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March 22, 2019

Cabo Race Complete

Hana Ho starts the Cabo Race
Mark Dowdy’s SFYC-based SC50 Hana Ho and Division started on Friday, March 15.
© 2019 Bronny Daniels / Joysailing

The teams running some of the fastest boats on the West Coast must be shrugging in disappointment after Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s 20th Newport Beach to Cabo Race. What follows are news bytes from the organizers.

On Monday “Light breeze early on caused two boats to retire.” The Multi 70 trimaran Maserati and Bakewell-White 100 Rio100 returned to Newport Beach. On Tuesday, the SC70 OEX experienced electrical problems that forced them to retire. The Pac52 BadPak withdrew due to time limit concerns. The Andrews 77 Cal Maritime returned to San Diego. The TP52 Destroyer ran into a kelp minefield, but carried on to Cabo.

Of the 31 boats entered, 24 completed the 800-mile race. The Swan 60 Good Call! made a good call to hunt for some breeze offshore. The move paid off. Skipper Tom Barker, navigator John Gladstone, David Oliver, Erik Rogers, Javier Quiroz, Jeffery Brown, Patrick Murray, Thomas Parry and Will Suto took line honors on Tuesday.

Swan 60 Good Call!
Good Call! started on Friday and took line honors on Tuesday.
© 2019 Bronny Daniels / Joysailing

On Wednesday, a great 10-knot breeze filled in off Baja California Sur, allowing boats to make up some time. “It was a slinky race the whole way,” said Gio Morrelli of the J/124 Marisol. They had passed and been passed by the classic yawl Chubasco at least three different times.

Wednesday night saw some epic battles. The Kernan 70 Peligroso and Andrews 70 Pyewacket finished just before closing time at the Baja Cantina. Playing the inside breeze on Tuesday paid off and shot them well ahead of the remaining boats that started on Saturday. Just behind them, Taxi Dancer, Destroyer, Grand Illusion and Medicine Man were knees-deep in a jibing duel for the remainder of the race. The R/P 70 Taxi Dancer took the outside Wednesday morning, which seemed to give them the velocity they needed to seal the deal. Destroyer finished less than 15 minutes after them to correct out for the win in ORR-1.

Grand Illusion at the docks
Many finishers arrived at night. This one is Grand Illusion.
© 2019 NHYC Cabo Race

The battle for the next finish, between the Andrews 63 Medicine Man and SC70 Grand Illusion, was probably one of the most intense match-ups of the race. PRO Dwight Belden reported from the finish line: “Med Man was leading Grand Illusion into the 1-mile check-in by at least 5 minutes. MM got stuck in a hole and GI sailed outside their line. While MM tried to dig out from under the shore and head back offshore, GI on port had to take their stern on a port-starboard situation, sailed right by MM on port and held on to win the finish. MM came in nearly 2 minutes later after jibing back to port to make the line. Just amazing to watch this unfold at the very end.”

Crew of Fast Exit
John Raymont and crew on the Andrews 40 Fast Exit won the race overall.
© 2019 NHYC Cabo Race

The Baja Cantina hosted the awards ceremony last night. See results here.

Randall Reeves Re-Rounds Cape Horn

We got the following email from Randall Reeves not long after we posted ‘Lectronic on Wednesday: 

Well, Mo is around and has passed for the second time this passage under Cape Horn, thus completing her circuit of the Southern Ocean via the Capes, non-stop and solo. It’s been 110 days since we saw Cape Horn for the first time, and better than 15,000 miles at 45°S and and higher have passed under Mo’s bum in the interim.

Cape Horn played peekaboo as Randall Reeves made his approach on Wednesday.
© 2019

At the very last minute, I decided to come north of Diego Ramirez [about 65 miles west-southwest of Cape Horn] and over the shallow water for a close run to The Horn, this after writing a blog post regarding why that was a bad idea.

We’ll let this picture speak for itself.
© 2019

And it WAS a VERY bad idea to come north of Diego Ramirez in the wind we had. Overnight, we had 40+ for five hours. No sleep. Came in over the shallows at dawn. Seas stacked up like I’ve never seen. Many surfing runs. Several times laid over. Seas over the boat. Heavy, heavy break (which I tried and failed to get on film) and 30-35 all day. Forecast all wrong again. Sun is almost down as I type and I’m still carrying 30+ knots in a forecast of 20.

But, am glad I came north; we survived, I got to see the cape in sunshine. Wow. And get some photos. Now I need the weather gods to give me some wind for the run N in the Atlantic.

Even in pictures, Cape Horn inspires awe, fear, glory . . . and, for many sailors, the question: Do I want to see it for myself one day? For now, we’re just happy that a Bay Area sailor is doing the heavy lifting for us.
© 2019

Last week, after obsessing over Reeves’ tracker as he made the final approach to Cape Horn, it appeared that he made an about-face and was headed west to avoid some bad weather. But according to his blogs, no such maneuver appears to have taken place (that’s the problem with doing journalism based on trackers). We will have a full recap of Randall Reeves’ final Southern Ocean leg in the April issue of Latitude 38.

We also recently met Ben Shaw, who did a podcast with Randall Reeves a few weeks ago, as the singlehander was making his way past Tasmania. You can listen to that interview here (just scroll down a bit).

Mexico Cruising Memories Still Being Made

Tim Dick of the Lagoon 42 Malolo, who sailed in last fall’s Baja Ha-Ha, wrote in to send a few favorite photos of the trip south.

The tri-color asym aboard Malolo
Malolo’s tri-color asym stands out against the Baja blue sky.
© 2019 Tim Dick
Swimming of the Malolo
Mutiny on the Malolo? The crew abandoned ship for a brief swim on the way south.
© 2019 Tim Dick
Calm anchorage
It was a light-air year, but, as always, well worth the sail.
© 2019 Tim Dick

As Tim explained, “It was a weird year. Zero wind from San Francisco to San Diego, followed by zero wind on the Ha-ha until the last 75 miles, when we had a lovely, 12-knot0 reach. (That’s when the spinnaker shot was taken.) Malolo is presently in Puerto Vallarta and will be headed up to La Paz / Sea of Cortez at the end of April.”

The Sea of Cortez is warming up, and we’ll be looking forward to some more photos of future memories.

Win This Painting

You saw it here first. Jim DeWitt painted this original watercolor, titled Kids at Play, specifically for the cover of our April issue.

watercolor painting
See Kids at Play on the cover of the next issue of Latitude 38, coming out on April 1. No foolin’!
© 2019 Jim DeWitt

Following the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show on April 4-7, you could take home the framed painting. We’ll conduct a raffle, with the proceeds benefiting Bay Area youth sailing programs. Raffle tickets will cost:

  • 2 for $5   ($2.50 each)
  • 5 for $10 ($2.00 each)
  • 12 for $20 ($1.60 each)

The painting, matted and framed behind glass, will be the raffle prize. It measures 16″ x 20″ unframed and approximately 20″ x 24″ including the frame. To buy tickets, come visit us in our booth, #C-1, in Richmond’s Craneway Pavilion, during the boat show. Our thanks to Jim DeWitt and his daughter Pam for donating this artwork.

Aussie 18 Racing
California sailor Katie Love is a woman on a mission. “I want to prove that women can sail 18-ft skiffs just as good as men.” To that end, the 30-year-old skipper left her job running tugs on the West Coast and went to Sydney, Australia, to compete in this year’s 18-footer racing season and JJ Giltinan Championships.
Calls for help answered
A few months ago, a Latitude reader asked what they should do with their used flares.
First Day of Spring
Today is the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, and, for most, the start of the peak sailing season. It's the day the sun crosses the equator from the Southern Hemisphere to the North just as members of the Pacific Puddle Jump fleet are doing the opposite — they are heading north to south.