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September 26, 2007

Folding Boat – and We Do Mean Folding

Boelter’s boat ‘underway’ on the Elbe. The origami creation is part of an ongoing exhibit by the artist.

© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

German artist Frank Boelter was fooling around with a milk carton at breakfast one morning when all of a sudden (so the report goes) it occurred to him that you could build a boat out of this stuff. So he did. Using an 1,800-square-foot piece of Tetrabrik – a paper product which is used, among other things, for making milk cartons – Boelter spent just two hours bending and folding to come up with Bis Ans Ende der Welt ("Until the end of the world"), a 30-ft, 55-pound ‘boat’ that cost all of $217. Boelter says the craft will survive a biblical 40 days and nights before it disintegrates into a soggy blob.

Leukemia Cup – Sail for a Cure!

The Leukemia Cup, hosted by San Francisco YC, is this Saturday, and is not only a worthy cause, but also tons of fun. First and foremost, it’s a PHRF race but secondly, and more importantly, it’s a fundraising event.

Get this: if you donate more than $1,000 you can share an exclusive evening with Tom Perkins and learn about  the Maltese Falcon. There will also be many other incentives: standard YC festivities including a BBQ, and prizes from sponsors, like gift certificates from West Marine, hats and T-shirts from Mt. Gay Rum and a chance to sail with world-renowned sailor and ESPN commentator Gary Jobson (who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2003).

Taking it local, Bay sailors Mario Yovkov, who’s father died from leukemia, and Mark Witty are being sponsored to sail and will have some leukemia survivors onboard their 1D35s as crew. You can donate to Witty’s efforts at:

Campbell, honorary skipper & leukemia fighter, forward right in the blue hat, seen here with 2006 Leukemia Cup winners.

Leukemia Cup SF
©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Bill Nolan and David Joyner are co-chairs of the event and Bill’s son, Campbell, is the honorary skipper. Campbell, who’s just 8 years old, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in 2005 (what a fighter!). For more information and to sign-up yourself, visit:

Sailing with Kids? Not So Tough

Who says sailing with kids is tough? Here’s what super-sailor Rob Wallace has to say about it:

Rob knew baby Cristopher was a born-sailor on the way back from Hawaii in ’87 – check out the kid licking the salt spray off his lips!

Rob Wallace
©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"This first photo shows me holding my 4 1/2 month old son Cristopher in the cockpit of Dennis Choate’s Carter 60 Gitana in 1987. Fourteen days of changing diapers wasn’t too bad. In the middle of the day, if the weather was good, we’d put him in his car seat and lash it athwartships in the cockpit. As you can see he’s having fun sticking out his tongue and tasting a little salt spray!  Arrrg!

Baby Cristopher’s drink of choice can be seen in front of Dad’s drink.

© 2007 Niels Kisling

The other photo is also probably during that November of 1987 while bringing the SC50 Cipango back from a Cabo Race. As you know Santa Cruz boats have the drink holders built in. You can see baby’s drink and Daddy’s drink. I’m sure I’ll get some letters about that! However, I believe that parents with young children can cruise and be as responsible and careful as they need to be while still having a beer after lunch for crying out loud. This photo hangs in our home today.

Rob’s other son Evan, 17, made his fourth trip back from the Islands with his dad aboard the SC50 ‘Fortaleza’ (ex-‘Allure’) after this summer’s TransPac.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

My then-wife and I always found cruising with our kids quite easy and enjoyable. The experiences that they were lucky enough to get will benefit them throughout their lives. I encourage young families to get out there and just do it."

The Un-Northern California Sailing Look

Having spent much of the summer in Southern California for a change, we couldn’t help but notice a couple of differences between sailing down there and up in Northern California. The first, of course, is the weather. We haven’t seen 20 knots down there all summer, something we’d typically get almost every afternoon and early evening on the Bay. We miss that wind. On the other weather hand, we haven’t seen any serious fog down south, and haven’t missed that stuff at all. And while it can sometimes get cold along the Southern California coast, even in the summer, it’s often warm and sometimes hot. A couple weekends ago, for example, we had a great spinnaker run from Avalon to Newport. Even though we were moving along in the 10 to 13-knot range, happily leaving some of the huffing and puffing big trawlers in our wake, it was still so warm that nothing more than shorts and a T-shirt was required, and then only for common decency. It was often warm even at night. We enjoyed many a wonderful after-sundown BBQ on the beach at Two Harbors, attired in just shorts and a T-shirt. That’s hard not to like. In fact, if we had to chose between global warming and global cooling, we can assure you that we’d prefer Hades.

Another major difference we noticed is the attire that some Southern California women – perhaps more specifically, some Newport Beach women – wear while sailing. Take, for example, Shannon Green, the star attraction in the accompanying photo. She’s not just a member of a prestigious Southern California yacht club, but an enthusiastic participant in the Ensenada and other races, beer can races, and has sailed on Bill Gibbs’ catamaran Afterburner, the fastest boat in Southern California. She spends many summer weekends crewing on cruising boats to Catalina, and for Labor Day she chartered the sailboat she’s standing on in the photo. Based on her actions, she’s really into sailing.

Shannon’s not just a pretty face, she’s also a dedicated sailor and real estate developer.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

And like some other Newport Beach women, she’s into what we in the sailing provinces would consider to be some unusually vibrant sailing outfits. For example, if she was seen getting off a sailboat at Ayala Cove in the outfit she’s wearing in the accompanying photo, we’re certain that most folks would assume –  rightly or wrongly – that she’s a not particularly sharp ecdysiast. In reality, she’s a successful developer, currently cobbling together a mall or something in Denver. And mind you, she’s not even wearing what we’d describe as ‘the full Shannon’. That would consist of a bubble gum-colored miniskirt, a lime green top, and matching pink with sparkly sequins sunglasses and cowgirl hat. And it’s not like Shannon is the only women sailor in Newport who dresses this way. But we’re open-minded, so vive la différence!

The bottom line is that there are more differences in Northern and Southern California sailing than just the weather.

P.S. Did we mention that Shannon is single and that, if she doesn’t do the Little Ensenada Race, is likely to be at Catalina for the wild and wooly Buccaneer Day festivities at Two Harbors on October 6?

Marina Riviera Nayarit as seen last Friday. latitude/Doña de Mallorca
©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC Doña de Mallorca paid a visit to the much anticipated 400-berth Marina Riviera Nayarit at La Cruz on Banderas Bay last week to check on the progress.
"I’m a 26-year-old Aussie lass who will be heading your way to join my parents on their boat Warrior in Puerto Vallarta," writes Melissa Kuiboer.