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Weekend Racing Wrap-up

June 30, 2010 – The Bay and Beyond

Fast 50s LBRW
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The Fast 50s try to find some real estate at Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week. © 2017 Rich Roberts

Between Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week and the San Francisco Sailing World/Sperry Topsider N.O.O.D. Regatta, there was plenty of racing last weekend. Down in Long Beach, 139 boats in 14 one design and six handicap divisions — the latter split between IRC and PHRF — came out for one of the West Coast's longest-running big boat regattas Friday through Sunday. Although the regatta never got the 14- to 20-knot seabreeze it usually gets, the breeze was always above 8 knots, and got up into the above-12 range as well according to those whom we've talked to.

Farr 40s
With 11 boats, the Farr 40s were the largest big boat one design fleet at LBRW. © 2017 Rich Roberts

The Fast 50 division, which inlcuded everything from St. FYC member Dale Williams' Kernan 44 Wasabi to Australian Alan Brierty's R/P 63 Limit and Lorenzo Berho's Kernan 70 Peligroso, went to Ed Feo's Newport Beach-based Andrews 45 Locomotion, which just pipped Peligroso by one point in the PHRF-scored division. Although all 11 of the boats were racing together, there were two subdivisions within that division, the six-boat IRC division, which went to Limit, and the 3-boat TP 52 division which went to David Team's Rebel Yell. The Bay Area-based TP 52 Flash, co-skippered for the event by owner Mark Jones and charterer Mick Schlens, finished as the runner-up in the IRC and TP 52 fleets, which is somewhat perplexing given that both subdivisions were rated under IRC.

Open 5.70
A whopping 15 Open 5.70s showed up for LBRW, and constituted the largest one design division at the regatta. © 2017 Rich Roberts

The eleven Farr 40s — which keep going from strength to strength in a West Coast resurgence of the boat — marked the biggest of the big boat one design divisions with Jeff Janov's Dark Star taking the title by ten points over perennial contender, Dave Voss' Piranha. There were three Northern California entries Among the regatta's biggest one design division, the Open 5.70s. Stephen Gonzalez' stockton-based Delta-v, Kathy Conte's Sequoia YC-based Boudicca, and Paul Dorsey form the Inverness YC's DiobolicLRB.

Flash TP 52
Co-skippered by Mick Schlens and Mark Jones, the Bay Area-based TP 52 Flash was the runner-up in the IRC division. © 2017 Rich Roberts

The regatta was the final stop on the Ullman Sails Inshore series, and you'll find those cumulative results here.

F-18s on the Bay
The 15 F-18s constituted the largest class at the Sailing World/Sperry Topsider N.O.O.D. regatta last weekend at St. Francis YC. © 2017 Erik Simonson / www.h20shots.com

The N.O.O.D. Regatta, back again on the Bay after a six-year hiatus, brought out 18 classes for two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday hosted by St. Francis YC. What used to be a regatta for offshore boats — N.O.O.D stands for National Offshore One Design — has morphed into something that had everything from 13 kiters to a small, seven-boat IRC division.

Corsair 24s
Seven Corsair 24s raced as a one design fleet at the N.O.O.D. regatta. © 2017 Sergei Zavarin / www.ultimate-yachtshots.smugmug.com

While the idea of a mega regatta like this is theoretically worthwhile, the practical implication of having so many fleets represented was that there just weren't enough sailors to go around. Despite the regatta being on the season schedules for many of the Bay's one design fleets, it drew paltry numbers compared to the other events on their schedules. For example, the J/105s, which even at a smaller-scale Stone Cup brought out 16 boats, could only manage a 12-boat turnout. The Express 27s only brought out 12 boats. The Knarrs — easily capable of bringing out numbers in the 20s — turned out 15 boats on the first day, only to see two return for Sunday's racing. Only seven Folkboats showed up; a month earlier there were 13 out for the Woodies Invitational. There were only 14 Lasers; a dinghy regatta over at Richmond YC is unlikely to draw less than 20. A look at the turnouts among all the divisions shows that 11 of the 18 divisions had seven or fewer boats, and only two of those — the J/24s and Corsair 24s — were at their maximum practical capacity for the Bay.

Eclipse
Mark Dowdy's Eclipse won the seven boat Express 37 division. © 2017 Sergei Zavarin / www.ultimate-yachtshots.smugmug.com

There were some bright spots though, specifically the Corsair 24s, F18s and Wetas. As far as we know the Corsair 24s haven't really ever had a one design presence on the Bay, so to see seven of them out racing together is gratifying. The F18s were the largest class at the regatta — at least among those where most of the boats sailed both days — with a total of 15 boats, and it was really great to see these speedy little racing cats get some traction up here beyond the Delta Ditch Run. There were 11 Wetas — their biggest turnout on the Bay so far — and it's awesome to see these quick little trimarans get some numbers as they really seem to be striking a chord with people on the West Coast.

F 18s
Although they've gotten good turnouts in the Delta Ditch Run, the N.O.O.D. marked the first time the F-18s have really had a big fleet for w/l racing on the Bay. © 2017 Erik Simonson / www.h2oshots.com

I think St. Francis YC and the N.O.O.D organizers need to go back to the drawing board on this one. First of all, having the regatta the weekend after the Coastal Cup is probably not the best scheduling, especially when the Ditch Run — gaining increasing popularity among Southern California sailors in classes represented at the N.O.O.D. like the Melges 24s, and F-18s — is the weekend before it. Having the event so close to the Pac Cup also means that the sailor pool is drastically reduced as Hawaii efforts are taking much of their time.

Before the hiatus, the N.O.O.D was on or near the Labor Day weekend and represented part of a Northern California swing that included the Rolex Big Boat Series and at one time, the San Francisco YC's now-defunct Quick Boat Regatta. Holding the regatta where it is in the schedule now is almost worse than the — thankfully now resolved — situation with the Ensenada Race and the Border Run. Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week is one of the biggest regattas on the West Coast; it's largest one design fleet, the Open 5.70s, would probably be into a N.O.O.D Regatta on the Bay. I have to imagine the Viper 640s would be into a N.O.O.D event too, but it's hard to be in two places at once. Given the scheduling, and dilution of the talent pool associated with trying to have a mega regatta on the Bay, this one needs a good re-thinking.

- latitude / rg

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The Wackiest World Tour

June 30, 2010 – Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

If there's one thing we've learned during our three decades of interviewing sailors in far-flung destinations, it's that first impressions don't always clue you in to the whole story. Such was the case when we met a bright-eyed, young Frenchman in Moorea with wild curly hair and a scraggly beard. Crewing aboard the 113-ft German schooner Infinity, Olivier Peyre was one of many twenty-something travelers aboard who seemed to be completely carefree, and living for the moment. But there was much more to Olivier's story.

Olivier Peyre
Illustrating the notion that having an upbeat attitude will open doors for you wherever you go, Olivier has experienced the kindness of strangers wherever he's traveled  including Brazil and Colombia. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Turns out, he is a modern-day Don Quixote who's chasing what most would consider to be an impossible dream: to circumnavigate the globe utilizing virtually no fossil fuels. That is, via bicyling, paragliding and sailing. He set out from Grenoble, France, in July 2008, peddling south with his lightweight mountaineering kite on his back. In Morroco he hitched the first of many rides on a sailboat; this one bound for the Canary Islands. From there he worked his way to Brazil via Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands. Arriving at Bahia, he biked all the way to Paraguay. "So, you must have an extensive background in biking," we asked. "No, actually, I hadn't done much biking at all before all this." "But you've done a lot of paragliding, right?" "No, not much background in paragliding either, and I didn't know anything about sailing. I don't know much," he says with an ear-to-ear smile, "but I want to know more. So my attitude is, 'Let's do it.'"

paragliding
Olivier rides the updrafts, somewhere on the lonely coast of Peru (we think). He's no pro yet, but he's got the whole world to learn in. © 2017 Courtesy flynroll.com

As you'll read in Latitude 38 later this summer, Olivier's ongoing adventures have included dragging his 145-lb bike over a 12,000-ft Andean pass between Argentina and Chile, and joining a pair of vagabonding ex-drug dealers at Cartegena for a cruise to the San Blas Islands, where his headlamp was the only source of electricity aboard. As we learned long ago, long-term travelers are some of the most interesting people you could possibly meet, because they've invariably got a wealth of great stories to tell.

- latitude / at

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June 30, 2010 – A Waterway Near You



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Baseball - The Ha-Ha Against Turtle Bay

June 30, 2010 – Bahia de Tortugas, Mexico

As of yesterday, there were 122 boats signed up and paid up for this fall's Baja Ha-Ha rally. While that's good news, the even more fun news is that the Ha-Ha folks are in the process of putting together a baseball game after the end of the first leg, pitting the Ha-Ha All-Stars against the Turtle Bay All-Stars in a nothing-serious 'World Series of Baja'.

It's all coming about because of Mike Priest of Marina del Rey, who did four Baja Bash deliveries this spring. We'll let him tell the story:

"We stopped in Turtle Bay on April 16, and noticed that the people there were building a baseball field with stands and a dugout. When we passed through again on May 15, we were stunned to see the additions to the stadium. They had a roof over the stands, a P.A. system, and a full crowd to enjoy the Sunday afternoon baseball drama.

Field
When Mike stopped at Turtle Bay in April, the stadium was pretty basic. Photo Courtesy Mike Priest
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"I did a little investigating, and learned that little Turtle Bay alone has four baseball teams, one for each of the two fishing coops, one for the lobster coop, and one for the abalone coop. These are real hardball teams with full uniforms, practices and drills, and they play both locally as well as travelling to other cities, town and villages in Baja.

"While the baseball season will no doubt be over in November, I've made the suggestion to the Grand Poobah that there be a baseball game between the Ha-Ha and Turtle Bay. And that as a gesture of friendship, cruisers might also like to bring down baseball equipment, including softball stuff for the kids — old uniforms, but also old bats, balls and gloves. The one thing that the adult players could always use is more baseballs. For as nice as the new stadium is, there isn't a blade of grass, so the covers of the new hardballs get worn out quickly. As such, good baseballs are saved for the games. So a bunch of those might be really appreciated."

Better field
Come May, when Priest stopped at Turtle Bay again, he was gobsmacked to see that the stadium had gotten a roof, a net backstop and much more. Photo Courtesy Mike Priest
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Grand Poobah thinks that Priest's suggestion is a great one. As such, we're in the process of scheduling a game between the Ha-Ha and Turtle Bay for the afternoon of Thursday, October 28. This had traditionally been a 'free day' for Ha-Ha folks to wander around town and perhaps meet later at the Vera Cruz restaurant. An afternoon baseball game would give a little bit of focus for those who might be interested in it, and a good chance for even more interaction with the locals. Like the Ha-Ha, we're going to try to arrange a 'nothing serious' game — which would mean that participation is open to everyone, including men, women, children, and left-handers. And if it's successful, maybe we'll even have a rematch during the Beach Party the next day. We'll have more details as the Ha-Ha approaches, but if you come across any unused and unwanted baseball gear, why not set it aside?

Baseballs
Priest, in the white hat, presents the manager of the Pescadores, with a bunch of practice balls prior to their game with Guerro Negro. Photo Courtesy Mike Priest
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / rs

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June 30, 2010 –



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