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July 11, 2022

Navy Medevacs Pacific Cup Crewman

Thursday start
Thursday (pictured here) and Friday Pacific Cup starters had substantially more wind than the Monday and Tuesday starters.
© 2022 Slackwater SF

“Going offshore brings new stresses to boat and crew alike. Several of our boats reported minor to intermediate mechanical problems: broken steering cable, jammed halyard, failed checkstay, leaking prop shaft.” So starts this morning’s Pacific Cup media team briefing.

Westerly's rail
The crew of the Canadian SC70 Westerly, as seen at Friday’s start in San Francisco.
© 2022 Pacific Cup Yacht Club

Medical Problem Prompts Evacuation

“Other boats discovered medical conditions that came out underway, severe seasickness being the most common.

Aboard John Wilkerson’s Washington-based Express 37 Perplexity, crewmember Kirt Hegerberg developed a bloody nose. “Not a big deal except when it goes on for several days. This became a cause for concern. With [only] basic medical supplies and no doctor on board, Perplexity reached out to our medical team for advice. At first, it was ‘Pinch your nose, or pack it; it’ll be fine.’

“It wasn’t.

“As the situation developed, we put out a precautionary call to the fleet for nearby vessels with better ability to deal with this to be on standby to assist. To our immense satisfaction, several boats responded almost immediately with doctors, medical gear and a willingness to meet Perplexity wherever needed.

“Meanwhile, Perplexity continued communication with the Coast Guard and our Medical Team. Ultimately, the US Navy’s Pacific Tracker was dispatched from about 200 miles away to meet up with the stricken crewmember for treatment or evacuation.

“Early Sunday night, Perplexity and Pacific Tracker met a few hundred miles offshore. The 660-ft Navy vessel sent an inflatable over for what the skipper described as a smooth transfer. (From the image of the ship, we’re surprised they didn’t have a teleporter!)”

Pacific Tracker
This 57-year-old research vessel rendezvoused with Perplexity.
© 2022 Mike Collum

“As of this writing, Navy and Coast Guard are consulting on how best to get the patient to shore. His condition is good.

“Our thanks to the US Navy, Coast Guard, George Washington University, and the several participants willing to interrupt their race to render assistance. With huge thanks from Perplexity as well, which is returning to racing.” Paul Kamen of Berkeley is listed as crew on Perplexity, but we’d be willing to bet he’s their navigator.


Check out the latest standings here: Stuart Dahlgren’s Victoria, BC-based Santa Cruz 70 Westerly is ahead of Roy Disney’s San Diego-based turbo Volvo 70 Pyewacket 70, though the latter is out in front of everyone according to the YB Tracker. Their division started on Friday.

Pyewacket 70
Roy Disney’s Pyewacket 70 could be going for a Pac Cup record.
© 2022 Pacific Cup Yacht Club

Kahuna and Cassiopeia have joined Wizard and Circe in dropping out of the race. On Saturday, Ronnie Simpson reported that, “Kit Wegman’s Islander 36 Cassiopeia has made the decision to retire from the race and head back to port. Going slower than anticipated, the crew could foresee logistical, travel, work and food/water challenges, and has decided to pack it in and head home. All on board are safe, with no problems to report.”

You can read texts from the fleet at Andrew Koch, navigator on the Seattle-based R/P 55 Zvi, filed this report from 32° 46.324′ N 136° 9.133′ W at 8:41 PDT this morning: “Second backdown of the day during the position report. Lots of fishing. Nets, trash, bags, totes and debris. We had a 1/2-in line on the keel and some smaller line on the rudder. Second backdown was a large trash bag clump.”

Zvi at Golden Gate Bridge
Zvi sailed out the Gate with Friday’s starts.
© 2022 Pacific Cup Yacht Club

“Seems like our location on the course has lots of debris on it. We dodged a huge fishing net just before sunset and have seen [a] large concentration of fishing related items. Excellent downwind sailing for much of the day with lighter breeze overnight. Lots of commercial traffic, and we finally had a visual [of] a sailboat mast, as we are now sailing through the early starters. Crew is in good spirits and pushing hard to Hawaii.”

Don’t Miss the West Point Regatta

West Point regtatta

Westpoint Regatta is an annual yacht racing event run by the Sequoia Yacht ClubThe Club at Westpoint, and Treasure Island Yacht Club.

The race is the fastest growing race in San Francisco Bay because it is fun, fast, and starts and ends with great parties. It is part of the YRA Weekend Regatta Series. Saturday, July 16th, 2022 with a pre-race party at Treasure Island YC, post-race at The Club at Westpoint. Registration is now open. Sign up on Jibeset.

Condos Grow at Alameda Marina — Boatyard TBD

On a recent visit to Alameda, we stopped by the Alameda Marina condo development in search of the proposed boatyard. The once-thriving maritime trade center is heading full-tilt toward relieving Alameda’s housing shortage while also, apparently, relieving Alameda of its maritime heritage. There’s a long way to go on this project and we’ll hope the planned and city-approved commercial maritime center emerges in the midst of the housing complex. Though it’s hard to imagine true, maritime industry happily coexisting alongside family housing and latte shops.

Alameda Marina Condos
Alameda Marina condos rise from the former maritime trades center.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
The five- to six-story wall of condos along Clement Avenue in Alameda.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Alameda Marina Boatyard
The artist rendering in the developer’s proposal shows a busy maritime commercial center near what appears to be the now-missing Island Yacht Club building. This shows six rigs on the ground and two cranes in the maritime trade area in the midst of the surrounding residential development currently under construction.
© 2022 Alameda Marina
Waterfront views
An artist rendering from the Alameda Marina development plan. Will condo developments remove the working waterfront that supports boating and leave people with bike paths, and seating from which to gaze out on the empty Bay’s once-active sailing scene?
© 2022 Alameda Marina
Alameda Condos
Are bike paths and condos the type of Bay/Estuary access wanted by the citizens of Alameda?
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Waterfront property is cherished by developers who can sell or rent the finished product at higher prices than the exact same condo structure just a few blocks inland. However, this steady erosion of space along the waterfront is increasingly depriving all Bay Area residents of the space for Bay access and maritime trades and services. The maritime trades provide the essential support for everyone’s enjoyment of the region’s best feature — the Bay.

Cities need tax revenue and a plan to alleviate the region’s housing shortage, but there are many land options for housing that are simply not options for the maritime businesses. Watching our waterfront transition from waterfront activities to waterfront “lifestyle” is sadly too heavy on “style” and short on “life,” once again reminding us of Joni Mitchell singing, “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot … They took all the trees, Put ’em in a tree museum …

Kettenburg Boatyard San Diego
The famed Kettenburg Boat Works in San Diego was replaced by condos and this commemorative plaque in the back corner, near the leasing office and a brewpub.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The Alameda Marina is a long way from finished, so sailors can still hope to see the promised return of sail lofts, riggers, boatyard, metal shops, paint shops, chandlers, maritime electronics and many other maritime services and jobs that kept Alameda at the hub of a thriving Bay Area sailing scene. Our imagination may be limited, but we struggle to envision the happy marriage of commercial maritime businesses in the midst of this shiny, new housing development. Consider the following video posted by the Sausalito Working Waterfront Coalition, a group dedicated to ensuring that Sausalito’s housing solutions don’t displace critical maritime infrastructure in Sausalito. Who wants to buy a brand-new waterfront condo and listen to this?:

It’s easier to see nautical gift shops with anchor and lighthouse pillows or potholders and sailing notecards for sale, rather than welding and metal-grinding shops.

We hope we’re wrong, but only time will tell.

The Yacht Club Life — A Variety of Styles

Say “yacht club” to the “person on the street” and they think ascots, megayachts, blue blazers and hoity-toity social affairs. That’s true on occasion, but far rarer than the many more casual clubs that simply help like-minded sailors find space on the waterfront to go sailing with friends. The approximately 110 clubs in the Northern California Pacific Interclub Yachting Association (PICYA) run the full spectrum of membership styles, and, regardless of style, clubs are united by a common commitment to sailing. This is the reason we enjoy all the clubs we get a chance to visit.

We appreciate the low-key nature of smaller, volunteer clubs that are a gathering place for sailors and good times. We thought we’d offer a little “yachting attire” (a Latitude 38 hat) to the first Northern California “yachtsperson” who can tell us in our comments section below which local club is home to the members’ refrigerator/freezer pictured here.

This club refrigerator is a meeting place for members along with the club docks, the club bar and the club waterfront.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Dues at this club are $75/month, which is the price we found online for a Brooks Brothers Ascot.

There are more expensive and less expensive clubs in the Bay Area, so we’re sure you can find one that’s right for you. They’re all a lot of fun, and when you join one, and with reciprocal privileges, you really join almost all of them.

If you’re ready to embrace your inner “yachtsperson” you can visit the Pacific Interclub Yachting Association website to find one that suits you. (Ascots not included.)

The Exodus to Hawaii
As the last of the Pacific Cup divisions boats depart San Francisco today, we see another dozen boats bound for Hawaii in the Vic-Maui Race.