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April 15, 2024

Stormy Doublehanded Farallones Succesful for Some, Not so Great for Others

BAMA’s Doublehanded Farallones Race on Saturday was a true test of mettle this year, dishing out 25-35 knots of southerly storm winds, which gradually turned offshore for a sort of a reverse Farallones race: off the wind on the way to the island, and upwind on the way back. Boats that were able to reduce sails and remain in control found that they had a record-fast sail out to the island in rough conditions. They had a slower return against the wind. The winds eventually turned light inside the Bay. Late returners had a beat back to the finish against the new ebb.

Dismasted sailboat with USCG cutter
Shake & Bake, seen with their broken mast on deck, motored back inside the Bay on their own, but then they had motor trouble. The Coast Guard stood by, before the towboat arrived and brought them home the rest of the way.
© 2024 Truls Myklebust

Several boats turned back once they saw the conditions offshore. The Farr X2 monohull Shake & Bake dismasted outside the Farallones. Thankfully, nobody got hurt. They were able to secure the broken mast on deck, and motored back to the Golden Gate on their own. Other boats reported a broken bowsprit, lost battens, a lost mast-top antenna, various other gear washed overboard, and motor, radio and tracker problems. Everybody returned back safely at the end of the day.

Rufless, J/125
The J/125 Rufless finishes, taking line honors.
© 2024 Truls Myklebust

It was a very quick race overall — near record-breaking territory. First to finish was the J/125 Rufless, with Rufus Sjoberg and Ian Rogers, in just 5 hours, 57 minutes, 33 seconds. The overall winner on corrected time was the Mancebo 31 Bloom County, with Elliott James and Kyle Vanderspek, with a corrected time of 6 hours, 59 minutes, 3 seconds. The multihull fleet had one finisher, the F-31 Ma’s Rover. Mark Eastham and John Donovan finished in 6 hours, 28 minutes, 23 seconds.

Bloom County, Mancebo 31
Bloom County broke the “7-hour barrier” for corrected time.
© 2024 Truls Myklebust

Read more about the race, and see more photos, in the May issue of Latitude 38. In the meantime, you can check the results at

Relax by reading our monthly print publication when you subscribe for you or a friend by clicking here

Finding Sailing Friends at Svendsen’s Spring Fling Marine Expo

The Svendsen’s Spring Fling circus blew through town along with the weather on Friday and Saturday. Friday was sunny and breezy, causing a few of the carefully arranged and secured tents to rearrange themselves in the wind. Regardless of the weather, the event was a great opportunity to shoot the breeze with old friends, make new ones, and find expertise and deals on the equipment you need for summer sailing or for heading south in the fall. And while we’re connecting with sailors, Latitude 38 is also appreciative of the opportunity to connect with so many of the advertisers who make Latitude 38 possible. We remind you to thank them for their support of the monthly magazine, ‘Lectronic Latitude newsletter (the one you’re reading right now) and Good Jibes podcast.

Paul Kaplan
Paul Kaplan was there at the KKMI booth and stopped to tell us why the zincs we had holding our magazines in place were more toxic than the aluminum version.
© 2024 John

On blustery Saturday we put a bunch of zincs on our magazines, but also learned why we should all be switching to aluminum for the sacrificial anodes on our prop shafts. Apparently the traditional zincs contain toxic cadmium, which builds up in marinas, making it more expensive for the marina to dispose of dredging spoils. As Paul Kaplan explained, if we all switch to aluminum we’ll be helping the environment and, hopefully, helping make it more affordable for marinas and waterways to be dredged in the future.

We also talked with Michael Tosse, who agreed aluminum is the way to go. It’s not something we’ve ever thought about. When the diver says we need new zincs we get new zincs; it’s what we know. Now we’re planning to ask our diver to replace our zincs with aluminum … but this so much harder to say. We’ll figure it out. It’s just one of many good tips we picked up at the show.

Amanda Pangelina & Kurt Bodner
Circus ringleader Amanda Pangelina from Svendsen’s with Kurt Bodner of Wichard.
© 2024 John

Svendsen’s manager, Amanda Pangelina, organized the show, which adapted quickly between a breezy Friday and somewhat rainy Saturday. Her smile was ever-present as the conditions shifted across the two-day event. Exhibitors were happy when she managed to move the whole shooting match inside for the rainy weather on Saturday. Having worked at many outdoor boat show events, we are always appreciative of those who make it happen — it’s much harder than it looks, and Amanda and the Svendsen’s team were on hand to help at every turn. The devil is in the details, and they got them handled.

Richard & Connie Cerrito
Richard and Connie Cerrito are looking at buying their first sailboat.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

While we talked with many “old salts” who were visiting the show, it was great, and interesting, to connect with those just getting started. Richard and Connie Cerrito were in Alameda from Modesto and planning to spend the afternoon looking at sailboats in the 35- to 40-ft range. How did they get started? They actually haven’t started sailing, yet. They got interested in sailing when Connie bought an inexpensive Cal 2-27 in Berkeley Marina to stay on with her daughter when she was going to the San Francisco Ballet. That little taste of periodically staying on a sailboat during the ballet years turned into an interest in learning to sail. It also reminded Connie how nice and cool it is on the Bay during the summer, compared to the heat of Modesto. They’re looking at learning to sail on a little larger, more comfortable boat they plan to keep in the Estuary.

Pat and Carole McIntosh
Pat and Carole McIntosh packed the house for their “Know Before You Go” Mexico cruising seminar.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Pat and Carole McIntosh’s “Know Before You Go” Mexico cruising seminar was a hit with attendees on Saturday. A few attendees had already done a Baja Ha-Ha, and many were planning to go during this fall’s 30th Annual Baja Ha-Ha. (You can download Pat and Carole’s book Cruising Notes from our Heading South page.) One of the great things about the Baja Ha-Ha is learning from those who have gone before, while sharing the current year’s cruise with those going for their first and those who have been on many Ha-Ha’s in the past.

Ron Harbin - Morro Bay
Ron Harbin has a secret that he always discloses before his prospective crew jobs.
© 2024 John

We met Ron Harbin at the show, and the name sounded familiar. As we chatted with him, he let us know we’ve seen his name as a frequent caption contributor to our monthly Caption Contest(!). He also told us that with 50,000 sea miles under his keel, he’s been working as a paid delivery crew — though many captains have been a bit hesitant to take him aboard since he truthfully tells them he’s turning 80 soon. You’d never know it. The Vietnam War Navy vet looks as fit as any 50-year-old sailor we’ve seen. There’s a lot of valuable experience in those 50,000 miles, and he says he really enjoys the midnight watch! By the way, we have 37 entries in this month’s Caption Contest(!) — have you added yours yet?

Tammy Walker and and Ken Chin - Olson 911S Kowloon
Tammy Walker and and Ken Chin of the Olson 911S Kowloon have just moved to the Bay Area and are learning to get comfortable with the breeze while sailing out of Richmond Yacht Club.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Ken Chin and Tammy Walker are new to Bay Area sailing, but not the Bay Area. They moved down from Seattle with their red Olson 911S Kowloon, as Ken was making frequent trips with his architecture career working on some projects in the Bay Area, including the Salesforce Tower. They say they’re used to currents in the Northwest, but not the breeze we have here. The Northwest has particularly light winds during the summer, when our breezes are at their peak. Fortunately they’ve been learning their way around the Bay during the “calm” winter months. Though it wasn’t calm on Friday as tents were blowing around the show parking lot, and the stormy Doublehanded Farallones on Saturday had its challenges. The show weathered it all — and as always, it was great to get together with sailors and talk sailing.

Summer Sea Camp Registration at Spaulding Marine Center is 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, non-competitive sailing, and youth who show interest in hands-on-learning experiences. Ages 10 to 16 years old. To learn more about Summer Sea Camp, visit Email [email protected] or call 415-332-3179. 

Summer Is for Sailing With Shoreline Lake, Alameda Community Sailing Center, and Others

The days are hotting up! Though that’s not apparent given the current weather conditions. But we’re also speaking figuratively. A bunch of summer-sailing program emails have sailed into our office recently. We want to share them with you because they cover opportunities for a broad range of sailors and “wannabe” sailors from juniors to adults — starting this weekend!

First up, we learned about Shoreline Lake’s Sail-A-Dinghy-Day, co-hosted with the Fremont Sailing Club (FSC), kicking off the summer sailing season and the Sunday Sailing Racing program. The date is April 21 (that’s this coming Sunday). From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the whole family can get on the water and experience sailing. Visitors will get access to free, skippered sailboat rides helmed by Shoreline Lake’s experienced instructors.

Shoreline Lake is the perfect place to learn to sail.
© 2024

There’ll also be land-based activities and demonstrations showcasing the range of sailing programs for kids, teens and adults aboard boats such as the Lido 14, El Toro, Sunfish, Laser, Holder and others.

Christina Ferrari, president of Silicon Shores Corporation, which operates the Shoreline Lake facilities, says Sail-A-Dinghy-Day is designed to ease new sailors into the sport with a hands-on experience on small boats. “Their small size makes dinghies approachable and enjoyable for everyone, especially in this protected environment, which is a safer experience than sailing in the San Francisco Bay,” Ferrari says.

Get more details here: Shoreline Lake Sailing

Alameda Community Sailing Center is another Bay Area organization creating opportunities for new and experienced sailors. Along with summer sailing camps and Learn to Sail classes, the organization is hosting Open Sail Saturdays, which run from April to November, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Looks like a straightforward setup for anyone wanting to go sailing.
© 2024

Open Sail Saturdays are described as “an opportunity to practice and improve your skills in a safe and supportive environment.” Sailors are expected to sail independently, but there is a safety boat and instructor on water to assist. You must have completed a course with ACSC within the last two years or pass a checkout to participate. The boat checkout consists of a written knowledge test and an on-water skills check.​ Open Sail is weather-permitting — boats sail in less than 15 mph winds.

More information here: Open Sail Saturdays

While we’re talking about sailing, Call of the Sea is also getting ready for summer. This Saturday they’re hosting their fourth annual Tall Ship Celebration. The event is at the Bay Model Visitor Center — 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965 — and will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This year’s event also marks Call of the Sea’s 40th anniversary of on-the-water education. The free event will feature a range of activities and hands-on opportunities for all ages.

The Tall Ship Celebration is a fundraising event in support of Call of the Sea’s youth programs.
© 2024

More information here: Tall Ship Celebration

Throughout the coming summer, Call of the Sea will run regular and special-event sails and youth summer camps.

Want to make a friend smile? Give them a gift subscription to Latitude 38 or pick up a copy at Shoreline Aquatic Center in Mountain View. 

Pick up the magazine at Shoreline Aquatic Center.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude 38

Kids on Boats — Homegrown 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.”

Meanwhile, on a different breed of boat is Micah, who turns 5 in April. Son of Ryan and Kristin Simmons, he’s been spied topside on the J/105 Blackhawk, one of the most competitive vessels on San Francisco Bay. Last fall, Micah tried his first Friday night race. In 2022 and ’23, he completed the Great Vallejo Race and, said father, “Tells me weekly how excited he is for GVR — that’s his favorite race. He had so much fun, even landed mention in Latitude 38.” Most recently, this youngster crewed in Big Daddy, helping earn a ninth. Queried about the sport, his replies are honest and simple. Asked if sailing is an easy or a hard sport: “Hard.” To the question on what his friends think about sailing, he says they think “It’s good.” When asked, “What do you like about racing a sailboat?” he replies: “Putting up the sails and getting trophies.” Speaking of trophies, Micah has made an appearance at most Rolex Big Boat podiums when Blackhawk earned a place. “We bring him up to collect the trophy — he is so proud to be there with us.” The crew has a tradition to decide who was the most deserving during race action; that individual keeps the trophy. “It was really difficult for Micah to hand over the prize at first, but he is now fully committed and delivers it to the elected crew member.”

kids sailing
Micah Simmons crews aboard Blackhawk during the Great Vallejo Race.
© 2024 Ryan Simmons

Continue reading in the April issue Sightings.

You can pick up our monthly print publication by visiting a distributor near you listed here.