August 23, 2017

Beer Can Challenge in September

On Monday, ‘Lectronic Latitude brought you a report and some fab photos of Sausalito Yacht Club’s Tuesday night race. That unusual choice of a weeknight is a key component in making Latitude 38’s Beer Can Challenge possible.

A VYC Wednesday night beer can race on the Mare Island Strait.

© Martha Blanchfield

"Well, it looks like there are only two weeks in September that the Beer Can Races line up to be able to race five Beer Cans in five consecutive days at five different yacht clubs," writes reigning King of the Beer Cans, Roger Ruud. "Bay View Boat Club is the only one to race on Monday (San Francisco, 9/4 and 9/18); Sausalito YC is the only one to race on Tuesday (9/5 and 9/19); on Wednesday, it’s Richmond YC  or Vallejo YC (9/6 and 9/20); Benicia YC has the only Thursday race (9/7 and 9/21). On Friday, Berkeley YC is the only cub to race (9/8 and 9/22)."

Robert Ruud, his dad Roger, and skipper Chuck Hooper are the reigning Kings of the Beer Cans. They completed the challenge in Hooper’s Benicia-based Contessa 33 Warwhoop, but we don’t require that you sail all five races on the same boat.

©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Do you have what it takes to complete the Beer Can Challenge? Let us know; there’s a Latitude 38 T-shirt in it for you, as well as 15 minutes of fame in recognition of your accomplishment.

Baseball Improvement in Turtle Bay

The fabulous baseball stadium at Turtle Bay as seen during the Cruisers versus Local Kids annual baseball game. With the Ha-Ha fleet boats in the background, the stadium is often compared favorably with AT&T Park in San Francisco.

©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The fantastic astroturf baseball field at Turtle Bay is, as recent Ha-Ha vets know, the most upscale facility not only of its kind, but any kind between Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas.

It is also home to Baja’s biggest baseball game of the year, the Cruisers versus Mexican Kids softball game, one of the highlights of each Baja Ha-Ha. It’s a bit of an unusual game, as there are often 35 people on the field, every batter swings until they get a hit, and the participants range in age from about two to 82. All sexes participate, too.

In keeping with the continuing improving baseball facilities in Turtle Bay, Mike Chase of San Diego is donating a Jugs M1500 Jr. Baseball/Softball Pitching Machine to Turtle Bay. We’re sure the baseball ultra-enthusiasts will love it.

The machine may or may not be used during the Cruisers versus Mexico Kids baseball game, as the Wanderer, who has an ERA of over 10,000, is slowly recovering from Tommy John surgery.

There are currently 126 paid entries for the Baja Ha-Ha, which means there is still room for you. You can sign up at Right after signing up, you might want to take a break from working on your boat to working on your baseball skills.

Opposite of Ships Passing in the Night

"What do you do when you cross paths with cruising friends in the middle of the ocean and you’re headed in different directions?” asked Lewis Allen and Alyssa Alexopulous of the Redwood City and Fiji-based Voyage 43 catamaran Quixotic.

They were faced with the question while sailing from Taveuni: Their friends, David and Amy on the catamaran Starry Horizons, were sailing the other way, to Taveuni. 

"The answer is simple," the couple said. “You heave to and paddle over for a cold one!" So Lewis and Alyssa got onto their paddleboard, took a few strokes over to Starry Horizons, and shared a drink with their friends. Before leaving, David took a photo of the two boats.

"Imagine meeting you out here!" Friends from Quixotic and Starry Horizons stop for a visit in the waters of Fiji. 

Starry Horizons / David
©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

You may remember that Lewis and Alyssa spent almost all their money and worked their butts off for a very long time restoring a tropical storm-damaged Voyage 43 catamaran in Fiji. Their plan was to make it all pay off by chartering the boat.

The list of people who have tried to make a go of chartering is surely one of the longest in the world. But Lewis and Alyssa report they’ve been doing great, and are almost completely booked for the season.

It’s great to see hardworking ‘kids’ succeed. 

Bowperson of the Week

In our occasional ode to the lone, brave soul who ventures to the pointy end of the boat to take care of business, we bring you a scene from spring time racing on the Bay. To all the bowmen, women and people out there, we love what you do. Keep keeping those sails flying.  

The Matthew Turner is looking more and more like a ship. On Saturday — and with the ceremonial fanfare we’ve come to enjoy from Educational Tallships — the Turner’s fore and aft masts were lifted by crane, stepped and fastened into place.
We were walking down the dock at Schoonmaker Point Marina in Sausalito when Colin Cashmore of the Dickson 60 Avant Garde popped his head out of the fo’c’sle.
We still can’t believe this morning’s New York Times headline: Rescuers Seek 10 Missing Sailors After US Navy Ship and Tanker Collide. We first thought it was a follow-up about the recent collision of the USS Fitzgerald in June, but today’s Times story involved a completely different destroyer, the apparently ‘unguided’ guided-missile destroyer John S.
They won’t arrive on the West Coast of the US until April, but the 12 boats in the current edition of the Clipper Round the World Race started yesterday in Liverpool, England.