Bad Sneakers

From Islapedia

Bad Sneakers (#) (-1982), one of two vessels lost with two crew aboard during the St. Francis Yacht Club's Farallon Islands Race in April 1982. The other vessel was Sweet Omega.

John Benson of Moraga, and Gregory Maimone of Castro Valley were lost.

The sailboat race to the Farallon Islands sponsored by the St. Francis Yacht Club. A sudden storm came up during the race and neither crew aboard Bad Sneakers was ever found.

> June 1982 [Sunset Magazine]: “Farallon Disaster!”

In the News~

April 13, 1982 [Washington Post]: “Fragments of a green hull believed to be one of two sailboats missing from a wind-whipped yacht race were spotted yesterday on two beaches, the Coast Guard said. Aircraft have been searching the choppy waters since fierce winds disrupted a race from here to the Farallon Islands on Saturday. Spotter planes reported no sign of the four people aboard the Sweet Omega and the Bad Sneakers. But 10-foot-long pieces of a hull spotted at midday on two beaches were "almost assuredly" from the Sweet Omega, Coast Guard master chief Dave Cipra said. On Sunday, a life ring, raft and life jacket from one of the boats was found floating off Point Reyes, but there was no sign of survivors. An unexpected gale ambushed 127 boats in Saturday's annual race, capsizing one boat and forcing four others aground. It was the latest in a series of storms that have given Northern California its wettest winter in nearly a century. Seven inches of rain and gale winds over the weekend caused mudslides and flooding and killed at least four persons--including two on another boat off San Francisco that was not involved in the race.”

April 16, 1982 [Oregonian]: “Search ends for 4 sailors. San Francisco (AP) – The Coast Guard ended Thursday its formal search for four sailors who disappeared when high winds disrupted a weekend yacht race to the Farallon Islands. Petty Officer Don Mincher said air searches had failed to turn up new clues to the whereabouts of the two boats since a piece of the 22-foot Sweet Omega was found Monday near Point Reyes, about 20 miles north of here. “We will continue to look for them on routine patrols,” Mincher said. The Sweet Omega was carrying Janice White, 31, and Larry Ohs [1953-1982], both from Portland. The other boat, Bad Sneakers, carried Gregory Maimone, 38, of Castro Valley, and John Benson, 39, of Moraga.”

April 19, 1982 [UPI]: “SAN FRANCISCO -- The Coast Guard, announcing that a jagged piece of gray fiberglass found washed up on a Fort Cronkhite beach was 'very likely' from the Alameda yacht Bad Sneakers, suspended its search for the missing boat. The Bad Sneakers was one of two boats to vanish from the annual Doublehanded Farallon Islands race April 11. Wreckage from the Sweet Omega, manned by two crew members from Portland, Ore., was found washed ashore in Marin County Tuesday. The Bad Sneakers crew, Gregory Maimone of Castro Valley and John Benson of Moraga, are also missing and believed lost. Buffeted by heavy winds, the regatta turned into a disaster with only 52 of the 127 entries finishing the 57-mile, two-day race around the Farallon Islands. When a member of the Corinthian Yacht Club found the 18-by-24 inch shard of gray fiberglass at Fort Cronkhite last Thursday, the Coast Guard called the Bad Sneakers manufacturer and identified the piece as a part of the yacht's main deck. A Coast Guard spokesman said Sunday that the 'active search' for the vessel and its two crewmen had been called off.”