Out & About The Bay – by Jillian Humphreys

Never Turn Your Back To The Ocean

The number of times I heard that saying from my father as a kid are endless, but some people have not and that is why it is important to educate others. The ribbon cutting ceremony for the first three lifesaving stations took place at Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay. Eric Jones of the nonprofit Sea Valor partnered with the Arunay Foundation to spearhead the Sneaker Wave Safety Campaign and to get the state and local officials to recognize a growing problem on beaches that do not have lifeguard stations.

U.S. Coast Guard safety demonstration.

People are subject to sneaker waves at the most unlikely times, and that is where the waves get their name, “sneaker.” They are waves that tend to be stronger and bigger than normal and tend to sweep people out to sea off of beaches and rocks when they are not suspecting it. The best way to provide assistance to those who are swept out is to throw them a life ring with a rope attached to it. Lifeguard stations are not always on-site, and most of the time the Pacific Ocean is too cold and/or the victim of the wave is swept out too far for a rescue person to swim without floatation of their own.

Sea Valor and Arunay Foundation reached out to Virginia Kiraly, the president and commissioner of the San Mateo County Harbor District, Jeff Clark of Mavericks Surf Company and the San Mateo Sheriff’s Department to make the lifesaving stations possible. After months of advocating and researching on how to accomplish this, the board of supervisors approved. Congressman Ro Khanna of the 17th Congressional District was also at the ceremony at Pillar Point Harbor, and he made the following promise, “…my office is working with Arunay’s family and local groups including Sea Valor to raise awareness of the hazards at local beaches and install lifesaving equipment such as life ring stations.”

“Never again should anyone lose their loved one to the sea,” said Sharmistha (Arunay’s mother.) If you are ever swept out by a sneaker wave, keep in mind that it is safer to swim parallel to the beach until the wave passes than to fight the wave by swimming inland. Keeping your eye on the water and noticing that after a period of smaller waves there is a withdrawal of water from the ocean is a way to identify that a sneaker wave is coming. Sneaker waves occur most often on outgoing tides and during offshore storms that transfer energy to the ocean surface and eventually make the way to the coast. Sneaker waves are known as rouge waves and occur around the world. The most common place in the U.S. for sneaker waves happens to be in South Washington and the entire Oregon coast. However, there is more of a problem of rip tides on the Eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast than of sneaker waves.

Eric Jones, CEO of Sea Valor and Virginia Kiraly, the president & commissioner of the San Mateo County Harbor District cut the ribbon for the first of what they hope to be many up and down the CA coast.

Another part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony was the dedication of three new U.S. Coast Guard helicopters. Pillar Point Harbor trains with the U.S. Coast Guard regularly. The harbor is unique in that it provides search and rescue to all boaters. The dedicated crew of Pillar Point Harbor provides an average of 110 rescues annually and that adds up to more than 100 lives saved. The U.S. Coast Guard performed a rescue operation demonstration during the ceremony to help educate spectators on how they conduct their operations.

Education is the best prevention. We need to keep educating people about sneaker waves and what to look for if we want the numbers of people that fall victim to them to decline.

Time To Get Together And Celebrate…

After a hard-working year of trying to get events back up and running, the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association (PICYA) held their annual luncheon and awards at Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda. Many yacht clubs were in attendance and Encinal put on a lovely meal for everyone. This was personally my first in-person event with Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association as a delegate. I was honored to be in attendance and was personally invited by Patti the commodore. The awards are given out to both yacht clubs and individuals for their work and dedication to the boating community.

The 2021 Bay & Delta Yachtsman Public Service Award was given to Oyster Point Yacht Club for having performed a community service effort. Kevin Kirberg was honored with the 2021 Condon Award, which is presented to a person for distinguished and selfless promotion of sailing, particularly, but not exclusively, to young people. In 2021 the Edwin H. Wilder Perpetual Trophy, which is for the top newsletter in the entire PICYA was awarded to the top three clubs: 3rd place was San Jose Sailing Club, 2nd place was Stockton Yacht Club and the winner was Tahoe Yacht Club.

Matt Byers hands Catherine Miskow of Coyote Point Yacht Club her trophy, as she is the recipient of the Llyod Ryland, awarded for distinguished service to preservation of yachting history and traditions at her yacht club.

Catherine Miskow of Coyote Point Yacht Club was the recipient of the Llyod Ryland. She was recognized in 2021 as the individual that demonstrated outstanding and distinguished service to yachting through promotion and preservation of yachting history and traditions within her respective member club. She is recognized for research and/or documenting historically significant yachting events and/or activities related to her home yacht club. The Admiral Chester W. Nimitz U.S.N. Perpetual Trophy is awarded to the yacht club for having the greatest advancement during the year in promoting youth activities in yachting, including instruction in safety, boat handling proficiency and seamanship. This year it was awarded to Marin Yacht Club for coming up with a solution for getting their junior program going during COVID.

The Club Meritorious Service Award is given to a yacht club whose members have performed exceptional acts of rescue and aid in saving of life and/or property in the age-old tradition of the sea. This year it was awarded to Ebony Boat Club for their members assisting as first responders to a fatal boating accident in the Delta this past summer. The Individual Meritorious Service Award is given to any person, regardless of their affiliation, who has performed exceptional acts of rescue and aid in saving of life and/or property in the age-old tradition of the sea, and this year it was awarded to Otis and Marilyn Brock for their selfless acts as first responders to that fatal boating accident in the Delta this past summer when they were on their way to a cruise out with their club.

The Poseidon Award is presented to the person who has selflessly given their time and effort without consideration of reward or recognition for the greater good of the boating community. This year it is awarded to Colleen Stauss “The Atomic Blonde.” Unfortunately, the Jo Bates Memorial Delegate of the Year Award was not able to be given out in 2020. Luckily for us, Linda Blue of Petaluma Yacht Club stepped up to the challenge and succeeded in demonstrating the image of Jo Bates for the greatest contribution of time and effort for good of Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association.

Matt Byers honoring Colleen the “Atomic Blonde” with her award as she was in shock that she won. “I did not even know you were talking about me.” – Colleen Stratus of Loch Lommond YC.

The Harter Award is also known as the “Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) Gale Force Wind” and is awarded to the yacht club that raises the most funds for RBOC, and was very well deserved by the CA Carver Club. The newest award to be presented by the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association is the John and Stephanie Sims Webmaster Award. This award is awarded to the particular yacht club whose website best illustrates the club as a whole, and this year it went to Ox Bow Yacht Club. The Yachtsman of the Year is awarded to the individual for their outstanding distinguished service to boating and yachting. This year the award went to Dick Loomis for his dedication of over 20 years of volunteering with Richmond Yacht Club’s junior program, volunteering for the 34th America’s Cup, reviving the PICYA Lipton Cup and much more around the Bay and Delta. Loomis’ daughter, Kelly was in attendance to receive the award on behalf of her late father. Ann Dukes, the 2020 award winner did inform those in attendance that Mr. Loomis was unanimously chosen for this award.

Kelly Loomis accepting Yachtsman of the Year on behalf of her father Dick “Mr. Fun” Loomis.

The Annual Club of the Year Award goes to the yacht club(s) that participate in the most events around the area from Opening Day on the Bay to the Margot Brown Wheelchair Regatta and more. In 2021 we have three yacht clubs that got the pleasure of receiving this recognition. Congratulations to Ebony Boat Club, San Jose Sailing Club and South Beach Yacht Club.

To learn more about PICYA you can email me or contact your local delegate.

What Does The Recreational Boaters Of California Do Exactly For You?

The Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) organization started looking at protecting boating interests in 1968 as a nonprofit. They as a group work to protect and enhance the interests of recreational boaters in the state before local and state legislation. This nonprofit organization engages in promoting on our (boaters) behalf, laws and regulations that enhance boating and assists in opposing proposals that would be harmful to California’s almost three million boaters. The Recreational Boaters of California organization speaks up at public hearings, meets with local and state officials and prepares amendments to address possible problems with specific bills, as well as assisting in promoting bills that benefit boaters. The nonprofit works closely with BoatU.S. on representing California boaters on the federal legislative side of things.

The entire RBOC Committee from both Northern and Southern CA. Photo courtesy of BoatUS.

You see, back in 1965 there were several boaters in Northern California that formed the organization called Boat Owners Associated Together, Inc., and these boaters were concerned about what is happening at the state capitol. This organization was led by Ward Cleaveland who was about connecting commodores and other like-minded individuals, and was incorporated in 1968. Jerry Desmond, a legislative attorney was hired by Boat Owners Associated Together, Inc. in 1971. Jerry provided his expertise to assist the group as they waded through the countless bills before the state’s legislation that would affect recreational boating for years to come.

After some confusion of the name, there was a similar organization on the East Coast with a similar name. The West Coast organization rebranded itself in 1982 and officially became known as Recreational Boaters of California, or RBOC. In 1992, BoatU.S. grew as a nationally recognized organization and began to have a presence in California. Both nonprofits discovered that they could assist each other in achieving greatness in the legislative branch, both at the state and federal levels. The RBOC organization and BoatU.S. came to the agreement that RBOC would provide information and efforts on California boating to BoatU.S. and BoatU.S. would in return update RBOC about active federal legislative measures. The partnership between RBOC and BoatU.S. is still going strong to this day.

Contra Costa County Sheriffs on patrol. Photo credit courtesy of Cocosheriff.org

RBOC recently has prevented the increase of boater registration fees, which were set to hike 250%. The work of this nonprofit organization is not over as they will continue to keep an eye on this possible hike in the future. The governor signed the “fix-it ticket” law into legislation in July 2021, and that is something that does affect us recreational boaters. This new law is about providing incentives for fellow boaters to correct particular infractions by allowing law enforcement to issue a written notice containing the offenders signature stating that they will correct the problem, similar to a “fix-it ticket” in a vehicle. The legislation and RBOC believe that having this in place will assist in making our waterways safer. Some examples of violations that can be corrected under this new law are: expired vessel registration, not having usable fire extinguishers and the operator of the vessel not having a boater card in their possession.

If you would like to learn more about regional, state and federal issues that RBOC and BoatU.S. are tackling for us boaters, feel free to reach out at www.rboc.org

A New Way To Get On The Water And Meet Someone…

The Single Sailing Association offers a different approach to getting people on the water, and yes, you do have to be single. Their host yacht club is Ballena Bay in Alameda as they are a paper club. The club is a part of the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association. Everyone is welcome from novices that have never been on a sailboat to experienced sailors. The Single Sailing Association is the oldest sailing organization for single women and men in the San Francisco Bay, founded in 1982. They only use the boats owned by their members as the association prides themselves by not being in the charter business. When people go sailing, they all participate as a working member of the crew and get to know each other as well.

Sailing on different boats with different crew assisting in finding forever friends.

Single Sailing Association boat owners and crew members coordinate destination sails, both day and overnight trips. Raft-ups at locations in the Bay are at places such as Tiburon and San Francisco, along with other locations. There are also opportunities for longer destination sails to places like the Delta, Half Moon Bay and Drakes Bay. Some of the Single Sailing Association members do prefer the fast-pace experience of racing; these members participate in the local Friday night Beer Can Race series. Some other activities that members participate in are ski trips, river rafting, camping, dinner parties and other fun events.

Local Woman Is Nominated For The Rolex Yachtswoman Of The Year…

Daniela Moroz is from Lafayette, CA and grew up kite boarding representing the St. Francis Yacht Club. World Sailing states, “Nobody has dominated a discipline during the qualifying period of the World Sailing Awards like Moroz, who has set the standard for women through the entire evolution of kite competition. With gold at the 2019 World Beach Games contributing to her recognition in 2020 as U.S. Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, she stamped her authority on the Formula Kite Class by steamrolling the fleets in the 2021 European and World Championships, her fifth world title. Her ability is now being applied as a member of the United States SailGP Team.” Moroz won her 5th consecutive world title in Formula Kite World Championships in Oct 2021 and is aiming to make her mark in the new sport to the Olympics games in 2024 in Paris, France. Daniela is also part of the United States SailGP Team roster for this season as one of the two new athletes chosen through the team’s search for women willing to join this past spring. As a part of introducing her to SailGP’s racing platform, Daniela was rotated into active roles during practice and received valuable coaching on and off the water.

Dani-Moroz is up for the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and is the only U.S. athlete up for the 2021 award. Photo credit courtesy of Kiteworld Magazine.

Daniela has been awarded the title previously two other times, as she has demonstrated excellence on the water this year and has won her share of international and national events in her discipline. Many of the events were against elite competition and were consistent. Since there is no minimum age to win this award, she first won it at the age of 19. Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year is based on lifetime achievements or contributions made to their discipline.

Daniela is the only nominee from the U.S. on the shortlist of high-profiled competition. This year there were 39 athletes representing 19 different countries. This is a record number of nominees. This year’s slate includes Olympic medalists such as Peter Burling and Blair Turke, as well as other top-notch athletes in their classes. We would like to wish her luck as she is up against six other women. The winner is decided by the public voting, as well as an international panel of nine, and everyone comes from different backgrounds. The World Sailing Awards panel consists of Santiago Lange of Argentina, Yann Rocherieux of France, Shirley Robertson and Dee Caffari of Great Britain, Luca Rizzotti of Italy, Jo Aleh of New Zealand, Mateusz Kusznierewicz of Poland, Theresa Zabell of Spain and Craig Leweck of the United States of America.

Please let me know where I can catch you on the Bay. Email me at jillian@yachtsmanmagazine.com.