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Details are not known at this time, but the victim was identified as 63 year old William Waite. This is the first fatality I know of to have occured in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Will try to post more details as they become available.
My heartfelt condolonces to all his family and friends.
Here's a news clipping from the Vallejo paper:
Let's all be safe out there.
It sounds to me like this guy could have died of natural causes though as there were no signs of injury and nobody witnessed him wreck. May have been a heart attack. If so, he died doing what he loves.
sometimes Gary Bronson...
If it's the Bill I knew back in the 80s, he was a sea dog that loved Benicia.
I recall sailing those hard south winds with him in Southhampton bay wound up on 4.0s. He was an older guy then, but man could he "trick". He schooled us "young guys" all the time! Accomplished windsurfer and great guy. Always helped me and my brother out when we were noobs.
I saw Bill last summer when I dropped by to check out the kiting. At the time, our conversation never spoke of him taking up kiting. In fact, he was just kickin it on the beach, cutting back even on his windsurfing. I'm surprised it was a kiting accident.
If he had taken it up, and things happened yesterday, 20-30mph winds is no place for someone new, especially alone.
I guess, in knowing Bill a bit, if he had to leave this Earth, like we all do eventually, he would have wanted to do it the way he lived it. He was a true Benicia local. I'll miss you, Bill. My condolences to your family.
I was out in the East Bay, but not Benicia, yesterday afternoon and experienced some of the worst wind ever there. Plenty strong, but hugely gusty and off and on holey. Hardly even fun, but I stayed out for a bit with three others. Turned out we were all waiting for someone to come in first so the rest could land, it was a stalemate of sorts. I came in and self-landed and then the others came in. Everyone agreed it was very gusty and staccato up and down - not fun! It's possible the same conditions were present at Benicia.
The article doesn't actually say they heard 'him' scream for help. They heard 'screams' for help, probably meaning the people who recovered the body.
sometimes Gary Bronson...
Since no one gets out alive...
I hope I can have an article like that about me some day!
"95 year old kite surfers body found at Alameda!"
Doing what you want to do to the last moments has to be ok regardless of the pain those left behind will feel.
Maybe that wasn't him calling out. I've kited Benica and it is very gusty wven when the rest of the bay has good wind. I've only kited there a few times, and even on the best day I got blown off my board. I can't imagine what it was like yesterday in Benica. Rio was pretty up and down. If I have to go I would hope it would be while kiting, and dying of natural causes. As long as there is no back lash to the kiting community. I hope his family all the best.
Yeah, that was my interpretation of it as well....
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