washing half the crew off. The next wave picked the boat up and dropped it on the rocks, washing the rest off and breaking the mast in two. This video gives you a good idea about what the conditions were like.

The USCG has choppers in the air and boats on the water as they continue to search for survivors. All crew were reported to be wearing life jackets and foulies, so they remain hopeful.

Facebookers can share their condolences at his page. The rest of you can share in the forums, where friends of the missing are standing their own electronic vigil. Hug your family. This could be any of us. In a way, it is all of us.