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September 26, 2022

Dorade’s New England Summer of Racing and Cruising

Dorade on an upwind leg
Dorade sails an early windward beat in the Newport Classic Yacht Regatta. Racers followed a course on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.
© 2022 Martha Blanchfield

Pam Rorke Levy and Matt Brooks, members of St. Francis Yacht Club and New York YC, are longtime supporters of the IYRS School of Technology and Trades in Newport, RI. Both looked forward to ending the summer season at IYRS’s Newport Classic Yacht Regatta on September 3-4. “Despite the forecast for light winds, it was a lively couple of days on the water, with plenty of breeze and Indian summer conditions. We most enjoyed Day 1 of racing, which took us off the beaten path into Mackerel Cove on the other side of Jamestown.” The Dorade crew earned a third place in the Vintage Class. The Bay Area couple’s 1929 yawl Dorade won the Best Sailboat award in the Sunday boat parade.

awards ceremony
Matt Brooks (left) and wife Pam Rorke Levy have owned Dorade since 2010. They earned third place in the Vintage Class at the 2022 IYRS Newport Classic Yacht Regatta.
© 2022 Jen Lange

Their 2022 summer was active. Normally, Rorke Levy and Brooks partake in just one or two events per month. This season they sailed almost every week for nearly three months. Notes Rorke Levy, “As a result, we saw marked improvement in performance on deck, working out kinks and smoothing transitions that can be hair-raising when you’ve got five or six sails up.” A first accomplishment was earning a set of bullets at NYYC‘s Annual Regatta in early June. Other notable events included August’s Nantucket Opera House Cup.

Dorade also joined NYYC’s summer cruise to Maine. “This was the first time we could really view the region, as the fog was light and the breeze was perfect,” says Rorke Levy, who added that she is never happier than when on Dorade, especially at the helm.

Rounding out the crew were husband Brooks, San Francisco sailor John Hayes, South African superstar Mike Giles, Chewy Chowanski, Greg Stewart and Kevin Miller. “When our stalwart sailmaker/tactician Miller was unable to continue with us, Jaime Hilton stepped in as tactician at the IYRS regatta. Mike and Jaime have ample local knowledge, and both understand Dorade’s strengths and weaknesses in different conditions.”

Dorade crew
Pre-race timing passes in advance of the Vintage Class start.
© 2022 Martha Blanchfield

Rorke Levy states that the full crew gave 100 percent, but references two standouts: Nick Ruiz, joining just days before the departure to Maine, and a most-improved recognition to the nipper — University of Rhode Island sophomore Miles Bailey. “Bailey started off scrubbing down the boat and filling water bottles, wrapping the season as navigator calling laylines and splits.”

Dorade, green buoy
The Saturday course took competitors off the beaten path and into Mackerel Cove on the other side of Jamestown.
© 2022 Martha Blanchfield

Dorade is a 40-ft LWL yacht designed in 1929 by Olin Stephens of Sparkman & Stephens, and built in 1929–1930 by the Minneford Yacht Yard in City Island, New York. Her current owners raced her on San Francisco Bay in 2012-13 before embarking on epic adventures to recreate Dorade’s glory days all over the world.

Created in 1980 by a group of Newport-based classic yacht owners and enthusiasts seeking to preserve and promote the culture of classic yachting, the IYRS Newport Classic Yacht Regatta attracts yachts designed and built by some of the greatest American masters. This event is just one in the Classic Yacht Challenge Series.

One Year of Racing Stories With Good Jibes

We recently passed the one-year anniversary of our podcast, Good Jibes. We’re marking the anniversary with a headphone giveaway, which will start with the delivery of our October issue this coming Friday, September 30.

Fall is also when we’re working with Laura Muñoz and the YRA to put together the next year’s racing calendar. The calendar and the podcast connect with all the great racers we’ve had as guests during our first year of Good Jibes. There are far too many to list them all, but we’ve had quite a lineup so far and are looking forward to sharing more tips, tricks and stories from West Coast racing sailors as we enter our second year of Good Jibes. Following is a partial listing of some of the racers we’ve had on the show this year.

505 World Champion Mike Martin
5O5 World Champion Mike Martin with crew Adam Lowry.
© 2022 Mike Martin
Bill Trenkle
Bill Trenkle gives a wave racing with Dennis Connor aboard the winning America’s Cup 12M Stars & Stripes.
© 2022 Bill Trenkle
Katie Pettibone
Katie Pettibone has done it all and won it all.
© 2022 Katie Pettibone
Craig Leweck
The racing champion behind the global racing newsletter Sailing Scuttlebutt, Craig Leweck.
© 2022 Craig Leweck
Helena Scutt
Olympian Helena Scutt sailing aboard her foiling Moth.
© 2022 Helena Scutt
Roy Disney
Roy Disney shares stories of many miles aboard Pyewacket.
© 2022 Pyewacket
Daniela Moroz
Five-time world kiteboarding champion and three-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Daniela Moroz talks with Moe Roddy.
© 2022 Daniela Moroz

We’ve had many more racers on the show, and many more are in the lineup for the year ahead. Listen on your next night watch. If you’re part of planning the 2023 racing season for your club or class, get in touch with Laura Muñoz at the YRA with your scheduling plans, or with Nicki Bennett at Latitude 38 to advertise your club, class or events.

Private vs Charter Yacht Ownership — Which is right for you?

Dream Yacht Sales

Considering a yacht purchase? Curious about the advantages of a yacht charter ownership program? Learn more about what factors to consider in making a yacht purchase decision that’s right for you. Read the blog.

When the Sea Lion Sh*t Hits the Fan

Ah, the majestic sea lions, nature’s lethargic, barking piles of blubber, who — like a pack of sun-starved, snowbird tourists — can turn docks into lounge chairs and laze in the sun for hours. Sure, this might be an unflattering description of one of God’s creatures (both sea lions and tourists), but there’s no doubt that pinnipeds and sailors’ habitats have a tendency to overlap.

What have been your experiences when sea lions get a little too close, or too possessive of the docks?

Case in point:

You’ve likely seen similar scenes of sea lions, seen here in Monterey Harbor over Labor Day weekend, at a West Coast marina near you.
© 2022 Steve Gann

Earlier this year, Steve Gann of the Monterey-based Cal 40 Boomer wrote to describe what he called a growing problem not just with sea lions, but with their inevitable excrement. Gann said sea lion poop is toxic and discolors docks.

Sea lion droppings also inspire hilarious signage. Case in point:

There is, apparently, an entire ecosystem around sea lion excrement, or a brand of satire born from sh*t.
© 2022 Steve Gann

Earlier this year we put in a call to the Monterey harbormaster, who reminded us that sea lions are transient, and tend to come and go with the food they’re chasing. While Steve Gann said he believed that there was an increase in the population, the harbormaster could neither confirm nor deny that was true

For those of us who grew up in the Bay Area in the ’70s and ’80s, when the Bay was filthy and polluted, we see the proliferation of sea life as a positive sign of a healthy ecosystem. But when is nature just a little too robust, potentially crossing lines both literal and metaphorical, and potentially causing conflict with humans?

Case in point, Freya the Walrus:


Are sea lions (and/or their poop) a problem in your neck of the water? What deterrents does your marina use to ward off pinnipeds?

On a delivery to Ventura in 2020, we saw plastic “statues” of dogs on the dock to dissuade sunbathing sea lions, as well as ropes, anchored by orange five-gallon Home Depot buckets, running the length of a dock. NOAA says, “There is no single non-lethal deterrence method known to be universally effective in discouraging pinnipeds from engaging in problem behaviors. Nevertheless, [some] methods and techniques have been found useful, in some circumstances, for deterring nuisance animals that are damaging property, fishing gear, or catch.”

Please comment below with your experiences, observations, etc. If you have any pictures of trespassing pinnipeds, please send them here.

From the Bay Area to Italy, Latitude Nation Sailors Get Around

We love to hear from Bay Area sailors who are off in some other part of the world, enjoying sailing experiences. Whether aboard their own boat, a charter boat, or a friend’s boat, the fact that they are on the water and making the most of the wind, water and sun warms our hearts and makes us proud to be doing what we do — sharing stories about sailors and sailing.

You might remember our story about Dale Land, who answered the call when we were looking for new delivery drivers in 2021. Together with his friend Bob Boynton, Dale signed up to deliver Latitude 38 magazines across the Peninsula delivery route. Unfortunately for us, but happily for Dale, he quit the delivery job earlier this year and has been focusing on sailing. That’s what we keep encouraging people to do, so…

A couple of weeks ago Dale dropped us a line. He and his wife Michelle have been sailing in Riccione, Italy, with friends Gianni and Rosaria aboard their Comet 11.

Sailor on deck
Dale sails on the Adriatic Sea, sporting his favorite hat.
© 2022 Dale Land
Crew in cockpit oceans away from the Bay
Summer in Europe, anyone? This photo from September 4 suggests the weather in Italy was pretty close to perfect.
© 2022 Dale Land
It’s a tough gig, but someone has to do it. Thanks for taking one for the team, Dale!
© 2022 Dale Land

Did you sail somewhere outside US waters this summer? Let us know in the comments below.

Now You See It Now You Don't
Navigation can be challenging enough without malevolent hackers disrupting the systems we rely on. AIS positions are now being faked by ships and fishing fleets trying to cover their tracks.