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May 21, 2018

Another Wild Weekend

In the 8 a.m. hour it was already breeze-on for the competitors in the Singlehanded Farallones Race on Saturday. Here, Chris Lewis’s Catalina 42 Carmelita splashes through a wave on the way out the Gate.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With the first start at 8 a.m. you’d think the racers in the Singlehanded Farallones could at least get out the Gate on the ebb without struggling against big wind and bouncy chop. But no such luck; the day was windy from start to finish. Most competitors reefed their mains, some deeply so, and deployed small jibs or partially furled genoas. Seeing the writing on the wall (actually the weather forecast), 10 of the 38 solo sailors signed up didn’t show up. Of the 28 who did venture out, five dropped out. One more started at the wrong club (St. Francis Yacht Club instead of Golden Gate) and was thus scored DNS. The round yellow buoys off those two neighboring clubs do look a lot alike when you’re alone and have your hands full. We’ll have the story and results in the June issue of Latitude 38.

Ralph Morganstern’s Dehler 34 Geodesic III is practically airborne on a wave — inside the Bay!

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Chris Ray, a photographer and volunteer at StFYC, was all set to take pictures of the US Match Racing Championship Area G Qualifier, held on Saturday and Sunday in the club’s J/22s. "Congratulations to the race committee and judges for getting the regatta in at all given a really strange weekend of weather — 30 knots of breeze at Anita Rock at 6 a.m. Sunday morning? Whoa. I understand we didn’t have a lot of breakage, which we certainly could have had, and that injuries were minor, thank heaven," he reports. "There was too much wind to safely drone," he adds.

The winning crew, left to right: Dana Riley, Karen Loutzenheiser, Nicole Breault and Molly Carapiet. Note that this was not a women’s event. The other crews were either coed or all-male. Some included youth sailors.

© 2018 Chris Ray

Nicole Breault and her crew won all but one of their seven races to top the leaderboard over seven other teams.

DIY Quiz Answered

Last week, Ernest Galvan sent us this photo, promoting a pop DIY quiz:

"This is a combination DIY," wrote Ernest Galvan. "What is it?"

© 2018 Ernest Galvan

Lots of you were up to the challenge: "It’s the bottom of a deck stepped mast," wrote Carroll Skov. "The step needs the hole redrilled and a larger safety bolt installed," she added.

"Someone has the masthead truck off (or whatever they call the plug that goes in the top of the mast that holds the halyard sheaves and all the stuff on top), and wrapped it with red tape to try and get it to stop rattling," wrote Bill Nork. "Judging by the elongated screw hole, it’s probably making quite a racket!"

"Looks to me like a masthead fitting, although it could be from the end of a very large boom," said Bill Schilling. "The latter thought is supported by the fact the something hit it, although I suppose that a masthead fitting could be damaged like this if the boat was dismasted," he added.

"Casting end cap for a boom," wrote Alan Prussia, who was getting warmer. "I think it is the end of someone’s boom," wrote Tony Spooner. Thanks to everyone for playing (when we first saw the photo, we thought it was obviously a masthead fitting). Here’s the answer key from Mr. Galvan:

Illustrating the failure.

© Ernest Galvan

"I think this failure is is common to many boats of this vintage, a 1980s Ericson. The repair went fine, and I even got to test it in Saturday’s [May 12’s] gale, the perfect DIY day. Tapping new mounting holes in the garage in the a.m. and burying the lee rail next to Angel Island in the p.m."

Tapping the new mounting holes.

© 2018 Ernest Galvan

And finally, a picture of the finished DIY product.

I also got to enjoy the sweet smell of LanoCote while putting the new stainless bolts into aluminum casting.

© 2018 Ernest Galvan

Do you like to DIY? Let us know!

The Loss of a Pirate Ship (and Life)

A notorious 48-ft schooner known at Emeryville Marina as ‘The Pirate Ship’ sank in its slip last week. It was the third and final time the boat — called Quest — had sunk; after she was raised, Quest was destroyed.

Up she goes! Quest was revived, before she was put down.

© 2018 Cindy Warner

The Coast Guard oversaw a $35,000 effort to raise Quest at its slip. Officials were concerned that the sunken schooner was leaking diesel and a general hazard to the environment. 

Cindy Warner strikes a pose with Quest before the 48-ft schooner was euthanized.

© 2018 Cindy Warner

Berkeley-based naval architect Paul Kamen sailed aboard Quest in a Master Mariners regatta, and shared a few details from a 2011 request for crew for the Baja Ha-Ha: "[The owners] are like fire and ice and swiftly swing from heated argument to passionate kisses. Just stay out of their way and you’ll be fine. (And pay no attention to the sound of make-up sex.) Unfortunately, with the combination of mood swings and the amount of work still needed to be done on the Quest, we just lost our last Skipper and are now in search of a replacement. This is a crew of smokers, drinkers and pirates till the end . . . more like the Johnny Depp, scavenging, living on the edge, stick it to the man sort of way. Let me elaborate: This is not your average crew nor your average ship." 

"Everything on the boat is a second hand, scavenged, gifted or stolen. Last night we went and liberated 40 pounds of ice from the local Motel 6 because they happened to have an outdoor ice machine. Today as we run our errands we’re supposed to keep an eye out for discarded couch cushions to make the upper deck more comfortable. We’re also supposed to keep an eye out for one foot of garden hose that we need to get the washing machine moving. Our diesel has been siphoned from a near by wreck, and we clean it by running it through coffee filters."

"A demolition crew with a steam shovel bit the bow off like a hungry T Rex," Cindy Warner wrote.

© 2018 Cindy Warner

There are rumors that the figurehead was modeled after Quest’s previous owner. The busty, topless mermaid had blond hair, tattoos, a pierced nipple and a wry smile.

Some say this figurehead is a spitting image of Quest’s former owner.

© 2018 Cindy Warner

Cindy Warner contributed reporting to this story.

T-shirt Winner

Avid Bay Area racer, Helmut ‘Willi’ Zarth is this month’s winner of Latitude 38 logowear. The proud owner of an Olson 30, Think Fast, was in Svendsen’s Marine in Alameda where he picks up the new issue of the magazine religiously at the beginning of each month. This month he grabbed the lucky one that included the winner insert. “I have been a dedicated reader as long as I have been sailing which is 25 years!” he said.

Willi was lucky to find a ‘Your Lucky Day’ flyer in his latest Latitude 38 and, with that, added a free Latitude T-shirt to his wardrobe. 

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After spending a small fortune on Tuff Luff he spent that weekend making repairs on his Olson 30. I began racing with Willi at the end of last year. As a newish sailor I found his teaching style to be the best fit for me. He is patient and calm, and he always finds a way to make our experience focused but fun. A few weeks before we had gone out on the Bay for a practice run getting ready for the Berkeley YC Rollo Wheeler Regatta. When we were heading back under the Bay Bridge, the forestay snapped. Our foredeck crew rushed to pull down the jib as it started to pull the mast toward the water. We had been pretty heeled over, pushing the boat at around 8 knots. Once we got the boat under control we pulled in the main and motored back into the Estuary. Willi’s expertise kept us all safe, and the crew proved their teamwork and skill.

Willi Zarth’s Think Fast, plying the waters of San Francisco Bay.

© 2018 Olson 30 Class Asssociation

Now that the boat is back in order, he is preparing for the rest of the racing season. Willi will be sporting his new Latitude 38 shirt and team Think Fast cap at the first BYC Tri-Islands Race on June 3.

Gale Force Winds
On Monday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, we asked the West Coast about their weekend. Last Saturday in San Francisco, we had gnarly, gale-force winds offering both glory and carnage for sailors.
The Victoria-Maui race finishes in beautiful Lahaina, Maui. With a bustling town and harbor, perfect weather, fun surf and crystal-clear waters, Lahaina is the perfect place to rest and relax after a long and strenuous yacht race from Canada.
Richmond Yacht Club will host the new and improved Lipton Cup on June 15-17. RYC Staff Commodore Dick Loomis explains how the regatta was reimagined: In the fall of 2016, a small group of commodores got together for lunch at Encinal Yacht Club.