September 1, 2017

Hailing Port: Heaven

We assume that sailors working in the industry have a passion for sailing, but there are details within that love that create rich stories, experiences and community. There’s your particular sailing area, your fleet and, of course, your sailing friends. That spirit was readily apparent when Scott Easom invited Leslie Richter over to his shop in Pt. Richmond for a surprise unveiling of Scott’s latest makeover of a West Coast classic. 

Several years ago, Scott acquired former Latitude 38 race editor Rob Moore’s classic Mercury — an 18-ft sloop — which was a little worse for the wear. A visit to the 2016 Mercury Regatta in Stillwater Cove inspired Scott to honor the memory of Rob, who passed away from cancer in 2012, by refurbishing his Mercury and painting it the colors of one of Rob’s other favorites, the Schumacher quarter tonner Summertime Dream.

Scott surprised Rob’s widow, Leslie, by inviting her over to unveil the Mercury’s new name and hailing port ahead of his departure for his first event, a Labor Day Regatta in Stillwater Cove.  

Leslie Richter and Scott Easom after the unveiling of the gleaming ‘new’ Rob Moore. 

latitude/John
©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In 2018, Mercury sloops will be celebrating their 80th annivesary. The design was the creation of Ernest Nunes of the Nunes Brothers Boatworks here in Sausalito. In 1938, hull #1 was completed and first displayed in the 1939 World’s Fair at Treasure Island.

Details make the difference. Mercurys may have been around since 1938, but there are plenty of ways to make a classic boat thoroughly modern.  

latitude/John
©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Scott’s uncle, Hank Easom, was on hand as well. He’d been at the helm of the Rob Moore for her first sail a few days before, and was reliving the day he was national champion as crew  for Hank Mettier in 1949! 

Queen of the Baja Ha-Ha and Bash

The person with the most experience of anyone doing both Baja Ha-Ha’s and Baja Bashes is . . . a woman, and is none other than Doña de Mallorca.

De Mallorca has done 21 Ha-Ha’s in her capacity as the Chief of Security, tied with Banjo Andy Turpin for the second-most ever. When the accompanying photo of her was taken about 17 years ago, Doña only had a couple of Baja Bashes under her belt. As of last month, she’s done something like 19.

The indefatigable Doña De Mallorca. 

latitude/Richard
©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you have questions about the Ha-Ha or the Baja Bash, de Mallorca will be at the Latitude 38 and Baja Ha-Ha Mexico Only Crew List Party at the Spaulding Center in Sausalito on Wednesday, September 6, from 6:15 p.m. until about 9 p.m.

Doña will be happy to answer all your questions about the Ha-Ha and doing Bashes. And she’s always happy to discuss hairstyles, makeup and fashion. Particularly with other women sailors.

The Wanderer — aka the Grand Poobah, aka the Grand PooBob — who founded Latitude 38, Sea of Cortez Sailing Week, the Baja Ha-Ha, Zihua SailFest, ‘Lectronic Latitude, the Catnip Cup, and the SoCal Ta-Ta — will also be at the party. But don’t ask him about the Bash, because compared to de Mallorca, he knows nothing!

However, the Wanderer is always happy to talk about the Ha-Ha — he’s done 22 and managed the only other one — and about gybing the spinnaker.

De Mallorca and the Wanderer both hope to see you at the party, even if you’re just a Ha-Ha vet who just wants to say ‘hello’ again. But they’d be even happier to be sailing in the Ha-Ha along with you at the end of October and the beginning of November. We can’t wait, because Mexico in the winter is so fine. 

Women Skippers Regattas

During the month of August, we checked in with a couple of women skippers’ regattas that took place on San Francisco Bay. The first was Encinal Yacht Club’s Gracie and George on August 20. According to the Sailing Instructions, "Only two people are allowed on each boat: a Lady Skipper and a Gentleman Crew. The skipper must helm during the pre-start, the start, all legs of the course and the finish. She is allowed to leave the helm for only brief moments for physical comfort or in rendering assistance with sail handling."

Deb Fehr and her ‘George’, Cam Campbell, will have their names engraved on this rather impressive piece of hardware.

© David Ross

"The race started in the South Bay, south of NAS 2," reports Deb Fehr of the Santana 22 Meliki. "Boats then rounded the SC1 mark and headed to the Estuary for a finish in front of EYC. Spinnakers can only be flown once in the Estuary; Cam and I flew the spinnaker.  All non-spinnaker boats get 9 seconds added to their rating. After a 15-minute postponement due to lack of wind, the wind filled in and held strong for the entire race. Being the slowest-rated boat in the regatta, we used our mad tactical skills to correct in first. LOL." See www.encinal.org for results and more.

Next up was Sausalito YC’s Women’s Skipper Regatta on August 26. Men are allowed to crew, and any number of crew is allowed, however all-female teams are recognized on a special perpetual trophy.

A wave from Carliane Johnson on her Freedom 38 Kynntana. Hers was one of two all-female crews in the SYC race; the other was on the 43-ft IOR boat Carodon, entered by Heather Richard but helmed by her 13-year-old daughter, Ava Glasgow.

latitude/Chris
©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Division D winner Jennifer Hinkel, helming Richard vonEhrenkrook’s Cal 20 Can O’Whoopass, reported a big flood and consistent wind. She played the shore for current relief and had a photo finish with Jennifer McKenna’s Santana 22 Zingaro — 2 seconds separated the boats. Of course, the Cal 20 would correct over the Santana 22, but that still must have been an exciting finish. Hinkel owns two Farallon Clippers, Ouessant and Mistress II, and says she would like to put together a Farallon Clipper one-design class next year. She’d also like to see a spinnaker division; this year’s race was all non-spinnaker.

Happy sailors at SYC. As Johanna Altorfer, skipper of the Cal 20 Diana, points out, each skipper received a champagne glass (filled of course!) to keep as a souvenir.

latitude/Chris
©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Jon Stewart, helping out on Abba-Zaba, said that the Tartan Ten had a "magic day." Andrea Finn skippered the boat. Although she’s new to racing, the team used Corinthian YC Friday night races to practice. "Andrea did an amazing job," claimed Stewart. "The men just helped out. It’s all about the ladies." Andi Overton served as Andrea’s tactician, and Andi’s daughter Lisa was on the crew as well.

When it comes to rewarding sailors for a day of racing, a good party is even more important than the trophies and prizes. SYC scored high marks in the rewards department.

latitude/Chris
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In the fast-boat Division A, Marika Edler of the Beneteau 45f5 Ohana was feted as the winner at the party after the race, but a scoring error was found that moved Ohana to second and gave Stephanie Magruder, skippering the J/105 Streaker, the victory. See www.sausalitoyachtclub.org for more.

Coming up are Tiburon YC’s Joan Storer Regatta on October 14 and South Beach YC’s Red Bra Regatta on October 21. Many more clubs host women’s events; to check out Latitude 38’s Unofficial Women’s Circuit, click here.

Holiday Weekend Tip

Oddly, one of the biggest Bay Area headaches is trying to get away for a holiday weekend. But local sailors know that the best vacation is a staycation, which means driving directly to the Bay. It’s closer, the opposite direction of horrendous, mind-numbing traffic, and sailing during our anticipated hot, three-day weekend is one of the best options for your Northern California Labor Day weekend. See you out there.

The September Issue Is Here!

The moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived! The September issue of Latitude 38 is hitting the newsstands as we speak. This month, we have features about Tomales Bay cruising, sailor and ocean rower Lia Ditton, the Drake’s Bay Race, the story of the long-lost Phoenix of Hiroshima, the Pacific Puddle Jump recap, Racing Sheet, and much, much more. (And don’t forget — the winner of the August Caption Contest is in Loose Lips.) 

For all of you not on the West Coast and unable to get your hands on a hot-off-the-presses copy, the issue will go online later this afternoon.

Yesterday, the Santa Cruz 50 Bay Wolf — a charter boat operated by Captain Kirk San Francisco Sailing — was returning to Sausalito from San Francisco after dropping off their guests at Pier 40, when they heard a call on Channel 16.
It seems that Harvey is not the only storm of note in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment. We’re receiving early reports that a tropical storm is headed for La Paz in Baja California, Mexico.  Multiple storms making (or threatening to make) landfall in North America.
As we look forward to Labor Day Weekend, we see that the Folkboat International Regatta continues at Corinthian YC through Friday; the 75th Windjammers Race from San Francisco to Santa Cruz will start on Friday.
Editor’s Note: A picture has been removed from this posting because it was brought to our attention that it was either a fake, or from a different storm entirely.