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Fill 'Er Up Please

July 18, 2012 – Mystery Spot

cool crew
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

With the money you'll save on diesel, you can buy matching shades for your entire crew. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Do you think that diesel fuel for cruising boats has to be expensive?

"Not so," says two-year-old Maya, the blue-shirted ringleader of the young Bagheera gang aboard the Montreal-based 72-ft schooner Bagheera. "Not if you know where to buy it. We paid 4 cents a gallon for ours. And we bought thousands of gallons. In fact, it was a good thing we had all the blue plastic 55-gallon drums to augment our normal tankage. But we got those free, too."

cruiser kid
"The diesel may be cheap," says Maya, "but they really hit me up for my formula and Huggies." Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

So the Latitude Quiz of the Day, dear readers, is where did they buy good diesel for just 4 cents/gallon. And as a special bonus, where can you get 55-gallon plastic drums for free? Email us your answers.

- latitude / richard

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Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

SHTP Finishes Up

July 18, 2012 – Hanalei Bay

With the arrival of Randy Leasure's Westsail 32 Tortuga, the 18th Singlehanded TransPac has come to a close. The deadline for the race is this Saturday, but all boats — with the exception of Derk Wolmuth's Vindo 40 Bela Bartok (more on that in a moment) — were in and swaying in the warm Hawaiian breeze by yesterday afternoon, giving racers plenty of time to rest up for Saturday's awards party at Tahiti Nui's new Luau Lounge.

Ken Roper's Finn Flyer 31 Harrier suffered from a severe case of spinnaker wrap at the finish. © 2018 Robbie Gabriel

Ken 'The General' Roper was determined to finish his 12th, and supposedly final, SHTP — but he's said that before — in style by crossing the line with Harrier's star-adorned spinny flying. Unfortunately a spinnaker wrap soon became a spinnaker knot, so while his finish was definitely memorable, it probably wasn't what he'd hoped for. Regardless, the 84-year-old retired brigadier general was greeted like the hero he is.

Tough indeed. The General was greeted by his daughter Lee and a coconut cup full of mai tai. © 2018 Robbie Gabriel

In the meantime, the racers have worked out a plan to recover Bela Bartok before she comes ashore at Maui. Through their incredible generosity — in time and money — they've secured a boat to go out to her location today and drop two racers aboard to bring her safely into port. Wolmuth, who reports that he's recovering nicely from a case of septic shock due to a staph infection, is due into Oakland on a cargo ship today.

We'll have a full report on the race, as well as Wolmuth and Bela's rescue, in the August issue of Latitude 38.

- latitude / ladonna

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Ad: West End Cruising Club

July 18, 2012 – Santa Catalina Island

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Racing Round-Up

July 18, 2012 – San Francisco Bay and Beyond

Ragtime won the third race in the Little Lipton Cup by a mere 17 seconds corrected time to take the final race and the trophy. © 2018 Dave Borton / Sausalito YC

Sausalito Yacht Club ran PICYA's Lipton Cup this year, with 17 entries from six Bay Area yacht clubs racing on the Knox course Saturday in 15-22 knots of breeze and a light ebb. San Francisco and Richmond YCs were the big winners. SFYC had Trig Liljestrand's J/90 Ragtime winning the Little Lipton, contested in sportboats this year, and Blackhawk, skippered by Scooter Simmon, winning the Big Lipton, sailed in J/105s. RYC took honors in the Larry Knight, sailed in SF Bay 30s, with Top Gallant, a Tartan Ten skippered by Jim Lindsey, and in the Admiral's Cup on Carlos, a Santana 22 skippered by Jan Grygler. For complete results, see

Race Committee
The SYC Race Committee for the Lipton Cup on July 14 observed France's Bastille Day. © 2018 Roxanne Fairbairn /

Erica Heineken
Erica Heineken will be kiting in the NAs this week, and we wouldn't be surprised to see her in the Olympics four years from now. She's currently in third place in the Cabrinha Thursday night series, after Chip Wasson and Stefanus Viljoen. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Kiteboard Course Racing and Formula Windsurf Course Racing North American Championships get underway at St. Francis YC with practice racing at 3:00 p.m. today and races continuing through Sunday. Twenty-one windsurfers and 62 kiteboarders are signed up, presaging the switch coming in the 2016 Rio Olympics. See

Lil Angel
Scott Schwartz's Newport 30 MKII Lil Angel started the Pacific Cup on Monday. Starts continue through tomorrow. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

With Pacific Cup starts off StFYC scheduled for 2:15 and 2:30 today, hopefully the big boats and little boards won't mix it up. Like the Singlehanded TransPac and the Vic-Maui, the PacCup is using Yellowbrick trackers, making the race much more entertaining for those of us not actually racing. Wow, what a lot of squiggly lines at the beginning of the race!

The Double Take crew were tired, but in great spirits, as a large welcome party of family, friends, and Lahaina YC supporters met them at the dock in Lahaina after they finished the Vic-Maui race. © 2018 Vic-Maui 2012 /

On a hot, muggy, Lahaina Tuesday evening, Tom Huseby's J/145 Double Take of Seattle YC became the first to finish Vic-Maui 2012. Her unofficial time is 10 days, 12 hours, 39 minutes. "Tom wore a wide grin as he guided the boat into the dock after finishing off Ka'anapali Shores," wrote Richard Ballantyne. "Brad Baker, the navigator, said that they pushed hard all through the race, but the boat treated them well and there were no gear failures or torn sails. They were very nervous for most of the race as the tracker continually told them that Terremoto was right with them. Can Terremoto, Kinetic, Turicum or another boat make up the time allowance?" Terremoto, a Seattle-based Riptide 35, will likely finish next. They're expected in sometime mid-day (Hawaii time) today. See

Cal 25 champs
Meet the Cal 25 Nationals winning team: (l-r) Chris Lopez, James Yano, Pat Graham, Art Melendres, Scott Melendres and Monica Oviedo. © 2018 Rick Roberts

Art Melendres of Long Beach YC became a two-time winner Sunday in a closely fought Cal 25 National Championship hosted by LBYC. Having won the Nationals in 2005, Melendres found that a repeat win is not as easy as one might think. One point was all that separated Melendres’ One Time and second place finisher Don Reiman’s Rhyme-N-Reason in this three-day regatta that saw breeze of 0-11 knots with a few showers thrown in for good measure. Melendres’ crew includes son Scott calling tactics, daughter Monica Oviedo, son-in-law Chris Lopez, Pat Graham and James Yano. “I’ve been racing Cal 25s for 40-plus years and it wasn’t until my kids got older and began racing on our boat that we started winning," said Melendres.

Baxter/Judson start
The Ranger 26 Jazman leads off the start of Baxter/Judson race #4 on Sunday, July 15, in Horseshoe Cove, Fort Baker, Sausalito. © 2018 Gayle Permar

Mark Tishler's Catalina 30 Willin' won Presidio YC's Baxter/Judson #4, a race from Horseshoe Cove off Sausalito's Fort Baker, around Alcatraz (to port or to starboard – skipper's choice), and back, a distance of 5.6 miles, on Sunday. The club welcomes non-members to race with them – for a measly $5 fee. See

We'll end this rather long race report today with a bit of a tease. Saturday's Plastic Classic was sailed in a perfect 15-knot westerly. The day's sunny skies were undoubtedly appreciated by the ladies on the "T Mark." We'll have a story about the 1986 Plastic Classic here on Friday, and be sure to see Racing Sheet in August's Latitude 38 for more of the 2012 race.

T Mark rounding
The Olson 25 Shark on Bluegrass and the Blackwatch 37 Brigadoon round Bay View Boat Club's T Mark in San Francisco's Mission Bay. For the reciprocal view, you'll just have to pick up the August issue! © 2018 /

- latitude / chris

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