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Latitude's Secret HQ?

October 30, 2013 – Clipper Cove

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

We had no idea what we were looking at when we sailed into Clipper Cove on Labor Day weekend. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"Uh oh," writes reader Rod Williams, who keeps his Catalina 42 Azure at Marina Village in Alameda. "Isn't this Latitude 38's secret world headquarters? Your cover is blown — better head out to sea!"

We quickly clicked the link Rod supplied and were relieved to find our cover wasn't blown after all. It was just Google's super-secret barge structure that CNET reported on late last week. We were wondering what was under construction when we joined friends in Clipper Cove over Labor Day weekend. Now we know . . . sort of.

The Borg Family -- Laurie, Austin, Spence, Briana and Friday -- aboard their Jeanneau SO 45.2 Solace joined in the festivities. They didn't seem at all curious about the barge either. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

These crazy cats -- Ronnie Simpson, Mark Rayner, Brian Gonzalez-Jones and Erik Jones -- were too busy breaking in the Joneses' new Island Packet 370 Aventura to give a rat's ass what Google was up to. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Honestly, we were too busy having fun with our friends and enjoying the view of the freshly lit San Francisco Bay Bridge — and the eerie hush that filled the cove due to the bridge closure that weekend — to pay much attention to the ugly structure.

Besides, this view was much more enjoyable. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Now excuse us while we go search Google Earth to make sure satellite images of our real secret headquarters haven't populated yet.

- latitude / ladonna

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Baja Ha-Ha Update

October 30, 2013 – Pacific Ocean

The 20th annual Baja Ha-Ha has been like all the others that came before in that the conditions just keep getting better and better. The event started Monday morning in rainy conditions and, by the afternoon, the fleet were dealing with light headwinds. And, man, that first night was C-O-L-D! 

Yesterday afternoon, we had 13 knots out of the northwest and smooth conditions. Now into the third day, we're 50 miles north of Cedros Island and the wind is blowing 15-18 knots out of the northwest. The sun is out with scattered clouds, and life looks lovely.

Well, except the National Hurricane Center is forecasting that a tropical storm will develop near Manzanillo and possibly head up toward Baja and Cabo. Hmmm . . . the Ha-Ha fleet and a tropical storm in the same place is not a good thing. We'll keep an eye on the forecast and see how things are developing when we reach Turtle Bay.

Passage Weather shows the depression -- with top wind speeds of 30 knots -- petering out between Cabo and PV by Monday. © 2018 Passage Weather

Speaking of, tomorrow is the baseball game between the Baja Ha-Ha fleet and the women and children — all terrific baseball players — of Turtle Bay. We can't wait to bring you the photos!

If you're into stats, the rally started with 128 boats and 489 people, but by the time the late-starters catch up, we'll have 130 boats and more than 500 people. The fishing has been good. One boat even hooked two dorado — they landed the first but the second ripped the rod and bracket right off the boat! And the best quote so far in the event came during a morning check-in when one crewmember reported that all was well aboard the boat. "Except," he said, "we blew a guy." 

And with that, until next time.

- latitude / richard

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Made You Look

October 30, 2013 – Latitude 38 World Headquarters

'Lectronic Latitude ads have the power to reach 5,000 people — a day! Advertisers tell us that their web traffic increases dramatically when they place ads in 'Lectronic. Get your customers' attention with one today. Contact your ad rep at (415) 383-8200: John Arndt, ext. 108, or Mike Zwiebach, ext. 107.

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

October 30, 2013 – San Francisco Bay and Long Beach, CA

On a sometimes very sunny Saturday, the breeze took its time filling and then settled in at nearly 15 knots steady on the Cityfront. © 2018 Chris Ray /

The first warning signal on Saturday for StFYC's Fall Dinghy & Olympic Classes Regatta was about two hours late. Most people left the dock relatively lightly dressed. The wind started picking up by the time they got to the start line, and, being lightly dressed, most people got cold.

5o5 racing at Fall Dinghy
5o5s in their second race on Saturday: John Turney's Stimulus Package from StFYC is in front of Jeffrey Condon's Mr. Pink up from NHYC. © 2018 Chris Ray /

On Sunday, the breeze was up from the get-go and built as the day progressed. Everyone had dressed for warmth but got cold anyway. On the Cityfront course, a 29er pitchpoled and a sailor fell through the main, punching a hole and forcing them to retire. On the north course, west of Alcatraz, there were good waves to ride downwind all the time, a payoff for getting cold and hiking hard. Clockwise and counter-clockwise Great Pumpkin pursuit race fleets converged near the start line while the Lasers were in sequence, really chopping up the water and making it challenging. One of the Lasers capsized and big boats had to take evasive maneuvers.

Wet reach
Chris Harvey, Andrew Pitcairn and Bob Hyde went clockwise on an F-25C in the Great Pumpkin pursuit race and achieved escape velocity in the reach between Alcatraz and Angel Islands. © 2018 Chris Harvey

Regarding the Great Pumpkin pursuit race, Chris Harvey commented about his first outing on his as-yet-unnamed F-25C. "Conditions were, um… a bit more than we expected. Seeing our sistership, Mark Zimmer's F-25C Khimaira, with a broken mast before the start had us a bit nervous (understatement). However, with a reef tucked in, the boat was fantastic." Besides the dismasting, victims of the unsettled conditions included some crew overboard (safely recovered) and a capsized Ultimate 20 (crew also safely recovered). Saturday's Great Pumpkin buoy races were much tamer, with lots of sunshine, flat water, and light to moderate breeze. See for results. Although the scores for the pursuit race are noted as "final" they are not all correct.

Great Pumpkin skeletons
This pair made the best-dressed list at the Great Pumpkin Halloween party. © 2018 Julie Turpin

October's been a good month for Allie Blecher. A week and a half ago, the 25-year-old skippered the California YC team to victory in the 22nd annual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge in Long Beach. Blecher and crew bested a field of nine Catalina 37s in seven races on October 19-20 (see Then, a few days later, Alamitos Bay YC announced that Blecher has been hired as junior sailing director. She's also targeting the 2016 Olympics in the 49er FX class with crew Helena Scutt of Kirkland, WA.

Allie Blecher and Cal YC team
Allie Blecher (left at helm) and her CalYC team stayed focused and won the Linda Elias Memorial Women's One-Design Challenge. © 2018 Rick Roberts

The annual membership meeting of the Singlehanded Sailing Society, plus the Vallejo 1-2 awards and the overall season trophy presentation all take place tonight at Oakland YC in Alameda, starting at 7:30 p.m. Everyone who sailed (or tried to sail) in the Vallejo 1-2 should go pick up their shirts!

Awards season is upon us. If your fleet or club is having a trophy ceremony or season-ending party that you'd like us to list in this space on November 1, please drop us a line before 10 a.m. Friday.

- latitude / chris

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