We are deeply saddened to report the passing of Stan Pawlak, a sailor who was offshore preparing for the upcoming Singlehanded Transpacific Race to Hawaii this June.* Stan was found onboard but unresponsive by the Coast Guard on May 19th and evacuated by helicopter to a Bay area hospital where he later died.* His Beneteau 41.1 “Believe” was reported recovered and in Ventura.
The*Singlehanded Sailing Society extends our condolences to Stan's family and loved ones.**For their requested privacy, we did not release an immediate announcement until now.
Stan was fastidious and methodical in his preparations by ensuring his Beneteau 41.1, equipment and procedures could face the challenges of an offshore passage. His sailing vessel “Believe” was modified to accommodate the additional challenges of a disabled sailor. Additionally, Stan made sure it was fully compliant with the offshore equipment requirements set by International and San Francisco bodies for racing and ocean passage making.
The ideas that Stan developed like easier life raft deployment and a better deck layout to minimize time on the foredeck could serve as a template for both abled and disabled sailors.
Many in the solo sailing community will identify with his pursuit of dreams to not just sail but to race from San Francisco to Hanalei, Kauai. For Stan, this was in keeping with his drive, accomplishments and pursuit of dreams outside of sailing, too.
In Honor of his memory, the Singlehanded Sailing Society is planning a moment of silence at the skippers’ meeting and placing flowers at sea.
Rest Peacefully, Stan!

If you would like read more about Stan Pawlak’s life or make donations in remembrance, please see
Canine Companions in Santa Rosa*https://canine.org/, Bay Area Disabled Sailors in San Francisco*http://www.baads.org/*or Achieve Tahoe at Alpine Meadows*https://www.achievetahoe.org/.
From the Singlehanded Sailing Society Board, June 5, 2021.