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Images from San Francisco- Savage Beauty ravaged

by Erik Simonson, h2oshots.com on 26 Jul 2009
Savage Beauty sailing on San Francisco bay before the incident Erik Simonson/ h2oshots.com
The Flying Tiger, 'Savage Beauty' cut it a little fine while racing in San Francisco on Saturday, doing a 'Telefonica Blue'. Sadly this one did not have as good an outcome as the incident involving the Volvo Ocean Race competitor, and Savage Beauty was lost. Her crew were taken off safely.

Erik Simonson of www.h20shots.com takes up the story:

Savage Beauty was competing in the YRA Second Half Opener, which is generally a pleasant jaunt out to the Golden Gate to Point Bonita and then down hill all the way back to the Oakland/Alameda Estuary and finish at the Encinal Yacht Club. On the day of the incident, there was very large flood tide, and many of the boats took well over an hour to get from the start area just to the Golden Gate bridge.

Seeking relief, many boats utilize the north sides rocky shoreline, dancing within inches of the massive basalt wall on the Marine side. Savage Beauty was with a group of other boats in a tacking duel and got a tad closer than they should have or wanted to. ( I did not see the incident's onset, just the general current events)

There was a large underlying 10ft south swell from and expired tropical storm near Tahiti a week or so ago which was mostly hidden under its 18-20 interval length. I believe Savage Beauty bumped an under water snag, lost momentum and was then picked up by the swell and placed closer to shore than they wanted. Apparently they attempted to start the engine and rescue themselves, but the prop got fouled leaving them helpless.

A nearby recreational fishing boat called the US Coastguard almost immediately, and their response was quick. The Horseshoe Cove HQ for Station Golden Gate is less than half a nautical mile away.

Attempts to dislodge the boat initially failed, and when the Marine County Sheriff Dept arrived with USCG, they quickly accessed the situation and ordered the crew off. Between sets of swells they dashed in and grabbed crew members and hauled them into their RIB. When all were unloaded and the owner finally rescued, they hung out a bit waiting for a salvage crew to arrive and attempt saving the Flying Tiger. I'm not sure if they even got a line on her, but within an hour, the boat was reduced to large pieces of flotsam and jetsam - which littered the area just west of the Golden Gate bridge between Point Diablo ...

For a chart reference see www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/18649.shtml


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