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The Golden Gate Bridge Turns 75

May 25, 2012 – San Francisco Bay

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The Bay will undoubtedly be more crowded on Sunday during the Bridge's 75th anniversary celebrations. © 2018 Rich Niewiroski Jr.

The only Bay Area sailors who haven't heard about this weekend's happenings must be living under a bridge. But not the Golden Gate Bridge, as San Francisco's eyes have turned to the iconic span to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Opened on May 27, 1937, this feat of engineering took just four years to complete, and came in an astonishing $1.3 million under budget. Can you imagine that happening today?

Shoreside activities on Sunday will be held at Fort Point, Crissy Field (sorry, our model Crissy Fields is off on assignment this weekend so she won't be attending), the Presidio, Marina Green, and on down to Pier 39. The festivities will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display at the Bridge itself from 9:30 to 10 p.m.

Of course, getting anywhere near the Bridge by land is going to be a nightmare, so this is a great opportunity to invite a gaggle of friends to join you aboard your boat for a fireworks viewing party. KFOG 104.5/97.7FM will be simulcasting a soundtrack for the show, so tune in while you're out there — just leave the adult beverage (at least for the helmsperson) for when you return. The Coast Guard has set up a restricted zone for the fireworks, which will be in effect from 8:30 to 10:15 p.m., and they will be enforcing it. If there's an urgent reason you must enter the restricted zone between those times, contact the Coasties on VHF 23A or at (415) 399-3547.

If you want to make a weekend of it, be sure to head out on Saturday when the USS Iowa will finally leave the Bay on her way south. Originally scheduled to depart on Monday, rough offshore conditions have kept her in port. The WWII battleship will sail beneath the Bridge sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. Just watch out for people in the water in the early morning as an invitational swim from Alcatraz to the Cityfront will be starting at 7:45 a.m.

The Iowa was removed from the mothball fleet in Suisun Bay last October, and has been refit for a trip to Los Angeles, where she'll be turned into a floating museum by the Pacific Battleship Center. © 2018 Mike Koller

As a reminder, Monday is Memorial Day, which means 'Lectronic Latitude (and the whole Latitude staff) will be taking the day off. Have fun out there this weekend, but be safe!

- latitude / ladonna

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Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Spinnaker Cup Is a Go

May 25, 2012 – San Francisco

Ever since a "stand down" order was put into effect by the U.S. Coast Guard several weeks ago, Bay Area offshore racers have been anxiously awaiting word on the status of the annual Spinnaker Cup, slated to begin today. We're happy to report, it's a go. First gun for the race, which runs from the Central Bay to Monterey Municipal Wharf, was at 11 a.m. today.

The announcement that the long-established race would be permitted came late yesterday, in combination with the release of preliminary findings of a special investigative panel that was formed in the aftermath of the Low Speed Chase tragedy.

As reported earlier, the panel, which was convened in cooperation with U.S. Sailing, was chaired by Sally Honey and included a brain trust of West Coast luminaries such as John Craig and Jim Corenman. The fact-finding process included input from all Full Crew Farallones racers and analysis of GPS tracks around South Farallon and Maintop Islands. The preliminary recommendations outlined yesterday include: once-a-season safety seminars; enhanced sailor training, including understanding of wave development in shoaling waters; compliance with existing Minimum Equipment Requirements, including post-race inspections; improved communications between race management and sailors and the Coast Guard; and consistency of protocol and requirements for all Bay Area offshore races.

Additional recommendations, plus guidelines for implementing them, are expected to be laid out in the panel's full report, due to be released sometime in June.

Captain of the Port of San Francisco Cynthia Stowe, who mandated the establishment of a review panel, while making the controversial decision to put a freeze on issuing ocean race permits, seems encouraged by the process thus far. "I am especially pleased with US Sailing's outreach to the boating community, both by conducting interviews and by briefing the preliminary findings to the newly formed local offshore racing council. The Coast Guard appreciates the tremendous support of the offshore race organizers and sponsoring yacht clubs. It’s the coordination and support from this local community which will ensure we learn all that we can from this tragic loss.”

- latitude / andy

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Latitude 38 Logowear for Father's Day

May 25, 2012 – Mill Valley

Crissy Fields is giving her dad Latitude 38 shirts and hats for Father's Day. What's on your shopping list?

"My shopping's done!" said Crissy.
Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC /

To receive your package in time for Father's Day (June 17), please place your order by June 11 at

- latitude / chris

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Let's Hope This Bud's Not for You...or Us

May 25, 2012 – Gold Coast of Mexico

Though Hurricane Bud, the first of the Eastern Pacific (Mexico) region, has weakened as it nears shore, it's still blowing at 100 knots and should make landfall tonight between Manzanillo and Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarta). Hurricane warnings are in effect as far north as Cabo Corrientes, at the southern end of Banderas Bay, and tropical storm warnings are in effect as far north as San Blas. Bud seems to have a little more fight in him than originally forecast, but he's expected to diminish quickly once he hits land. The owners of the many boats — including Profligate — in Banderas Bay need to take precautions in case Bud decides to change directions, as hurricanes often like to do.

Hurricane Bud's current forecast. © 2018 NOAA

By the way, with it being time to start bringing Profligate back to California, we managed to snag an Alaska Airlines flight for just $160 for Sunday. All we hav to do is make it through the throngs on the Golden Gate Bridge for the 75th anniversary celebrations, and hope that Bud, which is expected to drop 12 inches of rain, doesn't drown Puerto Vallarta Airport.

- latitude / richard

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Weekend Racing Preview

May 25, 2012 – San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean

Regulus and Pursuit
Regulus pursues Pursuit in the 2011 Master Mariners Regatta. With her 96-ft rig and her long waterline, you can see why Pursuit starts last in the reverse order start sequence. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Each year Latitude 38 sponsors an entry in the Master Mariners Regatta, held on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend — hey, that's tomorrow! This year we'll be sponsoring the 82-ft 1929 M-Class racing sloop Pursuit, which Ron MacAnnan has owned for 52 years. If you stroll along the Sausalito Yacht Harbor boardwalk, you'll spot her, and you can read the sign that tells her story. We'll also be taking out our photoboat Island Fever, so if you're racing, smile and wave for the camera. Then look for a few pictures in Wednesday's 'Lectronic and the full story in the July (not June) issue of Latitude 38.

On May 11, the Coast Guard permanently removed Anchorage 9 lighted buoy A, better known to racers in the South Bay as YRA Mark #32. The yellow buoy was 1.5 miles south of the entrance to the former Alameda Naval Air Station and 2.5 miles east of San Francisco's Army Street Terminal. We were told by Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Salas of USCG Alameda that the buoy had been placed for use by ship pilots, and was no longer used for that purpose so it was removed to cut out unnecessary maintenance costs. However, it was used by South Beach YC and Ballena Bay YC's Friday night races and the YRA's South Bay courses. YRA Executive Director Laura Muñoz says there are no immediate plans to replace it, so clubs wanting to use that mark need to set their own temporary buoy.

The Flying Dutchman National Championship starts today in Santa Cruz. Ten boats pre-registered, including six from Northern California, one from Seattle, and one each from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. SCYC will also host the Worlds September 23-30. See and

Are you reading this in SoCal? If so, what better way to spend the weekend than racing around Catalina Island? You have until 6:00 p.m. today to enter the Around Catalina Cabrillo Beach to Dana Point Race, part of the Ullman Sails Offshore Championship. See

We expect to see the Clipper Round the World Race finish Leg 11 from Panama to New York this weekend. The first of the 10 yachts is estimated to arrive late Saturday evening, with the rest of the fleet following over the next 12-18 hours. Only 10 miles separate first and second place rivals Gold Coast Australia and Visit Finland. Skipper Richard Hewson of the Aussie entry commented on yesterday's sailing: “Gold Coast Australia has been charging up the coast like a freight train over most of the day on a tight reach with reasonable winds.”

Visit Finland
Visit Finland started the Leg 11 Ocean Sprint first on May 23; Singapore won it on May 24, gaining one point in the Clipper Race scoring. © 2018 Clipper Round the World /

The 68-ft yachts will muster at Liberty Landing in New Jersey for a few days before the whole fleet sails in a formal parade across to New York where it will berth at North Cove Marina in Manhattan’s financial district for a busy program of activity with Clipper Race sponsors. See

Meanwhile, in America's Cup news we're happy to report that Artemis Racing, representing the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, will base its operations for the upcoming America's Cup World Series (August 21-26 and October 4-7) at Alameda, in an 110,000-square-foot former airplane hangar at Alameda Point. The deal could extend through the America's Cup 34 activities during the summer of 2013, in which Artemis will be the challenger of record for the Cup.

- latitude / chris

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