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June 3, 2022

A Rare Tie at FLYC’s Camellia Cup

Due to space limitations, we missed getting this report into the June issue of Latitude 38. The regatta took place on April 23-24. — ed.

Lido 14 and Banshee sailboats tied at the 55th Camellia Cup Regatta on Folsom Lake in a rare finish that had Steve and Pat Galeria on the Lido and Charles Witcher on the Banshee sharing honors as the Sacramento Valley’s finest sailors.

Lake Race Start
Start of the Open Centerboard Class on Folsom Lake.
© 2022 John Poimiroo

For the Galerias (a husband/wife team from Lincoln), it was their first win, while Sacramento’s Witcher is the winningest Camellia Cup champion, with 10 victories in the venerable cup’s history. Witcher is the only sailor to have ever tied twice (he did it once before in 1985).

Lido 14
Steve and Pat Galeria on the Lido 14.
© 2022 John Poimiroo

Years before, dozens of 14-ft Lidos competed in the regatta, yet it had been a decade since one had won. Sacramento’s George Koch, then 85 years old, captured it in 2013. As for Banshee wins, they have come often, mostly due to Witcher’s prowess on the 14-ft singlehanded dinghy.

Charles Witcher on the Banshee.
© 2022 John Poimiroo

To share honors as Camellia Cup champion, the Galerias on Fair Play and Witcher on Ghost finished first in all four of their qualifying races. The fifth and last race was a throwout. For their reward, in addition to having their names jointly engraved on the 55-year-old silver cup, the Galerias’ Lido and Witcher’s Banshee will be featured on next year’s CamCup commemorative shirt. They also received victors’ battle pennants for class.

Experienced sailors, the Galerias purchased their Lido two years ago and competed in their first CamCup on it last year. To win the cup, they had to overcome five other boats in the Open Centerboard class, sailed by formidable competitors who crewed a Melges 15, two International 5O5s, a Sunfish and another Lido crewed by a brother/sister team (El Dorado Hills’ Peter Davies, 17, and his sister Katie, 13), who were sailing a Lido in their first regatta.

The Galerias demonstrated poised and steady sailing, through both light and moderate winds that built to 8 knots. Lidos — developed in Southern California — and Banshees — in Foster City — are both known to do well in light air, but the Galerias’ Lido had to overcome all the varied boats in its class, even when winds strengthened in two of the five races sailed, to win the Open Centerboard Class. Witcher dominated the six-boat Banshee Class.

More Division Winners

Dave Samson of  Fresno YC sailed Slo Mo, a Catalina 22, to the win the five-boat Blue Keel class. Fusion, a Santana 20 captained by FLYC’s Mark Erdrich of Sacramento, won the five-boat Red Keel class.

Santana 20 Fusion
Mark Erdrich and crew on the Santana 20 Fusion.
© 2022 John Poimiroo

The 2019 Camellia Cup Champion, Emilio Castelli, representing Richmond YC, won the five-boat Laser class on Leaky Lena.  Find complete results here.

Emilio Castelli leads a pack of Lasers.
© 2022 John Poimiroo

Model Yacht Competition

Also competing at Hobie Cove on Folsom Lake were radio-controlled sailboats, organized by the Sacramento Model YC as a separate element of Camellia Cup.

Eight J Class model yachts (1/16th-scale replicas of America’s Cup yachts of the 1930s, as big as 8.5-ft long) competed, with SMYC’s Gene Novak winning the class, sailing his replica of Svea, a Swedish J that in 1942 wasn’t able to compete in the America’s Cup due to World War II. Technical problems and protests made the model yacht class of this year’s Camellia Cup a complicated event.

J Class radio-controlled yachts
The beautiful J Class (radio-controlled) yachts.
© 2022 John Poimiroo

US Sailing governs radio-controlled sailboat racing, with rules similar to those used by full-sized sailboats. Many R/C sailors sail and compete on full-sized boats, though the sport also includes sailors who don’t. The National Championships for the J Class and Canterbury Js will occur during Sacramento Sail Week in 2023.

Booth in park
The shoreside scene, complete with prize packages and a giant FLYC burgee.
© 2022 John Poimiroo

FLYC was established in 1957. It’s located at Brown’s Ravine within Folsom Lake State Recreation Area in El Dorado Hills. Find more about these clubs at and

Who Wants To Crew From Hawaii to Alaska?

How’s your calendar looking for this month? If you have a few weeks up your sleeve and would like to do an ocean crossing, you might like to get in touch with William (Bill) Heumann and offer to join his crew for a passage from Hawaii to Alaska.

Right now, Bill and his friend Eric Kueffner are sailing his C&C Landfall 48 Second Wind from French Polynesia to Hawaii, where they were expecting to pick up a crew member who has suddenly become unavailable. This means the pair now need to find another sailor to help maintain watches as they sail from Hilo, HI, to Juneau, Alaska. Bill’s wife, Marjorie Menzi contacted us a couple of days ago to see if we could help get the word out.

Crew wanted
This is not Bill’s boat, nor will you be sailing in a crew of four. But you get the idea …
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude 38

Originally from Alaska, Bill is no stranger to cruising. He and Marjorie left the 49th state in 2005 to join the Baja Ha-Ha in search of a brighter future. “I’ll do anything to get into sun country!” Marjorie said when speaking with Latitude after signing up for the annual cruisers’ rally to Mexico. Their future plans included continuing on to the South Pacific as part of a circumnavigation, which they have since completed.

Bill and Marjorie have made use of Latitude‘s Crew List in the past and are hoping to once again have a successful result from their (free) online ad.

“Leaving Hilo 6/16/22, arrive Juneau 7/8/22. Looking for crew to share basic expenses such as food and fuel. Primarily needed for night watch.”

Does that sound appealing? Second Wind is expected to take around 20 days to reach the outer coast, and another two days to sail through the islands to Juneau. But, Marjorie added, “If time is an issue, [crew] could be dropped off in Sitka, Alaska (20 days).

If you would like to join Bill and Eric as they sail from Hawaii to Alaska this month, head over to the Crew List page and get in touch.

Waves of Improvement Are Transforming the Berkeley Marina

Berkeley Marina

Waves of improvement are transforming the Berkeley Marina. Download a free day pass for your boat and check out all the improvements we have to offer.  A clean, fenced entrance off the freeway transitions drivers off I-80 while smooth paving and new street improvements guide you to your dock gate. Come on in to check out our renovated restrooms, dock improvements, and more.

Sailagram: A Snapshot of May Sailing

Thank you to all the sailors who sent in photos from their time on the water in May. One of our favorite parts of the month is to see so many of you out sailing with smiling faces. Check out all the sailors who sent us photos for this month’s Sailagram.

If you missed the opportunity to send in your photos, not to worry, you have another opportunity for June. Send your sailing photos to [email protected] to be included.

Marina del Rey Celebrates Its Past, and Future

This weekend, on Sunday, June 5, Marina del Rey Historical Society is hosting a Sunday Brunch Fundraiser. The organization is the community’s primary source of the area’s historical archives and information, and is aiming to raise funds to support its exhibits in the Fisherman’s Village gallery.

Did you know …

According to Wikipedia, Marina del Rey is Spanish for “Marina of the King.” Prior to becoming a boat harbor, the land now occupied by Marina del Rey was a salt marsh fed by fresh water from Ballona Creek. It was frequented by duck hunters, and by birdwatchers (hopefully not at the same time).

This photo from 1890 is indicative of the many fascinating and informative historical photos you can expect to see at Marine del Rey Historical Society’s Sunday brunch.
© 2022 H.f. Rile

The idea to turn the wetlands into a port was formed in 1888, and over the next 20 or so years, the port changed hands and saw various attempts at development, including the establishment of rail lines intended to service the port. But in 1916 the Army Corps of Engineers determined the area was “economically impractical,” and a marina became the next goal. On April 10, 1965, Marina del Rey was formally dedicated and has since become North America’s largest man-made small-craft harbor, and is home to approximately 5,000 boats.

Marina del Rey Sunday Brunch banne
A walk through history.
© 2022 Marina del Rey Historical Society

To join the celebratory brunch at the Marina del Rey Hotel, you can purchase your tickets here. The brunch commences at 12 p.m.

The Price of Sailing Compared to the Golden State Warriors’ NBA Finals

Is sailing just for wealthy yachtsmen or Russian oligarchs? Popular misperception says yes, but compared to the price of a single Warriors ticket on the secondary market, sailing is a bargain. According to Ticketsmarter, the cheapest ticket for the Warriors’ upcoming NBA finals at the Chase Center fluctuates between about $700-800 per seat. The most expensive tickets available are $16,852, with the average price at $2,353. That is for a single person to watch a single game!

We all know you can find a decent used Laser or Sunfish for $1500 or less, and one person can sail every weekend of the year on those. There’s a Santana 22 in our Classy Classifieds for $3500, which can take a family of four sailing all year long. There’s also a Catalina 27 for $3500 and a Cal 25 for $3000. (The blue blazer and ascot are extra.) General media infatuation with megayachts and the marketing of luxury yachting (Paul Allen’s yacht for charter — yeah) has distorted public perception.

Santana 22
This Santana 22 is available for you to sail with your family for years ahead, for just $3500.
© 2022 Poule de la Mere

Of course, if you don’t want to own a boat you can join one of the many West Coast sailing clubs. And there are many great, very inexpensive community sailing programs you can join for local dinghy sailing. You can sail on Lake Merritt for $10, or join the Cal Sailing Club in Berkeley and sail for three months for $99!

Walking the marina docks around San Francisco could easily convince you that sailing is expensive. Expense is an option but not a requirement. Small boats have always been the best way to learn and the easiest way to get onto the water. Bigger boats are for when you have the time, money and motivation.

We bought a donated 1966 Pearson Ensign from Cal Adventures for $2500 almost 30 years ago and towed it back to Maine on the trailer that came with it. It did cost $500 to make the trailer roadworthy, but we’ve now enjoyed the boat for about 28 straight summer seasons on the coast of Maine for less than the cost of one night for our family of four at the NBA finals! The Ensign won’t win any beauty contests, but it wins in the enjoyment category.

Years of family sailing or one night at a basketball game — the choice is yours.

Go, Warriors!

Passage Nautical Open House June 4th

Good things are happening this Saturday, June, 4th at Passage Nautical’s open house! Come check out our premium new and used boats – over 14 boats on display both power & sail at our Point Richmond location. 

If you’ve been waiting for prices to stabilize and inventory to become available, your wait has paid off. Join us this Saturday for a great selection of boats and buying incentives for both new and used boats. 

Visit Eventbrite for more information. 

Taking the Helm
J/105 Women Skipper Invitational, Women on the Water — Woman at the Helm, Women’s World Match Racing Tour, World Sailing Steering the Course, The Ocean Race