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March 29, 2024

Five Years on the Wind Before Turning to the Dark Side

We appreciate all the stories we read and receive of sailors finding and discovering life aboard their new or first sailboat. We rarely hear from anyone who will publicly admit they’re giving up the sailing life and moving to a powerboat — a stinkpot, as some call the windless boats. And as for the sailors themselves, they’re forevermore branded as having turned to “The Dark Side.”

While browsing through “Boats for Sale” in our Classy Classifieds the other day, we spotted Rich and Laura Brazil’s 1987 Nauticat 43 Tally Ho for sale. Our hearts stopped, with our first thought being, “Are they OK?”

A quick email to Rich put our fears to rest as he replied with what we thought was a beautiful elucidation of everyone’s sailing dreams. Only for Rich and Laura, it was a dream turned real.

“Luke. Come to the dark side …

“For many years, I’d read issue after issue of Latitude 38 magazine, living vicariously through the lucky sailors who not only purchased a boat, but were also able to cast off the lines and head south to the warm climes of Mexico. Ahh, one day. I could hardly wait until the next issue arrived at the local chandleries, filled with more fabulous stories of warm breezes and cold cerveza. One day …”

This is what the dream looked like when it had turned real. Laura gets into cruising mode aboard Tally Ho in Mexico.
© 2024 Rich Brazil

“Well, one day arrived seven years ago when Laura and I purchased Tally Ho, our Nauticat 43 sailboat. Holy crap! We have a sailboat capable of sailing around the world. She’s a cutter-rigged ketch with an asymmetrical spinnaker and code D light-air genoa. A watermaker, wind generator, genset, dual helm stations, and loads more. Yikes! What have I gotten myself into?

“Our goal was to sail to Mexico and commuter-cruise for five years. After two fun-filled years of sailing S.F. Bay to learn as much as possible about Tally Ho, we joined the 2019 Baja Ha-Ha and had a drop-dead date to cast off. Sailing the California coast was quite an adventure and not to be taken lightly; big seas, too much wind, sketchy anchorages, kelp, crab pots, and middle-of-the-night false alarms from the iPad anchor-watch app kept us on our toes. Finally, San Diego and a dock to tie to. Whew!

“Fast forward five years, otherwise, this story would turn into a novel. I can now say I am one of those lucky people I had dreamed of and drooled over. Fortunate enough to sail with a warm, never-ending, 15-knot breeze off the beam, see dolphins frolicking from the bow, whales spouting so close I could smell their bad breath, mobula rays breaching the surface and performing back-flips, anchoring in pure white sand, jumping from the boat like a little kid, stunning sunset after stunning sunset, eye-popping sunrises, drinking the coldest anchor-beer, toasting to life. There is a never-ending tale of adventure I can tell. I’m humbled to have seen the bioluminescent trail of a pod of dolphins in the black of night, streaking toward Tally Ho like torpedoes while crossing the Sea of Cortez from Cabo San Lucas to Puerto Vallarta.”

Laura and Rich Brazil, mid-five-year cruising plan. Their smiles say more than their words.
© 2024 S/v Tally Ho
Even through yards of rigging, sailboat sunsets are amazing.
© 2024 Rich Brazil

“We’ve achieved our five-year goal in Mexico, made many dear friends we will never forget, shared our journeys with visiting friends, and created lifelong memories. We’ve since listed Tally Ho for sale. It’s an odd feeling. Sailing/cruising has become essential to my life, yet I know I can’t sail forever. I’ve seen too many capable boats sitting idle in their slip, waiting for someone, anyone, to take them for a walk. I refuse to be that person. We have our health, and we realize sailing doesn’t get easier. It’s hard work. It’s part of the sailing/boating life, I guess. However, there is a bright side: We will only be boat-less for a short time. My lovely wife, Laura, who had reservations about my initial ambition to cruise Mexico, is now firmly attached to the idea of another boat, a powerboat; yes, the ‘dark side!'”

Laura, Rich and a couple of sailing friends enjoying the warm Mexico-cruising lifestyle.
© 2024 S/v Tally Ho

“We will seek a capable trawler-style boat in the S.F. Bay Area to ply the local waters. Fear not, fellow sailors, for my heart will forever reside with the wind in my sails.” — Rich Brazil, SV Tally Ho, Nauticat 43.

There are those who might fear being ostracized, but Rich and Laura Brazil, longtime friends of Latitude 38, are not worried about the naysayers. They’ve spent enough time aboard to amass several lifetimes’ worth of adventure and memories. And for this couple, turning to the Dark Side is not the end of their seafaring lives; rather, it’s a way to ensure that they can continue to enjoy on-the-water experiences at every opportunity.

If you’re looking for a new boat, check out Tally Ho and other boats for sale in the Latitude 38 Classy Classifieds. And if you then want to sail to Mexico, check out the 2024 Baja Ha-Ha — signups open at 12 noon on May 9.

Happy Easter — April Issue Is Out Today!

We’re delivering an Easter treat to sailors across the Bay today — the April issue of our favorite sailing magazine, Latitude 38! This month we bring you a rabbit warren full of stories to get you inspired and geared up for the coming summer of sailing, including San Diego YC’s 1,000-mile Puerto Vallarta Race, Cole Brauer and the Global Solo Challenge, The Proudfoots’ Project Part 2, West Coast racing news, cruising stories, and much more. Here are a few previews.

Don’t Give Up the Ship

Isolated in a remote corner of the Sea of Cortez. Hard aground. Exhausted. After more than 24 hours alone, David Haight needed help. “Welcome to the San Carlos Cruisers Net. We will begin with any emergency, medical, or priority traffic, or relays of same. Please come now…” Generally, 10 seconds of silence follow this phrase on the VHF before the usual checking-in of boats, sharing of information, updates on weather, and so forth. But during the pause, Chris Davies from SV Redemption broke in with a relay of emergency traffic. This was the beginning of a cruiser and local community effort to reach David and help him get his boat safely afloat again.

Hard aground and very far from deep water; a monumental task.
© 2024 David Haight

Kids on Boats — Home-Grown Crew

How do you bring more sailors to the sport of sailing? Start early and start small.

Hans List is the commodore of the Master Mariners Benevolent Association (MMBA). He and wife Sophie share that their three children became involved through association. “We had our 1940 Tahiti Ketch well before our daughters were born. We took Maggie, 13, on her first trip to Drake’s Bay at age 6 weeks. She slept in a fruit hammock suspended in the fo’c’sle.” As for racing, List notes Maggie’s first competition was the MMBA regatta in 2011 at 9 months old. Penny, 12, sailed her first race around the 2014 MMBA regatta at age 1.5. Greta, 10, sailed her first race at age 2 in 2016. Until recently, participation had been solely MMBA events; last year, each List child tried El Toro and Opti racing at Point San Pablo Yacht Club. Each is learning sportsmanship, seamanship and skills. “The keys are the importance of doing your best, the feeling of winning, and how to learn from your mistakes — all while having fun. Whether sailing sticks with them in the future or not, I know they will have skills and experiences to help them make the right decisions. We’re trying to leave the door open to a world we each love so much.”

The List Crew have their own Crew List.
© 2024 The List Family

Green Sailors on a Green Journey

Megan Routbort and Thomas Poloniato, two late-20-somethings from the US and France, met in Berkeley and now are traveling the world, but only on forms of transportation that have a climate-positive effect. What does that mean? Airplanes and private cars are out; trains, bikes, hitchhiking, and literal hiking are in. They choose human- or nature-powered modes of transportation only.

Sailing included, of course!

April issue of Latitude 38
Megan Routbort and Thomas Poloniato are on a green journey.
© 2024 The Green Journey

Plus, take a peek at our regular monthly columns:

  • Letters: ASC Awarded “Outstanding Community Sailing Program;” Three Cheers for Marie Rogers; To Boldly Go Where Many Young Sailors Have Gone Before; and stacks more readers’ letters.
  • Sightings: The Murphy Family Adventure; The Art of Crew Life; Svendsen’s Spring Fling and Boat-Show Season; Good Tips About Bad TIPs; and more great stories.
  • Max Ebb: Wind, Spray and Speed.
  • Racing Sheet: With spring having sprung, we wrap up the Golden Gate and Berkeley midwinters, welcome that spring classic the Big Daddy, review two Shorthanded Races, brave the wind for Marina del Rey’s South Bay Tour, gaze at what’s On the Horizon, and hope for rescue of the Santa Cruz Mile Buoy. Box Scores is loaded up with midwinter series results.
  • Changes in Latitudes: With stories this month on getting Flashgirl ready to head to the South Seas; a report on Zihuatanejo Sailfest; another report on Barra de Navidad’s Fiesta de Veleros and Cruise-In Week; a hilarious account of getting a new mainsail for Roxxy; and a veritable tsunami of Cruise Notes.
  •  Loose Lips: We share March’s Caption Contest(!) winners.
  • All the latest in sailboats for sale, Classy Classifieds.

To pick up your copy of the April issue, stop in and visit Roger Nunez at Reliable Marine Electronics in Alameda.

Roger’s not just an electronics whiz, he’s also a dab hand at the helm.
© 2024 Wesley Nunez

If you’re a subscriber, your magazine is on its way. If you like to collect your own and have a chat with the folks in the store or marina office, here’s a map of where you can find Latitude 38 magazine.

Latitude 38 Welcomes Aboard Tony English as East Bay Delivery Driver

Tony English can’t get enough of sailing and tinkering around with boats. When he saw an ad saying Latitude was looking for a driver to deliver magazines to one of our East Bay routes, he found yet another way to stay engaged with sailing. Today’s delivery of the April issue will be Tony’s first on the route, and our fourth delivery day in a row that has been rainy! It’s a heck of a way to start.

Delivery driver Tony English
Sailor, boat restorer and delivery driver Tony English, ready to head out before the rain at 7 a.m. today.
© 2024 John

Leading up to his one-day-per-month job, Tony has been assembling an Antrim Wing dinghy in his garage. He says, “I assembled everything in the back yard. Deck layout, rigging; and with Jim and the help of a couple of neighbors we mated the hull and deck. I received a trailer from Cree Partridge that, with some minor modifications, will fit the boat very well. I spent the last couple of years rebuilding El Toros in our backyard. I got the hulls from Chris Nash and masts and sails from Kame Richards. Paul Sutchek made booms when I needed. It’s been quite a community effort.”

An Antrim-designed Wing dinghy on the Bay.
© 2024 Antrim Associates

“My wife and I rebuilt our first boat in 1980: a derelict Piver trimaran. Since then, our garage and back yard have turned out six El Toros, the Wing dinghy, and countless other projects. We once owned an Antrim 27, and currently, Linda owns a Colgate 26, in charter service (but of course, it’s ‘optimized’). I just don’t seem to be able to leave things be. Linda gets frustrated on occasion because of my tinkering.”

Beyond the small-boat building, rebuilding and tinkering, while owning the Antrim 27 E.T., Tony took second place with it in Class D of the 2012 Pacific Cup. These days he’s primarily crewing with others, including enjoying crewing for offshore races in the YRA offshore racing series. When he needs another sailing fix he jumps aboard his wife Linda’s Colgate 26.

We really appreciate Tony’s coming on board, and all of our drivers who make the monthly run to bring Latitude 38 to our distributors, and to you, our readers. It’s a shame about the weather today, but Tony has about 30 days to dry out before the next delivery on May Day, which we promise will be sunny. (Our fingers are crossed.)

April Yacht Racing on the Near Horizon

Tiny Boats, Big Bay, Grand Adventure

An astute reader and historian for his yacht club found an article, in the April 10, 1955, issue of the San Francisco Examiner, that says the Bullship started in 1954. That would make this race the 70th anniversary edition. “Back in those days the Bullship was a très chic affair covered in the hoity-toity society pages. The race reportage didn’t mention the noted ecdysiast, Miss Tempest Storm.” According to Bullship racer Jocelyn Nash, Ms. Storm presented the trophies. Another article named Ms. Storm (“or in excruciatingly proper 1950s patois: Mrs. Herb Jeffries”)  as the honorary chairman of this event. Also note that Jim DeWitt placed fifth in the second running.

SF Examiner stories from 1955
A couple of clippings from 1955 editions of the San Francisco Examiner.
© 2024 San Francisco Examiner

Legend has it that the Bullship began as a bet in a San Francisco bar called El Matador (owned by an actual American bullfighter). At the time, the Bullship was nicknamed the El Toro Transpac. Pete Newell won that initial race on April 10, 1954. Charles O’Gara finished last but won his bet with matador/bar owner Barnaby Conrad Jr. Who will win on April 6 this year? One skillful and fortunate sailor will finish first, but all who can complete the crossing are to be congratulated. Learn more and register here.

Bullship Start
The start of the 2018 Bullship in front of the Trident Restaurant. For 70 years, 8-ft El Toro prams have braved the Golden Gate to race from Sausalito to San Francisco.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Updates From the Yacht Racing Association

The YRA will host a preview of the 2024 season on Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m., via Zoom. “Representatives from each YRA racing series will be on hand to highlight what to expect from this year’s YRA races and answer any questions you might have. This is a great opportunity for new racers to hear what YRA racing is all about, and for all racers to get excited for the year ahead.” The preview is free and open to all. Register here.

The YRA In the Bay Series will begin on April 13 with two races on the Cityfront. Their Shorthanded Sunday Series will kick off on April 21 with The Bay Expedition.

Offshore Racing With the YRA

Island YC confirms that they have canceled their Doublehanded Lightship Race, originally scheduled for April 20. So if you want to race to the Lightbucket this year, the YRA’s Lightship Race on April 27 is your only remaining option. It’s open to fully crewed boats but also has a Shorthanded Division. Entries will close on April 24. “You can sign up for a single Offshore Series race, choose two or three of your favorites, or enter the full nine-race series and be in contention for the Series Championship awards,” says the YRA.

Before you sign up for offshore races, remember that the YRA has a different set of equipment requirements than for in-the-Bay races, so check the 2024 SERs first. The YRA has made an important change to the SERs since we first reported on them. For 2024, SER 3.9 is in effect for all YRA ocean races except for the Lightship Race on April 27 and the Half Moon Bay Race on June 29. “All boats shall have an AIS Transponder, sharing a masthead VHF antenna via a low loss AIS antenna splitter. An acceptable alternative is a dedicated AIS antenna that is a minimum of 0.9 meters long, mounted with its base at least 3 meters above the water, and fed with coax that has a maximum 40% power loss. US Sailing AIS requirement for Coastal is effective January 1, 2024.”

Next Up From the SSS

The Singlehanded Sailing Society encourages those who are not experienced singlehanders to register for a beginner-friendly singlehanded event on April 27, the Sort of Singlehanded South Bay race. “This is a non-counter for the season, and we will do some things different than a typical race,” writes the SSS race chair.

“We aim to give boats an easy way to step into singlehanding by allowing ghost crew. So if you’re worried about having enough hands in an emergency, or even just getting safely docked after the race, bring your normal doublehanded crew out with you. Just don’t let them touch any controls while you are racing, and retire if they do.

“If you are a long-time singlehander but do not want to race your boat, we would love to try to pair you with a new singlehander who would benefit from an experienced person to be their ghost. Please send a short description of your singlehanded racing background to [email protected] as soon as you can so we can match you up. Include what city you are coming from.

“Similarly, if you are a brand-new singlehander and would like an experienced person to come with you, email [email protected] as soon as you can so we can match you up. Be sure to include your sailing background and what city the boat is berthed in. Please send your requests in early for a better chance of getting matched up.

“We’re including an extra practice start sequence for beginner singlehanded racers to get some experience in pre-start and starting.

“We’d like to encourage people to race what they have and not worry about not having a ‘race’ boat, so for this race we’ll offer some cruiser-friendly handicap allowances. You’ll notice extra questions about your boat at registration to reflect that.”

Green Buffalo and Elan
In last year’s version of this race, some boats (such as the Cal 40 Green Buffalo, pictured here with Elizabeth Bishop at the helm and Stephen Quanci in the companionway) raced with a ghost aboard, while the majority went purely singlehanded.
© 2024

The next in-person SSS meeting will be at Oakland YC in Alameda, 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10. Awards for the Corinthian race will be distributed.

More Northern California Regattas

St. Francis YC’s Spring Fest will combine with the Stone Cup on April 6-7. They invite J/105, J/88, Express 37, Express 27, Folkboat, Knarr, Alerion 28, J/22 and Olson 25 classes, plus ORC- and PHRF-rated keelboats, to compete. ORC classes will compete for the Frank Stone Perpetual Trophy (aka Stone Cup).

Sequoia YC’s Spring Regatta will sail three races on the South Bay out of Redwood City on April 6. Their Summer Series will start soon after, on April 13.

Folsom Lake YC will run the Trans-Folsom Regatta on April 6 and the 57th Camellia Cup on April 20.

Berkeley YC will host the Rollo Wheeler Regatta on April 6-7, with buoy racing on Saturday and a pursuit race on Sunday. The event will serve as a benefit for Special Olympics. On Saturday, fleets will sail two races in two groups for the Wheeler Memorial Perpetual Trophy and the City of Berkeley Trophy. The tradition of oysters at the Saturday après-race party will continue. Sign up at

“Join us on April 7 for the Ron Byrne Memorial Estuary Cup, a race with a long tradition at EYC,” writes Brendan McNally, rear commodore of Encinal YC. “Come and enjoy a day of low-key fun racing that starts on the Bay  and finishes at EYC.” Register at

The Bay Area Multihull Association will host the Doublehanded Farallones on April 13. (Monohulls welcome too!) In addition to overall and division prizes, BAMA will award trophies for:

  • First mixed-gender boat on corrected time.
  • First all-female-crewed boat on corrected time.
  • Dennis Madigan Perpetual Trophy for crew member of the first boat with the lowest elapsed time.
  • Pineapple Sails Yacht Club Trophy for the club with top three placing entrants.

Truls Myklebust, commodore of BAMA, advises that the start and finish will be at Golden Gate YC. “The standard offshore equipment requirements for 2024 include an AIS transponder, but since the DHF is the first offshore race where the new requirements apply, we will allow any Jibeset-supported tracker for this year’s race. That includes the cellphone-based Traccar app. So boats can still race this year even if they have not had a chance to install an AIS transponder yet.” For more on the race, see

Richmond YC will run their Big Dinghy Regatta on April 13-14 for non-foiling centerboarders and Wylie Wabbits. The Outside fleets will race both days in the vicinity of Southampton Shoal and Brooks Island; the Inside fleets (on Potrero Reach) will only sail on Saturday.

In Southern California

San Diego’s America’s Schooner Cup Charity Race will thrill sailors and spectators alike on April 6. The race benefits the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Silver Gate YC hosts. Among the vessels joining the regatta this year are the 100-year-old Quascilla from Ventura and the Downey family’s Lucky Star, which moved to San Diego permanently from Washington. Spectators take note: The race will start (at 11:30 a.m.) and end off a public beach on Shelter Island. The 13-mile course takes the boats out past Point Loma, around three buoys, and back into San Diego Bay.

Quascilla sailing
Quascilla is a 53-ft LOA Marconi schooner designed by Ralph Winslow and built in Seattle in 1924. Her current caretakers, Dirk Langer and Theona Stefanis, restored her in 2019 at the Koehler Kraft yard.
© 2024 Steve Fox

The California Dreamin’ Match Racing Series will conclude on April 6-7. Bruce Stone of StFYC reports that Matt Whitfield of Seattle leads the series, having won the first two stops, at San Diego YC and Balboa YC. The fourth and final stop will be at Long Beach YC in Catalina 37s. “Everyone has recruited a few larger crewmembers for that venue.”

Long Beach YC will host the Ficker Cup on April 19-21. Teams from around the globe will compete in the three-day Grade 2 match-race regatta. The top three Ficker Cup teams will advance to the Congressional Cup, a World Championship event. These back-to-back battles kick off the 2024 season of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). The Congressional Cup, expanded to 12 teams, will follow on April 24-28. Both will sail in Catalina 37 keelboats.

San Diego YC will run the Etchells Pacific Coast Championship on April 27-28.

Looking Ahead at the (not-so) Distant Horizon

The regatta is not until June 26-30 (in Marblehead, MA), but the Rose Cup is accepting applications from young sailors now. The Rose Cup is an invitational match-racing regatta open to sailors who have reached their 16th birthday, but not their 21st, during the calendar year in which the event is held. Applications submitted by April 1 will receive preference. Request an invitation here: Applicants provide their top three match- and fleet-racing accomplishments over the past three years, and write briefly about their experience racing on a three- to four-person keelboat. The crews of four must include at least one male and one female and a maximum crew weight of 660 pounds.

But Wait — There’s More!

As usual in these racing previews, we can but barely skim the surface of the deep list of events available to West Coast sailors. For many more, see the Calendar section of Latitude 38 (the April issue came out today, March 29), and the 2024 Northern California Racing Calendar and YRA Schedule. Be sure to check with the individual organizing entities for updates.

What we Know So Far
In what will likely go down as one of the worst accidents in maritime history, the one-and-a-half-mile-long Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore was demolished early Tuesday morning after an apparently powerless container ship struck a support column.
Short Tacks
Rummaging through the dock box we found a few more news gems from the week. It starts with some big kids racing pro in SailGP and finishes with small kids starting youth sailing at SEA.
We don't know. But …
With most beer can racing starting in April, Richmond Yacht Club sailor John Dukat was curious about when the first beer can race might have been held.
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