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April 28, 2023

Kirsten Neuschäfer Takes Line Honors and Wins the 2022 Golden Globe Race

Kirsten Neuschäfer has won the 2022 Golden Globe Race, and made history. At 9 p.m. (CEST) on April 27, Neuschäfer crossed the finish line off Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, to win the race, and became the first woman to win a solo, round-the-world yacht race. Her official time is recorded as 233 days, 20 hours, 43 minutes and 47 seconds. Her time takes into account her role in rescuing fellow race skipper Tapio Lehtinen, for which she was compensated 35 hours and given a 30-liter fuel allowance. However, in the end, the compensations were unnecessary for Neuschäfer’s history-making finish.

Kirsten Neuschäfer aboard Minnehaha at finish of GGR
South African sailor Kirsten Neuschäfer aboard Minnehaha at the finish of her Golden Globe Race voyage.
© 2023 Ville Des Sables d'Olonne
Kirsten Neuschäfer aboard Minnehaha
The 36-ft Cape George cutter Minnehaha.
© 2023 Kirsten Neuschäfer GGR 2022

The Golden Globe Race posted on its Twitter account:

Neuschäfer was the only woman competing in the race, which began in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, on September 4, 2022. She sailed 235 days aboard her 36-ft Cape George cutter Minnehaha, to complete the 30,000-mile course a day ahead of her nearest rival.

This video published by the Golden Globe Race (briefly) documents Neuschäfer’s journey.

Golden Globe Race entrants must sail 32- to 36-ft (LOA) full-keel production boats designed prior to 1988, and must sail without the aid of modern technology and satellite-based navigation aids. The course sails via the five Great Capes — Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin (Western Australia), a gate in Storm Bay (South East Cape, Tasmania), South West Cape (New Zealand), and Cape Horn.

The setup is similar to that of the of the 10-month voyage completed by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston — the first person to sail singlehanded and nonstop around the world, between June 14, 1968, and April 22, 1969.

We congratulate Kirsten Neuschäfer on her outstanding achievement, and hope that after the hype and excitement die down she will enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Coming May 4–7 — The Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show

The Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show is back, with a new location at Westpoint Marina in Redwood City. The show is running next week from Thursday, May 4, through Sunday, May 7, during a busy weekend for Bay Area sailors. If you are planning to compete in the Great Vallejo Race or watch SailGP, you’ll have to plan your show schedule accordingly. The Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show last ran pre-pandemic at the Craneway Pavillion in Richmond and is now finally reopening after a three-year absence.

There will be new power and sailboats on display including Jeanneaus, Beneteaus, the Excess 11 catamaran, the Dufour 390, the Bavaria C42, and more.

The new Bavaria C42
Among the new boats, see the Bay Area debut of the Bavaria C42.
© 2023 Bavaria Yachts

Dick Markie from Paradise Village Marina, Nuevo Vallarta, is back with seminars to help everyone who is cruising Mexico. It’s perfect timing, since entries for the 29th annual Baja Ha-Ha will be opening the next week on Wednesday, May 9. Lisa Chapin is hosting a seminar on Sailtime charters, and Mike Gunning from Electric Yacht will help you understand the differences between diesel and electric auxiliary. Mary Elkin of Modern Sailing will host seminars on learning to sail, while Virginia Gleser will share her and her husband’s experience finding harmony at sea for cruising couples.

Boat Show Cinco de Mayo
Come join us Friday evening for Cinco de Mayo!
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude 38

Also returning is the Friday night social. Come to the show on Friday and stick around for libations from Latitude 38 and the exhibitors listed above. Boat shows are all about the boats, the gear, seminars and seeing old friends. We’re looking forward to reconnecting at the boat show and celebrating Cinco de Mayo with friends old and new. See you there!

A Preview of PICYA’s Annual Opening Day on the Bay

This coming Sunday, April 30, is PICYA’s annual Opening Day on the Bay. And while sailors all around the Bay may be taking part with their particular club or organization, or just sailing with friends, PICYA’s official Boat Parade starts at midday. Boats of all sizes will fly their colorful flags and fill their decks with celebrations. Will we see you out there?

The Opening Day Boat Parade, organized by the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association, dates back to 1917. This year’s theme is “San Francisco Bay — Broadway on the Bay” and the parade will feature over 100 historic workboats, fireboats, tow boats, and classic and contemporary decorated boats, competing for the honor of “best-decorated boat.” The parade starts just north of Anita Rock off Crissy Field in the Presidio, and will move along the Cityfront to the first Fort Mason building east of the Marina Green.

Opening Day on the Bay flyer
Where will you be on Sunday?
© 2023 PICYA

Celebrations will be enjoyed around the Bay — Corinthian Yacht Club will bless the fleet in Raccoon Strait as part of a weekend-long celebration; the tall ships Matthew Turner and Freda B, along with other boats from StFYC, Wylie Charters and more, will each join the parade before taking their guests on a tour of the Bay. Napa Valley Yacht Club is hosting members and officers along with the officers and directors of PICYA aboard Luxe Cruises’ vessel Cabernet Sauvignon. These are only a handful of the boats and celebrations that will be making Opening Day the best party on the Bay.

Whether you’re parading with your club or with your family, remember to fly your flags!
© 2023

You don’t have to be a yacht club member; any vessels can take part (as long as they’ve registered beforehand and have a marine radio). Regarding decorations, the theme “Broadway on the Bay” is open to interpretation. Some may choose to depict musicals, movies or cartoons that have been made into Broadway shows. Others may dream up scenes from current or past Broadway productions. Some boats will fly flags and streamers, or just join in the parade not decorated. All are welcome.

Take a peek at last year’s Opening Day. Hopefully this weekend will remain sunny!

Take the Estuary Water-Shuttle Survey

A free water shuttle traveling between Jack London Square and west Alameda could be in service as soon as this summer. The cities of Oakland and Alameda, along with a coalition of businesses, are asking people for their feedback on a pilot water-shuttle program “to help us design a service that will best serve the community. Tell us how you might use a water shuttle!”

Here’s a link to the survey, which we’ll provide again, below. The survey takes about five minutes.

For more than 10 years, the cities of Alameda and Oakland have been — to put in government-speak — analyzing and evaluating potential strategies for crossing the Estuary either by foot, bike, or transit. “Seventeen different crossing options were studied, including a gondola, different bridge types, Posey/Webster Tubes enhancements, water-shuttle services and a new transit tube,” the survey website said. “Solutions for the near-, mid-, and long-term were explored. The top recommended, mid-term option was determined to be a water shuttle service.

“The proposed shuttle would operate between the dock at Alameda Landing (behind Target and at the end of Fifth Street), to Jack London Square (at the foot of Broadway), with possible additional service to the Marina Village Research Park, as shown in the map below.”

A few possible routes for a shuttle from Alameda to Jack London Square.
© 2023 City of Alameda

Since 2009, Oakland and Alameda have been trying to fund a free, public water-shuttle service for Alameda and Oakland. Recently, private-sector interest and tentative financial commitments are helping the shuttle service come together. “WETA [a Bay Area ferry service provider] has also agreed to administer a pilot program. The tentative projected operating costs for a five-day service of 9-12 hours per day is estimated to be between $1.5 million to $2.0 million annually,” the City of Alameda said.

We’ve been reporting on the first-ever public meetings about the proposed pedestrian bridge, and have considered readers’ perspectives. Although still in the early stages of discussion, it’s becoming clear that any pedestrian bridge will pit the interests of sailors against the interests of bikers.

We’re not trying to drum up controversy; we’re just being honest about what’s at play.

Latitude fully supports a robust, user-friendly and well-maintained bike network around the Estuary and in the Bay Area in general. We love the idea of being able to bike, safely and conveniently, between Alameda and Oakland. Any bridge will have to be at least 70 feet tall to accommodate the most frequently used sailboats on the Estuary, but a bridge that tall represents a pretty steep climb for bikers.

Therein lie the competing interests at stake.

A bike ferry is not unprecedented. “In the early 2000s, the Alameda Oakland Bike Ferry service operated for several years,” the City of Alameda said.
© 2023 City of Alameda

To be honest, we think it’s smart politics to help the bike lobby — which is large and well-organized — realize some of its goals. If a bridge spanning the Estuary were constructed overnight and opened tomorrow, it seems clear that the current bike network in Oakland could not accommodate the theoretical influx of bike traffic. The larger context at play are the economic disparities between Oakland and Alameda, and we respect that governments are trying (forgive the pun) to bridge that gap. Will a giant piece of infrastructure that fundamentally alters the Estuary help to accomplish that goal?

“If you’re trying to get from west Alameda to Jack London Square most routing directions will take you across Park Street Bridge,” wrote Nathan de Vries, who lives in Alameda, in January. “The problem is not the two-mile ride from west Alameda to the bridge or that it’s not a dedicated bike path, the problem is that as soon as you’re on the Oakland side you’re on unsafe, industrial, poorly lit, heavily polluted roads, often with shoulders loaded up with burnt out cars, RVs, chop shops, human waste etc.

“Short circuiting west Alameda and Jack London Square with a bridge might seem like a great idea (it’s only a one-mile ride if that’s exactly your starting point and destination!), but the reality is that it’s a great bike network, not a singular bike path, that increases bike traffic.”

You can read Nathan’s full letter in the May issue of Latitude 38.

Here’s the link to the survey again:

Just click “Continue” to progress through the survey.

Something for Every Yacht Racer in May

With so many great events in May, surely there will be a regatta to meet every sailor’s interest.

YRA Offerings

Thanks to the Yacht Racing Association and Vallejo YC, the Great Vallejo Race is coming up on May  6-7. “It’s not only a fun race, with a long and storied history, it also has one of the best post-race parties in the Bay!” writes the YRA. “This year, Vallejo’s own Mare Island Brewery will be pouring their awesome craft beers. Plus, there will be a delicious paella dinner, in addition to hot dogs, hamburgers and BBQ oysters.
There are divisions for every type of boat, and every type of sailor. Entries close on May 3, so be sure to enter soon. It’s the YRA’s biggest event of the year and we want to see everyone there!”

MadMen with Cityfront in the background
The Great Vallejo Race starts with a short upwind leg before the fleet turns down and sets kites for the long run to VYC.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The OYRA Duxship Race is the next event on the offshore schedule, on May 13. The YRA’s Shorthanded Sunday Series, conceived during COVID, will commence on May 21.

More Northern California Regattas

Will you sail or will you watch sailing? Conflicting with the Great Vallejo Race is SailGP. The professional sailing league and their slick-quick flying catamarans will wrap up their third season and crown a champion in San Francisco on May 6-7. The smart money is on the Antipodeans.

The Singlehanded Farallones Race is scheduled for the same day as the Duxship Race, May 13. Speaking of the Singlehanded Sailing Society, registrations will close on May 1 for the 2023 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race. As of this morning, 19 boats were registered.

Also on May 13, St. Francis YC will host the S.F. Bay J/105 Women Skipper Regatta.

St. Francis YC’s Elvstrom Zellerbach regatta is scheduled for the weekend of May 20-21. “The tide tables are calling for a rather benign current, but with all the snow in the Sierra this year one expects a fairly healthy runoff,” writes Laser sailor Tracy Usher. “This year the only classes invited are the ILCAs, C420s, I420s and 5O5s. As is tradition, the winner of the ILCA 7 fleet will be awarded the Elvstrom Trophy; the winner of the ILCA 6 fleet the Zellerbach trophy. The Zellerbach predates the Big Boat Series and reinforces that St. Francis is really a dinghy sailing club at heart. Note that late fees go into effect on May 7.”

Meanwhile, across the Bay at San Francisco YC, you’ll find the Elite Fleet Invitational Regatta for J/105s, Knarrs and Folkboats. Up the San Joaquin River, Stockton Sailing Club will run their Founders Regatta on the San Joaquin River. Even farther inland, the Lake Yosemite Sailing Association invites trailer sailors to their Spring Regatta.

On the same weekend, Moore 24s will sail in the Made in Santa Cruz Regatta. “Come on, it’s Santa Cruz!” writes Sydnie Moore. “It’s always sunny, 70+ degrees and windy.”

Some Regattas in Southern California

On May 5-7, San Diego YC will host the Yachting Cup. The Ancient Mariners Sailing Society’s Yesteryear Regatta will be on May 13. Then it’s back to SDYC on May 19-21 for the Etchells Nationals.

As we’re posting our May preview story, the 75th Newport to Ensenada Race takes off today. Good luck to all the racers!

Memorial Day Weekend

The theme of something for everyone defines Memorial Day Weekend in a nutshell.

For ocean sailors, California Offshore Race Week is back, hosted in partnership by Encinal, St. Francis, Monterey Peninsula, Santa Barbara, and San Diego YCs, on May 27-June 3. The four races will be the Spinnaker Cup, Coastal Cup, SoCal 300 and CA 500. Competitors are encouraged to register for the entirety of the CORW series, but also have the option to opt into any of the individual legs. Register by Sunday, April 30, to avoid the late fee! 

Vitesse in Monterey
Thomas Furlong’s SFYC-flagged R/P 52 Vitesse prepares to start the 2022 Coastal Cup in Monterey.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The Master Mariners Regatta will tour the Bay on Saturday, May 27, with a start off the Cityfront, a finish east of Treasure Island, and a raft-up at Encinal YC.

Water Witch in Master Mariners
The Master Mariners Regatta is a spectator’s delight. Some good vantage points from which to watch in the early afternoon: Crissy Field, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Lake sailors can hitch up the wagons again and pack the tents for the Whiskeytown Memorial Regatta on May 27-28. Whiskeytown Lake is a mountain reservoir west of Redding.

Or, if you have a Santa Cruz 27, Santa Cruz YC invites you to wrap up Made in Santa Cruz Race Week with the SC27 Nationals on May 27-29.

And Many More

More and more events seem to pop up on the calendar every month. We couldn’t list them all here. Are there other races this May that you’d like to bring to the attention of our readers? Please use the comments section of this post to promote them. And see a longer list in the Calendar in the next issue of Latitude 38, coming out on Monday, May 1.

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Sailors' Stories
Jim founded Antrim Associates in 1979 and boasts one of the most diverse design portfolios in the industry, including boats that have set speed records and some of the most innovative boats on the planet.