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September 10, 2021

Who Was Mingling at the Fall Crew List Party?

Thank you, Chris Gallagher and the Bay Model, for hosting the 2021 Latitude Fall Crew List Party! We certainly had a good time, and meeting all the sailors mingling, chatting and exchanging details, we’re certain everyone else enjoyed the evening as well. So thank you to everyone who came and made the night a success.

This year we sold around 200 tickets online, before the event, and with guests, sponsors, volunteers and staff, we estimate that over 300 people came to reconnect with sailing and one another at our first in-person Crew Party since our March 5, 2020, Crew Party at the Golden Gate Yacht Club. The entry line got long at the start, but after some patience and hustle everyone made it in for a good time, mixing it up with sailing friends old and new.

Crew party
The outdoor courtyard at the Bay Model was the perfect venue to host the gathered crowd of sailors and southbound Baja Ha-Ha cruisers.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Attendees showed up from all over the Bay Area, and one even flew up from L.A. just to be there. Over 50 members of the 2021 Baja Ha-Ha fleet of 185+ boats were mixed in with racers and daysailors looking to connect with more sailing on the Bay. This was the live and lively version of our recently re-launched online Crew List, which, one week after launch, already has over 140 sailors and skippers signed up to connect to sailing.

The crew from San Francisco Sailing Science Center brought along a host of volunteers and information along with a grinding station that had teams and individuals racing each other against the time clock. The fastest time was rocked by Elliott James, with a winning time of 7:49 seconds.

Elliott James
Elliott James is signed up to do the Baja Ha-Ha aboard his Mancebo 31 Bloom County. Not sure that Bloom County will be in ‘cruise’ mode.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

We had many first-timers at the Crew Party including Veronica, who became a sailor through working at Oracle. The story goes, since Larry Ellison is a sailor and so are many Oracle employees, we’ve always distributed a couple of bundles of magazines to their corporate offices. As Veronica described it, she would see Larry Ellison’s boat outside every day, and so one day she picked up a Latitude 38 at work and started to read. She became intrigued by sailing and kept reading. One day she decided it was time to learn, flipped through the pages of Latitude, and found Modern Sailing. She has since gone on to do multiple ASA courses and fully has the bug. It was her first crew party and she loved it.

Veronica picked up a copy of Latitude 38 at Oracle and ended up becoming a sailor.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki

Spaulding Marine Center worked hard all night behind the bar selling drinks, with proceeds going to fund their nonprofit programming. They also displayed one of the S.F. Pelican sailboats that volunteers have been building this summer, along with information about their new Boatworks 101 apprenticeship program and community programs. Raffa from Marina Riviera Nayarit in Banderas Bay was there to share the latest news and information for sailors heading to Mexico, either with the upcoming Baja Ha-Ha or on their own. USCG Search and Rescue Specialist Douglas Samp and Petty Officer Loumania “Lou” Stewart brought a great display with safety devices, information booklets and giveaways.

Modern Sailing
What does the Modern Sailing crew do after a day of work? They go to a sailing party!
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Patsy Verhoeven, of the Gulfstar 50 Talion, came along to talk with Baja Ha-Ha sailors about the cruising rally that will kick off in November. Thanks also to Tristan and Dore from Batiste Rhum for sharing samples of their outstanding rums with their own special cocktail, the ‘Light and Breezy.’ It’s good. If you enjoyed the drinks, remember to go check out their website for the latest updates and details on where to buy your own supply.

Latitude 38 Crew Party
Jean flew up from L.A. to join the Crew Party and thank Latitude 38‘s Nicki Bennett for making it happen!
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Friend of Latitude

We’ll be following up with more stories from the party, and stories we heard from sailors, but in the meantime, we have a BIG question to ask you, dear readers. What connections did you make at the Crew List Party? Did you find a skipper who will sail you to Mexico? Did you find that elusive foredeck crew? Did you catch up with long-missed friends?

Latitude 38 Crew Party
What are those stickers on everyone’s chest? Monica makes sure everyone fills one out to show “I want to crew” or “I need crew.” Then blue sticker meets red sticker and they go sailing.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

We’d love to hear about and share your experiences from the party. You don’t need to write the perfect story, just share the highlights — who, what kind of boat, what type of sailing you do or are now looking forward to doing. We can take care of the rest. And if you took selfies, even better!

Please send your stories and photos to [email protected].


Two California Teams Head to Seventh Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup

Two teams from California will be among the 19 international teams competing in IC37s on Narragansett Bay to win the seventh Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup. San Francisco Yacht Club is sending Shawn Bennett, Melissa Feagin, Ethan Doyle, Don Jesberg, Eric Baumhoff, Dana Riley Hayes, Nick Gibbens, Gregory Felton and Matt Frymier. San Diego Yacht Club is sending Carissa Crawford, Nicholas Kaschak, Drew Freides, Max Hutcheson, Tori Porter Martin, Jake La Dow, Nicholas Martin, Tyler Sinks and Duncan Swain. This is a first-time appearance for the SFYC team and a repeat appearance for SDYC, which took second in 2019.

Hosted by New York Yacht Club, the 2019 fleet battled it out on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.
© 2021 Rolex / Daniel Forster

The teams will be racing over the course of the next week, September 11-18. See the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup website for updated standings and tune in to live streaming on Facebook.

West Auction: Hans Christian Christina — Online Bankruptcy Auction

Online Bankruptcy Auction of Hans Christian Christina 52′ Sailboat at

Don’t miss your chance to bid and buy this rare Hans Christian Christina 52′ Sailboat located in Rio Vista, California. Based on the concept of quality, comfort, and performance, this magnificent and well-appointed sailboat was designed by trailblazing yacht architect Doug Peterson.
By order of the US Bankruptcy Court, West Auctions will be conducting an online auction for this sailboat starting Tuesday, September 14, and ending Thursday, September 16. Full details, 200+ photo gallery, and videos can be found online now at or call 530-661-0490.

Good Jibes Episode 5 — Baptism by Ditch: Cardinal Rule #1

In this week’s Good Jibes, host Ryan Foland reads an article from the August 2021 issue of Latitude 38 Sailing Magazine. Hear John Krossa recount his adventures on the Delta Ditch Run in “Baptism by Ditch: Cardinal Rule #1.” Follow along and read the article at

Good Jibes Baptism

Listen to this and previous episodes on Apple PodcastsSpotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots. Follow us and leave a five-star review if you’re feeling the Good Jibes!

Good Jibes is brought to you by the Safe Boating Campaign, in partnership with the National Safe Boating Council and US Coast Guard. Learn more at

Ficker Cup This Week and Congressional Cup Next Week

Ficker Cup

Long Beach Yacht Club’s Ficker Cup, a Grade Two match-racing qualifier for the prestigious Congressional Cup, starts today at 11:30 a.m. in Long Beach. Eight teams will continue racing tomorrow with the finals on Sunday. Spectators can watch the action (for free) from the Belmont Pier at 15 39th Place. In addition to bragging rights, racers are competing for the three open berths in next week’s Congressional Cup.

Ficker Cup chair Lisa Meier says, “We look forward to welcoming back Pearson Potts (USA), Peter Holz (USA) and Dave Hood (USA), and introducing newcomers Jeffrey Petersen (USA), David Wood (USA) and Emil Kjaer (DEN). These three youngsters are enthusiastic and primed, having just squared off against each other at the Youth Match Racing Worlds and Governor’s Cup. Plus we have Pauline Courtois (FRA), the top ranked female match-racing skipper in the world, and Nicole Breault (USA), who just won her fourth title at the US Women’s Match Racing Championship, shutting out her opponents with 12 wins and 0 losses!”

Click here to watch a video of the 2018 Ficker Cup.

The Ficker Cup and the Congressional Cup will be raced on a unique fleet of identical 37-ft Catalina keelboats, ensuring an even platform for the competitors and thrills for spectators.

International match-racing action aboard Catalina 37 keelboats in Long Beach.
© 2021 Ian Roman / WMRT

Congressional Cup

Long Beach YC founded the Congressional Cup, the ‘grandfather of match racing’, in 1965. It’s the only Grade One Match Race in the US and a championship event on the World Match Racing Tour,

Defending champion Ian Williams (GBR), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL) had to withdraw. Taking their places will be Chris Poole (USA), right off a win in the Oakcliff International Regatta, and local hero Dustin Durant, a three-time Congressional Cup veteran and LBYC representative. Final berths will be filled by the Ficker Cup’s top trio of finishers.

“It has been crazy, with all the moving targets and moving pieces — like musical chairs,” admitted LBYC Congressional Cup chairman Chris Macy. “I’m a realist and was not going to force this event to happen. But within the current guidelines, we are allowed to proceed — and the competitors are gung-ho to come and race! That’s what’s dictated our march onward, our persistence and flexibility.

“If I didn’t feel we could hold a superior level of competition worthy of the Congressional Cup, that wasn’t on par with the other esteemed champions etched on that trophy, we wouldn’t hold it,” Macy continued. “Look who is coming! We have Taylor Canfield (USA), a four-time Congressional Cup champion and 2009 winner Johnie Berntsson (SWE). Three of the top-10 ranked match racing skippers: Eric Monnin (SUI), Maxime Mesnil (FRA) and Chris Poole; plus Sam Gilmour (AUS) who had a podium finish in the 2018 Congressional Cup, and is a crowd favorite. It is going to be an excellent competition!”

Congo Cup matches will begin on Wednesday the 15th. The format consists of a double round robin followed by semi-finals and petite finals, then finals on Sunday the 19th.

On Saturday afternoon, umpires, competitors and VIPs will ‘Race to the Bar’ aboard the Catalina 37s. A fleet race on Sunday, with cash prizes, will offer a consolation to competitors who do not make the finals.

Live commentary will add spice to the atmosphere on the pier, but if you can’t be in Long Beach, you can watch the action live on the event’s Facebook page @CongressionalCup.

BTW, SailGP Is Happening Too

As our readers who are following SailGP are no doubt already aware, this weekend will also see the next event in that professional league’s second season. Saint-Tropez, a resort town on the French Riviera, will host the international fleet of eight foiling F50 catamarans on September 11-12.

Warm Up for Halloween with This Spooky Sea Story

A little while ago, Sausalito mariner Phil Williams sent us a spooky sea story about a missing dinghy.

In July, my beloved rowing dinghy Patty 2, a 10-ft plastic Walker Bay, was stolen from the Sausalito Cruising Club dock. I plastered the Sausalito waterfront with “Stolen Boat” posters as anyone would do for a lost pet.

It worked! Someone saw my appeal on the West Marine store noticeboard. Six weeks later, I was reunited with Patty 2 on the fuel dock at Gashouse Cove in San Francisco.

Vessel Assist had been listening in to the weekend boat chatter and heard someone calling the Coast Guard to report an abandoned dinghy awash in the Slot south of Angel Island. I found my rowboat battered but still seaworthy. It seemed from the abrasion marks she had been tumbled by big waves on a rocky shore. The midship thwart is broken but repairable.

This is where it gets weird. Scrawled on the gunwale are the words “Hunter RIP erel.” In addition, the drain plug was missing and the mooring line — not mine — seemed as if it had been cut.

Spooky sea story
The mystery deepens.
© 2021 Phil Williams

Did Patty 2 drift to Valhalla before being towed to Gashouse Cove?

Does anyone around Richardson Bay know who Hunter is, or who erel [maybe Earl] was?

P.S. Thanks to Vessel Assist and the anonymous caller who located my dinghy. Also to Walker Bay for making an indestructible, unsinkable craft. Pity they have stopped selling them.

If you have any ideas to help solve this mystery, please either let us know in the comments below or email us at [email protected].

Missing Sailor Found and Mexico Hurricane Downgraded

On Wednesday we reported that the US Coast Guard and multiple partner agencies were searching for Philip Grenz, a 67-year-old sailor who was transiting from Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai, to Haleiwa, Oahu. Grenz was reported as missing at 1:25 a.m. on Saturday, September 4, a little over three days after his departure aboard his 42-ft sailing vessel Epic. Multiple USCG crews and partners from the Navy, Air Force, Civil Air Patrol, and local agencies participated in the search.

After posting the story on our Facebook page, we received a comment from David Harrison, who shared a link to Hawaii News Now‘s story stating that Grenz had been found: “Officials said a Navy Boeing aircrew found Grenz. He was waving his hands while on the deck of his boat.”

This morning we checked the USCG updates and have since learned that an Air Station Barbers Point C-130 Hercules aircrew has dropped a rescue kit containing food, water and a radio to Grenz. It is reported that the vessel is disabled and the USCG Cutter William Hart is en route to aid and assist.

UPDATE: Shortly before going to press we learned that Grenz has now been rescued, taken aboard the Cutter William Hart, and is said to be in a stable condition.

Grenz's vessel 'Epic'
Grenz was found aboard his vessel, 360 miles southwest of Oahu.
© 2021 U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific

In other news, the Baja Peninsula’s southwest coast is on alert for Tropical Storm Olaf. The weather system, which was earlier classified as a hurricane, is expected to move over the southern coastal regions of Baja California Sur, delivering heavy rains with the threat of significant and life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides. Olaf is expected to continue weakening as it turns westward away from land.

Mexico Hurricane
This NOAA graphic shows the expected trajectory and decreasing intensity of Tropical Storm Olaf.
© 2021 National Hurricane Center
USCG Honolulu
While the missing mariner is not a participant in the recent Singlehanded Transpacific Race, his transit is very much like one that is made by many solo sailors after the race.