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January 23, 2019

Photos of the Day: CYC Midwinters

Division A start
The Division A (P1) start, with the Swan 53-2 Blue and J/124 Courage hot on her tail. The Farr 52 Zamazaan is sailing to windward in the background.
© 2019 Roxanne Fairbairn

Any workable breeze failed to show up for the Corinthian Midwinters on pleasant Saturday, January 19, and the race committee was never able to come out of postponement. But Sunday the 20th was just the opposite. A low-pressure system blowing through the San Francisco Bay Area carried with it gusts up to 30+ knots from the northwest.

P2 start
A big division, P2  scrambles at the start. Three were over early. Wayne Koide’s Sydney 36 CR Encore won her division.
© 2019 Roxanne Fairbairn

Photographer and race committee volunteer Roxanne Fairbairn was well situated on the signal boat to capture the excitement on the start-finish line. You can see more of Roxanne’s excellent photos on her SmugMug site.

J/105 start
The always-competitive J/105 start. Six of the eight boats signed up made it out on Sunday, and look how tightly they’re packed at the line. Tim Russell’s Ne*Ne won her class.
© 2019 Roxanne Fairbairn
P4 start
The P4 start. The PHRF divisions were broken up by rating, thus a 40-ft Hunter racer/cruiser (Sir Leansalot) was competing with the diminutive J/70 Wingman Racing. Elliott James (Roxanne’s son) and crew on the  Mancebo 31 Bloom County topped the division.
© 2019 Roxanne Fairbairn

Look for our race report and a few more photos in Racing Sheet in the February issue of Latitude 38, coming out on Friday, February 1.

Non-Spinnaker 2 start
Reefed mains were the call for these Non-Spinnaker 2 boats. Note that the Ranger 33 Summer Sailstice (right) has a double-reefed main and partially furled #2 jib. They came in second after Carl Flemming’s Tartan Ten Topgallant.
© 2019 Roxanne Fairbairn
Blue drops her kite
Ray Paul’s Blue was the first boat to finish. She held onto her time to win P1 by five minutes.
© 2019 Roxanne Fairbairn

Find scores from the day’s race at CYC will hold next and final races in the Midwinter Series on February 16-17. Go to to sign up.

Three Bridge Fiasco Deadline

Start of Three Bridge Fiasco
It’s always fun to gather with 300+ sailboats on the Cityfront Saturday morning to start the TBF.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

On Monday, we wrote at length about this Saturday’s Three Bridge Fiasco — one of the largest races in the country. Since Monday, entries have gone from 230 to 296 and counting. Today (Wednesday the 23rd) is the deadline (at 11:59 PST). If you’re sitting on the tideline wondering which way to go, now’s the time to decide. You can register here.

Coast Guard Collection in Marin Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Thursday, January 24) in Mill Valley between 3 and 6 p.m., there will be a collection for Coast Guard families at the Southern Marin Fire Protection District.

To get to the Southern Marin Fire District station, take exit 447 off 101, then take CA 131E Tiburon Blvd. 0.8 miles right on Strawberry Drive. Take a right onto Ricardo Road and proceed to the top of the hill. Go immediately left onto Reed Blvd., then go 0.4 miles to SMFD.
© 2019 Google Maps

Here’s a list of what the North Bay Coast Guard Spouses Club is asking for: diapers/wipes (sizes 1-5) laundry and dish detergent; paper towels; canned food items; peanut butter and jelly; bread; formula; feminine products; razors, shaving cream; cereal; mac ‘n cheese; pasta; rice; non-perishable foods; dog and cat food; Safeway gift cards; gas cards.

For more information, please contact Meghan Wood here. And please stay tuned for news of future collections.

Still on the Job

On Saturday, a 21-ft boat ran aground in the notoriously (but deceivingly) shallow waters of Suisun Bay, according to a Coast Guard press release. It is not clear if the vessel was a sail- or motorboat — but it began taking on water. There were two people onboard.

“Vessel Assist personnel contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders around 4 p.m,” the release said. “A Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a Coast Guard Station Vallejo 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew were dispatched to the scene.”

This screenshot is NOT from Saturday’s rescue, but it reflects a familiar story. This video was shot in July 2018 after a 22-foot sailing vessel ran aground and began taking on water with a family onboard. Suisun Bay claims many boats in its shallow, muddy waters every year.
© 2019 Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco

As with so many groundings in Suisun Bay, rescue boats could not reach the stranded vessel due to the shallow depth of the water. The Coast Guard helicopter lowered the rescue swimmer and they eventually hoisted both boaters to safety. They were then flown to Buchanan Field Airport in Concord and were reported in good condition.

The helicopter’s pilot, Lt. Samuel Hafensteiner, said that the crew performed exceptionally well. “With practiced precision, [we] executed a difficult, 80-foot hoist from a 21-foot boat to successfully rescue these two individuals.”

We’ve heard very little from the Coast Guard themselves about the shutdown, until this press release:

“The Coast Guard continues operations authorized by law that provide for national security or that protect life and property during partial government shutdowns; however, there are some impacts to our day-to-day operations. The Coast Guard stops or curtails mission activities that do not fall into those categories. Coast Guard uniformed personnel will continue to perform their duties during a partial government shutdown and will provide essential services such as search and rescue, port and homeland safety and security, law enforcement and environmental response.”

At least someone is doing their job.

An End in Sight? Probably Not

Tomorrow, the Senate will hold competing votes on two measures: One vote will focus on “President Trump’s proposal to spend $5.7 billion on a border wall,” according to the New York Times. The other vote is over a “Democratic bill that would fund the government through Feb. 8 without a wall.” But neither measure is expected to pass, according to the Times. “The procedural move by Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, is the first time the parties have agreed to do virtually anything since the shutdown began Dec. 22.”

Friday will mark the second time this month that some 800,000 federal workers — including the Coast Guard — have gone without a paycheck, assuming a bill isn’t passed tomorrow.

It’s not clear what progress has been made with the “Pay Our Coast Guard Act.” Though it’s received wide bipartisan support, there’s no indication that the bill is moving through Congress.

Is This Possible?

It’s not as random as lightning striking twice, but it feels almost as close. Over the past year, we’ve slipped a handful of flyers into some random magazines that are distributed to our more than 700 locations up and down the West Coast. If you happen to be the one who picks up a magazine with a flyer, congratulations! You win a T-shirt. Pretty simple.

Here’s the weird part. We received an email from Phil Jay, who’d picked up a magazine at the King Harbor Yacht Club in Redondo Beach with the Golden Ticket inside — but his brother, Lenny Jay, was also a winner, finding the flyer in the same December issue which Lenny had picked up at the Golden Gate Yacht Club. (We have to wonder, are these brothers working us?)

Phil Jay
Phil Jay with the winning issue in front of his Cal 39 Yankee Traveller.
© 2019 Phil Jay

We asked for a little information from Phil, who replied, “Here’s the photo you requested with me in front of my Cal 39, Yankee Traveller. She’s a plastic classic, fast and strong, though I couldn’t go sailing today, no wind.”

Phil and the flyer
As requested, Phil confirmed the flyer was really there with a “you-can’t-make-this- stuff-up” photo.
© 2019 Phil Jay

Stranger things have happened, but we’re happy to discover that the Jay brothers still enjoy sailing in both Northern and Southern California. We just want to get the next photos of them out sailing with their new Latitude 38 T-shirts on.


Another unfortunate soul is in a tough spot after their trimaran came to rest on the west shore of Tiburon this weekend.
Shorthanded Pursuit Race
The chatter at yacht clubs this past weekend inevitably turned to strategy for next Saturday's Three Bridge Fiasco. "Which way are you going to go?" is the question on the minds of the skippers (and doublehanded crewmembers) contemplating this crazy race.
Jules Verne Trophy
This morning at 07:45 UTC, Spindrift 2 broke her own record to the equator by just over an hour. The maxi-trimaran crossed the equator in 4 days, 19 hours, 57 minutes.
A Blast from the Past
The sailing ships of old carried all sorts of cargos. But perhaps the most unusual shipment(s) ever carried by an American ship were loaded aboard 540-ton square-rigger USS Supply in the Mediterranean in the summer of 1855: camels.