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Master Mariners Regatta

May 30, 2012 – San Francisco Bay

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Moving like an express train that's behind schedule, the 82-ft M-class sloop Pursuit roared across the Central Bay toward the Blackaller jibe mark. A true labor of love, she'd spent decades idling in her slip before owner Ron MacAnnan put this 1929 classic back in racing form. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

It would be hard to imagine more ideal conditions for the annual Master Mariners' Regatta, sailed last Saturday. With mostly clear skies and 20-25 knots of steady breeze over much of the course, even the heaviest boats on the roster of entries could move along the course at hull speed with all their rags flying. 

Vixen, which graced this year's T-shirts and coffee cups, was built in 1904. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As photographers, shooting the Master Mariners is one of our favorite annual assignments, as the fleet comprises a veritable floating museum of vintage sailboat designs. From small wooden classics like Birds and Bears to large, elegant schooners, the beauty of this year's fleet was astounding. One look at the meticulously maintained brightwork and polished bronze hints at the countless hours of work that goes into each and every entry in preparation for this race, which for many entries is the most important outing of the year.

Credit & Sunda
Race Chair Bill Belmont couldn't resist sailing his Farallon Clipper Credit (left). In the foreground Sunda, a 1939 Ben Seaborn design built in 1941, approaches the Blackaller buoy off Crissy Field. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The race contained the usual amount of drama, with torn sails, broken gear and even a man overboard (who was quickly rescued, thank God), and a roaring party at the Encinal YC afterward. We'll have a complete report in the July edition of Latitude 38, but for now we'll let the pictures do the talking.

Hans List's Sequestor & USS Iowa
The entire procession of boats escorting the USS Iowa out the Gate slowed to let Hans List's Seaquester slide by. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Freda B and Gaslight
The schooners Freda B and Gas Light share a similar paint job, and sailplan, but radically different hull shapes, as Gas Light is a replica scow schooner. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Grace Quan
Grace Quan has no frills, but this replica junk is true to her ancestry. Similar junks were once prolific on the Bay. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Skip and Patty Henderson's Aïda was looking as sweet as the day she was launched in 1961. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Bright Star, 1935
Like so many entries in this year's race, the meticulously maintained Bolero appeared to be is good condition as she was when launched. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Onboard Pursuit
Hank Easom, taking a break from the helm of Pursuit, sights the finish line. © 2018 /

For results and more, see

- latitude / andy/chris

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Bud, Fortunately, Was a Dud

May 30, 2012 – Gold Coast of Mexico

Bud, the first Eastern Pacific (Mexican) hurricane of the season, had boat owners and/or their watchers stripping boats in Nuevo Vallarta and La Cruz on Friday and Saturday, as it was making a beeline for Banderas Bay. Fortunately, the one-time Category 3 storm, with winds that had peaked at over 100 knots, fizzled dramatically some 40 miles short of Cabo Corrientes, which is at the south end of Banderas Bay. Not only did the Vallarta area not see any wind from the storm, there were only light sprinkles, nothing like the up-to-12 inches of rain that had been predicted.

This weekend promises ideal Baja Bash conditions. © 2018 Passage Weather /

It's nonetheless a reminder that hurricane season has arrived in Mexico and people need to be prepared. As for those who want to take their boats north, Passage Weather suggests that conditions off the Baja coast will be mellow toward the end of the week and early next week, close to ideal for a painless Bash.

- latitude / richard

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Racing Round-Up

May 30, 2012 – California Coast and Beyond

Wide shot of kiteboarders
Thursday was an epic kite night on the Cityfront. © 2018 Chris Ray /

The Cabrinha Thursday Night Kiteboarding Series enjoyed an epic night last week at St. Francis YC. The three races were held under sunny skies in 20 knots of breeze gusting into the 30s, with the boards leaping over uncommonly big waves for the Bay.

Erica Heineken
Erica Heineken jumps a wave. © 2018 Chris Ray /

"As the accompanying photos attest," commented photographer Chris Ray, "quite a time was had by all." See for results and standings. What's "Cabrinha" you ask? They make boards, kites and accessories. See

Tom Gore
Tom Gore's board raises some spray. © 2018 Chris Ray /

Friday's Spinnaker Cup was a quick ride down the coast to Monterey. After a light air start, the wind picked up just past the bridge, and the heavy seas made for a bumpy ride. Andy Costello's J/125 Double Trouble almost caught up to Dan Thielman's R/P 44 Tai Kuai at the finish, but needed another boat length. Buzz Blackett's Antrim Class 40 California Condor followed close behind and corrected out to second. Double Trouble corrected out to win A Division. Richard von Ehrenkrook's Cal 20 Can O'Whoopass had a long, wet ride — the race took them about 18 hours, but they corrected out to third in C, which Dennis Ronk's Beneteau Oceanis 411 Bequia won, illustrating the wide range of boats in that division. See full results at You can watch Tai Kuai and Double Trouble's finish on

Paul Scoffin
Paul Scoffin, of Orange Park, FL, with crew Pavel Ruzicka, won the Flying Dutchman Nationals in seven races. They got all bullets except for one second which served as their throw-out. © 2018 Krystle Pham

The Flying Dutchman Nationals were sailed Friday through Sunday out of Santa Cruz YC. They had the most wind — low 20s with gusts into the high 20s — and ocean swell — four feet — on Friday, with conditions easing off just a bit for the weekend. The following video shows Gordon Dollar and crew Neil Steiner capsizing on a jibe.

Alamitos Bay YC's Memorial Day Weekend Regatta also had plenty of wind, favoring the heavyweights. Vann Wilson and his buddy Chuck Tripp ran 1-2 in all but one of the first six exhausting Laser class races on Saturday and Sunday, and they had a deal: They wouldn't sail the seventh and last race in their club's annual holiday competition. "We had nothing left in the tank," Wilson said. They had decided that no matter how they did in the sixth race they'd sit out the seventh. "We're old guys." Vann is 55, Tripp 56, thus they let the last race go as their allowed discard race, leaving Wilson with the edge, 9 points to 13. "The difference," Wilson said, "was that I put on 20 lbs over the winter, so Chuck was faster downwind but I was faster upwind."

Laser Radial and F/18 cat
Laser Radial winner Jonathan Cressy stays a step ahead of an F/18 beach cat. © 2018 Rich Roberts

Laser and Committee Boat
Vann Wilson swept the Lasers 6-0. © 2018 Rich Roberts

The largest turnout in recent years totaled 154 boats in 21 classes. See for results and more photos.

Over a period of 15 hours, the 10 entries in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race all completed Race 11 from Panama to New York. It came as no surprise that Gold Coast Australia led them across the line, as they often do, at 1:26 a.m. EDT on Sunday. The full fleet of matched 68-ft yachts are now mustered at Liberty Landing, New Jersey, opposite Manhattan. They'll parade into New York's North Cove Marina this Sunday. See

San Jose's Charles Heimler is the only American entry in the Finn World Masters, hosted by Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club in North Wales, which has been enjoying what Heimler termed "tropical" weather. The regatta, which has 131 entries from 23 countries, runs through June 1. See, and be sure to read Heimler's blog at

- latitude / chris

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Feeling the Love for the Coast Guard

May 30, 2012 – Charleston, SC

Daniel jury-rigged a mast from his boat's spinnaker pole after he dismasted off the East Coast. © 2018 Daniel Collins /

"I recently was dismasted while sailing solo offshore on the East Coast and I would like to share my story with you and your readers," writes Daniel Collins of the Roswell, GA-based Allied Princes Aletheia. "As a solo sailor, a dismasting can be an extremely dangerous event, and in my case, with the proximity of the Gulf Stream and several bad fronts approaching, the situation was not a positive one. I'd been able to rig a jury mast using a spinnaker pole, but with only my own strength against a heavy offshore vessel, retrieving the original mast and rigging proved impossible without serious additional risk to my safety and the integrity of my hull. Under jury rig I was able to close about 100 miles — about 160 miles off Charleston — but at that point the strong currents peeling off the Gulf Stream and strong contrary winds threatening to shift to the north prevented my small rig from making any further progress. I'd called TowBoat US using my sat phone and was told their offshore boat was out of service and would be for some time, but they immediately referred me to the Coast Guard, though I was not at the time specifically requesting rescue. To my grateful surprise, the Coast Guard not only sent the cutter Yellowfin out to get me but offered a tow for my vessel back to Charleston, and did not even suggest that I should be removed from my boat. The crew were utterly professional, courteous, and checked in with me constantly to ensure that the towing process was going well. Thirty hours after picking up the tow — including several hours through the 70-knot northerly winds of a storm system which I understand helped to form Tropical Storm Alberto — I was safely in harbor.

After 30 hours, Yellowfin safely deposited Daniel and his boat in Charleston. © 2018 Daniel Collins /

"I know that there has been some negative Coast Guard coverage in the wake of the Bay closures and handling of certain events," Daniel continues, "so I appreciate the opportunity to balance that perspective with my story.  The Coast Guard not only came out to my aid, but towed Aletheia rather than evacuate me. Sector Charleston, Lt. Jed Carlough, and the entire crew of the Yellowfin deserve serious credit for being willing to consider towing me, and for the expertise and courtesy showed during the entire process. Since my boat is also my home, I am especially grateful."

- latitude / ladonna

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