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June 13, 2022

A Delta Ditch Run Both Fast and Fraught

Brisk breeze and gusty puffs promise two things for the Delta Ditch Run: a fast race with early finish times, and carnage along the 65-mile course.

Heart of Gold at the start
Joan Byrne’s Olson 911S Heart of Gold at the start, run by Richmond Yacht Club north of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. We noted quite a bit of south to the breeze in the morning.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Those were the conditions for the 31st running of the race from Richmond to Stockton this past Saturday, June 11. Although no records were broken, they were at least trembling nervously. (The monohull and multihull records were set way back in 1998, by the Santa Cruz 50 Octavia and the D-Class cat Rocket 88, respectively.)

Nelly Belle and Arcadia
The unique Nellybelle, in Light 2, and Arcadia, the winner of Heavy 2, in San Pablo Bay. The two divisions started together.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

In addition to gear failure minor and catastrophic — and sunstroke in 100-degree heat — running aground is among the pitfalls of this tricky course. Several keels found mud or rocks, some just a touch-and-go, others with more stick.

Wiki Wiki Moore 24
The wind came up and got gusty in narrow New York Slough, with several turns requiring jibes. Lots of round-ups and a few round-downs resulted.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The bulk of the fleet arrived plenty early to enjoy the hospitality of Stockton Sailing Club — all outdoors due to COVID. The weather was perfect for a late afternoon/evening of lounging around the vast lawn along the river, chowing down on BBQ, sipping a Mount Gay rum slushie — or laboring to haul out, lower the rig, and pack up.

Sketch at Mark 19
The winning sailors on the Heavy 3-winning Olson 25 Sketch doused right at the notorious Mark 19, the one mark on the course. The San Joaquin River takes a turn to the north here, about three miles east of the Antioch Bridge. It’s a rare Ditch Run that allows for spinnaker carries in this stretch.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

One boat didn’t have to wait for the end of the race to take the mast down — the spinnaker pole did that for them near Little Venice Island around 6 p.m. Richard vonEhrenkrook’s Cal 20 Can O’Whoopass had a good chance at first place overall on corrected time when an ill wind ended their race. We’ll have more on that subplot and more photos from the race in the July issue of Latitude 38, when we’ll also hear from the small boat that did win overall — Scott Sellers’ and Harrison Turner’s J/70 1FA.

Medusa aground
A couple of guys had to get off the boat to push the Santa Cruz 27 Medusa out of the weeds and off the rocks.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

In the meantime, see results at

Belvedere Classic Yacht Regatta Attracts ‘Eye Candy’ Fleet

John Skoriak enjoyed some rousing sailing aboard the Matthew Turner for the annual Belvedere Classic Yacht Regatta, held out of San Francisco Yacht Club on Saturday. He sent us this report.

Let’s face it, when it comes to yacht racing, we can never get enough of classic sailboat regattas. Watching a 75-year-old schooner or ketch glide across the Bay — varnish gleaming, paint sparkling, and sails billowing — is the nautical version of “eye candy.” And now, thanks to San Francisco Yacht Club’s Belvedere Classic, which joins the Master Mariners and Jessica Cup in an exciting lineup of annual classic boat races, we can look forward to seeing more of the best of these wonderful classic yachts back on the Bay.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID and related issues, the return of the Great San Francisco Schooner Race and Belvedere Classic is a welcome addition to any classic yacht aficionado’s calendar. This year, race chairman John Swain and the SFYC worked hard to get 15 boats signed up and on the starting line. The regatta featured not only schooners, but also ketches, yawls, and even a “guest appearance” by Call of the Sea’s brigantine Matthew Turner.

Belvedere Classics at SFYC docks
The SFYC docks were a “who’s who” of the Bay Area’s classic yachts.
© 2022 John 'Woody' Skoriak

The regatta was a mirror of previous races under the banner of the Great San Francisco Schooner Race. Call of the Sea’s schooner Seaward, Brigadoon, and even the schooner Freda B would battle it out for line honors. Not all boats made it to the start line, or finished, but considering it was post-COVID, with all the uncertainty involved, it was a respectable start. And this year with the addition of sloops, ketches and yawls to the Belvedere Cup lineup, there were plenty of boats to root for.

Despite the forecast of a hot day (which it was), the wind filled in early, and the fleet got a strong breeze that gave the boats and their crews what they’d come looking for.

Sequester in Belvedere Classic
Hans List’s Sequester took on the frisky conditions, at time burying her bow in the waves.
© 2022 John 'Woody' Skoriak

Back at the docks after the race, there were lots of stories about spray over the deck and crews getting doused. In other words, a typical day on the Bay!

Crew aboard Seaward
It appears Peter MacInnis (front) and John Swain managed to stay dry aboard Seaward.
© 2022 Jay Grant
From left to right; John Swain, Alan Olson, Angie Lackey, and Call of the Sea’s new CEO Mark Welther at the awards ceremony after the race.
© 2022 Jay Grant

After an exciting (and often wet!) race, the crews sought the quiet and comfortable refuge of the San Francisco Yacht Club deck. The club can arguably be called one of the nicest yacht club venues on the Bay, and last Saturday was no exception as the crew sat down to enjoy the club’s excellent BBQ and a cold beverage (or two …).

Brian Boyd’s Hana shows off her classic lines.
© 2022 John 'Woody' Skoriak

This year’s Great San Francisco Schooner Race and Belvedere Classic looked to be a rousing success, and the boats, crews, and classic-boat fans throughout the Bay will surely look forward to the same next year. – Woody.

Jeff Hawkins took first place in the Schooner division aboard Jakatan, and Bill Clausen took first place in the Classic Yacht (non-schooner) division aboard Cuckoo. The brigantine Matthew Turner took line honors in a division of her own.

Call of the Sea’s schooner Seaward and her crew of Alan Olson, John Swain, Peter MacInnis and Jay Grant took second place in the Schooner category.
© 2022 John 'Woody' Skoriak

See the full race results here.

Protect Your Boat With AkzoNobel’s Range of Ultimate Yacht Coatings

Just like your car or home, when it comes to your boat, there is a level of maintenance that is required to keep your boat functioning well, and choosing the right coatings is a crucial element in protecting and enhancing your boat’s performance in tough marine conditions.

Selecting the right primer is the first key step in this process — and our Interlux® InterProtect® 2000E VOC is the perfect choice and most trusted primer for both boat owners and professionals.

The unique two-part epoxy coating was developed to protect new and used fiberglass hulls from water absorption, which in turn reduces the risk of poor hull performance and osmotic blistering. It also delivers premium corrosion resistance for those underwater metals.

Specially formulated with Microplates®, the coating creates an overlapping barrier to eliminate any direct path for water migration.

InterProtect 2000E is suitable for use above and below the waterline as a universal primer for all surfaces, as its anti­corrosive properties make it ideal for use on metal. It can also be used as an undercoat/filling primer to repair cracks in fiberglass decks.

Akzo Nobel

The coating was developed to be easy to apply without sagging or running, and the long overcoating times between coats add versatility and flexibility in a boatyard environment.

While choosing the right primer system is important, so is ensuring the bottom of your boat is kept in good condition with a high-quality antifouling coating — especially if it is kept in the water.

Our Interlux Ultra-Kote® is an excellent, long-lasting antifouling for boats in all waters.

Ultra-Kote’s innovative technology protects the bottom from barnacles and other fouling that can create drag and slow you down — even when in the most challenging fouling areas.

Akzo Nobel

The coating delivers a durable finish that prevents wear-through, with excellent color stability so it remains looking good longer.

While Ultra-Kote keeps the boat’s hull protected, for topcoats AkzoNobel’s Awlgrip® range has kept boats looking their best for almost 50 years.

The brand’s latest offering — Awlgrip HDT® (High Definition Technology) — allows owners to protect their boat with a stunning, long-lasting, mirror-like finish, without sacrificing convenience.

By combining repairability, hardness and micro-scratch resistance with superior gloss retention, Awlgrip HDT keeps the finish in breathtaking condition longer.

Akzo Nobel

Outshining traditional topcoats with its outstanding clarity and distinction of image, its game-changing formulation also contains significantly lower VOC content than typical high-gloss coatings — setting new standards in sustainability.

Discover our full portfolio of products across our industry-leading brands — Awlgrip, Interlux and Sea Hawk® — from premium topside finishes to bottom antifouling coatings, at

Cruising Northern California — The Bay Area and Beyond

Last month we asked Latitude readers to share their favorite Northern California cruising grounds. In the June issue we explore their favorite getaways.

Here at latitude 37.77°, our reputation is that there aren’t many places to cruise outside the Bay. Well, yes and no. Compared with other parts of the country and world, there aren’t a ton of places to cruise or harbor-hop along the long, windswept coast of Northern California. The weather windows can be small (but predictable), the summer sea breezes can be stiff, and fog and cold air famously can define NorCal summers.

Still, we direct you to the map on the next page highlighting more than 10 cruising destinations, all within a day’s sail of the Central Bay. It’s out there if you want it.

Southern California has the Channel Islands and, by contrast to the north, more reasonable weather. (Exceptions abound, of course.) The East Coast has an infinitely craggy coast dense with charming, historical towns with new dinghy docks and shoreside facilities. There’s also a giant Intracoastal Waterway stretching along much of the Eastern Seaboard, so that cruisers can cruise without setting foot in the ocean.

Fret not, Northern California sailor. Just as sailing San Francisco’s challenging conditions produces outstanding mariners, so too can venturing beyond that Gate produce excellent, well-prepared cruisers. Northern California cruising offers sailors a little bit of everything.

Just a few hours to the north of the hustle and bustle of San Francisco lies Drake’s Bay. White cliffs sweep in a gentle, sandy crescent to create a well-protected bay offering an abundance of nature, as if you’d traveled back in time to pre-European California. Just a few hours to the south lies the town of Half Moon Bay with its well-protected anchorage. A little farther south, and you can grab a slip in Santa Cruz Harbor, where it’s about a 30-minute walk to the carnival-like boardwalk.

Northern California cruising
John Kearney’s Express 27 Salty Hotel sails past Point Bonita on the way to Drake’s Bay.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Looking for more nature? Just keep going south to Moss Landing, and be sure to bring your kayak or paddleboard to explore Elkhorn Slough. A little farther south still lies Monterey, with all the swimming, diving, paddling, sailing and shoreside strolling that you can handle.

You don’t have to leave the Bay at all to experience California’s richest cruising grounds: the Delta, which also offers a mix of nature and charming towns to explore. There are numerous spots around the Central Bay itself, as well, that offer excellent anchorages tucked into the Bay’s many nooks and crannies. Where will you sail?

Read on to discover some places you might have missed, at

The 750-Mile Race to Alaska Started Today

At 5 a.m. today the 750-mile Race to Alaska started from Port Townsend, WA. The event website stated, “We’re back. 829 days since the world was canceled by the murder sneeze, R2AK Central is shaking off the cobwebs and getting back in the saddle for a long-delayed year of engineless hard-charging to Alaska.”

It’s a long wait to join a grueling race, but some are still willing!

Team Pestou
On the tracker Team Pestou looks as if they’re already in Victoria.
© 2022 R2AK

And for today’s start on FB they said, “With a weather forecast between seasick and dangerous for the next two days, R2AK High Command is extending the proving ground (the first stage from Port Townsend to Victoria, BC) by 24 hours. Race start is still 5 am, Monday 6/13. Racers will need to finish in Victoria no later than 5 pm on Wednesday 6/15. No change to any Victoria schedule of events. Racers missing the Tuesday skipper’s meeting will get a make-up on Wednesday. Second start in Victoria is high noon on Thursday. Race hard, be safe.”

Team Fashionably Late
To pick a team at random, Team Fashionably Late is closing in on the tracker.
© 2022 R2AK

They started today, but those who survive stage one will still be on the water next Summer Sailstice weekend as they make their way north to the finish line with their eye on $10,000, or at least a hot shower. Follow their progress here.

Call of the Sea Youth Overnight Summer Camp

Overnight Camp Call of the Sea

Voyages with Call of the Sea give young people a fun and exciting adventure and the opportunity to learn from the professional crew, face challenges, and become a team with new friends on a traditionally rigged tall ship.  No sailing experience necessary. Learn more at

World Famous L38
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Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award
Nearly four decades ago, Linda Newland, a greenhorn sailor, found herself alone on a sailboat with a sorry lack of nautical know-how.