Latitude home Latitude 38


Previous 'Lectronic

'Lectronic Latitude Latest 'Lectronic
Subscribe to LectronicLatitude to receive emails when 'Lectronic Latitude is updated.

Weekend Racing wrap-up

August 23, 2010 – The Bay

18-ft Skiff San Francisco Bay
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The Bay Area's JV Gilmour gets a "10" for style on this forced dismount at the St. Francis YC's 18-ft Skiff Regatta. © 2018 Dave Keane

It took a few months, but summer finally arrived on the Bay and just in time for the glut of events this weekend. On the Cityfront, the 18-foot skiffs got underway on Sunday. Aussies Herman Winning, Peter Harris and Euan McNichol aboard the "wood look" Appliances Online got the best of Winning's dad John, who was sailing with crew Andrew Hay and David Gibson aboard Yandoo. Howie Hamlin and the Bay Area's Matt Noble and Santa Cruz' Fritz Lanzinger aboard the CST Composites — incidentally an Australian company — were the top U.S. team in third. The 18s will be sailing through Thursday, so make sure you get down to Crissy Field and check them out.

Melges Race Week
The Melges 32s power downwind at the San Francisco YC's Melges Race Week. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Over on the Circle, San Francisco YC and PRO Vicki Sodaro hosted an extremely competitive Melges Race Week. The event featured 11 Melges 24s, 10 of whom were absolutely crushed by Dan Kaseler's pTeron with a 3-1-1-1-1-1-1-2 to win the regatta by a whopping 26 points — second, third and fourth place were separated by a point between them. Former Melges 24 sailor John Kilroy Jr. and his Samba Pa Ti won the Melges 32 division with the current world champion, young Aussie pro sailor and Morning Light skipper Jeremy Wilmot, on Pieter Taselaar's Bliksem in second. With the build-up to the class's Worlds in September, there was a large coaching presence out there for what's become America's only truly Grand Prix class — it seemed as if there were almost as many RIBs at the dock at SFYC as there were Melges 32s!

Richmond YC hosted its inaugural charity event, the Richmond Riviera Regatta on Saturday and Sunday. Although the turnout wasn't large, with only about 20 boats showing up, we heard that the event raised over $30,000 for its four beneficiaries! The format was for buoy racing on Saturday and a Bay tour pursuit race on Sunday that sent the fleet through the Melges fleet to boot.

Finn Silver Cup
The Finns "juniors" power downwind at the class's Silver Cup. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A stretched St. Francis YC is also hosting the Finn Silver Cup — the class's Junior World Championship — which is being led by American Luke Lawrence. Southern Californian Caleb Paine is lying in third, tied in points with Greek Ioannis Mitakis at 15 points apiece, only six points off the lead. Racing is set to wrap-up on Tuesday.

Dale Williams Kernan 44 Wasabi made it back up to the Bay for the South Beach YC's J/120 and IRC regatta. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

The South Beach YC jumped into the IRC fray by adding the fleet to its J/120 Regatta sailed on the South Bay. Both fleets boasted seven boats and Dan Woolery's King 40 Soozal won yet another Northern California IRC regatta — this time just squeaking by Timothy Ballard's Beneteau 40.7 Inspired Environments by a point after pretty much dominating everything else this year. In the J/120s, it was perennial contender — in a class that has at least four — Steve Madeira with his Mr. Magoo finishing two points clear of arch-rival Barry Lewis on Chance.

Also out racing on the Bay on Saturday were the WBRA on the Cityfront and the Wyliecat 30s on the Circle — you'll find the results for the former at the link, but we're not sure that Wyliecat 30s have web presence. A little further down the coast, the Morro Bay YC's Zongo Cup — we would have loved to have been there but there was too much to do up here — went off like gangbusters according to organizer Paul Irving. "It was an amazing event! We had 17 boats race from Morro Bay to Avila, which by a small margin breaks a record for oceangoing sailboats doing anything together on the Central Coast in at least the last 25 years, if not ever. Everyone was stoked, we had thousands of folks come down for a great concert, and kept the party going til 1 a.m.! There is now a LOT of enthusiasm and support for this event, I think we can really make it into a big event with entries from SB to SF Bay."

That was it in a nutshell. We couldn't be everywhere this weekend, so if you have a good or amusing story, observation, complaint or photo, send it — or one of each — here. Don't forget, the best resource for making your schedule fit into all these events is the Northern California Racing Calendar and YRA Master Schedule.

- latitude / rg

Bookmark and Share

Latitude 38 Crew List

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Did Texting Cause Accident?

August 23, 2010 – San Diego

The National Transportation Safety Board recently revealed that an unspecified number of crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard vessel that collided with a small boat in San Diego Harbor on December 20 were either texting or talking on their cell phones. Though stopping short of saying the activities were the direct cause of the accident, which killed an eight-year-old boy and seriously injured four other passengers, the NTSB urged the Coast Guard to develop a stricter policy regarding the use of electronic devices by its members. Though the agency acknowledges in a letter to the Coast Guard the potential usefulness of such devices as a backup for radio communications, "to achieve the intended improvement in safety, the NTSB believes that the Coast Guard must systematically identify the specific risks associated with distraction while using a cellphone or other wireless electronic device during vessel operations and address those risks in its policies."

- latitude / ld

Bookmark and Share

Ad: Marine Weather for Everyone

August 23, 2010 – San Diego

© 2018 Maritime Institute /

Bookmark and Share

Wishing for a Bigger Boat

August 23, 2010 – Tomales Bay

"All the Photoshopping allegations that were tossed at Ethan Smith's pargo fish awhile back reminded me of the attached photo," writes Dennis Olson who sails his Laser Beastie out of Tomales Bay. "A fish that wasn't caught, only sighted, in Tomales Bay.

Is it real or is it Photoshop? Dennis Olson claims this photo of a shark cruising Tomales Bay is real. © 2018 Dennis Olson

"Shot from my Laser off the East Shore between Marshall Boat Works and Tony's Restaurant in the early '90's, the only digital 'fingerprint' on this photo is the fact it was scanned from an original slide (this was prior to me owning a digital camera). I put this up on a Laser forum some time ago and was amused at how many skeptics responded with technical 'proofs' and reasoning that it was Photoshopped. I swear it's not. Do I know for sure it's a shark? It sure looks like one. I've been sailing Tomales Bay on my Laser for 27 years, and that's the only fin I've seen like it."

We don't know about Dennis but if a fish that big was swimming around us, we'd rather be on the boat in the background than on a Laser.

- latitude / ld

Bookmark and Share

Hurricane Season

August 23, 2010 – Eastern Pacific and Atlantic

If you have a boat in the Caribbean or the Gulf or East Coasts of the United States, now is the time to be concerned about hurricanes. While hurricanes are possible from June until late November, the most and the worst of them occur in the months of September and October.

Tropical Storm Danielle is currently the only activity in the Atlantic, but that could change soon. © 2018 NOAA

Hurricane forecasters, whose record for predicting the number of hurricanes and tropical storms in any given year has been poor, have called for a very busy year. One reason is that the water in the Atlantic/Carribean has been unusually warm, and warm water is one key ingredient in the formation and sustenance of tropical storms and hurricanes. So far it's been very quiet for marine interests, with only one mild hurricane, Alex, and three tropical storms. Nonetheless, everything could change in the next two months, so if you have a boat in this region, be prepared and keep your fingers crossed.

Tropical Storm Frank is swirling up off the Mexican coast. © 2018 NOAA

There are always more tropical storms and hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific (Mexico) zone, but usually they just head to the west or northwest and open ocean, and therefore don't cause much damage. So far there have been three hurricanes — including Celia with 140 knots — and four tropical storms, but there has been little damage to marine interests. But as in the Atlantic/Caribbean, September and October tend to be the busy months, and are also the months in which hurricanes have a much greater tendency to travel more to the northwest and north, thereby threatening Baja, the Sea of Cortez, and even the east coast of the Sea of Cortez. So watch out. One reason for optimism is that water temperatures in the Eastern Pacific appear to be much cooler than normal — but you never can tell.

Water temperatures in the Eastern Pacific are cooler than normal. © 2018 NOAA

- latitude / rs

Bookmark and Share

Top | Index of Stories | Previous 'Lectronic Edition
Copy this link and paste it into your RSS reader 'Lectronic RSS feed
How to submit your own story, visit here


'Lectronic Latitude | Download the Magazine | Crew List & Party
Calendar | Letters | Changes in Latitudes | Features
Classy Classifieds | Place a Classy Ad | Advertisers' Links | Display Advertising
Links | New Stuff | Subscriptions | Distribution | Contact Us | Home
  The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine.
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC. All rights reserved.