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May 29, 2013

Made in Santa Cruz Race Week

Seven Express 37s made it to Made in Santa Cruz Race Week.

© 2013 Rick Linkmyer

Made in Santa Cruz Race Week has three days of sailing down and four to go. The Express 37s had Saturday all to themselves, five PHRF boats joined them on Sunday, and four of the PHRF racers sailed Monday after the Expresses and the SC50 Deception went home.

Saturday and Sunday were seriously breeze-on, with the wind topping 30 knots on Sunday. With no swell, the only wave action came from wind-whipped white caps on the drop-mark race course about a half mile south of the Santa Cruz wharf. The wind waves were plenty to get everyone wet.

Hiking hard on the Express 37 Golden Moon over the weekend in Santa Cruz.

© 2013 Rick Linkmyer

In the seven-boat Express 37 fleet, Kame Richards’ and Bill Bridge’s Golden Moon reigned supreme, scoring a second place in only the second race. They were so far in the lead that they delayed their final spinnaker set until mid-way down the run, when the wind mellowed from 30+ knots to a more manageable 26. Bartz Schneider’s Expeditious came in second, with Brendan Busch’s Spy vs. Spy in third. The Ironman Biathalon award, if there were such a thing, would have to go to Jack Peurach’s Elan, which managed to complete Friday’s Spinnaker Cup from San Francisco Bay to Monterey and arrive in Santa Cruz on Saturday morning in time for the MISCRW competitors’ meeting.

Bill Helvestine’s SC50 Deception raced in the Spinnaker Cup on Friday and made the delivery to Santa Cruz on Saturday. “After Spinnaker Cup, we sailed up here yesterday in this," said crew member Sue Alexander. "I thought I’d get to see some whales. Instead I got to see some barf.” Deception’s crew took advantage of the quiet conditions on Monday to deliver the boat home to the Bay rather than finish the regatta.

John Blackburn’s SC40 Camelot and Bill Helvestine’s Bay Area-based SC50 Deception start a race on Sunday.

© 2013 Rick Linkmyer

Jack Gordon’s Santa Cruz-based SC50 Roller Coaster also did the Spinnaker Cup. The PHRF division didn’t start racing until Sunday so that they’d have time to do both. “Sunday was a good day for us. It didn’t blow much over 30 – so that was more tolerable than the Spinnaker Cup, which got up to 40."

Riding the Roller Coaster in Santa Cruz.

© 2013 Rick Linkmyer

Gordon described the "mishmash" of boats in the PHRF division: "We had a couple of SC50s and the Olson 30 prototype Pacific High. The partners designed and built the boat, have owned it ever since, and are still friends. They were all on the boat with their wives today." One of the original partners was the late George Olson. An Olson 30 and the SC40 Camelot rounded out the division. "John Blackburn, Camelot’s owner, was driving. He’s going to be 80 soon."

Jay Crum’s Olson 30 Piñata lit up the race course on Sunday.

© Rick Linkmyer

Jay Crum’s Olson 30 Piñata won the four-race two-day PHRF regatta, with Roller Coaster second, and the newly refurbished Pacific High looking good and finishing third.

These beautiful ceramic vases by Beth Gripenstraw are the trophies for MISCRW.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Race Week is on a break yesterday and today, but resumes on Thursday with 8-ft Jester racing  (made-in-Santa Cruz El Toros are also welcome) and a concours d’elegance. The Santa Cruz 27 and Moore 24 Nationals begin on Friday, and Express 27s are invited to join them on the weekend. It’s not too late to sign up! See

Bay Area Boaters Mourn Svend’s Passing

We regret having to report the passing on Monday of well-loved Bay Area sailor and businessman Svend Svendsen, founder of Svendsen’s Boat Works in Alameda.

Born in Denmark in 1932, Svend was descended from a family of fishermen, whose bond with the sea went back generations. According to his son Sean, one of his happy early-childhood memories was delivering fresh-baked bread on his bicycle. During the Nazi occupation of Denmark, he continued his rounds, sometimes delivering messages for the Danish underground, hidden within the loaves.

After the war, Svend learned his craft at a boat-building technical college, and eventually migrated to the U.S. in 1956 to pursue his career. After a stint in New York, he migrated to the Bay Area, where he worked for several well-known yacht builders in Sausalito and Oakland, and traveled the country with the world’s fastest unlimited hydroplane boat, which he helped build and maintain.

During a Tahoe ski trip, he met his lifelong partner, Suzanne. They were married for 52 years. The couple founded Svendsen’s Boat Works at the Pacific Marina in Alameda (now Marina Village) in 1963, and moved the business to its current location on Clement Street three years later. Until the end, Svend worked alongside his employees, building the business from a one-man shop to one of the largest boating supply and repair facilities in the country. 

Within the Bay Area sailing community, Svend may be best known for his association with the various one design boats he built and raced. Affectionately called the Godfather of Folkboats, Svend is credited with preserving the Folkboat class, by ushering in the transition from wood to fiberglass construction. A longtime member of the St. Francis YC, he was heralded as the club’s Yachtsman of the Year in 2004 for his substantial contributions to the sport of sailing. Svend was an avid racer and, with his son Sean as crew, won numerous regattas.

In an obituary, his son Sean wrote, "Svend was best known for his good nature, charisma and charm, and for the friendship he bestowed upon all who crossed his path. . . Svend had verve and panache, and was a lover of life. He will also be missed by his employees, whom he treated with the utmost respect and loyalty. Svend will be remembered by all for the positive influence he had on his community and the world around him."

We extend our sincere condolences to the family, as we bid farewell to a Bay Area legend. A public memorial will be announced soon. 

BAADS Motors Recovered

BAADS offers sailing opportunites to those who might not otherwise be able to enjoy the sport.

© Dwayne Newton

There’s a special place in hell for those who steal from agencies dedicated to doing good, and some thieves got an express ticket south when they stole all five outboard motors from chase boats for the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors. It’s a cruel irony that the thefts occurred over the Memorial Day weekend — after an amazing event on Saturday that featured Artemis Racing’s helmsman Loïck Peyron — as many of those who sail with BAADS are military veterans.

Though the organization’s stolen motors have been recovered, they still need funds to repair at least one damaged boat, as well as to raise funds for the NAs in September.

© Dwayne Newton

The theft of the motors threatened to disrupt the program but the SFPD miraculously recovered the outboards! Unfortunately, one of the Boston Whalers was badly damaged during the theft. On top of all of this, the group is preparing for the North American National Access Regatta September 3-6 and are trying to scrape together the necessary funds to run the event. If you can spare a few bucks, please consider donating to this wonderful program.

Floating Nicely on Her Lines

The 71-ft home-built catamaran pictured below has been a conspicuous landmark on the grounds of San Rafael’s Loch Lomond Marina ever since James Lane, his family and friends began assembling it there two years ago. After countless hours of labor, she was finally launched at roughly 2 a.m. on Memorial Day morning. 

After two years of almost nonstop work, this huge homebuilt cat was launched during the wee hours Monday morning. The launch process alone was a remarkable feat of engineering.

©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The choice of a nighttime launch, we’re told, was due to the high tide at that hour, combined with the family’s desire to minimize the number of spectators on site.

Because the boat was designed by Lane, who is an accomplished carpenter but not a naval architect, the slowly evolving structure drew both praise and critique from local boaters. Say what you will about the cat’s somewhat unusual look, you’ve got to give Lane and his crew a huge measure of credit for seeing this colossol job through. The fact that the big cat floats almost exactly on her lines is a testament to Lane’s engineering skills — even though he’s never built a boat before.

We’ve been quietly observing the cat’s progress since construction began at Loch Lomond, but chose to give the builders their privacy during the construction process. Now that she’s been launched, though, and the project is near completion, we hope to learn more about the specifics of the building process and about Lane’s plans to sail her to Hawaii.

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