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Sunny Days Bring Summer Play

May 11, 2012 – West Coast of California

Sam's Opening Day
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Boatloads of boaters worked on their tans during Opening Day. With any luck, tomorrow will bring similar conditions. Photo Latitude / John
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

When foreign vacationers arrive in California for the first time, many are surprised to learn that the whole coastline is not blessed with the hot, sunny weather they've seen on Bay Watch. Sadly, here in the Bay Area, typical conditions are more likely to inspire you to wear two layers of fleece, than a skimpy bikini. But there are exceptions. And with any luck, this weekend will be one of them — Saturday is supposed to be particularly sunny, with clear skies and zero chance of precipitation.

With moderate winds predicted for the Saturday and Sunday, we suggest you load up the cooler, shanghai a crew of close friends, and get out on the water to offset the stresses of your work week. We'll see you out there!

- latitude / andy

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Sailing to Stay Young

May 11, 2012 – San Francisco Bay


Connie Spanier turns 97 this summer, but she doesn't let a little thing like age keep her from sailing every chance she gets. © 2017 Greg Clausen

Anyone who says sailing is a young man's — or young woman's — game hasn't met Cornelia Spanier, who turns 97 on July 26. "My aunt Connie is an amazing lady," writes Greg Clausen, who keeps his Santana 30 Wisdom in Sausalito. "She's living life like it's supposed to be lived — to the fullest. But we're a family of lifelong sailors and it keeps us young.

"Connie lived in San Francisco for 37 years, then moved to Moraga on October 16, 1989. We know what happened the next day (the Loma Prieta earthquake). After two miserable years in the 'burbs, she moved back to the Marina District, saying she didn't care if The City fell down around her, she wasn't going to live anywhere else. After another 22 years of city life, Connie recently decided to move to Hawaii to live near her son Barry. Opening Day on April 29 aboard our friend Scott Leishman's Beneteau Oceanis 47 was her last grand tour of the Bay. She moved two days later.
 
"My aunt loves sailing on her namesake, Cornelia, a Westsail 42 in Lahaina. There will be lots of voyages yet to come until the really big party three years from now!"

- latitude / ladonna

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Ad: Ballena Isle Marina

May 11, 2012 – Alameda, CA

 

HIDDEN TREASURE

 

Ballena Isle Marina, Alameda

© 2017 Ballena Isle Marina / www.Ballenaisle.com

NEW 60’ Slips and Dry Storage on the Bay at Ballena Isle Marina

Ballena Isle Marina has brand new 60’ slips now available directly on the Bay in Alameda. We also have a dry storage area for speedy access to fishing, America's Cup events, and all the wonders of the Bay. Contact us soon because 60’ slips are in short supply. Check us out at www.Ballenaisle.com. Contact us at email, 510-523-5528, or check us out on Facebook.

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Racing Preview

May 11, 2012 – San Francisco and Monterey Bays

Laser Championship
Last year's Laser Championship in Monterey. © 2017 Courtesy Garth Hobson / MPYC

Small boat racing this weekend includes the Monterey Fleet Laser Championship at MPYC – a championship that dates back to the '70s – and the Flight of the Bulls (El Toros) at Foster City Boat/Dog Park. The Laser regatta is the next event in Svendsen's Grand Prix, and the last ocean venue in that series until the fall. "This year shows a pack of people at the top of the current standings," says local Laser sailor Tracy Usher, "but the Grand Prix is still wide open with only three events sailed to date and plenty of regattas left." See http://d24.laserforum.org.

Laser racer
Our local Laser Distrct 24 stays busy. This is John Andron in last weekend's Elvstrom Zellerbach Regatta. © 2017 Chris Ray / www.printroom.com/pro/crayivp

According to the El Toro newsletter, Bull Session, the Flight of the Bulls can be one of the most demanding and challenging of the entire Senior Series: "Are you ready for the challenge? This is NOT a Beginners race." Advanced Juniors are encouraged to sail along with the Seniors. See www.eltoroyra.org.

"Ever jumped in the water with your foulies and boots on, gotten into or righted a liferaft, set off flares, or used a fire extinguisher?" asks Ashley Perrin of Racing Yacht Management. "If not and you race offshore (or just hang out in the Bay) you should come and do the ISAF Sea Survival course that we are putting on at SFYC. We are importing an instructor from the UK for the course." The two-day course will be held on June 2-3 and repeated on June 4-5, "and, if we have enough interest, June 6-7. We can only take 16 people per course and are booking up fast," says Perrin. Course graduates will receive a certificate valid for five years from ISAF and US Sailing. Most offshore races including the Pacific Cup, Coastal Cup, Fastnet, Sydney-Hobart, and Newport-Bermuda require that 30% of the crew and the skipper have this certificate. Cost is $220. To sign up or get more info, email Perrin.

As mentioned Wednesday, we remind you that Pacific Cup's Safety at Sea Seminar, sanctioned by US Sailing, will take place tomorrow at Cal Maritime in Vallejo. In addition to the all-day event's impressive list of speakers, Bryan Chong, one of the three survivors of the April 14 Farallones tragedy, will speak about lessons learned at 9:30 a.m. You can sign up online and see full details here.

US Sailing will be holding a One Day Race Management Seminar in the Bay Area tomorrow, Saturday. It will be hosted by the Treasure Island YC with instructors Jeff Zarwell and John Siegel. See http://tiyc.org, email Russell Breed or call him at (650) 400-6192.

Speaking of Treasure Island, Treasure Island Sailing Center's Board President Carisa Harris-Adamson will speak at Corinthian YC on Tuesday, May 15. TISC's purpose is to improve the community and the sport of sailing by providing access, facilities, and instruction to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, skill levels, and physical abilities. Harris-Adamson is a two time NCAA All-American and National Champion and four time US Sailing Team Member. She's an assistant professor of Physical Therapy at Samuel Merritt University and a post-doc at UC Berkeley. See http://cyc.org/speakers.

For more regattas, seminars and other events of interest to West Coast sailors, see our monthly Calendar, and to plan your racing season, see our Northern California Sailing Schedule and YRA Calendar.

- latitude / chris

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Volvo Ocean Race

May 11, 2012 – Miami, FL

Puma nears the Miami finish
Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro, skippered by Ken Read of Newport, RI, closes down on the finish line of Leg 6 from ItajaĆ­, Brazil, to Miami during the Volvo Ocean Race. © 2017 Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race

While some of us were enjoying a slow race to Vallejo last weekend, the 70-ft Volvo Ocean Race boats were mimicking the same conditions only on a much larger scale. Once out of Itajaí, Brazil, and on the way to Miami, Ken Read's Puma got out in front and never looked back. Actually they looked back often with Camper and Telefónica biting at their heels the whole way. Several times the boats were within sight of each other.

The conditions varied from nice reaching drag races to slow agonizing holes. “It’s been a high risk game of chess,” said Camper skipper Chris Nicholson. Tom Addis on Puma added, “If someone gets a squall and picks up some wind for a few hours that could turn the fleet inside out. That makes it more tense on board, no question." The fleet also had to negotiate some Caribbean Islands that were in their way and one final hole before the finish. Puma finished first at 14:14:00 Miami time on Wednesday, 17 days after leaving from Itajaí, with Camper about an hour behind to take second.

The only boat that did not start was Sanya, which had to be shipped from New Zealand after being damaged two legs earlier. Her crew plans on a short shake-down sail from Savannah, Georgia, where they've been fixing her, to Miami for the in-port race on May 19, followed by the start of leg 7 to Lisbon, Portugal, on May 20.

The leader of the back was a disappointed Abu Dhabi, and while a debate is going on about the Farr design lacking in speed, skipper Ian Walker chose to bring less food to save weight on this leg, resulting in some hungry crew as they finally finished in Miami on Thursday. If that happened in our Vallejo Race most crews would jump ship.

- ncs

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