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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

February 19, 2014 – San Francisco Bay

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Blustery conditions greeted the early division starters at this year's second annual Robgatta. Photo Latitude / Ross
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

This past Saturday Corinthian YC hosted the second annual Rob Moore Memorial Regatta. The North Sails sponsored 'Robgatta' attracted 143 entries eager to race in Rob's memory and help find a cure for lung cancer.

The day's racing started out with promising breeze as boats headed from Knox to Blackaller. But as the first divisions arrived on the Cityfront getting around the mark became increasingly challenging with the significant ebb in place. Fortunately, the breeze didn't shut down completely and racers made it back to Corinthian YC for the post-race activities.

Sweet Okole and Uno squeak around Blackaller in light air and significant ebb. Photo Latitude / Ross
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Following the racing, entrants were entertained with live music and some free pizza and beer. Silent and live auctions followed as well as presentations by speakers John Craig, Stan Honey, Sally Lindsay Honey, Kurt Jordan and Dee Smith.

"Our auctions raised over $21,000 for Free to Breathe, our non-profit partner focusing on lung cancer research and awareness," says Leslie Richter, the event's founder and Rob's widow. "Combined with individual contributions, it looks like we raised over $30,000 this year." There are still auction items available online if you want to support the cause!

Corinthian YC hosted a second day of racing on Sunday, marking the end of their midwinter racing this season. "We ended up sending about half the fleet on a windward-leeward course that included a very nice parking lot at the leeward mark (by Pt. Stuart)," says PRO, Jeff Zarwell. Fortunately, "boats were ultimately able to sail out of it to the finish... It ended up being a long day, but the weather was beautiful and all but one boat finished the race."

- latitude / ross

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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And Now, the Numbers

February 19, 2014 – Zihuatanejo, Mexico

We received a load of photos on February 10, just in time to give you a pictorial overview of what this year's Zihuatanejo Sailfest was like. But at that time we hadn't yet received the numbers — and they are impressive.

A fine illustration of 'paying it forward', 9-year-old Austin Brown presents a ceremonial check to Lorenzo Marbut that represents two years of fundraising efforts. His proud papa, Greg, joins fleet members in cheering Austin's selfless gesture. Photo Courtesy Zihua Sailfest
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As we often explain, each year Sailfest features a diversity of both on-the-water and off-the-water activities, all of which contain a fundraising component, with the proceeds going to built or support local schools for disadvantaged indigenous children. 

"What a magic year!" says longtime Z-Fest organizer Lorenzo Marbut. "We raised over 1,000,000 pesos — a new record." At today's exchange rate that's just over $75,000 USD. Z-Fest typically raises more funds for charity than any other cruiser-fueled fundraiser in Mexico. But this total is truly jaw-dropping compared to previous efforts. 

A big chunk of that total came from a single source: Nine-year-old Austin Brown of Springdale, Arkansas donated $21,000 USD. When we ran his photo in our previous report holding a huge ceremonial check, we naturally assumed he was doing so on behalf of his parents, Greg and Sharon Brown. Wrong. Believe it or not, Austin actually earned the cash himself by selling "snow" at weekend craft fairs. It's a salt-like polymer powder that expands rapidly when water is added, and feels cool to the touch as the water slowly evaporates. (Marketed as Instant Snow on the Internet.) Austin and his family first came to Zihua on a church mission, and they've returned three times since, largely to assist with Z-Fest. 

"It's been an amazing journey with Austin," says his proud father. "He's taken his newfound fame rather in stride though. If anything, it appears only to have energized him to continue. His mother and I are simply his support system." And they reward his generosity with gifts of Legos. 

Austin's accomplishment inspired another volunteer, retired school teacher Jane Fiala to donate $10,000 USD for a kitchen at a proposed new school. "Que Milagro!" says Lorenzo. (What a miracle!)

Thirty-five boats participated in this year's event, and they hosted more than 260 guests on the sailing events, raising nearly $100,000 pesos. A total of 68 volunteers, including land-based supporters, organized and worked the week-long fiesta.
Another unique aspect of this year's event was that, largely due to Sailfest efforts, the United Nations certified Zihuatanejo as Latin America's only city with a "Culture of Peace." Sailfest's Mexican non-profit, Por Los Ninos de Zihuatanejo was invited to host the award's presentation because the UN theme this year is Education for Peace. 

- latitude / andy

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February 19, 2014 – West Coast

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Do You Need a Watermakers & SSB?

February 19, 2014 – The World of Sailing

Robert Fulton of Vancouver, B.C. is preparing to take his Tayana 37, Tropical Dreams, south to Mexico this fall, followed by the Pacific Puddle Jump next spring. He was very interested is our recent piece about Chris and Anne-Marie Fox's two year cruise aboard their Islander 36, Starship.

"When transforming a regular boat into a cruising boat, two of the most common expenses are installing a watermaker and a SSB radio with a Pactor modem," Fulton writes. "Together they can cost upwards of $7,500 with installation. I'm reaching decision time with regard to both of them."

To pass the time during a spinnaker run, the Starship crew took this selfie on a stick. Photo Courtesy Starship
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Starship's 100-gallon water tank and the Fox's water-conservation measures made it possible for them to exclude a watermaker from their cruising upgrades —  which pleased them quite a bit. The Fox's also noted the amount of energy required to run a watermaker can entail either adding an additional source of power or running the main diesel too often.

When Latitude 38 started, nobody cruising in the South Pacific had watermakers. Rain catchment systems and sometimes extreme water conservation were all the rage. And so, during dry times, there were saltwater showers. 

The possibility of saving more money on upgrading his radio to SSB has Fulton asking, "I know that most bluewater cruisers have SSB radios for safety and social purposes, but I'm wondering if any  cruisers go without. And if so, how they feel about it?"

We'd like to know too. If you've sailed across the Pacific, as Fulton hopes to in the near future, what's your opinion on the need for watermakers and SSB radios? Please, send us your thoughts via email.

- latitude / ross

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