For a nation that prides itself on being built of ‘rugged individualists,’ it is surprising so few Americans have actually raced in the Vendée Globe. The race is known as the Everest of sailing, though if Everest really were a sailboat race it would only be a foothill leading to the Vendée Globe. It’s an 80-plus-day race of over 24,000 miles, nonstop, singlehanded around the world. The first American to ever complete the Vendée was the Bay Area’s own Bruce Schwab, aboard his Tom Wylie-designed Ocean Planet. The only other Americans to race were Mike Plant and Rich Wilson.
This latest edition has once again been spectacular to follow. Beyond an extremely close finish after 80 days of racing, we have been following the adventure of English female sailor Pip Hare, who was sponsored by the Bay Area company Medallia. Pip was one of five finishers who crossed the line in the last 48 hours and is now resting securely after 95 days of solo racing. To keep with the theme of overcoming challenges, her final miles to the 1 a.m. finish in the North Atlantic in February were upwind in the rain. If you did follow her adventures through multiple challenges you’d have been captivated by her positive, can-do attitude throughout.
The Vendée Globe reports her exact time as 95 days, 11 hours, 37 minutes and 30 seconds of racing, and she is the first British skipper to finish the 2020-21 race, and only the eighth woman ever to finish the Vendée Globe in its history. Jean Le Cam, who finished fourth aboard Yes We Cam!, had this to say about Hare: “She is a ray of sunshine; what she is doing is incredible.” Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm, who built Hare’s boat over 20 years ago, described her as “my hero.” She was racing one of the oldest boats in the fleet and was fortunate to connect with Medallia not long before race time, giving her an added boost to upgrade the boat’s sails and systems.
We always enjoy following the thrills and spills of the Vendée Globe, though we wish there were some US sailors amongst that fleet. It was terrific to discover that the Pip Hare/Medallia connection was based here in San Francisco. Pip herself is a very accomplished sailor, now with one more enormous achievement to her credit. She also turned out to be a spirited personality capable of tackling the toughest event on the planet. We’re curious to know if Pip or any of the racers finished with any coffee left in the cupboard.
Over the past year or so, we’ve been watching progress at the Sausalito Community Boating Center at Cass Gidley Marina (SCBC). The nonprofit group has undertaken to create and maintain a community place that provides affordable access to boats and the water, preserves the Bay Area’s maritime heritage, and promotes environmental stewardship of our local Bay ecosystem.
As part of this creation SCBC has been working toward completing its dock landing, ramps and abutment. This week the organization completed another milestone when its construction team got together with Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (BAADS) members to fine-tune the accessibility at the new docks.
A few weeks back, Ted Crocker sent us a couple of photos of “My Day on the Bay Last Weekend.”
“After 18 years with my wonderful Westsail 43, Niniwahuni, I decided to downsize. So I sold her a year ago November. Little did I know, a year later, I would fall in love with another Bill Crealock design — the venerable Pacific Seacraft Dana 24. The one I found (or did she find me?) was long overdue for a complete refit and had been somewhat neglected, so upon closing the deal, I whisked her over to Berkeley Marine Center and Ryan at Rogue Rigging in order to make sure she was sound.”
“Last Saturday, after two long months on the hard, we finally splashed. I couldn’t help but head straight for the Bay. What a gorgeous first day on the water with Hummingbird! All my stress instantly washed away.”
Vincent Hentz will be ready for spring in his new Latitude 38 cap that he won after finding a Golden Ticket in his Latitude 38 magazine, picked up at Richardson Bay Marina. Vincent co-owns a Catalina 30 and has only done Bay sailing, but he has “higher ambitions.” We expect the new hat will help!
Got some news or photos of your sailing day or weekend? Drop us a line at email@example.com to share your story.
PICYA presents the PACIFIC RIM UNITY PARADE in celebration and recognition of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition held on Treasure Island. In cooperation with the Treasure Island Museum and additional partners to be announced.
Join a 360 three-hour boat parade around Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island beginning at noon — clockwise. All boaters welcome. Fly your Burgees!
4 entry points to enter the ongoing Parade at the north, east, west and south marks to be provided.
Yerba Buena Lighthouse 37-48’27.5”N 122-21’42.6”W
Treasure Island (west side) 37-49’12.5”N 122-22’36.3”W
Treasure Island (north end) 37-49’59.6”N 122-22’28.2”W
Treasure Island (east side) 37-49’14.4”N 122-21’30.0”W
Chris Neely grew up in a sailing family surrounded by small daysailers, as well as his family’s Mason 43 Sea Castle, which was berthed in Berkeley for 28 years. In high school, Chris convinced Marissa to crew for him in the annual High Sierra Regatta on Huntington Lake. They’ve now been together for a decade, got married, and live aboard Avocet, a Cheoy Lee 41 they’ve been refitting. Marissa wrote in about their recent project replacing the toe rail with a bulwark, and we published her story in the February issue of Latitude 38. But as is often the case, there wasn’t enough room to include all the photos Marissa sent us to accompany the story. So we decided to share some of the extra photos with you here.
Read the full story of Avocet‘s new bulwark in February’s Latitude 38.
It seems like an eternity ago when so much was at stake on the water in competing for yacht racing’s oldest trophy. It has been almost four years in the making since we were in Bermuda, but his time around there are different teams and different boats. By reaching the Prada Cup Finals in the waters off Auckland, New Zealand, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and INEOS Team UK have arrived on the porch step of the America’s Cup Match. But they’re not through the front door yet.
The winner between these two bitter arch-rivals over the next 10 days, in a best-of-13 elimination series on February 13-22, will determine the Challenger for America’s Cup 36. The matchup is being promoted as the first Prada Cup (ex-Louis Vuitton Cup) final between two teams from Europe.
Brexit aside, it is kind of an all-European finale, but it won’t be mosh-pit madness even as Sir Ben Ainslie joked about the infamous British exit from the EU: “Get over it!”
“Let’s see how it goes,” said Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s team director Max Sirena. “I think it’s good for Europe and for both teams to be in the final. It’s an extra motivation for us to do well.”
Each team has spent a large part of the last week in their respective sheds, tinkering and tooling around, occasionally venturing out under prying eyes to race their chase boat.
“There’s a lot of intense scrutiny,” said Ainslie, INEOS CEO and skipper. “It’s getting more and more intense as we get closer to the races. Our guys have been closely following their race boat. It’s part of the game.”
Sirena believes they’ve improved greatly since their last race against Britannia. “We know where we did wrong in previous racing against them, and we know we can race on a higher level,” said Sirena. “We’ve worked really hard with our coach and team. We need to perform to the maximum you can if we want to win. We know how to do it — it’s a matter of putting it into practice.”
Luna Rossa has modified their AC75 for medium wind ranges. It is a much better all-around boat than Brittania, though with its longer and wider foil-tipped winglets, it has been slower to tack in the past, which has cost them races.
“Since we raced INEOS the last time, we have new foils, a new modified mast, a new set of sails, a lot of development of the software systems on the boat,” said Sirena. “And then a lot of improvement in the comms, particularly those on board, as we made a lot of mistakes when we raced against them last time. We want to try to come out of this with one less mistake than them.”
“We have worked very hard over the period and our team has stuck to the task of trying to get every ounce of performance out of the boat,” said Ainslie. “It’s been a tough period, especially for the shore team. During the last 10 days or so, we’ve been back on the water trying to get the intensity up and making sure we are match-fit.”
INEOS comes into the Finals undefeated so far, but every race with Luna Rossa has been decided by razor-thin margins. One or two instances on the racecourse could have swayed the outcome either way. INEOS will have the advantage, not only when the wind is full on, but when it is light and shifty. Where Luna Rossa is tied to its twin-helm layout, with Francesco Bruni and Jimmy Spithill sharing the driving duties, Giles Scott is free to call tactics on Britannia.
Scott has been spot-on in picking shifts, putting the British in the right spot at the right time. Specifically, allowing INEOS to dominate in two wins against American Magic and in critical races against the Italians.
Much to the occasional ire of the British, Race Management has instigated two rule changes that will be in effect, not only for the Prada Cup Final, but for the America’s Cup Match as well. The 15-minute Yellow Card is back in play. Teams may, on one occasion only, ask for a delay of 15 minutes prior to the start of a race to address problems or issues that may arise on board, such as when INEOS benefited by playing its ‘card’ when they needed to lock their broken cunningham in place in an earlier round-robin race against Luna Rossa.
After reviewing the performance of the yachts and the variations between their wind measurement data and that of race management due to differing measurement heights, it has been decided to leave the current upper wind limit at 21 knots and not increase it to 23 knots as originally specified in the AC Protocol. The lower wind limit of 6.5 knots remains unchanged.
By any standard of favoritism, finding the wind shifts and chasing them down will be the name of the game as winds in and around Auckland are fluky to say the least and very temperamental at best, but you don’t have to be ‘homegrown’ to get your foiling monohull home first — just ask Dean Barker.
This series is almost too close to call. Opinions on both sides of the fence come down to team loyalties or national pride. On the racecourse it may come down to whether the weather will be the determining factor.
“I think it’s going to be a fantastic fight. I fully expect that we’re going to see some amazing racing,” said Ainslie. “We don’t fear anything. I mean, you shouldn’t do if you’re going into a race. You should respect your opponent, not fear them.”
“For sure we are the underdogs,” said Sirena. “We know they’re going to be tough to beat, but we’ve prepared the boat and the team for this fight.”
So, my skinny on who will survive to take on the formidable Emirates Team New Zealand is that both teams are evenly matched. Again, it is about the weather, but I predict that INEOS Team UK will win the Prada Cup 7-4. No ‘Brexit’ for the Brits yet.
It is hard to believe that spring is just around the corner. Boat owners are planning spring projects and haulouts, and preparing for the upcoming summer season. Perhaps it is time to sell a boat you no longer use or buy a boat if you have been sitting on the sidelines. No matter what your current boat ownership needs are, the Classy Classifieds can help!
Latitude 38’s Classy Classifieds is the place to buy or sell boats – as well as marine gear, trailers, liferafts, boat partnerships, trades, and more.
Here are a few boats that have recently hit the market on the Classy Classifieds. There are some great deals, and new boats are added all the time.
At the end of January, the Ranger 33 Summer Sailstice, which was owned by the Arndt family for 18 years, found new owners through the Classy Classifieds. It’s always a bittersweet day to sell a boat, but great to see it go to people who are excited about sailing and keeping its legacy alive. Read about the new owners of Summer Sailstice on ‘Lectronic Latitude.
We hope that you will find the new site easy to manage, attractive to visit, and most of all, effective in bringing you the buyers you seek or the boat of your dreams!
Our deadline for the March issue is quickly approaching: Get your ad in by this Monday, February 15, at 5 p.m. to see it in print as well as on our new website.
Do you like the new site? We would like your feedback! Please let us know what you think so we can continue to work toward making your experience better. Please contact Soren: (415) 383-8102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for being a vital part of the Latitude 38 and West Coast sailing community!
The Classy Crew at Latitude 38