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August 27, 2018

The Most Photographed Boat

The most photographed boat at the recently completed International 14 Worlds was not the winning skiff, nor one of the many that capsized. The most photographed boat was not even in the water.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In 2007 Southern California I-14 sailor Paul Galvez raced in the Prince of Wales Cup hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron. It was the 80th anniversary of the International 14. Paul was “blown away by the beauty and craftsmanship of the old wooden 14s on display. Especially the pre-WWII classics.” He told his wife, “I’ve gotta have one.”

He returned home with the dream, but after a while gave up hope of finding one in the US. More than a few years later he got a line on an old 14. He sent the picture off to the class historian who confirmed it was old, but did it predate the war? The woody was at an estate of man who collected fine things. After lowering it down from the rafters onto a classic Ferrari, dusting it, and chasing out the spiders, Paul realized it was a “bones boat — it had ribs." He bought the boat on spot.

Lovely Lorelei from another angle, on another day, shot by a different photographer. The boat spent the regatta displayed on RYC’s lower deck.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

From the old boating archaeological perspective, it was a little crude: bronze-fastened, didn’t have the ‘silk’ waterproofing, double cedar planking, screwed instead of clenched, and caulked. Paul determined she was an Uffa Fox design, yet built in America by some yet-to-be-determined builder. In the old days, Americans imported 14s from Britain. These were very expensive, so they sought an American-made alternative. Powerboat builders could crank out economical ones.

Paul’s goal was to return the boat to Concours d’Elegance condition. With the Worlds fast approaching, RYC I-14 sailor Rand Arnold, who knew about the boat, asked Paul to bring her up. Paul sacrificed training time, and after coming home from work each day, “put in labor, love and time," meaning sanding and varnishing — all in tribute to the class he loves.

Paul Galvez and Cameron McDonald finished 17th in the 60-boat regatta.

© Richmond Yacht Club

The bumper strip on the transom of Paul’s Bieker 5 I-14 says,  “My other I-14 is a woody.” His future plan? Once he ‘retires’ from the class, he’ll have a boat to sail.

Thanks to our source at RYC for sending us this report. Look for our race recap on the I-14 Worlds in Racing Sheet in the September issue of Latitude 38, coming out this Friday.

Exploring the World


This is the time of year when the Bay Area gets visited by many sailors heading north to south. We sailed with one of those visitors on Saturday aboard the 72-ft cutter Sea Dragon. When you jump aboard a big boat in the midst of circling the oceans, the Bay can begin to feel a little small. Then, when you meet captain, crew and guests the world suddenly, dramatically expands again.

Sea Dragon made quick, comfortable work of an afternoon sail on the Bay.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Sea Dragon is in the Bay Area for a few days to exchange crew and host some of the organizations that utilize the boat as part of their ocean research programs. Captain Eric Loss and his wife Shanley run an easy-going and well-managed operation aboard a very well-maintained boat with hundreds of thousands of miles under her keel and many fascinating stories to tell.

If there were awards for ‘frequent ocean miles’ Eric and Shanley would have plenty in the travel bank. All those miles must also add up to frequent smiles.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

All the crew and guests were committed ocean patrons inspired to help understand and solve many of the challenges faced by the world’s oceans. Orestis is a Bay Area sailor building small imaging satellites, which, among many things, can help track the health of coral reefs from space. Stiv lives aboard a Catalina 30 in Berkeley, but has sailed 30,000 miles with the Sea Dragon as part of the 5 Gyres ocean plastics campaign, and now works ‘upstream’ with ‘The Story of Stuff‘. Katie has worked aboard numerous boats, has also sailed many miles with Sea Dragon, and now lives aboard an Islander 30 in Sausalito while doing science communications with the California Academy of Sciences. Another associate Christina, who’s a diver and was out for her first sail, is helping to study coral reefs.

A solid steel sailing ship and accomplished crew relaxed with a pleasant flood tide sail on the Bay. Eric grinds for Katie while Stiv takes the helm.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While talking to Eric, we learned a bit more about his solo, one-stop circumnavigation from Southern California aboard an Islander 36, and how he and Shanley spend their ‘leisure time’. Last summer, that included sailing their 42-ft aluminum sloop Fleur Australe to Greenland. Needless to say, there’s more to tell. We’ve also left out Vicky, who does shark research, and Mary, who’s earned her PhD looking at toxins and marine mammals. We’ll have more about these fantastic people in our October issue.

Carolyn has sailed over 15,000 miles on seven voyages with 5 Gyres. The Bay is a piece of cake.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In the meantime, if you want to learn more, you can hear Eric and Shanley speak at the Spaulding Marine Center this Wednesday, August 29. We love connecting with all the sailors who are ‘passing through’ so, if you’re on your way south, drop us a note and let us know when you’re in the Bay. Or even better, stop by our Crew List party next week in Sausalito. There’s nothing more interesting than connecting with sailors on sailboats.

Hawaii Sees Its Share of Destruction

The Hawaiian Islands were spared a direct hit from Hurricane Lane — which at one point was a Category 5 event before it weakened to a tropical storm and veered southwest, brushing against the archipelago. But similar to Hurricane Harvey in Texas last year, Lane’s punch came from its torrential rains.

There doesn’t appear to be any significant damage to boating infrastructure in the Aloha State. The worst news we’ve heard — which is by no means conclusive — is that the Hawaii Yacht Club had to close the bar (and clubhouse) late last week.

Hurricanes are eerily beautiful. Lane, as seen from the International Space Station.

© 2018 International Space Station

Hawaii has seen as much as 46 inches of rain. The Big Island was one of the hardest hit, where firefighters rescued 39 people from floodwaters over the weekend, according to USA Today, which added, "Intermittent deluges through Tuesday could spark more mudslides, more bridges and roads could be damaged, and new evacuation orders are possible, forecasters said." 

According to the National Weather Service, Lane, which is still pouring rain in Hawaii, has already dumped the fourth-highest amount of rain for a hurricane to hit the US since 1950 — Hurricane Harvey set the record last year. USA Today reported that "Kai Kahele, a state senator who represents Hilo, didn’t mince words. The rainfall ‘was of almost biblical proportions,’ he said."

As we mentioned on Friday, Lane’s winds fueled wildfires in Lahaina on West Maui, burning 2,000 acres, destroying 13 homes and 30 vehicles, and displacing some 60 people, according to Hawaii News Now

After months of spewing lava from the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island, Hawaii has seen its share of natural destruction this summer. (In case anyone was wondering if Lane might "put out" Kilauea, the answer is no, according to Newsweek).  

When natural disasters hit, they dominate headlines and then fade away, but the people are left to deal with loss and destruction. We send our best to the people of Hawaii, and hope they have a speedy recovery.

Labor Day Weekend Regattas

The big-name, big-boat regattas this weekend will be the 76th Windjammers (Friday, San Francisco to Santa Cruz Yacht Club) and the 26-mile Jazz Cup (Saturday, Treasure Island to Benicia). The Windjammers has eight boats signed up so far, with registration open through 8 p.m. this Wednesday. Cruising and racing divisions are offered. South Beach YC hosts the start and Benicia YC the finish of the Jazz Cup. As of this morning, 76 boats were signed up, with registration closing at noon on Friday.

A glance at the beautiful Cheoy Lee Offshore 40 Selene’s flag halyard tells us that she’s done a few Jazz Cups in her day. And she’s signed up for this one too. Here’s hoping there’s more wind than last year — when no one finished! (The party at Benicia YC was fun nevertheless.)

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Labor Day Weekend is a popular one for multi-day regattas. The extra day off makes the logistics more manageable for more sailors. Here are some of the lesser-known choices, all of which are trailer-sailor friendly:

  • On Saturday and Sunday the Humboldt Yacht Club will host the Redwood Regatta on Big Lagoon in Humboldt Lagoons State Park.
  • The kids of Bay Area Youth Sailing will have their Summer Series #4 at Treasure Island Sailing Center on Saturday and Sunday. Lasers, Optis, 420s and CFJs are the active classes in the series.
  • Some of those same kids, plus adults, may turn around and race Optis or Lasers at Half Moon Bay YC’s Sail-Off on Labor Day.
  • Stillwater Yacht Club will host the 69th Mercury Labor Day Regatta on September 1-2 on Carmel Bay. Five races and a BBQ are scheduled.
  • Santa Rosa Sailing Club’s 66th Labor Day Regatta, with camping on Marshall Beach, will be held on Tomales Bay August 31-September 3. Racers can register ahead of time or on the beach when they arrive.
  • The San Francisco Pelican fleet will also be sailing their Tomales Bay Regatta Friday-Monday.
Last year’s scene at Marshall Beach on Tomales Bay with SRSC.

© 2018 Santa Rosa Sailing Club

Among regattas in Southern California will be the Long Beach to Dana Point ocean race, co-hosted by Shoreline, Dana Point and Dana West YCs on Saturday. Late entries will be accepted through Thursday.

There are no doubt others that have escaped our notice. If so, please let us know! We’ll have previews of more September regattas in this space later in the week.

For sailors and residents of Hawaii, the declining wind speeds and projected westerly turn of Hurricane Lane may spell some relief from dire direct-hit warnings, but Lane will still leave scars across the state.
World Sailing will award three new honors for 2018. Nominations are now open for Rolex World Sailor of the Year, but also for the following: The Racing Sailboat of the Year Award for "outstanding boat design, innovative concepts and ground-breaking technological advancements that are changing the face of sailing, pioneering change across the world," will be presented to a boat that has been scored in an international race for the first time between January 1, 2017, and September 1, 2018.