Skip to content
August 1, 2018

Encinal Regatta Antics

A team of four race to repack a twisted spinnaker.

© Fred Fago

Saturday’s YRA race out to Point Bonita finished down the Estuary and ended at a party hosted by Encinal Yacht Club. "The regatta had 53 boats start," reports photographer Fred Fago of the actual yacht racing. "Winds were light to moderate."

Envolée, Basic Instinct and Russian Roulette fight for air as they approach the finish line of the YRA Encinal Regatta on Saturday.

© Fred Fago

But the competition didn’t stop there. Post-race games included the Paddle Board Relay. "The course was from the end of the dock and around a buoy gate and back to the dock. The skill level was quite varied."

When SUPing is a contact sport: These two competitors used their boards to knock each other down.

© 2018 Fred Fago

For the Spinnaker Hoist event, "The spinnakers were mispacked in the bags with some twists. The team had to unpack the bag, straighten the chute, repack the bag, close the cover, tie the head to the flagpole halyard, and hoist. The chute then had to be lowered and put into the bag and the cover closed."

"Some of the teams did not completely untwist the chute and tried to raise it," reports Fred. "There was a lot of pressure to quickly straighten and pack the spinnaker."

© 2018 Fred Fago
In the Kayak Tug of War, two kayaks were tied together. Each had to out-paddle the other kayak to pull it up to a line between two docks.

© Fred Fago

Only seven boats took advantage of the opportunity to sail in Sunday’s two races on the Estuary. We plan to run results and more photos in the September issue of Latitude 38; also check out the scores on Jibeset.

I Need a New Latitude

Do you have the midsummer reading blues? Have you devoured all the novels you’d been saving since winter for those lazy summer days when you were on the hook and able to kick back with some serious reading material? Are you in need of something fresh and witty to feed your brain? Are you in need of a little Latitude adjustment? 

Don’t worry! There are plenty of new Latitudes to go around.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Well, fear not, eager reader; the August issue of Latitude 38 is hitting the stands as we speak. We’re especially proud of this issue — but to be fair, we’re proud of them all. We have a full wrap-up of this year’s Singlehanded TransPacific Yacht Race and Pacific Cup, as well as the Tahiti Moorea Sailing Rendez-Vous. And we have a long awaited feature about Saildrone, a company that’s doing exciting work in Alameda.

Richard Jenkins, the founder and CEO of Saildrone, poses for a shot last month in Alameda. Pick up a new Latitude for the full story on how Saildrone is changing the nature of ocean research.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In this month’s Sightings, we have stories about this year’s Clipper Round the World Race from San Francisco sailor Harmon Shragge, all the dirt on dredging, news about a new documentary celebrating a renaissance in Polynesian voyaging, and the remarkable recovery of Jim and Joy Carey’s Omega 45 Kelaerin. Let’s not forget about Letters, where we have long and healthy debates over fenders, climate change, and the proper way to be the give-way vessel. And as always, we’ll have the winner of this month’s Caption Contest(!) in Loose Lips.

We had a long and healthy debate about fenders in this month’s Letters. Reader Greg Dorland argued that in the crowds and heavy traffic of the Mediterranean, most sailors leave their fenders down. We hope no one gets, ahem, a-fended by the points of view expressed.

© 2018 Greg Dorland

So be sure to sneak out of work early today, slide down to your local marina, chandlery, yacht broker, yacht club, yacht storage or bar, and grab yourself a new Latitude. Your soul will thank you for it.

The Difference Between the Coasts

While summers in San Francisco are known for cool, brisk and foggy breezes, the coast of Maine is just about the opposite — except for the fog part. Maine’s fog, by contrast, tends to be warm, humid and accompanied by gentler breezes. We return to our New England sailing roots every summer to see family and take in the pleasures of coastal sailing. Maine’s a place to remind you that sailing doesn’t have to be ‘exciting’ (or in 25 knots of breeze) to be enjoyable. While speed is a worthy quest for many, one of the reasons we love sailing is the opportunity to slow down.

Looks like there’s no wind, but there was enough for a comfortable four-hour sail as we weaved in and out of the islands and fog between Yarmouth and Harpswell.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
It’s not uncommon to be sailing along with schooners or a wide variety of traditional sailing craft.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
Sailing is where we spend time catching up with family and friends, mostly device-free. It’s a great place to have some undistracted time to connect.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Our sailing time in Maine is generally a recreational, conversational few hours where we catch up with family and take in the coastal air. In the background, lobster boats pick up their catch of the day and fishing boats run in and out in search of mackerel and striped bass. There’s a 10- to 12-ft tide, lots of lobster buoys to dodge, and plenty of rocks and reefs, but good charts and endless islands to explore make it a sailing destination you don’t want to miss.

Again, there’s fog and not much wind, but it’s warm while you slow down and chill out with the family.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

But one big difference — and a reason that the West Coast will always have our hearts — is that come September, the boats in Maine will start to be hauled out for the winter, while in the Bay Area, the winds will get calmer and warmer, and the fog will become less frequent.

But Wait, There’s More

In Monday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, we ran a preview of some upcoming races. Our list was not meant to be all-inclusive, but after that post we did hear from readers about a couple of events that missed getting into our Calendar entirely.

"I enjoyed your info today on racing," wrote Roger William Briggs. "A few weeks ago, Tim included info from me on our racing here in San Luis Obispo County and asked me to send more. We have two San Luis Yacht Club race days coming up (in Port San Luis/Avila Beach waters), August 5, and 19, as part of our season-long series. We usually get in about three races per day. August 11 is the biggest race of the year on the Central Coast, our annual Zongo Race jointly hosted by the Morro Bay YC (race start) and SLYC (race finish in Avila). We pass Point Buchon, Diablo Canyon Power Plant and the Point San Luis Lighthouse — about 21 miles. All races are PHRF. I’m on my friend Tony’s Farr 40, High 5. This is our fifth year in the Zongo Cup."

Trimming the kite aboard Tony Gomez’s Farr 40 High 5 in the 2017 Zongo Cup.

© 2018 Roger Briggs

For video of last year’s Zongo Cup, see "I’m the guy on the tiller (yellow PFD) the first 3/4 of the race," says Roger. 

"As always, I love reading ‘Lectronic Latitude," writes Alan Prussia. "But you missed one great event in August: the Ronstan Bridge to Bridge on August 9." The course, as implied by the name, runs from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge.

"This year is the 20th running of the event. This race has morphed quite a bit from the inaugural event. In 1998 it was the new Olympic-class 49er skiff vs. sailboards. Jonathan and Charlie McKee won the first year with a time of 27:18. Sometime around 2000 or 2001 kiteboarders showed up for the event. In 2002 Chip Wasson won the event with a kite with a time of 18:04, the first time that the 20-minute mark was broken. In 2003 professional sailboarder Micah Buzianis set the course record of 16:23, which lasted for many years. Fast-forward to 2016 and the winning time was 10:31, set by hydrofoiling kiteboarder Rikki Leccese from Italy. Hydrofoiling kiteboards now dominate the event results."

The start of the 2017 Thursday evening Ronstan Bridge to Bridge.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"Come out and watch the fastest craft tear up the racecourse on August 9 at 5 p.m. outside the Golden Gate. This year the 5O5 Class will participate as part of their North American Championship. For more information visit"

We’ll take this opportunity to remind event organizers and publicists that our Calendar deadline is always the 10th of the month prior to publication, and items of interest can be sent via email. In addition, we’ll soon begin soliciting material for the 2019 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Master Schedule.

On Friday, the Coast Guard, with the help of good Samaritans, rescued two sailors after their dinghy capsized off Indian Island, which lies in Arcata Bay off Eureka, CA.