We haven’t heard the details yet, but a quick look at these photos from volunteers Eileen Redding and Margaret Reid confirms that the 13th annual Zihuatanejo Sailfest was well attended, and by all indications, a big success. There was even wind this year for the yacht race, which is not always the case.
As regular readers know, Z-Fest is an annual six-day festival put on by visiting sailors, expats, and local businesses. The varied menu of activities includes a sailboat race, a boat parade through Zihua harbor and along the Ixtapa waterfront, a live music concert, a chili cookoff and more.
Each activity has a fund-raising component which helps build and support schools for the disadvantaged indigenous youngsters who live in the hills surrounding the city. Z-Fest profits, distributed via the Por Los Ninos charity, address a ‘Catch 22’ within Mexican law. That is, if you don’t speak Spanish (as with many of the Zihua’s indigenous groups), you can’t attend public school. But if you can’t attend school, how are you supposed to learn Spanish, right? Por Los Ninos solves this problem for many local kids, by building classrooms and funding their operations.
From the beginning the sweat and financial support of cruising sailors has always been a big part of this amazing success story.
Newport Beach’s Devan Mullins must have been going through old photos, because he recently sent us a photo of the Wanderer at the helm of Latitude’s Big O from back in 1996. We don’t normally wear a swimming mask when driving, but it was gusting up to 49 knots in the Windward Passage between Haiti and Cuba, and the rain drops were stinging our eyeballs.
This raises the question, when was the last time it was blowing so hard that you had to wear a swim mask when you were outside? Please limit your replies to 250 words. A photo would be nice too.
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This past Saturday during the Berkeley YC Midwinters a distress call went out on VHF Channel 78 from a J/24’s skipper alerting racers of a man overboard. The individual had been hit in the head by the boom during a jibing maneuver and was knocked in the Bay, still conscious.
Will Paxton, owner of the Express 27, Motorcycle Irene brought the incident to our attention. His and numerous other boats were preparing to start a race when the incident occurred. "Several boats circled for 15 minutes or so before Phil Krasner and his crew showed up on his Express 27, Wetsu, with some proper life saving gear and they were able to get the victim out of the water after a 20-minute struggle.
From all indications, this was no simple task. By the time Wetsu reached the man, he was showing early signs of hypothermia and had lost the use of his legs, further complicating the rescue operation, which was accomplished by bringing him over Wetsu’s transom.
Although uncommon, incidents like this always give us pause to consider how difficult it can be to raise someone out of the water and the kind of safety gear we use while enjoying racing on the Bay. We’ll continue discussion of this topic in the March edition of Latitude 38, and we’d love your input. Aboard your race boat, daysailer or cruiser, what measures do you take to facilitate crew-overboard rescues?
In case you missed Friday’s ‘Lectronic, we want to remind readers that we posted an announcement of two opportunities to sail and play in the Sunny Caribbean with the Wanderer and Dona de Mallorca aboard the catamaran ‘ti Profligate. One opportunity is during the St. Barth Bucket, the other is during the Voiles de St. Barth. See the detailed announcement in last Friday’s ‘Lectronic.