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August 28, 2017

Friday Night on the Estuary

The start of a Friday night race in front of Encinal YC. In the background, the construction of Oakland’s new Brooklyn Basin development can be seen.

© 2017 Fred Fago

Based in Alameda, Encinal Yacht Club holds their Friday night Twilight Races on the Estuary. On August 18, "The fog was starting to come into the East Bay hills and created moments of sunshine as the warm glow of a sunset started," said Fred Fago, who took these photos.

Val Lulevich’s J/24 Shut Up and Drive chases Dave Vickland’s Harbor 20 Obsession on the beat up toward Jack London Square.

© Fred Fago

EYC’s Friday night races alternate with Island YC’s Island Nights, and Oakland YC hosts a Sweet Sixteen Series every Wednesday; the last one will be this Wednesday, August 30. The EYC series wraps up on September 8; Island Nights conclude on September 15. Both clubs take this Friday off.

Five Columbia 5.5s have their own division in the EYC races. Here two of them bracket the Capri 25 My Tahoe Too, sailed by the club’s juniors.

© Fred Fago

Although some beer can series elsewhere have wrapped up for the season, there’s still time to catch three more races on the usually pleasant Estuary. For a more comprehensive schedule, see our online Calendar

We’re pretty sure this 5.5 is Scott McCoy’s Carina.

© Fred Fago
This one is Roy Haslup’s Jaguar, distinctive in British Racing Green.

© 2017 Fred Fago

Can We Help You?

"I’m looking for a slip." 

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

There are all kinds of harbormasters in the world, but not many of them are as accommodating as Dick Markie of Paradise Marina in Nuevo Vallarta. As you can see from the photo, Markie once allowed an aquatic mammal to come into the harbor office to discuss possible accommodations with Manuel, Markie’s office manager. Despite the language barrier, they found the mammal a place to stay! Markie didn’t see the situation as a monkey on his back because he’s used to things like that.

Dick Markie has seen it all in his many years as a Harbormaster in Mazatlan and in Nuevo Vallarta. He’s happy to answer all your questions about cruising to and in Mexico. 

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Markie, who is from Northern California, but who has been a harbormaster in Mexico since sailing south shortly after the Mexican Revolution, will be at Latitude 38‘s Fall Crew List Party at Spaulding Boat Works in Sausalito on Wednesday, September 6. The party starts at 6:15 p.m. and will run until 9 p.m.

The Crew Party is a great place to meet other folks headed to Mexico, mostly on the Baja Ha-Ha, and perhaps find a berth or fill a berth. Make sure you’re there for the opening of the liferaft at about 8 p.m. But be careful, as some people who have met at the Crew List Party have ended up getting married.

Before the party,  from 4 to 6 p.m., Markie will give a presentation about all things cruisers might want to know about Mexico. Don’t miss it.

SF Bay Folkboat International Regatta

Somewhere in the photo below is a Folkboat International champion — we just don’t know who it is yet.

Smiles and a friendly wave start the Folkboat festivities. 

©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The San Francisco Bay Folkboat International Regatta starts today at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon with sailors here from Denmark, England, Germany, Sweden and the US. They’re racing all week; by Friday one of these Folkboat folks will be a winner! Learn more at

A portion of the 82 entries in the Opti PCCs makes their way home to SFYC after the final day of racing. For many, summer turns to fall as school starts today.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Meanwhile, next door, San Francisco YC was finishing up hosting the Opti PCCs, and the winner has been determined. Ryan Satterberg from Santa Barbara YC came north and snatched the victory with a third-place throw-out in the 63-boat Champ fleet. Full results here.

‘Balclutha’ Is Built to Last

These days, when it seems like the washing machine you bought last week is already broken, it’s a little mind blowing that a 131-year-old sailing ship looks like she was launched yesterday.    

Stately, durable and a ‘land’mark on the San Francisco waterfront, Balclutha will get a touchup at Bay Ship & Yacht.

© 2017 Bay Ship & Yacht Co.

But Balclutha — a 301-ft, three-masted square-rigger — is still going strong. And unlike your washing machine, there is a small, dedicated army of enthusiasts invested in maintaining her. The ship is about to undergo a round of maintenance at Bay Ship & Yacht in Alameda.

Balclutha is one of seven historic ships at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and contributes to the Bay Area’s rich maritime history, while also offering educational opportunities to students of all ages. Part of the maintenance and upgrades scheduled on Balclutha include installation of a wheelchair lift, according to reporting by the East Bay Times. If a boat built before WWI can adapt to change, so can we.

Once all 4,100 tons of the ship are hauled out of the water, Balclutha will have her foremast, mainmast and mizzenmast yardarms removed for repairs and painting. There will also be a complete ultrasonic hull plate survey — which will indicate whether plates will need to be replaced or repaired — and a full sandblast of the ship’s freeboard and underbody.

The short-term goal? To preserve Balclutha’s steel for at least another six years, the East Bay Times said. The long-term goal? To continue to put all washing machines built today to shame.

Even with dinghy wheels, it was a bit of a struggle for John and Gilly of Destiny to get their dinghy up the gravel beach at Punta Mita.
Usually when we talk about "protests" in the context of yacht racing, we’re talking about disagreements over rules and right of way between competitors, not the kind of protests with speeches, chanting, sign waving and yelling. But