Tonight’s Spring Crew List Party is one party you don’t want to be late to. Doors to the Golden Gate YC will open promptly at 6 p.m., which will give partygoers 15 minutes to find a spot by the windows or on shoreline for a front-row view of the Coast Guard helicopter water rescue demonstration. Originally scheduled for 6 p.m. sharp due to low-light conditions, the Coasties have agreed to hold off for a few minutes to allow attendees time to get settled in.
The party will run till 9 p.m. and costs just $7 ($5 if your ID says you’re under 25). You’ll find free munchies, a no-host bar, an all-new slideshow, YRA representatives, and short presentations by the Bear Boat Association — several member boats are looking for crew — and Andrew Vik, who has found a number of crew for his Mediterranean-based Islander 36 Geja at previous years’ parties.
Despite not being able to fly their main for the last 12 hours, California is still within striking distance of the leaders in Race 7 — from Qingdao to San Francisco — of the ’09-’10 Clipper ‘Round the World Race. Buffeted by breeze of up to 50 knots — which thankfully is now pushing from astern — almost every boat has suffered breakdowns of one kind or another. California‘s has already dropped them two spots — from second to fourth — as the eight-boat fleet blasts downwind a few hundred miles east of Japan, led by overall frontrunner Spirit Of Australia.
"The crew are absolutely exhausted after enduring 50-plus-knot winds last night and making great speeds, when all of a sudden the second reef line snapped under the load, swiftly followed by five sliders detaching themselves from the mast," said California skipper Pete Rollason. "The joys of ocean racing: sometimes you cry out in exhilaration and sometimes you just want to cry! The main has now been down and off for 12 hours with ongoing repairs being completed when conditions allow; bear in mind we still have over 30 knots of wind. Hopefully we will be fully up-and-running before dark and pushing hard to regain our second place and resume the kangaroo hunt."
With a deficit of only 70 miles to Spirit of Australia, California has plenty of racetrack to make its way back to the top of the leaderboard — the boats still have over 4,000 miles to go before the finish in San Francisco. Bisecting the 5,600-mile monster of a leg is a scoring gate about 1,200 miles ENE of the boats’ current position, which represents an opportunity for our home-state boat to pick up some much-needed overall points. But for now, it’s a full-on surfing fest out there, with some teams sending their identical 68-ft, 66,000-lb battlewagons at speeds of up to 20 knots. The fleet is expected to arrive in San Francsico sometime around April 1, and will be stationed in the West Basin of the San Francisco Marina until April 11, when the next leg to Panama starts. We’ll keep you updated in ‘Lectronic Latitude; follow the race at the link above in between our updates.
In Friday’s ‘Lectronic, we reported on Arizonan Keith Carver’s having shipwrecked on the north end of Vancouver Island, and his subsequent rescue. The story he told officials sounded fishy to us — he claimed he was trying to sail to Mexico but storms blew him to the north end of Vancouver Island — and apparently the Canada Border Services Agency thought so too. The day after our report, and three days after his rescue, Carver was taken into custody for "criminal inadmissibility to Canada," according to the Vancouver Sun. Officials said that had he gone through proper channels, Carver would have been denied entry into the country, though they declined to say why. One report surmised that an outstanding warrant in the U.S. could be the reason, but many convictions — including DUI — could result in denied entry into Canada.
Officials at the Victoria Rescue Centre also doubt his story about the rough weather — their data show extremely light winds for much of the timeframe Carver claims was stormy.
"Don’t be a fool by missing the April 1-6 Sea of Cortez Sailing Week," advises Patsy Verhoeven of the Portland/La Paz-based Gulfstar 50 Talion. "If you’re into saIling as least as much as socializing, and like ‘nothing serious’ cruiser destination racing, the third edition of the revived SOC might be for you. We start in La Paz, sail to Caleta Partida, then to Isla San Francisco, back to Partida and back to La Paz. Naturally, we have lay days in between. Our social activities include a costume cocktail party on Profligate, beach potlucks, volleyball in ankle-deep water, a hike to the crater peaks, a sunset cruise on Profligate, and who knows what else. Don’t miss it!"
There has been some confusion about the dates of the event, which were previously mid-month, but had to be changed to avoid a conflict with the Strictly Sail Boat Show in Oakland. But the dates are April 1-6.
There is no entry fee for the SOC, you just show up in La Paz and listen on the net for details. About 20 boats are expected, with the following signed up so far:
- Adios / Columbia 43 / Craig Shaw / Portland
- Moontide / Lagoon 470 / Bill Lily / Newport Beach
- Braveheart / Mac 65 Pilothouse / Bob Callaway / Pleasant Harbor, WA
- RotKat / Lidgard 43 cat / Arjan Bok / San Francisco
- Talion / Patsy Verhoeven / Gulfstar 50 / La Paz
- Tango / Perry 43 cat / Denis Michaud & Holly Testa / Colorado
- Follow You Follow Me / Hunter 466 / Allan & Rina Alexopulous / Ventura
- Profligate / Surfin’ 63 cat / Doña de Mallorca / Punta Mita, Mexico
If you plan on participating, please send an email to Patsy. By the way, all proceeds from t-shirts, plus other donations, are presented to Mary Shroyer of Marina de La Paz, who makes sure all the money goes to a responsible charity.
By the way, many of the SOC boats will also be doing the Banderas Bay Regatta, which starts late next week. If the BBR website is to believed, 59 boats have signed up, which would be double the number of previous years. Furthermore, an astonishing 14 multihulls have signed up, which would make it one of the largest cruising multihull fleets ever. All we know for sure is that Banderas Bay offers the finest cruising-boat racing venues and conditions imaginable, and that we’ll be there with Profligate. We hope you’ll be there, too. too. For details, visit the Banderas Bay Regatta website.