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AC72 Launching This Week

August 29, 2012 – San Francisco

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The Oracle Team lifts their 72-ft cat's 12-story tall wing sail in preparation for the boat's launch this week. © 2018 Guilain Grenier / Oracle Team USA

On the heels of the highly successful AC World Series last week, Oracle Team USA's AC72, the monster cat that will be used for the America's Cup Finals next year, is slated to be launched this week (some say tomorrow). The team has scheduled a media day on Friday when they plan to take the boat out on her first test sail. If we're not at the media day, you can be sure to find us out on the water to watch the beast take her first steps. Hope to see you out there!

- latitude / ladonna

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"The Best Thing I Ever Did"

August 29, 2012 – Marina del Rey

Doña de Mallorca with Stanley Dashew in Marina del Rey. The 95-year-old still goes sailing every weekend aboard Deerfoot II. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

When we showed up at the California YC in Marina del Rey with Profigate a couple of weeks ago to give a presentation, we were assigned the guest dock, which just happened to be about five slips down from the 72-ft Deerfoot II. We were familiar with the boat because, when we were married to the Wanderette some 20 years ago, she used to do all the varnishing for owner Stanley Dashew.
As Dashew had been in his 70s at the time, we wondered who owned Deerfoot II now. Imagine our surprise when we learned that Stanley, now just two months shy of his 96th birthday, still owns the big sloop. What's more, he goes sailing on her every Saturday and Sunday of the year! While he has the help of two nurses and his longtime captain, and is suffering from Parkinson's and other maladies, he still backs the big sloop out of the slip and drives her back in upon return.
Dashew has a humorous explanation for his love of sailing and being on the ocean. "It all started when my mother switched me from milk to water too early in life."
A true original, Dashew's exploits and adventures could fill a book. Fortunately, he spent the last 10 years — with the help of Josef S. Klus — writing the book, which is titled, You Can Do It!, Inspiration and Lessons from an Inventor, Entrepreneur and Sailor. It's a heck of a fun read that's one-third inspirational, one-third sailing adventures, and one-third business adventures. There are two versions of the book, one with photos, one without. The former is far superior.
The book begins with what Dashew calls "My Creed," something that was actually written by Dean Alfange. Among the list of things the creed says it means to "be an American" are: "I seek opportunity — not security. I don't wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk, to dream and build, to fail and succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for dole. I prefer the challenge of life to the guaranteed existence, the thrill of fulfillment to the state calm of Utopia." We think Dashew meant these things are what it used to mean to be an American.
As the book title suggests, Stanley became a very successful inventor and entrepreneur, but he had always been an avid sailor. Shortly after marrying at age 21, he convinced his wife they should save money for a boat rather than rugs and drapes. Getting some wise advice along the lines of 'women won't lie down in boats they can't stand up in', he and his wife purchased Duchess, a 39-ft Friendship sloop. The boat had previously been owned by the dealer for Kenyon Marine Instruments, and came with a log/knot meter, an instrument Dashew says would have cost nearly $10,000 in today's dollars. Dashew marvels that a much more functional and accurate GPS can now be bought for 1/90th of that.
At age 16, Dashew lied about his age to score a job at the Addressograph Company at the height of the Depression. He rapidly became a business success, and in the book tells you how you can do it, too. Yet at the age of 33, he, his wife, seven-year-old son Steve, three-month-old daughter Leslie, and a big crew, took off aboard the 67-ft Alden schooner Constellation on what he said was the best thing he ever did in his life — a 13-month cruise from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to California. Dashew wanted to get to California because living in the Golden State would allow him to sail year-round. To show you how different cruising was back in the late '40s, when sailing through the Virgin Islands, they spotted a herd of wild cattle, shot one, and butchered it on the boat. You wouldn't want to try that at Caneel Bay, today.
The chapters on that cruise 60 years ago, with lots of photos, is alone worth the price of the book. Such a cruise was so unusual at the time that, when Constellation arrived in California, it made the front page of the Los Angeles Times.
When Dashew arrived in California, he was all set to resume his corporate career by taking over the lucrative Los Angeles agency of Addressograph-Multigraph. But citing "mental health" reasons, he decided against it. He thought a career in the corporate would would have driven him crazy. So at age 34, he went into business for himself. Before long, he was selling 'vapor hardware' to the U.S. military. Even though what he had promised didn't exist when he promised it, he always delivered.
Dashew's biggest business success occurred in the '50s, when he made revolutionary  mechanical innovations to the then-fledgling bank credit card industry, helping usher in a new world of credit. After making his fortune in the credit card industry, Dashew got into inventing things for other areas of life. For instance, a single-point mooring for big ships as well as an early bow thruster.
Over the years, Dashew has owned eight boats: Duchess, the 39-ft Friendship sloop; Baccarat, a 47-ft cutter; Royal Fortune, a 48-ft ketch; Constellation, a 76-ft Alden schooner; Chiriqui, a 60-ft Alden ketch; Hu-Ka-Makani, which at 58-ft was one of the longest catamarans of her time; Deerfoot, a 67-foot cutter; and Deerfoot II, a 72-ft cutter. The last two boats were designed by Steve Dashew, his son. Stanley has owned Deerfoot II for a quarter of a century.
The Wanderer had hoped to talk to Stanley after his Sunday sail, but unfortunately the 95-year-old was late for a dinner date. Stan the Man!

- latitude / richard

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August 29, 2012 – Pt. Richmond and Sausalito, CA

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Latitude Engineering

August 29, 2012 – San Francisco Bay

Sailors are a notoriously innovative bunch. There are few other applications where the use of duct tape and bailing wire seems to work quite as well — or last as long — as on a sailboat. But throw in an old Melamine plate and a Latitude 38, and you have a patent-worthy creation! That's just what Wayen Pierson did when the roller furler on his and girlfriend Jillian Hilton's Cal 2-30 Pearl decided to take a holiday. "While we wait for a replacement, Wayne's temporary fix is actually working," claims Jillian.

We're not sure where the Latitude is in this contraption, but it seems to be working for Wayne and Jillian. And considering the 'thriftiness' of the typical sailor, we fully expect it to keep working for months, if not years, to come! © 2018 Jillian Hilton

In the meantime, the couple and their dog Kiva are on a Bay 'shake down cruise' before heading off on an extended cruise. "We moved aboard about five months ago and have been staying at different marinas every week," she says. "It's been extremely interesting seeing the different sides to all the marinas around here, let me tell you."

The couple and their furry companion will be joining the 2013 Baja Ha-Ha, and from there plan to make their way through the Panama Canal and then "go where the wind blows us." 

- latitude / ladonna

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Racing Round-Up

August 29, 2012 – San Francisco and Half Moon Bays

These folks showed up last week to watch which sailboat race: a) SSS HMB, b) Melges 24 NAs, c) Sarcoma Cup, or d) none of the above. © 2018 /

While the AC45s were making a spectacle of themselves on San Francisco Bay, some of us were quietly (or not so quietly) going about our own scheduled races. In the case of the Singlehanded Sailing Society's Half Moon Bay Race on Saturday, that schedule conflicted with the higher-profile America's Cup prequel. The race deck of Cup Defender Golden Gate YC wasn't available for the start of the low-key HMB Race as planned, so the SSS race committee simply moved the start line to the north side of the Bridge, at Sausalito's Point Cavallo, which borders Horseshoe Cove. The singlehanders and doublehanders raced in the same fog that had shrouded the AC45s during the week, but visibility was not an issue. A southwesterly made for a long beat instead of a reach to Pillar Point, but any minor inconveniences were shrugged off at the Half Moon Bay YC party. We'll have more in the October — not September — issue of Latitude 38. In the meantime, see

Tacking out the Gate
Nicolas and Derek Schmidt on the Express 37 Escapade and Rob Macfarlane and Kristen Sotebier on the Nelson/Marek 45 Tiger Beetle trade tacks just west of the Golden Gate Bridge in the SSS HMB Race. © 2018 /

Also to be covered in the October Racing Sheet, the Melges 24 fleet held their North American championship at San Francisco YC last week, with racing Friday-Sunday. Perhaps ironically, an Australian team won the North Americans. Warwick Rooklyn's Bandit was able to sit out the eighth and final race. Winning the Corinthian division was SFYC member Don Jesberg's Viva. For more, see Next up for the Melgi is the Sperry-Topsider NOOD Regatta, to be co-hosted by Corinthian, Sausalito and Tiburon YCs on September 22-23.

Melges 24 NAs
Left to right: Melges 24s Viva, Wilco, Black Seal, Melges 49, and Personal Puff racing on the Berkeley Circle this past Friday. © 2018 Jeff Zarwell

The fifth annual Sarcoma Cup was hosted by Berkeley YC with a little bit of help from their friends at Richmond YC, South Beach YC, and Berkeley Marina. Express 27s, J/24s, Open 5.70s, Santana 22s, and Olson 25s all had one design fleets, plus two PHRF divisions for the rest. The event featured fleet racing, a pursuit race, won by Darren Cumming's J/24 Downtown Uproar, and lots of shoreside activities (including free massages and yoga!) See

Open 5.70 Destiny
"The Open 5.70 Destiny limped back to Berkeley (at 7 knots!) after we had to drop out of the second Saturday race when we snagged something on our keel," wrote Bob Mathews. Pictured are Frank Ross (skipper), Bob Mathews (with boot) and Maarten 't Hooft. © 2018 Sergei Zavarin /

The Aussie 18s picked up where the AC45s left off, providing spectator-friendly short-course racing along the Cityfront shoreline, hosted by St. Francis YC. The 18-ft skiffs got sunny skies with breeze in the mid-teens on Monday, and the Kiwi C-Tech team of Alex Vallings, Chris Kitchen and Josh Melonick swept the first two races. But the wind really piped up on Tuesday. "The last boat standing —literally, the only one that stayed upright — won Day 2," noted press officer Rich Roberts, "defending itself against all the ferocity that San Francisco Bay had to offer — no easy task for USA's six-time winner Howard Hamlin, with crew Matt Noble and Matt McKinlay, when all of the other 17 delicate little skiffs were flipping and flopping like pancakes in 25 knots of wind sweeping them all into a meanly opposing ebb tide."

Pitchpoled Aussie 18
The 18-ft skiff sailed by Team AYSF pitchpoled in yesterday's nukin' conditions. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Aussie 18 crew in the water
The AYSF crew went for a swim or clung to their rack. © 2018 Chris Ray /

Officially titled the Nespresso International 18 Skiff Regatta, this event takes a day off on Thursday, caps Friday with the Ronstan Bridge-to-Bridge drag race including kiteboarders and windsurfers (and possibly the 60-ft record-busting foiling tri l'Hydroptère DCNS), and wraps up on Saturday. If you're not tired of standing on shore watching other people race, we recommend checking 'em out. For more info, go to

ASCC capsize
ASCC was among the fallen on Tuesday. © 2018 Chris Ray /

- latitude / chris

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