June 6, 2018

Wind Abandons Delta Ditch Run

Delta Ditch Run fleet members were looking good sailing past the Brothers Islands north of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge on Saturday, June 2.

latitude/Chris
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

This year’s Delta Ditch Run attracted 132 entries, but only five of them finished the 67-mile race from Richmond to Stockton. Co-hosted by Richmond Yacht Club and Stockton Sailing Club, this year’s race started and finished in game-changing ebb and suffered from multiple wind holes.

RYC’s startline trawler, Pelican, initially anchored in about five feet of water. It wasn’t enough for the keels of this JS9000 (6-ft 9-in) and Figaro 2 (6.5-ft). (Before the starting sequences began, Pelican moved to deeper water.) Dan Alvarez had used up his gas getting the JS9000 from Alameda to the start, and so raced JetStream all the way to Stockton Sailing Club, making it to within just a few yards of the finish before the 1 a.m. deadline. Heartbreaking!

latitude/Chris
©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The starts went off well and things were looking hopeful, though unusually hot from the get-go.

San Francisco YC youth team members sailed the club’s J/22 Travieso. Their attire, or lack thereof, will tell you something about the morning’s temperatures.

latitude/Chris
©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In order to avoid the dying ebb, most boats kept to the shallow water to the right side of San Pablo Bay. At least one strayed into too-shallow water there and ran aground. Once the flood started, some boats chose to sail in deeper water and strayed into the Pinole Shipping Channel, thus incurring the wrath of a tug-and-barge captain and disqualifying themselves. Others played the middle ground, but the wind soon died and left them drifting on a knot or two of current. The smart money was on staying as close as possible to the East Bay shoreline and the whisper of air that came off the land. At the entrance to Carquinez Strait the fleet accordioned and restarted.

The jubilant crew of Bob Harford’s Express 37 Stewball at the SSC dock on Saturday night. Theirs was the only ‘Heavy’ division boat to finish.

latitude/Chris
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Some boats bailed, turning around and heading back toward the Bay, finding a fresh seabreeze for a brisk sail. Others dropped out and motored onward to Stockton. Some caught a tow from good Samaritans. Others stuck it out but ran out of time when the tide turned and the light breeze died at midnight. However they crossed the finish line, each boat was cheered by friends and strangers on the river bank. The fun scene at SSC was aided by the warmth of the night and the suspenseful finish.

The victorious crew of the Melges 24 Average White Boat came up from Santa Barbara. Left to right: Kent Pierce, Jon Bell, Sarah Schaupeter and Eric Stokke. Owners Kent and Eric have done the DDR 8 or 9 times.

latitude/Chris
©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Congratulations (in order of finish) to the crews of Venga, Mama Tried, Average White Boat, Stewball and Rufless2. See the long list of racers and the short list of finishers here.

Gary Goldsborough and Harold Goldman raced on the only Cruising Division boat to finish, the Alberg 30 Venga, sponsored by BAADS (Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors). Harold, 88, is an old salt, but this was new sailor Gary’s first race.

latitude/Chris
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We’ll have more in the July issue of Latitude 38

Sailing San Luis

Last weekend, Roger Briggs wrote in saying that he was about to do the first race of the season with the San Luis Yacht Club, which sails out of Avila Beach. "Our C&C 37 Allegra won the series last year, so we’ve got to defend our cup win!" Briggs said that they had "a nice day of racing Sunday, though our turnout was light (only three boats). But it turned out to be beautiful conditions: Light breeze early, but enough to sail, then building to about 17 knots for later races.  

"A picture of Doug Anthony’s Sea Symphony, a Pearson 30, as they headed for the finish line just off the end of the Cal Poly pier," Roger Briggs wrote.

© 2018 Roger Briggs

Roger reminded us of all the great sailing going on in the rest of California. If you have a picture or story from SoCal, the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii or Mexico, or somewhere else in the world, please let us know

First Olympic Training Event at TISC

This week, the first Olympic-related event is being held at Treasure Island Sailing Center’s newly envisioned high-performance training facility. About 35 sailors in Lasers, Laser Radials, and kites — as well as the 49er FX class — are participating in a weeklong Olympic Development Singlehanded Training Camp from June 3 to 9. This is the first clinic to be held at what will eventually become the Facility for Advanced Sailing and Technology, or FAST USA.

Adult competitors include Paige Railey and Erika Reineke, as well as Charlie Buckingham and Chris Barnard, who are participating alongside younger up-and-coming sailors, which was part of the vision for the FAST center. "FAST will take the kids from the advanced intermediate level and up," said Peter Stoneberg, chairman of the FAST committee, in a ‘Lectronic we ran in April. FAST was the brainchild of TISC founder Carisa Harris-Adamson — nearly 20 years ago, she envisioned a place where kids could launch, rig, and train next to Olympians.

Lasers go through a few drills at Clipper Cove, while a 49er lurks in the foreground.

© Kimball Livingston

There are top coaches at this week’s clinic. Steve Mitchell, coach for Erika and Paige, said to the kids in attendance, "Do you think Usain Bolt is nervous when he lines up to race? Of course. Everybody is nervous. You have to expect that feeling and not let it affect what you do."

Briefings are being held at TISC in the same room where local fourth graders learn about the Golden Gate wind funnel and other sailing-related tidbits. Another one of Carisa’s goals was to make sure the new FAST facility did not conflict with TISC’s ongoing mission of "providing access, facilities, STEM education and life skills development to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, skill levels and physical abilities."

At the clinic, Erika talked about the psychological factors involved in competition. "My silver at my Youth Worlds should have been a gold, but I was so caught up in trying to win that I got black-flagged, and there went the gold," she said. Coach Mitchell counseled: "You have to focus on the process, not the outcome."

Carisa said that construction of the new FAST facility should be finished by the fall, and, as evidenced by this week’s training camp, will not interfere with any sailing activities.

Special thanks to Kimball Livingston, who reported this story for us.

Put a Lid on It

In Friday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude we slipped this line into our first story about the delivery of the new issue: "The first person to send us a photo of themselves with the new June copy of Latitude 38 wins a hat. Email us here." Not long after, we got a few emails, but the first two were readers of the digital edition — not paper copies of the magazine. The first photo with a copy of the magazine came from Mark Bettis, harbormaster at Coyote Point Marina.

It’s not that Mark needed a new hat, it’s that he needed a new hat with a cool logo.

© Mark Bettis

We do deliver magazines right to his door, so it gave him a bit of a head start, but, since he had a rather plain-looking hat on his head and we hadn’t further clarified things, we figured he deserved it anyway. Next month we’ll refine the game and look for photos of you with the magazine. 

Mark sails his Pacific Seacraft 37 Shannon out of Coyote Point Marina, so keep an eye out for him with a new ‘lid’, a blue Latitude 38 hat. Tune in on June 29 for the next one and some slightly updated rules. Thanks to everyone for picking up a copy of Latitude 38 since "There ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby."

Randall Reeves is about a month away from San Francisco. The Bay Area native is returning home, and plans to make another attempt at the Figure 8 Voyage in the fall.
Thanks to Lia Ditton for sharing Michael Chammout’s account of the Singlehanded Farallones race with us. The following is an edited excerpt from his Facebook page.
What makes for the most popular sailing channel on YouTube? Just do your thing and follow you heart, said Sailing SV Delos, the most popular sailing channel on YouTube. Last week, Brady Trautman told us that Delos’ relatability and authenticity have made their show well liked among a broad audience of sailors and non-sailors alike.