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May 7, 2021

Baja Ha-Ha XXVII Entries Off to a Robust Start

Time to step up to the Ha-Ha plate? Seventy-six paid entries were received in the first 12 hours of sign-ups for the November 1 Baja Ha-Ha XXVII. This is a significantly higher number than the typical average of 64 first-day entries.

Baja Ha-Ha baseball game
Join the world-famous Ha-Ha-rules, rocket-paced baseball game.
© 2021

Of the 76 entries, 71 are monohulls. They range in size from Darron Byers’s Tacoma-based Ranger 33 Ranger Rick to Bill Thorpe’s Huntington Beach-based 59-ft research sailboat Argo. Monohull entries encompass the entire spectrum from heavy cruising vessels, such as Geoffrey Campbell’s Rafiki 37 from Livermore, to Garry and Suesan Pawlitski’s wonderfully named J/169 Sugar. She’s 55 feet. Most boats are sloops somewhere in between, with a few split rigs in the mix.

Curiously, the most common boat in the fleet so far is the ‘big bang for the buck’ Catalina 36. There are four of them.

The smallest multihull is Ed Neiman’s Gemini 37 from Homewood, while the largest is Steve Skolnik’s Leopard 58 Wine N Down from Sonoma. Probably the fastest is Kevin and Katie Millet’s custom 55 Kalewa from Kauai, on her fourth Ha-Ha.

What’s the most important thing to owners of a ‘kid boat?’ That there be other kid boats around. To date there are six ‘kid boats’ that have signed up for the Ha-Ha, with a total of 10 kids ranging in age from 1 to 15.

For a complete list of current entries, see below. To see the Notice of Rally and/or sign up, visit

Speaking as the Grand Poobah of the Ha-Ha, I can say that I, along with Assistant Poobah Patsy ‘La Reina del Mar’ Verhoeven of the Gulfstar 50 Talion, and Doña ‘Chief of Security’ de Mallorca, am humbled by everyone’s interest. We, as well as the crew of the mothership Profligate, and our various supporters, will do all we can to make your Ha-Ha experience as enjoyable as possible.

Spot yourself in the Baja Ha-Ha party crowd.
© 2021

1. Adios Columbia 43 Craig Shaw, Portland, OR
2. Landfall Jeanneau 46 Scott Culver & Suzie Edwards, Seal Beach
3. Water Guy Beneteau Oceanis 40.1 Michael McGuire, Santa Monica
4. Esperanza Catalina 38 Mike Whalen, El Dorado Hills
5. Fairwyn Sparkman & Stephens 42 Richard and Gayle Leland, Durham
6. Kalewa Custom Cat 50 Kevin Millett Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
7. Mykonos Swan 44 Myron & Marina Eisenzimmer, San Geronimo
8. Dances With Winds Catalina 36 Eric Walker, Oxnard
9. Sweet Adeline Wauquiez/Centurion 42 Jabez & Anne Phyfe Palmer, Seattle, WA
10. Sweepea Tung Hwa 34 Steve Fisher, Doyle
11. Avocet Caliber 40LRC Issac Ohana, Palo Alto
12. Ohana Catalina MkII 42 Stephany & Becky Thompson, Walnut Creek
13. Vent Arriere Catalina 36 Tom Farr, Santa Barbara
14. Petrichor Catalina 36 Sean Colk & Kate Schnippering, Oakland
15. Shenanigans J/120 Michael Clarke, Placerville
16. Sea Bella Brewer 44 Scott & Kathy Erwin, San Luis Obispo
17. Blue Safari Leopard 40 Mark & Lisa Wolford, Escondido
18. Aria’s Song Lagoon 400 S2 Richard Doherty, Porter Ranch
19. Somand Beneteau Oceanis 45 Gordon Phillips, Orinda
20. Cold Fact Catalina 36 Owen Fogel, Pasadena
21. Chaos Beneteau First 47.7 Mark & Karen Williams, Anchorage, AK
22. Cool Change 34′ Gemini 10.5 MC Cat Ed Neiman, Copperopolis
23. Soirée Beneteau Oceanis 49 Steve & Connie Hill, San Rafael
24. Sacagawea Caliber 47 LRC William McCormack, Missoula, MT
25. WindStar Liberty 49 Stephen Millard, Santa Barbara
26. Wine N Down Leopard 58 Catamaran Steve Skolnik, Sonoma
27. Stella Blue Hunter 460 Kim & Larry LaPrade, San Diego
28. Day Dreams X-Yacht/Ap44 Robert Day, Laguna Beach
29. Seafox Dufour 52 John Calkins, Los Angeles
30. Prana Hunter 45 Tom & Marianne Mangold, Carmel
31. DeeDee Beneteau Oceanis 40 James Ward, Redwood City
32. Coyote Beneteau First 42 Scott Smith & Mary Culley, Santa Cruz
33. Jubel Gulfstar 44 Kyle & Leah Mackenzie, Victoria, BC
34. Ranger Rick Ranger 33 Darron Byers, Tacoma, WA
35. Flyer Outbound 46 Wayne Koide, Incline Village, NV
36. Way Mari Westsail 42 Jim Picerno, Union City
37. Sugar J/169 Garry & Suesan Pawlitski, Santa Barbara
38. Aloha Amel Super Maramu 53 Steve & Liz Davis, Honolulu, HI
39. Salacia Catalina 42 MkII Sean & Meredith Penrith, Portland,OR
40. Second Verse Hylas 54 Bill & Sally Andrew, Reno, NV
41. Hokulani Tayana 48 Tony Rogers, Leucadia
42. Set Me Free Beneteau 423 Jimmy & Kelly Aviles, Oceanside
43. Peregrine Spirit Ericson 38 Thomas Fisic, San Diego
44. Key Lime Pie Kelly Peterson 44 Pawel Drzazga, Clovis
45. Exit Strategy Jeanneau SO 45.2 Steve Ginder, Park City, UT
46. Aurora Jeanneau 53 Michael Lewis & Lois Mandel, San Diego
47. Redemption Hinckley OC 42 Thomasina Ann Trautwein, Pillar Point Harbor
48. Folio a Deux Jeanneau 42 DS George Slater, Danville
49. Pelagia Rafiki 37 Geoffrey Campbell, Livermore
50. Verano Beneteau Oceanis 38 James Hirsch, Santa Barbara
51. Triaena Newport 41 Tom & Patty Mitchell, Tulalip, WA
52. Windhorse Islander Freeport 41 Dennis Patterson & Vickie Reed, Napa
53. Lady Kate Catalina 42 Sandra & Lawrence Blanchette, Walnut Creek
54. Shades of Grey Beneteau Oceanis 48 Eric Coyle, Channel Islands
55. Sparklemuffin Cabo Rico 34 Chuck Batson, San Rafael
56. Fair Winds Pacific Seacraft 37 Randy Jenson, Woodinville, WA
57. Nike Maple Leaf 48 Robert & Dorothy Birnie, San Jose
58. Ole Sarah Beneteau 37 Wesley Jenkins, Lafayette
59. Argo Thorpe Seeop 59 Douglas Thorpe, Mesa, AZ
60. Kastaway Hunter 420 CC Steve Cloney, Placerville
61. Thirst Responder 40′ C&C 121 Stacey Dobson, Indio
62. Imagine Caliber 40 LRC JR Rousseve, Rio Rico, AZ
63. Manuela Hylas 56 Chris & Manuela Perkins, San Diego
64. Epsilon Island Packet 41 William Southon, Morgan Hill
65. Talos IV Pacific Seacraft 37 Gary Gray, Monterey
66. Velella Hylas 44 Chad Walsh & Katrin Spirig, Redmond, WA
67. Christina Morris 486 Stephen Stroub, Tiburon
68. Shamaal Outbound 46 Jerry & Jane McNaboe, South Lake Tahoe
69. Pacem Islander 48C Terrence Berger, San Francisco
70. Maya Celestial 48 Nick Sissine, Port Townsend, WA
71. Freyja Cal 35 MkII George Scott, San Rafael
72. Dulcinea Pearson 36-2 Ken & Monica Grismore, Escondido
73. Delaware Girl Norseman 400 Charlie & Wendy Wyatt, Oceanside
74. Sirena Beneteau Oceanis 41 Nashun Robinson & Jennifer Kobow, San Diego
75. Rochambeau Beneteau 49 John & Marcy Baker, Anchorage, AK
76. Talion Gulfstar 50 Patsy Verhoeven, Portland, OR/La Paz

Who’s Starting the Weekend with a Friday Night Beer Can Race?

There are lots of great courses on which to finish your week and start your weekend with some ‘casual’ Friday night beer can racing. The list of clubs hosting races on a Friday evening is long, including Ballena Bay Yacht Club, Berkeley Yacht Club, Corinthian Yacht Club, Encinal Yacht Club, Golden Gate Yacht Club, Island Yacht Club, South Beach Yacht Club and Tiburon Yacht Club. If your boat is in a marina anywhere on the Bay, there should be a Friday night beer can race close to you. There are also races on most other midweek evenings.

Corinthian Yacht Club
Start time is a great time to reconnect with your friends and give a wave to everyone starting the weekend right.
© 2021 John

Whether you’re a racer or a cruiser, beer can racing is an ideal way to learn and re-learn sailing the Bay. Your competitors will happily show you the way if you’re willing to follow them. Sometimes people get stressed out about racing, but the only thing that really stresses you out is your desire to win. If you let go of winning you can relax, stay out of trouble, and just consider it a Friday night buoy tour with friends.

Beer can racing, CYC Finish line
Just you against the ebb – and all those boats ahead.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Beer can racing is also a source of free sailing lessons. You can observe boats fighting an ebb in a fading breeze and ask, “Why are all the people on that boat sitting on the leeward rail? Why are those boats heading into a cove and others heading out? Are they loosening or tightening their halyards? Who brought the cheese and crackers?”

You’ll have learned a lot by the time you cross the finish line. The only challenge to becoming a better sailor is remembering all the lessons you learn in a weekly one-hour schooling from your friends on the racecourse.

If you’re out there tonight, tell us what you learned and send us a couple of quick pics from your course to [email protected]. If you’re looking for other racing opportunities check out our monthly and annual sailing calendar here.

Passage Nautical — Taking the World Boating

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When the Student Is Ready: Charlie Deist on Learning to Sail

In the May issue of Latitude 38 Charlie Deist shared his experience of learning to sail under the instruction of Darrell Allen Caraway. The pair ended up creating a book of Darrell’s nautical paintings and text message instructions, called Three Sheets to the Wind: The Art of Spinnaker.

“You’re luffing,” said Darrell.

I looked over from the horizon toward the forestay and saw the jib flap a bit before it settled into a crisp, flattened curve.

My reply revealed my ignorance: “No, I’m not …. Wait, what do you mean?”

At 25 years old, I was a relative latecomer to sailing. It was my third or fourth lesson with Darrell Allen Caraway, my impromptu sailing instructor. I had approached him on Berkeley Marina’s J Dock after seeing him sail into and out of his slip effortlessly on multiple occasions. My recently acquired Columbia 24 had maybe been out once in the two months since I had arrived. That was still more often than most of my neighbors. It seemed as if Darrell was the only actual sailor around, and certainly the only competent one.

“You’re luffing again. You’re luffing. You’re luffing!” he shouted, as I nosed up even farther into the wind before finally falling off and back to a close reach. I didn’t mind getting berated from time to time. This sailing education came cheap. Sometimes we took my boat out and I paid Darrell in food or beer. Other times we took his boat, a Cal 20 rigged for easy singlehanding, and fittingly named Cheap Therapy.

It was in those four-hour sails just outside Berkeley that I gradually earned my sea legs. Once in a while I kicked Darrell $50 for his trouble, but I sensed that he didn’t do it for the money so much as to share a craft with a budding skipper who barely knew a beam reach from a broad. It may have helped that I greased his palm a bit, but my salty instructor friend seemed to get almost as much out of our joint sailing therapy sessions as I did.

As I learned the ropes — er, lines — Darrell lectured me with life lessons, and frequently ranted about his latest grievance. Among other monologues, I received a brief history of his architectural accomplishments around town.

“Of course, nowadays it’s all computerized,” he lamented.

As the architecture industry had changed, Darrell had refused to change with it — opting instead to hone his hobbies of painting, sailing, and restoring classic cars into a full-time lifestyle occupation.

Between gallery exhibitions in North Beach, he would set up his easel in front of East Bay shops, selling the paintings to the stores’ owners. There’s a rumor that the owner of Kingfish owns half a dozen of Darrell’s depictions of Temescal’s iconic Jamaican-themed pub.

Darrell Allen Caraway
Sailing and the waterfront inspire Darrell Allen Caraway’s artistic pursuits.
© 2021 Darrell Allen Caraway

You can read more at In the meantime, here’s a video of Charlie and Darrell sailing in celebration of their book.

Three Sheets to the Wind: The Art of Spinnaker will be available on Amazon as a hardcover.

New Women’s Race and New First-Aid Classes

Anne McCormack Women’s Regatta

Bay Area sailor Cam Tuttle reached out to alert us about a new regatta out of San Francisco Yacht Club. It’s an inaugural women’s regatta coming up on May 15, the Anne McCormack Invitational Regatta. “It’s inshore PHRF all-women crew racing,” said Cam.

SFYC established the race to honor Anne McCormack, a trailblazer at SFYC. Anne joined the club in the late ‘60s, when there were few female members, to race in the Adams Cup. She made it to three Adams Cup finals, later becoming the Area G Representative for 15 years. A lifelong sailor, she and her husband Hal owned and raced many boats together, including a Rhodes 19, a Knarr and a Mercury nicknamed Timex.

In 1970, she became the first woman to race in the San Francisco Cup. SFYC named Anne Yachtswoman of the Year in 2014. In 2015, Anne and her crew, including daughter-in-law Jody McCormack, won the inaugural Auxiliary Cup Race. Anne was a wealth of knowledge when it came to race management and worked as the SFYC race administrative assistant for 16 years, mentoring each race chair.

Shenanigans racing with all-woman crew
Anne McCormack at the helm of the Express 27 Shenanigans.
© 2021 San Francisco Yacht Club

Anne passed away from ovarian cancer in July 2019. “COVID got a bit in the way of our doing anything about honoring her,” explained SFYC’s rear commdoore, Madeline Morey. “Vicki Sodaro is really driving this regatta, and we would really love to see a lot of boats out there.” Racing will be held in the Knox and Central Bay areas.

New Basic Marine First Aid Class

“Bumps and bruises may be everyday occurrences in sailing,” writes Ros de Vries of Island YC (who also happens to be a contributor to Latitude 38), “but do you know what to do when more serious issues arise?”

In IYC’s new two-class online series, Basic Marine First Aid, instructor Michelle Diaz (BSN, RN, CCRN and USCG Master) will teach skills to help you prepare yourself, your crew and your boat. Students will learn how to respond to problems ranging from burns to hypothermia to heart attacks.

Michelle Diaz at the wheel
Michelle Diaz sails San Francisco Bay.
© 2021 Courtesy Michelle Diaz

Each class costs $20 for IYC members, $25 for non-members. IYC will donate the proceeds from the classes to the National Women’s Sailing Association, US Sailing’s Women in Sailing Leadership and the IYC Northern California Women’s Sailing Seminar. Classes will be online via Zoom. IYC will email a Zoom link the day prior to each class. They’ll share a recording with registrants afterward.

Class outlines and registration:

“We hope to see you at these essential first-aid classes,” says Ros.

A Question for the Nation
In your travels, have you noticed more trash in the water, or has the water been getting cleaner? Have you seen more sealife in recent years, or is it diminishing?