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August 17, 2018

I-14 Worlds Makes a Splash

The practice race fleet at the I-14 Worlds approaches the weather mark.

© 2018 Richmond Yacht Club

The motto of the International 14 Worlds is "When you were little, did you run with scissors? You still can!" Racing is underway now on the Berkeley Circle for 61 skiffs, hosted by Richmond Yacht Club through August 25. Team racing was held on August 13-14; the ‘Great British Shake ‘n’ Bake Off’ team won. Individual racing starts today. Ten crews hail from Germany, 13 from the UK, 11 from Australia, 10 from Canada (their party togs are red-and-black-checked lumberjack shirts), 1 from Italy, and 17 from the USA.

Snatch’s crew doesn’t look happy about getting fouled.

© Richmond Yacht Club

As locals know, racing on the Berkeley Circle involves short, wicked chop fetched up on shallow water and winds into the low 20s funneling in through the Golden Gate from the cold, cold, cold Pacific Ocean.

American Kirk Twardowski and Canadian Matt Skafel pair up on Atomic Punk. 

© Richmond Yacht Club

Brits Andy and Tom Partington won yesterday’s practice race, a sausage-triangle set toward the lee of Angel Island. Breeze topped out at 15 knots, and only 28 boats finished. The Partingtons poo-poo the notion of a practice-race curse. "We’re not superstitious," said skipper Andy. "Besides it was such nice sailing out there."

Chills and spills at the leeward mark during yesterday’s practice race.


Each day of individual racing will feature one long race. We’ll have more coverage in the September issue of Latitude 38, and be sure to read Jenn Virskus’ preview in the current (August) issue. Also see

Svendsen’s Grand Opening Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Svendsen’s Marine & Industrial Supply will have its Grand Opening at their new facility in Alameda. At 9 a.m., Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer will cut the ribbon and officially launch the new location at 2900 Main Street — and we’ll be there, too.

After a long, proud history at Alameda Marina, Svendsen’s moved their boatyard operations to Bay Marine in Richmond at the beginning of the year. But starting tomorrow, their marine supply and chandlery operations will now be in a much larger warehouse in Alameda with "vastly increased product selection," according to Business Wire. "The new facility has supplies for boats from the smallest dinghies all the way up to the ferries and tugs plying the Bay."

Svendsen’s chandlery manager, David Forbes, left and Ron Rowe of Bay Ship and Yacht. 

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

For those of you who frequented the old Svendsen’s chandlery, you can expect many of the same faces and personalities at the new store. It’s a new beginning for an old staple of the Bay. 

Latitude will have a table set up at the event complete with stacks of magazines and hats for sale. It’s the perfect chance to pick up your August issue and update your swag. We look forward to seeing you there.

Tales of the Delta, Part 2

Welcome to Bradford Island!

© Rob Sesar

The Delta Doo Dah X cruising rally’s last official event of the season was held on August 11 at Bradford Island. The friendly folks at Bay View Boat Club invited a small contingent of Delta Doo Dah sailors to join them for their annual big blowout BBQ bash on their rustic property along the San Joaquin River.

No shortage of water toys were in use off the dinghy docks. The swimming was great, with warm water but a strong current, so caution was needed.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Larry White is the commodore of BVBC, and he also happens a member of past and present Delta Doo Dahs with his wife Kathy aboard their O’Day 37 Namaste. The intersection of BVBC and DDDX seemed like a good fit.

There was no food shortage. Old sails were repurposed for shade over the dance floor.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"This has been the best Delta Doo Dah ever," observed Rob Sesar, a vet of several, mostly aboard his Olson 30 Mental Floss, with Roberta Manell. This year, Rob turned the Olson back into a race boat, as he bought a vintage Stockton-built Stephens motoryacht, Skål, for cruising.

Also joining the party were rookie Doo Dah’ers Kevin Clancy and Joanne Goodsell of the Sacramento-based Catalina 22 Miss Irene. They trailered the boat to Brannan Island State Recreation Area, launched there, and sailed through Three Mile Slough to Bradford Island. They said it took about an hour and a half.

The crews of Skål (left) and Miss Irene both used two-person inflatable kayaks to get between their boats and the nearby dinghy dock.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Dave Cowell arrived late as he had stuck around Owl Harbor for the marina’s Dinghy Poker Run and potluck. Dave said the band at Bradford was still playing at 3 a.m. — and they had started early, before 7 p.m.! The Third Thursday Band is one of BVBC’s ‘house bands’.

Although the party went later than we did, the distance from the tule berm where the Doo Dah boats were anchored and the bandstand down behind the levee was adequate to mute the noise and allow weary sailor-dancers to catch some zzzz’s.

"Enjoy this. This is how things used to be," commented one Doo Dah sailor a tad wistfully, referring perhaps to the undeveloped island environment, or perhaps to the barefoot dancers swaying to an excellent variety of live music.

Sunrise over the San Joaquin. Skål headed out with the ebb early on Sunday morning, destined for breakfast in Pittsburg. Stink Eye, the red Laser 28 in the background, slipped out a bit later, also with the ebb, headed for an overnight in Benicia. With fore and aft anchors set in line with the current, bows pointing into the prevailing westerly breeze, the holding was good, and comfortable.

© 2018 Rob Sesar

Delta Doo Dah registration remains open through the end of August; after that we’ll collect more stories and photos from the sailors themselves and publish them in the October issue of Latitude 38. We’ll have more tales from the Delta in an upcoming ‘Lectronic as well.

Simple Pleasures

Our recent story of the simple pleasures of sailing our 22-ft 1964 Ensign, Solvogn, on the coast of Maine inspired Chris Maher to write in about his ‘new’ Ensign, Rubicon, which he and wife Sheila now have ‘berthed’ in their driveway in Walnut Creek.

The Maher family is keeping it simple and enjoying the good life aboard their restored 1965 Ensign Rubicon. 

© Chris Maher

Chris, who’s sailed several Baja Ha-Ha’s on previous boats — the Morgan 38 Blarney3 and the Beneteau First 42 Blarney4 — with his wife, kids and friends, bought the boat, hull number 889, from its original owner in Seattle in 2011. Chris tells us he "removed all the old hardware and then did the perfect AkzoNobel paint job at Delta Marine in Seattle and added new Lewmar hardware and winches and Doyle sails. She looks almost new! It is fun telling people in Tahoe that she was built in 1965."

Scenic sailing on Lake Tahoe. 

© Chris Maher

Chris continues, "I’ve always liked the hull shape. Back in the early ’80s, a buddy had an Electra with the same hull. It was moored in San Pedro and we would sail it over to Catalina to meet women. The meeting-women thing didn’t work, but it hooked me on ocean sailing. Great boat."

Longtime residents of the Bay Area, the Mahers took a hiatus living in the Pacific Northwest for a few years before moving back to the Bay, but leaving Rubicon up North. Chris said that recently, he "finally went and got the boat in Anacortes. She had sat for four years under a tarp. After towing her over 1,000 miles, she still looked really good after a run through a car wash."

Great to have a small boat and a trailer sailer. After a restoration, 1,000 miles and a car wash, she was good to go.

© 2018 Chris Maher

"We went sailing every day last week at Tahoe," Chris continued. "The boys came up with their friends and we had a blast. Sheila wanted me to give the boat away up in the Pacific Northwest, but I’m glad we didn’t! Now we have the perfect family Tahoe sailboat."

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
Jillian Cripps and her mom, Gig Kerr, paddled an inflatable Sea Eagle kayak in Owl Harbor’s Dinghy Poker Run.