Fires Across the West Coast
Last night, we received the following letter from Greg Clark, who keeps his Cal 25 Lucky Duck at Brandy Creek Marina on Whiskeytown Lake, near Redding, California. "The National Park Service allowed boat owners to access Oak Bottom and Brandy Creek marinas for two hours on Tuesday night — the first time since the Carr Fire began. Boats could be pulled out if desired. The boats at Brandy Creek all appeared unscathed, although covered in a good coat of ash."
"Miraculously, the fire burned nearly to the lake’s edge in many places, but stopped short of Brandy Creek Marina — where our boat was — leaving a rare buffer of green around the marina (we did not see the final damage at Oak Bottom). It is unclear if the lake will reopen to the public this year but we are thinking positively!"
In an unrelated and different kind of fire, a 42-ft Coronado went up in flames and sank at Ala Wai Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii, on Monday night. According to the Honolulu Star Advisor, owner Salvatore Di Amore reportedly "had just stepped away from the boat after a little tiff with a visitor."
"Witnesses said the flames were 30 feet high." The Hawaii Fire Department said that the blaze didn’t appear to be intentionally set, but there were reports of nefarious activity. One witness told the Star Advisor that "Di Amore’s boat was sketchy and the people that hung out there were ‘not the best crowd.’"
This story has been updated.
St. Francis Hosts Kids from China
Traffic is bad all over, so what sort of parent would spend an hour and a half (each way) driving a kid to a sailing school? The answer is not many, but a few of the 13 million citizens of Shenzhen, China, shipped their kids all the way to San Francisco for a week of "summer" sailing on the Cityfront.
All the kids attend English-immersion schools, so for a pack of young Homo sapiens accustomed to August air temperatures in the 90s and water temperatures in the 70s, there were no language barriers to arriving at the consensus, "It’s cold here." They were warned, but it’s hard to believe. Day one kicked off with a swim test.
Past exchanges have involved New Zealand. This expedition to America is a first. The woman in charge, Hongyan Guo, brought a group mixed in age and ability. Knowing what she knows now, Hongyan says, "Next time, I’ll take the little kids to Mission Bay, San Diego, and bring the big kids here." If you don’t immediately apprehend the why of that, you’re probably new to sailing, and welcome in. It’s about relative temperature and wind strength, south vs. north, and it’s a big difference, and that’s how we roll. At home, these kids sail on Daya Bay, fronting the South China Sea, and young Hongli Liu relates, "We train in light wind only, so this is a chance for us to learn a lot."
In 12 years, the China Cup International Regatta (CCIR, October 26-31) has grown from an idea to an annual event attracting some 1,500 sailors from 38 countries. CCIR also has a youth training component, and that is how these six kids came to be enrolled along with 12 locals in an August Cityfront camp at St. Francis Yacht Club. Most were new to dinghies, so that was a learning point. On day four, they sailed J/22s under the Golden Gate Bridge and then to Angel Island for a picnic and a swim.
Day five wrapped the week with a regatta, and there were winners and there were prizes. The last big contest of the day was a relay sculling race, adding one kid per lap until "ridiculous" was achieved. How else do we hone the killer instincts of the next sailing generation?
Tales of the Delta, Part 1
Delta Doo Dah boats participated in two organized events this past Saturday. Jillian Cripps of the Ranger 23 Evenstar reports on the first, Owl Harbor Marina’s fifth annual Dinghy Poker Run: "Devery Stockon and the Owl Harbor crew put on a fun-filled event. Sixteen craft were entered, with quite the variety of propulsion by paddle, pedal, row and motor."
Delta Doo Dah sailors participating included Greg Towers of Evenstar, Jillian herself with her mom, and Dave Cowell from the Islander 30 Mas Tiempo, a permanent tenant of Owl Harbor’s J Dock.
"The day was sunny and warm, with a light westerly breeze, making an upwind run for the participants," writes Jillian. "The dinghy run started at J Dock and stopped at every other dock, finishing at B Dock with a five-card hand."
"Enthusiasm was high, and everyone wore a smile. Owl Harbor generously offered a $100 cash prize for the winning hand and $50 cash prize for the worst hand. The winning hand was a pair of queens and a pair of threes held by Gregory Towers and his crew member Dolores Shotton. They competed in a 35-year-old red rubber inflatable dinghy that thankfully held air for the entire event. The worst hand was a nine high held by Kevin Cavender, who sped through the event in his kayak."
The poker run was followed by a BBQ and potluck lunch where everyone got a chance to socialize. We noticed that no sailing dinghies participated this year, but we know of one El Toro that might give it a go next time. Owl Harbor is located on Isleton’s Delta Loop up Sevenmile Slough from the San Joaquin River.
Women’s Sailing Seminar Reg Is Open
Registration for the 26th Annual Women’s Sailing Seminar — which will be held on the weekend of September 22 and 23 — is now open. The Seminar is a "fun, educational and inspiring weekend of both workshops and on-the-water activities," according to Island Yacht Club.
"Island Yacht Club’s Northern California Women’s Sailing Seminar was created and founded by Mary Quigley and Linda Newland after they attended a women’s sailing seminar down south. They thought, ‘We need a seminar in Northern California, too,’ where women could learn about sailing from other women." The Seminar includes "Saturday workshops, breakfasts, lunches, one raffle ticket, after-seminar appetizer buffets, binder with class handouts, WSS T-shirt, and goodies from our sponsors — plus Sunday sailing!"
For more information, please click here — and be sure to check out this video.