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February 2, 2024

BOLO — Coast Guard Searching for SV ‘Malulani,’ LA to Hawaii

UPDATE: Since our posting on Friday a note from USCG SAR, Doug Samp, says all is well as Noel checked in Saturday morning from about 25 miles off of Kaneohe, HI. 

The US Coast Guard is seeking the assistance of the maritime community, asking us to be on the lookout for the 32-ft Westsail sloop Malulani, crewed by 60-year-old Noel Rubio. SV Malulani departed Long Beach, California, on December 28, en route to Kaneohe, O’ahu, Hawaii, with a planned arrival date of January 18.

The Coast Guard is using all available means to determine the Malulani’s location, including urgent marine broadcasts and harbor checks in California, Hawaii, and Baja California. His last cellphone communication, on December 28, was south of Catalina Island, informing a friend he was sailing to Hawaii by a southerly route. The only means of communication aboard Malulani is VHF-FM marine band radio.

Westsail 32 Malulani
Malulani in Long Beach.
© 2024 Courtesy USCG

“The Coast Guard is greatly appreciative of the expert consult advice on weather and routes provided by experienced transpacific sailors,” said Douglas Samp, SAR mission coordinator. “Mariners intending to conduct an open-ocean passage are highly encouraged to have multiple layers of communication, including a VHF-FM DSC radio, HF DSC radio, satellite communications, and a 406 MHz EPIRB as the notification of last resort to help SAR authorities locate your position in time of need.”

Westsail 32 Malulani
The Westsail 32 Malulani in the boatyard.
© 2024 Courtesy USCG

Please report any information or sightings of SV Malulani or Noel Rubio to Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) Alameda at (510) 437-3701, [email protected] or JRCC Honolulu at (808) 535-3333, [email protected].

Westsail 32 Malulani
© 2024 Courtesy USCG
Skipper Noel Rubio
Malulani owner/skipper Noel Rubio.
© 2024 Courtesy USCG

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I-14 Skiff Clinic Brings New Skills to Sailors From Near and Far

San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) has wrapped up a successful introductory skiff clinic held on the weekend of January 27-28. The clinic, organized by the US I-14 Class, welcomed a total of 18 new and semi-new skiff sailors, including some who flew in from Ohio, Seattle and San Francisco. Participants were made up of junior high and high school sailors getting their first skiff-sailing experience or stepping up from a 29er; a 68-year-old grandmother sailing from the wire for her first time; and several college and recently graduated college sailors. It was a mix of coaches and very experienced sailors joining relatively new sailors.

Just like last year’s event (pictured above), the 2024 clinic was offered free of charge.
© 2024

Bay Area sailor Aiden Mobley (also a surfer whose Mavericks story we recently shared in ‘Lectronic) was among the coaches and sent us the following wrap-up of the weekend.

“For coaching we had several of the top US I-14 sailors, both skippers and crews. Lots of National and North American, Pacific Rim champions on the coaching side.

“Saturday morning started with a welcome to the clinic, and introductions among the students who shared a little about themselves and their sailing backgrounds. We then introduced the boats and some of the International 14’s history as the oldest International dinghy class in the world. We touched on some of the many developments brought to sailing through the I-14 class, as well as some of the history of the participants in the class from around the world. It was then time for the chalk talks.

“Here we introduced some nuances of trapeze harness fit and adjustments, as well as proper techniques so as to reduce the development of poor techniques and bad habits. This was followed with footwork through the boat for tacks and jibes for both skipper and crew. We also discussed and demonstrated hoists and douses of the kite. We then talked the inevitable capsize drills and proper ways to retrieve and enter the boat without damage to the boat or yourself.”

sailor practising I-14 skiff skills
The practice began on dry land.
© 2024 Cameron Puckey

“These skills were then practiced with on-land drills, aboard boats in cradles on the sail-drying lawn. Each participant was run through each drill numerous times so as to improve our on-water time and efficiency. Saturday afternoon was spent practicing aboard four high-end I-14s, with the sailors switching onto powerboats.”

Time to get wet.
© 2024 Cameron Puckey
There was plenty of opportunity to practice everything learned ashore.
© 2024 Cameron Puckey

“The skiffs were a Bieker 5 and 6 and two Hollum-designed boats, sporting both single- and double-spreader rigs. After almost four hours of relatively light air and mostly double-wire sailing, we got back to the dock for a rinse and debrief of the day’s activities. Several participants then retired to the SDYC clubhouse for refreshments and dinner.

“Sunday started with another question-and-answer period followed by more dry-land drills working on the skills learned the first day, along with some additional information. Driving from the wire and maneuvers from the driver’s perspective were a focal point. We were on the water again by 1200 and sailed out to the ocean, where a sea breeze filled in at 10-12 kts, along with a decent westerly swell out past Point Cabrillo.”

Being able to switch out from the powerboats meant more time on the wire.
© 2024 Cameron Puckey

“Several more rounds were had, with the addition of another Bieker 3. All of the participants that were ready got to do some driving from the wire and learned just how twitchy these boats can be. We all made it back to the docks safely with some tired but excited sailors. Again, some debriefing and cold beverages topped off the weekend.”

Wrapping up a good weekend.
© 2024 Cameron Puckey

“Thanks to all the participants as well as the coaching staff along with San Diego Yacht Club for welcoming the I-14 fleet to San Diego.”

Aidan Mobley hails from Playa del Rey, Southern California. He began sailing at the age of 6 and has never looked back. After moving from Sabots to Optis, he transitioned into the I-420 and 29er classes, and at 16 joined the I-14 class. He now races 49ers, 18s and cats, and competes in numerous other offshore races. You can learn more about his sailing and other activities here.

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2023 Rolex Yachtsman/Yachtswoman of the Year Awards

Right on schedule, it’s that time again. Yesterday, US Sailing announced the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Award winners.

US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards
Charlie Enright and Christina Wolfe each took home a Rolex from the National Sailing Programs Symposium in Savannah, GA.
© 2024 US Sailing / Lexi Pline

Charlie Enright (Barrington, RI) and West Coast sailor Christina Wolfe (Orcas Island, WA) were awarded the 2023 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Award and were celebrated along with fellow 2023 award finalists Betsy Alison, Erika Reineke, Steve Hunt, and Allan Terhune Jr.

The winners were presented with the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Award trophy along with specially engraved Rolex Yacht-Master timepieces. These honorees join an elite group of notable national sailors.

As skipper, Charlie Enright led the 11th Hour Racing Team to become the first American-flagged team to ever win The Ocean Race, in 2023. In his third shot at the elusive Ocean Race Trophy, the win had been over 10 years in the making for his team, and over six years in the making for 11th Hour Racing.

Of the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award, Charlie Enright said, “It’s iconic. It makes me think of all the people who have come before all of us. I’ve done a lot of sailing with some of the other finalists who were nominated, and I’ve certainly learned a lot from all of them. This is an individual award in theory, but it takes a village no matter what you’re doing, and I can’t say enough about all the teammates that we had in this endeavor.”

Christina Wolfe is an accomplished offshore sailor, having put thousands of offshore miles under her belt. Pacific Northwest sailor Christina is best known for her doublehanded sailing, often with her husband Justin Wolfe as crew, aboard their J/111 Raku and J/70 Mossy. They now have a Jeanneau Sunfast 3300, Red Ruby. In 2023, Christina achieved First Overall ORC, Second Overall IRC, and Doublehanded Line Honors in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, first female skipper overall in the Rolex Fastnet Race, and first in IRC 2 at the De Guingand Bowl, all achieved doublehanded.

“Never in a million years did I expect to be standing on this stage, let alone in the room with all of you,” Christina said. “This is an incredible honor for me to be up here on this stage. I don’t sail for a living, but when I do sail, it’s the most alive that I feel, and I know many of you feel that as well. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to do this, to see these iconic races, and to meet inspiring people.”

Three men and three women were chosen as finalists for US Sailing’s 2023 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards in January 2024. The annual rundown of the year’s “best in the US” represents a wide range of accomplished sailors from various disciplines and at different stages of their respective careers. All nominees are highly distinguished and talented, and the nomination panel was especially impressed by their growth and depth of achievements.

Yachtsman and Yachtswoman finalists earned their spots on this exclusive list by dominating their respective classes and showing true variety in their sailing accomplishments. All six of these sailors represent their own unique pathways in the sport, have demonstrated on-the-water excellence at international and national events, and have brought global recognition to sailing while representing the United States.

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Sailagram: Snapshot of January Sailing

2024 is off to a racy start! Lots of winter regatta action. Catch it here as Sailagram brings the heat to an otherwise chilly month on S.F. Bay!

Send us your sailing photos to be featured next month to [email protected].

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