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Weekend Racing Wrap-up

May 23, 2011 – The Bay and Slightly Beyond

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Timo Bruck sails his J/120 Twist to monohull elapsed-time honors in the Singlehanded Farallones Race. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

The 57 sailors who made it to the starting line for the Singlehanded Sailing Society's Singlehanded Farallones Race got a ripper of a trip around the Rockpile on Saturday. By the time the spray had settled, only 36 boats made it all the way around the 58-mile course. With many boats seeing sustained breeze into the mid-20s that never produced the expected lift to the island, and a ripping ebb for the outbound leg, there were plenty of war stories of broken gear and battered sailors.

"I think this was my fourth Singlehanded Farallones," said Timo Bruck, who sailed his J/120 Twist to monohull elapsed-time honors in 7h, 6m, 2s. "It was definitely the roughest trip heading out, and the most talked about afterwards."

First-timer and Sportboat fleet winner John Kernot, sailed his Moore 24 Banditos. "Honestly my plan for the race was more centered on logistics than tactics, and that plan disintegrated along with my Autohelm at about the Lightbucket on the way out," he said. "I started with a # 3 and full main, and reefed at Bonita just before the washing machine started. At some point on the way out, I heard a bang that wasn't comforting but couldn't see anything wrong. It was only when I gybed under the Rock and was shaking out the reef that I saw the gooseneck was only partially attached. Nothing really could be done but hope it didn't tear off completely."

Tim Knowles Wyliecat 39 Lilith came in third overall on corrected time. "I've been doing these since 1992," Knowles said. "And maybe I've just forgotten some of the others, but these conditions were the toughest I can remember.  However, the sun was out all day, and whenever I began to dwell on how uncomfortable it was and how much of a beating Lilith was taking for me, I would think, 'This could be a lot worse . . . I could be on a Moore."

Larry Olsen's Greene 35 Humdinger took the overall elapsed and corrected time honors. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Of course the payback for the slog out to the island was the screaming run home. Knowles made it home in 3h, 6m, with his anemometer reading into the low-30s, and his autopilot useless in the "squirelly waves."

Bruck took the con from his electronic crewmember. "I let the autopilot drive for a little while after rounding the island in calm water and just 18 knots of wind, but then it started surfing the boat," he said. "No way was I gonna let a robot have all the fun, so I turned it off and hand steered all the way home."

Larry Olsen's Walter Greene 35 Trimaran Humdinger was the overall elapsed and corrected time winner, taking 6h, 32m, 57s to complete the course. The top monohull on corrected time was Dan Benjamin's Wyliecat 30 Whirlwind.

La Paloma
James Hennefer's IOD La Paloma bashes the Bay off Alcatraz. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Elswhere on the Bay, Berekley YC hosted the YRA Spring #1 for HDA and ODCA on the Cityfront, and Corinthian YC hosted the WBRA on Knox. You'll find the results for both at the YRA website.

- latitude / rg

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Fall Crew List Party

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

A Different Kind of 'Milk Run'

May 23, 2011 – The Briny Blue

This image of a milky sea in the Indian Ocean shows the phenomenon to be roughly the size of Connecticut. © 2018 Steven Miller /

Many sailors have seen the elusive green flash, but we wonder how many have seen an (apparently) even rarer event: the so-called “milk sea” or “milky sea” that emits an intense glow at night. This is not to be confused with ‘regular’ bioluminescence (also known by the common but technically incorrect term “phosphorescence”), in which planktonic organisms can be excited to light up at night by boat wakes or waves breaking on the beach. In a milk sea, the whole ocean glows, often for hundreds of miles.

Sailors have been reporting this phenomenon for centuries — Jules Verne made accurate mention of it in his 1869 novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea — but it wasn’t until 2005 that satellite images were discovered to have recorded such an event in the Indian Ocean off Somalia. In 1995, an area about the size of Connecticut glowed for three nights in a row. A ship transiting the area confirmed the miles of glowing water. That was just one of 235 documented sightings of milk seas since 1915. Most — but not all — were reported in the Indian Ocean and near Indonesia.

Scientists are so far at a loss to explain the phenomenon. One hypothesis is that milk seas may be caused by biolumescent bacteria reacting with something else. “The problem with the bacteria hypothesis is that an extremely high concentration of bacteria must exist before they begin to produce light,” says Steven Miller, the Naval Research Laboratory scientist who led the space-based discovery. What could cause the massive blooms of bacteria — and what they could possibly react with to form a milk sea — remain a mystery.

Have any of you readers encountered encountered this type of ‘milk run’? We'd love to hear about it.

- latitude / jr

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Ad: 15th Birthday Present for KKMI

May 23, 2011 – Pt. Richmond

KKMI Pt. Richmond will get a shiny new Travelift for its 15th birthday.
© 2018 KKMI /

For KKMI's upcoming 15th birthday, the Pt. Richmond yard will be unwrapping a new Travelift. The machine will be making its debut this spring and we are looking for an operator. If you, or someone you know, would be interested in joining the KKMI Team as our new driver, please download an application here. Ideal applicants are experienced in lift and heavy equipment operation/maintenance, enjoy working around boats and are problem solvers. Completed applications can be emailed, dropped at either office or faxed to (510) 235-4664.

© 2018 KKMI /

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'02 Puddle Jump Reunion Set for March

May 23, 2011 – Banderas Bay, Mexico

Fatu Hiva 2002
After completing the 3,000-mile passage from Mexico, lying at anchor at Fatu Hiva was both beautiful and blissful. Photo Courtesy Raven
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

During the many years that we've been reporting on the Pacific Puddle Jump migration from the West Coast of the Americas to French Polynesia we've noticed that in some years the fleet members seemed to be extremely well organized and other years, well . . . not so much.

The Pacific Puddle Jump Class of 2002 was a standout, as its members seemed to have it all together in terms of organization and planning — and that still holds true today.

With the help of Harbormaster Dick Markie of the Paradise Village Resort and Marina at Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, de facto group leader Clark Straw of the San Diego-based Mason 54 Final Straw is organizing a grand reunion in Banderas Bay, to be held March 1-3, 2012 — roughly the 10 year anniversary of when most boats set sail for the storied anchorages of the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands.

02 ladies
Looking sweet and sexy after a few days rest, the '02 ladies strike a pose before a night out at Bora Bora. Photo Latitude / Raven
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"Our plans include an opening night pig roast and South Pacific Night at the Puerto Vallarta YC, which was under construction at when we left in '02," Clark explains. "On Friday, we're planning a trip to La Cruz to see the new marina and to meet with the 2012 Puddle Jumpers. The marina may host a cocktail party for us and then we're planning to have dinner, drinks and music at Philo's, our friend and fellow '02 PJ'er Philo Hayward's famous bar and restaurant in La Cruz. On Saturday, we're planning a beach party at Paradise Village. The rest of the time will be leisure, fun, and mixing with fellow Puddle Jumpers." A hotel package may also be offered.

02 guys
The studly '02 warriors bare their breasts at Bora Bora. Photo Courtesy Raven
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you count yourself among the PPJ Class of 2002, but aren't on Clark's mailing list, shoot him and email. This is one shindig you don't want to miss!

- latitude / at

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