Skip to content
July 14, 2010

Getting Kids Off the Couch

“Look ma, I’m sailing!” A new recruit blasts across the Paradise Cay lagoon, adjacent to Tiburon YC.

© Yolanda Lopez

With schools out for summer, parents are faced with an age-old question: How should their little darlings fill all that free time? Sitting on the couch playing video games, sucking down Twinkies and watching adult-content TV?

We’ve got a much better idea. Get them involved in a youth sailing program, where they’ll get some healthy exercise in the great outdoors, learn a new hobby that could stay with them throughout their lives, and probably make some new friends.

As reported in the April edition of Latitude 38, the Greater Bay Area offers a broad range of youth sailing opportunities for kids from 7 to 18. Some are even free or very low cost. See our complete online listings here.

While some youth programs are already full, others still have room for newcomers. "Hey, we can still take a few more kids," says Tiburon YC Junior Sailing Director Pat Lopez. His three-year-old program — which runs through August 22 — focuses on kids 8 to 13 years old, who learn the ropes aboard Optimist dinghies.

If you’re involved with a local youth sailing program this summer, we’d love to see some photos of your kids in action plus a paragraph about this season’s classes. (Email here.)

Pacific Cup Update

The spread of the Pac Cup Fleet.

© 2010 Pacific Cup

With much of fleet either past or approaching the half-way point, the fickle breeze that all but Thursday’s starters experienced in their first few days at sea must be forgotten. With many boats recording double-digit speeds according to the race’s tracker, the majority of the ’10 Pacific Cup fleet is jamming toward Hawaii. For a few boats though, the party started too late. Bill Helvestine’s Bay Area-based SC 50 Deception is nursing a bad rudder bearing; Kathy Pickup and Chuck Johnson’s Berkeley-based Passport 40 Trial Run is racing with a broken boom; Ken Olcott’s Bay Area-based Schumacher 39 Recidivist has had to substitute a halyard for a broken headstay; Wayne Lamprey’s Bay Area-based Quest 33 Rhum Boogie is having backstay issues; Jim Partridge’s Antrim 49 Rapid Transit is on its way to Santa Barbara with steering issues, and Buzz Blackett’s Antrim Class 40 California Condor broke the bottom rudder gudgeons on both of its rudders. Condor is now proceeding to Hawaii and the crew are steering with a drogue and a drastically-reduced sailplan.

Up in front of the fleet, Emma Creighton and Andy Hamilton have been putting on a show, recording daily runs in the mid-200s aboard Creighton’s Mini Transat Pocket Rocket, and taking the lead among all the doublehanded boats. Jame Gillmore’s Columbia 30 Uncontrollable Urge is leading Division C, having snuck up into seventh overall. Of the Thursday starters, Jack Taylor’s Dana Point-based SC 50 Horizon has been leading overall for a few days now, and shows no signs of giving in. In Division E, which started on Saturday, Chip Megeath’s Tiburon-based R/P 45 Criminal Mischief is still bombing along, after a Monday-Tuesday run of 349 miles, and as of today’s sked has moved up into sixth overall. On that same day, Philippe Kahn’s Open 50 Pegasus MotionX 50 tallied 402 miles, while Alan Brierty’s R/P 63 Limit knocked off 415 miles!

Ramos’ Arctic Loop Prohibited

Imagine how you’d feel if you’d spent five years and a small fortune in pursuit of becoming the first person to solo circumnavigate the North Pole, only to be turned back midway by inflexible bureaucrats. That’s exactly what happened to West Coast sailor Gary Ramos early this month when Russian authorities flatly refused to allow him to transit their northern waters.

Last winter Ramos’ boat spent months in the snowy north awaiting completion of his historic circuit.

© 2010

"Implementation of this expedition is regarded unreasonable according to the conclusion of the Counter-Intelligence service of the Federal Security Service of Russia." When Ramos’ additional plea to the Russian Tourism Agency got no traction, he reluctantly gave up on his goal — at least for this year. Monday night he began the 2,100-mile crossing to Maine from Iceland, where his steel-hulled, 39-ft cutter Arctic Wanderer has been laid up since last season. She is one of only about 40 private vessels to have transited the fabled Northwest Passage, and would have been one of the very few to transit Russia’s Arctic waters.

We’ve never met Ramos, who is a San Jose native. But we know from talking with him that he is tenaciously determined. So don’t count him out completely. We’d bet he hasn’t given up on his dream despite this shattering setback.

Ever Wanted to Sail on an RC 44?

In the Race Notes located in the Racing Sheet in the July issue of Latitude 38, we brought you the news that the RC 44s will be having their first ever American event in Miami in December. What we didn’t know at that time is that there’s a spot onboard one of them that’ll go up for auction at the Golden Gate YC‘s Youth Sailing Foundation fundraiser at the club on July 24. The crew position will be accompanied on the block by other items like signed shirts and photos from BMW Oracle Racing’s successful campaign for the 33rd America’s Cup. The event will feature wine tasting and "gambling" to benefit the only junior program with a high school sailing program in the city of San Francisco. For details and reservations contact Leslie Iacopi at (415) 931-3980.

Al Germain sailed into Hanalei aboard his WylieCat 30 Bandicoot 19 days after the race’s start – but only 15 days after he restarted the race.
We’re happy to report that the PDQ 32 catamaran Catalyst, which flipped last week in heavy weather and eventually drifted, upside down, into a reef-fringed North Coast ‘doghole’, has been successfully rescued and righted.
For cruisers visiting French Polynesia, struggling to learn a little French is hard enough, but trying to master the pronounciation of locally-used Polynesian words is even trickier.