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Racing Round-Up

June 13, 2012 – San Francisco Bay and Beyond

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The SC40 Sea Stig was one of 15 boats that raced both ways in the OYRA Drake's Bay Race. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

In last weekend's Drake's Bay Race, different boats finished first on each day in every division. On Saturday, the course from Knox to Drake's Bay mostly favored the fastest boats. The race started out in ebb and light air; the wind — and sea state — built to unpleasant proportions during the race. "If you want to get the idea of what Saturday was like," said ORYA President Andy Newell, "just drop a camera in a washer, or maybe send it down a water slide." In Sunday's varying wind conditions, the boats with better handicaps occupied the top spots. In PHRO1, Shawn Price's Santa Cruz 40 Sea Stig won by default — none of the Santa Cruz 50s he competed against on Saturday raced. See for results. Next up on the OYRA calendar is June 30's Half Moon Bay Race.

"PRO Jim Barton decided to mix things up a bit for this year's Spring Invitational by going with a trapezoid course," reports Jeff Zarwell of RegattaPRO about San Francisco YC's event for J/120s, J/105s and Express 37s. "At first competitors didn't really know what to think about the 'new' course, but by the end of the weekend most really liked the change of pace. Desdemona ended Saturday with a couple of bullets in the J/120 division, as did Blackhawk with guest skipper Tim Russell at the helm in the J/105 division. Stewball took no prisoners on Saturday with a hat trick.

Jumping the halyard
Sometimes "jumping the halyard" is not just an expression. Apparently, this crew forgot to close the clutch lever when hoisting the spinnaker during SFYC's Spring Invitational. © 2018 Jeff Zarwell /

"With the warm weather, the post-race party led to Mai Tai madness with the partying going on much later than usual at the clubhouse in Belvedere. Fuzzy post-Mai Tai Sunday morning winds were in the 12-16 knot range with flat water on a beautiful day. Desdemona couldn't seem to pull it together and dropped from first to third with Mr. Magoo climbing to the top in the J/120 fleet. Stewball pulled an ace and a deuce, which locked them in for top honors in the Express 37 fleet, and Blackhawk managed to hang on to first in the J/105 division."

Steven Cassingham's Banshee
Steven Cassingham wore shorts, a PFD and a Panda hat to sail his Banshee last weekend. Charles Witcher won the six-boat class. © 2018 Gold Country YC

Last weekend's 31st annual Go for the Gold Regatta, sponsored by Gold Country YC on Scotts Flat Lake near Nevada City, enjoyed clear skies, warm weather, good winds, and boats from around the country. For more info, see

Catalina 22 fleet
In preparation for their Nationals, 15 Catalina 22s raced in the Go for the Gold Regatta. Bob Scott's Halligan won their division. © 2018 Gold Country YC

Racing continues there this week with the Catalina 22 Nationals. See

Lasse Uronen
Lasse Uronen sails his board on Friday nights at StFYC. © 2018 Chris Ray /

St. Francis YC hosts Friday night races for windsurfers. On June 8 the windsurfers were joined by kiteboarders who normally race on Thursdays. "The make-up day on Friday was due to a couple canceled days for lack of breeze at the beginning of the season," explained Race Director Robbie Dean.

Kite start
A kiteboard start. Not a bad turn-out for a make-up race. © 2018 Chris Ray /

Then, the next day, some 35 kiteboarders and windsurfers went out for the Ronstan Bay Challenge, a 20+ mile race with an upwind mark at the Golden Gate, a leeward mark at the Berkeley Pier, and the finish line at StFYC. Photographer Chris Ray described conditions as "beautiful, sunny, and windy." Saturday's long distance race was followed by course racing on Sunday. See for results.

Kiteboarder Adam Koch
Adam Koch rounds the leeward mark. He finished the long distance race in second place after Johnny Heineken. © 2018 Chris Ray /

America's Cup racing is coming to San Francisco Bay on August 21, with a six-day America's Cup World Series event. John Craig, Principal Race Officer of the America's Cup, will join Sausalito YC AC34 committee members for a special briefing at SYC on Thursday, June 14 at 6 p.m. "If you have questions about the Cup," writes committee Chair Matthew Naythons, "or want to volunteer to help AC34 on land or at sea, this is a one-hour meeting you cannot miss." The meeting is open to the public, and reservations are not required.

- latitude / chris

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Cause of Aegean Accident Confirmed

June 13, 2012 – Newport

Aegean's SPOT track was a key piece of evidence in determining the cause of the boat's destruction. © 2018 SPOT

In an announcement that surprised few, US Sailing's Independent Review Panel officially concluded that the Hunter 376 Aegean ran into North Coronado Island during the Newport to Ensenada Race in late April, killing everyone aboard as a result. "The Panel gathered information from race organizers, collected data from the Aegean’s track during the Race, and met with the US Coast Guard San Diego Sector’s investigation team," noted the statement issued yesterday. "The Panel will continue their efforts to document the accident, draw conclusions, share the lessons learned and offer recommendations to the sailing community. A full report from US Sailing is expected by end of July."

- latitude / ladonna

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Ad: Summer Sailstice

June 13, 2012 – Oakland-Alameda Estuary

Sign Up, Sail, Celebrate Summer Sailstice 2012

Five Great Reasons to Sign Up and Sail for Summer Sailstice 2012:

1. More than 400 prizes to win – anywhere you sail.
On San Francisco Bay:
2. Have sails hoisted for the 2:00 p.m. aerial photo.
3. Sail in the YRA Summer Sailstice Party Circuit Race.
4. Come to Encinal YC for the Summer Sailstice Festival.
5. Spend the night at EYC, at anchor, or in a guest slip at any of the Estuary marinas.

Sign up for the global event at
Sign up for the San Francisco Bay event at

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Weather & Tactics Seminar

June 13, 2012 – Oakland YC

The 18th Singlehanded TransPac, a 2,120-mile romp from San Francisco Bay to Hanalei Bay on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, is slated to start on June 30, which means racers are undoubtedly working furiously to ready their boats, not to mention themselves. Pacific Cup racers have a wee bit more time to prepare, as that race's first start is on July 16, but they're likely up to their eyeballs in alligators as well. Regardless, if there's one prep seminar they all should make time for, the Solo TransPac's 'Weather & Tactics' seminar tomorrow evening is the one. Presented by 15-time Hawaii racer Paul Kamen (one SHTP, one TransPac and 14 Pacific Cups), the talk will cover typical weather patterns for the course and tactics on using them to your advantage.

Waterspouts are a rare occurrence on Hawaii races. Photo Latitude / Archives
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Doors at OYC open tomorrow (Thursday) at 6:30 p.m. and the talk starts at 7. As usual, the event is free and open to the general public — Pacific Cup racers are especially welcome — and will feature a no-host bar.

- latitude / ladonna

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Two More Cases of Narco-on-Narco Violence

June 13, 2012 – North Shore, Banderas Bay

As per our promise to keep Latitude readers informed when we learn that there have been violent narco incidents that might even tangentially have affected cruisers south of the border, we have two more reports from the last two weeks, both from the north shore of Banderas Bay.

The first took place one morning about two weeks ago when two gunman shot and killed a rival gang member in front of the La Cruz Salud (Health Clinic), which is just off the main road in La Cruz about 3/4 of a mile from the Marina Riviera Nayarit and about 10 miles from both Nuevo Vallarta and Punta Mita. No innocent bystanders were hurt.

The second incident took place at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, when narco gunmen battled it out with some other narcos in a white Lincoln with California plates in the parking lot of the popular Mega store — similar to Costco — in Bucerias, which is about six miles from La Cruz, six miles from Nuevo Vallarta and about 21 miles from Punta Mita. One man, who had an AK-47 and two grenades, was killed, while another man was shot but managed to get away. Once again, nobody else was hurt, although several other cars and a bank office were hit by bullets.

Mega is a Costco-like box store popular with cruisers and locals alike. © 2018 Webb Logg

While these are again strictly cases of narcos going after other narcos, it's nonetheless disturbing that they did so in places frequented by the Mexican public and lots of cruisers. We're not sure how it's going to affect other cruisers, but Doña de Mallorca tells us, "It was just one of those random things that happens in the States and in Mexico, so when we provision for the Bash later this week, it's going to be at Mega." But that's just one opinion from one person.

We haven't seen reports in the U.S. press on either of these recent incidents. While some people would like us to keep our mouths shut about them because they were strictly narco-on-narco, we feel it's our journalistic responsibility to report them. And in the interests of full disclosure, we have both strong emotional and financial interests — Doña rents out condos — in the Punta Mita area of Riviera Nayarit.

You can bet your sweet bottom that these incidents are of enormous interest and concern to the Mexican government and the innocent people of Mexico. For one thing, the Riviera Nayarit area has been home to the highest private investment in Mexico in recent years, mainly in luxury hotels, resorts and vacation homes. Secondly, Riviera Nayarit is adjacent to Puerto Vallarta, which is rated by TripAdvisor as the best destination in Mexico and the 9th best beach destination in the world. Thus far Puerto Vallarta has enjoyed a golden reputation when it comes to safety. Since Mexico lives on tourism, it would be economically disastrous if the reputations of the Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta were tarnished.

Remember that Mexico votes for a new President on July 1. The winner will almost certainly be Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI party which, up until 12 years ago, ran the country for 71 years. Historically, the PRI has been known for being somewhat corrupt and authoritarian — which a lot of people seem to think might be just what's needed to end narco violence. We don't know if that's true, but Nieto, who appears to have an insurmountable lead, has already said that he, unlike current President Calderón, will not go after the narco trade. His emphasis will be on other kinds of violent crime and general public safety. We wish him luck.

And we'll keep you informed if there are more incidents.

- latitude / richard

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