January 29, 2010

Three Bridge Fiasco Tomorrow

John Foster of the Nonsuch 22 Blueberry reports that with a PHRF rating of 246, he gets one of the biggest handicaps of the 359 entries in tomorrow’s Three Bridge Fiasco, a San Francisco Bay classic. Weather forecasts are calling for five knots of wind out of the south, perhaps building to 7 to 10 knots later in the day. The chance of a course record is therefore zero.

David Vickland, who has won more than his share of races, has six words of advice on sail trim: "When in doubt, let it out."

Good luck to all.

The Prescotts Plead Guilty

Sausalito/San Rafael yacht brokers Clay and Teresa Prescott of ABC Yachts pleaded guilty yesterday to charges that they stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from their clients. According to today’s Marin IJ, Clay took some of the pressure off his wife by copping to two embezzlement charges, which could earn him more than five years in prison. Teresa pleaded guilty to grand theft, which could be punishable by up to four years in prison. The couple’s lawyers are hoping to avoid jail-time for their clients, and say they’re already working to pay back their victims. For what it’s worth, one such victim, who tells us he’s lost over $100,000, contacted us today to say he hasn’t received a dime.

Baja Ha-Ha Seminars at Seattle Show

Find out everything about the Baja Ha-Ha this weekend at the Seattle Boat Show at Qwest Field Event Center.

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Because nearly half of the Baja Ha-Ha cruisers rally’s 600 participants hail from the Pacific Northwest, it seemed like a no-brainer that we should show up at the Seattle Boat Show this month and tell potential Ha-Ha’ers what they can expect during the 750-mile cruise to the Cape.

The Ha-Ha is a great way for your cruising kids to meet other cruising kids.

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Since we excel at no-brainers, so we’ll be giving two digital slide show presentations this weekend, at 2 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday, both in the Green Room. So if you’re in the neighborhood and have ever considered this annual ‘fun’ rally, please come by and say hello. You’ll see images of the entire route, and will come away with a clear understanding of what this PG-rated annual event is — and just as importantly, what it isn’t.

Kids of all ages party hardy at the Ha-Ha Kick-off party in San Diego. Come join us!

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By the way, although the Ha-Ha Rally Committee is officially in hybernation until May 1 — when the entry process begins at www.baja-haha.com — we know from unnamed sources that this year’s rally will begin on Monday, October 25, with the notorious Costume Kick-off Party the day before.

Addleman is the new ‘X Man’

David Addleman singlehands the Cal 36 Eupsychia, which has been in his family for over 35 years. She’ll now play second fiddle to X.

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Because of the unrelenting requests by Latitude readers for information on how easy it might be to buy a used sailboat in Asia, it’s fortunate that we can draw on the experience of David Addleman of Monterey, who has been cruising his Cal 36 Eupsychia in Mexico for the last several winters. Addleman is now a two-boat owner as, in addition to Eupsychia, which is still in Mexico following another Baja Ha-Ha, he is now also the owner of a Santa Cruz 50 he will soon christen X.

"Yes,” reported Addleman in mid-January, “the deal is done. But I sure wish I was there in Johor Baru, Malaysia, standing behind the wheel of the boat, instead of being here in California. It’s rather disappointing to close the deal when you’re 8,000 miles away — sort of like phone sex.”

David, the only sailor we know who has won an Academy Award, is excited at the prospect of cruising at SC50 speed.

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Although the SC50 Addleman bought is in Malaysia, she’s been owned by Northern Californians for quite a few years now. Bartz Schneider of Express 37 fame bought her for a Hawaii race and named her Entropy. She was later purchased and rechristened Red Sky by San Franciscans Steve and Carol Easterbrook. The couple fitted her out and then did a multi-year cruise to French Polynesia and the South Seas, Australia, the Darwin to Bali Rally, and then continued on to Malaysia. The couple first listed Red Sky for sale with Wayne Richards while they were in Bundaberg, Australia.

“It took some patience on my part to get the Easterbrooks’ attention,” laughs Addleman, "as even though they had their boat up for sale, they were happily enjoying their cruising from Australia to Malaysia. Oddly enough, I also had the hardest time trying to get the attention of a Southern California SC50 owner. I would have happily done the Ha-Ha in an SC50, but I couldn’t get the guy to call me back until I was committed to doing it on Eupsychia again. By then it was too late."

“Fortunately, the international transaction was simple," says Addleman, "requiring only a hundred emails and a few phone calls. I relied on personal references more than anything else in the transaction. Getting three parties together from three different continents to close the deal in Malaysia took some doing, too. But now I’ve got the boat, and the Easterbrooks are free to apparently buy a boat for cruising in the Caribbean."

“There are probably more goofballs like me who think it’s reasonable to buy a slightly-used cruising boat in Southeast Asia from westbound cruisers who feel they’ve reached the end of easy cruising in that part of the world,” says Addleman. “The funny thing is that friends have been asking me how long it will take me to bring X back to California. I ask them why would I want to do something like that? I want to cruise. Certainly the Easterbrooks got the better downwind routing. However, I feel I get a complete and proven cruising boat conveniently positioned in one of the world’s great cruising areas. I have no desire to cruise westward across the Indian Ocean. Nor does shipping X to North America on a freighter appeal to me, as there would be too many dollars and too little pleasure involved.

The only known photograph of X, ex-Red Sky, ex-Entrophy. David thinks she’ll be a great boat for singlehanding.

Red Sky
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“No, what attracts my solitude-seeking heart are the islands to the east along the equatorial Pacific. From Borneo east through Micronesia and Kiribati, there are plenty of destinations to make a fine multi-year cruise. From there I may rejoin the annual Puddle Jump migration at the Marquesas, or bash through the Marshalls to Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, and then slide back to Mexico on a Ha-Ha. But frankly, I have no idea what I’m actually going to do. I never bothered to think that far ahead, as my only goal was to be on the sea aboard a Santa Cruz 50. Very short term, I’ll sail X from Johor Bahru to Langkawi to paint the bottom, then do some cruising on the west coast of Malaysia and Thailand. They I’ll fly back to Mexico to Bash Eupsychia back to Monterey in late February.

“With my daughter Chlöe not graduating from high school for a year, I’ll be monthly commuter-cruising to Malaysia for awhile. I’m scheduling legs with friends, expect to take new friends along the way, and hope to do some singlehanded legs. Those dreadful transPacific flights are the only downside to this adventure.

“Some people have wondered at my naming my new boat X. Yes, that’s her name. I’ve got some reasons, but they’re not good ones. Maybe it’s because X is an old hobo symbol for “Don’t knock here, unfriendly resident.” Maybe because X on a map indicates “You are here,” or marks where the treasure is. I really have no idea. X is just what I put on the registration form.”

Eric Willbur and Emmy Newbould are currently exploring New Zealand aboard their Brickyard Cove-based Flying Dutchman 37 Nataraja.
Jim and Julie Focha of the Stockton-based Westsail 32 Worldwind shared a story that illustrates one reason why Mexico is such a popular cruising ground.
The Coast Guard has been a hot topic in the Letters section of Latitude 38 in recent months, from praise for the dramatic rescue of the J World crew during last fall’s Baja Ha-Ha to criticism for not doing more to salvage the grounded JoJo.