It’s time for a new issue of Latitude 38! In this month’s magazine we bring you a range of feature stories, along with your regular favorites and columns. Here’s a sneak preview:
Michael La Guardia shares his experience of sailing to socal, and back again.
We bring you a wrap-up of the 2021 Master Mariners Race, which may have been the most-photographed event on San Francisco Bay in the past year and a half. Heck, there were probably more photographers out there than boats racing!
Latitude 38 editor-at-large Andy Turpin finally did the Tahiti Pearl Regatta again, this time with his wife Julie on their own boat, Little Wing.
In Sightings Fiona Wylde talks about diabetes and her dream to be a professional athlete; the Delta Doo Dah sails its way into triple digits; US Olympic sailors receive a virtual send-off. And there’s more …
June 21-25 was the first running of Race Week PNW, a replacement regatta for the former Whidbey Island Race Week. Unfortunately, tragedy struck during this inaugural event when experienced sailor Greg Meuller died during a race while managing the foredeck on the J/120 With Grace. The reporting below, from the Seattle Times, provides more insight:
Seattle sailor Greg Mueller, 58, crewing on the J/120 With Grace, died on Tuesday afternoon [June 22] after falling overboard while racing.
Mueller was the team’s foredeck, and according to With Grace skipper Chris Johnson, Mueller had stepped into a line that looped around his foot just as the spinnaker filled. Mueller was jerked off the boat where he dangled upside down by his foot, about 8 to 10 feet in the air, before plunging into the water where he was dragged alongside the boat, still connected by the line.
Crew members rushed to bring him back on board, where they took turns performing CPR, while another teammate of the eight-person crew called the race committee to get help.
Several team members aboard the vessel had completed Safety at Sea training provided by the Coast Guard, Johnson said, but there was little more they could do except call for medical attention.
Johnson said Mueller had spent two to three minutes in the water by the time his crew could slow the boat enough to bring him back aboard the ship. Though he was wearing a personal flotation device, it was of little use because of the way he was positioned in the water.
Two boats from the race committee arrived to assist, but they had no medical personnel on board, according to crew members. Eventually, a speedboat came to take Mueller to Guemes Island, where a medical team received him.
The crew was uncertain whether Mueller still was alive when the speedboat arrived. They received a call shortly afterward with the news he had died.
The Skagit County coroner’s office said an autopsy was scheduled for June 25 and that it would release information on the cause of death by June 28.
Johnson said Mueller had been a member of the With Grace crew since the purchase of the boat in 2014.
“Greg was a very key part of our team,” said crewmate Ken Jones. “He knew exactly when the sail should be changed and what size to use. He could predict problems and gave us clear directions. There are a lot of lines that have to be led just perfectly. Most of us had no idea what he did; everything was done for us, and we really relied on him.”
A longtime member of the Washington Yacht Club, Mueller was an avid racer in the region.
“Sailing accidents can happen to anybody,” said WYC member Raz Barnea. “When they happen to someone as skilled as Greg, it really puts it into perspective that something can go wrong.”
Latitude 38 editor Chris Weaver, who’s currently covering the Singlehanded Transpacific Race, learned that Mueller had been scheduled to do the delivery from Hawaii to Seattle with SHTP competitor John Wilkerson aboard his Express 37 Perplexity.
Division of Boating and Waterway’s “Pumpout Nav” is a free iOS and Android mobile app that shows you where the nearest sewage pumpout, dump station and floating restrooms are located.
June 8 was World Oceans Day, and across this month we’ve been searching for stories that focus on the health and restoration or protection of our oceans. Most of what we discovered involved individuals and organizations focused on cleaning up the plastic and other trash that is floating around the waterways. These efforts occur at many levels, from the Bay Area’s Scott Chowning, who is cleaning up the Bay with the LADI; to Mary Crowley, who founded the Ocean Voyages Institute, which has taken literally tons of garbage out of the ocean; to The SeaCleaners with its giant catamaran known as the Manta — a ship designed to collect and process plastics while operating with a reduced carbon footprint; and The Ocean Cleanup, which aims to remove “90% of floating ocean plastic pollution.”
There are, of course, many other factors that contribute to ocean health, so we reached out to Captain Liz Clark, who, since the age of 7, has been sailing and surfing her way around the world, learning about the ocean and its environments and the best practices that we can adopt to help preserve this life-giving element. Capt. Liz wrote back and pointed out one thing that we probably rarely give much thought to, but that can mean the difference between life and death for the wide range of life forms that depend on the oceans for the continuity of their species (including humans) — sunscreen. Below is what she wrote.
“Hi, Captain Liz here. Over my years of falling in love with the Pacific, I’ve realized how important it is to do all we can, as sailors, to respect and protect the oceans we live and depend on — that includes choosing a sunscreen that is safe for the ocean and our bodies, while also being effective at protecting us from too much sun. But navigating all the sunscreen choices can be confusing! So here’s a quick guide to help you enjoy the sun safely this summer:
“Sunscreens basically fall into 2 categories: chemical & mineral.
“Chemical sunscreens are the most common and also the most harmful. They’re made from a mix of synthetic UV blockers (all those hard-to-pronounce ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate) that work to absorb the sun’s rays. They always rub on clear. The ingredients in these chemical creams and sprays are hazardous to marine ecosystems, and they have been shown to disrupt your body’s hormone function (aka endocrine disruptors). So, it’s definitely best to avoid chemical sunscreens!”
“The second category is mineral sunscreens, which work by forming a physical barrier between the sun and your skin to deflect the UV rays. They’re made from zinc or titanium oxide, which are safe for the environment and our bodies in their natural form. But since people want non-chemical sunscreen that rubs on clear, scientists recently engineered tiny molecules of zinc and titanium into ‘nano’ form, which is 100,000 times smaller than a strand of hair! Nanoparticles haven’t been studied enough yet, but we know they absorb into the bloodstream and have been shown to adversely affect the tiniest life forms in the ocean.”
“So be suspicious of any “mineral” sunscreen that rubs on too clear; it likely uses nanoparticles. (Currently there are no laws requiring companies to label for nanoparticle use!)
“Start reading those sunscreen labels, and be wary of greenwashing; there are lots of brands trying to convince you their products are safe! If it rubs on clear, steer clear! Happy sailing!
“P.S. The brand I love and trust is called Avasol, made by a small, eco-conscious company in California.”
At Latitude 38, we don’t endorse any particular suncreen companies or brands, but we get what Capt. Liz is saying. Read the labels, do a little research of your own if you want to, but at the very least, think about how your habits affect the oceans that you love and that give you the opportunity to sail.
You can read more about Captain Liz’s sailing life and her other environmental missions on her website.
Celebrating Independence Day
Fourth of July-themed races are coming up starting this weekend. Leading off on Saturday, July 3, will be Coyote Point Yacht Club’s Stars & Stripes Race.
On Sunday, July 4, Tiburon YC is planning their traditional Brothers & Sisters Race (a tour of the North Bay island group by those names). San Francisco YC offers a Fireworks Folly Pursuit Race. Elkhorn YC (in Moss Landing) will have a Fun Sail Summer Series race.
A whole long weekend of Fourth of July fun is in store for Monterey Bay sailors. On Saturday, July 3, Monterey-based sailors will have a Fun Race/Cruise to Santa Cruz. Then on Sunday, July 4, there’s a race from Santa Cruz to Monterey, followed by fireworks. On July 5, Santa Cruzers will have a Fun Race back to Santa Cruz. See www.mpyc.org and www.scyc.org.
The new US Open Sailing Series moves to Long Beach on July 9-11. Sausalito YC will host the second Twin Island Race of the year on July 10. Also on that Saturday, OYRA racers will head offshore in the Jr. Waterhouse. SFYC will host the Mercury fleet for the Hart Nunes Regatta.
On July 10-11, Stockton Sailing Club will honor their founding fathers with the Founders Regatta, honoring SSC’s founders.
Fresno YC will host two weekends of the High Sierra Regatta on Huntington Lake. Classes invited on July 10-11 are Moth, Snipe, Day Sailer A and B, Lido 14 A and B, Laser, Laser Radial, Banshee, RS Aero, Optimist A and B, Vanguard 15 and San Juan 21. The last day to register without a late fee will be July 6. The second weekend, July 17-18, will be for PHRF, Moore 24, J/70, Ultimate 20, Viper 640, Open 5.70, Wylie Wabbit, Victory 21, Coronado 15 and Thistle classes. Register by July 13 to avoid the late fee.
“Lake Merritt SC will be holding their Mayor’s Cup Regatta on July 11, Sunday,” writes Gordie Nash of the El Toro fleet. “This is a reschedule. These kinds of scheduling changes are not uncommon in the days of COVID-19. We are now transitioning from one reality to another.” Half Moon Bay YC will host the El Toro North Americans in Pillar Point Harbor on July 30-August 1. The El Toro class has redesigned their website; check it out at www.eltoroyra.org.
The Transpac, from Los Angeles to Honolulu, will start on July 13, 16 and 17. Check out our preview of the 51st edition in the June issue of Latitude 38, coming out today.
On July 14-18, St. Francis YC will host the ILCA (Laser) North Americans. The Bay Area Multihull Association will run the Silver Eagle Race on July 17 (monohulls welcome too). On the same day, SYC will host the J/105 Fleet 1 Invitational Regatta.
Late July Events
On July 23-25, Santa Cruz YC will host the Santana 22 Nationals; Richmond YC will host the Laser Pacific Coast Championships, and Santa Barbara YC will host the Melges 24 West Coast Championship as part of their Fiesta Cup.
The YRA’s Summer Series will conclude on July 24, with racing in the South Bay. Also on the 24th, women will Take-the-Tiller at Half Moon Bay YC.
Balboa YC will host the Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship on July 26-31.
On Saturday, July 31, the YRA offers the Encinal Regatta. Alameda-based yacht clubs Island, Oakland and Encinal will follow up with Estuary racing on Sunday, August 1.
The CGRA’s Columbia Gorge One Design (C-GOD) Regatta will sail on the Columbia River in Northern Oregon on July 31-August 1.
Rolex Big Boat Series Update
Rolex Big Boat Series organizers recently amended the Notice of Race to include a Cal 40 class among the one-design fleets. Also invited are the J/120, J/105, J/88, J/70 and Express 37 classes; monohulls with an LOA of 30 feet or more and a current fully or partially measured ORR rating certificate; and classic boats built prior to 1955 with an LOA of at least 48 feet and an ORRez rating certificate. The J/70 class must have a minimum of 15 entries by August 1 to remain eligible for a start. For all other classes to remain eligible for a start, they must have at least six entries by August. Pay the full entry fee on or before July 31, 2021, to avoid a $200 late fee. Entries close August 31.
RBBS will serve as the J/88 North American Championship and the Pacific Coast Championship for Express 37s. The Classics class will return. Dewey Hines’s 1951 Rhodes 54 Ocean Queen, Beau and Stacey Vrolyk’s 1947 Alden schooner Mayan, and Terry Klaus’s 1924 Herreshoff schooner Brigadoon are already signed up.
Parties? Yes! Plans for the traditional nightly parties at StFYC are proceeding full steam ahead. The whole shebang will take place on September 15-19.