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September 3, 2021

Three Chairs for Drake’s Bay Race Committee

Or in this case five chairs. Milly Biller sent in these photos of the Drake’s Bay finish line race committee. They waited for the fleet of Yacht Racing Association and Singlehanded Sailing Society sailors to arrive at the end of an excruciatingly slow race from San Francisco Bay.

The shot reminded us that one of the great reasons to sign up for a race is that it commits you to a day of using your boat. Given the beauty of the shot below, it’s also a reminder of the rewards of signing up for race committee. How many people have found themselves sitting in folding chairs by Chimney Rock at the tip of Point Reyes on a beautiful day like this?

Drake's Bay Race Committee at Chimney Rock
While racers struggled in light air to reach Drake’s Bay, the race committee stood watch on the bluff above the finish line.
© 2021 Courtesy Milly Biller

Milly Biller shared the story about their time at the finish line on Point Reyes. “Last weekend the Inverness Yacht Club co-sponsored the Drake’s Bay Regatta with Berkeley Yacht Club. Bobbi Tosse was PRO on the San Francisco Race Committee. I had a fabulous and funny RC team consisting of Skip Shapiro, Skip Allan, Cinde Lou Delmas and Chris Longaker.

“The Wi-Fi and VHF communication ability is sketchy at best out there, so we hiked out to the near end of Chimney Rock trail. We needed ‘line of sight’ both back into Drake’s Bay and the finish line between the old fish dock and the Coast Guard buoy to the northeast, and also southeast so we could get the two-mile check-ins from the incoming boats.”

Chimney Rock Drake's Bay
You can sail or drive and hike to Chimney Rock, but many people don’t get there until they sign up for something.
© 2021 Navionics

“There was very, very little wind. We had (four) finishers out of 54 starters. I put the ‘four’ in parentheses because there is still some question about finishing times, although they called in their own finish times by VHF. Some said that they were confused about where the finish line was — not surprising in the dark, plus anchor lights everywhere.

“It was fun talking to the racers as they entered the bay. Everyone was gracious and thanked us. The cutoff time was 21:59:59. We remained until everyone was accounted for, around 11:30 p.m.

“Sunday morning, we got out there at 9-ish for a 9:40 warning signal, and had good visibility due to a high ceiling. The breeze had picked up. One of my favorite images was seeing a bunch of the racers circling Flashgirl and Commodore Tompkins, who had not entered the race but sailed up to Drake’s Bay anyway. They were chatting with him, and it seemed to me to be a wonderful tribute to such an amazing sailor! The racers had already taken a roll call and gave me a great list with which to cross-check my own list.”

Drake's Bay Race Committee
The Drake’s Bay finish line and Sunday startline committee of (left to right) Cinde Lou Delmas, Chris Longaker, Milly Biller, Skip Shapiro and Skip Allan.
© 2021 Courtesy Milly Biller

“Laura Muñoz of the YRA cannot get enough credit for her constant availability by text. Cinde’s cell phone saved the day after the rest of ours went dead. We had a really great time doing this, and I will volunteer again next year — unless we actually do the race ourselves!”

We want to add our thanks to all the race committees and volunteers who help make racing possible. We appreciate them whether we’re racing, spectating or reporting.

Richard 'Wood' Banthin and skipper Mike Mahoney
We recently got a ride aboard a St. Francis YC crash boat with frequent volunteers Richard ‘Wood’ Banthin and skipper Mike Mahoney for the Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race. Great evening.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
San Francisco Yacht Club
A few weeks ago we were out watching the start of the West Marine US Sailing Open on the Berkeley Circle as San Francisco YC volunteers staffed the committee boat and mark-set boats on a blustery Saturday.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Three cheers to Milly for the story and photos, plus her Chimney Rock race committee cohort for helping everyone enjoy their weekend on the water. If you want to get out sailing more, sign up for a race or race committee. Your opportunities will only grow.

We’ll report on the two-day Drake’s Bay Regatta in Racing Sheet in the October issue of Latitude 38.

Latitude 38 Fall Crew List Party: Only One Week to Go!

The past few weeks have blown past as we organize our Fall Crew List Party, and boy, are we pumped! As you all know, the current social/health considerations are a constantly moving platform, and in view of this, our organizer extraordinaire, Nicki Bennett, has been on the go making sure we can go ahead with this much-anticipated event. And, success! At last count we’d sold 134 tickets, and more people will buy their ticket at the door.

Here is how we will be doing our best to create a COVID-safe environment:

  • We will be holding the 2021 Crew Party outside, in the plaza in front of the Bay Model and not indoors. (This is Sausalito — dress in layers!)
  • Hand sanitizer will be placed at tables throughout the party area.
  • Mask wearing is encouraged, as is being vaccinated.
  • All snacks provided by Latitude will be individually packaged (sorry environment :/).
  • We are closely monitoring local restrictions and recommendations at Marin County Health for the most recent updates. If you’d like to check them yourself here’s the link:

And Now for the Fun Part

Here’s who is coming and what’s happening:

Party date: Thursday, September 9, 2021.

Because the sun will set at 7:30 p.m. we’re starting the party a bit earlier. Instead of 6-9 p.m., we’ll hold the party from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

  • Spaulding Marine Center will manage the no-host bar with beer and wine.
  • San Francisco Sailing Science Center will be on hand with an interactive educational exhibit. (They really are an entertaining bunch.)
  • Call of the Sea will host tours aboard the brigantine Matthew Turner — on deck only, not down below, from 5 to 6 p.m. The ship is docked right out in front of the Bay Model.
  • US Coast Guard District 11’s Douglas Samp will be ready to answer all your questions, and to provide information and tips on USCG procedures and boating safety.
  • And, there will be a food truck to serve hungry sailors.

Unfortunately, Dick Markie of Paradise Village Marina and Geronimo Cevallos of Marina El Cid have had to cancel their trip from Mexico to the Bay Area and will not present their cruising seminar that normally precedes the Fall Crew Party. There’s a possibility that we may be able to share a virtual seminar with our attendees, but that’s yet to be confirmed.

All of our crew parties are geared toward helping people find sailing opportunities for cruising, racing or daysailing. The Fall Crew List Party is ideal for boat owners seeking crew who want to head south to Mexico or crew who want to do the same. It’s also well suited for folks looking for midwinter race crew, or anyone who just wants to sail the Bay.

If you don’t have your ticket yet, here’s the quickest and easiest way to get one: Latitude 38 Fall Crew List Party Tickets. Tickets are free for officially registered 2021 Baja Ha-Ha skippers and first mates; $10 for everyone else.

The Budding Branches of a Sailing Family Tree

On July 16, the Rush Creek Yacht Club youth race team/summer camp, based in Heath, Texas, was out for a sail when León Teunis van Os saw what appeared to be a swimmer in distress. In fact, León — a 13-year-old visiting from Mexico — spotted a windsurfer who’d lost his board. “León alerted the rest of the crew, and they all worked to rescue the swimmer,” a RCYC Facebook post read. “Our youth made RCYC and their families very proud today!”

The rescued windsurfer wrote an email to Paul Barnes, RCYC’s Youth Program head coach: “[The boat was] by far not the closest vessel to me, and yet they were the ones who responded to my frantic waving. In strong winds and rough waters, they only needed one pass to pluck me from the water. They deserve some recognition for good citizenship and for adroit sailing skill. I thank you for teaching them well.”

Above: In July, the crew of IC24 Fun rescued a windsurfer on Lake Ray Hubbard in Heath, Texas. (León is wearing the green shirt.)
© 2021 Rush Creek Yacht Club
León, already building his on-the-water experiences.
© 2021 Courtesy Virginia van Os



León is a new branch on an old family tree spanning the Netherlands, Arizona, Texas, the East Coast and, really, most places in the world. As I started to write about León’s family, the van Oses — whom I grew up with, and am a cousin to through marriage — I realized there was no end to what I could say.

Families with deep sailing roots are not uncommon, but León’s moment on the water got us thinking about family matters. Do you come from a sailing family? Were you dropped into a dinghy while you were still in diapers? We’d love to hear from you. And, if you’re the first from your brood to take up sailing, then we’d like to hear about that, too. Please comment below, or email us here.

León had been staying with his Aunt Virginia and Uncle George for a few weeks this summer. Virginia grew up sailing Sabots and Holder Hawks (the latter a short-lived but competitive junior sailing class). She was on the UC Irvine sailing team, and has gone on to win a couple of national championships on the MC Scow with her skipper Kenny Wolfe. Virginia’s oldest of three daughters, Katy, is a dedicated dinghy racer, and crew on a superyacht.

Virginia and Kenny Wolfe racing MC Scows.
© 2021 Contributed
Virginia, center, in a VX One regatta.
© 2021 Contributed
Way to hike, you guys!
© 2021 Contributed

León is the son of Edward ‘Frondo’ and Ailyn van Os. After cruising around Mexico for a few years, Frondo, a maestro with fiberglass, started Mexicat, building innovative custom boats, and specializing in catamaran motor boats designed for surfing/fishing excursions. Frondo and I started sailing and surfing at the same time, but he was a gifted and superior athlete. I’m sure he was a decent junior racer, but he always sailed to his own tune, cruising, surfing and fishing all over the world. (I paid this branch of the van Os family a visit in 2018, where boats are even a part of Frondo’s hillside home.)

That’s Frondo at the helm of a Holder Hawk hull with a Sabot sail (and it looks like the mast and boom, as well.) León is doing some ballast testing on the bow, while youngest son Hawk stays close to the tiller.
© 2021 Ailyn van Os
Here’s how the latest generation of van Oses has grown up.
© 2021 Courtesy Ailyn van Os
Here’s how Frondo (left) and I grew up in the 1980s, showing off our meager catch and bowl cuts.
© 2021 Courtesy Frondo van Os

Virginia, Frondo and I grew up together in San Diego, starting our junior sailing careers at Southwestern Yacht Club shortly before Piet (pronounced ‘Pete’) came along. The van Oses relocated to Mission Bay Yacht Club, and Piet went on to great sailing success. He’s a graduate of the California State University Maritime Academy, and was in the Disney documentary Morning Light, where he served as navigator aboard the namesake vessel in the 2007 Transpac. Piet went on to navigate other well-known offshore race boats, and has worked all over the world in the maritime industry, most recently settling on the East Coast and cruising the Chesapeake on a variety of boats with his wife Franny and their 2-year-old daughter Eloise. They have a son on the way this month.

Franny and Piet on Chesapeake Bay a few years ago.
© 2021 Courtesy Piet van Os
The crew of Morning Light. Piet is third from the left.
© 2021 IMDB

The van Oses’ maternal grandfather was Arizona businessman A.B. Robbs, who won the Transpac in 1961. (A.B. was the father of Allyson, who is Virginia, Frondo and Piet’s mother.)

The 66-ft cutter Nam Sang took the Barn Door Trophy in 1961.
© 2021 Arizona Yacht Club

Edward van Os Sr. is the brother of my stepfather Robert, who was married to my late mother Karen. Ed and Rob (who have a sister, Pat) were born in the early 1940s, during the German occupation of the Netherlands. Ed and Rob’s sailing résumés are simply too long for anything shorter than a book. They’ve sailed all over the West Coast, Caribbean, Atlantic and Europe since the 1960s. Being Dutch, Rob and Ed each speak upward of five languages. Boats have brought them to nearly every corner of the globe, including Cannes, France, Brazil, Finland, North and West Africa, Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Turkey, Italy, Spain, etc., etc.

As we grew up in the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s, we were (and are) always building, working on, looking at chartering or taking rides on, watching a movie about, or talking, writing, thinking and dreaming about boats, boats, boats. Boats, sailing and the ocean were, and are, everything, all the time. The van Os house was full of global maritime treasures like glass fishing buoys from Japan, hand-carved paddles from Africa, large Beken of Cowes photos of classic J Class boats, big metal divers’ helmets, and dozens of half and full models, many of which Ed and Rob’s father, Teunis, had built.

I firmly believe that boats brought out the best in each of us, especially me. Every one of us would go on to carve their own niches in the sailing world, be it business, brokerage, boat building or racing, writing, windsurfing, or simply messing about with boats.

But enough about my sailing family. Tell us about yours.

Sailagram: A Snapshot of August Sailing

August was an incredible month of sailing. Racing packed the calendar, along with many cruise-outs, daysails and more. We love seeing all the photos our community sends into Sailagram every month. Thank you for sharing your time on the water with us.

Want to be included in the next edition of Sailagram? Email your photos to [email protected]. Happy sailing!

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