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A Folkboat Frenzy

October 4, 2013 – San Francisco Bay

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The Folkboats are coming! The Folkboats are coming! Okay, they're already here and have been for some time, but their International Championships run through tomorrow. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

The 2013 Folkboat Internationals hosted by the Richmond YC started on Monday and runs through tomorrow. Nineteen Folkboats with three-person crews from Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain and the United States are competing in uncharacteristically calm conditions. Unlike in years past, winds have not exceeded 15 knots for the entire regatta.

Mellow breeze has made for relatively mellow sailing on San Francisco Bay. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

Monday's light-air practice race on the Olympic Circle, where the American teams placed at the top, proved only that the Europeans are fast learners —  some know the Bay almost as well as the locals. Although David Wilson (USA), managed two bullets on Tuesday, Germany's Christoph Nielson took locals to school, winning both of Wednesday's two Cityfront races and giving spectators at the St. Francis YC a remarkable show.

The Europeans' ability to place well in this regatta stems not only from their competitive home fleets, but is likely due in part to the local Folkboat fleet's overall condition, which is better than it's been in years.

Sailors from all over the world are competing in the regatta on borrowed local boats. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

Don't throw in the towel for the Americans though. Dave Wilson leads by three points, followed by Nielson (GER) and Ersnt Gaede (GER). Two races are scheduled for Knox today (wind permitting) and then it's back to the Olympic Circle for the the regatta's last race tomorrow.

We hope to have a full report on the event in the November issue of Latitude 38.

- ross tibbits

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Remember the Doo!

October 4, 2013 – Richmond YC

Summer is over. The kids are back in school and the boat's tucked away for awhile. But memories of your very own personal Delta Doo Dah are sure to keep you warm as the weather turns. 

It might not be the same as a dinghy raft-up in Potato Slough, but the Delta Doo Dah DIY Reunion Potluck will still be tons of fun. © 2018 Kathleen Dolan

As the season dies down, remember to join us for the Delta Doo Dah DIY Reunion Potluck at Richmond YC on October 10 — next Thursday — from 6-9 p.m. We'll share tall tales and warm drinks, and may even have a few prizes to pass out! The party is free to all Doo Dah'ers (or anyone else who managed to cruise the Delta this summer), so come on down. Bring your favorite potluck dish to share and cash for the bar. And if you haven't had a chance to upload your photos to our Smugmug site, please do so before Monday morning at 9 a.m. See you in Richmond!

- latitude / ladonna

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Ad: BoatFest at Marina Village

October 4, 2013 – Alameda, CA

BoatFest Oct. 3-6

© 2018 Northern California BoatFest /

Come celebrate boating at the Northern California BoatFest. There's something for everyone, with more than 140 new and used power and sailboats, boat rides, seminars, food, music, and fun for the whole family! It's all in Marina Village Yacht Harbor, and it's free, with lots of free parking.

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Weekend Racing Preview

October 4, 2013 – San Francisco Bay Area and Newport Harbor

Melges 24 Worlds
Roger That, Viva and Monsoon at the Melges 24 Worlds. © 2018 Leslie Richter /

We lead off today's preview with a quick look at this week's Melges 24 Worlds, continuing through tomorrow with SFYC hosting. After five races, Flavio Favini's Swiss entry Blu Moon is leading the 59-boat fleet. You may recall that Blu Moon led the fleet's Pre-Worlds at Rolex Big Boat Series – until they were nipped in the bud by Scott Holmgren and Terry Hutchinson on Rosebud, which is currently tied for third with Brian Porter's Full Throttle. Bora Gulari's West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes is wedged between them in second. It's still anybody's race, as the leaders are only separated by one point! In the Corinthian (all amateur) Division, Don Jesberg's Viva has a handy lead.

Melges 24 Nothing Ventured
The crew on Duane Yoslov's Nothing Ventured demonstrates classic Melges 24 downwind posture, crowded back at the pushpit. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

The U.S. Team Racing Championship for the George Hinman Trophy starts today at Newport Harbor YC and runs through Sunday. Many of the three-boat  teams racing in Club FJs have fun names like Bear Flag Alliance and Tiller Towards Trouble.

Season Closer at CYC
This weekend's YRA Season Closer is forecast to look a lot like this. © 2018 /

For the Season Closer on Saturday, the YRA had hoped to run the Pt. Bonita course, "but the tides were literally against us, so round the islands it is, along with the Crazy 8 pursuit race on Sunday," they wrote in their email newsletter. Corinthian YC will start and finish the races off their deck. Expect the post-race party to be on a smaller scale than CYC's usual Midwinter Saturday night bashes.

The Half Moon Bay YC Vice Commodore’s Cup invites Cal 20s, Coronado 15s and Lasers to race in Pillar Point Harbor this weekend. Saturday is for the grown-ups; kids race on Sunday.

Not quite the oldest perpetual trophy in sports, this one dates back to 1947, and is awarded for the oldest continuously run regatta at Richmond YC. The El Toro Stampede is this Sunday at RYC, with the usual two Stampede races, weight division races, and the Green Bottle/Soda 6-Pack race at the end.

If not you're not racing on Sunday, you may want to check out Sylvia Seaberg's 11:00 talk about the Pacific Cup at BoatFest in Alameda's Marina Village. Sylvia will speak about why the Pacific Cup race/cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii is a race for nearly all types of boats and sailors, and she'll discuss how to prepare your boat and crew for comfort, safety and fun. Latitude's own Andy Turpin will talk about how to Ha-Ha tomorrow at 11:00.

A Rating Rules Summit on Thursday, October 10, at 7 p.m. will ask the question, "PHRF, ORR, IRC, HRF, Americap, IOR, or ???" San Francisco Bay boat owners, sailmakers, marine industry pros, and race management types will brainstorm at St. Francis YC about what rule will get more people out racing next year (they left out Portsmouth). Reserve your spot here, or call (415) 563-6363 for more info.

Tiburon YC Race Chair Ian Matthew reminds us that the Joan Storer Women's Regatta is taking place on October 12. You may have one male aboard but he may not touch the helm. The Joan Storer is a 'counter' in Latitude 38's unofficial women's circuit. Update: This event has been shelved for this year due to lack of entries.

- latitude / chris

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Russian Crazy Craft

October 4, 2013 – Petrozavodsk, Russia

We quizzed our readership last week to see if anyone could properly identify the purpose of the unusual Russian sailing craft pictured below.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a. . . vodka delivery device? © 2018 Larry Radcliffe

Truth be told, we actually have no idea what specific use it was designed for, but we figured some worldly reader out there in 'Lectronic Latitudeland might know. And if not, we were certain that our query would at least yield some amusing explanations. Here's a sampling: 

"It's bound to be a downsized prototype of the next-generation, energy-efficient, Russian passenger ferry." — Bill Crowley 

"I was unaware that one could build a sailing vessel out of Legos." — Matthew Satterlee
"This is actually Larry Ellison and Team Oracle's first prototype!" — Marin James

"It's a Loom Boat, a multihull that weaves its own sails. Missing in the photo is the shuttle that zips back and forth, under and over the warp which is yet to be re-strung between those two rectangular things, called gallnettles, and you can see some of the fabric its made frapped to the jaspal, which is that masty looking thing sticking up in the middle. They have their own language for such things in Russia." — Brooks Townes

"Prototype vessel for Captain Ron: The Sequel." — Darrell Andrews

"On good authority, this is a private enterprise prototype for a giant mouse trap to potentially rid Russian lakes of an invasive and non-native species of giant walking catfish (clarius batrachus)." — Skip Allan

"It was obviously built to be put on a train and then sailed to France where the man and his wife can travel the canals as they have always wanted to do. Bonjour." — John Eldridge

"It’s one of the new omni-directional trans-Siberian vodka delivery scows (ODTSVDS) capable of operating on water, snow, or ice. Safety regulations do not allow booms (duh!), and operators must have current plank-walking certification. Looks like the amas are adjustable fore and aft." — Goose Gossman 

"Meet Ivan Foilov. Ivan has launched a grassroots, or as they say North of the Arctic Circle, permafrost campaign to start a Russian-based Trimaran World Series. Details are a little sketchy at this point, but the series will be conducted at sites North of the Arctic Circle. The trimarans will have to reach each racing site on their own bottoms. So you can see that the amas are detachable and will ride on the cabin top as sled dogs pull the trimarans to the next regatta over ice and snow with the skipper riding on the plank at the front of the tri. There already has been a lot of controversy on the rule that sled dogs will have to have been born in the country where the trimaran will hail from. Rumors have it that Iditarod sled dogs are already establishing residency in countries fielding strong teams in hopes that their offspring will be granted citizenship. There has also been a lot of talk of where dog food cans will be stored aboard while racing and appropriate penalties have already been written into the rule to guard against cheating. The aero plan is still up in the air, so to speak, with soft sails and salvaged Mig fighter wings at the top of the list. He wants to make this an 'affordable' event and hopes a lot of teams will participate. In the spirit of this rule, rudders will have to be able to 'kick up' in case of hitting bergie bits, and the cant of the amas will have to be fixed five minutes before the start.

"Ivan has been delighted with preliminary sponsorship interest. He is leaning toward each team being sponsored by a different vodka distiller. He has approached some prominent rum distillers that support sailing but so far they have given him the cold shoulder. Latest news has interest from New Zealand, but they want to have at least one event south of the Antarctic Circle. Ivan was unavailable for comment." — Pat McCormick

And finally the following, which we suspect is the most accurate — though certainly not the most amusing. For his (seemingly) correct answer Bill will be receiving some official Latitude 38 swag:

"It looks like it's designed to cruise canals and other narrow waterways with low bridges. The side decks flip up, which allows the pontoons to swing in. The mast can be tilted down to clear low bridges, a la upper Santa Cruz harbor berths." — Bill Ogilvie

- latitude / andy

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