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March 2, 2009

Worth the Wait

"The March issue of Latitude isn’t coming out till Monday?!" cried a beleagured Sausalito West Marine employee when this month’s delivery date came up in conversation over the weekend. "Do you have any idea how many people are going to come in here on Sunday and get mad that it’s not here?" Indeed, two ladies standing nearby looked stricken. "Not till Monday?!" No amount of apologizing and explaining could cheer them.

Okay, that last bit may be an exaggeration but we do want to apologize to anyone who went to their local Latitude 38 outlet yesterday in search of the March issue. You’ll have more luck today, as our delivery drivers are en route to all the normal outlets as you read this.

Check out the recaps of the always-chaotic-and-always-a-blast Three Bridge Fiasco, the Zihua Sail Fest and the Vendée Globe Race. Find out what some crazy Californians are up to in the Caribbean. Learn just how far several sailing school students have gone after graduation. Of course there’s much more — we think you’ll find the March issue was worth the wait.

South Bay Sailors Rewarded for Patience

Although it took an hour and a half of waiting, the breeze finally did fill for the fleet at Sequoia YC’s Winter #4, and the sailors were rewarded for their patience.

© 2009 Erik Simonson

While Richmond YC’s events were canceled due to the sewage spills of the previous week, this weekend still had something to offer for sailors in the South Bay, at the Sequoia YC’s Winter Series #4 on Saturday. The Club’s Fleet Captain, Jim Peterson checked in with a report from the series’ penultimate race.

The crew of Grace Kellie enjoying the afternoon.

© Erik Simonson

"With breeze in the 5- to 10-knot range predicted, 15 boats hit the water under overcast skies with temps in the high 60s," Peterson said. "The race committee called for a 9.5-mile course and a start time that coincided with a max flood of 1.5 knots at 12:30 p.m.

Pizote doing a good job of keeping the boat “quiet.”

© Erik Simonson

"Well, we got to the start line and and there was 0.0 knots of wind, and the fleet was drifting towards Dumbarton Bridge in the flood, so the committee postponed. Two boats — Mike Reed’s Magic and Charlie Watt’s Head Rush — tied up to Buoy 3 waiting for the start. After numerous postponements, we started the race at 2 p.m. on a shortened, 5.12-mile course. After the hour and a half wait, everyone was happy to start, even if it was only in 3 knots of wind!

Sailing MADE Easy.

© Erik Simonson

"All but one of the boats completed the course with Head Rush winning, followed by Magic and Ron Brown’s Black Sheep in the Spinnaker Division. In the Non-Spinnaker Division, Dan Doud’s TimBuktu took the win followed by Rick Dalton’s Iowa."

For results and more, check out the club’s website.

Sea of Cortez Sailing Week Aboard Profligate?

Be in the middle of all the fun aboard Profligate during this year’s Sea of Cortez Sailing Week.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you’d like to escape from the cold of winter and economic gloom, you might want to join Latitude‘s Surfin’ 63 Profligate in La Paz on April 1 for the Sea of Cortez Sailing Week. We, along with about 20 other boats and their fun-loving crews, will be sailing up to spectacular Caleta Partida and Isla Partida, then back to Caleta Partida and La Paz. It’s seven days of sailing, swimming, hiking, volleyball and potlucks on the beach, group sunset cruises on Profligate — almost all of it about as far from civilization as you can get. We’re talking adventure, not luxury, so you’d be a working part of the crew, not a passenger on a bloody cruise ship. But you can have all this sailing fun, food and flights included, for under $999. Email Doña for details — but please, only respond if you’re serious. Interested in something a little more civilized? Ask about crew openings for the Banderas Bay Regatta on March 17-21 out of Nuevo Vallarta.

Getting away from the northern winter could make you feel as happy as these former Profligate crew look!

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Crew List Party Next Wednesday

"I’ve been away from sailing on the Bay for nearly a decade now," writes El Sobrante’s Richard Arnold. "But my father has died, my ex-girlfriend has moved to Japan, and only the cat — her cat, which has no expiration date — remains. I need to get out of the house and back on the water, but the cupboard looks bare of skippers begging for crew who are willing to earn their keep for daysails. Is this just the seasonal doldrums, or has the amateur sailing world changed here on the Bay? Shouldn’t there be crew-wanted ads in the back of every Latitude 38?"

The good news for Richard — and everyone else — is that there’s no shortage of boat owners looking for crew, you just have to look in the right place. Now that we’re in the digital age, the ‘right place’ is our online Crew List!

There you’ll find a list of skippers looking for all kinds of crew for daysailing. If you’re interested in racing, or sailing to Mexico, those lists are online too. And don’t be afraid to put your own ‘Looking to Crew’ ad!

Now if you believe in the power of meeting people face-to-face, plan on coming to our Spring Crew List Party at the Golden Gate Yacht Club, next Wednesday, March 11 from 6-9 p.m. We supply the name tags, munchies and door prizes — which will include things like an 18-ft Skiff dryshirt from, and a mounted print from Lyons Imaging’s galleries to be selected by a lucky winner.  You get access to all this for just $7 — or $5 if you’re under 25 and show ID. There’s a full, no-host bar to boot. It’s really a great opportunity to get a feel for how well you’ll mesh with a potential skipper or crew. Plus, the people who show up to the party are typically more serious about finding crew.

Puddle Jumpers Poised to Pounce

Corbie Von Stein of the Morro Bay-based Royal Passport 47 Emerald was all smiles when she and Rick made their Marquesan landfall a few years back. Still, we’ll bet she would have welcomed a night ashore in a swank hotel.

© 2009 Rick Von Stein

From Ecuador to San Francisco, boats within the so-called Pacific Puddle Jump class of 2009 are currently making final preparations before setting sail for the fabled isles of French Polynesia.

Regardless of whether crews are sailing aboard big, stable mulithulls or cramped pocket cruisers, the 3,000-mile crossing to the Marquesas is a very long trip. So, naturally, the sailors who won free nights at swank Marquesan hotels last month (as reported February 20) were thrilled at the prospect of luxuriating in the deluxe accommodations of the Pearl Resorts on Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva.

We learned this morning that three-time Puddle Jumper Bob Bechler, who won a night at the chain’s Nuku Hiva property, took it upon himself to see if he could ‘spread the love’ to the rest of the fleet. Good news! Nuku Hiva’s Keihahanui Resort has offered all Puddle Jumpers a roughly 35% discount off their rack rate for their best bungalows, plus they’ll throw in a free breakfast (normally $27!). While this rate, about $210, still isn’t what you’d call cheap, springing for it may be just the enticement needed to keep weary crew from jumping ship. Check out the 360 degree video and you’ll see what we mean.

We’re currently fine-tuning our master list of 2009 Puddle Jumpers, which we’ll publish here later this week.

Due to a recent sewage spill in Contra Costa County that dumped almost a million gallons of raw and partially-treated sewage into the Bay, Richmond YC cancelled both its small boat events for this weekend — the Sail A Small Boat Day scheduled for today, and the final installment of the Small Boat Midwinters on Sunday.