We just received this e-mail about the cancellation of a race called the Duxship Race suspended by the Coast Guard as a result of the Low Speed Chase tragedy.

Hello Duxship Participants,

Some of you may or may not have heard the rumors making the rounds about the Coast Guard suspending ocean racing.  Here is the situation as it now stands:

Late yesterday we were contacted by Captain Cindy Stowe, the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Sector San Francisco.  She has decided to temporarily suspend all marine event permits for offshore races and has asked US Sailing to come in and perform an independent investigation of the Low Speed Chase accident.  She expects the investigation to take approximately a month and it is her hope that offshore racing can resume at the end of May.  This means that the Duxship Race scheduled for Saturday will not be able to be held as originally planned.

This news has come as a surprise to us here at the YRA/OYRA, as just this Tuesday we had a long but positive meeting with the Waterways Division of the Coast Guard, the department that oversees our offshore permits, and we left that meeting feeling that there were no problems with the Duxship race this weekend.  We expected the race to be held as scheduled.

Given that the OYRA cannot run an ocean race without a USCG issued Marine Event Permit, we are left with two options.  Cancel the race completely or keep the race within the COLREGS Line of Demarcation (Mile Rocks).  The OYRA Board has been discussing these options since last night when word came out that an Offshore Race was not possible.  Rather than cancel outright, the OYRA Board would like to run a modified event that will still leave from the St Francis YC at the regularly scheduled time, head out to Point Bonita and then return to a Yacht Club within the bay where there will be an informal get-together for all the racers and crew.  This would be a non-counter event and will just give those of you with crew ready and wanting to sail and opportunity to still get out on the water in an organized event.

Since we didn’t learn of the suspension of ocean racing permits until late yesterday we are still trying to work out details for an in-the-bay event.  We will get more information out to everyone as soon as possible. 

Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay. Coment here.