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A Soggy Start to Spring

March 2, 2011 – All Over the Bay Area

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Readers not on the West Coast can still get their copy of the magazine today -- just download the whole thing from the link in the story! Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

March made like a lion last night, sending a roaring front through the Bay Area that had the halyards slapping. Hopefully you made it to your local marina, yacht club or chandlery in time to pick up the March issue of Latitude 38 — which hit the usual Bay Area spots earlier in the day — to keep your mind off the weather. If not, run between the raindrops to grab up your copy today. In it, you'll find a full report on one of the most popular races on the Bay, the Three Bridge Fiasco; the first set of profiles of cruisers getting ready for this year's Pacific Puddle Jump; the Dummy's Guide to Getting Into Racing; the story of an old woodie's restoration; and of course more than you can read in one sitting. Just don't forget your sou'wester!

- latitude / ld

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Fall Crew List Party

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Race Notes

March 2, 2011 – The Bay

USA 17 waits to be unloaded at Pier 80 on Monday. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In the last few days, Oracle Racing seized yet another opportunity to build awareness of the 34th America's Cup when USA 17, winner of the 33rd contest, arrived at Pier 80 early Monday morning. A crowd of all the local mainstream media outlets, Golden Gate YC boosters, and sailing journalists were joined by the America's Cup Event Authority press officer Stephanie Martin and Oracle team members John Kostecki and Ian Burns. The unloading of USA 17 and its 223-ft wing didn't actually happen until yesterday morning, but on Monday afternoon the longshoremen at Pier 80 had already unloaded USA 87 — one of the team's IACC boats from AC 32, plus a long, skinny, low-CG keel bulb. From what was said, it sounds pretty unlikely that USA 17 will sail on the Bay, and it also may be some time until it's available for public viewing.

Oracle Racing's Bay Area product John Kostecki talks with local mainstream media organizations. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Here's the J/V TP 52 Bigamist 7 waiting to be unloaded from the same ship as USA 17. The boat will be a replacement for Ashley Wolfe's Mayhem. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One thing that also hadn't been offloaded was the TP 52 Bigamist 7, a late generation Judel/Vrolijk boat that is rumored to be a new Mayhem for Ashley Wolfe's Bay Area-based program, which has been campaigning an '05 Farr design regularly for the last few years.

Local Suzy Beattie happened to be showing Oracle Racing's Matty Mason around Marin Saturday morning, looking at places to relocate for the 34th Cup. They stopped by to pick up a couple mags and get their photo taken. Mason's will be one of many Cup families coming to the Bay Area sooner than you might think. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In other local racing news, the Berkeley YC Mids Champions of Champions race went down on Sunday, and Ray Lotto's El Raton — winner of the 18-boat Express 27 class (Saturday series) — beat out former winner Richard von Ehrenkrook and his Cal 20 Can O' Whoopass by a scant two seconds to put his name on the Kirt Brooks Perpetual Trophy.

Pete Cook and his crew aboard his Ultimate 24 For Pete's Sake placed third in BYC's Champion of Champions. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

On the Cityfront, the St. Francis YC put its fleet of new J/22s into action at the new California Dreamin' Series. Eight teams showed up to duke it out in the match racing regatta, and when reigning Prince of Wales Trophy champion Shawn Bennett's team — Melissa and Tom Purdy and Mike Sterman — blanked Olympian Russ Silvestri in the final 2-0, they got one step closer to qualifying for the Long Beach YC's Ficker Cup.

Wrapping things up, we finally received a response to our attempts at contacting the l'Hydroptère team about their plans for a shot at the TransPac record. It would appear that the team is indeed headed this way, but not this year.

"One of the future objectives for l'Hydroptère is to attempt the Pacific record," wrote the team's Matthieu Dujon. "As the boat is looking for additional partners, this adventure will take place in 2012, in order, as well, to optimize organization."

So it sounds like they'll be after Olivier de Kersauson's 4d, 19h, 31m Los Angeles-to-Honolulu record, not the TransPac race record. Rumor has it that they've already booked space to moor the boat when they come to the Bay, which is no small feat given that she's 65 feet long, 78 feet wide and draws 13-plus feet!

- latitude / rg

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Ad: Northstar Risk Management

March 2, 2011 – Walnut Creek

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The 'Lynch Mob' Hits the Caribbean

March 2, 2011 – St. Barth, French West Indies

Having recently opened up the Latitude 38 winter office in St. Barth, French West Indies, we were in line for a drink at Le Select the other evening with former San Francisco sailor Guillaume Touhadian when a young woman behind us struck up a conversation. It turned out to be Chelle Deloos who, in her ever-understated manner, advised us that she was one of nine sailors from the Santa Cruz area who had chartered a Moorings 50.5 for this weekend's Heineken Regatta in St. Martin.

Here's Chelle! One of the more outgoing members of the Santa Cruz 'Lynch Mob' entry in this weekend's Heineken Regatta in St. Martin. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As you can imagine, in almost no time she was perched on our motorcycle and posing wildly in front of the Le Select sign. And a few moments later, we were sitting at a table with the entire team. In the accompanying photo they are, from the left, John Kim, Nancy Beekam, Gary Schwehr, Liz Kroft, Brook Callahan, Georgina Chang, Chelle Deloos, Maxfield Murray, Capt. Eric Lynch, from whom the group's 'Lynch Mob' name comes.

And here's the disparate 'Lynch Mob' in all their 'we oughta have our own reality show' glory, fueling up with cheeseburgers and frites at Le Select. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

They turned out to be a great bunch of people with about as different life situations as one could imagine. Their commonality is that they all do the Santa Cruz YC's Wednesday night beer can races. We'll be following their Heinie fortunes closely, and might even do the Around the Island Race with them.

Speaking of St. Martin, the captain of the mega motoryacht Cheetah Moon is now saying that his chef, who was murdered, had not been tortured. It had been previously reported that all his teeth had been extracted, his eyes gouged out, and his nipples cut off. It's hard to know what to make of the latest report. Is the captain just trying to make the man's death less unpalatable to the family? We don't know. For the record, there have been three murders on the island of St. Martin so far this year, which percentage-wise would put it into a tropical Oakland category. It's a great place, but you want to be aware and stay in a group.

- latitude / rs

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In Search of Olson 30 for Zen Sailing

March 2, 2011 – From California to St. Barth

Just because Poco a Poco in Puerto Rico wasn't the right Olson 30 doesn't mean the quest for Esprit de Gamelle has ended. Oh no. In fact, the La Gamelle Syndicate now realizes that buying an Olson 30 in Puerto Rico to relocate to the French West Indies would have been just too easy.

Poco a Poco ended up not being a good choice for the La Gamelle Syndicate, but no other type of boat will do. © 2018 Leighton O'Connor

For those who missed the first installment in the adventure, the La Gamelle Syndicate is looking for an Olson 30 to bring to St. Barth in remembrance of: 1) the iconic La Gamelle bar in St. Barth and all her late night denizens; 2) the late well-hung Gustavian low-rider Gamelle who, pawing in the sand at Shell Beach, uncovered the $20,000 Rolex needed to fund the opening of La Gamelle Restaurant; and 3) certainly not least, the late George Olson, the soft-spoken but talented designer and builder of the Olson 30, as well as the entire ultralight community in Santa Cruz.

The syndicate's new hope is that the Olson 30 that will be La Gamelle can be found in Northern California, to be followed by an intensive Bay sailing circuit, a pilgrimage to the ultralight center of Santa Cruz, and stops at all California ports down to San Diego. From there she'll be loaded on a trailer for some sailing stops at a lake in Texas (suggestions welcomed), New Orleans' Lake Ponchartrain, and Biscayne Bay, before being loaded onto a ship in early '12 bound for St. Martin for entry in the Heineken Regatta. Following that, it will be 'home' to St. Barth for good, with lots of tradewind surfing off St. Barth.

As such, the La Gamelle Syndicate is now looking for an Olson 30. Since she's to be used for Zen sailing, it's important that she be clean and structurally sound. On the other hand, things like electronics, countless bags of sails, a double-spreader rig, and an eliptical rudder are not important. If you have a suitable 'big bang for the buck' Olson 30 or know somebody who does, please contact Richard, as she could become part of sailing history.

And please, no offers of other types of boats. The syndicate members are all serial owners of Olson 30s. And as Guillaume Touhadian, who has lived in Gustavia for five years but sailed out of San Francisco with a Olson 30 for nine years, points out, "an Olson 30 is THE perfect boat for daysailing off St. Barth."

- latitude / rs

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