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Crew Party Tonight!

April 5 - Golden Gate Yacht Club, SF

Don't miss the Latitude 38 annual spring Crew Party. There will be all sorts of folks there looking for crew, be it for recreational sailing on the Bay, racing on the Bay, cruising down the coast, doing the Ha-Ha, or even sailing across oceans. And naturally there will be folks looking to crew. While we can't guarantee success, many have used the Crew Parties as springboards for local and international sailing opportunities.

For best results, don't be a wallflower. But watch your step, because more than a few couples who met at Crew Parties ended up getting married.

It will take place at the Golden Gate Yacht Club, #1 Yacht Road on the San Francisco Marina - about 150 yards east of the St. Francis Yacht Club - from 6-9 pm (no early birds, please). If you're on either the March or April 2006 Crew List, you get in free. Everyone else pays $7 at the door (exact change much appreciated).

For directions and more info, see www.latitude38.com/crewlist/Crew.html or call us at (415) 383-8200.


Photo of the Day

April 5 - Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta

Today's Photo of the Day is of Jack Muir, a sculptor from Montana, taking a flying leap out of the dragon's mouth at Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta. If you look closely, you can see that Jack, the owner of the Sabre 402 Tambourine, is holding up the class and overall trophies for last weekend's Banderas Bay Regatta in Mexico.

If you weren't on one of the 29 boats, you missed something really great, as the sailing conditions were fantastic - mostly 12 to 15 knots of wind with flat water. The skies were bluer than blue, and it was hot. As Muir said, "I can't believe more boats don't do this race for cruisers." We can't either. You have to be insane to miss this nothing-serious regatta.

Tom Jones' Liberty 458 Charissa from San Mateo fired bullets in all
three races to capture Division 6, despite the fact that she was heavily
laden with 12 cases of wine. Jones loves the Banderas Bay conditions
so much that he takes 'The Couch' sailing four to five times a week.

Crew 2, a Capri 37, nearly crashes while reaching up
to try to steal the wind from Bright Star, a Jeanneau 40.

Derigo, a Napa-based Catalina/Morgan 440,
rounds the weather mark with two other boats in ideal conditions.

Chicas rule to weather! The Mexican women's team took honors
in the Capri 37 class. They probably would have won the
$1,000 prize in the boat parade, but as their skipper explained,
"We're Mexicans, so we didn't show up until the parade was over."

Yeah, the photo is a bit blurry, but at least it gives you an idea
of the perfect setting for the awards ceremony.

All Photos Latitude/Richard

Identical Finishes Two Years In a Row For
The St. Francis Spring Keel Regatta?

April 5 - San Francisco Bay

Not quite! Thanks to a Googling error at deadline, we published the 2005 St. Francis Spring Keel Regatta results as being the 2006 Spring Keel Regatta results in the April issue of Latitude. Oops. The following are the correct results:

EXPRESS 27 - 1) Salty Hotel, Schmidt/Wippich, 3 points; 2) Ergo-Sunshine, Chris Gage, 7; 3) Mirage, Terry Cobb, 14. (6 boats)

J/24 - 1) TMC Racing, Michael Whitfield, 6 points; 2) Casual Contact, Ned Walker, 10; 3) Rail to Rail, Jepsen/Henneberger, 11. (13 boats)

KNARR - 1) Snaps III, Knud Wibroe, 4 points; 2) Dubal, Duane Hines, 5; 3) (no name), Eric Gray, 12. (8 boats)

MELGES 24 - 1) (no name), Jim Barkow, 6 points; 2) Smokin, Kevin Clark, 9; 3) Taboo, Steve Pugh, 11. (11 boats)

MOORE 24 - 1) Eclipse, Brad Butler, 4 points; 2) Flotsam, Team Flotsam, 10; 3) E-9, Lesa Kinney, 15. (20 boats)

Thanks to the Harbor Patrol

April 5 - Santa Barbara

"We would like to thank the city of Santa Barbara and Harbor Patrol Officers Troy Kuhlman and Eric Engebretson for saving our boat, with us aboard, on March 28," write Richard and Sofia Smiley of the Sausalito-based Azuressence. The Smileys didn't say what kind of boat Azuressence is, but in 2003 they reported they'd bought a 32-ft Columbia Sabre at a Berkeley Marina lien sale for $150.

"We'd been anchored to the east of Stearns Wharf when debris cut our two anchor rodes," they wrote cryptically, "so we grabbed a nearby mooring. Then, while asleep at 6:30 a.m., our boat broke loose from that mooring." There is no report as to why they broke loose from the mooring.

"We were awakened by the sound of a Harbor Patrolman banging a boat hook while attaching a towline to our boat. We were only in about five feet of water and just seconds from being in the surf line, so they only had one chance to hook us. Officers Kuhlman and Engebretson had been alerted by Stearns Wharf maintenance employee Doug Coston, who saw us drifting toward the beach.

"Earlier in the year we'd had another embarrassing incident in Santa Barbara. Both our oars broke while rowing back to our boat one night, leaving us to drift with the outgoing tide. We tried to make a paddle from the floorboard, but it didn't work so well. We used our flashlight to send an SOS to the crew on an oil rig support boat, and they called the Harbor Patrol. We'd like to thank the Harbor Patrol for all their help."

SF Bay CG Rescue

April 5 - Beneath the Bay Bridge

A 36-ft sailboat was dismasted after being swept into a Bay Bridge concrete pylon on March 27, reports the Coast Guard. The boat's engine wasn't working, so the crew was unable to motor away. A Latitude reader, who viewed the incident from an office building, says the three crew aboard appeared to try to sail away from the bridge, but the wind was too light and the current too strong. There was no damage to the crew or bridge, and the Coast Guard quickly came to the rescue.

Panama Canal To Add Larger Third Lane

April 5 - Panama

As evidenced by a letter from a reader in Panama reporting a 17-day wait to transit the Canal with his sailboat, the nearly 100-year-old facility is operating at near maximum capacity. It was the greatly increased trade with China and India that did it. As such, the Canal Commission has just approved plans for a $7.5 billion improvement, consisting of new three-chamber locks on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides big enough for the new generation of ships with 160-ft beam, plus a 'third lane'. The project is expected to take seven years.

Photo Courtesy http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/

Photo Courtesy http://www.wheelsup.com

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