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Volunteers Continue to Free Boats from Nelson's

May 8, 2013 – Ferry Point, Alameda

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

As seen in this file photo, Nelson's used to be a thriving maritime center. Sadly, it is currently the scene of a scramble to free boats from the tentacles of bureaucracy. Photo Latitude / Archives
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As reported earlier, a trio of unpaid volunteers has been splashing boats at Nelson's Marine in Alameda as fast as they can because the long-established business is being evicted by the city. According to one of the Good Samaritans, former Nelson's customer Scott Rhoades, once the gates are locked this Friday, boat owners will have to deal with city to retrieve their property.

Despite the fact that Rhoades and two former Nelson's employees have been launching up to eight boats a day, he estimates that "There are still at least 200 boats here." They range in size, he says, from big keelboats in the 50-ft range to a Cal 20.

From our conversation with Rhoades this morning, it sounds like the most frustrating part of the ordeal is not being able to reach all the owners, some of whom live out of the area, and thus are unaware of the eviction. "I would be pretty happy if we reached 50% of them," he said. 

Another challenge has been dealing with scavengers who've been hovering like vultures in hopes of taking scrap metal or boat parts from the all-but-abandoned site.

We have not seen a transcript of last night's Alameda City Council Meeting, but we're told that Council members took a conciliatory tone with concerned mariners, and indicated that there will be a process by which owners can retrieve their property, even after the eviction is physically formalized this Friday. 

Political red tape being what it is, however, if you have a boat in Nelson's or know someone who does, we would strongly urge you to get it out of there ASAP. The man to contact for permission to launch is attorney Kevin Montee, (925) 943-6570, whose firm Horner and Singer LLP has been contracted by the City as outside counsel for the Nelson's case.

- latitude / andy

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Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

May 8, 2013 – Northern California

Urs Rothacher's SL33 BridgeRunner was the first boat to finish Saturday's race to Vallejo. © 2018 Annie Ellicott

Saturday's Vallejo Race had lots of wind at the start on the Olympic Circle — enough to cause some gear damage and at least one injury requiring stitches — a persistent ebb, light spots near Red Rock and the Brothers, lots of wind in San Pablo Bay, and even more at Vallejo YC, making the raft-up of almost 200 boats more challenging than usual. A raucous party followed, fueled by $3 Mt. Gay rum piña coladas dispensed from slushie machines by hard-working VYC volunteers. Sometime during the night, the encroaching cloud cover tamed the wind, and Sunday's race back to the Bay started with a half-hour postponement. The 35-knot winds forecast for San Pablo Bay never materialized, and the upwind race proceeded at a controlled pace. Complete results can be found at Wondering about the asterisks and "SREs" (single race entry) next to many of the finishers? "The PC Series is once again a true series, with people who sign up for the season earning points," explained Laura Muñoz of the YRA.

Basic Instinct
Memo Gidley's Elliott 1050 Basic Instinct sails past the Brother Islands on the way north. © 2018 Annie Ellicott

The dinghies and boards sailing on the Cityfront in the Elvstrom Zellerbach found much more wind, as high as the mid-30s, on Saturday afternoon. "Saturday was windy," said Laser District 24 Secretary Nick Burke. "By the end of racing, the Bay was covered in whitecaps. In the last race many people were commenting on how to stop their boats from submerging on runs. There were a number of spin-outs as opposed to capsizes, although there were plenty of those too." Sunday's wind was much lighter. See for results. The next event on the Svendsen's Grand Prix series for Lasers is the Monterey Fleet Championship this Saturday, May 11. "This event has a reputation for a moderate breeze, an ocean swell, lots of sea life, and a hospitable club after sailing," said Burke.

Estuary racing
Andrew Dura's little Wylie 24 Run Wild (#12) beat the bigger boats in EYC's Class A last Friday evening. © 2018 Fred Fago

Encinal YC's Spring Twilight Series completed Race 3 on Friday Night. EYC's series is one of three Alameda-based beer cans on the Estuary. EYC and Island YC sail on Fridays, and Oakland YC runs the Sweet Sixteen Series on Wednesday nights. See our Beer Can page for more.

Twisted and Taz!!
Beer cans combine casual racing with socializing. The Farr 40 Twisted has plenty of room on the rail for friends. © 2018 Fred Fago

Kiteboard racing
'Beer cans' aren't just for keelboats. St. Francis YC hosts evening races for kiteboarders on Thursdays and windsurfers on Fridays. © 2018 /

In Sailing World's final national collegiate rankings of the spring season, Stanford holds a narrow lead in the coed poll over second-place Yale and third-place Georgetown. Stanford is #10 in the women's rankings. Go Stanford!

- latitude / chris

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Ad: West End Cruising Club

May 8, 2013 – Two Harbors, CA

West End Cruising Club

© 2018 West End Cruising Club /

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AYSF Capsizes AC45

May 8, 2013 – San Francisco Bay


While Great Vallejo Race participants were waiting out a light wind postponement for the return trip on Sunday, the young guns of the American Youth Sailing Force were pushing themselves to the limit on the Bay, resulting in the first AC45 capsize for the team. It was the first Red Bull Youth AC team to achieve such a dubious honor.

“When things go wrong, the AC45 is a wild beast, just in a different way," said Team Captain Ian Andrewes. "We were sailing in big breeze on San Francisco Bay when we were hit by a huge puff and rolled the boat over.”

The team had prepared for this possibility, and the fact that the capsize was relatively gentle, resulted in no injuries and no significant damage to the boat. "It's good we're pushing our sailing and learning as a team," said helmsman Michael Menninger.

The Force's boat should be back in the water and ready for Friday's scheduled joint training session with USA45 Sailing.

- latitude / ladonna

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Mexico's Amigo Net Migrates

May 8, 2013 – West Coast of Mexico

If you're planning to cruise Mexico this season — or you're already enjoying those sunny latitudes — you'll want to make note that the much-used Amigo Net has switched frequencies.

Net Manager Jake Howard writes, "Starting May 15, 2013, the Amigo Net will switch frequencies to 6.212 USB. With the passing of Don Anderson last year, it makes more sense to operate on a 6-Meg frequency versus the two-frequency system (8.122 and 4.149) that has been used for the last 10-plus years in order to accomodate Don's weather reports from Oxnard. 

"Our start time will remain at 1400 Zulu and we still have a weather report at 1415 Zulu so, other than the frequency change, the format remains the same."

Look for a complete overview of Ham and SSB communications in an upcoming edition of Latitude 38 magazine, which will include a complete list of cruiser net frequencies and times.

- latitude / andy

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