October 12, 2015

Leukemia Cup Preview

The McNeill family’s Stone-built gaff schooner Yankee was the top fundraiser in last year’s Leukemia Cup.

© Ellen Hoke Photography

Not just a simple regatta, the coming weekend’s Leukemia Cup, hosted by San Francisco Yacht Club, offers a panoply of events. New this year is the Corporate Challenge for the Thomas Perkins Perpetual Trophy, to be sailed in J/22s on Saturday. John Kilroy and his son Liam will both be skippering teams. The elder Kilroy, you may recall, just won the Melges 20 Worlds, and 12-year-old Liam came in third.

Joe Lacob, owner of the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, will be the special guest speaker at Saturday night’s VIP reception, auction and dinner. Tickets cost a mere $1,000 per seat, but the 99% can earn a ticket by raising $2,500 in donations.

Among the boats registered for Sunday’s regatta is the Tiburon-based J/120 Peregrine, fresh off a repeat win at the Rolex Big Boat Series. "The son of one of our crew members, Staff Commodore Tad Lacey of SFYC, was a leukemia victim and he’s a survivor," said owner David Halliwill, who’ll come in from New York to sail his boat.

Peregrine, leading Chance, at the Rolex Big Boat Series in September.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, and Classic Yacht divisions are available on Sunday. Racing in Classics, Alan Olson will skipper the schooner Seaward. According to the Call of the Sea, the non-profit that operates Seaward, the first 20 donors at $250 or more on Seaward’s fundraising page will receive passage onboard the schooner during the race.

The 82-ft staysail schooner Seaward, as seen in June’s Great Schooner Race.

© Roxanne Fairbairn

Modern Sailing Academy of Sausalito is offering the opportunity to learn to sail while raising funds. Contact Mollie at (415) 332-8250 for more info. Powerboaters can join the On-The-Water Parade while watching the race, and host Honorary Skippers and their families along with sponsor guests.

For event details, see www.leukemiacup.org/gba. For regatta documents, go to www.sfyc.org.

And the Correct Answer Is . . .

Our ‘mystery spot’ in Mexico. Back then the population was about 1,000. It’s now up to about 250,000, with another 150,000 in the general area. 

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Last Friday’s Photo Quiz generated a lot of responses, with about half of them being correct. Here’s a breakdown:

Between Espiritu Santu and San Jose del Cabo — James Vickers.
Los Frailes — Terry Hudkins.
Punta Mita — Jim Kiel.
San Carlos — Zee Hag.
Santiago — Fred.
Mag Bay — John Aldous.
Old school Ensenada — Dave Lewis.
La Cruz — James Burns.
Rancho Buena Vista — Craig Moyle.
Bahia de Los Angeles — JoLinda Garnier.
Bahia Conception — Tom Cullen, James Coggan, David Kramer, Don Edwards and ‘Woody’, the latter who added, “Maybe Cabo”.
Santispac, Conception Bay — Lauri Hamilton.
Muertos — Colin and Wendy Gegg, who are currently in Vanuatu, Don Laverty, ‘Jim’, and Ken Janke.
Guerro Negro — John Williamson.
Scorpion Bay — Francoise Ramsay. 

Interesting guesses, all of the above, but the correct answer is Bahia Cabo San Lucas — although it was a bit of a trick because the photo wasn’t taken last week, but rather in either 1981 or 1983. Today it is the site of hotels, condos, The Office Beach Bar, Mango’s Beach Bar, Baja Cantina and much more. Back then it was mostly the bus stop and a place to park RVs. So many boats are anchored out because the inner harbor hadn’t been built yet, although the old airport, which is on the site of the current marina, was already gone.

Long Beach naval architect Alan Andrews got the answer exactly right when he said, “looking to the southeast from the site of the old Hacienda Hotel.” What made his guess particularly good is that his first visit to Cabo was several years after the photo was taken.

Others who got it right include Ron Witzel, Doug Murray, Phil Kumpis, Capt Mark — who was first there in 1972, having sailed down from Marina del Rey on a Newport 27 — Lon Woodrum, Joshua Rothe, Chris Maher, Fred Waters, Mike Wilson and Charles Prather.

Al Fricke, however, explains why everybody should have got the answer right. “I’m laughing out loud as the photo is titled “Cabo.jpg.”

Just for photo fun, we’ve included a second photo that was taken from Pedregal looking toward the Friars, with Bahia Cabo San Lucas just barely visible on the left. What’s changed since this second photo was taken? Well, the two hotels that are barely visible, the Finisterre on the very far left, and the Sol Mar, which was the finish line for the Long Beach YC races to Cabo and is almost invisible on the beach below the highest peak, have been joined by literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of hotels. If the camera were rotated 180 degrees, the shot would show a once-pristine shore that has since been joined by at least another couple of hundred million dollars’ worth of hotels, and a golf course that has a hole right at El Faro Viejo, the old lighthouse.

Not many places in the world have changed as much as Cabo San Lucas has in the last 30 years, in particular this stretch of beach on the Pacific side of town. As finishers of next month’s Ha-Ha will soon see, it doesn’t look anything like this anymore, as almost the entire beach is covered in hotels and condos.

©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC
The RVs that used to park on Mendano Beach, the official name for the beach at Bahia Cabo San Lucas, have been replaced by . . . well, we’re not sure what to call it.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We have countless great memories from those days, when the Broken Surfboard was one of three restaurants in town, when the luxury Hacienda Hotel didn’t take credit cards and the waiters told you that you didn’t need utensils because you could eat with your tortillas, and when you wanted water, you hooked about 10 hoses together and ran them from your anchored-out boat to the farmer’s spigot in the arroyo.

Anybody have any memories from those truly good old days? 

Hawaii Race Prep Begins Now

For most folks, next summer is a long way off, but not for the hundreds of West Coast sailors who intend to race to Hawaii in the Pacific Cup or Vic-Maui. Preparation and planning are already well underway for entrants in both of these biennial races.

First to finish in the 2014 Pac Cup was Frank Slootman’s Bay Area-based R/P 63 Invisible Hand.

© 2015 Leslie Richter

This Saturday, the Pacific Cup’s Alaska Airlines Pacific Offshore Academy continues at the Richmond YC (at noon) with a lineup of topics that includes: Electrical Systems; Sails; Optimization of Your Boat and Program; Inspection; and Options for Shipping Your Boat Home. Admission is $30; register here. Presentation materials can be previewed here.

This second event in the series will be preceded by a free Sailmail/GRIB seminar from 10 a.m. to noon. Topics will include Viewfax weather program for GRIBs; How to Receive Messages; Sailblogs by Radio; and "How to make people think you are still in the office." Register here

Winds were very light, but the skies were blue during the start of the 2012 Victoria to Maui Race.

© 2015 Andrew Madding / Bow Shot Productions

Also this Saturday, the Vic-Maui Preparation Seminar is offered to all race participants and their support staffs at the Royal Vancouver YC. A panel of experts will address a wide range of topics including: Rigging for Ocean Conditions; Safety Compliance; Emergency Steering; Weather, Navigation and Tactics; Crew Training and Experience; Sails and Sail Maintenance; Provisioning; Shore Crew & Logistics; Wireless Communications; and Medical / First Aid Considerations.

Early registration, here, is $80 per person; late registration is $100. Price includes lunch at the club.

Offshore & Inshore Rescues

Due to the enormous fleet of spectators drawn to San Francisco Bay this weekend for Fleet Week activities, first responders undoubtedly had their hands full inside the Central Bay. But the two most perilous incidents we know of occurred much farther afield. 

Friday afternoon, a father, his son and dog were rescued from their overturned boat (presumably a small fishing vessel) near Big Break Marina in the Delta town of Oakley by the crew of Bodega Bell, who responded to a Coast Guard broadcast after the father called for help via his cell phone. He did not have a radio, but both he and his son were wearing lifejackets.

The next day, rescue authorities intercepted a distress signal from a personal locator beacon coming from the Farallon Islands. A Coast Guard aircraft and rescue boat were dispatched toward the scene, but it was the crew of the San Francisco-based whale-watching boat Kitty Kat who ultimately retrieved three middle-aged men from the scene. Two were clinging to the hull of a 28-ft vessel (type unknown), and a third, who was unresponsive, was retrieved floating nearby. The Kitty Kat delivered the three men to Station Golden Gate, where personnel from Southern Marin Fire were standing by to receive them. 

Meanwhile, half a world away, a 26-year-old crewmember of the MOD70 trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail remains missing. Mohammed Al Alawi fell overboard last Wednesday during the predawn hours just south of Pula, Croatia, while the big tri was in transit from France to Trieste, Italy. Searching by the MOD70’s crew, with support from both the Croatian and Italian coast guards, was hampered by bad weather yesterday, but the effort continues today. Updates will be posted here.

Where oh where can this be in old Mexico?  latitude/Richard
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC So you think you know the cruising spots in Mexico?
There’s been longtime speculation within the sailing community that completion of the new "third lane" of the Panama Canal may lead to faster small-vessel transits between the Pacific and the Caribbean.
Even when the breeze goes light, it’s a great feeling to be cruising south in the company of like-minded sailors, having left your worries behind you.