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Transpac Yacht Race : Medicine Man Hits Reef; Crew Escapes Serious Injury

Special to The Times

The 35th Transpac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu wound up Wednesday with one of the worst accidents in the history of the biennial event.

Bob Lane of Long Beach and his crew of six men and a woman were injured, none seriously, when their 42-foot sloop, Medicine Man, struck a coral reef about 200 yards from the Diamond Head finish line.

Lane, owner and skipper of the yacht, who suffered a broken rib in the accident, told Transpac headquarters in Honolulu that the boat hit the reef about 250 yards offshore at 12:45 a.m., PDT, while charging toward the finish line at a speed of about 11 knots.

The keel and rudder were ripped off, and the boat rolled over on its side in three-foot seas.

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The Coast Guard could not reach the craft because of shoal waters, and the crew was rescued by a helicopter and people using surfboards and inflatable dinghies.

Members of the crew received minor cuts and bruises from the coral reef. Reports said Medicine Man appeared to be breaking up under the impact of the three-foot seas.

Meanwhile, Notorious, an Olson-40 skippered by Scott Pine of Santa Cruz, was declared the overall (handicap) winner on corrected time, after she finished Tuesday to save her time allowance over Mitchell Rouse’s 70-foot Class A yacht Taxi Dancer, out of California Yacht Club.

Taxi Dancer was the third boat to finish Sunday but saved her handicap time to beat John DeLaura’s Santa Cruz-70, Silver Bullet, from Sunset Beach.

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