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This Time She'll Go Nonstop

November 19, 2014 – US Virgin Islands

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

There's not a lot of room aboard a 28-footer with a canoe stern. But Donna wouldn't dream of going offshore without her trusty guitar. She hopes to release a new album prior to her solo departure next summer. 

Photo Courtesy Inspired Insanity
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Remember Donna Lange? On March 29, 2007 this Oregon-raised, US Virgin Islands-based sailor made nautical history with the completion of a solo circumnavigation, westabout with stops, via the great capes aboard her SC 28 Inspired Insanity. In seven months she intends to set off again, but this time she hopes to do a lap around the planet nonstop. If successful, she will not be the first West Coast woman to do so. That honor went to Vancouver, BC-based singlehander Jeanne Socrates, who finished the trip last year aboard her Najad 380 Nereida. But Lange could be the first American woman to complete the circuit nonstop.

In the months before her summer departure, Lange hopes to raise money not only for her voyage, but to publish a book about her travels as well as an album of her latest original songs. Yes, Donna is quite an interesting character. A mother of four with 11 grandchildren, she is a nurse by profession, holds a 100-ton Master's License, is a published author, and plays guitar, uke, harmonica and even the steel pan. Check out her website here

Quoting stats on singlehanders often feels like stepping into a minefield, but as far as we know, Pat Henry was the first West Coast woman to solo circumnavigate with stops (1997 in the Southern Cross 31 Southern Cross, via Panama), followed the next year by Karen Thorndike, who did it aboard the Rival 36 Amelia via the great capes. For more on West Coast circumnavigators see Latitude 38's master list here.

- latitude / andy

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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The Big Sail

November 19, 2014 – San Francisco, CA

Cal and Stanford under spinnaker at the A buoy

Every November, StFYC hosts the Big Sail, just before the big local rivalry college football game, Cal vs. Stanford.

© 2018 Chris Ray /

The Stanford Varsity sailing team continued their domination of the California Golden Bears, defeating the Bears for the tenth straight time in the 11th annual Big Sail. Match racing in J/22s provided by St. Francis Yacht Club, the Stanford skipper, Hans Henken, and his crew won the start in both races, and continually had Cal skipper, Stephen Bordes, and his crew off balance. The races were sailed in a 10-knot easterly, with a three-knot ebb flowing, and any mistake was quickly magnified.

Stanford Varsity, with commentator Mike Ratiani (left to right): Hans Henken, Kieran Chung, Max Kohrman, Haley Kirk

© 2018 Chris Ray /

The situation was much the same in the Young Alumni (under 40) division. Skipper Nick Dugdale and his Stanford crew won two straight races over Blaine Pedlow and his Cal teammates.

The Stanford varsity team at the awards

Stanford Young Alumni: Ben Pedrick, Oliver Riihiluoma, Katie Riklin, Nick Dugdale

© 2018 Chris Ray /

However, in the Master’s division (40-59 years), Cal skipper Liz Baylis and her all-woman crew took two straight wins over the Stanford team, led by Rolf Kaiser. This is the first time that an all-woman crew has competed in the Big Sail.

Liz Baylis and crew at the awards

Cal team Liz Baylis, '85; Melinda Erkelens, '86; Stephanie Wondolleck, '87; and Manon Baze '90, won the Masters Alumni division.

© 2018 Chris Ray /

The Grand Master division was equally lopsided. The Cal team, with skipper Tad Lacey, easily defeated the Stanford Grand Masters, with Peter Szaaz at the helm, in two races.

Commentator Mike Ratiani and and Big Sail co-founder/principal organizer Ron Young posed for a photo with each cheerleading squad.

© 2018 Chris Ray /

At the awards ceremony, commentators Mike Ratiani and Ron Young repeatedly asked the competitors how they might explain Stanford’s dominance in the younger divisions, and Cal’s dominance in the older divisions. Cal’s Liz Baylis summed it up this way, "Like a fine wine, Cal sailors get better with age."

- John Tuma (Cal '86)

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Holiday Shopping in Our Chandlery

November 19, 2014 – Mill Valley, CA

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

November 19, 2014 – California and Cape Town, South Africa

Mob of sailboats in McCovey Cove

Things weren't looking too promising for South Beach YC's first Island Fever race of the season on Saturday.

© 2018 Martha Blanchfield /

On Saturday, the would-be racers in South Beach Yacht Club's Island Fever, which starts and finishes in San Francisco's McCovey Cove, were tantalized by a little wind, but it didn't last, and none of the 23 boats that started was able to finish.

The crew of Breakout

The crew of the Santana 35 Breakout goofed around for the camera during SBYC's postponement.

© 2018 Martha Blanchfield /

Encinal YC's Jack Frost, with drop-mark racing in the Slot, fared a little better. After a two-hour postponement, 30 racers in five divisions were able to complete one out of the two races scheduled. This series includes one design classes for Wyliecat 30s, Olson 25s, and Santana 22s. All sailed a one-lap windward/leeward course, except for the fastest PHRF boats, which were sent around twice.

Blowing bubbles

How to tell the 'wind' direction when you don't smoke.

© 2018 Jennifer McKenna

Sequoia YC's Redwood Cup Series got off to a great start, despite some extra challenges. Fleet captain Andrew Rist explains: "The starting area contained 100 high school sailors racing in FJs, two dredges were taking up the width of the channel, and the morning breeze died around noon. With the start moved to the end of the channel and the breeze back up to ten knots, a nine-mile course was called that included a long and a short windward/leeward. Alex Huang, continuing his domination of pursuit races in the South Bay, won the day on his J/29 L2O. With 15 boats competing, a nice fall breeze, close racing, and a beautiful sunset, it turned out to be a fantastic day."  

Redwood Cup racing

Mark Green's Ericson 36 Sweet Grapes had a sweet breeze in the Redwood Cup on Saturday.

© 2018 Carol Petersen

Shane Young of Long Beach YC won the Butler Cup ISAF Grade 3 match race November 15-16 against a field of seven other competitors hosted by LBYC using Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s Catalina 37s. The plan for the regatta was for a double round robin, meaning that the race committee needed to complete 56 matches in two days. Saturday's light 6- to 8-knot southerly built through the day. By shortening the course, the RC was able to get all of the day’s 28 races completed. Because of only 2-3 knots of wind, the first race didn’t get going on Sunday until around 2:00 p.m., but fortunately the RC and umpires had come up with an abbreviated schedule, with fewer matches to run.

Shane Young and crew

Shane Young (at helm) and his LBYC team put in a solid performance in winning the Butler Cup on Sunday.

© 2018 Rick Roberts

After winning both Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain, to Cape Town, South Africa, and Saturday's in-port race, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing took a conservative approach to today's start of Leg 2. Up to 35 knots of wind for the opening circuits around Table Bay followed by warnings of possible tropical storms and even cyclones sharpened the nerves of the seven teams battling to keep their reefed Volvo Ocean 65s in check on a churning procession of white-capped waves. As we write this, Team Brunel and Team Vestas Wind are in the lead. Read more about the start here.

Team Alvimedica

Team Alvimedica crashes through a wave in today's start of Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi.

© 2018 Gilles Martin-Raget / Team Alvimedica

- latitude / chris

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