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.
The starts went off well and things were looking hopeful, though unusually hot from the get-go.
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.
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.
We’ll have more in the July issue of Latitude 38.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."