Family mourns one sailor as other remains missing

When Tony Harrow walked out the door early Saturday morning to participate in a sailing race, it never occurred to his wife that she might never see him again.

Now, she and others in Harrow’s life are left grappling with their grief.

“Tony was such a remarkable guy," said his wife, who asked not to be named.

“He was well-loved. His passion was family and botany and birds. He did it all his life, but after retirement, he truly got to spend time doing what he loved,” she said.

The body of the 72-year-old Larkspur resident washed ashore Sunday morning near Half Moon Bay. He and his sailing partner, Matthew Kirby Gale, 67, set out on their 32-foot boat “Daisy” around 9 a.m. Saturday to participate in a 25-mile race that ventured out to a buoy 12 nautical miles past the Golden Gate Bridge.

Harrow was experienced in water sports, but wasn’t an avid sailboat racer, his family said. He had sailed smaller boats, called Hobies, for years and he was a rowing coach with the Marin Rowing Association. Retired from the insurance industry, Harrow spent much of his life doing volunteer work, either with the Audubon Society or the Marin AIDS Project.

The boat was last seen around 1 p.m. Saturday as it was battling back to the Bay against high seas, strong winds and a hefty ebb tide that kicked up large waves. A search was launched by the U.S. Coast Guard about 6 p.m.

The next morning, debris matching Daisy’s description was found a few miles offshore near Daly City. About an hour later, Harrow’s body was found on Moss Beach.

The Coast Guard called the search off at sundown due to the improbability that Gale was still alive.

Gale’s son, Matthew Karl Gale, said the family understands and supports the Coast Guard’s decision to suspend the search. The retired neurologist had been sailing since the mid-1960s and had participated in many races, he said.

Another sailing race, following exactly the same course as Saturday’s, is scheduled for this weekend, said Laura Paul, executive director of the Offshore Yacht Racing Club. She said the race will go on, despite the recent tragedy.

kworth@examiner.com

bbegin@examiner.com

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