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December 29, 2023

Racing into the New Year with January Regattas

New Year’s Day Events

New Year’s Day traditions abide. Among races on Monday, January 1, will be:

  • The Master Mariners New Year’s Day Regatta from the east side of Treasure Island to Point San Pablo Yacht Club in Richmond, ending with a Tacky Trophy exchange.
  • We’re told that four is the correct number of r’s in the title of Coyote Point YC’s Brrrr Rabbit pursuit race on the South Bay out of San Mateo.
  • Mission Bay YC in San Diego will have a Hangover Regatta.
  • San Diego YC’s New Year’s Day Race is immensely popular with the locals there. It’s free!
New Year's Day Race in San Diego
Racing on New Year’s Day in San Diego, about 15 years ago.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Midwinter Series Starting in January

Although most Midwinter Series started in November or December, more join the fun in January:

  • Corinthian YC’s two-weekend Midwinter Series will begin on January 20-21 and end on February 17-18, with raft-ups and parties on each Saturday night.
  • Oakland YC’s Sunday Brunch Series will kick off on January 7 and run every other Sunday through April 7, with racing on the Estuary. Sign up on Jibeset.
  • Coyote Point YC’s Winter Races will start on January 14.
Point Knox race start
The Point Knox starting area of the Corinthian Midwinters.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

California Dreamin’ Adds a Stop

Balboa YC in Newport Harbor has joined the travelin’ match-racing series for the 2024 season. California Dreamin’ will kick off at San Diego YC on January 27-28 in J/22s, travel to Balboa YC for sailing in Governor’s Cup 21s on February 18-29, head north to St. Francis YC for more J/22 racing on March 16-17, then finish up in SoCal at Long Beach YC in Catalina 37s. Read the Notice of Series here, then request an invitation here.

Three Bridge Fiasco

The Singlehanded Sailing Society’s 2024 season will start with a big bang at the Three Bridge Fiasco pursuit race on January 27. Singlehanders and doublehanders will start in front of Golden Gate YC — crossing the line in either direction. Then they’ll round the three marks, Blackaller Buoy, Yerba Buena Island and Red Rock, in any order and any direction. If they can make it around in time against adverse currents and fluky breezes, they’ll finish in either direction. There’s a reason they call it a Fiasco! We expect registration to open soon at Be advised that the SSS has instituted a late fee for those among us who procrastinate.

Three Bridge Fiasco start
Last year’s Three Bridge Fiasco had its share of fog, but it wasn’t the foggiest in recent memory.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

As noted elsewhere in today’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, the 2024 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Schedule is making the rounds today along with the January issue of Latitude 38. You’ll find many more worthy events and regattas in both of those publications.

Get a Head Start on the New Year With Latitude’s January Issue

Welcome to a new year of sailing adventures and fun. It’s not quite January 1, but today is a great day to celebrate as we bring you the first Latitude 38 magazine of 2024. Plus, it’s a bonus delivery day as we also deliver next year’s sailing calendar. The 2024 Northern California Sailing Calendar is hot off the press and ready for you to put together your sailing schedule for the new year. There are lots of events to choose from including offshore races, beer can races, boat shows, Opening Day, Summer Sailstice and SailGP.

Here’s a peek at Latitude 38’s January 2024 issue:

The Kids These Days …

When you hang out with certain groups of people, you occasionally hear the comment, “The kids these days …” followed by the bemoaning of lost skill or bad attitude and manners — usually all accompanied with a roll of the eyes. But some beg to differ. We appreciated hearing another view from Tom Struttmann, the owner of the J/105 Arrived!. When Tom was introduced to Sausalito native AJ McKeon, it was the beginning of a great partnership between the Bay Area sailor and a young college freshman.

Latitude 38 January Issue
AJ McKeon aboard Tom Struttmann’s J/105 Arrived!
© 2023 'Arrived!'

In Praise of Anchoring

Ask 10 cruising sailors about anchoring and you’ll get 10 different diatribes on methodology and etiquette. How much scope should you use in a packed anchorage or how far away should you be from the next boat? What size, shape, or brand of anchor should you use? There’s also the same litany of opinions about rope versus chain, and how much of each in what kinds of bottom conditions. It seems every sailor, armchair or otherwise, has an opinion about how you should anchor your boat.

Author James Lane rows from his anchored electric Baba 30 Cetacea, in Marathon, in 2023.
© 2023 S/V Cetacea

Season Champs Part 2 — the YRA

On November 18, Yacht Racing Association officials and participants gathered at Richmond Yacht Club for an end-of-the-year trophy party and prize pickup get-together. In this second part of our annual three-part Season Champs series, we turn our attention to the YRA season winners.

Kersey Clausen and Mike Quinn sailed the Alerion Express 28 Resilience to victory in the YRA’s In the Bay Series.
© 2023 Ira Potekhina
  • Letters: I Sailed Right Past L.A.; Make Cruising Sane Again; Do You Have a California Boater Card? Our Readers Have a Lot To Say; and many more Letters to the Editor.
  • Sightings: A Cautionary Tale About TIPs; From Mission Bay Around the World; The Estuary: Past, Present and Future; and other stories.
  • Max Ebb: A New Spin.
  • Racing Sheet: This edition, slimmed down for the time of year, takes us to SYC’s Chili Midwinters, new Umpired Team Racing on the Estuary, the Berkeley Midwinters, DRYC’s Drumstick Regatta, the Big Sail, SDYC’s Hot Rum Series, and the revival of the US Windsurfer Class. And we end with slender Box Scores and beefy Race Notes.
  • Changes in Latitudes: With reports this month on Geja’s Mediterranean loop (Part 2), Ana Maria’s final landfall in New Zealand, and some of Lyrae’s twin-hulled twin-twin adventures. We also catch up with a few 2023 contributors in our annual “Where Are They Now?” feature, and start the year off with some tasty Cruise Notes.
  • Loose Lips: Catch up on December’s Caption Contest(!) winners.
  • The sailboat owners and buyers’ bible, Classy Classifieds.

If you’re a subscriber, your magazine is on its way. Or you can go to your own favorite or nearest outlet. Here’s a map of where to find Latitude 38 magazine.

When you pick up your January issue, remember to grab your copy of the 2024 Northern California Sailing Calendar. Much more than a schedule, it includes other useful information including Bay Area racing charts, contacts, signal flags, beer can races, midwinters and a directory of youth programs. If you want to do more sailing in 2024, stop by your local marine outlet, pick up a copy of the calendar, and start inviting your crew and friends to join you on the water. It’s never too early to plan ahead!

Ronnie Simpson Planning Pit Stop for Repairs in Hobart, Australia

Ronnie Simpson sent Christmas greetings to all his fans just after passing Cape Leeuwin, the most southwesterly point in mainland Australia, while racing in the inaugural Global Solo Challenge. Currently, he’s running in third place, with fellow US sailor Cole Brauer holding second, but due to a series of equipment failures he’ll be making a stop in Hobart, Tasmania.

Ronnie Simpson Shipyard Brewing
Ronnie Simpson sent his Christmas greetings while also making the difficult decision to make a stop in Hobart.
© 2023 Ronnie Simpson

After the early failure of his primary autopilot, Ronnie’s been running on his backup for more than 10,000 miles. He’s had a series of significant tears in the mainsail requiring repair, which, combined with other challenges on board, have had him nursing his boat Shipyard Brewing through the Southern Ocean.

And while he’s been maintaining a very solid race, his blog alludes to his mood. “So you can understand my mounting frustration when I’m being handicapped in this race in many ways, due to somewhat under-tested systems and suboptimal aspects of the boat that could have been greatly improved with more time, resources and development.”

Ronnie is expecting to pull into Hobart in the first week of the new year, not long after the finish of the Sydney Hobart Race. There he’s planning to rejoin the race after losing many miles to his competitors. Despite the difficulties, Ronnie is still grateful for everyone who has been supporting him in the lead-up to and during the race.

“As always, I want to extend a huge thanks to all of my sponsors, friends and supporters who have been especially encouraging through some difficult times onboard. There have been a lot of messages of encouragement and ‘you got this’ that I’ve received in the past couple of weeks, and they have truly lifted my spirits and been encouraging. Thank you.”

We wish Ronnie luck in making it a quick stop and return to the course. You can read more about Ronnie Simpson at his website, Ronnie Simpson Racing, and keep up with his race on his Instagram page: @captainron_official.


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A post shared by Ronald A Simpson (@captainron_official)

Browsing Through the 2023 Sailagram Galleries

As we wrap up 2023, we wanted to share a few images of the year’s Sailagram galleries. We took one photo from each month to bring you a snapshot of the smiles and joys of being on the water (except from December, as we’ll publish those photos next week).

Sit back and check out the smiling faces.

We look forward to sharing the next 12 months of sailing with you, and receiving your photos at [email protected].