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June 12, 2020

Real, Actual, Sanctioned Racing Returns to the Bay Area

Bay Area Beer Can Racing Resumes

We were beside ourselves with excitement as the first start of the first Sector San Francisco-permitted race since mid-March sailed out of Richmond Harbor Wednesday evening.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

After a month of planning and negotiations, official, permitted racing has resumed on San Francisco Bay. Richmond Yacht Club went first, with a Wednesday night race on June 10, followed by Benicia YC last night. “So far, those are the only two clubs that have the go-ahead to resume racing,” said Laura Muñoz, executive director of the Yacht Racing Association. The (politically) liberal Bay Area has been conservative about sheltering in place.

The counties involved, Contra Costa and Solano, allowed racing to resume before any other Bay Area counties (which we understand still have not done so). We reported this on May 13.

Lasers sailing past one another
Four Lasers started with the under-30-ft non-spinnaker division. These two are not as close to each other as they appear. We blame the telephoto lens.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

“Laura at YRA did all the heavy lifting,” noted RYC’s race chair, Fred Paxton.

“It took the Coast Guard more than three weeks to activate a permit for Richmond YC and Benicia YC,” explained Muñoz. “Altogether, it took a month from when Contra Costa and Solano Counties said yes to a permit being received by the YRA.  I want to try to get ahead of that, and get permit requests filed sooner rather than later, so that when additional counties say OK, we don’t have to wait an additional few weeks for the Coast Guard to process things on their end. I’d like the Coast Guard to have their piece ready to go, so we’re just waiting on the county approval.

“I told race organizers to look and see what events in June and July they think they can run under their current county orders, and get me the revised NORs so I can start the Coast Guard paperwork and get it submitted. The NORs may need to be amended. There’s no guarantee that June races will happen, but if there’s a chance, I want to be prepared.”

Bill and Melinda Erkelens, sailing their Hobie 33 Sleeping Dragon, duck a starboard-tack boat.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

We’ll have more in Racing Sheet in the July issue of Latitude 38.

SoCal Reopening

Los Angeles YC will launch their ocean Breakout Series this Saturday, with a race around Santa Barbara Island. Their clubhouse will even have a ‘soft’ reopening on June 20.

LAYC big boat fleet
An LAYC fleet makes a fast exit.
© 2020 Los Angeles Yacht Club

Although most of their events this month are still canceled, Cortez Racing Association in San Diego has sailed two Race Your Household events on May 23 and June 6.

US Sailing Update

The 2020 US Women’s Match Racing Championship scheduled for August 21-23 has been canceled. San Diego YC was to have hosted it, and they may hold a local match-racing event on those dates.

The 2020 US Para Sailing Championships was originally scheduled to take place in conjunction with the Doolin Cup and the Special Olympics North and South American Championships at Sea Star Base Galveston in Texas on September 25-27. However, due to COVID-19, US Sailing has canceled these combined events for 2020.

More Regattas

On Monday, we reported on several J/Boat class championships being called off. Add the J/22 class to that list. CORK in Kingston, Ontario, was to have hosted the 2020 J/22 North American Championship on August 6-9. That’s not going to happen.

But, back to the good-news side of the balance sheet: The US Forest Service has granted a permit to the Mercury Class to hold their High Sierra regatta on Huntington Lake on July 25-26. Up to 25 boats will be allowed to race.

Bay Area Youth Sailing Camps Are a Go!

The official start of summer is just around the corner, and for many young Bay Area sailors, this is the time they would usually put down their pencils — or these days, devices — pack their sailing kits, and join their friends for the seemingly endless days of summer-camp fun. But 2020 has proven to be a very different year, one that has forced camp organizers to think outside the boat, and in some cases almost recreate their entire organization to come up with programs that will engage campers while meeting the stringent COVID-induced health regulations. The result? A series of three-week-long, Monday-to-Friday day camps.

Due to easing restrictions, Bay Area youth now have some summer-camp options.
© 2020 Call of the Sea

Day camps are not a new invention. Many of the camps offered in past years have been run to coincide with parents’ usual nine-to-five work schedules, while other camps, such as Call of the Sea’s ‘Voyage Seaward’, would take young sailors on four nights of Bay or offshore sailing adventures. This year, Call of the Sea’s campers will spend a portion of their time building model boats, learning traditional seafaring arts, such as fancywork and scrimshaw, and will sail across the Bay to hike and picnic in some of our region’s most beautiful locations. However, with some groups unable to meet the new camp regulations, those that have been able to put together camp programs are finding that demand is outstripping availability. Many camps sold out quickly, with one in particular reportedly being fully booked within an hour of being announced.

Gary Webb from Bearospace Industries has donated plans for two schooners and a sloop to be built by campers over a three-week camp.
© 2020 Gary Webb

Treasure Island Sailing CenterAlameda Community Sailing Center and Inverness Yacht Club are fully booked and have waiting lists, as do many land-based camps. Sausalito Yacht Club is hoping to run a program in July with registrations due to open soon, and Call of the Sea’s programs, which were announced earlier this week, are filling fast.  According to local scuttlebutt, parents are desperate to find meaningful and safe activities for their school-aged children to enjoy over the summer break. We’d like to help, so if you know of any more camps that are still taking registrations, let us know in the comments below.

Be One of 12 on a 2020 Latitude 38 Cover

Have you got a favorite Latitude 38 cover? The shot below, from February 2009, remains one of our favorites. We’ll explain why they’re all laughing later.

Latitude 38 has produced 516 issues, so we’ve run a lot of covers and have lots of favorites. Now the question is, do you have a shot that you think is cover-worthy? We’re always looking for a good cover shot, and know our readers have some great ones hiding in their terabytes of photo data.

February 2009 Latitude 38 cover
Still one of our favorite covers. People having fun sailing.
© 2020 Peter Lyons

What do we need for a cover shot? We need a high-resolution photo, generally 4 MB or greater, that can crop to a vertical format. It’s nice to consider where the Latitude 38 masthead will fall at the top. We love shots with smiling people like the one above, but also shots that show energy, excitement and drama.

Latitude 38 38 Covers
To get a feel for what we like, you can see our covers back to 2005 when you click ‘Magazine‘ as shown above.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude 38

The shot above (on the left) is, of course, our current June cover. Despite having just said we like photos of people, we like this one because the energy, blue sky and classic sail shapes caught our eye. The funny thing is, we even cut the people out. Check out the original shot below.

June Latitude 38 Cover
This is the complete photo of the schooner Seaward we used for the June cover. We cropped the people out of the shot to zoom in on the wind, sails and spray of this shot.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The best way to see what we like on our covers is to explore past cover shots. As noted above, if you click on the ‘Magazine‘ link at the top of our homepage, you’ll end up on our current issue. If you scroll to the bottom you’ll find all our back issues going back to 2005. You can explore past covers before sending one you think we should consider. Pro tip: Small triangles of sails in the distance generally do not work. We want to be close to the action!

2020 Back Issues
At the bottom of our ‘Magazine’ page you’ll find the current year’s issues and tabs linking to past issues. These are all very different, but we like them all.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude 38

Clicking on the 2011 tab, you see all of that year’s covers. If you click on the covers, you can reread every issue, too. We really like the kids in September and November, and the people in April and October. We like the stern-quarter angle of December better than the flat side of the January issue. The drama and action of June, July and August get us excited to go racing. March and May are just beautiful, classic boats and shots. The sad thing is, we only get to run 12 shots per year, and there are thousands of great ones. However, finding just the right one and deciding which to run is often challenging. You can see there are a lot of Bay Area photos, but we also like photos from California sailors in other parts of the world or other parts of California.

Cover Shots
You can check out all the covers from 2005 until now. Which 2011 cover do you like?
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude 38

If you think you have a photo that should be on the cover of Latitude 38, send it to [email protected]. If we run it you’re rewarded with yours being one of only 12 photos to run in a year and one of 500+ photos run over 40+ years of publishing Latitude 38. We also toss in a Latitude 38 hat and T-shirt. Of course, it may never run, but we’ll try to run people’s submissions on ‘Lectronic Latitude or on our social media.

Back to the story from the top photo, which was taken by Bay Area photographer Peter Lyons, who was out shooting on a warm Bay Area day. He took a few of these folks sailing barefoot on a J/24. They were laughing because, cropped out of this photo,  another crewmember was relieving themselves over the stern rail. They were enjoying the fact that he was caught on camera. Peter sent us the photo knowing we’d appreciate the scene and crop it appropriately. It just looks like a good time on the Bay, and we still rank it up there as one of our all-time favorite covers.

We have just six covers remaining in 2020. We’d love to see your shot on one of them. Send it here.

Boats Are Selling with the Classy Classifieds

Our Classy Classifieds work. Sometimes the seller needs to persevere, perhaps changing the ad description or adjusting the price. But even now, in these uncertain times, Christine just sold her boat. Reports from the waterfront are that boat sales are currently brisk.

“I sold my boat! You can cancel my ad for July. Thank you! It was made better by finding the right couple, new to sailing, to get such a comfortable and forgiving boat to learn on.” — Christine, Alameda, CA (6/3/20)

Gris Gris, Irwin 34, 1986

And, from time to time, a boat sells before the ad even goes to print. Back in February, we got this message from Bill. He’s a seller whose boat sold quickly.

“Please cancel my ad in Latitude 38 for my 1978 Islander 36. FYI, the day the ad hit the internet [two weeks before the print issue came out], I got a call from a buyer. I showed them the boat the next day, and the following day they made an offer, and the sale closed last Wednesday. Thanks!” — Bill, Alameda, CA (3/13/20)

Zenith, Islander 36, 1978

If you want to get your Classy ad into the July issue, the deadline is Monday the 15th at 5 p.m.

Summer Sailstice/YRA Photo Treasure Hunt
Recently, US Sailing VP Rich Jepsen recalled Bay Area legend Tom Blackaller saying, "Why would anyone ever just go sailing?" When racers are forced to relax they get all stressed out.
Misplaced AIS Vessels Hacker Theory
Sailor-turned-game developer Scott Goffman says he's working on a project in which he inadvertently replicated almost the exact opposite scenario from what he thinks may have resulted in the now-nicknamed "AIS crop circles."
Boat-in Dining
What are your favorite waterfront restaurants that offer space to tie up a boat or are located less than three blocks from a marina?