San Francisco was a busy place this weekend. While thousands waited in line at the Embarcadero to celebrate one sport, hundreds more lined up along the Marina to compete in another: the biggest — and oddest — yacht race of the year, and they didn’t even have to go through security.
The Three Bridge Fiasco pursuit race kicks off the Singlehanded Sailing Society’s season of Bay and ocean races for shorthanded sailors. SSS race chair Allen Cooper reports that 369 boats registered, 325 started, and 289 finished. Not bad for a Fiasco!
By the time the bulk of the clockwise fleet reached their third mark, Treasure Island, the breeze and the flood current had built, making for a bouncy short-tack beat up the Cityfront to the finish. Some singlehanded racers found themselves over-canvased and just had to tough out the mid-teens breeze.
"The first finisher, shortly after 2 p.m., was Bill Erkelens’ Wylie Wabbit Jack, which crossed from the east to west," reports SSS treasurer Kristen Soetebier, who worked the radio on the race deck all day. "The first singlehander was Punk Dolphin, Jonathan Livingston’s Wylie 39. I believe he came in from the north. The first multihull was the Extreme 40 Smart Recruiters, from the east. The biggest news was that there was wind enough for most folks to get around the course. Most of them went to Blackaller first, then Red Rock, then Treasure Island, finishing from the east." Finishers can come from any of three directions because they can start in either direction and round the three marks in any order.
The intrepid race committee crunched numbers all weekend and posted (very) preliminary results this morning. See Jibeset. Awards for top finishers and shirts for all participants will be handed out at the trophy meeting on Wednesday, February 10, at Oakland YC in Alameda. Expect to also hear the winners tell how they did it.
Sweet! The February issue of Latitude 38 is making the rounds of docks and marine businesses in the Bay Area and beyond. To find out where you can pick one up, see our list of distributors; you can also subscribe. For those of you who prefer your magazines in pixels rather than newsprint, our February digital editions are ready now too.
Within the pages of this issue, you’ll find features about cruising the Marquesas and midwinter racing on the Berkeley Circle. Max Ebb geeks out about El Niño’s effect on winter sailing. Sightings features include previews of the new Super 12-Meters and a solo New York-to-San Francisco record attempt in a proa; check-ins with Merlin’s Bill Lee and singlehanded circumnavigators Donna Lange and Jeff Hartjoy; introductions to two new female boat owners; the confirmation that yes, there will be no San Francisco Boat Show this year; and more. Racing Sheet reports on the Rolex Sydney Hobart, various Bay Area midwinter races, the Ultimate 20 season champions, and international racing news. World of Charter previews the deals available now for summer charter vacations and explores the Spanish Virgin Islands. Changes in Latitudes’ datelines include the Indian Ocean, the North and South Pacific, the Med and more.
KKMI is looking to hire a full-time professional office administrator for our Sausalito boatyard. This position focuses on day-to-day customer and project communication, invoicing, and accounts receivables. Ideal applicants are proficient in Microsoft Office, quick learners, detail oriented and able to juggle several tasks at once. Well suited candidates enjoy being part of a fast-paced team and are confident speaking about boats.
Like most sailors, we at Latitude 38 don’t like the idea of dolphins being kept in cages or pens so humans can swim with them. But we don’t see anything wrong with swimming with dolphins in the wild — especially to see if they are messing with your anchor.
A couple of weeks ago, John Rogers of the San Diego-based Deerfoot 62 Moonshadow was up the mast of the boat at Tenacatita Bay when he spotted a couple of dolphins swimming in the clear water beneath the boat. So he dove in with his waterproof camera. He was able to get quite close to them, and discovered that they were — as you can clearly see — using Moonshadow’s anchor chain as a back and chin scratcher.
After John was done, he got to musing if dolphins ever attacked humans with their sharp teeth. Apparently there have been a few cases of dolphins biting humans, but not killing them — which they are easily capable of doing.
So we have two questions: 1) Have you ever gone swimming with dolphins in the wild? And 2) How come dolphins never bite on lures dragging behind boats? Email us here.
P.S. Last night we enjoyed a once-in-a-season splurge at the Sufi restaurant behind the gates in the Four Seasons complex at Punta Mita with John and Debbie. You have to have reservations to get inside the gates, and once inside, it can be pretty hard to find the restaurant. But Sufi is a terrific special-occasion restaurant — free rides to and from the parking lot in a golf cart — and the food is delicious. We recommend getting there about half an hour before dark so you can enjoy all the vegetation and the view back toward Puerto Vallarta. Shorts and sandals are fine, but wear a collared shirt.