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Pac52s and More in SCYA Midwinters

February 16, 2018 – San Diego, CA

Gladiator bow wave
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The Pac52 Gladiator digs in on the approach to a spinnaker set. Bowman Matt Cornwell keeps composure.

© 2018 Martha Blanchfield /

San Diego Yacht Club hosted eight sleek 52-footers and six Beneteau First 36.7s as part of the massive Southern California Yachting Association Midwinters on February 10-11. Competitors saw winter skies and cooler winds prevail on Saturday and SoCal balminess on Sunday.

52-footer fleet start

Sunnier skies overhead Sunday as the Pac52 and TP52 fleet hits the start line and cuts to the first mark.

© 2018 Martha Blanchfield /

Over the course of five fleet race starts, it was Tony Langley of the TP52 Gladiator, whose crew is training with Ben Ainslie and members of Land Rover BAR, who claimed first after corrected time. Dale Williams and crew of the TP52 Wasabi were all smiles collecting a second-place spot — barely besting Tom Holthus and BadPak by a scant one minute on corrected time. Shared Langley, “We arrived on Tuesday to light air during practice. Over the course of the week we saw a range of conditions and got in a lot of good sailing while here.” The British racer states that he likes the Corinthian format for this event, plus the warmth and hospitality of the region.

Crew of Gladiator

SDYC Commodore Mike Dorgan (second from right) and Simon Dekker, commodore of Southern California Yachting Association, present the first-place prize to Sir Ben (third from left), skipper Tony Langley (holding bag) and crew of Land Rover BAR Gladiator.

© 2018 Martha Blanchfield /

The British prevailed; Land Rover BAR Gladiator tallied 2-1-3-1-2 for 9, BadPak clinched second with 4-4-2-2-1 (13), and Manouch Moshayedi and his Pac52 Rio crew raced to 1-3-4-4-4 for a count of 16.

Beneteaus on the line

An active group, the Southern California Beneteau First 36.7 fleet hits their stride Sunday afternoon for Race 2.

© 2018 Martha Blanchfield /

Mike Whittemore of Melokia and crew clinched a first place for Beneteau First 36.7 fleet racing, running a 1-1-1-1-2 streak. A member of the Coronado YC, he’s raced the boat since 2005. "Saturday’s conditions were challenging with confused seas and plenty of wind. My tactician, Lauren (Bernsen) Wilson in her first regatta since the birth of her son, made great calls that kept me out of trouble and put us in a position where we were competitive in every race.” Add great trimming from Jim Mills on main and Dan Flynn and Dom Michaud on headsails. “Technical work and screw-up recovery was outstanding from our front end team of Joe Lerma on bow, Billy Jenkins at the mast and Sara Smith and Tammy Lee Morell in the pit.” Robert Carlson's Adeline earned second place, and third went to Sorcerer with Robert Kopaniasz and crew.

It's a spinnaker drop down the hatch for Melokia ahead of Adeline on a windy Saturday afternoon.

© 2018 Martha Blanchfield /

Look for more on the SCYA Midwinters in Racing Sheet in the March issue of Latitude 38.

Mike Whittemore of Melokia and crew saw downwind speeds reach 7 to 8 knots — with the Pac52 and TP52 boats passing by “about 250% faster.”

© 2018 Martha Blanchfield /

- martha blanchfield

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Greetings from Barra

February 16, 2018 – Barra de Navidad, Mexico

"We've reached our goal." That's what Pat McIntosh wrote to tell us after fundraising efforts in Barra de Navidad were completed in last night's meeting to match up boats and passengers for the boat parade and sail underway this morning. 

Seventy-three people donated $36,500 pesos (more than $1,800) to rewire the local elementary school in Bario. Pat wrote, "We reached our goal thanks to Rick and Bridget Pearce, who read 'Lectronic Latitude's post regarding the event while anchored out at Tenacatita. They are well known on the Bay, as well as longtime cruisers in Mexico, and said they could carry as many folks as it took to make this happen for the school. Their Hasty Heart, a Swan 61, is hosting 20 folks for the day!"

Hasty Heart

A big heart on Hasty Heart. Rick and Bridget made it happen by making sure there was plenty of room for people to contribute and sail in today's fundraiser.

© 2018 Pat McIntosh

Pat  continued, "Thanks to you at Latitude and lots of sailors who made this happen; there will be some extra funds to complete even more here in Barra de Navidad."

In a needy world we see more and more cruisers taking time out from their adventures to contribute to local communities with events like this, connecting with a local Habitat for Humanity project, contributing with citizen science, or just generally being goodwill ambassadors as they explore the world. Thanks go to Pat and Carole, Rick and Bridget and the many others who make these things come together. There's a lot of good sailing fun involved too — a good combination. We'll have a report from another fundraiser benefitting Mexican schoolchildren, the Zihua SailFest, in 'Lectronic next week.

- latitude / john

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February 16, 2018 – USA

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Bummer Balloons or Fun MOB Drill?

February 16, 2018 – Catalina, CA

A reader sent us a snippet the other day about finding plastic 'decorations' on the water. As any sailor knows, trash in our waters is a nagging problem. Even though most longtime Bay Area residents recognize that our local waters have dramatically improved over the last three decades, there's still plenty of trash to be found on any given day of sailing. In fact, several readers have sent us stories and pictures of their cleanup efforts. It makes us wonder, how many of you are picking up trash while you're on the water? We'd like to know.

My friends and I went on a cruise from Long Beach to Catalina, and on the way out, I saw several balloons on the water. It bummed me out. I suggested to the crew that we pick up the next balloon as man overboard practice. It was fun, and it felt good. So we did it again. Then we were on a mission.

From celebration to total bummer, plastic balloons are just one of a billion types of plastic creeping into the ocean. It might seem harmless, but imagine if the sushi you're enjoying ate a 'Happy Birthday' balloon before you ate it. Food for thought. Left to right: David Ruzicka, Megan Zeitler and Brian Zeitler (not pictured: Michael Berndt and Steve Mohr).

© 2018 Michael Berndt

Everyone got a chance to drive and pick up balloons. It was great fun. By the end of our four-day cruise, we had 'rescued' 16 balloons. We found the older balloons easier to get on the boat hook. But we were able to get all of the ones we went for. Join the fun! Pick up balloons or whatever you find.

- michael berndt

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More of the Same - Nice!

February 16, 2018 – San Francisco Bay

Most of the people enjoying sailing on the coast of Mexico probably don't know how nice the sailing has been here over the past several weeks. And, dang, this weekend looks like more of the same — just a great weekend to get out on the Bay.

Looking West from Angel Island

Last weekend's sail over to Angel Island and hike to the top produced some spectacular views of a Bay filled with sailboats. 

Photo Latitude / John
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Pt. Richmond

The view from the peak showed those who were out enjoying the Bay and quite a few spars at Richmond Yacht Club that will have another chance to get out this weekend.

Photo Courtesy John
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Ayala Cove

Over at Ayala Cove on Angel Island it was pretty pleasant at sea level, at the peak or both.  

Photo Latitude / John
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Weekend weather

Looks good to us. See you out there. 

Photo Latitude / John
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you're not in any of these shots you could attend our March 7 Crew List Party at the Golden Gate Yacht Club to make sure you're on the water for the next sunny weekend.

- latitude / john

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