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Faces in the Crowd at RBBS

September 21, 2015 – San Francisco, CA

James on the bow
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Study in red: James Clappier on the bow of Peter Krueger's HPR-winning J/125 Double Trouble.

© 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

Although the San Francisco wind machine cranked up to a good 20 knots in the afternoon on Thursday and Friday for Rolex Big Boat Series, the usual chilly breeze was replaced by a sudden heat wave on the weekend. On Saturday, only one race was completed out of the two scheduled — and that one started after 2 p.m. Sunday was a complete shutout, with crews more concerned with keeping their cool than working on race strategy.

Jumping off Perseverance

The young crewmen of the J/105 Perseverance kept their cool by jumping off the boat. "That hits you right away," they said, as they quickly climbed back out onto the dock.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The regatta, hosted with top-notch organization by myriad professionals and volunteers alike, is almost as famous for its shoreside socializing as it is for excellent racing.

Crew of Bud

The crew of Victor Wild's TP52 Bud enjoyed the free beer (not Bud) while waiting for Friday night's Mt. Gay Rum Party to begin. Bud won the two-boat ORR-A division against Eduardo Porter Ludwig's Mexican TP52 Patches.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Bow chicks and a couple of guys

The Mt. Gay Rum Party was as good a place as any for an impromptu meeting of the Foredeck Union.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Bill, Kame and Mike

Bill Bridge, Kame Richards and Mike Mannix of the Express 37 Golden Moon.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Kialoa III crew

The crew of the IOR classic Kialoa III at Friday night's party.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Brothers at the mast of Scorpio

Brothers Patrick (kite trim and runners) and Andrew (mast) Wilkinson from James Mullarney's Wylie 42 Scorpio wait out the shoreside postponement on Saturday.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We'll have a full race report in the October 1 issue. In the meantime, see www.rolexbigboatseries.com for results and much more.

The happy crew of Miller Racing

Randy Miller (center) and his talented young crew on the Marstrom 32 cat Miller Racing won the multihull division.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Racer X crew

Gary Redelberger (center, in white shirt) and crew from Lake Tahoe won the PHRF Sportboat division on the Farr 36 Racer X.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / chris

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Keeping Current with the Times

September 21, 2015 – Margaritaville, USA

Back in the 1980s, big beautiful schooners were still among the most desirable offerings of Caribbean charter fleets, and a number of high-profile celebrities were often seen in popular anchorages of St. Barth, Bequia and elsewhere, aboard their splendid old-timey boats: Bob Dylan's schooner Waterpearl and Neil Young's Baltic Trader Ragland, were among the most famous back then. But these days, the times they are a changin'.   


Sleek, sexy and set up for easy shorthanded sailing, Buffett's new ride would probably turn heads in any anchorage. 

Photo Courtesy Friendship Yacht Company
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While state-of-the-art megayachts — both power and sail — now dominate the Caribbean's luxury charter scene, many celebrities have swapped traditional yachts for high-tech vessels built for speed, comfort and easy access to that clear, turquoise water. A standout within this trend is crooner Jimmy Buffett's sexy new Surfari 44, designed by Ted Fountaine of Friendship Yacht Company, and currently being built by Pacific Seacraft in North Carolina with a November launch target. 

Among its slick innovations is its fold-down transom "tailgate" that doubles as a swim step; a sun-protected helm station in the deck-level salon with 360-degree visibility due to large forward and side windows, and sliding glass cockpit doors; and "push-button" controls for running rigging, all of which is led to the cockpit.


A bulb keel will contribute to speed and stability, her twin rudders will offer enhanced control, and her twin 75-hp engines will be available when tropical depressions shut down the trade winds. 

Photo Courtesy Friendship Yacht Company
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As you might image, Jimmy's Surfari 44 (whose name has not yet been released), employs composite construction with a carbon mast and boom. She'll carry both a roller-furling genoa and a furling asymmetrical spinnaker on a sprit, both of which are controllable from the salon. When winds go light, her twin 75-hp auxiliaries will ensure that Jimmy doesn't miss the party.

A lifelong waterman, Jimmy Buffett has owned many power-  and sailboats — including the beautiful Cheoy Lee Clipper Euphoria II, aboard which he penned Cheeseburger in Paradise and other Caribbean classics. It's anybody's guess what sort of tunes Jimmy's sleek new ride will inspire.


Buffett's new cruiser only sleeps four, but salon and full-width aft deck are ideal for open-air socializing. We can already imagine a dinghy raft-up with Jimmy entertaining from his new back porch. 

Photo Courtesy Friendship Yacht Company
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / andy

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September 21, 2015 – Pt. Richmond and Sausalito, CA

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© 2017 / www.kkmi.com

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Not Your Typical Boat Rental

September 21, 2015 – San Francisco and Honolulu

Renaud Laplanche and Ryan Breymaier brought new meaning to the rent-a-boat concept. During their six-month rental of the 105-ft VPLP maxi-tri Lending Club 2, they challenged and shattered three prestigious sailing records — most notably here on the West Coast, the outright Los Angeles-to-Honolulu record, with the jaw-dropping time of 3 days and 19 hours. 

Previously the pair and their crewmates smashed both the Newport-Bermuda and Cowes, GBR-to-Dinard, FRA, records. (In previous incarnations, this boat sailed as Banque Populaire VII and Groupama 3.)

"From the start we agreed we would have an open-door policy," said Breymaier in a statement last week, "and whenever possible we made the boat available for visits at the dock. Our skipper, Renaud, invited all the Lending Club employees to come sailing, and over 1000 of them took him up on the offer. We took children from sailing schools and students from all backgrounds, and as young as five and six years old. We took hundreds of Lending Club guests and business partners in both New York and San Francisco. Everyone without exception had the opportunity to drive the boat if they wanted to and everyone came back to shore with a huge smile and an unforgettable souvenir."

For a recap of the team's remarkable half-year campaign, check out this recently released video:

Courtesy Lending Club

For more see the team's Facebook page.

- latitude / andy

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