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Stockton Sail Camp a Success

July 31, 2009 – Stockton

Sailing Away
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Eighty kids enjoyed learning on Stockton's warm, fresh waters. © 2018 Peter Allen

A week after hosting 35 boats worth of young-at-heart sailors in the Delta Doo Dah, Stockton Sailing Club members recuperated enough to play host to another group of 80 sailors who acted like kids — for good reason: they were kids!

Group shot
Parents and kids alike got in on the action. © 2018 Peter Allen

Sponsored by SSC, Richmond YC and Santa Cruz YC, the annual Stockton Sail Camp ran July 12-18, teaching kids (ages 8-14) of all experience levels, from Novice to Advanced, on Optis and El Toros.

Several experience levels were represented, from Novice to Advanced, which meant everyone had a great time. © 2018 Peter Allen

Days started early with breakfast at 7 a.m. By 9:30, the kids were sailing, having already participated in "chalk talk" classes. After lunch, a second "chalk talk" session allowed them to digest their food before heading back to the boats for the afternoon.

Once back at the docks for the day, "life jacket tests" — which we can only assume means getting shoved in the water by your new best buds — were apparently pretty popular. Each evening featured a different activity, from Movie Night to 'Root Beer' Can Races to skits to model boat races to a dance. After a day like that, it's a sure bet that most kids were asleep before lights out at 9:30 p.m. The camp culminated in the Junior El Toro NA Championship Regatta (click here for results).

Line Throwing
West Marine's Chuck Hawley taught the kids how to properly heave a line. © 2018 Peter Allen

Tent City
Stockton SC's lawn became a tent city to accommodate all the campers. © 2018 Wayne Craig

Camps such as these are a great way to introduce kids to the sport of sailing, as well as helping them meet new friends and spend quality time outdoors. But it's not just the kids who got out of the house. "The great thing about this camp," said Novato's Tim Stapleton, "is that it's almost completely volunteer-run. From instructing to cooking, the parents do it all!" 

Girls just wanna have fun
The next Liz Baylis may be lurking in this group of girls. © 2018 Wayne Craig

- latitude / ld

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Latitude 38 Crew List

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Over the Top

July 31, 2009 – 'Lectronicville

We received a number of complaints about the photo in Wednesday's 'Lectronic that showed a man whose torso had been impaled on a log. The impaling was apparently a result of the man losing control of his bass boat while travelling at excessive speed.

The intent of the photo was to dramatically illustrate — in the tradition of new drivers being shown photos of deadly accident scenes — that speed kills on the water as well as on land.

It was also meant to highlight the absurdity of Lake County D.A. Jon Hopkins' refusal to charge Sheriff Chief Russell Perdock in the Clear Lake boating death of Lynn Thornton, a case we're sure you're all familiar with. As it stands now, Bismarck Dinius, who had merely been sitting at the helm of the nearly motionless O'Day 27 sailboat when it was hit at very high speed by Perdock, is the only one who has been charged in Thornton's death.

We apologize to those who were offended by the photo, which has since been removed. If we weren't so outraged by the injustice going on in Lake County, we would never have run it. But having received the feedback we have, we would certainly think twice about running such a photo again.

- latitude / rs

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Ad: West Marine Inflatable PFDs

July 31, 2009 – At a West Marine Near You

West Marine Inflatable PFDs
West Marine Inflatable PFDs
© 2018 West Marine /

West Marine PFDs are engineered to save sailors’ lives. In fact, they already have. They provide up to 35 lbs of positive buoyancy (like the bulkiest foam lifejackets), but they’re compact and comfortable to wear. Which means that you’re more likely to be wearing them when you need them.

Available with or without a built-in safety harness, and three different inflator styles. No matter which model you choose, these are PFDs you can count on.$199.99 to $299.99. Available at all West Marine stores. Log onto to find the store nearest you, or order online.
© 2018 West Marine /

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Brit Singlehander Threatens Zac's Record

July 31, 2009 – Caribbean Sea

Mike's 17th birthday
Inside his Open 50's 'living pod', Mike strikes a pose on his 17th birthday. © 2018 Mike Perham

Although admirers of solo circumnavigator Zac Sunderland are still celebrating the 17-year-old sailor's historic homecoming on July 16, most are well aware that a slightly younger British teen is already threatening to claim Zac's status as 'youngest around'. 

At this writing, Mike Perham is bashing his way across the Caribbean, ultimately bound for his Portsmouth, England, homeport aboard the chartered Open 50 He has until November to complete the task and win the crown, but he still faces more than 4,000 miles of open water and, as every sailor knows, anything can happen out there. Yesterday, for example, Mike had to climb the mast of his over-canvassed boat while bucking winds up to 25 knots, as a lazyjack had failed and wrapped itself around a mainsail car. 

Mike and Zac Cape Town
In an odd twist of fate, Mike and Zac met in Cape Town, South Africa, and compared notes over lunch. They were rounding the globe in opposite directions. © 2018 Mike Perham

The young Brit originally set out to break Jesse Martin's record as the youngest around nonstop and unassisted via the Great Capes (as endorsed by the World Sailing Speed Record Council). However, a breakdown early on necessitated a stop. Since then, he altered his course to pass through Panama, while setting his sights on becoming the youngest around via any route. To learn more about Mike's well-financed campaign see the website.

- latitude / at

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Escalera Nautica Now Ladder to Nowhere

July 31, 2009 – Mexico City, Mexico

To some, the stairway seemed perfectly logical. To others, ridiculous. © 2018 FONATUR

File this one under 'seemed like a good idea at the time': We've received word via news reports from south of the border that the Mexican government has finally pulled the plug on its Escalera Nautica (Nautical Stairway) project. Widely criticized as impractical and unnecessary from the outset, in 2001 the grand scheme proposed to build a 'ladder' of marinas and tourism facilities all along the Baja Peninsula and the eastern shoreline of the Sea of Cortez. The idea was to shorten the distance between potential safe harbors, thereby inspiring an upsurge in maritime tourism.

The original $2 billion plan was to build or refurbish 22 full-service marinas. Today, however, the 10 projects — some completed, others only partially completed — will be sold, as the project has been officially cancelled.

Administered through FONATUR (Federal Tourism Promotion Fund), original projections estimated that 76,400 boats would be cruising the Baja coast by next year, and by 2014, infrastructure upgrades would attract 5.4 million nautical tourists to Mexican waters. Needless to say, those figures were wildly optimistic — according to one source, off by as much as 600%. Look for more on the Escalera Nautica debacle in the September edition of Latitude 38.

- latitude / at

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August Issue Out Today

July 31, 2009 – The West Coast

august 09 mag
The perfect antidote for idle minds: The August edition of Latitude 38. Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you've been worried that you wouldn't have a single thing to do this weekend, fear not, the new edition of Latitude 38 hit the streets this morning with up-to-the-minute news from all corners of the sailing world.

Read our in-depth report on the TransPac, a recap of this year's Pacific Puddle Jump, memories of the Delta Doo Dah, Changes in Latitudes reports from all over the planet and more. It's all waiting for you, hot off the press, at your nearest marine supplier.

For a complete list of distribution points, visit the Latitude website. Note also, that you can download the entire magazine as a PDF via the site.

- latitude / at

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