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Singlehanded Send-Off

June 1, 2009 – Half Moon Bay to Hawaii

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Nick Jaffe sailed under the Gate on Saturday aboard his Contessa 26 Constellation. Destination: Australia. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Solo sailor Nick Jaffe, 28, has gained a worldwide following thanks to his website Jaffe, an Australian software developer and artist, started his sailing career about four years ago when he began crewing on boats Down Under. He later moved to Germany to study photography but soon realized he'd rather be sailing — but he needed a boat.

He read every book he could get his hands on, scoured the web and finally settled on a Contessa 26 he found in Southhampton, UK. "I bought it sight unseen," he admitted. "I can never do anything by halves." Jaffe worked day and night to pay off the boat in six months, then moved aboard and began prepping her for an Atlantic crossing, including a few crewed shakedown cruises.

On September 17, 2007, Jaffe left Amsterdam on his singlehanded voyage down Europe, to the Canaries, on to Barbados and up the East Coast to New York City — blogging about it the entire way. Even with a budget as small as his boat, Jaffe has managed a world-class cruise, making good friends wherever he lands.

He recently landed in the Bay Area while he waited for his boat to be trucked from the East Coast. During his stay, Jaffe made a big impression on everyone who met him. Naturally, when it came time for him to leave the Bay — bound for Half Moon Bay before making the leap to Hawaii — some of his new friends escorted him out.

Raft up
A few of Jaffe's new friends - including a couple singlehanders - escorted him to Half Moon Bay to bid him bon voyage. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Jaffe will be leaving in the next day or two for the islands, where he'll stay a week before making his way home to Australia. "People say I'm crazy and can't do it," he smiled. "But they've been saying that from the beginning."

Follow his progress on his website and check out the July issue of Latitude 38 for more on this amazing singlehander.

- latitude / ld

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Elusive Crew Safe in Fiji

June 1, 2009 – Lautoka, Fiji

Botts on board
Wendy and Steve are longtime sailors whose boat was well prepared for offshore passage-making. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Having been forced to abandon their Ventura-based J/44 Elusive in mid-ocean, the Bott family and their principal rescuers, John and Renee Prentice, arrived safely at Lautoka, Fiji, May 22 aboard Scarlett O'Hara. At this writing, the Botts are recovering from their ordeal ashore, and are planning to see a bit of Fiji before returning to the U.S.

"We know Wendy and Steve will recover from the loss of Elusive eventually," writes Renee, "but until then, we have them in our thoughts and prayers. Despite losing their home and most of their belongings, they seem to have a very positive attitude about life and the future."

Scarlett O'Hara
Luckily, the Prentices were only a half-hour's sail away from Elusive when she began taking on water. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Elusive, Scarlett O'Hara and eight other boats had been waiting patiently in New Zealand for an appropriate weather window. Finally, when predictions of a southerly were announced, the fleet took off, but the southerly never materialized. Instead a huge low spun off of Fiji and began heading for the passage-makers' track, causing the small fleet to turn south and west, away from their rhumbline, in order to avoid the predicted 55-knot winds of the low. It was while on that new heading that Elusive lost steerage and began taking on water.

Still recovering from the long, stormy passage, the crews of Scarlett O'Hara, Blue Plains Drifter, Morning Light and others were faced with another ordeal during their second night in port. When another low formed, bringing high winds and rain, two huge charter vessels began dragging through the anchorage, nearly crushing Jaime and Christine Tate's San Diego-based Hylas 46 Morning Light, and causing several other boats to run for open water at the height of the storm. Luckily, all were able to avoid harm. Goes to show, the cruising life is full of surprises - but with any luck, the high points outweigh the lows.

- latitude / at

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Ad: Beneteau USA Invest in America Sale

June 1, 2009 – Point Richmond and Alameda

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© 2018 Beneteau USA /

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© 2018 Passage Yachts /

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Weekend Racing Wrap-up

June 1, 2009 – The Bay

Pier 39 American Sailing League
Five boats showed up for the second-ever American Sailing League event at Pier 39. By the time the championship race came along Sunday afternoon, only two managed the damage well enough to finish it off. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

Joey Pasquali, John Gray and Rory Giffen on Team Switch Clothing survived a weekend of carnage — from which they were not immune — to win the second American Sailing League event at Pier 39. After an all-day scramble to fix a prod that folded up on the way out to the race course Saturday morning and kept them from sailing until yesterday, the trio finished second on the water to Howie Hamlin, Fritz Lanziger and Paul Allen in the winner-takes-all championship race. But Hamlin's Team Harken retired after the finish, and although we didn't have a chance to catch up with him at the launching point up at Crissy Field, we suspect Hamlin bowed out on account of having substituted bowman Allen in for first-day crew Matt Noble, who sustained a knee injury that left him unable to complete the regatta.

Howie Hamlin
Howie Hamlin, Fritz Lanziger and Paul Allen, sending it down the Bay © 2018 Peter Lyons /

Ordinarily such a subbing wouldn't be such a big deal, but we have to believe that having a fresh bow guy when short-course racing an 18-ft skiff is a huge advantage, especially when the final race was a four-lapper. The attendance of that final race was down to just three of the original six boats due to breakdowns, when defending champions Pat Whitmarsh, Kevin Richards and Joe Penrod had to bow out during the middle of the race after a prolonged capsize left them little hope of finishing within the time limit in a raging flood and 20- to 25-knot breeze.

BC Eagles
The Boston College Eagles won a second consecutive ICSA/APS Team Racing Nationals on the strength of a 13-4 record thoughout the three-day event. © 2018 Glennon Stratton /

With a 13-4 record, the Boston College Eagles took the 2009 ICSA/APS Team Racing Championships in front of a huge crowd of spectators yesterday. Hosted by Cal and CMA at Treasure Island Sailing Center over the weekend, the event featured the top Team Racing Schools in the country. The Eagles edged out Georgetown at 10-7 and Yale at 9-8 by going 2-1 in the "final four" round to match the two wins in that round by St. Mary's which finished at 12-5 after opening the regatta with six straight wins. The defending champion Eagles counted two San Diegans in their winning roster, Adam Roberts and Tyler Sinks, the former sailing every match along with senior Brian Kamilar, while the latter was part of a rotation that included Taylor Canfield and Parker Dwyer. Sticking the tacks for those guys were Carrie Amarante, Lauren Gilloly, Andrew Schneider, Evan Cooke, Christian Manchester, Sandy Williams, and Danny Bloomstine. Full results are already up.

To the victors go the spoils
The victorious Coast Guard Team at the first-ever Armed Forces Cup hosted by Club Nautique. © 2018 Mariane Armond

Club Nautique ran its first-ever Armed Forces Cup last Wednesday in Alameda, attracting crews of three from each of the five branches which teamed up with Club Nautique skippers aboard the school's Colgate 26s. After four races it was Coast Guard Lieutenant JG Jesse Stewart, Lieutenant JG Christina Hawn and Lieutenant Ryan Hawn that came out on top, finishing ahead of the Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy with the Army bringing up the rear. In addition to the Armed Forces Perpetual Cup, the Coasties got prime smack-talking rights and it sounds like there was plenty of that to go around.

"These folks were so thankful to have been recognized," said Marianne Armand, who explained that the idea behind the regatta was to tangibly acknowledge the contribution to the country made by servicemen and women. "They repeatedly mentioned how nice it was to have people publicly acknowledge that they are appreciated, not to mention how thrilled they were to be out on the water in playful combat. While they were respectful and courteous to one another, when it came down to it, they all wanted to win."

- latitude / rg

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