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June 28, 2023

July ‘Latitude 38’ and Mystery Boat Launch on Friday

The launch of our July issue, on Friday, will include a story on the mystery boat below, which is out for its first cruise in the Pacific Northwest after a 19-month restoration. It’s a boat that’s lived several lives, sailed many miles, and been resurrected several times to keep her sailing. She looks stunning after her recent renovation. Pick up our July issue on Friday to enjoy the story of this boat’s renewal, along with many other stories from West Coast sailors.

Anchored off Orcas Island.
She’s back where she belongs … taking her owners cruising.
© 2023 Debra Taylor

There are so many plastic classics sailing among us today that were built in the ’60s and ’70s, and  that have been lovingly restored many times so they can continue to do what they do best. The July issue also brings a story of the Coronado 35 Firecracker’s cruise in the Delta.

July is also the month of Bay View Boat Club’s 37th annual Plastic Classic Regatta, inviting all classes from the ’60s through ’98 to race in the South Bay off Pier 54 and then to hear music, party, and dance at the club on Saturday, July 22.

It’s looking like a great month ahead and we hope to see you on the water. When you do get off the dock, remember to take some photos of your sail and send them to [email protected] for the next month’s Sailagram album!

Best Emergency Communications Equipment for the Baja Ha-Ha

On a recent sail from Cabo to San Diego, Baja Ha-Ha Assistant Poobah Patsy Verhoeven experienced a minor issue with her Starlink — it had frozen in the “stow” position. Fortunately a crew member was able to climb up and rotate the antenna 90 degrees, and from then on it worked perfectly all the way to San Diego. The story clearly got the Ha-Ha’s Grand Poobah thinking about communications for the upcoming rally, and prompted him to share his list of pros and cons for the various options available to cruisers.

Not to freak people out, but there have been a number of recreational-boat emergencies lately that required or could have used some form of emergency communication. But the Poobah wants to note that of the more than 3,000 boats that have done the Baja Ha-Ha, only two have been lost. One was sunk by a whale, but thanks to an EPIRB and the Coast Guard, the entire crew was rescued in a matter of hours. The second was a Newport 41 inexplicably driven ashore during daylight in calm weather a few miles north of Turtle Bay. If memory serves, there has only been one dismasting.

The following is a list of recommended emergency communication equipment in the order of desirability.

1) A Garmin inReach or similar. This is a handheld battery-operated device that can leave a breadcrumb trail and can send an SOS with the press of a button no matter where you are in the world. Of particular value is the fact you can text back and forth to communicate the nature of your emergency. As of October last year over 10,000 people, most of them on land, had received help as a result of inReach. (SPOT X is a somewhat similar device but uses a “bent pipe” system that dramatically limits how far offshore it works.)

2) EPIRBs. While the Coast Guard also encourages the use of inReach, their number-one recommended emergency device is the EPIRB. The signal is a little stronger, and thus, unlike the inReach, it can still communicate a few feet underwater. The big drawback of EPIRBs is they are one-way communication. You have no way of knowing if your signal has been heard, and you have no way of communicating the nature of your emergency. It’s best, of course, to have both an inReach and an EPIRB.

3) Iridium Satphone. Like an inReach and EPIRBs, you can take a satphone in a liferaft. And like an inReach, it gives you two-way communication. Our longtime experience with satphones is that there have been times when they didn’t work well, if at all.

4) Starlink* is, among many other things, the best emergency device — if you have power and don’t have to get into a liferaft.

5) Ham or SSB radio. While these are great because an unlimited number of people can hear you at one time, they are dated technology and you can’t take them in a liferaft.

6) While it’s not a device, sailing in events such as the Ha-Ha and the Pacific Puddle Jump have two safety features: 1) There is a certain amount of safety in numbers, particularly in the Ha-Ha, where there are a lot of boats sailing the same mostly straight-line legs. And 2) Both events offer an optional breadcrumb-trail feature.

Baja Ha-Ha boats in Cabo
It’s great to have an eye on the other boats, but when you can’t see anyone, communication devices are even more important.
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha

We sailors should be thankful for modern technology. When I started sailing in the ’70s, there were several stories of cruisers who weren’t picked up from their liferafts for as much as three months. In emergency seminars a big topic was how much pee or seawater you could drink a day without harming yourself. This was in part because most early EPIRBs did not work, and there were no alternatives. Thanks to today’s communications, if you find yourself in a liferaft on almost any of the main cruising routes, if you have the right equipment, you could be picked up in 18 hours — and often less. The worldwide rescue system is a modern miracle. We can’t count the lives it would have saved in decades past. So please, avail yourself of it.

*Starlink’s plans can be confusing and have been changing rapidly, so we’ll go over them in detail later. Except, however, to say that if you can, the smartest thing would be to buy a Starlink in Mexico, where the equipment is a couple of hundred dollars less than in the US and where the monthly charges are significantly less. In addition, if you have a US Starlink you are likely to have to change your base country to Mexico after a few months. Starlink deliveries have been swift within Mexico, as in just a couple of days.

If you haven’t signed up for the Ha-Ha, there’s still time. The event runs from October 30 to November 11. And while we don’t want to alarm anyone, as we’ve mentioned previously, this may be the last Ha-Ha ever.

Don’t miss the boat; there’s still room for more!
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha

Sign up at might well have the time of your life.

Good Jibes #97: Ben Whyte and Alie Mancuso on ‘Breaking Waves’

This week’s host, Nicki Bennett, is joined by Ben Whyte and Alie Mancuso of Breaking Waves to chat about finding your confidence on the water. Ben and Alie have a story out of a movie: Two people with a mutual love for adventure fall in love, buy a boat, and set off in search of surf, waves and a life full of experiences.

good jibes #97
What shaped Ben and Alie’s sailing journey?
© 2023 Breaking Waves

Hear how to conquer your sailing fears, document your journey along the way, make sacrifices to make your lifestyle work, discover how tough you truly are, and achieve your cruising dreams.

This episode covers everything from sailing around Canada to relationships on the water. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • When did Ben and Alie know they wanted to get more serious about sailing?
  • How did Ben get his start sailing?
  • When did Ben and Alie start documenting their journey?
  • What are their thoughts on retirement?
  • How do you sail as a couple for so long?
  • What’s next for Breaking Waves?
  • How has the sailing community impacted their journey?
  • Short Tacks: Where is their bucket-list sailing destination?

Learn more about Ben and Alie on YouTube @BreakingWavesSailing, Instagram @BreakingWaves.Ben and @BreakingWaves.Alie, and at

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots — follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re feeling the Good Jibes!

This episode is brought to you by EWOL propellers. Learn more at

A Preview of West Coast Yacht Racing in July

From the Yacht Racing Association

“It’s time to register for the this year’s Westpoint Regatta, the YRA destination race with not one, but two great parties, sandwiched around fantastic racing through the South Bay,” writes the YRA. “The event kicks off with a party at Treasure Island Yacht Club the night before the race. Then Saturday you’ll race around Alcatraz and rocket downwind with the flood to Redwood City, where you will share race stories and drinks at the Club at Westpoint.” The race will take place on July 8.

Boats racing off Sausalito
Having rounded Alcatraz, a group of yachts competing in last year’s Westpoint Regatta heads to Harding Rock before sailing south to Redwood City.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The OYRA’s next offshore race will be the Jr Waterhouse on July 22.

On July 25, YRA will hold an informational meeting about the Bluewater Bash. “Interested in learning more about the Bluewater Bash, our long-distance ocean race? At this meeting we’ll go over equipment requirements, how to link your Iridium GO! or Garmin inReach to Jibeset for tracking, how to update your crew on Jibeset, and more.” The YRA will hold a separate skippers’ meeting for registrants on August 15. The Bluewater Bash will be on August 19-20. Register for the online informational meeting here.

The Encinal Regatta will sail out the Gate on July 29, with a virtual skippers’ meeting on Tuesday, July 18. “We’ll go over the finer points of racing fast out to Point Bonita and back, especially that last drag down the Estuary. Plus, details on the post-race festivities will be covered. Register here for the meeting.”

From St. Francis Yacht Club

StFYC will host the SF Classic & UN Challenge on July 8 for Hydrofoil Kites, Hydrofoil Windsurfers and Formula Windsurfers.

Laser Masters will sail their Pacific Coast Championships on July 15-16 at StFYC for the Don Trask Perpetual Trophy (Radial and full rig). “This is Don’s 90th birthday, and he will be out here,” writes Chris Boome. “We will sail old-style courses, with the start and finish off the race deck. We will have a bunch of old-time Laser stuff that will be fun for all, plus a birthday celebration on Saturday night after sailing.” The regatta is open to members of ILCA who have reached the age of 30 by the first day of the regatta. The entry fee is $135 before July 5, after which it will be $155, including one ticket to Don’s birthday dinner. (Additional tickets are $35.)

On July 21, StFYC will host an RS Tera and RS Feva Clinic, after which the sailors will compete for their PCCs on the weekend of the 22nd-23rd.

The Notice of Race is posted and registration is open for St. Francis Yacht Club’s inaugural Offshore Mixed Doubles Race, scheduled for July 29-30 and open to doublehanded crews of mixed gender. “We are very pleased to announce the Offshore Mixed Doubles Race,” says Dave MacEwen, vice chair of StFYC’s Executive Race Committee. “Doublehanded racing is extremely popular on San Francisco Bay — look at the success of the Three Bridge Fiasco. Adding an offshore element will take this format to a new level locally.” The race committee intends to conduct a single distance race of approximately 24 hours in a sailing area stretching across San Francisco Bay and its approaches to the Gulf of the Farallones. Boats eligible to enter include:

  • Monohulls with a minimum LOA ≥ 23’9” and a current NC PHRF rating
  • Multihulls with a minimum LOA ≥ 23’9” and a current SFBAMA PHRF rating
  • An ORC Doublehanded (DH) ORCi or ORC Club certificate is optional

Register now to get the best price for the 5O5 World Championship and North Americans. All entries made after midnight PDT on Friday, June 30, will incur a late fee. StFYC will host the championships on September 23-October 1.

Bay Area Miscellany

On July 1, Lake Merritt Sailing Club will host four races to be scored as two regattas. The first is the Mayor’s Cup/Independence Day regatta. The club will award the Mayor’s Cup and other prizes that day. The fee for participation in the Mayor’s Cup regatta is $15 per boat. The second regatta is the first day of the Summer/Fall series to be held July 1, August 12, September 9 and October 14. Racers will receive prizes for the series on October 14. The separate fee for participation in the series is $15 per boat per day or $45 for the four-day series (no refunds for cancellations). LMSC doesn’t have a website; for info contact the club’s commodore, Denis Hazlewood, at (707) 338-6955.

SFYC’s Great SF Schooner Cup & Belvedere Classic on July 15 will continue the SF Bay Classic Championship Series. “We started this just before COVID and then took a hiatus,” said Angie Lackey Olson of SFYC. “It’s a season championship for the MMBA’s Master Mariners Regatta, the Belvedere Classic/Great SF Schooner Race, and StFYC’s Jessica Cup.”

The Corinthian Midsummer regatta is a two-weekend series on July 15-16 and August 12-13, with two races on Saturdays and one race on Sundays. Shoreside entertainment at the historic clubhouse in Tiburon, dinner, and daily prizes will follow.

Encinal YC in Alameda will host the Santana 22 Nationals on July 21-23, with sailing in the South Bay.

Bay View Boat Club in San Francisco invites vintage fiberglass sailboats built from the 1960s to 1998 to race in the Plastic Classic on July 22. Dinner and dancing at the clubhouse in Mission Bay will follow.

High in the Sierra

Fresno YC advises us that registration is open for both weekends (July 8-9 and 15-16) of the High Sierra Regatta on Huntington Lake. “This is the 70th anniversary of the regatta at Huntington Lake,” says FYC. “The keys to its longevity are the excellent sailing conditions and the Fresno Yacht Club’s continuing commitment to putting on an excellent event. This year, in addition to the five-race format, we are going to have a taco dinner on the beach for each of the two weekends. We will be limited to 150 dinners, so sign up ahead of time in the Regatta Network store.

  • “For weekend #1, sign up using Regatta Network right up to Friday, July 7. The number of trophies will be determined by the number of registrants for each class on June 30. The regatta fee goes up $20 after that date too.
  • “For weekend #2, sign up using Regatta Network right up to Friday, July 14. The number of trophies will be determined by the number of registrants for each class on July 7. The regatta fee goes up $20 after that date.

“We’re looking forward to lots of cold water, great winds, and great competition. If you come for a good time, you can’t lose.”

  • July 8-9 is for Moth, Daysailer, Lido 14, Laser, Laser Radial, Banshee, RS Aero, Melges 14, Optimist, Vanguard 15 and San Juan 21 classes plus open centerboard boats (Portsmouth handicap).
  • July 15-16 will be for PHRF boats and Ultimate 20, Wylie Wabbit, Victory 21, Coronado 15, Melges 15 and Thistle classes.

FYC will host several other regattas during the month on Huntington Lake:

  • June 30-July 2 — Moore 24 Nationals
  • July 7-9 — International 14 Nationals
  • July 18-19 — Victory Nationals
  • July 22-23 — Mercury Regatta
  • July 27-30 — Jim DeWitt Memorial El Toro North Americans

Down in Southern California

The final Transpac starts (the fastest boats) will depart San Pedro, bound for Honolulu, on July 1.

Aloha party
The festivities are part of the fun of the Transpac. The Transpac Village is open at Cabrillo Way Marina in San Pedro.
© 2023 Transpacific Yacht Club

Long Beach and Alamitos Bay YCs will host the US Open Sailing Series on July 14-16. Invited classes are 470, 49er, 49erFX, Formula Kite, ILCA 7, ILCA 6, ILCA 4, iQFoil, Nacra 17, 29er, 420, iQFoil Youth, Nacra 15, Finn and Open Kitefoil. The event will also serve as the ILCA North Americans.

Ventura YC will host a J/Fest regatta on July 15-16.

On Friday, July 21, San Diego YC will wrangle the Dutch Shoe Marathon for Sabots.

The first-ever Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix (SailGP), in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles, will thrill spectators of the stadium-sailing series on July 22-23.

Balboa YC in Corona del Mar will host the 56th Governor’s Cup on July 24-29. The youth match-racing regatta will use identical, provided Governor’s Cup 22 keelboats. The NOR says, “Team members shall not have reached their 23rd birthday prior to July 29, 2023.”

Governor's Cup racing off the beach
Governor’s Cup action off Newport Beach.
© 2023 Balboa Yacht Club

The overnight King Harbor Race will sail from Santa Barbara to Redondo Beach on July 28-29.

Up in Oregon

The Columbia Gorge Racing Association will “CGOD” on July 28-30. (That’s an abbreviation for the Columbia Gorge One-Design Regatta).

The Hood River YC’s Hood River One Design Regatta on July 29 will also serve as the Moore 24 PCCs.

But That’s Not All…

As usual, our section of the time-space continuum is finite, so be sure to check out our monthly Calendar coming out this Friday, June 30, in the July issue of Latitude 38. For an overview of the year, have a gander at our 2023 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Master Schedule.

Visit With the SC52 ‘Westerly’ Live From the Transpac Race Course

We’re trying something new tomorrow at 2 p.m. when we broadcast live from aboard the Santa Cruz 52 Westerly after the start of the Transpac with owner Dave Moore and crew Andy Schwenk, Will Paxton, Chris Busch, William Clark, Andy Dippel, Clement Maestri, Alec Offenberger and Taylor Schlub.

We did a test today and it worked! You can watch it on our Facebook page here, our YouTube live stream, or our Twitter feed.

Come aboard for Transpac Live at 2 p.m. on Thursday for our on-course broadcast with Westerly.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki

The current schedule from Westerly is:

Thu 6/29 2 p.m.

Sat 7/1 11 a.m.

Mon 7/3 11 a.m.

Wed 7/5 11 a.m.

Fri 7/7 11 a.m.

See you on the race course!

Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race
On Sunday, June 25, 17 singlehanded sailors pointed their bows out the Golden Gate with their final destination a virtual finish line in Hanalei Bay on the north shore of Kauai.