Earlier this week, we received the following missive from the Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco: "A number of larger-boat skippers have approached the YRA and indicated they would like a set of races that are longer in distance, 20 plus miles, specifically for larger, faster boats. We listened to their feedback, and we are pleased to introduce the YRA Jumbo Cup! This new series of existing ‘fan-favorite’ races comprises longer races best suited for larger and faster boats. Boats can sail the Jumbo Cup and other YRA series and be scored in both the Jumbo Cup and other YRA series. It’s very customizable to your preferred sailing schedule, and by signing up for the Jumbo Cup you get a discount on entry fees." The Jumbo Cup will save owners anywhere from $50 to $80 over single-race entry fees.
Boats eligible for the Jumbo Cup are those at least 36-ft long with a PHRF of up to 51. (To peruse the list of possible entries, see the current 2018 database of NCPHRF certificates at yra.org/PHRF/docs/current_phrf_certs_rating.pdf.)
The counting races would be:
- April 21: OYRA Lightship
- April 28: YRA Great Vallejo Race (Saturday race only)
- May 12: OYRA Duxship
- May 19: YRA Bonita Race
As you can see, all of these dates are in the spring. Teams racing in this year’s Pacific Cup are especially encouraged to enter as a way to tune up their crew and gear for the passage to Hawaii in July. Info and registration can be found at yra.org/yra-racing/jumbo-cup-series.
There will be one throwout in the four-race series. Participants must meet the OYRA ocean safety requirements. Trophies for division winners will be awarded at the YRA’s Awards Ceremony in November.
San Francisco Bay and the Gulf of the Farallones offer spectacular and exciting sailing. But occasionally things get too exciting. All boaters venturing out into these waters should take every precaution to be well informed about conditions, well prepared in their vessel and gear, and well skilled in seamanship. But bad things can happen to even the best-prepared crew. When you find yourself in a ‘mayday’ situation, it’s good to know the Coast Guard is close by to help.
Petty Officer 1st Class Krystyna Duffy is scheduled to become the fourth active female surfman in the service during a ceremony at Station Golden Gate this morning. (Station Golden Gate is the one at the base of the North Tower of said bridge, in Sausalito’s Horseshoe Cove.)
Duffy, 31, will receive the surfman designation, the highest rank in Coast Guard small-boat operation, which allows rescue boat coxswains to operate in extreme weather and sea conditions. As a surfman, Duffy will be qualified to take a 47-ft Motor Lifeboat out in 20-ft breaking surf with 30-ft seas and 50-knot winds, reaching the boat’s operational limits.
"This has been a goal for me for more than a decade, and I’m excited to have made it," said Duffy. "Dreams don’t care about gender. If you want something badly enough, and you’re willing to fight for it, you can do it."
Station Golden Gate is one of 21 surf stations, where surf conditions greater than 8 feet occur 36 days or more each year. Heavy surf contributes to search-and-rescue emergencies in the Bay Area and along the Northern California coastline.
Chief Warrant Officer Beth Slade, commanding officer of Station Golden Gate, will present Duffy’s award. In 2002, Slade became the first woman ever to earn the surfman qualification for the 47-ft Motor Lifeboat. The ‘surfman’ title dates back more than 200 years to the US Life-Saving Service.
Last week in New York, three sailors were recognized by the Cruising Club of America for their offshore bona fides. Webb Chiles, Rich Wilson and Jessica Watson were each given an accolade by the nearly 100-year-old CCA. The 76-year-old Chiles, who is attempting his sixth circumnavigation in several stages aboard a Moore 24, was awarded with the Blue Water Medal. Wilson, the only American to complete two Vendée Globes, was given the Special Recognition Award. Watson, who at 16 made a solo, unassisted, nonstop Southern- Hemisphere around-the-world-trip, was honored as a Young Voyager (Watson is now 25)
We wanted to bring you Chiles’ acceptance speech, which we lifted from his blog, www.self-portraitinthepresentseajournal.blogspot.com:
"I have been writing for sixty years. Sailing for fifty years. And published for more than forty. Of all my words, I am confident ten will outlive me. I hope more will . . . A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind, I am certain. [My words] have been used on T-shirts, greeting cards, photographs, paintings, countless websites that collect quotes of sailing and the sea, even an ad for women’s shoes. I don’t understand that one.
"Perhaps in coming years every now and then someone will happen across those words and wonder who Webb Chiles was and find more of my words.
"I am pleased to be here this evening. I am pleased, and a little surprised, to be anywhere this evening. Age 76 and the year 2018 are numbers from science fiction. Though frayed by time, I believe that I am still good, that I am not yet used up, that I can still do more.
"That I have grown old is unexpected. My father and both my grandfathers died before age forty. Yet I who took the greatest risks have now more than doubled their lives. That might have been due to chance, though I do not consider myself lucky. But it also might have been because I planned and I prepared to the extent of my resources. I never did anything at the last minute. And though I took risks, I never took an uncalculated risk."
"Of my circumnavigations I believe that my first, most of my second, and my current sixth, were cutting edge. In each I sought a new experience. I did not want to be like an old rock star forever singing the songs of his youth. I wanted to sing a new song, and I think that Gannet and I have.
"I have owned three great boats. Two of them small: Chidiock Tichborne, an undecked 18-ft Drascombe Lugger yawl; Gannet, an ultralight Moore 24; and Resurgam, a Sparkman and Stephens designed She 36.
"I have great affection for small boats, who if well designed and built can do so much more than most believe possible.
"Eternity is long. Our lives as brief as a butterfly’s cough. I believe that they are redeemed by moments of joy. I have known countless such moments sailing small boats across oceans.
"I thank you for this medal and I wish you sailing joy."
Any thoughts on these outstanding sailors?
In Monday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, we showed you pictures of a boat that we saw anchored just outside the channel from San Rafael Creek last weekend. At low tide, the boat was slumped over on its side. Curious, we asked if you knew anything, and it turns out you did.
"I hadn’t seen this guy around San Rafael for a few months, but it seems like he is regularly aground," wrote Allyn Schafer. "I think these pictures — which I snapped in January — are of the same boat. I first saw him lying on his side on Jan 7."
Schafer said that not long after he snapped the preceding picture, the same boat was lurking deeper down the Creek (and closer to shore).
Another reader said they’d seen the boat in question in Sausalito. "I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this boat doing the same thing in Richardson Bay just north of Clipper," wrote Joe Ording, "as well as getting blown onto the Clipper breakwater during a storm a couple months ago."
We’ll take this opportunity to remind everyone how radically shallow the waters around San Rafael can be. (We’re also going to go shopping for a chart ASAP.)