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May 17, 2021

Views of Yesteryear (the Regatta, That Is)

The San Diego-based Ancient Mariners Sailing Society put on the 47th Yesteryear Regatta on May 8. Photographer and sailor Janie Noon crewed aboard Chimaera, camera in hand, and sent us the following photos.

Sally and 38 Special
The 1927 Starling Burgess-designed 10-Meter Sally pursues Dave Gardner’s Kettenburg 38 38 Special around Buoy 6. (Latitude 38 used to have a photoboat called 38 Special.)
© 2021 Janie Allan Noon
38 Special bow on
Dave Gardner, Bob Weigel and Mac Confer aboard 38 Special.
© 2021 Janie Allan Noon
Sally's transom
More views of the long tall Sally.
© 2021 Janie Allan Noon
Sally's bow
Sally placed fourth overall in the 17-boat fleet.
© 2021 Janie Allan Noon

Janie writes: “I have sailed with the Ancient Mariners Sailing Society for six or seven years — what a gift for my retirement years! I do take photos as I am crewing and use them to produce our newsletter, Albatross, all for love — and have been thrilled to have my photos in Latitude 38. This is the second time for Schooner Cup, my favorite race. Jerry Newton and the schooner people are the best ever! For most other events I sail on a Sparkman & Stephens Driscoll-built racing sloop or a Kettenburg 50. Lucky me!”

race start
Linna Buser’s Kettenburg 50 Rendezvous leads Flirt and Lola off the start in this photo.
© 2021 Janie Allan Noon

Janie’s most recent photo in Latitude 38 is of Bill of Rights and Age of Grace competing in the 2021 America’s Schooner Cup on March 27. Check it out on the opening spread of Racing Sheet in the May issue.

A few more:

Spitfire with spinnaker and colorful mizzen
Jeff Woods and Nanette Robinson’s Cherubini Spitfire.
© 2021 Janie Allan Noon
Sprig broaches
Greg Stewart’s Crane 6-Meter Sprig.
© 2021 Janie Allan Noon
Flirt and Sprig
Jack Swendsen’s Luders 44 Flirt, with Sprig to windward.
© 2021 Janie Allan Noon

These luscious images have us salivating for San Francisco’s Master Mariners Regatta, coming up on May 29. We’ll be out there!

How Many Cell Phones Are in the Bay?

Jim Hancock of the San Francisco Science Sailing Center emailed the other day, wondering if we had any stories on how many cell phones might be in the Bay. We know there are plenty. He had a couple of friends who’d recently lost phones in the Bay and was curious about how many other stories we’d heard.

Of course, we have our own, too. We remember losing a Palm Pilot (what the heck is that?) out of our breast pocket when we leaned down to snug up a dock line. A few years ago, while in a celebratory moment on the dock with our daughter, our hands collided and sent her cell phone in a great arc into the water. Then a while back we had a close call when a cell phone dropped to the dock and bounced up against a dock box.

We’re sure most of the barges filled with dredging spoils from the various marinas around the Bay must be half filled with cell phones (and sunglasses).

Cell phone
Lucky there was a dock box. A recent close call.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The Bay is surrounded by tech and an active sailing population of ‘early adopters,’ so it stands to reason that it must have one of the highest concentrations anywhere of cell phones resting on the bottom.

How many have you lost? How have you lost it/them? We’re sure ‘Find My Phone’ doesn’t help at the bottom of the Bay, but have you had any miraculous recoveries anyway? Let us know in the comments below.

Hey Ya! Banderas Bay Regatta

In the May issue of Latitude 38, we share the story of Hey Ya, an old sailboat that finds its way into the Banderas Bay Regatta.

Seven years ago I was having a beer at Vallarta Yacht Club when Ken ‘Yak’ Yachechak sat next to me. We exchanged greetings.

“Are you interested in being my partner in a boat?” asked Yak.

Always one to carefully consider big investments, I waited a few seconds before saying, “Sure!”

So began my relationship with Hey Ya, a Beneteau Oceanis 390 built in 1989. I was making a decision to purchase an almost-30-year-old boat pretty much sight unseen. What could possibly go wrong?

After years of work on the boat, including removing a staysail (who puts a staysail on a 39-ft Beneteau?) and practically rebuilding the aging Volvo Penta engine, Hey Ya was getting back to her former glory. Somewhere in there I bought Yak out. He became more interested in sailing Mike Seth’s J/145 Double Take than sailing an aging production boat that couldn’t point and had a habit of losing races, badly.

When COVID hit, I decided I was going to make lemonade out of lemons and devote a good deal of my quarantine time to Hey Ya. I did extensive rewiring, pulling out what seemed like miles of wire that wasn’t doing anything. As a retired electrical engineer, I had frequent “WTF?” moments during the project. In spite of a few compromises that still wink at me from time to time, I’m pretty pleased with the final result.

'Hey Ya'
At the windward mark on Saturday, March 27, Hey Ya sets the kite.
© 2021 John Pounder

In addition to the rewire, I also contracted with a local company to re-canvas the boat and make new interior cushions. I put her on the hard, and Peter Vargas’s team at Sea Tek gave Hey Ya a new top-to-bottom paint job and thru-hulls. They worked on Hey Ya for two months, and like a lot of boat owners, I became a familiar face at the yard.

Hey Ya‘s refit-reveal was this year’s four-race Vallarta Cup in January. Holy moly, we won our division! I know that crew — and the fact that there were only three boats in our division — had a lot to do with it, but damn! A win is a win. It had to be the new paint! The question was, were we ready to tackle the Banderas Bay Regatta?

Read the rest of the story at Latitude

Ron Holland Speaks on Boat Design at Sausalito Yacht Club

In this month’s issue of Latitude 38 we brought you a story about small boat building in the Bay Area. So is it coincidence that legendary boat designer Ron Holland is due to speak as part of Sausalito Yacht Club’s Speaker Series this coming Wednesday? Probably. But we can’t help thinking that this event may have been inspired by all the hard work done by our backyard shipwrights. At the very least it makes a good follow-up to our story. Mind you, Mr. Holland’s boats are no doubt much larger and more involved than the small craft we wrote about, but nonetheless, we feel the speaker event is probably of great interest to many budding boat builders. After all, great things often grow from small.


For those who are unfamiliar with Ron Holland’s name, the New Zealand-born (what is it with those Kiwis and sailing?) began his sailing life aboard a ‘P’ class dinghy that he received for his 7th birthday. Despite a less-than-successful first sail, Ron grew to love the sport, and at age 15 was presented with the opportunity to crew from Auckland to Sydney aboard the 36-foot ketch Aloha.

Ron later obtained a boat-building apprenticeship that included drawing and design classes, which eventually became his forte and led to his first design commission at age 19 — a 26-foot yacht, White Rabbit.

The rest, as they say, is history, and also a part of Ron Holland’s interesting story. If you can find a way to tune in to Ron’s Zoom session at SYC this Wednesday, we imagine you’ll find it worth your while.

Day/Time:  Wednesday, May 19 at 6:00 p.m. (PDT)

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 415 634 7245

Head South with the Fleet
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We bought and sold a boat in the last six months and are now sailing Friday night races and looking forward to another summer of sailing.