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October 16, 2023

Sausalito Struts Its Stuff at Inaugural Boat Show

Sausalito turned on its best weather for the Bayside city’s inaugural boat show. Under the guidance of a team of local boaters and waterfront businesses, the event shaped up in true show style, with the festival-like atmosphere being soaked up by sailors, powerboaters and water enthusiasts alike. The docks were packed with boats and booths hosted by welcoming staff, and entertainment was on hand for everyone from 5 to 50 and beyond!

Sausalito Yacht Club delivered a great crew of volunteers, who manned the gates and ticket counter while boat show staff and volunteers moved among the crowds to facilitate smooth runnings. And by all accounts they succeeded! No one would have guessed the show was pulled together in only three months.

“We’re delighted to have been able to showcase not only the marine lifestyle and industry, but also acknowledge the grassroots activity and energy that led Sausalito to becoming the waterfront community that it is today,” show manager Mitch Perkins said when we spoke with him this morning.

Mitch Perkins opens the first annual Sausalito Boat Show on Friday. The show closed on Sunday at 5 p.m. to an orchestra of boat horns.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Heather

“So many nautical entities were born here, including the Liberty Ships and Latitude 38, and the Mathew Turner …” Perkins said. “And we want this to continue.

“We want to give a huge thank you and a shout-out to the community and everyone who helped make this happen, from the businesses, to the locals, the City of Sausalito, and to Sausalito’s EDAC [Economic Development and Advisory Committee],” he added.

A good day both on and off the dock.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki

A big thanks must also go to Clipper Yacht Harbor for hosting and providing such a great venue. We heard compliments all weekend! Habormaster Curtis Havel said they were very happy to have had the opportunity to host the Sausalito Boat Show.

“The event was a great success, and we were thrilled that our guests got to explore so many beautiful boats as well as a broad selection of maritime services provided here in Sausalito and Marin County,” Havel told us.

Here are a few pics that we took over the three-day event.

Modern Sailing was on hand to guide people into the sailing life.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki
From left to right: Erica (KKMI) Nick (Denison Yachts), Mitch (boat show manager), and Ethan from H&M Marine take time out for a quick group hug and photo at the show.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki
The dunk tank was a hit with everyone!
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki

There was even a display and on-water demonstration of model boats by the Elk Grove Model Yacht Club from Sacramento.

It’s the tactic of racing model boats that keeps the club members enthused — among other things.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Monica

If you didn’t make it to the show, you did miss out. But given the positive feedback from vendors and visitors alike, we expect you’ll have another opportunity at next year’s Sausalito Boat Show.

Exploring Alameda’s Open House Club Crawl, Part 2

After our visits to Aeolian, Ballena Bay, Island and Alameda Yacht Clubs on September 16, we ambled northeast along the Alameda waterfront from Fortman Marina to Encinal YC, where we popped into the busy pool area. Encinal is the biggest and fanciest of the Alameda clubs, and the only Bay Area yacht club we know of with its own (very popular) swimming pool.

Barbary Coast Boating Club

At one end of the pool, Barbary Coast Boating Club had a booth set up. Barbary Coast was founded in 1982 as a gay club. Still primarily LGBT-focused, the club welcomes all genders, couples, families and allies. They have 75 members and meet at EYC on the first Thursday most months, plus they do cruise-outs and Delta raft-ups. Next up is a Halloween party/cruise to Benicia YC. They’re a paper club, but part of PICYA so their members qualify for reciprocal privileges. Initiation is $70, with dues of $90/person or $170/couple — that’s per year, not per month.

Barbary Coast Boating Club table
Barbary Coast Boating Club members at their table in Encinal YC’s pool area.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Encinal Yacht Club

Alongside the pool, EYC had their own booth set up. The club’s membership roster is the largest on the island — almost 500 families belong to EYC. They have an active racing program, trivia nights, live music nights, water polo, junior sailing, guest docks and a small dry storage yard with a two-ton hoist. They’re well known among Bay Area sailors for hosting the raft-ups after the YRA Encinal Regatta (formerly known as the 2nd Half Opener) and the Master Mariners Regatta. The professionally staffed bar is open Thursday-Sunday; the pool and grounds are open to members 24/7.

EYC's pool with hoist in the background
When we visited Encinal YC, an innertube water polo game was underway. Note the hoist and dry storage in the background.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Besides being the biggest, Encinal is the oldest club on the island, having been established in 1890. They offer various levels of membership, but the Regular membership costs $163/month with a $1,500 initiation fee, plus some small assessments.

The entrance to Encinal YC
The entrance to Encinal YC. Note the sailing dinghies in the righthand background.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Oakland Yacht Club

Two doors down from Encinal is Oakland YC, which entertained open-house visitors with steel drum music and an appetizer buffet. The club was founded in Oakland in 1913, but moved to Alameda in 1977. They own seven docks (including a 200-ft guest dock) in Pacific Marina, and some of their 200 slips are available. With 180 members, OYC offers racing, cruising, Wednesday lunch, Friday and Saturday night dinner, Sunday brunch and parties.

Oakland YC entrance
Oakland YC, as seen from the parking lot.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Oakland YC table
Dave Lyman and Michael Severson welcomed us to OYC.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Their initiation fee is $500, and monthly dues are $130 (plus other small fees and a galley minimum). Current membership specials include a Locals Promotion for Alameda and Oakland residents, a Galley Promotion, and a credit for bringing a boat into the marina.

Docks at OYC
Oakland YC’s docks on the Estuary.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Single Sailors Association

At one end of OYC’s dining room, the Single Sailors Association had an information table. Established in 1982, this organization meets for monthly mixers at OYC. Their members enjoy destination daysails, events at other clubs, land excursions and raft-ups. Their mission is not to form romantic hookups, but to make sailing connections. They charge $110/year for the first year and $90/year after that.

Single Sailors Association table at OYC
The Single Sailors Association was the last club we visited. We chatted with Chris Hiller and Liz Lee at OYC.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Having successfully visited all eight clubs in one day, we kicked back on OYC’s deck, taking advantage a tropical drink special offered for the event. By the way, although we circumnavigated the island by land for this event, the Alameda clubs co-host a New Year’s Day circumnavigation by water, complete with bridge openings.

Rocking the Docks at the Annapolis Boat Show

The Annapolis Boat Show never disappoints. It’s 100% sail and 100% fun. While you can find the answer to almost any question on the internet, you can’t find the people who know the answers. But you can find them at the show. Despite the utility of screens and keyboards, we still enjoy talking with people.

Jeff Jorgensen Naos Yachts
We caught Jeff Jorgensen, now with Naos Yachts, on the docks showing off the towering Lagoon 55.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Over 50 multihulls were at the show, and it felt as if they covered a full acre of water. Cruising cats galore from Lagoon, Balance, Fountaine Pajot, Bali and more. Then there was the high-performance HH66, which looked as if it had trouble sitting still at the dock.

HH 66 Nemo
Todd Slyngstad’s HH66 Nemo took the prize over his brother Greg’s Bieker 53 Fujin at this year’s Voiles de St. Barth. You could check her out in Annapolis.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Exquisite Cats
Not all the multihulls were huge — this 30-ft Sportcat from Xquisite looked small but exciting in the crowd.

Fall weather in Annapolis is typically beautiful, though throughout the years of our annual pilgrimage, we’ve faced all kinds of weather. This year was no different. Thursday and Friday were gorgeous, comfortable, sunny days, while rain dominated Saturday afternoon and cleared out by Sunday.

Tylaska plastic snapshackle
The lightweight Tylaska plastic snap shackle won’t add weight to the end of your light sheets when you’re trying to keep your kite in the air.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Lots of boats and good weather brought out the crowds on both Thursday and Friday. Folks travel in from everywhere, so West Coast yacht brokers are busy with West Coast clients. Large cruising monohulls are also on display so you can head out to the docks and compare boats from Amel, Hallberg-Rassy, Swan, Hylas, Bluewater, Outbound, Passport and more.

Annapolis Boat Show 2023
The 2023 Annapolis Boat Show filled the docks with boats, and people who wanted to see them.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Essentially every major brand brings practically the full lineup of boats to the show, with large selections from Beneteau, Jeanneau, Dufour, Hanse, Bavaria, Catalina and many more. The major theme appears to be “big” — how much volume you can create below for a given length, which is achieved with freeboard and beam. Most new boats are very wide, making for expansive deck space and plenty of space below.

Elan Yachts
Wide boats had plenty of room for names, but sometimes it was hard to figure out what boat you were looking at. We think this was an Elan.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Despite spending days at the show, we always end up having to leave before we can see everything there is to see. There are parties every night. At this, the 53rd annual Annapolis Boat Show, Sunsail was celebrating its 50-year anniversary, and Steve and Doris Colgate were celebrating the 60th anniversary of Offshore Sailing School.

David Crafa and Peggy Huang
David Crafa and Peggy Huang from Marina del Rey were busy showing the new Hylas 57.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The show was incredibly busy, and we heard of many boats selling, including the innovative new Jeanneau 55 that was making its debut at the show. The activity was inspiring, and we could sense a market shift from the pandemic’s feeding frenzy. Supply chain issues have improved, backlogs are reduced, and more boats are now available to display in boat shows and sell to the new boat buyer.

Here’s a fun video we took while we cruised around the show booths and saw the folding Flipper winch handle being demonstrated on top of one of the new Ronstan Orbit Winches.

We always return home energized by the creative new products on the market, and time spent reconnecting with the history, culture and friendships developed in sailing over years of visiting Annapolis. We plan to head back when the show returns on October 10, 2024.

Team USA Takes SailGP Win in Cadiz, Spain

It was sailing with a bigger purpose in mind this past weekend in Cádiz, Andalusia, at the Spain Sail Grand Prix. Jimmy Spithill led the USA SailGP Team to an unlikely win, with high fives all around for the whole team as they dedicated the win to injured teammate Hans Henken. After finishing a disappointing 10th and a last place for Race 3, and with little hope of making the podium final, Team USA capitalized on a critical error by Team New Zealand to reach the championship race.

USA SailGP Team celebrate winning the Spain Sail Grand Prix onboard the USA SailGP Team F50 catamaran.
© 2023 Ricardo Pinto / SailGP

Once in the final, Spithill took advantage of his own mistake and a late start for Australia and Denmark to capture the weekend and move into a third-place tie in Season 4’s overall points tally toward the final race next year in San Francisco.

In the final podium race, the Americans started on the back foot thanks to a boundary penalty during the pre-start, which meant they needed to start behind Australia and Rockwool Denmark, who for the most part had a flawless weekend.

Rockwool Denmark SailGP Team helmed by Nicolai Sehested in action during a practice session ahead of the Spain Sail Grand Prix.
© 2023 Felix Diemer / SailGP

“Nothing pretty about that start; it was 100 percent my fault,” said Spithill. “I didn’t see the boundary, but as it turns out, that worked in our favor. For the teams (the Aussies and Danes) in front at the first mark the wind had started to go light, so we were able to jibe and lead them out of there and that was really the race.” USA finished a full two and a half minutes ahead of second-place Rockwool Denmark.

“Things like that don’t faze this team,” Spithill said. “It’s something we’ve built up; it doesn’t matter where we are, we’re going to fight all the way to the end. It was such a massive blow for the team in Italy when Henken sustained injuries during the Italy Sail Grand Prix, and a tough moment for us all to go through,” Spithill said. “But it also inspired us and gave us a real amount of purpose for this event. We dedicate this win to Hans.”

Henken, who is now back in the United States and recovering well, was touched by the tribute.

“The entire team has put in a ton of effort, and it’s awesome to see all the hard work paying off,” Henken said. “Each team is bigger than the individuals; I’m grateful for all the support and honored to be a part of this team and this win.”

USA SailGP Team helmed by Jimmy Spithill on Race Day 1 of the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cádiz, Spain, 14 October, 2023. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP
© 2023 Ricardo Pinto / SailGP

Team USA has had a veritable rotating lineup that Spithill has had to juggle for more than a year, with various crew injuries.

“I’m recovering and I feel like I have been steadily improving every day. My focus right now is on following concussion protocol and soon will be starting physical therapy for the few upper-body injuries that I sustained,” Henken said in an update on his road to recovery. “I’d like to thank my USA SailGP team for the quick response at a critical time, and their ongoing support. They’re all awesome people and I’m grateful to be a part of the team. I’d also like to thank the amazing SailGP medical team for going above and beyond their duty in making sure I had everything I needed, and made me feel as safe and comfortable as possible, given the circumstances that I was in.”

The Kiwis needed to get past the Americans and Spanish to secure a spot in the final, and as they were overtaking Spithill on the final mark, they copped a penalty for not keeping clear of Emirates Team GBR — a move skipper Peter Burling said was “unnecessary.”

“We did a really good job to get back to the Americans. then setting up for a jibe to the last mark, and Ben (Ainslie) obviously took the opportunity we gave him,” said Burling. “Obviously he wanted to block us out of the final and he did a nice job of that.”

Switzerland SailGP Team helmed by Sebastien Schneiter, ahead of France SailGP Team helmed by Quentin Delapierre and Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team helmed by Ben Ainslie, during a practice session ahead of the Spain Sail Grand Prix.
© 2023 Bob Martin / SailGP

“You see how little battles in the fleet unfold — like what you have with Canada and Spain at the moment. We thought it was a bit unnecessary, but we were in the wrong and not much you can do,” Burling said. “A fourth for us this weekend is a good result, and a good way for us to bounce back after some time not racing.”

With lighter winds for most of the weekend, the teams sailed with just four crew onboard for Sunday’s final day of racing. For the Americans, it meant that Spithill did double duty, being the flight controller in addition to driving the boat, as strategist Erika Reineke moved into the physical G1 (Grinder 1) position, working the handles to produce power for the wing sail and foils.

She joked that the pre-race Red Bulls had her really charged up, echoing the “never give up” mentality.

“There was no doubt in my mind we had a chance; our team never stops fighting until after the finish line,” said Reineke, who returned earlier this summer from a broken ankle she sustained in the SailGP race in Australia. “This weekend means a lot. It marks my one-year anniversary with the team, and this year it’s full circle that we take the win together. I love racing with the guys and look forward to what’s next.”

During the on-water celebrations, Spithill handed Reineke the victory wheel for the team photo, a nod to her performance and to the second anniversary of the Women’s Pathway Program — SailGP’s mission to increase women’s participation at the highest level in the sport.

SailGP heads to Dubai, UAE, on December 9/10 (hopefully, world permitting), and even with a dominating Season 4 lead, a dejected Tom Slingsby admitted he was “frustrated” by the result, adding that Australia was “almost lapped” by the United States. “It’s just one mistake and the race is over.”

USA SailGP Team helmed by Jimmy Spithill lead Australia SailGP Team helmed by Tom Slingsby and Rockwool Denmark SailGP Team helmed by Nicolai Sehested on Race Day 2 of the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cádiz, Spain.
© 2023 Bob Martin / SailGP

It must be horrible to have won three championships in a row and not win every race! But that is the intensity that Slingsby brings to everything he does.