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March 29, 2019

Cool Science-y Stuff Happening on the Ocean

Another Bay Area Boat Rounds the Horn

Just over a week after Randall Reeves completed his carousel circuit of the Southern Ocean and made his second rounding of Cape Horn, another Bay Area boat was on his heels. An Alameda-built sail drone (#1020) made the first autonomous rounding of the Horn.

You’ve probably seen a lot of pictures of Cape Horn lately. Well, the season is quickly coming to a close.
© 2019 Saildrone

The sail drone was “released from New Zealand two months ago, and is on track for a six-month circumnavigation of Antarctica,” Richard Jenkins, the CEO and co-founder of Saildrone, told Latitude in an email. The drone has been “bouncing off a few icebergs in ‘iceberg alley’ — Drakes passage — so it has been a bit tougher than expected, but still going strong.”

There were actually two sail drones launched from New Zealand in January. “Scientists from around the globe are providing inputs into the mission plan as the saildrones explore the Southern Ocean’s diverse ecosystem, studying topics ranging from krill abundance to penguin behavior and carbon fluxes,” the Saildrone website said. You can follow their Antarctic mission here.

Cheyenne Is Rolling Along on Her Mission

“I applied for a summer robotics internship at MIT my junior year of Boston University,” Sherry Smith, who is currently crewing on Cheyenne, wrote on her Facebook page. “My goal: to work on ocean AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) development.”

As we reported in a recent SightingsCheyenne crossed the Pacific to her temporary home in Honolulu in February to begin her mission as the mothership supporting submarine excursions to the bottom of the ocean.

“I secured the runner-up position to my male colleague,” Smith continued. “Meanwhile, I took another internship in Silicon Valley (an earthquake-analysis company) all the while secretly hoping I’d get a call mid-mission saying candidate number 1 ‘broke a leg’ or some such. Well, fast forward: About as close as I can get to full circle. Crew on the AUV mothership Cheyenne!”

Some sneak peeks at Cheyenne’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.
© 2019 Sherry Smith

And While We’re on the Subject . . .

In keeping with this ‘Lectronic’s theme, we did a little, “science and sailing” Googling, and found some cool stuff, including a group called Sailing for Science I Sailors for the Sea, a group that works to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean. Of course, there’s our own nascent San Francisco Sailing Center, as well as many STEM programs throughout the Bay Area combining sailboats and science instruction.

And then, randomly, there was this video by KQED, explaining the science behind sailing.


The Boat Show: What You May or May Not Know

Latitude Nation — As you may or may not know, the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show is coming next week, April 4 to 7, at the Craneway Pavilion and Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond. Tickets are on sale now — don’t forget to use the promo code  LATITUPBS19.

You may or may not have been to Craneway Pavilion before. It’s a sweet spot, connected to Marina Bay Harbor by long paths along the water, as well as a free shuttle. In addition to boats, the Boat Show also has plenty of good food to eat, as well as friendly bartenders.

We can’t promise this kind of off-the-chart sunset during the Boat Show weekend, but the views and proximity to the water will always be there.
© 2019 Craneway Pavilion Facebook

As you may or may not know, Latitude 38 will have a booth at the Boat Show. We will be selling and raffling off swag, as well as raffling off an original Jim DeWitt painting. We’ll be handing out magazines, including our favorite back issues. We’ll be kicking back a few cold ones at the party on Friday . . . and, just, in general. And, we’ll just be there to meet and chat with you, which is one of our favorite things to do. We hope you stop by and say hello.

As you may or may not know, the Boat Show is also full of seminars, which we’ll be telling you about all next week. But here’s one especially Latitude-centric lecture:

Last year’s Live Aboard seminar.
© 2019 Sail World Cruising

On Thursday, April 4 at 2:25 p.m., and again on Friday, April 5 at 10:30 a.m., Latitude editor and Doodette Christine Weaver will assist Cruising Notes author Pat McIntosh in leading a seminar titled How to Expand Your Sailing & Cruising Options. These seminars are free with your boat show admission. You’ll find them on the second floor of the Craneway Pavilion.

Stay tuned next week for more seminar information.

April Racing Preview

Farallon rounding
An Express 27-eye view of Southeast Farallon Island. The 40th Doublehanded Farallones will close out March and open the ocean racing season.
© 2019 Jennifer McKenna

April Showers Us with Regattas

All of a sudden our race calendar has gotten quite full. A few highlights include:

  • April 5-7 — Etchells Midwinters West, San Diego Yacht Club.
  • April 6 — The 2019 YRA racing season kicks off with Summer Series #1 hosted by Berkeley YC.
  • April 6-7 — St. Francis YC hosts J/Fest, while BYC hosts the Wheeler Regatta.
  • April 13 — The third race in the SSS season, Round the Rocks, takes single- and doublehanded racers on a Bay Tour. SSS; and the Interclub Series gets underway south of the Bay Bridge.
  • April 13-14 — San Francisco YC’s Resin Regatta invites Melges 24, Etchells, J/70, J/24, Cal 20 and Folkboat classes. SFYC. Richmond YC will welcome more diminutive boats in the Big Dinghy Regatta.
  • April 15 is the deadline to sign up for the Race to Alaska, which will start from Port Townsend on June 3. “I dare you,” says the invitation to enter.
  • April 26-28 — Monterey Peninsula YC will host the Ultimate 20 Pacific Coast Championship.
  • April 27 — El Toros sail from Sausalito to San Francisco in the Bullship Race. Sausalito YC’s Twin Island Series will kick off. On Clear Lake, Konocti Bay Sailing Club will host the Konocti Cup, a 26- or 13-mile race for PHRF boats, one designs, multihulls and non-spinnaker entries.
  • April 27-28 — Folsom Lake YC’s Camellia Cup welcomes trailer-sailors. And we finish this list where we started, with Etchells at SDYC, this time for their PCCs.
El Toro in the middle of a big boat fleet.
As in 2017, the arrivals in the Bullship will be sailing through the starters in the Lightship.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Springing Out the Gate

The ocean racing season gets underway tomorrow in a big way with BAMA’s Doublehanded Farallones Race and continues on April 6 with Island YC’s Doublehanded Lightship; sign up by Monday the first to save $10 on the entry fee. Then, OYRA will sail out the Gate for the first time this year on April 27’s Lightship Race.

Match-Racing Action

Long Beach and St. Francis Yacht Clubs host high-level match-racing action in April. The 55th Congressional Cup will welcome Grade 1 competition on April 3-7, following the Ficker Cup on March 29-31. The Ficker Cup will determine the final two spots in the Congo Cup. They’ll join the likes of Taylor Canfield (USA), Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Will Boulden (AUS), Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL), Ian Williams (GBR), Scotty Dickson (USA) and Maxime Mesnil (FRA). Past America’s Cup skipper Dean Barker won last year’s Ficker Cup, advancing to the Congressional Cup final before falling 3-1 to future America’s Cup helmsman Taylor Canfield. Racing will be held in Catalina 37s.

Catalina 37s racing in Congo Cup
The Congressional Cup supplies excitement for the crews and spectators alike.
© 2019 Sharon Green / Ultimate Sailing

The following week, the action moves north to StFYC, host of World Sailing’s Nations Cup Grand Finale. The Nations Cup will bring 20 of the top-rated international match-racing skippers and their crews to compete in the Open and Women’s divisions in J/22s. This event was last raced in 2015 in Russia. Both the defending champions will be racing in 2019 — Russia’s Vladimir Lipavsky in the Open Division, and, in the Women’s Division, local sailor Nicole Breault, a member of the hosting club.

And the Rest…

Many more worthy events crowd the schedule; check them out in our Calendar in the April issue of Latitude 38, coming out on Monday the first. Beer can season is getting underway too; we’ll have a preview in Monday’s ‘Lectronic.

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