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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

February 6, 2012 – San Francisco Bay

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Playing the current close to shore was more important than chasing breeze. © 2018 Steve Waterloo

Sometimes the challenge in racing comes from jostling for position on a crowded start line and sometimes from making tactical mark roundings, clean spinnaker sets and douses, and well-coordinated jibes. Often, on San Francisco Bay, the challenge comes from keeping the boat under control in high winds, keeping everyone aboard and relatively uninjured, keeping the centerboard down and the mast up, and keeping sails and hardware from simply blowing up. That happens most often in summer, but we can get gear-busting conditions in the winter too.

This weekend, the challenge in racing came from lack of wind, and, in some venues, plenty of ebbing current. Playing the current correctly was the most important factor for beating the competition in the Golden Gate YC Midwinter race on Saturday. That meant creeping up through the piers from the GGYC start line almost to Aquatic Park in a thin line of flood, never mind those little breaths of 'wind'. Fortunately, once the racers were forced to head out into the ebb to get to their next mark, Pt. Knox buoy just west of Angel Island, enough breeze had filled in to get most of them around the course. See

Golden Gate YC Midwinters
GGYC racers short-tacked up the Cityfront in a negligible northeasterly to stay in the counter-current. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

No such luck for Sausalito YC's midwinter race on Sunday. They had wind in the morning, but it shut down just in time for the noon warning. The race committee never got anyone started and finally gave up, for the third time out of four races so far. The series standings come from Race 2 in December, when they had a nice 10-12 knot breeze. See

The breeze was just enough — and the ebb less of a factor — for the smaller boats over on the Richmond Riviera. The El Toro Seniors opted for five races with no lunch break, and got them all in with half an hour to spare for putting their boats away before the Super Bowl. The slightly larger dinghies on the middle course were able to get in two races before lunch and two after. And the 'big' boats on the Southampton course managed three races. This quietly huge small boat regatta, run by Richmond YC, has more than 300 entries in a menagerie of 34 designs ranging from El Toros to Hobie Cats to Wylie Wabbits. See

Wylie Wabbits
Wylie Wabbits looked more like tortoises than hares on Sunday. © 2018 /

All of the above series conclude next month, on the weekend of March 3-4.

- latitude / chris

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Latitude 38 Crew List

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

The State of Sailing Talk

February 6, 2012 – St. Francis YC, San Francisco

Latitude 38 Associate Publisher John Arndt will talk on the state of sailing and the sailing industry at the St. Francis YC's Yachting Luncheon this Wednesday. He'll discuss challenges and opportunities — including ones the America's Cup will bring to local sailing organizations — and how Latitude 38,, Summer Sailstice and other events/organizations are working to promote participation in sailing. The buffet lunch starts at 11:45 a.m. with John's hour-long presentation starting at 12:30 p.m. sharp. Open to all members of Bay Area yacht clubs. For more info, go to the Yachting Luncheon web page.

- latitude / ladonna

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Stand Out in the Crowd

February 6, 2012 – Everywhere

Latitude 38 T-Shirts and Hat
Brighten up your crew with logowear from Latitude 38!
Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC /

There's no better way to stand out in a crowd than by wearing a Latitude 38 T-shirt, available in an array of fruity colors plus basic black. Choose your favorite color in our online chandlery. While you're at it, pick up an extra for your ditch bag — they make great signal flags!

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OCC and CCA Award Winners

February 6, 2012 – All Over the World

"My friends, Thies Matzen and Kicki Ericson, have just won the Cruising Club of America Blue Water Medal and the Ocean Cruising Club Award of Merit, becoming only the second sailors to win both honors in the same year," writes Beth Leonard, who, with partner Evans Starzinger, has also been the recipient of a number of high-profile cruising awards for voyages aboard their Shannon 37 Silk and their 47-ft Van De Stadt Hawk. "And they did it on the iconic, 30-ft, wooden boat Wanderer III that carried the Hiscocks around the world on their first two circumnavigations. This is the second Blue Water Medal for Wanderer III — only one other boat has had that honor in the more than 88-year history of the award."

Kicki Ericson and Thies Matzen have sailed 135,000 nautical miles over the past 23 years aboard Eric and Susan Hiscock's old Wanderer III. Photo Courtesy Wanderer III
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Thies and Kicki really are an extraordinary cruising couple. Having met in the BVIs in '89, the pair have since sailed Wanderer III around the world twice, spending a lot of time in the high southern latitudes, including two years (winters too!) in South Georgia. The fact that the Laurent Giles-designed classic is not only still floating, but has now completed four circuits of the globe and is still in practically the same condition as when she was launched in '52, is a testament to the couple's skill and dedication to a life of self-reliance.

Thies and Kicki are currently on their way to Buenos Aires for a refit, but will make time to pop over to the New York YC on March 2 to collect their Blue Water Medal, and then to England on March 30 for the OCC award ceremony. We'd love to direct you to their blog, but as they've kept Wanderer III nearly as low-tech as the Hiscocks did, you'll only find their stories in back issues of Cruising World, Wooden Boat, and so on.

- latitude / ladonna

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