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When a Fiasco Is a Success

February 1, 2016 – San Francisco, CA

Three Bridge Fiasco starting area
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Welcome to the big party in San Francisco.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

San Francisco was a busy place this weekend. While thousands waited in line at the Embarcadero to celebrate one sport, hundreds more lined up along the Marina to compete in another: the biggest — and oddest — yacht race of the year, and they didn't even have to go through security.

first start

Golden Gate Yacht Club's buoy X marks the start. Cal 20s and a Yankee Dolphin started the Three Bridge Fiasco pursuit race first, at 9 a.m. The Cal 20s started from east to west toward Blackaller Buoy near the Golden Gate, while Dick Loomis and John Amen sailed the Yankee Dolphin Old School east toward the Bay Bridge.

© 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

The Three Bridge Fiasco pursuit race kicks off the Singlehanded Sailing Society's season of Bay and ocean races for shorthanded sailors. SSS race chair Allen Cooper reports that 369 boats registered, 325 started, and 289 finished. Not bad for a Fiasco!

Entries graph

This year's entries broke last year's record, as shown in purple.

© 2017 Jibeset Associates / www.jibeset.net

Red Rock rounding

As is often the case, Red Rock, just south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, was the trickiest mark to get around. As Sail Tactics predicted on Friday, a huge wind hole bested many a racer in the North Bay and Southampton Shoals area.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

By the time the bulk of the clockwise fleet reached their third mark, Treasure Island, the breeze and the flood current had built, making for a bouncy short-tack beat up the Cityfront to the finish. Some singlehanded racers found themselves over-canvased and just had to tough out the mid-teens breeze.

Traveler and Lookin'Good

David Ross and Javier Jerez on the Express 34 Traveler and Rafi Yahalom and Ron Kitowsky on the Corsair Sprint Lookin'Good were indeed lookin' good abreast of Berkeley when a fresh westerly filled in from the south.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"The first finisher, shortly after 2 p.m., was Bill Erkelens' Wylie Wabbit Jack, which crossed from the east to west," reports SSS treasurer Kristen Soetebier, who worked the radio on the race deck all day. "The first singlehander was Punk Dolphin, Jonathan Livingston's Wylie 39. I believe he came in from the north. The first multihull was the Extreme 40 Smart Recruiters, from the east. The biggest news was that there was wind enough for most folks to get around the course. Most of them went to Blackaller first, then Red Rock, then Treasure Island, finishing from the east." Finishers can come from any of three directions because they can start in either direction and round the three marks in any order.

The intrepid race committee crunched numbers all weekend and posted (very) preliminary results this morning. See Jibeset. Awards for top finishers and shirts for all participants will be handed out at the trophy meeting on Wednesday, February 10, at Oakland YC in Alameda. Expect to also hear the winners tell how they did it.

- latitude / chris

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


February Latitudes Out

February 1, 2016 – San Francisco Bay and Beyond

February issue cover

Our Valentine to you: the February issue of Latitude 38.

Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Sweet! The February issue of Latitude 38 is making the rounds of docks and marine businesses in the Bay Area and beyond. To find out where you can pick one up, see our list of distributors; you can also subscribe. For those of you who prefer your magazines in pixels rather than newsprint, our February digital editions are ready now too.

Within the pages of this issue, you'll find features about cruising the Marquesas and midwinter racing on the Berkeley Circle. Max Ebb geeks out about El Niño's effect on winter sailing. Sightings features include previews of the new Super 12-Meters and a solo New York-to-San Francisco record attempt in a proa; check-ins with Merlin's Bill Lee and singlehanded circumnavigators Donna Lange and Jeff Hartjoy; introductions to two new female boat owners; the confirmation that yes, there will be no San Francisco Boat Show this year; and more. Racing Sheet reports on the Rolex Sydney Hobart, various Bay Area midwinter races, the Ultimate 20 season champions, and international racing news. World of Charter previews the deals available now for summer charter vacations and explores the Spanish Virgin Islands. Changes in Latitudes' datelines include the Indian Ocean, the North and South Pacific, the Med and more.

- latitude / chris

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Ad: KKMI Sausalito Hiring Administrator

February 1, 2016 – Sausalito, CA

KKMI is looking to hire a full-time professional office administrator for our Sausalito boatyard. This position focuses on day-to-day customer and project communication, invoicing, and accounts receivables. Ideal applicants are proficient in Microsoft Office, quick learners, detail oriented and able to juggle several tasks at once. Well suited candidates enjoy being part of a fast-paced team and are confident speaking about boats.

To apply, please contact Cindy at cindy@kkmi.com, (510) 235-5564 or visit our website at www.kkmi.com to download an application.

KKMI Logo

© 2017 KKMI / www.kkmi.com

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Swimming with Dolphins in the Wild

February 1, 2016 – Tenacatita Bay, Mainland Mexico


While up the mast, John was surprised to discover a couple of dolphins swimming beneath his and his wife Debbie's Deerfoot 62. 

Photo Courtesy John Rogers
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Like most sailors, we at Latitude 38 don’t like the idea of dolphins being kept in cages or pens so humans can swim with them. But we don’t see anything wrong with swimming with dolphins in the wild — especially to see if they are messing with your anchor.


Once in the water, John discovered that the mammals were using Moonshadow's anchor chain as a scratcher. 

Photo Courtesy John Rogers
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A couple of weeks ago, John Rogers of the San Diego-based Deerfoot 62 Moonshadow was up the mast of the boat at Tenacatita Bay when he spotted a couple of dolphins swimming in the clear water beneath the boat. So he dove in with his waterproof camera. He was able to get quite close to them, and discovered that they were — as you can clearly see — using Moonshadow’s anchor chain as a back and chin scratcher.


Dolphins apparently enjoy a good tummy scratch. 

Photo Courtesy John Rogers
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After John was done, he got to musing if dolphins ever attacked humans with their sharp teeth. Apparently there have been a few cases of dolphins biting humans, but not killing them — which they are easily capable of doing.


Using a $150 Fuji waterproof camera, John got this terrific looking photo of one of the dolphins. 

Photo Courtesy John Rogers
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

So we have two questions: 1) Have you ever gone swimming with dolphins in the wild? And 2) How come dolphins never bite on lures dragging behind boats? Email us here


After swimming with the dolphins, Debbie and John, who have been married for more than 40 years, enjoy cocktails at the Swim Up Bar, aka SUB. Does Tenacatita look tropical in this photo or what? 

Photo Courtesy Moonshadow
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

P.S. Last night we enjoyed a once-in-a-season splurge at the Sufi restaurant behind the gates in the Four Seasons complex at Punta Mita with John and Debbie. You have to have reservations to get inside the gates, and once inside, it can be pretty hard to find the restaurant. But Sufi is a terrific special-occasion restaurant — free rides to and from the parking lot in a golf cart — and the food is delicious. We recommend getting there about half an hour before dark so you can enjoy all the vegetation and the view back toward Puerto Vallarta. Shorts and sandals are fine, but wear a collared shirt.

- latitude / richard

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