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August 31, 2020

Sailors Escaping the Haze

It’s possible, but not easy. Like everyone in the Bay Area, local sailors are seeking escape from the smoky air blanketing Northern California. Fortunately, sailing helps. Friday’s fresh-air and fun seekers did their best to sail through the haze, as they closed out the Friday night summer beer can series. Like most events this year, the usual April start was postponed until May, and then, with updated protocols, the series started tentatively at the end of June. In the end, CYC was able to get 69 boats signed up, with a typical attendance of 35 to 45 boats for nine races in the series. It was much better than another Zoom cocktail party.

CYC Starting Area
The CYC starting area has been busy every Friday since the end of June.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
The air is better
While the air is better out there it’s not perfect. But at least you’re sailing.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Sabre Spirit Serenade
This is a common view for too many racers who compete against Hank Easom on Serenade.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Grey but fresh
The air was gray but fresh for this J/105 sailing out toward the Gate.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Clear air
Despite ‘clear’ air, masks are required. The J/105 Fast Friends heading home.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Ranger 33 Liquid Asset
One door closes, another opens. Liquid Asset heads for the Friday night finish. What’s next?
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The rest of the weekend provided an additional escape for sailors across the Bay. Do you have some photos you want to share from your weekend of sailing? Send them to [email protected] and let us know your fall racing, cruising or fresh-air-seeking sailing plans.


Latitude 38’s September Edition Out Tomorrow

Happy September, sailors! This month has significance for a variety of reasons, and mostly because the new edition of Latitude 38 is about to hit the streets. That’s right, it’s out tomorrow. But first, did you know that September 5th is World Beard Day? Beards are celebrated annually on the first Saturday of September. This year the celebration falls on a Saturday, which is just as well, because according to some it is also a day off work — though it’s unclear whether you have to actually have a beard to qualify for the day off.

Regardless, we feel beards are a very appropriate celebration due to the fact that sailors and beards are almost a given, especially when sailing offshore. And for the ladies, could we perhaps neglect our own regular grooming habits that day and call it a beard? After all shaving on World Beard Day is evidently “highly disrespectful.”

Now, there are a number of ways to celebrate. We won’t list them all here, but we will tell you that reading is on the list. Perfect! By Saturday you should have your copy of Latitude 38, or be reading it online. Here’s a sneak preview to get you started:

Donald M. Goring — Sailmaker for 55 Years

In the late 1960s, Donald opened his own loft at 730 Polk Street in San Francisco. He spent long hours in the loft, building up the business despite the Summer of Love happening in the City. As an early multihull proponent during the popular homebuilt Piver and Brown years, he made sails for many trimarans in the Polk Street loft. He later raced aboard a Crowther Buccaneer 33 for a while, but could not adjust to the lack of heel underway, didn’t like the sea motion, and decided to stick with light-displacement monohulls.

Starbuck under sail in September magazine
Goring’s Van de Stadt ULDB Black Soo Starbuck.
© 2020 The Goring Family

A Well Earned Celebration — Tahiti Moorea Rendez-vous

There were plenty of arguments for shelving the Rendez-vous this year, too. But organizers, sponsors and this writer all agreed that the 2020 cruising fleet deserved to do a little celebrating — not only for completing a major, three-to-five-week ocean crossing, but also for having endured weeks of confinement onboard, at anchor, without even being allowed to jump into the water to take a ‘sea bath’.

So, the original Rendez-vous dates were pushed back to July 24, and word began to circulate via cruiser nets and online posts that the Rendez-vous was on!

Celebrating on deck
Metta and Nels (left) of the Jeanneau 45 Jazzi celebrated with their Tahitian guests.
© 2020 Andy Turpin

From St. Francis Perpetual Regatta to Rolex Big Boat Series

In 1964, RC [Ken] Keefe convinced Commodore Stan Natcher that StFYC should create a series to showcase big-boat talent. Nine entries from Northern and Southern California competed in that first regatta. Jim Wilhite’s S&S 63 yawl Athene was awarded the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy.

The regatta soon morphed into the Big Boat Series, but evolved with the times as sailors’ interests — and boats — changed.

Athene sailing on the Bay
Athene, an S&S 63 yawl, won the inaugural St. Francis Perpetual Regatta in 1964.
© 2020 Diane Beeston/ SFYC Archives

Exit Strategy — Wauquiez PS40 The Ties that Bind

We were in the middle of our first major ocean crossing, and were getting our first exposure to how tightly knit the sailing community can be in spite of its transient nature. We all relied on each other a lot — sharing tools and fixing things, commiserating, and celebrating. Through the Pacific Islands, buddy boating in groups of two or even 12 was common, and in this case, 14 of us from seven boats ended up spending a couple of weeks together playing on Suwarrow. If we hadn’t changed our plans about going directly to Tonga, we would have missed out on some of the most fun we’ve had in our cruising career so far.

Supply ships on beach
Traditional supply ship beached for unloading at Crater Bay, Madagascar.
© 2020 'Exit Strategy'

Plus we have pages and pages of more stories and regular features:

  • Letters: Two Rescues; This Reminds Me of This One Time . . .; A Quarantine Flag Correction; and more.
  • Max Ebb: ‘In Pursuit’
  • A feature on boat deliveries: ‘Washington to San Francisco — and Vice Versa’
  • Sightings: ‘Kurt Jordan Enjoys a Composite Career’ & ‘Sailing Into Summer’
  • World of Chartering features ‘Benicia Cruise — The Perfect Two-Day Getaway’
  • And of course there’s this month’s Racing Sheet.

And we announce the winner of August’s Caption Contest(!)

So you know what to do. Start grooming your beard for Saturday, and tomorrow, rush out for your copy of September’s Latitude 38 magazine from any of our fantastic distributors, or read it online here.

Sailboat Racing Choices Abound in September

Labor Day Weekend

Although the Jazz Cup race to Benicia was canceled, several other choices remain on the calendar for Labor Day Weekend in September:

  • Humboldt YC’s Redwood Regatta will sail on Big Lagoon on September 3-7.
  • Santa Rosa Sailing Club’s Labor Day Invitational Regatta will take to Tomales Bay on September 4-7.
  • Port Townsend Sailing Association will host the Thunderbird West Coast Championships on September 5-6.
  • Another regatta on Tomales Bay, though on the east shore rather than the west shore, will be Inverness YC’s Hog Island Race on September 6.
  • Also on September 6, Santa Cruz YC will put on the Day on the Monterey Bay Regatta, an annual fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County.

Second Weekend of September

The following weekend brings us a couple of three-day events:

Santa Cruz YC will host the Santa Cruz 27 Nationals on September 11-13. (For more on the SC27, see our feature coming out tomorrow in the September issue of Latitude 38.) On the same days, Tahoe YC will host the Tahoe Laser Fleet Championships on Stampede Reservoir, with a Friday afternoon fun sail and races on Saturday and Sunday.

Scheduled races for Saturday, September 12, include the YRA’s rescheduled Encinal Regatta, with a race from Treasure Island out to Point Bonita and a finish at the entrance to the Estuary (sorry, no party at EYC); and the Singlehanded Sailing Society’s Half Moon Bay Race. Both are for doublehanded and singlehanded boats only.

Group of sailors with dock in the background. September racing story.
SSS racers and friends take the little ferry from HMBYC’s dock to shore on Sunday morning after the HMB Race. This picture is so 2019.
© 2020 Jackie Philpott

On September 12-13, Richmond YC’s Totally Dinghy Regatta will become the Limited Dinghy Regatta. SCYC will host the Melges 24 fleet for the California Cup. And South Lake Tahoe Windjammers YC will hold their Perpetual Cup.

A new regatta joining the list for September is the Estuary Extravaganza. Island, Encinal and Oakland Yacht Clubs will join forces to present the three-race event on Sunday, September 13. Register before September 8 for the discounted price of $25. Also on September 13, Sequoia YC’s Quarantine Cup series will continue.

Second Half of the Month

The Bay Area Multihull Association rescheduled their 41st annual Doublehanded Farallones Race from March to September 19. (Monohulls welcome too!) On September 19-20, Monterey Peninsula YC will host the Club Laser Championships.

Championships on September 25-27 include the doublehanded Express 27 Invitational (formerly the Nationals), hosted by RYC. And the Melges 14 West Coast Championship hosted by Corinthian YC in Tiburon.

In San Diego

Rosebud at 2019 NOODs
Pamela Rose’s J/70 Rosebud was the overall winner of the 2019 San Diego NOOD Regatta.
© 2020 Paul Todd

On September 25-27, San Diego and Coronado YCs will  host the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta, rescheduled from March. SDYC will also host the San Diego J/Fest on September 26-27.

As usual, we’ve only listed a few highlights of the month’s choices. Look for a more extensive Calendar in the September issue of Latitude 38, coming out tomorrow. Also feel free to promote your faves in the Comments section below.

Sailing’s Brain Trust Identifies Unknown Sabot

Recently we brought you the story of Ben McGinty’s new sailboat and invited readers to help determine whether the little ship was indeed a Naples Sabot, as Ben suspected. Several people responded with anecdotes and information that confirmed Ben’s thoughts about his new purchase. And along the way, we all learned more about Sabots.

Ben’s Sabot attracts much interest when he docks the little boat at the front of his store in Altadena, CA.
© 2020 Ben McGinty

Kyle Clark said the leeboard visible in the photos was a telling factor. “Yes, that is a very old Naples Sabot. Naples as opposed to a Windward or US Sabot because it uses a leeboard as opposed to a centerboard. I can see the mounting bracket on the rail for the leeboard, but not the full leeboard fitting or the board itself. If you want to sail in any direction other than dead downwind, you will need to add the leeboard.” Eric Mears agreed with Kyle and pointed out the “leeboard fitting on the starboard side, just forward of the oar lock.”

Jim Gossman suggested the boat was built by Schock — makers of other small sailboats such as the Snipe, Thistle, Lido 14 and a host of others. “Yes, it’s an authentic Naples Sabot. Just like an El Toro, but with a leeboard. Naples is the island in Alamitos Bay, Long Beach, where my daughter took sailing lessons on ours. Great dinghies for rowing too.”

Tony Spooner gave thought to the sail when making his judgment call. “It’s a Naples Sabot. A pretty old one, [judging] by the sail #. See the insignia on the sail, and the bracket on starboard side for the leeboard. Fun little boats. I had my three kids go through the Lido Isle Yacht Club’s junior program in Sabots. Lots of great memories of regattas from Alamitos Bay to Mission Bay. All three helped me finish our tri (now in New Zealand), and have loved helping to cruise it around the South Pacific for the last eight years. One more thing, Ben, it’s a bit hard on the Sabot to sit in it, on its trailer. Really localizes the stresses. Have fun.”

Jerelyn Biehl from International Naples Sabot Association (INSA) agreed with the consensus above and also added information by way of the boat’s sail number. “If that is indeed the hull number — 2734 — for this Naples Sabot, it was built in 1961 as per INSA records. The two known owners were John Casagrands of Burbank, and Milo Stuckey of La Jolla/Mission Bay Yacht Club. A measurement certificate was issued on the hull when built, but no records on the builder.”

Sabots on the water - Black & white
“Many Naples Sabots were used as tenders for larger yachts. Racing was restricted to Alamitos Bay until the end of the war. At that time, people who saw the sailing performance of the Sabot became interested, and the class began to grow.”
© 2020 INSA

To throw a spanner into the works, Tom Walchli questioned whether the boat was built by Schock based on the hull construction. “Yup, old Naples Sabot! I can’t tell from the pic; is the hull wood? If so, then it’s probably not a Schock. Also, as I recall the Schock knees in the bow were glassed in. (I was Schock’s service manager for most of the 1980s) Lots of people home-built them in the ’60s. If the owner is interested, I have some cool aerospace foam-filled leeboard handles that my dad and I made in the ’70s, and would be happy to send him one! Have fun sailing your new, old mini-yacht!”

Historical image of Sabot being built
“The first Naples Sabot was designed and built by Roy McCullough, who lived in the Naples district of Long Beach, hence the name, Naples Sabot. The Naples Sabot One-Design Association was formed in 1946.”
© 2020 INSA

All of the above comments were of course of great value to Ben, who found the boat at an estate sale.

“Hello, all! Thanks for the info! I figured it was a Naples, just felt so from its vintage style and look. And will do, Tony. (Just couldn’t help myself for that photo op). She came with the leeboard, battens, a tiller and paddle. She needs some oars though!

“Thank you, John (Latitude), for posting this and the comments helping identify this boat. I look forward to learning more if anyone has any info. Thanks again.” – Ben McGinty.

We are beyond stoked with the response Ben has received to his question. Thanks, everyone, for your contributions; you have confirmed what we have always believed — the sailing community is awesome!

Oh, and Ben . . . what will you name your boat?

Hurricanes to Tropical Depressions
Hurricane Laura made landfall in the early hours of Thursday morning bringing sustained winds of up to 150 mph. As the northern eyewall of the hurricane raced over Cameron Parish, Louisiana, NOAA's Hurricane Center issued an update urging all to "Take action now to protect your life!"
Stay Up To Date with Summer News
As Labor Day approaches we've sent out an end-of-summer newsletter to participants in the 12th Annual Delta Doo Dah. Despite the challenging times, the Doo Dah has been a huge success.
A Caribbean Holiday with a Twist
We can’t help ourselves — we love St. Vincent and the Grenadines. So, we returned again for 28 days from December 20, 2019, to January 18, 2020. This would be a somewhat different trip because Yumi and I had earlier decided to get married on Bequia at the Frangipani Hotel.
The Latest Schedule Adjustments
First the Good News: Island, Encinal and Oakland Yacht Clubs introduce the Estuary Extravaganza to be sailed in three races on Sunday, September 13.