BAADS Karma vs. Bad Karma

Published on May 28th, 2013

As if San Francisco didn’t need more bad news. The memory remains vivid of the America’s Cup training accident on May 9 that totaled the Artemis Racing AC72 and killed one of its crew. Then a jumper last week reminded us that the Golden Gate Bridge is the most popular place on the planet for one’s final chapter. And now one of the City’s righteous sailing programs has been paralyzed with a senseless act. Here local journo Kimball Livingston explains…

Just days after a heartfelt celebration of sailing and racing, joined by the great Loïck Peyron, the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (BAADS) was ripped off for all five of the outboard motors that power its rescue boats and make the whole show – and it’s a good show – possible.

From the most marginal of beginnings this dedicated, industrious group has grown into a small powerhouse of enablement. Sure, they get people out sailing, but it’s more than that. It’s freedom from a wheelchair, from crutches, from paralysis, freedom to breathe fresh air, to move, to make choices, to tack a boat perhaps by moving a chin because the chin is all that works but, hallelujah, it does work and there’s a big smile above that chin and . . .

Yeah, Peyron sailed two races and won two races. That’s what he does, and he demonstrated ashore that his heart is as big as his accomplishments on the water. But I think he would want me to stop there, and I just did.

Meanwhile, I learn from BAADS stalwart David Fazio that the team was already challenged to raise $10,000 to stage its North American National Access Regatta September 3-6, and the slope just got steeper. I hear elsewhere that there is a new security agency working San Francisco’s South Beach Harbor, where BAADS is located, and they’ve been less than a shining success story. Until the chase boats are powered again, Fazio says, “No more dinghy program.” Outboard donations, anyone? Read on

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