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April 13, 2009

In the Bay, Outta This World

The Singlehanded Sailing Society’s Season keeps ramping up, with the Corinthian Race drawing a record turnout just months after the Three Bridge Fiasco did the same.

© 2009 Erik Simonson

If Saturday’s Corinthian Race (formerly known as the In the Bay Race) was any indication, the Singlehanded Sailing Society is really on a roll this year. Nearly a hundred boats — about 30 more than normal — in multihull, singlehanded, and doublehanded divisions made it to the start for this year’s edition of the 18-mile race around the Bay that starts off the Corinthian YC race deck, leaves Little Harding to port, Blossom to starboard, Blackaller to starboard, and Southampton Shoal to port before heading back up to Little Harding for a starboard rounding and back to the barn. Those who showed up were greeted with dueling breezes that made for plenty of passing opportunities — in either direction; they were treated with an archetypal springtime challenge.

Ben Landon’s Flight Risk rocked-up and rolling.

© Erik Simonson

"The westerly and northerly were fighting each other all day," said Gordie Nash, whose modernized Santana 27 Arcadia is the provisional winner of Doublehanded PHRF 104-155. "We passed the same boats multiple times. When we were sailing up Raccoon Strait on the way back up to Little Harding, the boats on the Angel Island side were reaching on port tack, and the boats on the Marin side were reaching on starboard."

The Society’s ethos seems to be “run what you brung” and it doesn’t matter if it’s the a plastic classic like Bosporus II or a modern sporty, everyone’s having fun.

© Erik Simonson

We say ‘provisional’ winner, because the final results aren’t yet complete. If you made it out sailing, make sure to have a look at the provisional results, and if you find any discrepancies, call (866)724-5777 or drop the society a note.

A Salute to Captain Richard Phillips

Like the rest of the world, we’d like to salute Captain Richard Phillips of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, for the selflessness and courage he demonstrated by giving himself up to Somalia pirates so his crew could go free. We found it unbelievably refreshing to see a person of such high character in the news these days. We wonder what we would have done in the same situation.

Speed Kills . . . Once Again

Five people were killed and seven others were badly injured aboard a 22-ft Crownline powerboat after it slammed into a small docked tugboat early Sunday evening on the IntraCoastal Waterway about 25 miles south of Jacksonville, Florida.

Authorities are now looking into the reasons for the crash. It’s just wild speculation on our part, but we can’t help but wonder if any of the following contributed to the terrible tragedy: 1) Booze, 2) Excessive Speed and 3) An overloaded boat.

Speed kills. It always has and always will.

Psyching Up For Strictly Sail

If you’d like to rub shoulders with past and future Ha-Ha’ers, drop by Latitude’s booth at 6 p.m. on Friday.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you haven’t yet marked your calendar, let us remind you once again that this is boat show week in the Bay Area. And in these challenging times, exhibitors will be more motivated than ever to wheel and deal. Having recently morphed to include power boats, the annual event is now called Strictly Sail Pacific & Power Boat Expo, and will run this Wednesday through Sunday.

Yeah, we know, the name is just a wee bit ironic. We would have preferred Not-So-Strictly Sail Pacific, but what do we know. Anyway, regardless of what you call it, this year’s show will be chock full of opportunities to view new and used boats, buy all sorts of gear at special prices, and enhance your boating knowledge via dozens of worthwhile seminars. See the website for complete details.

If you are considering doing the Baja Ha-Ha cruisers’ rally this year, you’ll want to attend one of our Ha-Ha seminars, Friday at 2 p.m. (Tent A) or Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (Tent B). Also, if you have fantasies about sailing to French Polynesia in your own boat or chartering there one of these days, check out our Destination Tahiti seminar Saturday at 4:45 (Tent A).

The two most cherished words in the cruiser lexicon — ‘free beer’ — come into play when describing Latitude‘s booth party, Friday at 6 p.m. It serves as a Ha-Ha and Puddle Jump reunion, but wannabes are always welcome. Also, as noted last Wednesday, Latitude and several partners are sponsoring a very special ‘Salute to John Guzzwell’ at the Oakland YC, Thursday at 6:30 p.m. So pull out your comfortable shoes, clear your calendar and set your sails for Jack London Square. We’ll see you there.

On April 4, the French-flagged 47-ft Colin Archer-designed Tanit, bound for Kenya and 500 miles off the Somali coast, was seized by Somali pirates who took the yacht’s five passengers — two couples and a three-year-old boy — hostage.
Whether you were sailing in the regatta’s only one-design division, the IC 24s, or even Bareboat B, the B.V.I.