September 12 - Alameda
More than 25 vintage Cal boats assembled at the Encinal YC last weekend to celebrate the second annual Caltopia - a celebration of the boats built by one of the great West Coast collaborations: Jack Jensen and Bill Lapworth. From humble beginnings in 1956 until their demise (along with scores of other American boatbuilders) at the hands of the 10% Luxury Tax in the mid-80s, dozens of designs and hundreds of boats rolled out the doors. Representatives of most showed up at EYC for two days of music, barbecue, a fun regatta, seminars, demonstrations and the best part - just talking and checking out everybody’s boats.
Among the attendees were 3 Cal 40s (the most famous Jensen/Lapworth collaboration), 10 Cal 39s (including Mike Serpan’s Sea Otter, which cruised the South Seas for four years), and perhaps the most unique boat in attendance, the Cal 20 Black Feathers, which has been extensively modified for the 2008 Singlehanded Transpac.
- james williams
The Northwest Passage Under Sail
September 12 - Nuussauq, Greenland
If this doesn't just take the cake. French sailors Sebastien Roubinet, Eric André, Boris Teisserenc and Anne-Lise Vacher-Morazzani arrived in Nuussuaq, Greenland on Sunday after a nearly four month transit of the fabled Northwest Passage. While it's always impressive when a sailboat makes the trip in one season - a feat that seems to be much more achievable, thanks to global warming - Babouche's passage is one for the record books because it was done entirely under sail.
The 24-ft hybrid catamaran was designed specifically for this voyage, and features such innovations as retractable rudder blades with skates mounted under them, skis mounted under the amas, flexible bows to mount on the ice and positive floatation, which was probably quite comforting when Babouche was dismasted along the way. Babouche's crew hope their record-setting passage will bring attention to the "richness of the Arctic, its high weakness and thus the necessity to preserve it." For more on their adventure, check out their website at www.babouche-expe.eu.
- latitude / ld
Crowhurst Documentary Airs in Bay Area
September 12 - Bay Area
In the realm of nautical lore, there are plenty of curious tales about seagoing misadventures. But certainly one of the most bizarre is the story of British singlehander Donald Crowhurst's ill-fated attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the planet nonstop during the 1968 Golden Globe Race - precursor to all around-the-world races such as the BOC Challenge, the Whitbread and the Vendée Globe.
What's notable about Crowhurst is not that he finished first, nor even that he finished at all, but that his inability to meet his own expectations of success led him into a delusional state where he filed false position reports for weeks, sailed aimlessly through the South Atlantic and ultimately took his own life.
The acclaimed 2006 documentary Deep Water airs this week in the Bay Area, giving riveting insights into Crowhurst's mindset and the sad chronology of his undoing. Among other sources, the British filmmakers have cleverly woven the singlehander's own tape recordings and 16mm film clips into their documentary. (Crowhurst's plywood Piver Victress trimaran Teignmouth Electron was eventually found intact, sailing along under her mizzen.)
The 93-minute film airs tonight at the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, the Clay Theater in San Francisco, the Oaks Theatre in Berkeley, and Camera 7 in Campbell.
- latitude / at
Soft Deadline Over, Hard Deadline Approaching
September 12 - Ha-Ha Land
"As of Monday, the 'soft deadline' for the Ha-Ha, we'd received a total of 164 entries, which is up from 146 at the same time last year," reports Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler. "Between the 'soft deadline' and the 'hard deadline' last year, we received another 37 entries so, before it's over, I expect we'll have another 180+ entries again this year. If you still want to Ha-Ha, you've got to move very fast by sending $20 to Baja Ha-Ha, 401-F Miller, PMB 140, Mill Valley, 94941."
For more info on the Ha-Ha, or to see the complete entry list, visit www.baja-haha.com. The most recent entries are:
145) Solstice / Sceptre 41 / John Forbes / San Francisco
- latitude / rs
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