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Ha-Ha'ers at Turtle Bay

November 2, 2012 – Turtle Bay, Baja California Sur


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

As the fleet motorsailed toward the starting line last Monday, fleet members got extra credit for wearing their costumes -- the more elaborate the better. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As we gather together our beach toys, potluck utensils and fresh-caught fish for today’s Turtle Bay beach party, we’ll take stock of the last two days, since Wednesday's report.


As reported earlier, there was very little wind at the 11 a.m. start, so a rolling start was instituted -- where boats could motor without penalty. But less than a half hour later, a light breeze filled in from the west and built into the teens during the night. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC


By early afternoon chutes were flying all through the fleet. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With a dozen boats converging several miles outside the broad Turtle Bay entrance, a brilliant full moon rose over the Baja Peninsula as if custom ordered so the fleet could enter and anchor with ease and confidence. 

On the radio net the next morning most boats reported having a splendid time sailing during the 360-mile first leg, with far less drama and blown-out sails than was typical during previous years due to the relatively light winds. 


If youre not used to standing watch in the wee hours of the night, doing so can be a shocker, but there are distinct rewards, such as viewing spectacular sunsets. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Eight boats sailed whole way, and several others motored only a very short distance.

During the run south, water temperatures were roughly five degrees higher than normal, which led to both experienced and inexperienced fisherfolk boating tuna, dorado and more. 


In Turtle Bay, two competing fuel services supplied diesel at less-than-stateside price, from floating fuel boats. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The big event yesterday was the annual Ha-Ha baseball game, where the event’s Grand Poobah pitched continuously for hours, giving up roughly 2,000 hits, without a single strikeout. Spectators hooted and hollered as local kids, as young as 6, joined in the fun.


The Poobahs soft lobs were easy to hit -- and everybody got a chance to play. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC


Pasty Verhoeven sprints for first base hoping to evade the tag. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Last night fleet members filtered throughout the town, patronizing small tiendas, the internet cafes, and all three restaurants. A first this year was when the Vera Cruz — which boasts the town’s only disco dance floor — ran out of tequila. Shocking! 


Crew members from the Seattle-based schooner Patricia Belle were in high spirits as they celebrated their successful first leg. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With any luck we’ll be able to post an additional Turtle Bay report Monday morning, before the fleet departs on 240-mile Leg Two to remote Bahia Santa Maria.

- latitude / andy

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Disabled San Diegan Wins Gold

November 2, 2012 – San Diego

Martin 16 fleet
The doublehanded Martin 16 division starts a race in the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships. © 2017 Ian Trotter

San Diego sailor Ryan Levinson won first place overall in the three-person keelboat division at the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships on October 26-28 at Southwestern YC, sailing on a Capri 22 for the Gene Hinkel Trophy.

A mixed bunch
The winning Capri 22 can be seen on the left side of this photo. © 2017 Ian Trotter

Levinson is a life-long sailor who suffers from FSH Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes muscles throughout his body to progressively weaken over time. There is no known treatment or cure. Levinson is now too weak to raise his arms overhead or do a single sit-up, push-up, or pull-up. He has lost muscles in his leg and can no longer stand on his toes, yet Levinson has developed techniques and modified equipment that enable him to continue sailing at a high level despite his increasing weakness.

Levinson has won national and state championships in triathlon and cycling, but this was his first time competing in the disabled division of a sailing regatta. He is currently preparing his 38-ft sailboat Naoma for an extended passage to the South Pacific. As part of that preparation he recently completed a 22-day sailing expedition — mostly singlehanded — through the Channel Islands and coastal ports as far north as Point Conception.

At the U.S. Championships Levinson sailed with skipper Andrew Fisher and Mike Hersey, both East Coasters. The trio dominated the regatta with first place finishes in six of the eight races despite facing competition that included a Paralympic silver medalist and a former world champion.

Levinson said, "It feels incredible to be able to compete successfully against athletes of this caliber. Having the regatta here in San Diego made it an especially meaningful victory for me. I'm grateful to US Sailing, Southwestern YC, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation for their support and for ensuring that sailing is open to everyone regardless of their physical ability." Challenged Athletes Foundation is a San Diego non-profit.

Charlie Rosenfeld and Joseph Hill
Charlie Rosenfeld (#2) chases second place finisher Joseph Hill (#121) in 2.4m singlehanded dinghies. © 2017 Ian Trotter

Nearly 50 competitors traveled from all across the country to compete in six classes. This was the first time the event was held on the West Coast. In the 2.4 mR singlehanded fleet, Charles Rosenfield of Connecticut won his third Judd Goldman Trophy. Michael Strahle of Redding and Donna DeMarest  of Waterbury, CT, captured the Martin 16 doublehanded fleet for the Chandler Hovey Trophy.

Michael Strahle
Michael Strahle and Donna DeMarest, sailing for Redding YC, can be seen here in a Martin 16. Liberty sailor Russell Phillips rounds the mark behind them. © 2017 Ian Trotter

For more, see http://championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USDisabledChampionship.htm, http://ryanlevinson.comwww.southwesternyc.org, and www.challengedathletes.org.

- latitude / chris

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Apple's Venus

November 2, 2012 – The Netherlands


Venus bears a resemblance to Andrei Melnichenko's A but is still very unique. © 2017 OneMoreThing.nl

Normally Latitude 38 is all about sailing, but since the late Steve Jobs was so local, and was certainly the greatest entreprenuer of the Baby Boomer generation, we present the first views of the 250-ft boat he was having built in The Netherlands. She bears a resemblance to A, but is nonetheless very different. What else would you expect from someone who never relied on marketing surveys to decide what products Apple would manufacture?

- latitude / richard

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Weekend Racing Preview

November 2, 2012 – California

The top 18 men and 18 women singlehanded college sailors from around the country have descended upon sunny Southern California to compete in the 2012 LaserPerformance/ICSA Singlehanded Nationals today through Sunday off of the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier in Long Beach. The event is hosted by the United States Sailing Center-Long Beach and USC's Varsity Sailing Team. The women are competing in Laser Radials for the Janet Lutz Trophy, and the men are sailing Laser Full Rigs for the Glen S. Foster Trophy. Each sailor has earned a spot by qualifying at championship regattas in their respective conferences. Families, friends and fans can watch the racing from the pier.

Cree Partridge of Berkeley Marine Center will speak at Berkeley YC tonight about the new SF-to-SF race around the world coming up in 2015. “San Francisco Bay is one of the world’s most active sailing areas, and sf2sf will be the first around-the-world race starting and ending on the U.S. West Coast." A San Francisco-style dinner's included for $12. Drinks start at 6 p.m., dinner at 7, and the talk at 8.

Lelo Too and Solar Wind
Lelo Too and Solar Wind beat up the Estuary in last November's Jack & Jill + 1. © 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

Sunday's Jack & Jill + 1 triplehanded race for women skippers at Island YC on the usually mellow Alameda Estuary concludes Latitude 38's unofficial women's circuit. If you've skippered a boat in some of the races and/or participated in the seminars on the list, send an to email Christine Weaver, and you could be crowned 2012's Queen of the Women's Circuit! You can sign up for J&J+1 as late as the 11:30 a.m. skippers meeting on Sunday.

Catalina 34 fleet
The Catalina 34 fleet are among the one designs invited to race in the GGYC Midwinters. © 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

The Northern California midwinter racing season gets underway this weekend. Golden Gate YC's Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Regatta and Sequoia YC's Winter Series begin on Saturday. Sausalito YC's Midwinter Series begins Sunday. Race Chair Dave Borton promises, "Racing in the Knox/Yellow Bluff area of the Bay with 'up-down' and 'Bay Tour' courses. The winter (usually) has lighter winds than the summer. It's a great excuse to get out and have a good time, and maybe train new crew for next summer." Register here.

SYC Midwinter
Shorts and T-shirt weather is forecast for Sunday's SYC Midwinter. Unfortunately, wind is not. © 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

Berkeley YC got a jump on the winter races in October with their Sunday Chowder Series (#5 is this weekend). The Chowders are very much like beer can races. Their more 'serious' Midwinters begin on November 10 and 11, with separate series on each day, so you can sign up for Saturday or Sunday — or both! RegattaPRO's Winter One Design & IRC series starts on November 10, too.

Coronado 15, Banshee, Megabyte, Thistle, Laser and Lido fleets battle it out on November 11 in up to six races for the big prize — turkeys — in Lake Washington Sailing Club's Turkey Shoot Regatta at the Port of West Sacramento. See www.lwsailing.org/nors.

Santa Cruz YC's Winter Laser Series begins on November 11 and continues on the second Sunday of the each month through March. Also beginning on Sunday the 11th is Island YC's Island Days series.
 
Expanding on its success in Athens, Greece, the Global MBA Trophy has come to the Bay. Started seven years ago, the race pits MBA grads from the world's top business schools against each other in what is ultimately a high-energy networking opportunity. Event founder Michalia Negri recently moved to San Francisco, and when she floated the idea of hosting the race on the Bay, the response was immediate. "Emails from all over the world were coming in asking when the race will take place," she said. PRO Jeff Zarwell will run the race off Sausalito YC this weekend, November 3-4, and while sign-ups are closed, anyone can attend the associated events

For more November races and midwinter series, check our online Calendar. See you on the water!

- latitude / chris

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