April 1, 2009

Latitude 38 – Still Cheap and Easy

This is no joke – sailors will be racing around like wild hares today, eager to grab the new Latitude.

latitude/Annie
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Although many formerly reliable institutions are coming adrift from their moorings during these troubled times, it’s refreshing to know you can still count on Latitude 38 to be free, easy to find, and jam-packed with all the latest nautical news from the West Coast and beyond.

A new edition hits the streets today with several special features timed to coincide with the Strictly Sail Pacific & Power Boat Expo (April 15-19). So instead of wallowing in the recession blues, we suggest you settle back with the new Latitude and let our news and commentary ease your mind, while exciting your passion for sailing. (This link will take you to a complete listing of Latitude distributors.)

A Prelude to Earth Day

Who says picking up trash can’t be fun? At the Bitter End’s recent Go Green event, everybody got into the spirit.

© 2009 Guy Clothier

Here in the U.S., Earth Day doesn’t occur until April 22. But down in the British Virgin Islands, staff and house guests of the renowned waterside resort called The Bitter End Yacht Club got a head start on environmental housekeeping with their own Go Green event, timed with St. Patty’s Day.

Those of us who’ve had the pleasure of visiting that picture-perfect resort on Virgin Gorda’s North Sound might find it hard to believe there was any trash for do-gooders to pick up, but as evidenced by the photo above, all sorts of garbage finds its way onto nearby beaches — even at least one bikini top.

Nautical Stimulus Package Announced

In an effort to boost the softening marine industry, the Obama Administration announced today a nautical twist within its stimulus package. This grant opportunity is targeted to fall in line with other green initiatives, focusing on the “zero carbon” benefits of sailing. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the announcement this morning to a group of industry leaders. “This will not only be good for the environment," Pelosi said, "but also for all my friends in the Bay Area who love sailing.” Citing the newly announced joint marketing effort between mast maker Southern Spars and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, makers of Viagra, Pelosi said "We encourage commercial partnerships between companies as well." The two companies will soon launch a new advertising campaign with their slogan “A stiff rig is hard to beat.” The first commercials are due to air during the Volvo Ocean Race.

On the Republican side of the House, not everyone is convinced. “Many modern sailing yachts are fitted with carbon masts," scoffed Ron Paul of Texas. "How can this administration look us straight in the eye and say this package is focused on ‘zero carbon’ when the masts are carbon? I don’t care if you put the carbon in the atmosphere or up in the sky in the form of a mast, its all the same carbon in my book."

Clearly, like the bailout funds sent to AIG, the devil is in details. While this form of economic stimulation may be penetrating new territory, there’s no doubt, the seas are also wet and sloppy. 

Weekend Racing Wrap Up

With Monday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude dedicated to the dramatic rescue during the Doublehanded Farallones Race, we didn’t have room for our usual weekend racing review. So we bring it to you now. Note that, while the DHF experienced light and flukey breeze on the ocean for most of the day, the wind for weekend events in the Bay was mostly ideal 10-15 knots on both days.

Robert Hrubes enjoyed ideal conditions for racing his El Toro around the marks.

© 2009 Erik Simonson

Big Dinghy Regatta — Ninety-six boats in eight classes showed up for a fine weekend of racing at Richmond YC’s Big Dinghy Regatta. There were two to four races on Saturday, and a pursuit race Sunday. Big winners on Saturday included Lawrence Henderson, whose I-14 topped a 24-boat Southampton Open Class, Mike Gillum on an O’Day Daysailer in the Keller Cove Open Class (11 boats), Fred Paxton in El Toros (16 boats) and Chris Boome in Lasers (14 boats). On Sunday, Tim Parsons’ Hobie 20 topped a 34-boat field to win the 13.5-mile pursuit race around Red Rock, Southampton and Brooks Island. For more: www.richmondyc.org.

San Francisco Challenge Cup — St. Francis YC took this annual contest between the two ‘saint’ clubs, defeating the defending San Francisco YC. Barry Lewis’ J/120 Chance won the best of five series in three straight races. The winning crew included Lewis, Russ Silvestri, Holt Condon, PJ Cosgrove, Casey Fitzgerald, Jim Nicholas, Mike O’Callaghan, Gary Sadamori, Peter Scott and Seadon Wijsen. For more: www.sfyc.org.

High school kids really showed their mettle in the NorCal High School Championships.

© 2009 Erik Simonson

NorCal High School Championships — The Burlingame/Menlo Atherton team of Matt Van Renssealear, Tim Malouf, Mike Deady and Chris Ford obliterated an 18 boat field to win the NorCal High School Championships, raced in CFJs (two per team) off the Cityfront. In the 15-race series, the BMA ‘A’ team took 12 bullets, while the ‘B’ team took 5. Overall, the team scored 60 points to second place Gunn’s 90 and third place Summit/Nortre Dame’s 134. For more: www.stfyc.com.

Congressional Cup — The 45th Annual Congressional Cup, raced out of Long Beach YC March 23-28, ended this past weekend with a Swedish flair. Johnie Berntsson and his crew are the first team from Sweden — or for that matter any Scandinavian country — to win the Congo Cup and coveted crimson blazer. Berntsson defeated Italy’s Francesco Bruni in the classic match racing series. Bruni, in turn, came to the finals by defeating USA’s Terry Hutchinson in the semis. For more: www.lbyc.org.

When longtime Sausalito resident and friend of Latitude Dave Wilhite was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004, he moved to Bellingham, WA, to be close to his parents while he waited to die.