For Bay Area sailors, this past weekend was dedicated to celebrating the arrival of summer, and the weather gods couldn’t have provided better conditions to kick off our prime sailing season. Sunny skies graced the Bay both days, which helped to maximize the enjoyment of the Summer Sailstice festivities Saturday at Alameda’s Encinal YC, and the Master Mariner’s Annual Wooden Boat Show at Tiburon’s Corinthian YC. By all accounts, both events were hugely successful and loads of fun.
The Bay Area Sailstice shindig found a new home this year, thanks to the generous support of EYC club members. The family-friendly event featured a broad range of sailing-oriented exhibits, several informative seminars, a mini in-water boat show, free boat rides and more. Two highlights were tours of the IACC boat USA 76, a veteran of the ’03 America’s Cup competition in New Zealand (now based at KKMI in Richmond), and the boat-building contest, where contestants had six hours to complete a navigable craft out of no more than $150 worth of materials. Remarkably, neither boat sank, and both completed the course with a near photo-finish.
Sunday’s show at the Corinthian was a visual feast of gleaming varnish, polished brass and teak that had every attendee oohing and aahing. One longtime sailor — who shall remain nameless — was so enthralled by the beauty of Nike, that she took a small step back and ended up in the drink!
With a Dixieland band pumping out feel-good music, a barbecue sizzling on the upper deck and an eye-popping array of woodies to salivate over, it was a splendid day for both the old salts and neophytes who attended. The next grand gathering of wooden boat aficionados, by the way, will be at the Great San Francisco Schooner Race, hosted by the San Francisco YC on August 27.
It always warms the cockles of our hearts to see new sailors reading an issue of Latitude. We may be biased but we think there’s a lot of great info in each issue that newbies and old salts alike can appreciate. But getting the magazine into the hands of new sailors can be a challenge — we’ve personally talked to a number of sailing school graduates who’d never even heard of it, despite the fact that every Bay Area sailing school has stacks of them available for free. Todd Frye, director of the Bonneville School of Sailing and Seamanship in Provo, Utah, let us know how he solved that problem:
"You’ve been faithfully sending a box of (highly coveted) Latitude 38 magazines to the Bonneville School of Sailing for the last three years now," said Todd. "We present a current issue to each student who participates in our sailing programs to give them an idea of the breadth of the sport outside the boundaries of our inland Utah lakes.
"When our lakes freeze over, we put together a series of Winter Sailing Seminars to provide a weekly gathering where we can learn from accomplished sailors and professional trades people. At one of our seminars, we came up short for door prizes, so we threw in a back issue of Latitude 38. We were surprised to discover a number of folks bartering after the seminar to get that copy of your fine periodical! Now we regularly offer three Latitude 38s as door prizes. The attendance for our seminars was way up this winter. Any correlation? We’re not sure of that, but we are very thankful for the connection Latitude 38 gives us to the rest of the sailing community. All the attendees at our last seminar went home with smiles on their faces and a Latitude 38 in hand.
"Thanks for keeping the bluewater dream alive for all of us inland sailors. More and more of our graduates are living their dream with a San Juans cruise or a BVI family vacation. Maybe the Ha-Ha is next!"
The good news for Todd’s students is that, even if they miss out on snapping up the latest copy of Latitude, they can still download the entire issue directly from our website for free.