August 26, 2019

The Weekend Report: Corinthian’s Last Beer Can

There is no denying that the seasons, they are a-changin’. The kids are back in school, there were Halloween costumes for sale at Costco, and Corinthian Yacht Club’s beer can series came to a conclusion under dramatic skies.

Anywhere else in the world, this might be seen as an ominous evening on the water. For Bay Area sailors, it was just another night of racing.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC /

Not to worry, racers. There are still plenty of beer cans going throughout the Bay. And once those end, there will be a bajillion regattas throughout the fall, winter and spring to tied you over.

But with that said, we still got a little misty to see the Corinthian season go.

“The lighting was beautiful [Friday] night,” wrote Kathleen Perry on our Facebook page. A few beer-caners sail into the 2019 summer sunset.
© 2019 Kathleen Perry

A Trickle of America’s Cup News Before the Flood

The 36th America’s Cup is less than 90 weeks, or, like, a year and a half away — though, in reality, the hype around the event is about to ramp up. We are starting to get our first headlines and occasional glimpses of the AC75, one of the most ambitious boats ever conceived in the nearly 170-year history of the Cup, and what we’re pretty sure will be the largest fully foiling monohull ever.

“Emirates Team New Zealand and the three heavyweight challengers — Luna Rossa, INEOS Team UK, and American Magic — are all finally set to splash their new AC75s in coming weeks, with the Kiwi boat due to be unveiled early next month,” reported stuff.co.nz yesterday. A few weeks before, American Magic released footage of their shrink-wrapped AC75 crossing a bridge over Narragansett Bay. “The concealed 23 meter [that’s 75.4593-ft] racing yacht was transported from the team’s construction facility in Bristol, Rhode Island, to its sailing operations base in Newport.”

So here we go. We are taking a moment to enjoy the quiet before the storm. There will be viral videos (of the boats actually sailing instead of being schlepped around) of the next-generation AC vessels ripping through harbors around the world.  There will be buzz about early favorites. There will be breakdowns and crashes. There will be controversy. There will be, in keeping with the tradition of the Cup, lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits. And then there will be existential debates about where what is by default sailing’s greatest platform is going. One side will say, “Speed isn’t everything, it’s boring to watch; I miss seeing sail changes,” while the other side will say, “This is cool, get with the times.”

And then, before we know it, there will be the Match itself. Will SailGP still be around in two years? Will another team wrestle the Auld Mug away from the Kiwis and conceive of an even more radical boat? These are all valid questions.

We are in no hurry for the answers.

Visit the San Francisco Sea Scouts

The San Francisco Sea Scouts invite all Bay Area 13- to 15-year-olds and their families to a day of sailing, rowing, free food and knot tying. They’re holding an open house on August 31. Stop by anytime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. this Saturday. No previous boating experience is required. Do dress warmly!

Viking crew
The crew of Viking, out for a sail on San Francisco Bay.
© 2019 San Francisco Sea Scouts

The Sea Scouts include teenage boys and girls. They meet year round. The cost is just $10 a month. They sail, row and compete against teenagers from all over California, go on overnight trips and cruises, and learn how to maintain wooden boats. The flagships of the San Francisco Sea Scouts are the open wooden sailing whaleboats Corsair and Viking.

Corsair at the dock
Corsair and Viking visit Tower Park during a summer cruise of the Delta.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Find their headquarters, and the open house, at 3500 Van Ness Ave. in Aquatic Park. RSVP for the event at www.seascout.family/openhouse.

Sailing Point to Point with Mary Gidley

Last May, Latitude 38’s Racing Editor Christine Weaver caught up for a chat with Sausalito sailing legend Mary Gidley and her son Memo aboard their Elliott 1050, Basic Instinct. Chris came away with so much interesting material that she ran a three-part story starting in the June edition of Latitude. But that was only the tip of the literary iceberg that documents the history and biography of one of the Bay Area’s most colorful sailing families.

You may recall that Mary Gidley took part in the oceangoing social experiment documented in the film The Raft. Anyone who has the courage and enthusiasm to be part of such an ‘out-there’ experience — even for the 60s — must have a lifetime’s worth of stories and anecdotes. Mary has just that and has taken the time to document her life in a recently released book, Point to Point: The meanderings and musings of my life.

Point to Point is sure to be a rewarding read.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Soren

We were given a sneak preview when Mary popped into the Latitude office last week to show us her book. Unfortunately it was Mary’s only copy so we can’t give you a review, but we can tell you that Point to Point is now available on Amazon.

Though after the short few minutes we had with Mary, we’re determined to get hold of a copy and learn more about this inspiring woman.

Latitude’s managing editor Tim Henry and author Mary Gidley posed for the rest of the crew. “She has an amazingly strong handshake,” said our editor.

Yesterday morning in Point Reyes, Mary and Memo Gidley raced their Elliott 1050 Basic Instinct in the Drake’s Bay Race amid light air and low fog.

Basic Instinct keeps the pace with Psycho Tiller II yesterday on Drake’s Bay.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Pursuit Race up the Sacramento Ship Channel
Way back in 2005 over a few craft beers too many, a fellow by the name of Ken Crawford announced to his Lake Washington Sailing Club cronies, “Why don’t we run a pursuit race all the way up that b*t%# of a ditch from Rio Vista to the club?"
West Coast Circumnavigators
We are a little reluctant to say that any sailor  is in the homestretch — especially a circumnavigator who has been sailing around the world for going on a year now.