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Still Sailing at 100 Years Old

August 5, 2015 – Lahaina, HI

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

What did aunt Cornelia want for her 100th birthday? To go sailing with a boatload of close friends, of course. She's seen here at the helm of the Trilogy VI cat with her son, sailmaker Barry Spanier of West Maui Sails and Canvas. 

© 2018 Paul Clauson

Some people obsess about how long they can extend their lives. But from our frame of reference a more important question might be: How old can I be and still enjoy sailing?

As Paul Clausen explains, his aunt, Cornelia "Connie" Spanier, celebrated her 100th birthday July 25 by taking a daysail aboard the Trilogy VI charter cat off Lahaina, Maui. A former San Franciscan who now lives in Maui, she "took the helm and enjoyed a wonderful sail with 60 of her close friends," says Paul. "We should all wish to live a life like hers."

In honor of his spirited mother, Connie's son Barry, a sailmaker, author and former cruiser, named his Westsail 42 after her. First launched in 1974, the S/V Cornelia has now been thoroughly refurbished and can often be seen sailing Hawaiian waters — sometimes with Connie along for a ride.

During the 1970s, Barry and his wife Claudette spent three years building the ferrocement sailboat Seminole, while living in a shipping container in a San Francisco boatyard. Once it was finished, they cruised Mexico and Hawaii together, and Barry eventually sailed on to many South Pacific destinations. During those years Connie apparently enjoyed his adventures vicariously because she saved all his letters, which he later published in book form titled Dear Mom: The Bare Chronicles (available on Amazon).

If you know inspirational sailors who are over 80, we'd love to hear about them.

- latitude / andy

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Take Us for a Ride

August 5, 2015 – California and Mexico

With the California cruising season in full swing and the Mexico winter season not that far away, lots of sailors are wondering whether it makes sense to carry bikes on boats, and if so, what kind of bikes.

Dona by the river with an electric bike

Doña and her new E4 Motion. As if she needed any 'power assist'. The bike cost $1,000, but has added tremendous range to her adventures.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

For what it’s worth, both the Wanderer and Doña de Mallorca recently got power assisted bikes. The afternoon that we bought them we went for a 30-mile ride! They’re heavy, but they open up your world.

Send your thoughts and comments to Richard.

- latitude / richard

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Ad: Enter the Pacific Cup Today

August 5, 2015 – Pt. Richmond, CA

© 2018 Pacific Cup Yacht Club /

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

August 5, 2015 – West Coast and Beyond

Express 27s near the North Tower

The flood under the North Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge made exiting the Bay a challenge on Saturday for 2nd Half Opener racers bound for Point Bonita. Brendan Busch's Express 27 #1 Get Happy!! shows off her shiny racing bottom on the way to winning the 12-boat one-design class.

© 2018 Erik Simonson /

The YRA's 2nd Half Opener was sailed in 'Chamber of Commerce conditions' on the first two days of August. Gordie Nash's remodeled Santana 27 Arcadia sailed her first regatta back in the water after repairs to the keel trunk, which was damaged when the keel hit a hard object in June's Delta Ditch Run. Nash filed this report: "Saturday morning the wind was a little out of the south enabling most boats to leave the starting line (near the Berkeley Pier) on port and make it all the way to the Sausalito shoreline without tacking. The wind was in the 10- to 12-knot range with very few shifts, flat water, and sunshine. Most boats could set spinnakers on starboard at the Point Bonita buoy and sail past San Francisco and well into the Alameda Estuary before their first jibe."

Tutus aboard Sea Star running in the Gate

Tutus have taken over Bob Walden's Cal 39 Sea Star. Here they are running back through the Bay after rounding Point Bonita and sailing back under the Golden Gate Bridge.

© 2018 Erik Simonson /

Saturday's 22-mile race finished right at Encinal YC, and a big raft-up and party ensued. Sunday featured buoy racing on the South Bay. Nash described a delightful day with moderate winds, sunshine and flat water. "If the weather and sailing were like this all the time we could not afford to live here!"

Conditions were a bit livelier upstream on the San Joaquin River, where Andreas Cove YC hosted the Franks Tract Regatta, with winds in the high teens to low 20s on Saturday and gusts up to 27 knots on Sunday. Each day's racing began in late-morning choppy ebb, which made for bouncy conditions but a fast windward leg. ACYC retained the Franks Tract Tractor Trophy, as no other club qualified three Cruising Division boats to challenge for it.

Relaxing at Andreas Cove YC after the Franks Tract Regatta

Tom Lueck and crew (in blue shirts) on the Hunter 41 Sir Leansalot from Stockton Sailing Club won the Cruising Division of the Franks Tract Regatta. Here they are relaxing post-race with the three-human, two-dog race committee at host club Andreas Cove YC at Owl Harbor.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Sponsored by the San Juan Island Yacht Club, the 45th Annual Shaw Island Classic Sailboat Race was held on Saturday in Washington's San Juan Islands. "The race, with 35 boats participating, started at noon with a slight breeze," wrote fleet captain Barb Ray. "All entrants made it past the halfway point, but the wind came to a stand-still back at the mouth of Friday Harbor. Only 13 boats successfully crossed the finish line." Ben Colwell's F18 cat Rum Line beat a variety of entries to claim line honors and first place on corrected time.

Morgan Larson

Morgan Larson, from Santa Cruz and Oregon, has been skippering Ernesto Bertarelli's GC32. The foiling catamaran carries a five-person crew.

© 2018 Sander Van Der Borch /

The Swiss Alinghi team won the Bullitt GC32 Sailing Cup Kiel on Sunday after a light-air finish to the regatta on the Baltic in northern Germany. Santa Cruz native Morgan Larson and crew were hard to beat after a freaky Friday when they took six wins out of eight races in the eight-boat regatta. Larson wasn’t taking anything for granted. "I haven’t forgotten about that practice race on Thursday where we capsized and almost broke the boat on the rocks and somehow escaped it all. We’re lucky even to have been racing here." The next event on the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour will be held on August 27-30 in Rome.

- latitude / chris

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