Are you interested in shorthanded racing? Do you sometimes watch the Vendée Globe or Solitaire du Figaro? The Round New Zealand Race for doublehanders is going on right now. It’s sponsored by the Shorthanded Sailing Association New Zealand (SSANZ), sort of the equivalent of the Singlehanded Sailing Society of San Francisco Bay, or SoCal’s Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Association. Unlike ocean-passage races, the Round New Zealand is a coastal anticlockwise circumnavigation in four legs with multiple stopovers. And what a beautiful, challenging coast it is, with lee shores and a dip down to 46º south in cold and windy conditions.
Seven boats started in Auckland on February 16. They are now in Leg 3 of four. The first leg went to Mangonui, a small town only 154 miles to the north. The second leg went from Mangonui to Oban on Half Moon Bay, Stewart Island, on the southern tip of South Island — a distance of 930 miles. The third leg is Half Moon Bay to Napier (back on the North Island), a distance of 618 miles. The fourth leg will go from Napier to Auckland, a distance of 367 miles.
Wind and wave conditions can change dramatically during this race, so you would expect some high-performance boat designed for doublehanded ocean racing. Two Farr 38s racing look a lot like Dave Hodges’ Richmond-based Timberwolf. A Jeanneau SunFast 3600 is like the one named Invictus based in the South Bay. An Elliott 1050 resembles another of our local boats, Basic Instinct (which, by the way, just won the doublehanded division overall of the SSS Corinthian Race, in the hands of Memo Gidley and his 81-year-old mom, Mary). The other entries are an older Pogo 40, another Elliot 10.5 that looks like a fast one-off, and a Thompson 11.8 just like Serena, which used to live at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon.
Accounts from the water during Leg 3 have boats separating from each other and searching for breeze. From Rob Croft and Sally Garrett on the Farr 38 Coppelia: “Maybe the tide will turn soon; another cold but also damp night. The boat is constantly attacked by dolphin torpedoes. We are now sailing in a northwest breeze. Our boat speed is OK, between 4 and 6 knots. We are back on the tracker, so you can see we are definitely on our own.”
From Ken Ormandy and Sam Tucker on Gale Force, the Elliott 1050: “It was an amazing night last night, probably the coldest night of the race for us, but there was no moon for most of it, and the stars were incredible! Has been pretty pressed up at times, but breeze is slowly backing, and we are finally heading north as well as just east.”
As of this morning, the Elliott 10.5 Motorboat II is leading, with Gale Force ahead on PHRF. Today’s forecast for the fleet calls for 20 knots on the nose.
They’ve only held this race three times, the first in 1990 and the last in 2012. They have a website with boat and crew info and links to the other SSANZ races: www.ssanz.co.nz/round-new-zealand. The boat reports are on Facebook (sorry): www.facebook.com/ssanz.inc. For more insight from the Kiwi couch racers you can check out the forum under “shorttalk”: http://crew.org.nz/forum/index.php/forum/9-shorttalk.
There have been too many people met, relationships forged and sailing bonds made at the Latitude 38 Crew List parties over the years to mention. People have made lifelong sailing partners and new friends, and in some cases, met their spouses at our biannual events. We’re not saying that we’re, like, sailing Tinder or anything, we’re just saying that if you’re looking for people who love to sail sailboats, then there is no better place than the Latitude Crew Party.
We hope you’ll join us this Thursday at Golden Gate Yacht Club from 6 p.m to 9 for the first Crew Party of the year. There will be a full bar, snacks, Latitude logowear for sale, and, most importantly, people, people . . . people.
Are you the owner of a racing or cruising boat looking for people to sail with? Great, we hope to see you there. Are you eager crew looking for a boat to sail on? Great. Have you never sailed a day in your life, but are hoping to find a group of good people to learn with? Great, we hope to see you there.
For more information, please go here. And good news: The forecast, at the moment, is NOT calling for rain on Thursday.
“Changing Conditions” in Humboldt Bay
If you’re planning on sailing into Humboldt Bay in the next few days or weeks, the Coast Guard is urging extreme caution.
“Coast Guard crews and mariners are observing breaking waves in the channel near the charted position of buoy ‘9’ which is no longer on-station due to the conditions in the area,” a press release said. “Breaking surf has also been observed in historically calm and protected areas outside of the waterway. Navigation through this area has changed significantly since 2018.”
Mariners can contact Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay at (707) 443-2212 for updated reports of conditions, or contact the Coast Guard on VHF-FM channel 16 or at (707) 839-6113.
Boat on the Beach in Tiburon
Last week, one of our staff snapped a photo of a motorboat on the rocks in Tiburon
This is a relatively common occurrence when winter storms sweep through the Bay Area, though we’ve definitely seen fewer boats on the lee Tiburon shore this season.
Bad Sailing Jokes
A boat carrying red paint crashed into a boat carrying blue paint and the crew were marooned.
Two people are out sailing when suddenly a hand appears in the sea.
“What’s this?” asked the skipper, “It looks as if someone is drowning!”
“No,” explained his crew. “It’s just a little wave.”
Jokes courtesy of Yachting & Boating World.
One of the books that inspired us as kids was the story of Tinkerbelle, which chronicles the voyage of Robert Manry who sailed his 13.5-ft sloop from Falmouth, Massachusetts, to Falmouth, England, in 1965. Now, almost 55 years later, the story has been turned into a feature-length documentary, Manry at Sea — in the Wake of a Dream, which will be shown this Friday, at 4 p.m. at the Smith Rafael Film Center in downtown San Rafael as part of the International Ocean Film Festival.
We’re inviting Latitude 38 readers who show up with a magazine, hat or T-shirt to join us for a quick group photo at 3:45, before the movie. Anyone there for the photo op can enter a raffle to win a pair of tickets to the next day’s showing of Chasing Thunder showing at the Rafael on Saturday.
“Robert Manry set off on June 1, 1965, and finished his trip 78 days later, in spite of several attempts to ‘rescue’ him,” the Rafael said. “Whimsical and dramatic, this compilation of home movies, newsreels, and TV tape is pure delight.” You can learn more about Manry at Sea and buy tickets here.
If you are the winner of the tickets to Chasing Thunder, you’ll see another fantastic documentary featuring Captain Adam Meyerson, who was born in San Francisco and grew up sailing El Toros and Lasers on Tomales Bay. In August, we wrote about Adam and the film, which first premiered last summer. For details about Chasing Thunder, click here.
Adam and his Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker were also featured in an award-winning New York Times article.