Latitude home Latitude 38


Previous 'Lectronic

'Lectronic Latitude Latest 'Lectronic
Subscribe to LectronicLatitude to receive emails when 'Lectronic Latitude is updated.

Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

March 9, 2009 – The Bay

Lounge Act
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

A Melges 24 is anything but a Cadillac but the Lounge Act crew knows how to keep things smooth. Loren Colahan's Santa Barbara-based program came up to claim the class win at St. Francis YC's Spring Keel Regatta. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Officially, spring may yet be 11 days away, but it seemed like the transition occurred halfway through this past weekend. Over at St. Francis YC, the Spring Keel Regatta got a little of both seasons. Saturday started off decidedly winter-like — warm and with breeze light enough that the R/C could only get one of three scheduled races off before the wind and time limit arrived. But on Sunday the breeze and sunshine used the advent of Daylight Saving Time as an excuse to get with the program. After a winter of mutually exclusive calendars, they coordinated their schedules and treated the fleet to a sterling day of sunshine and building westerly breeze. When all was said and done, all the classes except the Folkboats ended up getting another three races in.

Express 27 and Folkboats at Spring Keel
Shawn Shadden's Express 27 Magic splits the difference between Richard Keldsen's Nordic Star (107) and Chris Hermann's Thea. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

The first of the club's three spring invitationals — the dinghies get the stage this coming weekend, and one-designs the following one — the regatta featured six classes, all with pretty solid numbers: Express 27s, Folkboats, Knarrs, J/24s, Melges 24s, and Moore 24s. With national championships held on the Bay later this summer, the Melges 24s and J/24s got their biggest turnouts for a local regatta in recent memory.

The personification of "Gruntled?" Looks like fun to us . . . © 2018 Erik Simonson /

There was also apparently some carnage over the weekend; although we weren't able to confirm them, there were reports of the pin-end committee boat getting whacked a few times, and a T-boning in the Express 27 class. If you witnessed any of it, drop us a line. A snafu with the results shuffled the Folkboat and Melges 24 results after the trophies had been given out yesterday afternoon, so check out the corrected results.

Express 27Magic Bus, Eric Deeds (12 boats)
FolkboatPolperro, Peter Jeal (9 boats)
J/24TMC Racing, Michael Whitfield (9 boats)
KnarrGossip, Mark Adams (8 boats)
Melges 24 —  Lounge Act, Loren Colahan (8 boats)
Moore 24This One Goes to 11, Scott Sorensen (20 boats)

Hank Easom sailed his 8-Meter Yucca to straight bullets to take PHRF 2 in the Golden Gate YC's Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Series. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Saturday also marked the final act for the Golden Gate YC's Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Series, which drew a high-quality fleet this year, especially among the bigger boats. In PHRF 1 (69-and-under), Glenn Isaacson's Schumacher 40 Q finished with a second, to close out the series with a one-point win over Jeffrey McCord's N/M 36 Quiver, which tied on points with third-placed Farr 36 OD Wicked, owned by Richard Courcier. In PHRF 2 (70-109) Hank Easom's 8-Meter Yucca counted nothing worse than a bullet to finish four points clear of Karin and Tim Knowles Wyliecat 39 Lilith.

Catalina 34s
During the final installment of the Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Series, the Catalina 34s - consistently - practice their synchronized sailing. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

Also counting no score worse than a bullet was Steve Waterloo and his Cal 40 Shaman, who took PHRF 3 (110-126). In PHRF 4 (127-and-up), Steve Wonner's Wyliecat 30 Uno-129, stayed close enough to Gordie Nash's modernized Santana 27 Arcadia to close out the series with a two-point win. In the Catalina 34 fleet, Chris Owen's Mottley finished a point clear of David Sanner's Queimada. Chris Kelly's Flyer took the Knarr title after skipping the first race of  Spring Keel to sew up her win, while Peter Jeal's Polperro had a throwout to give after counting nothing worse than a second. Full results are up on the club's website.

Soozal Miami
Dan Woolery's King 40 Soozal has been posting some impressive scores since being launched at the beginning of 2009. Here she is at the Acura Miami Grand Prix, winning IRC 2 after counting 8 bullets in 10 races. Photo Courtesy Summit Yachts
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

On the other side of the country, two Bay Area boats wrapped up some impressive series yesterday at the Acura Miami Grand Prix. Dan Woolery's Pt. Richmond-based King 40 Soozal scored eight bullets in 10 races to run away with IRC 2. In the 19-boat Melges 32 class, John Kilroy Jr.'s San Francisco-based Samba Pa Ti sailed well enough to lock-up second for the week. Full results are here.

That about does it for the weekend's racing. Looking ahead to the next one, we've got a doozy on our hands. Island YC's classic Doublehanded Lightship Race goes off Saturday, while St. Francis YC's Spring Dinghy straddles both days, as does Richmond YC's venerable Big Daddy. If you're sailing the latter, make sure to sign up for North Sails Weather Center's free, customized weather forecast, which will be sent out via email at 7:30 a.m. for both Saturday's fleet racing and Sunday's pursuit race.

If by chance you won't be sailing any of these events this weekend, don't forget that racing rules guru Dave Perry will be in town, dishing on the changes in the new edition of the Racing Rules of Sailing. Friday, March 13, should find him at St. Francis YC from 6-9 p.m. The next day, he'll be back at the club for a full-on seminar integrating both the new rules and the tactical implications they bring to the table in a six-hour program starting at 9 a.m. You can sign up for one or both by calling the club's front desk at (415) 563-6363. Perry will then head to Coyote Point YC on Sunday for a two-hour presentation starting at 1 p.m. and sponsored by Mt. Gay Rum — your entry fee includes two rum drinks! You can register for that one here.

- latitude / rg

Bookmark and Share

Latitude 38 Crew List

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Cosco Busan Pilot Pleads Guilty

March 9, 2009 – San Francisco

The Cosco Busan's pilot will get two to ten months in prison for his negligence. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

John Cota, the pilot aboard the 901-ft Cosco Busan when it hit the Bay Bridge on November 7, 2007, pleaded guilty last week to negligently causing the discharge of 53,000 gallons of oil into the Bay and to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by causing the deaths of thousands of birds. In the plea deal with federal prosecutors, Cota will serve two to 10 months in prison and be fined $3,000 to $30,000 for his role in the environmental disaster that wreaked $60 million worth of damages. He will be sentenced in June, and will not be able to reapply for a pilot's license until 2010.

The owner of the ship, Fleet Management Ltd, has been indicted on six felony charges — that trial has been postponed until September — and both Cota and Fleet Management are defendants in civil lawsuits stemming from the accident.

- latitude / ld

Bookmark and Share

Spaulding Youth Boat Building

March 9, 2009 – Sausalito

Guppy Launch
The graduates of the first Spaulding Boat Building and Sailing Program beam with pride at the launch of their Norwegian pram Guppy. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Last November, a group of nearly a dozen kids launched their pride and joy: the 12-ft Norwegian pram Guppy. The kids had worked for seven months on the little boat as part of the Spaulding Center's first-ever youth boat building program. The program was so successful, Spaulding's — in cooperation with 4-H and Big Brothers/Big Sisters — is holding an open house this Saturday for young people and their parents to learn more about this year's version of it. The Q&A is from 1-3 p.m. and will be held at the Spaulding Center at the foot of Gate 5 Road in Sausalito. For more on the center and the program, go to

- latitude / ld

Bookmark and Share

Take One Down, Pass It Around

March 9, 2009 – Pier 31

An artist's conception of the Plastiki . . . under build at Pier 31. © 2018 Adventure Ecology /

Although 12,000 may represent a small fraction of America's daily consumption of plastic bottles, they'll comprise a huge part of a 60-ft catamaran under build over at Pier 31. The brainchild of adventurer David de Rothschild, Plastiki — an homage to Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki — will attempt to bring awareness to the disturbing fact that 80% of 15 billion pounds of plastic bottles go unrecycled every year in this country. The plan is to launch the boat at the end of April and sail it across the Pacific via the North Pacific Gyre, Hawaii, and Tuvalu before finishing in Sydney. We've been working on getting a tour of the boat and we'll give you our impressions of the project when we do! For now check out the project's website.

- latitude / rg

Bookmark and Share

Two Wrongs Finally Make a Right

March 9, 2009 – St. Martin, Dutch Antilles

Two boats
The dinghy thieves may have had balls, but not much in the way of brains. Not only did they steal the only red dinghy in the land of a million grey ones, they then anchored in the middle of the busy anchorage in Simpson Bay Lagoon. © 2018 Heather Corsaro

Is there anything more evil than stealing somebody's dinghy when it's their only way to get between the boat and shore? We don't think so, which is why the gods reserve a particularly hot place in hell for people who do things like that.

The day before we left St. Barth for the Bay Area, via St. Martin, last week, we were told that the dinghy for Donald Tofias' W-76 Wild Horses had disappeared from the dinghy dock at Charles de Gaulle Quai. Making it worse was the fact that it had last been in control of a young guy from another boat. If you think the owner of the dink felt bad, the young guy felt horrible.

Sometimes dinghies are lost because people tie 'drunk knots' and the dinghies blow away in the trades or drift in the current. It was unlikely this had been the case with the Wild Horses' dinghy, because the Charles de Gaulle Quai is in the inner harbor at Gustavia. Not only would it have had to make its way past all the boats in the inner harbor, but the hundreds of boats in the outer harbor as well. Not very likely.

So it was assumed that the dinghy had been stolen. In several people's minds, the prime suspects were the French crew of a yellow ketch that had been anchored in the outer harbor the week before. The crew was suspect because they didn't have a dinghy, and had been left to beg for mile-long dinghy rides to shore.

So when we got to the Simpson Bay Lagoon in St. Martin, and were buzzing around in our dinghy prior to our flight home, we kept an eye out for the distinctive yellow ketch. And we saw her! But after circling the yacht, we didn't see the the big Wild Horses' dinghy, which is unusual in that it's larger than most, is red, and has a brown Sunbrella top to protect the fabric.

After heading off on other errands, we returned to the general area of the yellow ketch about an hour later. While hanging off the back of Mike Harker's Manhattan Beach-based Hunter 49 Wanderlust III and talking about his upcoming second circumnavigation, we glanced over at the 200-yard distant yellow ketch. Son of a gun, the Wild Horses dinghy was tied up right next to her!

See ya, Mike! We took off at full speed for the yellow ketch, standing in our dinghy, and introducing ourselves at the top of our lungs by shouting, "You f--kin' thieves, you stole that dinghy, and we're takin' it back right now!"

Initially pretty quiet, one of the three crew finally mounted a defense. "We found it in the middle of the ocean," he claimed. When we demanded to know exactly where, he said Isle Forchue. Which meant, even if he wasn't lying — which he was — it would have been obvious the dinghy had drifted the short distance down from St. Barth. And since the dinghy had the boat's name written in big letters, finding the rightful owner would have been as simple as pie.

An unidentified member of the International Dinghy Recovery Squad (IDRS) tows the Wild Horses dinghy away from the thieves. © 2018 Heather Corsaro

In any event, the thieves made no effort to prevent David Addleman and Heather Corsaro of the Monterey-based Cal 36 Eupsychia from untying the dinghy and our taking her away. So yeah, we stole her back, with the second wrong, for once, making a right. Almost immediately after we left, the yellow ketch left the anchorage, no doubt fearing the harbor police were on their way.

Stealing dinghies is, unfortunately, not that unusual, particularly in the Caribbean. Indeed, about 20 years ago one French cruiser wrote a book in which he suggested that stealing dinghies and then selling them was a good way to finance a cruise. It's not.

- latitude / rs

Bookmark and Share

Top | Index of Stories | Previous 'Lectronic Edition
Copy this link and paste it into your RSS reader 'Lectronic RSS feed
How to submit your own story, visit here


'Lectronic Latitude | Download the Magazine | Crew List & Party
Calendar | Letters | Changes in Latitudes | Features
Classy Classifieds | Place a Classy Ad | Advertisers' Links | Display Advertising
Links | New Stuff | Subscriptions | Distribution | Contact Us | Home
  The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine.
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC. All rights reserved.