It ain’t over till it’s over. Hurricane season is “technically over” on November 1, when insurance policies allow cruisers to start heading south to Mexico and the Caribbean. Historically, hurricanes after these dates are exceptionally rare. And it’s not yet November 1. When we began writing about this latest disturbance, named Tropical Storm Roslyn, it was not expected to become a hurricane. This morning, the reports read otherwise.
NOAA’s National Hurricane Center predicts Roslyn will be a hurricane by the time it makes landfall late on Saturday into Sunday and has issued a hurricane warning for a portion of the west-central coast of Mexico, with a possibility of the warnings being extended northward later today.
According to Wikipedia, this year the eastern Pacific Ocean has seen “above average activity,” with seventeen named storms, nine hurricanes, and three major hurricanes forming. As our friends in the south brace for their second threat this month, we pray that they are safe and that Roslyn is the last of this year’s hurricanes.
West Coast sailor Louis Kruk’s stunning photos, and stories of cruising, have graced the pages of Latitude 38 for over a decade. This year Louis decided to enter the annual Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image contest and exhibition.
“This year, In my first ever attempt at entering,” Louis wrote, “I was blessed to have my image selected as one of the top eighty  photographs for the contest.”
The contest’s prize winners will be selected across three categories:
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image (main prize) — awarded by a panel of international specialists from the yacht racing and photographic industries.
Public Prize — selected by the number of popular votes on the internet.
Yacht Racing Forum Award — decided by the delegates of the Yacht Racing Forum.
Previous contests have featured other West Coast sailing photographers. The year 2013 in particular stands out, as four photographers whose images have appeared in Latitude 38 over the years were selected for the voting process.
You can vote for Louis’s photo here: Louis Kruk.
Winners will be announced at the Yacht Racing Forum in Malta, on November 21-22.
You can see more of Louis’s work in the opening pages of our SailGP story in this year’s May issue.
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Each year in October, as part of Fleet Week, the so-called Blue Angels perform an aerobatic show over San Francisco Bay. Thousands of people line up along the waterfront and dozens of boats cruise around the Bay to watch the spectacle.
While revelers are impressed with pilot skill and aircraft precision, a growing number of people, including the writers of this editorial, believe it behooves us to think about the primary purpose of these planes. They are designed to intimidate, destroy, and kill. Let us not forget that.
Even when not dropping bombs or decimating thousands of lives and destroying infrastructure, they frighten people and animals with their noise. Also, the purpose of Fleet Week is to glamorize war and entice our youth to join the military, a decision many later regret.
Revelers may be unaware that the US military is one of the largest global contributors to carbon emissions. Fighter-plane stunt training and maneuvers pollute our environment and cost billions of dollars — money that could be spent supporting this planet and all its inhabitants.
Many sailors and others who love the open sea are naturally inclined to protect our waters and shorelines from pollution. Recognizing that the military is responsible for much environmental devastation, sailor Jan Passion, captain of the catamaran Hokahey, teamed up with members of the women-led peace organization CODEPINK on October 9, 2022, to promote an alternative vision during the bombers’ scheduled air show.
These intrepid lovers of peace decorated the sides of their boat with huge banners, including one with the message “REAL ANGELS DON’T DROP BOMBS.” They tied environmental and peace flags high up on their topping lift and hoisted a jib painted with a large peace symbol and the declaration “WAGE PEACE.” Then, for the love of water, Earth, sky and all living beings, they sailed out to greet the warplanes.
While the journey from Richmond to San Francisco was a bit choppy, with winds up to 30 knots, calmer water and golden sunshine graced their return. Whenever Hokahey passed other boats, smiles and peace signs were exchanged.
In the end, Mother Nature and her thick marine layer delighted Hokahey passengers and crew by thwarting much of the air show. Instead of deafening warplanes, it was Hokahey and a noble call for peace that greeted spectators crowded along the shoreline. Many waved back.
This is the third time Hokahey has made such a voyage. In 2019, they were joined by Golden Rule (the boat that inspired Greenpeace [and our story in ‘Lectronic Latitude on May 28, 2021]), and in 2018, Hokahey was accompanied by another sloop, also fully adorned with regalia promoting peace and a healthy environment. Next year, they are planning to assemble a peace flotilla. Any boat that wishes to celebrate peace and a green, healthy, sustainable planet is welcome to participate.
Let us go out on the water in great numbers. Imagine boats of all kinds — sloops, windsurfers, kite-boarders, schooners, dinghies, yawls, and even kayaks — festooned with signs promoting peace, cruising alongside the SF Bay shorelines. And maybe the year after that, we’ll retire the bombers altogether.
Let us stop glorifying instruments of war. Let us shift our thinking away from violence and toward peaceful coexistence with all who dwell on this Earth.
You may say we are dreamers… but we’re not the only ones!
An America’s Cup Celebration and Coronation
The America’s Cup Hall of Fame ceremony is back in New York City, with the proceedings fittingly held at the New York Yacht Club as the Herreshoff Museum inducted Dawn Riley, Dirk Kramers and Larry Ellison.
The event globetrotted to the Royal Yacht Squadron in 2018 and Flensburg, Germany, at the Yachting Heritage Center in 2019. COVID took hold in 2020 with a virtual event. The ceremony was resurrected in person during an America’s Cup window in Auckland last year at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
The model room in the clubhouse set the scene for an elegant evening. Everyone in attendance dressed to the nines for the formal occasion. Herreshoff president and executive director Bill Lynn hosted the induction ceremony, filling in for Gary Jobson, who was home with a severe bout of pneumonia.
The gala affair honored past inductees as well as the new ones. America’s Cup HoF chair Steve Tsuchiya handed out the beautifully crafted half-hulls to the recipients who were in attendance.
“The models that we presented to the inductees are the yacht Reliance,” said Tsuchiya. “They are based on Captain Nat Herreshoff’s actual half-hull he carved. The model was digitally scanned, and the model-maker built it using the 3-D scan.”
Dawn Riley received an overdue coronation. The Grosse Pointe, Michigan, native has enjoyed a long and successful career as an America’s Cup competitor and manager.
Riley was one of the “tin full of tarts” (Bob Fisher’s words) aboard Maiden in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race. The all-women’s team shocked the sailing community by not only finishing but turning in a solid performance. They won two of the legs in their division, including the treacherous trek across the Southern Ocean.
In 1992, she joined Bill Koch’s America3 defense team. Three years later, she was the team captain of the all-women’s America’s Cup crew aboard Mighty Mary in 1995.
When the Kiwis won the Cup that year, Riley organized the America True challenge named for the 30th Defense in 2000 in Auckland. The Bay Area-based team representing San Francisco Yacht Club advanced to the semi-final round in the Louis Vuitton Cup.
In 2007, Riley served as general manager of the K Challenge based out of France. Two years later, she was named Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year for winning major championships in both match racing and fleet racing. Since 2010, Riley has served as the executive director of Oakcliff Sailing Academy in Oyster Bay, NY.
Last year she took several of those students on the adventure of a lifetime aboard OCA 86 (ex-Windquest) as they shattered the Port Huron to Mackinac Race record by almost four hours.
Larry Ellison did not attend the gala. Sir Russell Coutts introduced him from afar via a prerecorded video.
Ellison began his foray into the Cup world with the purchase of Paul Cayard’s two IACC yachts in 2001.
Oracle went on to reach the LVC Finals in their first attempt before Alinghi ousted them and went on to capture the Auld Mug in 2003.
Ellison dramatically changed the landscape with a trimaran in 2010 when his team BMW Oracle went on to win the America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain, in a court-ordered Deed of Gift Match. That Match consisted of two multihulls for the first time, which led to the formation of the AC72 and AC45 catamarans for the 34th America’s Cup held on San Francisco Bay, creating a stadium sailing environment for the first time in history.
OTUSA lost the Cup in 2017 when they were out-teched by the Kiwis in Bermuda, which also pushed the Cup envelope when Ellison, with the Golden Gate Yacht Club as Defender/Trustee, took the event away from the club’s home waters to an offshore location in another country.
Ellison and Coutts went on to form SailGP, which is transforming sailing’s landscape in revolutionary ways while allowing America’s Cup sailors to earn a paycheck between Cup cycles.
Dirk Kramers served as a designer and engineer for 11 America’s Cup campaigns, from the 12-Metre era to the foiling Cup Class creations of today, and earned six wins.
He was born in Hengelo, Netherlands. His Cup career began when he moved to Marblehead, Massachusetts, 45 years ago to work with Ted Hood on the rig for Ted Turner’s Courageous.
“My sketchbooks are filled with hundreds of wacky ideas,” commented Kramers. “Most of them are rejected by the various teams. Some of them make it to the boat.” None of them make it to the press.
AC HoF Harvest Regatta
Part Two of the weekend’s Hall of Fame celebration was a field trip to Oakcliff Sailing Academy for the Harvest Regatta.
Dawn Riley is not only the executive director of Oakcliff, but also the Academy’s principal, counselor, sailing instructor and mama bear. She probably helps with homework too!
Many of us from the previous night’s event went sailing on Match 40s and Shield Class boats with Dawn’s wonderful students. We sailed out of Oyster Bay and into Long Island Sound, where we found perfect conditions at around 10 knots under bright blue skies.
The goal was to complete a lap, gather pumpkins for prizes, and win. I had wished for a spot on Dawn’s boat, and it was perfect. Onboard was her mom Prudence, with cousin Molly Riley, Mary Smith, one of her student coaches, and me.
“When you are at Oakcliff you get coached no matter what,” said Riley. The students in attendance are all from the Oyster Bay High School Sailing program at Oakcliff. They sail Match 40s and were part of two teams that they put together to sail in the Harvest Regatta. “Team Just Off the Boat collected four pumpkins, their maximum allotment in the NOR.”
We finished second, under a spinnaker start, and grabbed two pumpkins along the course.
Dawn gave us a tour of the Oakcliff campus, and it was damn impressive. It is a perfect environment for the students who attend there and don’t expect to get star treatment. You will get schooled by a sailing legend who knows her shit and won’t sugarcoat it. Learn you will!
When we last checked in with Kelly Gregory in September 2021, she was in Fiji — one of three women in the “unmanned circumnavigation” aboard SV Islander. The initial crew of two, Kelly and Barbara, sailed the 34-ft sloop from San Francisco Bay to the Galápagos Islands, picked up a third crewmember, Cristina, and crossed the Pacific. It was in Fiji where the voyage took a break.
Islander’s crew had next planned a leg from Fiji to Indonesia, but were stymied by Indonesia’s maritime border closures due to pandemic restrictions; and to boot, the sailing season was nearing its end when the trade winds slow to a puff. With no way to know if the border was actually going to open in time, the decision was made to take a break and pick up later.
“We got stuck in Fiji,” Kelly said. Fiji is not a bad place to be stuck, however. “I fell in love with Fiji,” Kelly recalls. “I sharpened my surfing skills, learned how to foil, and hung out on other people’s boats.”
“I will 100% still complete a circumnavigation, maybe more fragmented,” Kelly promises, and she hopes to join Barbara for a leg or two of the continued journey. Kelly has thousands of sea miles to back up this goal, logged in coastal and transoceanic voyages. Although she has placed the circumnavigation on hold for the time being, she’s still “unreefed with full sails” and open to other sailing adventures in the meantime. (Islander is still at Viti Levu, Fiji, as of August 2022, and Barbara is planning to set sail to Australia soon.)
Determined to keep moving, and still intent on Indonesia, Kelly left Fiji in autumn 2021 aboard another boat, the steel-hulled custom-built 60-ft expedition yacht SV Millennium, which she describes as a “pirate ship.” The international crew of six sailed 20 days from Fiji to Indonesia, rough going and without much assistance from the trade winds. When they arrived in Indonesia, sure enough, the maritime border was indeed restricted, and they had to stay at anchor for 10 days, in sight of Kupang, before setting foot onto shore.
“I found a community of wonderful people there,” Kelly said of the Indonesians and expat sailors. “Everyone was so close. If you needed anything, just put it out there; whatever you wanted would come your way.” Kelly stayed connected with the sailing community via maritime radio and Iridium while at sea, and “good old-fashioned word of mouth” on land.
“I stayed in Indonesia for two months,” Kelly remembers. “All the borders were closed, so in certain places, it felt like nobody was there. When I went to Bali, I surfed remote breaks without a crowd.”
Fast forward to February 2022. Kelly had completed a few additional Pacific adventures and was back in California in full prep mode for the Pacific Cup with her partner, Patrick Haesloop. Together they own Moore 24 #62 Puffin, and they made plans to race the 24-ft sloop from San Francisco Bay to Hawaii doublehanded.
We bring you the story of Kelly and Patrick’s race across the Pacific in this month’s Latitude 38. Click here to read.
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