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.
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.
Nicole Breault and her crew won all but one of their seven races to top the leaderboard over seven other teams.
Last week, Ernest Galvan sent us this photo, promoting a pop DIY quiz:
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:
"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."
And finally, a picture of the finished DIY product.
Do you like to DIY? Let us know!
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.
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.
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."
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.
Cindy Warner contributed reporting to this story.
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.
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.
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.