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Hot Delta Doo Dah Action

June 29, 2009 – The California Delta

Start/Photo Op
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The Delta Doo Dah 'start' was the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Light winds afforded plenty of opportunity to practice sailing under spinnaker. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The inaugural Delta Doo Dah, our laid-back rally from the Bay to the Delta, kicked off Friday night at Richmond YC, where sailors had a chance to check in, claim their swag bags, grab some grub from the galley and get to know each other. Talk inevitably turned to the weather, and a forecast of sweltering heat; most folks had a 'bring it on' attitude.

The Brown Family aboard the Clayton-based Beneteau 393 Oxygen proudly displayed their colors in the form of official Delta Doo Dah T-shirts. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The 11 a.m. start on Saturday morning was supposed to have been the perfect time to catch the beginning of the flood. A slight miscalculation on the part of the rally committee (oops!) meant most of the fleet bucked the end of the ebb before getting a favorable current. "I've been coming up to the Delta for years," said Doo Dah'er Doug Thorne, who's sailing with his wife Tamara and kids Taylor, 16, and Max, 12, aboard their San Francsico-based Celestial 48 Tamara Lee Ann. "I always try to calculate the current carefully but only get it right about half the time."

Middle Slough
The entire Doo Dah fleet could have fit easily into Middle Slough, but only 10 chose to anchor out on Saturday night. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Light winds for most of the day meant the trip up San Pablo Bay was a motor for most Doo Dah boats. Later in the day, the wind picked up and those still on the water were treated to a lovely sunset sail. About 10 boats tucked into Middle Slough for the night, with the rest of the fleet scattered between Benicia and Antioch.

Prizes galore!
Adam Correa of the OL 33 Tamara won a free night's moorage from Caliente Isle Harbor. © 2018 Kathe Hashimoto

The party yesterday was a grand affair, featuring the Romano Marchetti Orchestra, sponsored by Twin Rivers Marine Insurance plus chicken and tri-tips — the recipe perfected over 15 years of grilling — provided by Antioch Marina, and potluck dishes brought by marina tenants and Doo Dah'ers alike. The Contra Costa County Marine Patrol spoke on what to expect in the Delta and how to stay safe, and several prizes were handed out. Though everyone had a great time, the party was a bittersweet occasion, as it also marked the retirement of well-respected Harbormaster John Cruger-Hansen.

Jay & Maceo
Jay Hickman's cat Maceo went on a walkabout when he docked at RYC on Friday night. Maceo's unscheduled leave caused Jay to stay an extra day waiting for him to come back - which, happily, he did. Jay reports that Maceo is now on lock-down. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The day was topped off by a sunset cruise aboard Delta Discovery Cruise's Island Serenade. Heather and Steve Ingram - who hope to join the Doo Dah next year aboard their Ranger 33 - made the couple dozen Doo Dah'ers who joined them more than comfortable with snacks, a generous wine tasting courtesy of Carvalho Winery and, of course air conditioning. "I can't believe more people didn't come," said Kathe Hashimoto of the Sausalito-based OL 33 Tamara. "This is really the perfect way to end the day."

Sunset Cruise
A couple dozen Doo Dah'ers enjoyed the breeze during a sunset cruise aboard Island Serenade. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The fleet moves on to Boyd's Harbor & the Rusty Porthole on Bethel Island today. Stay tuned to 'Lectronic for more updates, or follow the action on Twitter and Facebook.

- latitude / ld

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Long Beach Race Week

June 29, 2009 – Long Beach

Farr 30s
Steve Brown's Wild Thing leads Garrett Woodworth's Frequent Flyer into a weather mark. They flip-flopped in the final standings, with Woodworth's team winning the six boat class by a six points. © 2018 Rich Roberts

Right up until Dave Ullman’s Friday morning weather and strategy briefing prior to the first start, it was looking as if the 2009 Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week presented by Acura was going to be a light-air affair. Fortunately for the 132 boats in 18 classes, the breeze filled to the mid-teens for day one, built to high-teens on Saturday, and was starting to look a lot like San Francisco Bay — low 20’s and big chop — on Sunday. Throw in some exceptional race management and three great nights of parties courtesy of Long Beach and Alamitos Bay Yacht Clubs, and it was a perfect weekend of Southern California sailing.

Richard Fish's Schock 35 Outlier performs a stability test. © 2018 Rich Roberts

San Francisco’s Drew Harper and his BoomSlang crew took full advantage of the familiar conditions, posting three bullets and two seconds to run away with the Viper 640 division — the first-ever LBRW one-design start for the emerging fleet. David Voss’s Piranha used a strong Sunday to overcome a DSQ from Friday, and many years’ worth of runner-up finishes, to finally take the Farr 40 crown, after a duel with Ray Godwin’s Temptress. Gary Mozer and Current Obsession2 pummeled the J105 division — the event’s largest at 13 boats — with five bullets in seven races.

A view from aboard Ed Feo's Andrews 45 Locomotion. Photo Latitude / Shawn
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The regatta featured two courses of buoy racing near the breakwater and one random leg course for the big boats outside. Tres Gordo Sailing’s Andrews 50 It’s OK took top honors on the random leg track. We were graciously invited aboard Ed Feo’s Andrews 45 Locomotion for the weekend. The boat was fresh off a second overall in Encinal YC's Coastal Cup and it's not hard to see why. With plenty of reaching in the mid-teens, it was a blast! With a little chaos and carnage on Sunday — there were several wrapped kites and more than a few roundups — it was an awesome regatta. A good portion of the TransPac fleet practicing near the three courses didn’t hurt the ambience either.

Skian Dhu
Dirk Freeland's Farr 40 Skian Dhu powers into a weather mark. © 2018 Rich Roberts

With so many classes, we don't have the space here to give you a run-down on all the winners, but the regatta results have already been posted. As it was the final event in the Ullman Sails Inshore Championship series, which also includes the Ahmanson Cup, San Diego Yachting Cup, and Cal Race Week, the final standings for the series have also been posted.

- latitude / scg

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Ad: Tiburon Waterfront Home

June 29, 2009 – Tiburon

Tiburon waterfront home with 6,000-lb boat lift.
© 2018 Frank Howard Allen Realtors /

This south-facing property on Raccoon Strait is bathed in sunshine and boasts expansive views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco and Angel Island. Four bedrooms and two bathrooms in the main house and a separate studio apartment make this house very functional. The steel piles and dock are two years old. The house is well-maintained and upgraded in many areas.

The lift is in adequate water for almost all tides. Mar East is one of Tiburon's quietest streets with easy access to town — like living in a year-round vacation home. $3,900,000.

Bill Smith ♦ (415) 435-4456 ♦ Email
Frank Howard Allen Realtors

© 2018 Frank Howard Allen Realtors /

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Summer Sailing in the Slow Lane

June 29, 2009 – British Virgin Islands

Kent and Paula
Back in action, and back on the water, Kent and Paula are bucking recessionary woes with six weeks of Caribbean sailing. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Thanks to the economic slowdown, sailing Caribbean waters this summer is more laid back than ever. So says Cap'n Kent Benedict of Aptos, who's been bareboat sailing in the Grenadines and British Virgins for the past six weeks with first mate Paula Gomez and a variety of friends.

They say this extended trip is especially sweet because Gomez recently won a hellish battle to regain full motor control after being almost completely paralyzed two years ago due to a freak accident. Previously, they'd both traveled the world extensively as medical officers aboard Cal Maritime's training ship, Golden Bear, in addition to doing frequent bareboat charter trips to Belize, Mexico and the Caribbean. Kent and Paula began the sixth week of their trip yesterday, running a Moorings 4600 cat for the 25th annual HIHO — "Hook In, Hold On" — windsurfing regatta which takes an international roster of entrants on a whirlwind tour of the British Virgins, with daily inter-island racing.

After catching up with Kent and Paula, we gleaned a few useful notes: At Mustique, you must pay a three-day $80 USD mooring fee, even if you stay only one night. The coral at The Tobago Cays sadly seems to be in very poor shape, although there are still many types of juvenile fish to observe. On the upside, they've never seen so few boats in Caribbean anchorages, and islanders are exceedingly friendly to the few sailors who are traveling this season. The 'boat boy' problem seems to be a thing of the past. Kent and Paula never got a hard sell or bad attitude from these young entrepreneurs during their three weeks in the Grenadines. Welcome back Paula!

- latitude / at

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