July 15 was a busy day on San Francisco Bay. Some races fared better than others. For instance, Bay View Boat Club’s Plastic Classic never did get the hoped-for ocean breeze and was abandoned at 3 p.m. Sailing through the 33-boat fleet ghosting around the BVBC startline south of the Bay Bridge was the YRA Westpoint Regatta, which started northeast of Treasure Island, took Alcatraz to port (there was plenty of wind in the Slot), and slowed down as it rode the flood south to the San Mateo Bridge, where the wind freshened to a San Diego-esque 8 knots. An island-themed party followed at Sequoia YC in Redwood City. We’ll feature the Westpoint Regatta in the August issue of Latitude 38.
On July 29-30, a mere two weeks after the Westpoint Regatta, the newest of the YRA’s Weekend Regattas (formerly known as the Party Circuit), comes the next one, the more seasoned 2nd Half Opener, which, in the olden days, reopened the Bay for yacht racing after the July break (no summer vacation these days).
In conjunction with host Encinal Yacht Club, the YRA is promoting this year’s 2nd Half Season Opener as a "Race & Pool Party." In addition to the usual Saturday race out to Point Bonita and back with a finish down the Estuary in front of the Alameda-based clubhouse, skippers’ and crews’ families are invited to EYC on Saturday to enjoy the Olympic-size swimming pool. "Pool games and toys will be available for the youngsters, and refreshments and food are available for all at the yacht club." A lifeguard will be on duty on Saturday.
Following the race, cocktails will be served on the lawn. Arriving sailors can compete in pool games for prizes donated by sponsors. The Boneyard BBQ will serve up dinner, and food will also be available from the EYC bar menu. At dusk, Captain Ron will be screened on the lawn, with margaritas available. EYC has negotiated a special event rate at the Marina Village Inn next door.
Sunday will open with a breakfast buffet, and the weekend will wrap up with a low-key race on the Estuary. "We’re encouraging skippers to take Encinal Juniors along for the race."
We predict that this ramping-up of family-friendly fun in the 2nd Half Opener will result in an epic regatta. Entries are open until Thursday, July 27, at 5 p.m. Registration is through Jibeset.
It seems like Bay Area sailors have been seeing a wealth of whales this summer. It’s always fun to catch an unexpected glimpse of a spout, a tail — and for those lucky few — a full-on breach. We’re always happy to hear about frolicking wildlife. It gives us hope that some parts of the ocean might actually be getting healthier!
This weekend, the crew of Buenos Aires, a Dehler 41, sent us a few great photos of their weekend sail, complete with a whale they spotted emptying out its lungs on Monterey Bay.
If you have some great whale shots or stories, please let us know. We’d love to share.
The winner of the Caption Contest will be announced in the Loose Lips section of the August issue. The winner — selected from our panel of highly trained experts — will receive a T shirt, and be immortalized in the pages of Latitude.