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February 2, 2022

Scenes from the Three Bridge Fiasco

The 168-raters start
The 168-raters start at the 2022 Three Bridge Fiasco. This group included 11 Alerion Express 28s and nine J/24s. Their appointed start time for the pursuit race was 9:33:36. Only one Alerion 28, Allegro non Troppo, sailed by James Titus and Rex Malott, was able to finish.
© 2022 Jennifer McKenna

The Three Bridge Fiasco, with 303 boats entered, started and finished off Golden Gate Yacht Club on the San Francisco Cityfront Saturday morning. It’s a puzzle for participants and a spectacle for watchers on shore.

J/105 start
Eeep! How will the J/105s keep from hitting one another at their start? Adam Spiegel and Christos Zalidis on Jam Session were the only J/105 sailors to finish.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The puzzle part: Racers choose the direction of their start, mark roundings and finish. And they can take the three course marks in any order. The three marks correspond to three Bay Area bridges: Blackaller Buoy, east of the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge; Yerba Buena Island, which bisects the Bay Bridge; and Red Rock, just south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

Sea Star
A greeting from the tutu-clad Bob Walden and Amber Moffat on the Cal 39 Sea Star before their start.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
RS21 at Bay Bridge
One of two of SFYC’s RS21s crosses under the Bay Bridge, flying a spinnaker in the northerly. Stephen Fentress and Tim Russell are sailing this one.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Maybe the organizers, the Singlehanded Sailing Society, should call it the Four Bridge Fiasco. After all, the Bay Bridge is not one but two bridges, and each presents its own challenge.

Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island
A large group of racers makes it under Bay Bridge #1. It would not be so easy to escape the wind shadow of Yerba Buena Island and make it to Bay Bridge #2.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Wylie Wabbit
Erik Menzel and Michele Sumpton on the Wylie Wabbit Bad Hare Day, sailing on a long port-tack beat from the Bay Bridge to Richmond. Erik would not remain on the wire for much longer. The wind died in the North Bay.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Margie Woods and Brendan Huffman aboard the Santa Cruz 33 Siren in the North Bay. The couple lives in Los Angeles, but they’re keeping Siren in the Bay Area in order to sail in the SSS season. Both are veterans of the Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race, Brendan in 2021 and Margie in 2016.
© 2022 Margie Woods
Addison Mercer on the tiller
Addison Mercer, 13, steers Tenacious Cuttlefish while the Jeanneau SunFast 3600 Invictus catches up (this is why it’s called a pursuit race). This J/24 and one other, Water Rat, were the only boats in finish in their division.
© 2022 Brandon Mercer

“My daughter was the secret weapon,” writes Brendan Mercer of Tenacious Cuttlefish. “When we thought about the currents and the wind dying in the afternoon, we knew the only way to finish was Red Rock first. What really made it work was that she was afraid of the current in Raccoon Strait because she hates the washing machine. And I saw the wind direction might give us plenty of breeze east of Angel Island. So we stayed on the right side of Angel Island and had strong breeze upwind. We did Red Rock in two hours, then it was just playing the currents to drift to Blackaller. Addison saw a wisp of a westerly at 4 p.m., so we raised the anchor and got into it and creeped across the finish.

“We would have won, but a big boat came up behind us and took our wind as we were hunting Water Rat. Good reminder to always watch behind you too. After leapfrogging with them for 7.5 hours they beat us by 2 seconds!”

Blackaller buoy
Rounding Blackaller Buoy and heading for the finish line in the late afternoon.
© 2022 Jeff Berman

Out of 30 singlehanded starters, only three finished. Out of 232 doublehanded starters, 60 finished. Who were they? Find out on Jibeset. We’ll have much more in the March issue of Latitude 38.

Which way did you go? Feel free to tell us about your TBF in the Comments section below. Please be sure to identify the boat on which you sailed.

Enjoy This Week’s Good Jibes with Latitude’s Nicki Bennett

Welcome back to our weekly podcast, Good Jibes. This week we have a very special guest, one of our own crew, Nicki Bennett. Nicki is Latitude 38‘s sales and marketing specialist. She grew up enjoying frequent weekend sails to the Channel Islands with her best friend’s family, and had always dreamed of coming back to sailing. In 2020, Nicki fulfilled that dream, and joined the crew at Latitude 38.

Host Ryan Foland chats with Nicki about how to find the right boat for you, captain your own boat, and get comfortable with change. The episode includes Nicki’s favorite moments and lessons learned while hosting Good Jibes, and the things she’s learned from just getting on the water — everything from battling back from rough waters to committing to a new boat.

Nicki Bennett
At minute 17:03, hear what Nicki would do differently if she were looking for a boat now.
© 2022 Nicki Bennett

Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How does being a guest compare to being a host?
  • What is a story that shaped Nicki as a sailor?
  • Where did her dream of sailing come from?
  • How did she make the jump to getting her own boat?
  • What make and model is her boat?
  • Why are community and sailing so important to her?
  • How does the romanticized view of sailing compare to reality?
  • What’s Nicki’s favorite lesson from hosting Good Jibes?

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re feeling the Good Jibes!

San Francisco Bay Sailing Photos Found in the Attic

We recently received some photos from Bay Area sailor Alan Wulzen, who, with his wife Caroline, did the 2001 Baja Ha-Ha aboard their Cabo Rico 38, Silhouette. His brother Warren was rummaging through some of their father Frank Wulzen’s treasures, and came across a stash of sailing photos from the ‘good old days.’

Alan relayed the story of how his father started sailing on San Francisco Bay. “Frank Wulzen was born in San Francisco in January 1906. He told me that in 1921 when [he was] swimming in Aquatic Park, a classmate, Denny Jordan (St. Francis YC member and future owner of renowned race boat Bolero), hoisted him aboard a sailboat saying ‘What are you doing swimming when you could be on the water sailing?’ That experience changed his life! He sailed on the Bay and raced there and down the coast to SoCal, and delivered boats back. Frank became a yacht broker and co-owned a Q boat, Imp, which he kept moored at Corinthian Yacht Club. He learned photography from his father, D. H. Wulzen, and worked in that field all his employed life. Frank worked for Gabriel Moulin and shot the building of the Bay Bridge and what Dad said was his favorite shot, from the fantail of a tug towing the last square-rigger out the Gate; a dark, foggy photo.”

Unfortunately, the photos don’t have notes to indicate the names of people or boats. Maybe some of our readers can come up with boat names or boat types.

Frank Wulzen-1
Anchored on San Francisco Bay.
© 2022 Frank Wulzen
Where’s the wind? Notoriously windy San Francisco was good in T-shirts and with a pipe to help you find the wind even back then.
© 2022 Frank Wulzen
Frank Wulzen Cityfront
Racing on the Cityfront was good then, as now. R Class sloops mix it up.
© 2022 Frank Wulzen
Frank Wulzen Corinthian Yacht Club
Belvedere Cove is a calm anchorage in front of the Corinthian Yacht Club.
© 2022 Frank Wulzen

We know there are many Aquatic Park swimmers who are also sailors, but probably not many who discovered sailing because a buddy sailed by and scooped them out of the water. That moment is what got Frank sailing, and surely his son Alan as well, and then gave us all this moment to savor some of sailing’s history on San Francisco Bay. Remember the phrase “These are the good old days,” and if you have them, you can add more “good old days” photos to our Sailagram by sending to [email protected].

We’ll share more photos of the past, in the future, but for now we are curious if anyone can help give the Wulzen family and ourselves some insight into these photos. If you know anything, please let us know in the comments section below.

Latitude 38’s February Issue Is Out Now

It’s February! And with this month comes Latitude 38′s February issue. In this month’s magazine we have stacks of great stories, photos, commentary … everything you need for several fun, interesting and inspiring hours’ worth of reading. Here’s a preview of what’s inside:

Dustin Reynolds — A New Life Through Sailing

In the wake of a horrific accident that took two of his limbs, Dustin Reynolds struggled first to survive, and then, to find purpose. Reynolds was riding his motorcycle when he was struck head-on by a drunk driver in 2008. “I don’t remember the collision. I don’t remember getting hit. It was like waking from a dream. I realized that my arm was missing. I grabbed my cellphone and dialed 911, but it took me a second to actually hit send,” Dustin said in the short documentary Singlehanded. “I knew what I was in for — it wasn’t going to be easy. I was going to be handicapped. It was going to be this huge struggle. It took me a minute to work up the courage to call for help, and to not be exactly the person I was before.”

Deep in medical debt and struggling with his businesses, Reynolds was browsing the internet when, by chance, he stumbled across the Joshua Slocum Society. “People had set records sailing around the world by themselves,” Dustin told us. “And I was like, ‘I’m just gonna do that,’ because there was no double amputee on that list.”

Dustin Reynolds aboard Tiama
Dustin visited nearly 35 countries during his seven-year-long circumnavigation.
© 2022 Dustin Reynolds

Season Champions, Part III — One Designs Carry On

Keep calm and sail on. So says the T-shirt that paraphrases the now-famous poster printed in 1939 as Britain teetered on the brink of war. The one-design fleets profiled here carried on and sailed on throughout the roller-coaster ride of 2021, engaging in enough battles to declare winners.

Read on to find out who the winners were in the various one-design classes that included the Folkboat, J/24, Ultimate 20, Mercury, Moore 24, Vanguard 15, Knarr, El Toro Senior, Olson 25, and Santana 22.

Tommy, Tom and Dave racing Folkboat #111, Freja, on San Francisco Bay.
© 2022 Chris Ray

Smoke on the Water — Fire In the Sky

Six of us were sailing the British Virgin Islands with the annual flotilla of boats organized by Spinnaker Sailing Club of Redwood City, California. As the skipper who’d sailed the BVI more than 25 times, I was a happy tour guide and eager to help the five crew aboard the Sunsail Lagoon 424 Wanderer polish their sailing skills in the Caribbean Sea.

On Wednesday night, December 8, we were moored in the west side of Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke. Yes, that bay, home of the infamous Foxy’s restaurant and bar. It was the first time any of the other crew had visited the BVI, and as with all first-timers, there are two ya just gotta do: the Baths on Virgin Gorda and Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke. They ate and danced at the hot spot while I had a quiet dinner with my local friends down the road, then went to bed early while a few stayed ashore for more of what Foxy’s is known for.

11:45 p.m. — Knock, knock, knock!  “Dave! The boat behind us is burning!”

Fire spreads aboard the 48-ft power cat
Fire spreads aboard the 48-ft power cat as the crew — four women and four men — evacuate into waiting dinghies.
© 2022 SV Wanderer

Also in the February issue:

  • Letters: A Local-ish Sailor Has His Sights Set on the Golden Globe Race; When Sailing Is on Everyone’s Tongue; A Whiskey-for-Story Trade?; Volunteers Keep Farallon Islands’ Research Station Up and Running; and many more …
  • Max Ebb: The Small Stuff.
  • Sightings: A Boat Bought Sight Unseen; Jumping Off for Tahiti; Forty Years of Stitching It Together; plus other stories
  • Racing Sheet: CYC Midwinters Tsunami Edition; BAADS Team BZ in South Beach; Oakland YC Sunday Brunch Series; and other racing.
  • Changes in Latitudes: Argus — The Brothers’ Keepers; Magnum — Uwe and Anne Dobers’ Northern Exposure; and others.
  • Loose Lips: Check out January’s Caption Contest(!) winner and top 10 comments.
  • The sailboat owners and buyers’ bible, Classy Classifieds.

If you’ve subscribed to Latitude 38, you should receive your February issue in the mail any minute now. If you haven’t subscribed, you’re missing out. But you can pick up your copy from your favorite distributor.

February issue
We know there are a bunch of magazines available to be picked up at Golden Gate Yacht Club.
© 2022 Dale Land

By the way, if you’re looking to fill a few hours each month with a fun, sailing-related activity, we’re looking for a new driver to take over the Peninsula route. You’ll be the one stopping at the GGYC and other places on the first of each month. It’s a bit like being Santa Claus, except you get to spread the joy every month, not just in one! Email [email protected] for more information or to apply.

Help Spread the Joy — Latitude 38 Needs You!

Be the person that everyone loves to see each month! We’re looking for a new Latitude 38 magazine delivery driver. Imagine delivering bundles of joy to sailors throughout the Bay Area. This particular vacancy is for the Peninsula route, which starts at the St. Francis Yacht Club and ends at Sierra Point YC in Brisbane.

December delivery day
Look at those smiles!
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

It’s the perfect sailor’s job: 29 days off every month! On the first of each month you will deliver Latitude 38 magazines to our Bay Area distributors. That’s it! Take the rest of the month off and go sailing.

Our drivers are also ambassadors for the West Coast’s premier sailing and marine magazine. Applicants should feel comfortable engaging with our wonderful distribution team and maintaining relationships with sailing and marine businesses in the Bay Area. An ideal candidate will keep track of the magazines delivered to each location and look out for new distribution locations.

To apply, send your résumé and cover letter with sailing experience by email to [email protected] with “Latitude Driver” in the subject line. Please, no phone calls!