As we gather together our beach toys, potluck utensils and fresh-caught fish for today’s Turtle Bay beach party, we’ll take stock of the last two days, since Wednesday’s report.
With a dozen boats converging several miles outside the broad Turtle Bay entrance, a brilliant full moon rose over the Baja Peninsula as if custom ordered so the fleet could enter and anchor with ease and confidence.
On the radio net the next morning most boats reported having a splendid time sailing during the 360-mile first leg, with far less drama and blown-out sails than was typical during previous years due to the relatively light winds.
Eight boats sailed whole way, and several others motored only a very short distance.
During the run south, water temperatures were roughly five degrees higher than normal, which led to both experienced and inexperienced fisherfolk boating tuna, dorado and more.
The big event yesterday was the annual Ha-Ha baseball game, where the event’s Grand Poobah pitched continuously for hours, giving up roughly 2,000 hits, without a single strikeout. Spectators hooted and hollered as local kids, as young as 6, joined in the fun.
Last night fleet members filtered throughout the town, patronizing small tiendas, the internet cafes, and all three restaurants. A first this year was when the Vera Cruz — which boasts the town’s only disco dance floor — ran out of tequila. Shocking!
With any luck we’ll be able to post an additional Turtle Bay report Monday morning, before the fleet departs on 240-mile Leg Two to remote Bahia Santa Maria.
San Diego sailor Ryan Levinson won first place overall in the three-person keelboat division at the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships on October 26-28 at Southwestern YC, sailing on a Capri 22 for the Gene Hinkel Trophy.
Levinson is a life-long sailor who suffers from FSH Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes muscles throughout his body to progressively weaken over time. There is no known treatment or cure. Levinson is now too weak to raise his arms overhead or do a single sit-up, push-up, or pull-up. He has lost muscles in his leg and can no longer stand on his toes, yet Levinson has developed techniques and modified equipment that enable him to continue sailing at a high level despite his increasing weakness.
Levinson has won national and state championships in triathlon and cycling, but this was his first time competing in the disabled division of a sailing regatta. He is currently preparing his 38-ft sailboat Naoma for an extended passage to the South Pacific. As part of that preparation he recently completed a 22-day sailing expedition — mostly singlehanded — through the Channel Islands and coastal ports as far north as Point Conception.
At the U.S. Championships Levinson sailed with skipper Andrew Fisher and Mike Hersey, both East Coasters. The trio dominated the regatta with first place finishes in six of the eight races despite facing competition that included a Paralympic silver medalist and a former world champion.
Levinson said, "It feels incredible to be able to compete successfully against athletes of this caliber. Having the regatta here in San Diego made it an especially meaningful victory for me. I’m grateful to US Sailing, Southwestern YC, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation for their support and for ensuring that sailing is open to everyone regardless of their physical ability." Challenged Athletes Foundation is a San Diego non-profit.
Nearly 50 competitors traveled from all across the country to compete in six classes. This was the first time the event was held on the West Coast. In the 2.4 mR singlehanded fleet, Charles Rosenfield of Connecticut won his third Judd Goldman Trophy. Michael Strahle of Redding and Donna DeMarest of Waterbury, CT, captured the Martin 16 doublehanded fleet for the Chandler Hovey Trophy.
Normally Latitude 38 is all about sailing, but since the late Steve Jobs was so local, and was certainly the greatest entreprenuer of the Baby Boomer generation, we present the first views of the 250-ft boat he was having built in The Netherlands. She bears a resemblance to A, but is nonetheless very different. What else would you expect from someone who never relied on marketing surveys to decide what products Apple would manufacture?