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Sunday Turns Tragic

May 24, 2010 – Ocean Beach / Venice Beach

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Feral sailed ashore at Venice Beach yesterday afternoon. Her skipper, an experienced solo sailor, Tom Kirschbaum is missing. © 2018 KTLA-TV /

Yesterday turned tragic with the loss of three West Coast sailors. Down south, 2008 Singlehanded TransPac veteran Tom Kirschbaum, 55, appears to have fallen off his 26-ft International Folkboat Feral on his way home to Marina del Rey after competing in the Catalina Island Series-Emerald Bay Race on Saturday. A gale had been forecast for the weekend, and reports confirm rough conditions for the first half of what was supposed to be a two-way race (we're told Day 2 of the race was cancelled due to worsening conditions, but were unable to confirm that with Long Beach YC before uploading today's 'Lectronic).

Finishing the Singlehanded TransPac in 2008 was a hard-won battle for Tom, seen here after arriving in Hanalei. He will be sorely missed. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Kirschbaum's wife Gayle told the Coast Guard that she'd received an email from Tom yesterday morning around 9:30 letting her know he was leaving. According to Petty Office Christina Bozeman, the Coast Guard received the call that Feral had sailed ashore one mile south of the Santa Monica pier, basically on Venice Beach. First-responders found no one aboard. "A C-130 airplane was dispatched to search, and the cutter Narwhal has been searching all night," Bozeman reports. "We may look to suspend the search this afternoon but we're still searching."

Closer to home, an unidentified married couple sailing north from Pillar Point were near Ocean Beach when they fell off their Ranger 33 Barcarolle in rough conditions, according Coast Guard Petty Officer Pamela Manns. "A worker at Cliff House restaurant noticed the boat was in distress," said Manns. "We received the call at 4:30 p.m. and a 47-ft motorlifeboat was on-scene at 5:15." The lifeboat crew found Barcarolle unmanned but couldn't immediately see anyone in the water. The woman's body was recovered around 7 p.m. while a man's body washed ashore this morning. The Coast Guard has not confirmed his identity at this point, so they're hesitant to identify him as the man from Barcarolle. The boat has since washed ashore at China Beach, not the Marin Headlands as previously reported by the Coast Guard.

Our hearts go out to the familes of all the victims.

UPDATE: The San Francisco Medical Examiner has officially released the names of the couple from Barcarolle: Jeff and Beth Easterling of El Sobrante. They were 59 and 50, respectively.

- latitude / ld

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Fall Crew List Party

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

The 6,000-Mile Shopping Trip

May 24, 2010 – Long Beach, CA

In these slow economic times, yacht brokers are pleased when any potential customer walks through the door. But when Dmitry Danilov showed up at Bearmark Yachts in Sausalito recently, broker John Saul immediately gave him his undivided attention. After all, Danilov had come all the way from Vladivostok, Russia in search of a solid cruiser that he and his family could use to explore nearby waters of the North Pacific — such as the coastal anchorages of South Korea.

Danilov & seller
The proud buyer (in jersey) stikes a pose with former owner Nat Pendleton. After exploring other options, Dmitry decided he "had to have a Catalina!" © 2018 John Saul

According to Danilov, it is "impossible" to find a good recreational sailboat in his part of the world — including Japan and South Korea. But after perusing a variety of options here on the West Coast, the Russian sailor settled on a well-maintained Catalina 380 in Long Beach, now named Natsu. Both Saul and the seller's broker, Rich Vaught of Vaught Yacht Sales, took Danilov under their wings and helped him orchestrate a variety of upgrades to rigging, sails and electronics.

Dmitry Danilov
The stoic Russian sailor will face a daunting passage for his first solo offshore cruise. But the warm climate along much of the route will be a pleasant change from the Arctic waters he's become accustomed to. © 2018 John Saul

Having spent years as a second officer aboard Russian ice-breakers that plied Arctic waters, Danilov is no stranger to offshore navigation or challenging weather. But he's never actually done a singlehanded offshore sailing trip before — and the route back home to Vladivostok, via the Marshall islands, is close to 6,000 miles. To date, most of his sailing experience has been aboard Oympic-class sailing dinghies. But, hey, he's a tough Russian, and our bet is that he'll make it home safely.

What are his impressions of the U.S.? "It is much more organized and it is easier to do everything," he says. "Things are more available. Everyone is nice, and very helpful to me." And he absolutely loves Starbucks, whose stores have served as his Wi-Fi headquarters during his stay in Long Beach. "I will be sad without Starbucks," say Danilov. "I will miss them.” No doubt he's stowed plenty of their pungent beans aboard Natsu for the long ride home.

- latitude / at

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Ad: Essex Credit Refinancing Special

May 24, 2010 – Wherever You Sail

© 2018 Essex Credit

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Weekend Racing Wrap-up

May 24, 2010 – The Bay

Spring One Design
Believe it or not, this photo didn't come from Northern California! This is J/105 interim Class President Bernie Girod sending his J/105 Rock 'N Roll at the Santa Barbara YC's Spring One Design Regatta over the weekend. As one of only two or three Southern California J/105 sailors who've actually come up for events on the Bay during the last three years, it doesn't surprise us to see him haulin' the mail in big breeze. A little boat porn for your Monday . . . © 2018 Jane Watkins

Richmond YC sailor Jim Quanci is on a tear so far this season. After winning the Crewed Farallones two weeks ago, Quanci came back this weekend and showed he can get his Cal 40 Green Buffalo to go singlehanded with the best of them, winning the SSS Singlehanded Farallones Race overall in a tough fleet.

Green Buffalo
Jim Quanci's Cal 40 Green Buffalo slides out the Gate on the way to an overall win in Saturday's Singlehanded Farallones Race. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

"From a wind direction- and tide-perspective it was very similar to two weeks ago, with the wind almost due west with not as much of a northerly component as normal," Quanci said. "Favorable tides in both directions made for a quick race. What was different then two weeks ago was there were more wind and waves — 16 to 20 knots of breeze on the way out and some really nice waves. I think the whole fleet struggled with the waves on the way out — I know I did — but the Buffalo loves lumpy seas when the breeze is up. There's nothing like a 10-ft-long, heavy keel to keep you moving through the bump."

It wasn't long before the fleet was into the thick of a perfect day in the Gulf of the Farallones. Elapsed time winner Trunk Monkey is in the bottom right corner with the PBO jib. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

Quanci reached the island in company with the race's elapsed time winner, Skip McCormack's Farr 30 Trunk Monkey, which made it back to the finish in 8h, 19m, 33s after a blistering ride home.

"We set simultaneously as we rounded the islands, but I couldn't save my time on him by the end of the leg," McCormack said. "He sailed a really good upwind leg and hit a couple great shifts as some cloud cover came over and pushed the breeze left near the islands. The key downwind was an early set and hold on for dear life as the boat absolutely let loose! That thing is a monster with the masthead kite up and 1,000 lbs of crew weight missing in 25 knots of breeze. I had that thing absolutely throttled back all the way in from the islands. It was pole forward, and the sheet strapped trying to keep it under control. Even so, we performed a few 'wind checks' at the beginning of the leg!"

Elsewhere on the Bay, The HDA and ODCA sailed their Spring 1 & 2 on Saturday hosted by Berkeley YC, and the results are here.

- latitude / rg

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The Latitude 38 Fishing - and More - Contest

May 24, 2010 – All Over the World

Ethan triumphantly holds up the kind of fish he can't find around Ya Ta Hey, New Mexico. Photo Courtesy Meshach
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We were so impressed by the 75-or-so-lb pargo that Ethan Smith of the Ya Ta Hey, New Mexico-based Ovni 36 Eyoni nailed while free-diving off Thor Temme's custom 45-ft tri Meshach off the coast of Punta Mita, Mexico, that we decided it was time for a Latitude 38 Fishing Contest. There will be different categories: Fishing while underway, fishing while scuba diving, and fishing while snorkeling or free diving. Unfortunately, there won't be any prizes. But this contest is all about bragging rights anyway, isn't it? There will be no deadline for entries. So please send your high res phots, plus a few lines about the nature and location of the catch to Richard.

Eyoni on the sandbar at San Blas during low tide. Ovni's are made to do this, so think twice about doing it with your monohulls. Photo Courtesy Eyoni
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We hate to sound repetitive, but we were also so impressed by the way Ethan Smith of the Ya Ta Hey, New Mexico-based Ovni 36 Eyoni careened his and wife Nancy Jones' boat in the San Blas Estuary, that we also decided to run a contest on careening boats, be they monohull or multihull. You know what to send and where.

Had Ethan and Nancy's photos of their 5-year-old daughter Zada getting a nearly 200-yard-long ride on his surfboard turned out, we would have had a surfing photo contest, too. But as Meatloaf used to sing, two out of three ain't bad.

- latitude / rs

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