October 31, 2011

Great Pumpkin Regatta Goes Vintage

Team Premier slides downwind during Saturday’s champagne conditions at the Richmond YC’s Great Pumpkin Regatta.

© Erik Simonson

If you missed the Richmond YC’s Great Pumpkin Regatta, you missed out on one of the most awesome weekends of racing this year. With full sunshine and temps in the 70s, breeze that ranged from 8 to 14 knots — aside from a two-hour hiatus on Saturday when a westerly had to kick the morning northerly to the curb — the conditions were the perfect complement to an event that represents the perfect end to the Bay’s summer sailing season.

The Great Pumpkin Pursuit race fleet chokes up the Slot on Sunday.

© Erik Simonson

The Great Pumpkin is always fun, but this year’s was definietly a vintage one. With a phenomenal party and some great costumes milling about what seemed like a capacity crowd, the good vibes were palpable.

Kevin Flanigan’s Fox 44 Ocelot charges upwind on Saturday.

© Erik Simonson

Of course getting to that capacity required entries, and this year’s event had them in spades — 258 to be exact. They were split into 11 one design, and nine handicap divisions with some great division breakdowns and similar boats. With four course areas, there wasn’t too much traffic overlap, and we didn’t hear any gripes about the race management. Unfortunately, the boats on the Southampton course did get shut out of one of their three scheduled buoy races on Saturday, but everyone on the other courses managed to get their races in.

The TP 52s Vesper and Power Play were part of the regatta, but due to draft constraints, were never really part of the action.

© Erik Simonson

This editor was able to insinuate himself aboard Dee Smith’s Farr 400 Team Premier for the weekend. Everyone aboard had a great time en route to winning not only all three races in Sportboat A on Saturday, but also taking the top monohull spot during Sunday’s choose-your-own-adventure pursuit race — sliding through the lee of Ian Klitza’s D-Class catamaran Rocket 88 on the way to the finish. The boat has a bevy of grand prix accoutrements like an internal mast jack, carbon standing rigging, a very refined carbon mast and boom, all-carbon construction, and a pedestal with overdrive for hoists, jibes and the string-drop douses. It’s fast, it sails well, and is very responsive, and it only costs a little bit more than a new Farr 40, but with the ability to carry up to about four tons of head stay tension. Most impressively, the boat is capable of being shipped anywhere in the world on a 40-ft flat rack shipping container — the shipping cost from the factory in Dubai to the Bay was about what you’d have to pay to have a decent delivery captain get your boat back from Hawaii.

Mirthmaker’s Dave Wilhite shows off the damage done by the Sydney 36 Encore during Saturday.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

There were other great performances this weekend, but we don’t have room to get them all in here today. We will, however, have them for you in the December issue of Latitude 38.

News Out of Cabo

Crime reporting isn’t typically Latitude‘s purview, but since the Baja Ha-Ha fleet is on their way to Cabo San Lucas, we wanted to ensure that readers and the families of Ha-Ha’ers had the actual facts — not hyped-up sensational stories — of this weekend’s incidents in the normally tranquil town.

According to reports, two gun fights broke out over the weekend, neither anywhere near the tourist-filled marina district. The first occurred late Friday night when law enforcement surrounded a house in which two suspects in the October 25 kidnapping and assasination of homicide commander Martin Marquez Ruiz were holed up. The ensuing gun fight left one marine and one suspect dead.

The Plaza Sendero is too far out of town for most tourists and cruisers to visit.

© Google

The incident on Saturday afternoon occurred at the year-old Plaza Sendero mall northwest of the city center on the Todos Santos Highway. According to several reports, police found two armed men in the parking lot so they ordered the mall locked down. Sporadic shots were fired between police and the suspects over a period of two hours. No one was injured in the event and the men were taken into custody.

Baja’s attorney general said there was no evidence that the two gun fights were connected, though he did admit that all suspects are believed to be narcos. He also denied rumors that a curfew was in place in Cabo, and confirmed that no tourists were injured.

More than 40 shootings were reported in San Francisco on Friday and Saturday.

© SpotCrime

According to her Spot track, Profligate arrived in Bahia Santa Maria in the wee hours this morning, with the rest of the fleet expected to filter in over the next day or so. Surf permitting, tomorrow will feature a beach party, and Leg Three will start on Wednesday. The fleet is expected to start arriving in Cabo the next day. Expect a full update from the Rally Committee in Friday’s ‘Lectronic.

Help the Moore 24 Family Help Theirs

Earlier this year, we told you of an effort by the Moore 24 community to assist the surviving family members of one the class’s most ardent supporters and multiple-time former class president Joel Verutti, who died of brain cancer last year. Santa Cruz’ Morgan Larson wrote to give us an update on the effort, which is being carried out via both an online and live auction.

"We are working hard to raise a few more bucks for the family of a great Moore 24 sailor," he said. "His wife and daughter are fighting to stay afloat with a tough mortgage, school, and life in general. There have been many great items added to the auction and if you can put another shout out to the Latitude family, it would go a long way."

The online auction has been up since the beginning of summer, and it ends on November 19, which coincides with the Moore 24 Class end-of-year party at Santa Cruz YC. The party will start with cocktails at 5 p.m., an informal class meeting at 5:30, awards, music and slides at 6, dinner at 7, and the live portion of the auction at 8. Anyone who has ever sailed a Moore 24, or just likes the Moore 24 family, is invited, and you need to RSVP here. The auction has a whole slew of awesome items that many sailors would go crazy for, so be sure to check it out.

November Latitude Out Tomorrow

Set your iToy to remind you that the November issue of Latitude 38 will be hitting the streets tomorrow. In it you’ll find Lee Helm’s discourse on converting PHRF ratings, a guide to keeping your diesel running smoothly, an interview with 84-year-old cruiser Tom Corogan, more Ha-Ha profiles than you can shake a spinnaker pole at, an introduction to the first batch of season race champs, and so much more. If the magazine isn’t delivered to your neck of the woods, you can still read the full issue directly from your computer for free — via Issuu magazine service or by downloading the entire thing to your hard drive or iPad. It doesn’t get much easier to stay up-to-date on the sailing scene!

After a decade of sitting idle in Suisun Bay, the USS Iowa is underway to become a museum — the last of her class to receive such an honor.
With the Pan American Games being hosted by Guadalajara — Mexico’s “second city” — the sailing events were based out of Nuevo Vallarta last week.
We’re embarrassed at having forgotten to post a reminder in Wednesday’s ‘Lectronic that the first seminar for the 2012 Singlehanded TransPac was held last night at Oakland YC.