After the Master Mariners Regatta joined the long list of canceled events last year, hopes were high for this year’s comeback. It turned out as bright as the varnish on the many gleaming toerails. A healthy fleet of 46 boats signed up. All who showed up were met with blue skies, sunshine, a big flood, big breeze and big smiles. Most boats sported full crews of deckhands, vaccinated and occasionally masked, to press the wooden hulls and canvas hard around the course.
We were very fortunate to hitch a ride on the Bay Area’s magnificent tall ship, the Matthew Turner, under the command of skipper Adrian McCullough with founder Alan Olson at the helm. After the keel was laid in 2013 and the hull launched in 2017, the USCG-certified Matthew Turner was getting ready to begin her Bay sailing career in April a year ago when the pandemic intervened. As most active Bay Area sailors have seen, Matthew Turner sightings on the Bay are now more common than whale sightings. According to Olson, Call of the Sea’s Matthew Turner has been sailing about four days a week taking out paying guests from yacht clubs and other organizations, which helps to fund the brigantine’s upkeep and educational mission. Don’t miss an opportunity to sail aboard.
Sausalito Yacht Club runs the race committee and sets up the reverse-handicap reaching start in front of St. Francis Yacht Club. This means small boats start first and the Matthew Turner plays sweeper, with the goal of a come-from-behind finish. The flood made the reach to Little Harding a tight one. Matthew Turner worked hard to stay above Harding Rock. The engine allowance gives a square-rigged brigantine a fighting chance given the challenges of getting downwind topsails upwind from Little Harding to Yellow Bluff against a full-bore flood. The innovative twin-prop hybrid diesel-electric drive made short work of that leg, but there was still a lot of sailing to do.
The Master Mariners have probably put a combined million miles under their keels on this course, which, after Yellow Bluff, heads to Blossom Rock, on to Southampton Shoal, then to a reaching finish in the lee of Treasure Island. After the finish, boats head down the Oakland Estuary for post-race celebrations at Encinal YC in Alameda.
This year’s EYC festivities were especially welcome after a year’s absence. Though the Master Mariners fleet didn’t get to race last year, many were able to take advantage of the time off for some extra care and maintenance. The normal chance for the public to see them up close and personal in June’s Wooden Boat Show has been postponed until the fall, but, for now, the boats and crews are just happy to be sailing again. We’ll bring you more photos and details on the regatta in the July issue of Latitude 38.
… And suddenly it’s June! Welcome to the last month of the first half of 2021. We hope everyone had a nice weekend and was able to use the extra time off to get out on the water and enjoy some time under sail. While you were sailing across the Memorial Day weekend Latitude 38‘s June magazine was being printed, wrapped, and stacked, ready for Tuesday delivery. If you happen to have picked up your copy already you probably know what’s inside, but for everyone else, here’s a preview.
“Even from the very beginning, I was rarely training with any other women. And although it was difficult sometimes, I loved the sport and was motivated and determined to get better and beat the boys,” said Moroz.
For starters, Moroz is a four-time Formula Kite World Champion and three-time Open European Champion with two US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year watches on her wrist. Add to that Rolex World Sailor of the Year finalist in 2018. This ultra-competitive 20-year-old likes to go fast and have fun.
The long and winding Kuhio Highway that leads to Hanalei Bay on Kauai has nothing on the tacks and jibes it’s taken for all concerned to make the 22nd Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race a reality.
The Singlehanded Sailing Society originally scheduled the race to start from the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon on June 27, 2020. Preparations were well underway in early 2020. The race committee and other supporters had made travel reservations. Nawiliwili YC was all set to host the awards banquet.
Then, in March, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, and everything shut down.
The state of our oceans is critical. Pollution, overfishing, and chemical changes threaten the health of the sea, and thus, what we eat and breathe. Hurricanes are stronger, their season longer. We have become numb to seeing waterways covered in trash and pictures of sealife entangled in all manner of plastic waste. We’re also numb to the dire statistics: “There are over [165 million tons] of plastic waste in the ocean today. Without significant action, there may be more plastic than fish in the ocean, by weight, by 2050,” the World Economic Forum said in a 2016 report.
You’ll also find the regular columns and features:
- Letters: Using Whales as a Barometer; More Tales About Sailing North Along the West Coast; Mr. Scott, Warp Speed
- Max Ebb: Rapture of the Deep
- The Racing Sheet; World of Chartering; Sightings; and Loose Lips, in which you’ll find the best of the best of May’s Caption Contest(!)
- And don’t forget Classy Classifieds, where you can find, or sell, your boat.
The innovative Walder boom brake — active safety at sea www.boom-brake-walder.com
Hidden about a half hour (and about an hour and a half out of Los Angeles) from San ‘Berdoo’, a few thousand feet up in the SoCal mountains is 120-acre Lake Gregory. Far smaller but no less scenic than its more famous neighbors, Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear, the lake has a growing fleet of radio-controlled sailboats.
On successive Saturdays, May 15 and 22, the Lake Gregory Yacht Club hosted events centered on these vessels.
May 15 was R/C racing practice. On May 22, the yacht club presented activities for Long Beach-based Girl Scout Troop 70133. The troop participated in a community cleanup of the trails surrounding the lake and then enjoyed some R/C lake sailing and a BBQ at the club facilities in nearby Crestline.
It is not at all like ocean sailing — the winds can go 180º at the drop of a hat, and the challenge is to keep from rounding up or going into irons. The boats can go pretty fast, and sailing an R/C Laser was lots of fun. One of these will set you back about $325, but there are no slip fees and you don’t need bottom service. A tool set and spare parts are mandatory as in full-sized sailing. The club furnished a ‘rescue’ kayak in the event of gear failure.
LGYC staff commodore Marsha Philippe and former SCYA commodore Rick Dinon put on the event. For more information, see www.lakegregoryyachtclub.com.
If anyone knows about offshore wind power, it’s offshore racers. Some of California’s best put their knowledge to the test as they headed out of San Francisco Bay on Saturday at the start of California Offshore Race Week. The first leg took them from San Francisco to Monterey Bay. On Monday they began the second leg from Monterey Bay to Santa Barbara.
In the future, according to an article in the New York Times, race instructions will include a notation of wind farms off Morro Bay. The area is known for reliable winds, and curiously, is not far from the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and the drilling platforms in the Santa Barbara channel. It’s also somewhat close to 20 million Southern Californians.
According to the New York Times, the project has been under development for many years, but faced technical hurdles and did not have the support of the Navy or the Trump administration. Things have changed. The technology for deep-water offshore wind farms has improved, the Navy has recognized climate change as one of our greatest national security threats, and the Biden administration is moving rapidly to create jobs with sustainable-energy projects.
Many people are against these projects due to their impact on views, fisheries and offshore passagemaking. Tom Hafer, president of the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization, is quoted in the Times, saying, “We’re totally against this. We’ve been consulting with the Castle Wind people for a long time, and we helped pick the spot and developed a memorandum of understanding on an area that we thought would be sustainable for us. That was about 120 square miles. This is 399 square miles. We’re going to lose a whole bunch of fishing grounds.” However, last summer’s fires, the current severe drought, rising sea levels, and a 130-degree record temperature in Death Valley are convincing many people it’s time for change.
According to the Times, the administration estimates that wind turbines in Morro Bay and another project near Humboldt County could together eventually generate enough electricity to power 1.6 million homes, potentially making California one of the largest wind-power generators in the world. Though there are a few years to go before wind power will be supplying energy to folks on shore, it will undoubtedly arrive and add a new tactical and strategic twist to California Offshore Race Week’s Coastal Cup.
If May taught us one thing, it is that sailing is back in a big way. We are beyond thrilled to see so many of you out sailing with smiling faces. Check out all the sailors who sent us photos for this month’s Sailagram.
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