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July 7, 2021

How Not to Anchor During the Baja Ha-Ha

The Grand Poobah has compiled some tips on anchoring during the Baja Ha-Ha. And judging by the photos below, it’s a good thing that he has!

Do it in deep enough water. It’s not as if there isn’t room for 1,000 boats to anchor in plenty-deep water at both Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria.

In the first two photos we see Captain Marco’s Lagoon 380 Younger Girl having to deal with anchoring in about four feet of water just off the beach at the Turtle Bay beach party.

“Marco, you’re a little close to shore, don’t you think?” the Grand Poobah hailed him.

“Oh, we’ll be fine,” he replied.

And he and his boat were fine. But only after about 70 people spent the better part of an hour or two trying to pull the boat off the beach.

Anchoring in shallow water
Were they successful?
© 2021 Richard Spindler

They were not successful. But Younger Girl finally did make it back to deeper water, after a rising tide had lifted her off the bottom. She suffered no damage.

Fortunately the water was warm enough to encourage lots of helpers to take a swim.
© 2021 Richard Spindler

In the third picture you see Carol and Wayne of the Hughes 45 Capricorn Cat dancing on top of the house. They could do this because they’d anchored in deep water in the first place, and so had nothing better to do than dance, dance, dance.

The joy of anchoring in deep enough water.
© 2021 Richard Spindler

Be smart; don’t anchor in water that’s too shallow. Although I have to say, everybody had a great time trying to push/lift the cat off the beach.

St. Francis Yacht Club Members to Compete in Tokyo

The Tokyo Summer Olympics are due to start later this month, and the US sailing team is looking pretty good. Last week we shared a letter from Pamela Healy about why yacht clubs should support their Olympic sailors. We also promised to share interviews with St Francis Sailing Foundation (StFSF) Olympic sailors Luke Muller and Nikole ‘Nikki’ Barnes, who incidentally are also St. Francis Yacht Club members. The sailors had a lot to say, so we’ve shared an excerpt from each interview.

Luke Muller

Luke Muller is competing in the Finn (Men’s One-Person Heavyweight Dinghy). As a youth Laser sailor Muller won multiple national championships, medaled in the 2019 Finn Hempel World Cup Series-Miami, and logged a career-best 6th-place finish at the 2021 Finn Gold Cup. Tokyo is his first Olympics.

tokyo olympics
Luke Muller, Finn Class.
© 2021 ICOYC

Why is participation in the Olympics important to you?
Participating in these Olympics is particularly important to me because this past year has involved unforeseen circumstances and adversity and I hope to demonstrate my ability to persevere.

What are your goals? What do you want to achieve?
I hope to qualify for the finals to compete for an Olympic medal. Thereafter, I’d like to continue to add value to elite sailing teams to the best of my ability.

What are you doing to prepare, physically and mentally, in these final weeks?
My coach and I have a long training camp scheduled in Europe in June to continue our progress on the water. From a physical-preparation side, we have planned out every week from now until the Games in order to maintain and build upon the fitness that I have developed in the last year. I also work with a mental coach, and we are constantly tuning and refining my mindset in order to get the most out of every day.

How has your yacht club played a part in your journey?
My yacht club is my community and support system. Many of our members of the St. Francis are my dear friends and the closest supporters of my campaign. My Finn campaign started in San Francisco Bay and I hope to end my Finn journey with a celebration in the club with those who have made it possible.

Nikole ‘Nikki’ Barnes

Nikki Barnes is competing in the Women’s 470 (Women’s Two-Person Dinghy) together with 2016 Farr 40 North American champion Lara Dallman-Weiss from White Bear Yacht Club, MN. Barnes is a three-time All-American collegiate sailor and active-duty US Coast Guard lieutenant. Together, the duo finished in a career-best 7th place at the 2021 World Championship. Tokyo is their first Olympics.

US Coast Guard Lt. Nikole ‘Nikki’ Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss, Women’s 470.
© 2021 ICOYC

Why is participation in the Olympics important to you?
Lara: We are both athletes to the core, and this is the highest level in which we can compete. We also both carry a lot of people with us so it’s an honor to represent friends, family and our country.

What are your goals? What do you want to achieve?
Nikki: Our goals for the Olympic Games this summer are to sail at our highest potential and to enjoy the process. If that means achieving the top of the podium and winning the gold, we will do that ?

What are you doing to prepare, physically and mentally, in these final weeks?
Lara: We are putting emphasis on nutrition, working with our physical trainers and sports psychologists to prepare for any scenario. One of the most important things is to make sure we are ready for the extreme heat in Japan.

Anything else you want us to know?
Nikki: If you are reading this and you have a little girl, tell her that we were just like her. Tell her to shoot for the stars, do the impossible, and never ever let anyone hold her back. This applies to everyone, but we especially want to inspire more girls to get out there and sail and show the boys how it’s done!

You can read the full interviews here.

As we were writing about Luke and Nikki, we were inspired to contact StFYC’s newly appointed Senior Sailing Director Adam Corpuz-Lahne, and learn a little about his own sailing background. And while Corpuz-Lahne hasn’t been an Olympic sailor, he does have an equally impressive sailing résumé. “I didn’t start sailing until I was 13,” he told us. “My best friend took me sailing.” The rest, as the saying goes, is history. From this first encounter with sailing, Corpuz-Lahne learned the ropes aboard a Widgeon — “a doublehanded, super-heavy boat that broke every time we went sailing.” The 12-ft-long dinghy weighed 200 lbs and was “ridiculously fragile.” The Hawaiian-born and -raised sailor then migrated to El Toros and Lasers, and became a college sailor with the University of Hawaii. “I also sailed offshore on 35- to 60-ft boats, Melges 24s, J/24s … ”

After completing college Corpuz-Lahne landed a job as sailing director with the Del Ray Yacht Club. In 2011 he joined StFYC as head sailing coach, and has since shared his sailing skills and knowledge with hundreds of competitive young sailors. We asked the new sailing director what advice he would now offer to aspiring young sailors. “Sailing is about the people you meet and the joy of sailing. Competition is secondary. Everyone, whether a world-class racer, aspiring Olympian, weekend warrior, or junior sailor, should remember to go out sailing with no other purpose than to enjoy being on the water with their friends.” Advice that the busy man is now applying to his own sailing. “I’ve joined the Richmond Yacht Club, and am going to sail El Toros,” he said. “I’m going back to my roots. It’s a tiny little boat, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Adam Corpuz-Lahne
StFYC Senior Sailing Director, Adam Corpuz-Lahne
© 2021 StFYC

St. Francis Yacht Club’s Executive Race Committee Chair Lawson Willard noted, “Adam has mentored a generation of San Francisco Bay kids to be excellent sailors. But he’s more than a coach — he is a true leader in our sport with an unmatched passion for ensuring its future includes innovation, Corinthian spirit, inclusivity and an unwavering love for the sea. I have no doubt these skills and values will translate to him taking our race program to the next level.”

Singlehanded Transpacific Race — That’s a Wrap!

Between the time we last posted on ‘Lectronic Latitude on Friday, July 3, and this morning, all 11 boats finished the 2021 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race. They did so at all hours, with a variety of sail configurations and a range of equipment problems.

July 3

On July 3, the first to arrive — by more than 26 hours — was Kyle Vanderspek on the Hobie 33 Aloha. Having lost his forestay, he finished on staysail and main. Despite his troubles (“What didn’t break?” he quipped), he’ll be declared the overall (monohull) winner of the 22nd edition of this race from San Francisco Bay to Hanalei Bay.

Kyle Vanderspek drops the sails on Aloha shortly after finishing on July 3. What looks like a forestay is actually a halyard.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

July 4

The very next day, Kyle departed Hanalei with orange storm jib hoisted, bound for Oahu, where he would put the Hobie onto a ship. Kyle is missing all the social activities, as he has to be back in SoCal ASAP. Ten days from today, he’ll sail back to Hawaii as navigator on the Andrews 63 Medicine Man in the Transpac Race from San Pedro to Honolulu.

Tree Time group
Cruising Club of America members at Tree Time on Monday. Left to right: Mary Lovely, Jim Quanci, Fred Huffman (Brendan’s dad), Brendan Huffman, Robb Walker and Rowena Carlson. Jim is also the commodore of Pacific Cup Yacht Club, and Rowena is its vice commodore. (Not shown: Synthia Petroka — because she was busy driving the chase boat.) Tree Time is an early-evening DIY happy hour.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Nipping at Aloha’s heels (on corrected time) was Robb Walker’s Cal 40 Nozomi. Also finishing on July 4 were Reed Bernhard on the J/109 Mountain, and toward sunset, Jim Quanci on the Cal 40 Green Buffalo. While Nozomi had a relatively trouble-free race, Green Buffalo arrived with a long section of mainsail slugs pulled out of the track, among other gear problems.

Coming in after dark on the 4th — and within several minutes of each other — were Brendan Huffman on the Santa Cruz 33 Siren and John Wilkerson on the Express 37 Perplexity. “I have a request,” wrote John in a message to the race committee. “Would it be too much trouble to ask the people of Kauai to celebrate my accomplishment with fireworks? I think it would make for a spectacular arrival. I do understand the effort and cost involved. Thank you for considering my request!”

July 5

Cliff Shaw on the Crowther 10M Rainbow came in midday on Monday. He was the only one to finish under spinnaker. He’d had it up for 10 days straight! The major gear failure on Rainbow was the loss of both weatherfax computers.

Rainbow with green spinnaker
It’s a reaching finish. Rainbow was the only multihull in the race.

Finishing in a squall that night was the smallest boat in the fleet, Falk Meissner’s Olson 25 Shark on Bluegrass. That morning he had sent the message, “70 miles to go. Overdid it last night, shredded another spin.”

July 6

Yesterday, July 6, was the day of the wraps. Bill Stange’s Westsail 32 Hula finished in the morning with a spinnaker wrapped around the forestay. What was left of the spinnaker was still acting like a kite, and Bill had to spin circles in the bay to wrap it up enough that he could anchor. He and his wife Darlene spent the rest of the day cutting the spinnaker away.

Hula's 'kite'
From a distance the spinnaker on Hula resembled a kiteboarder’s kite.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

James Wylly’s beautiful Sabre 426 Northern Star arrived in the late afternoon with a very similar wrap, though this one was already doing no good as a sail. Jamie had sailed with it that way — with no headsail — for 700 miles.

Northern Star
Northern Star, seen here dropping the main shortly after finishing in a persistent rainstorm, was no longer deriving power from the wrapped spinnaker.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Last and with the most concerning gear failure, Will Lee’s Hinckley 42 Sou’wester Competition Sloop Sea Wisdom suffered rudder bearing troubles. At one point yesterday, he was considering bypassing the finish and going directly to Nawiliwili on the other side of Kauai, where there’s a shipping port and therefore marine services. But finish he did, in the middle of the night.

So, that’s a wrap — all that’s left are a few more Tree Times, culminating in the awards ceremony this Saturday. Due to ongoing COVID restrictions on large gatherings, we’re not yet sure where that’s going to be.

Circumnavigator Ellen MacArthur Navigating the Circular Economy

Back in February 2005, we wrote about Ellen MacArthur’s stunning achievement of beating French sailing legend Francis Joyon’s solo, nonstop around-the-world record aboard her 75-ft trimaran B & Q/Castorama. She went on to become knighted as Dame Ellen MacArthur and raced until retiring from professional sailing in 2010 at the age of 34. She then founded the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and has been working hard toward its goals of promoting the circular economy.

MacArthur ended up back on our radar when Morgan Stanley ran an ad in the New York Times promoting their interview with Dame Ellen, in which she explains the circular economy.

Ellen MacArthur
Ellen MacArthur is still taking on huge challenges and making headlines in the New York Times.
© 2021 Morgan Stanley

We were looking on Wikipedia at her long list of sailing accomplishments, which included sailing solo, nonstop around Great Britain at age 19 on her own 20-ft boat, doing the Mini Transat, finishing second in the Vendée Globe in 2001 aboard Kingfisher, and much more. We also discovered MacArthur will be celebrating her 45th birthday tomorrow, July 8. You could wish her a happy birthday here.

Though she’s no longer sailing professionally, MacArthur is still making waves and ‘nonstop’ sharing the lessons she learned at sea.

Celebrating on the Water
Sunday is the 4th of July. Some regions are hosting celebrations and fireworks, while others are keeping it simple.
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