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SoCal Ta-Ta, Day Three

September 12, 2012 – Passing Anacapa Island

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The inaugural SoCal Ta-Ta is a hit! Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Reggae Pon Da Ocean, baby! The 32 boats and 93 sailors in the first-ever SoCal Ta-Ta are sailing past Anacapa Island now on the second leg of of the week long-event that ends at Two Harbors, Catalina.

The first leg, 25 miles from Santa Babylon to Smugglers on Santa Cruz Island, was a mos spliff, mon, with Chuck and Elaine Vanderboom's F-31 Boomerang finishing first in well under three hours. It was the Lake Havasu City couple's first sail on the boat in two years. Even Brandon and Devani Priest's Santa Barbara-based Coronado 25 Sea Monkey, the smallest boat in the fleet, finished quickly.

That night the first of three skipper and first mate cocktail parties was held on Profligate.

Tuesday was a lay day at Smuggler's. Profligate transported a big group to the landing at Scorpion Bay, so a bunch of Ta-Ta folks could reggae 3.5 miles back to the beach at Smugglers. Once on the beach, everyone had to swim back to dinghies beyond the surf line. Fortunately, the water temperature was a semi-reasonable 68 degrees.

Every picture tells a story. We hope these help. 

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / richard

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Racing Wrap-Up

September 12, 2012 – The USA and the UK

J/120 start
The J/120 fleet, as seen here in a Rolex Big Boat Series start, is close-knit group. © 2018 Chris Ray /

St. Francis YC's four-day Rolex Big Boat Series wrapped up on Sunday with the traditional long course Bay Tour race. We'll have a feature story on the regatta in the October issue of Latitude 38. See in the meantime.

Briefly intersecting with the big boats in time and space with no adverse effects was the Singlehanded Sailing Society's new race, Round the Rocks. Steve Wonner's Wyliecat 30 Uno corrected out to first in out of 20 singlehanders, and Darren Doud and Phil MacFarlane on the Corsair 31R Roshambo won the 42-boat doublehanded division overall. The trophy meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 19, at Oakland YC in Alameda, and everyone is welcome. Go to for info. We'll have more in October's Racing Sheet.

Yankee 30 Emerald
Peter Jones rounded the Brothers and headed back to Red Rock on his Yankee 30 Emerald in the SSS Round the Rocks Race on Saturday. © 2018 /

The last day of sailing in the U.S. Qualifying Series hosted by NYYC in Newport, RI, got a perfect 12- to 17-knot sea breeze. The top seeded Gold fleet teams faltered from near capsizes, breakdowns and penalties, allowing hope for the pack lurking close behind — the last qualifier for the Gold fleet, Larchmont YC, climbed to the top as Seattle and San Francisco YCs held on to gain the other two berths in the 2013 Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.

The sailors from SFYC were no strangers these types of conditions. © 2018 Billy Black /

“They’ll probably be shocked to find out we qualified,” said Shawn Bennett, skipper for third place SFYC. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for the club.” Bennett, who has experience preparing for national and world championships, said that he is sure the members will step up the training for next year’s event. Sailing with Bennett were tactician Melissa Purdy Feagin and crew Tom Purdy and Jon Perkins. The regatta was sailed with 22-ft J/70s (Gold fleet) and Sonars (Silver fleet) on September 5-8. Newport Harbor YC finished in fourth and St. Francis YC in fifth place in the Gold fleet. See for more.

With the final day of competition at the Paralympic Sailing Regatta canceled due to lack of wind in Weymouth and Portland, UK, racing results from September 1-5 stood as final. The U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team’s Jen French and JP Creignou collected a silver medal in the SKUD-18 event (Two Person Keelboat). “It’s nice to know the race committee is cognizant of getting in good racing,” said French of the decision to end racing without a final race. “Everyone said that Portland would be a high-wind venue. In the end you had a lot of variable conditions and the top sailors who can sail in the variety of conditions are the ones that come out on top. Obviously the Aussies did the best.” The gold in the 11-boat fleet went to Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch of Australia and the bronze to Brits Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell.

SKUD-18 winners
The podium in the SKUD-18 event at the London Paralympics. © 2018 David Staley / IFDS

Also from Team USA, Mark LeBlanc placed sixth in the 2.4mR (One Person Keelboat) and Paul Callahan, Tom Brown and Bradley Johnson came in seventh in the Sonar (Three Person Keelboat). For full results, see, and see more photos here.

Four years ago at the Paralympic Games in China, Nick Scandone of Fountain Valley, who was in the advanced stages of ALS, won the gold medal in the SKUD-18 with crew Maureen McKinnon-Tucker. He succumbed to the disease shortly thereafter, having stubbornly outlived his prognosis. His widow, Mary Kate Scandone, has released a book about his inspiring journey, Nick of Time, the Nick Scandone Story. See

- latitude / chris

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September 12, 2012 – Your Boat

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The Electro-Diesel Mystery

September 12, 2012 – Onboard Profligate

On September 8, we needed to get from San Diego to Santa Barbara for the start of the Ta-Ta. As usual, we figured we'd do the old two-step: 80-some miles the first day to Two Harbors, and 80-some miles the next day to Santa Barbara. In order to conserve fuel and make the best time, we'd leave San Diego at 4 a.m. when it was calm, hoping to make it most of the way to Santa Barbara before the afternoon breeze and chop came up.

We dutifully arose at 4 a.m., ready to rumble. But as we turned the key to fire up the starboard engine, something funny happened. The light on the control panel came on for one second, then went off. This meant there was no juice getting to the panel, and therefore no juice getting to the starter motor.

Naturally we tried turning the battery and ignition switches on and off repeatedly. But there was still no juice getting to the starter to fire up the engine. So we went back to sleep and had dreams of tracing down circuits with our volt meter.

The next morning de Mallorca got up, tried to start the same engine 10 times, and each and every time it worked perfectly. What the . . .?

Anything like that ever happen to you on your boat? Any idea what might have been going on? For what it's worth, it was very damp at 4 a.m. But we've fired up the engine many times before in very damp conditions without a problem. Send your thoughts to Richard.

- latitude / richard

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Scott's Ship Found

September 12, 2012 – South Coast of Greenland

Terra Nova
Seen here in her former glory, the Terra Nova carried Scott's party on their ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic. © 2018 BBC / Getty Images

One hundred years after the S.S. Terra Nova carried Captain Robert Scott and his team on their ill-fated journey to the South Pole in 1912, the wreck of that ship has been discovered off Greenland.

The Terra Nova sank off Greenland's south coast in 1943, damaged by ice during a delivery trip to base stations in the Arctic, and was recently located by a team from the Schmidt Ocean Institute, a U.S. research company, during routine functional performance testing of echo-sounding equipment on the Institute’s flagship Falkor.

The discovery wasn’t truly random: researchers had selected the test survey site to not only test the research vessel's mapping capabilities, but also because they knew the wreck was in the area. During sonar mapping of the seabed, a 187-ft unidentified feature matched the reported length of the Terra Nova.

shrimp package
This special package containing high definition cameras and underwater flashlights was deployed during the exploration. © 2018 Schmidt Ocean Institute

A specialized camera known as a SHRIMP (Simple High Resolution IMaging Package) was dropped onto and towed across the top of the target. Footage showed the remains of a wooden wreck lying on the seabed and also identified a funnel lying next to the ship — these features together closely matched historical photos of the Terra Nova.

Remarkably, the vessel's mast still holds its shape after more than 100 years on the bottom. © 2018 Schmidt Ocean Institute

Mission accomplished on two levels: the discovery of the wreck of one of the most successful polar exploration vessels in history, and verification for the Schmidt Ocean Institute on the performance and operational condition of Falkor's multibeam echo sounders. Nicely done!

- michelle slade

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