The Friday Evening Practice Race at Berkeley Yacht Club looked to be a great chance to warm-up for a weekend of sailing in the Berkeley Circle. Had the boat launched at 3PM and looked forward to the breeze, which was around 15 knots, with gusts to 18 knots. Sailed up the course, got a feel for the waves and wind, set a kite and were ready for the start.
The fog had rolled in by the 6:40PM start, but we had a good half mile of visibility. The course was twice around to the D mark, just over a mile to the west-southwest. We were on starboard approaching the 1st weather mark, in 4th or 5th place when we were hit hard. We had a huge gaping hole and started taking on water as soon as we separated the boats.
We managed to sail and bail the boat over a mile back to the marina, and were able to get the boat to the hoist where it sunk bow down. We were tired and wet, but no one was hurt.
Daybreak brought a crowd to the hoist, as the boat had gone completely under and was slightly listing. Berkeley Marine Center owner Cree Partridge worked with us for the better part of the morning, operating the travel lift as we were anxious to see the damage.
Once the boat was drained and up on a trailer, we spent the day in the long process of assessing the damage, cleaning out Bay mud, and washing and drying everything.