Alameda Sailors Celebrate Opening Day on the Bay ’12

From noon to 3 p.m, today (Sunday, April 29), boats from around the Island and the Bay Area will celebrate Opening Day on the Bay, which marks the official start of San Francisco’s warmer-weather boating season.

The main activity – which will include dozens of Alameda-based sailing vessels and powerboats — is the 95th-annual decorated boat parade. This event begins at 12 p.m., when the boats begin parading along the water front from Crissy Field to Pier 39.

This year’s theme is American Spirit, and retired Captain Jan Tiura, the first female tugboat skipper on the Bay, is this parade’s grand marshal.

The parade will feature several hundred workboats, fireboats, towboats, classic and contemporary craft decorated to the theme, with six trophies up for grabs.

Sadly, many sailors in the Bay Area are still mourning the loss of five sailors who perished two weeks ago during a race to and around the Farallon Islands, which prompted the Coast Guard to suspend races in ocean waters outside San Francisco Bay while a safety review takes place.

Furthermore, there are reports today that three sailors are dead and one is missing from the Newport to Ensenada Race in Southern California — after a sailboat apparently collided with a larger vessel.