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February 19, 2024

‘Stad Amsterdam’ Coming to a Bridge Near You on March 6

The Stad Amsterdam is returning to San Francisco Bay on March 6. Mark the date, gather your crew, streamers and festoons, then prepare for a grand welcome on the water. Bay Area sailors are invited to greet this three-masted square-rigger as she carries a glorious 31 sails (at maximum) under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Stad Amsterdam
Stad Amersterdam is coming to a bridge near you.
© 2024 Stad Amsterdam

In August 2023, the clipper Stad Amsterdam embarked on a two-year voyage around the world with stops in Lisbon, San Francisco, Hawai’i, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Mumbai, Cape Town, New York City, London and more. She returns to homeport in August 2025, timed to coincide with SAIL Amsterdam, an international festival of tall ships that happens once every five years. San Francisco is her only western US shore stop in 2024, so the entire sailing community is invited to watch her slip into the Bay.

Call of the Sea will be the first to welcome her. Other historic boats invited include the USS Potomac, Master Mariners Benevolent Association (MMBA) members plus other wooden boat fleets, the San Francisco fireboat, and the entire sailing community. We’ll share more details a few days before her arrival.

On February 6, Stad Amsterdam reached the Panama Canal. In preparation for a 23-day journey north (once through the canal), Captain Sune Blinkenberg reports that provisions were added in Panama City in preparation for the 3400-mile sail north to San Francisco (with no planned stopovers). The Stad Amsterdam moves at 10 to 12 knots under full sail pressure, but is able to reach a peak speed of 17 to 18 knots in optimal conditions.

Stad Amsterdam on San Francisco Bay in 2018
Stad Amsterdam on San Francisco Bay in 2018
© 2024 Stad Amsterdam

“For this particular journey, however, we tactfully plan for an average speed of 6 knots, recognizing the variable and unpredictable nature of winds along that coastline.” A sail from Panama to San Francisco is all upwind, and will likely be slow due to constant northerlies. As of publication date, the vessel tracker shows her SW of Acapulco. You can track her progress here (scroll down to see tracker map).

Stad Amsterdam
The 250-ft three-masted clipper ship Stad Amsterdam is coming to San Francisco Bay.
© 2024 Stad Amsterdam

The Stad Amsterdam is a modern 76-meter (250-foot) sailing vessel. Produced between the years 1997 and 2000, her lines and production reflect traditional boatbuilding hallmarks of the late 19th century. The idea to create a tall ship came to light during SAIL Amsterdam 1995, when members of city leadership and private industry came together. Her design takes inspiration from the era of fast ocean clippers, with merchant trading vessel Amsterdam (1854) as inspiration. She carries an international crew of 30 sailors, a hospitality team and a technical team, plus trainees; all are led by two captains and five officers. A key program is providing young people with work opportunities, skills training and experiences for personal and social growth. In addition, the vessel hosts private excursions and corporate team-building programs.

The Stad Amsterdam last visited San Francisco in 2018. She is the official sailing ship of her namesake city.

Mexico Warms Winter With Banderas Bay Regatta and Other Race Events

While we’ve been watching the winter rains fall, Mexico has turned on the heat with its annual winter racing regattas. Last month they kicked off with the Vallarta Cup on January 13–14 and 27–28. Fifteen boats competed across three divisions: Multihull, Cruising, and Performance. Charity Palmatier sent us a few photos of the regatta; she was too busy racing to manage more.

“We have been busy having fun down here for sure!” she wrote.

VYC Junior Sailing Director Bart Goodell races with junior sailor Julian Cameron. Looking at the results table, it appears the duo earned themselves second place. 
© 2024 Charity Palmatier
Andy Barrow and the crew of Hey Ya won the Cruising Division.
© 2024 Charity Palmatier
Pre-race prep included readying the main aboard local sailor Fred Roswald’s Wings.
© 2024 Charity Palmatier

Full Vallarta Cup results are as below:

Mexico regatta results

Next on the schedule is the J/70 regatta, Copa de Mexico, followed by WesMex International Small Boat Regatta, which also serves as qualifier for many of the junior and small-boat sailors, including one 2024 Olympic hopeful, Elena Oetling.

Next month is the Banderas Bay Regatta, held at Riviera Nayarit. This annual race is a favorites for cruisers. We’ve shared many stories of their days of races, parties, and more racing and partying. And that’s not including the “kick-ass beach party/awards ceremony” at the end.

If you’re heading to Mexico, or are already there, drop in, sign up, and join the fun.
© 2024

Spaulding Summer Sea Camp Registration Is Now Open

Summer Sea Camp Registration is now Open. Starting June 24, campers will learn sailing on SF Bay aboard Spaulding Marine Center’s fleet of Pelican sailboats. Plus, they’ll develop woodworking skills in our historic woodshop. Our summer camp is the perfect beginning sailing camp for young water enthusiasts and youth who show interest in hands-on-learning experiences. To learn more about Summer Sea Camp, visit Email [email protected] or call 415-332-3179.

Scammers, Classifieds and Crew List Rides to Nuku Hiva

Jan Passion, owner of the Seawind 1000 Hokahey, reached out to us because he is one of many classified advertisers who rightly suspected a scam when a prospective buyer offered a cashier’s check for his boat partnership sight unseen. Unfortunately, this is a story we’ve heard many times before from advertisers in our classifieds and essentially all classifieds. Another friend of ours recently recounted the same scam when trying to sell his mom’s car on Craigslist.

X - 49 Joia
Jan Passion, Madeleine and Stuart on a warm-up sail to Santa Cruz Island.
© 2024 Joia / Madeleine Lithvall

The good news is Jan wisely avoided the scam and let us know so we can once again warn readers of the nefarious characters scanning the internet searching for victims. Even better we learned Jan is getting ready to sail to Nuku Hiva in April. The conversation continued because, besides having an ad in our Classy Classifieds, Jan also has his name on our Crew List to go cruising anywhere. He was contacted by a gentleman, Stuart Jackson of the X-49 Joia, looking for crew since Joia is joining over 30 boats leaving this spring in the Pacific Puddle Jump.

Madeleine Lithvall and and Yosh Hahn tuning up for the 3,000+ mile trip to Nuku HIva.
© 2024 Joia / Madeleine Lithvall

The entire Joia crew was down in Oxnard for a weekend warm-up, and familiarization before their planned departure in April. The full crew includes owner Stuart Jackson, Jan Passion, Madeleine Lithvall, Connor Mullins and Yosh Hahn. Yosh Hahn is another crew member who found her way to Joia through the Latitude 38 Crew List. She discovered cruising by sailboat in 2018 after being a guest aboard a kitesurfing catamaran in Micronesia. There she discovered hitchhiking by boat, added her name to the Latitude 38 crew list, and attended crew list parties, and she has now sailed 15,000 miles including the recent Baja Ha-Ha. She also did the Transpac last summer aboard Good Trouble with our recent Good Jibes podcast guest Marie Rogers.

Jan Passion, owner Stuart and crew Yosh Hahn getting comfortable for the long passage ahead.
© 2024 Joia / Madeline Lithvall

Getting to know your crew before you get far offshore is always a good idea. It’s important to meet on the boat, and also to have some social time to get to know each other. Joia gathered crew from the Crew List and is checking all the boxes for the spring adventure.

The crew of Joia is new connected for their April sail from Southern California to Nuku Hiva.
© 2024 Joia

It was great to discover all of this from a concerned call about a scam in our classifieds. Connecting boat owners with a prospective buyer or prospective crew is something Latitude 38 has done since 1977. It’s unfortunate to have the relentless presence of people trying to scam the system but also rewarding to see the positive connections made through both the Classifieds and the Crew List.

Thanks to Jan for allowing us to remind folks to stay alert but also put yourself out there. If you do, you might soon find yourself racing on the Bay or sailing to Nuku Hiva.

‘Random’ — The Boat Sailed by the Godfather of Richmond Yacht Club

If you sail the waves of San Francisco Bay, there’s a sassy, sturdy little wooden boat with a memorable light-green deck top that’s probably caught your attention. This is Hurricane class Random, and for more than 70 years, she’s been under the eye of the Clausen family: first father Bert, then son Kers, today a resident of Brickyard Cove in Richmond. Bert is regarded as the godfather of Richmond Yacht Club (he was club commodore 1961 to ’62). Having negotiated the purchase of the land, he also served as the designer for both the harbor and the yacht club. He developed Brickyard Cove, which today has more than 100 homes, a marina and several commercial buildings. That said, it’s natural that Random (hull #7) is the flagship vessel for Richmond Yacht Club.

saling vessel Random at dock
Random‘s green decks are certainly among her sassy signatures.
© 2024 John 'Woody' Skoriak

In 1949, Random‘s keel was laid and the hull constructed at the Nunes Brothers yard in Sausalito. Continuing buildout at Nunes, Bert focused on deck, spars and interior; carpentry was completed by Karl Peach. Despite having been only 5 years of age at the time, Kers remembers playing alongside his father almost every weekend. Random hit the water in 1955 and quickly started to accrue race wins and family happiness. She’s achieved podium status at club events, YRA ocean races and the annual Master Mariners Benevolent Association regatta; for the latter, often sweeping past competitors to claim wins. In the 1960s, Hurricane one-design starts would draw eight to 10 to the line. The competition was stiffest among Gandy, Haven and Random (carrying crew Bert and Kers Clausen, Milt Morrison and Ralph Rhoda, plus one more). A standout moment mentioned by Kers was the 1960 Lipton Cup, where a fake tack from second tripped up lead boat Gandy and put Random over the line to gold. A second notable ride comes to mind — and you can feel that wash of water and push of pressure from astern as Kers describes it — a 1965 downwind return to the Bay while competing in OYRA Lightship. “Back then, there was no vang or cunningham. Sail controls had to be done on deck while at the mast. We almost always carried a spinnaker, but that day may have been different. I recall plenty of wind, getting tossed about in major waves, and losing the aft hatch cover,” he says. “Random clocks six knots in good breeze. This boat has no reef points; she’s built for surly Bay conditions.”

Random on the water.
© 2024 John 'Woody' Skoriak

Continue reading in the February issue.

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