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July 14, 2023

Sally Lindsay Honey and West Coast Sailors Join National Sailing Hall of Fame

The National Sailing Hall of Fame has announced their 2023 inductees, again including some of the West’s best. Gary Jobson, co-president of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, said of all the inductees who join 114 other members, “Their contributions to the world of sailing have deeply impacted and touched all of our lives, and each of them have created a hefty legacy for the rest of us to live up to.”

Sally Lindsay Honey

It was never a matter of if, only when. Sally Lindsay Honey has joined her husband, Stan, as a National Sailing Hall of Fame member. The two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year (1973 and 1974) has a long list of race-winning accomplishments alongside a dedication to sailing that’s had her contributing to the sport at all levels. She’s won in dinghies including 5O5s and Thistles, and offshore, while also running a successful sailmaking and industrial sewing operation on the Peninsula. In 2022, she and her husband Stan Honey (2012 Hall of Fame Inductee) took the prestigious St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy for winning the Newport to Bermuda Race with their 56-year-old Cal 40, Illusion. Moe Roddy spoke with Sally for our 91st episode of Good Jibes.

Sally Honey
2023 National Sailing Hall of Fame inductee Sally Honey heads out the Gate.
© 2023 Sally Honey

Sally has continually contributed to sailing as past chair of the US Sailing Safety at Sea program and is current chair of the World Sailing Special Regulations Subcommittee, while on the water continually inspiring and mentoring numerous sailors across the country and up and down the coast.

Bill Lapworth

Southern California sailor and naval architect Bill Lapworth became a household name amongst sailors for designing the Cal line of boats for Jack Jensen of Jensen Marine. He started with the popular and still-sailed Cal 20s in 1961, before designing one of his most renowned boats, the Cal 40. The cult of the Cal 40 continues today with many boats, including the Honeys’ Bermuda race-winning Illusion, being renovated and raced competitively in both oceans. Jim Quanci just won the 2023 Singlehanded Transpac with his Cal 40 Green Buffalo, while Rodney Pimentel won his class in the 2022 Pacific Cup aboard his Cal 40 Azure.

Lapworth was one of the first naval architects to successfully embrace the boat-building industry’s change from wood to fiberglass. His long career in marine engineering and naval architecture resulted in a line of keelboat one-designs built for the downwind speed favored by California and Pacific racers.

Bob Perry

Pacific Northwest naval architect Bob Perry designed his way into the hearts of many sailors and long-distance cruisers who have trusted his cruising designs as seaworthy and seakindly, and noted for their sailing performance. One of his early and most notable designs was the Valiant 40, which carried numerous cruisers all over the globe. Eleven Valiants appear in Latitude 38’s West Coast Circumnavigators list. As Gary Jobson described on the National Sailing Hall of Fame website, “Perry has designed yachts for Tayana, Cheoy Lee, Valiant, Baba, Ta Shing, Hans Christian Yachts, Islander, Passport, Pacific Seacraft, and Saga, to name a few. His expertise is apparent by his courses in yacht design at Evergreen State College in Washington, and his boat reviews that have been published in every issue of Sailing magazine for over 40 years.”

Tim Hogan — Lifetime Achievement Award

Tim Hogan grew up sailing in Newport Beach, has been the president of the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) since 2005, and has championed their causes for almost two decades. He and his team virtually doubled the roster of high school teams over the past 20 years, allowing more young sailors to take their skills into their adult lives. He is a three-time All-American sailor and successful offshore yacht racer. Hogan says that his greatest accomplishment is instilling a love for sailing in his four children.

The complete list of 2023 National Sailing Hall of Fame inductees includes:

• Elwood Widmer “Skip” Etchells
• Peter Holmberg
• Sally Honey
• John Kolius
• William “Bill” Lapworth
• John Knox Marshall
• Charles “Charley” Morgan
• Robert “Bob” Perry
• Richard “Dick” Stearns III

See all the inductees here.

Hurricane Calvin Takes Aim for Hawaii

Just as Transpac and Singlehanded Transpac racers get safely tucked into Hawaii, the National Hurricane Center shows Hurricane Calvin taking direct aim at Hawaii. It quickly intensified into a Category 3 hurricane and is expected to make landfall on the southern side of the Big Island of Hawaii by about 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

Hurricane Calvin
Hurricane Calvin is following the Transpac racers west.
© 2023 National Hurricane Center
Randy Leasure hugs a tree
Singlehanded Transpacific racer Randy Leasure, of the Westsail 32 Tortuga, might want to continue hanging on to that tree.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The hurricane’s arrival is due at just about the time delivery crews want to make their way home to the West Coast. Currently T/S Cal Maritime and Rio 100 are both on their way home, but naturally, are heading due north, and should be well out of the way of the hurricane’s track. While it’s often good to be in a harbor for a hurricane, one passing to the south of the islands could leave harbors on the north side vulnerable when the leading edge arrives, and the south side vulnerable as the trailing edge passes.

‘Iolani’ Enjoys the Delta Doo Dah in Potato Slough

Sylvia Stewart Stompe took a break from her role at Sausalito’s Call of the Sea, and together with her husband, Barry Stompe, enjoyed a Delta Doo Dah getaway aboard their Hughes 48, Iolani, last week. They enjoyed everything from reading the latest Latitude 38 magazine at peaceful anchorages, to the noise and excitement of Fourth of July fireworks and an air show, and, as an added benefit, meeting new sailing friends.

I am writing from Potato Slough with a big thank you to Latitude 38 for delivering the July issue on June 30, so we could have a copy to sail up the Delta with when we departed Sausalito early on July 1. Latitude 38 provided the entrée to making new friends! It was serendipity to read about the folks on the Catalina 42 Endless Summer (in the June issue we also had on board) and Dave and Michelle, and just hours later, to see them sail in to anchor nearby. We met up shortly thereafter, after watching them rescue a small motorboat that had lost propulsion and was drifting into a marsh. They displayed the true sailor’s spirit.

Latitude 38, or more precisely, our Baja Ha-Ha flag, also helped us make the acquaintance of Pete and April on a large trawler, Tai Tai, also anchored in Potato Slough. I had paddled by to say hello and thank them for their service, commenting on the USCG flag they displayed. Pete in turn mentioned the Ha-Ha flag we displayed. Turns out Pete had just retired from the Coast Guard, and he and April are planning to cruise the Sea of Cortez. I asked about the boat name and April explained that Tai Tai means “First wife, she who gets all the respect and money” — a candidate for best boat name ever!

The quiet Potato Slough anchorage.
© 2023 Sylvia Stompe
Delta Air Show
The quiet got noisier for the annual Delta air show.
© 2023 Sylvia Stompe
A quick summer getaway to the Delta was a perfect break for Barry and Sylvia.
© 2023 Sylvia Stompe

While at Potato Slough we also enjoyed watching the Hilton fireworks and a red super moon rising simultaneously from our anchorage on July 3 after the cool, now annual, air show. Our four-day mini-Delta Doo Dah concluded with a July 4 bash home, against 25+ knots in an ebb current by Port Chicago in Suisun Bay, and heavy breeze all the way to Sausalito.

Thanks to Sylvia for sharing the beauty and fun of the Delta. By the way, Endless Summer was among the first half dozen or so boats to sign up for this year’s 29th Baja Ha-Ha.

Photos from the Baja Ha-Ha Wayback Machine

As the start of the 29th Baja Ha-Ha approaches, the Poobah has released some old black and white photos from the Ha-Ha Wayback Machine. It’s fun to look over old images, and even more fun if you happen to spot yourself or someone you know among them. Do you see yourself in any of the photos? The Poobah guesses they’re from 1997 or 1998.

Baja Ha-Ha Wayback machine b&w sailboat
A perfect Ha-Ha breeze powering a lovely yacht.
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha
The old Costco food run. Martine, on the left, came all the way from France to crew on Profligate.
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha
When we were young. What do these folks look like and do now, a quarter of a century later? Are you or any of your friends in the photo?
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha
The welcoming committee at Turtle Bay.
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha
On the right, Andy Turpin, Latitude 38 editor-at-large and “Big Kahuna” of the Pacific Puddle Jump.
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha
Baja ha-ha crowd on beach
The Ha-Ha fleet celebrating having “cheated death,” on the beach in Cabo San Lucas.
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha

If you want to be part of the illustrious Baja Ha-Ha history, sign up today for the “This Could Be the Last Time Ha-Ha.”

The 29th Baja Ha-Ha starts October 30. Notice of Rally and entry information can be found at

Sometimes, Sailors Don’t Wear Lifejackets

Last week, we posted a video on our Facebook page of a 13-year-old sailor at the helm of the Santa Cruz 50 Deception, which was about 250 miles away from Oahu. The sailor was barefoot and wearing shorts and a T-shirt … and no PFD. Half of the comments on the post respectfully pointed out this fact.

“I hate to be that person but this seems incredibly irresponsible,” said one commenter. “Maybe I’m weird, but I always wear a PFD when I’m on my boat and away from the dock,” said another. As a Latitude editor, you could see this coming from a mile away — it is a standard reaction anytime someone is lifejacket-less.

And fair enough. Who could argue against safety? It is the official policy of Latitude Media LLC (assuming we had any “official policies”) to advocate for sailors to wear their lifejackets and to be as safe as possible at all times. But sometimes, despite our and everyone’s best efforts, sailors don’t wear lifejackets — myself included.

Is it anyone’s business whether someone else does or doesn’t wear a lifejacket on their boat? What’s the balance between encouraging safe habits and taking to the internet to reprimand people for not behaving how we’d like them to?

Here are a few times the safety discussion has felt a little out of balance: When Top Gun: Maverick came out last year, we were delighted to see Rufus Sjoberg’s J/125 Rufless featured in a scene on the Bay. We posted this picture:

Tom Cruise, right, and Jennifer Connelly star in last years super blockbuster, Top Gun: Maverick.
© 2023 Paramount Pictures

You know what’s coming, right?

“The Top Gun: Maverick sailing scene was exciting to watch, however it would have been even better with Tom Cruise wearing his life jacket outside his T-shirt and Jennifer Connelly wearing a tethered lifejacket and parka at the helm,” read one comment. (And a parka? Now we’re giving fashion advice?) “Couldn’t they at least wear inflatable PFD’s?” read another.

To what extent do we expect other people to reflect our ideals of safety? Does anyone honestly expect Hollywood to be responsible stewards of seamanship, among other presumed safety standards? (Go here to comment on All Is Lost.)

I have to remind myself that there were just two comments on the Top Gun story. It’s easy to inflate what might be a minority opinion. It’s easy to sound supercilious on social media. I’ll admit that I’ve grown sensitive to this kind of commentary during my tenure at Latitude. A few years ago, there was a reliable, nearly singular voice telling us that we were encouraging unsafe behavior — sometimes on seemingly innocuous issues, such as circling a superyacht at anchor, or using a crude autopilot while singlehanding. (To be fair, nothing is completely risk-free when you’re sailing.)

A common refrain from this commenter was something like, “People might read your story and go sailing, and the worst might happen.” Well, that is a possibility, and it assumes that we must always hedge against people’s worst behavior and decisions — a premise with which we disagree. (If we said something like, “Send us a selfie of you crossing the bow of a container ship at close range,” then clearly we would be encouraging bad behavior. Just to be clear, DO NOT do that, ever.)

This is where some kind of double standard rears its head.

Clockwise from top right: A famous L.A. to Hawaii race as seen in 2011, 2021, and 2023.
© 2023 All Photos Sharon Green / Ultimate Sailing except bottom right, Doug Gifford / Ultimate Sailing

We don’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but you’ll notice in the photos above that lots (if not all) of the sailors in the two photos aren’t wearing lifejackets. We cannot recall a single comment pointing this out. It appears that lifejacket-less behavior is tolerated in certain contexts.

I know lots of bluewater sailors who go lifejacket-less during the day, then don a PFD at night and require crew to be tethered in if leaving the cockpit — or tethered in the cockpit if alone. When I was singlehanding my Columbia Challenger out of San Rafael between 2017 and 2020, I never wore a lifejacket. Sometimes, I trailed a knotted line behind the boat, but mostly, I was completely ‘naked.’

Sailing solo on the Columbia Challenger Esprit.
© 2023 Tim Henry

I honestly can’t tell you why, nor could I possibly rationalize my decision. Years later, after I’d sold the boat, I would think about what it might feel like: the boat lurching unexpectedly underneath me, the panic of slipping and falling into the water. The cold would be shocking, as would the awkward weight of my wet clothes. Assuming the boat was on “autopilot,” I would have a millisecond to grasp at something. I know from experience swimming off the boat while anchored how hard it was to pull myself up via the outboard in the best of circumstances. Maybe the boat would round up and maybe not, but even if it sailed a short distance away from me, that’s still a substantial distance to swim while fully clothed.

I know that it would all happen incredibly fast — the overwhelming cold, the panic, the uncontrollable shaking. I can’t bear to think of seeing the boat sail away or just out of reach. My family would be devastated. It would be such an absurd and preventable death. I died because I didn’t feel like wearing a lifejacket. (Assuming I did have a PFD on in this same scenario is not any kind of guarantee that I’d survive or be rescued in a timely manner; it would only give me a fighting chance.) Here’s a story of this exact scenario off of Berkeley.

So please don’t hear me saying that you shouldn’t wear a lifejacket. You absolutely should, always. Please be safe out there. Please don’t die a preventable death. But let’s at least be honest: Sometimes, people don’t wear lifejackets.

Sailing In Pictures
Here it is, the eagerly awaited June Sailagram! Is your photo among the beautiful images shared from last month's sailing adventures?