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Blending Fun With Fundraising

February 13, 2013 – Zihuatanejo, Mexico

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

A day of beach games brought nonstop smiles to the faces of these young scholars. © 2018 Margaret Reid

Although the Zihuatanejo Sailfest isn’t the largest annual cruiser event in Mexico, it’s a candidate for generating the most fun, and during it’s 12-year run it has raised more funds for charity than any other Mexican sailing event.

After drawing to a close Friday, the proceeds from various fundraising components were tallied and, much to the amazement of the organizing committee, the rough count was 767,000 pesos or close to $65,000 — all of which goes to build and sustain schools for disadvantaged indigenous kids who live on the outskirts of the city.

The parade of sail winds through Zihua Bay, then out around a small peninsula to the resort town of Ixtapa. © 2018 Margaret Reid

In addition to shoreside activities like a chili cookoff and an auction, there was a day of beach games — believe it or not, some kids who live in the nearby hills rarely get an opportunity to dip their toes in Zihua’s famous bay — a sailboat race, a parade of sail, and a casino-style gambling event. Nineteen boats participated in the parade, with 165 locals, expats-in-residence and vacationers paying a small fee to ride along. Forty-four non-cruisers also joined in the pursuit race, again for a small fee which was donated to the nonprofit Por Los Niños.

Holy frijoles! That's a lot of chili. Despite the goofy Rasta wig, chili chefs take this culinary endeavor very seriously. © 2018 Margaret Reid

We’re not sure anybody really cared that much, but for the record, pursuit race winners were 1) Bob Smith’s Victoria, BC-based 44-ft custom cat Pantera, 2) Brian Charette’s Jackson Hole, WY-based custom 36-ft catamaran Cat 2 Fold, and 3) Freedom Kirkland.

Sadly, winds for the pursuit race were light again this year, so it was no surprise that lightweight cats took top honors. © 2018 Margaret Reid

If you’re planning to cruise the Mexican mainland next year, we’d urge you to consider visiting the charming “real Mexican” town of Zihua — and participate in next year’s Z-Fest, where everyone leaves with a smile, knowing they’ve helped to make a difference in the lives of some extremely grateful kids. For more on the event see the website. (Any, by the way, donations to this worthy cause can be tax deductible in the US.)

Z-Fest swag anyone? As with other fundraising components, every dollar of the profits goes to help educate kids. © 2018 Margaret Reid

- latitude / andy

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Fall Crew List Party

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Rob Moore Memorial Regatta

February 13, 2013 – Corinthian YC, Tiburon

This weekend's Corinthian Midwinters has so much going on it's hard to know where to start. First, if you haven't already heard, Saturday's race is the Rob Moore Memorial Regatta, a fundraiser for lung cancer research. An online auction features some real E-ticket rides for sailors, including a sail for two aboard Roy Disney's Pyewacket, including air travel from San Francisco; a one-week charter in the BVIs aboard Latitude 38's 'ti Profligate; a Learn-to-Crew Course from OCSC Sailing; a private coaching session with Liz Baylis; a sail aboardYucca with Hank Easom; and much more. You can bid on auction items at, plus make donations and enter a separate online drawing for more great prizes at

CYC Midwinters start
Last February's Corinthian Midwinters enjoyed plenty of sunshine. The wind was coy on Saturday, bolder on Sunday. Photo Latitude / John A.
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Racing is likely to feature drop-mark courses. "We are up to 140+ entries, which is a nice bump from last year," said PRO Michael Moradzadeh. "We have a few more super-fast multihulls, so we should see some pretty amazing antics on the water as these guys tear up the course. We'll try to keep them clear of the boats that may find the forecast modest winds more of a challenge. Unlike last weekend, very light currents are predicted."

At 4:15, Stan Honey will update the crowd about "TV Graphics, Race Management, and Umpiring Technology to be used in the America’s Cup." After the awards, a raffle and dinner, the excellent Cole Tate Band will play in the ballroom. The final race in the series will be on Sunday. For more info, see Sign up to race by Friday afternoon for the discounted price of $60 at

- latitude / chris

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Ad: Celestial Navigation

February 13, 2013 – Cyberspace

Celestial Navigation: Learn how to find your location the old fashioned way… by the stars. 

  • Online classes are taught in a live webinar format. Students anywhere in the world can participate via live streaming video and audio feeds. 
  • Four Friday evenings in March. 

More info at

Offshore Passage Making: Prepare yourself and your boat to cross an ocean safely and comfortably. 

  • Classroom portions are taught as online webinars (similar to the Celestial Navigation class above), so that people anywhere in the world can actively participate. 
  • Three Friday evenings in April/May.
  • Optional on the water follow-up portion of the course will be done in July as a ten-day sailing trip to the Bahamas, with time allotted to snorkel, scuba dive, or just relax after we arrive. 

More info at

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

February 13, 2013 – San Francisco Bay

Joyride and Meritime
The Hoehlers' J/105 Joyride and Gary Proctor's C&C 30 Meritime at the Tiburon YC Midwinters. Fortunately, Gary didn't need the anchor. © 2018 /

Thirteen boats turned up for the second race in the Tiburon YC Midwinters. "It was a typical North Bay winter's day, a light southerly with a building ebb," said Race Chair Ian Matthew. After a brief postponement, Race Officer Rob Hutchinson chose a course with a windward mark, a close reach to a jibe mark, and then back to the windward mark on a broad reach with a run to the finish against the ebb tide. "In Division 1, the two J/105s retired after one lap so as not to be shut out of their berths at the -6.7 ft low tide, but the rest completed their two laps," said Matthew. "Alice Shinn's Laser 28 Sonata took both line honors and first on handicap." Ian claims that his Division 2 entry, the C&C 29 Siento el Viento had a poor start, then "used the spinnaker to great advantage to power around the reaching mark and then sail strongly back to the windward mark with plenty of jibes to the finish, keeping out of the tide." Results and series standings can be found at This series has one more race, on March 9.

Meanwhile, over on the Berkeley Circle, Berkeley YC's race chair Bobbi Tosse enthused about the gorgeous weekend. "We saw 50 starters and finishers on Saturday. Most racers were able to enjoy almost two hours of that nice gentle sunshine." On Sunday, BYC got 23 boats. "After a 50-minute postponement, the full eight-mile course was called for all five divisions. This proved to be too long a course for the prevailing wind and we shortened the course after only five miles. All that remains is to run the Champion of Champions race on February 24." See results at

Continuing on down the Bay, we check in with Sequoia YC's Winter Series. "Saturday brought with it light winds and a big ebb tide," writes Sail Fleet Captain Richard Butts. "Predictions were for 5-8 knots lightening later, so a 4.83-mile course was selected. With the fast moving tide, a route to mark 12 started as a reach and soon turned into a run as the boats were pushed west by the current. After mark 12, the fleet spread out all over the racing area as the strong current and diminishing winds took their toll. It became a very beautiful day to have lunch and a glass of wine on calm waters while the San Mateo Bridge loomed closer to your stern." Only four of the 13 starters were able to finish. See

- latitude / chris

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This Beer (Can) Is for You

February 13, 2013 – Bay Area

As the season's midwinter racing wraps up, many sailors are gearing up for the typically more spirited conditions found during the spring and summer's beer can racing. Most Bay Area clubs offer the opportunity to join in some ultra-casual weeknight racing, some with your boat, some as crew. Regardless of how you play, it's a great way to learn the finer points of sailing and tactics.

Casual weeknight beer can racing is a terrific way to hone your skills and blow off some steam after a tough day at work. Photo Latitude / Sutter
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

That being the case, we thought it would be interesting to profile some folks who were introduced to racing through beer cans and then went on to race at higher levels, such as in the TransPac, Big Boat Series and so on. If that sounds like you, shoot an email to Andy Turpin outlining your experience. If it doesn't sound like you (yet!), grab a copy of the Northern California Racing Schedule or check out the Calendar section of the March issue of Latitude 38 (on the shelves and our website March 1) for a list of beer can series near you.

- latitude / ladonna

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