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April 29, 2024

Boats and Crews Dress Up for Opening Day on the Bay

Sunday was the 106th annual Opening Day on the Bay, and from Raccoon Strait to the San Francisco Cityfront, boats of all types and sizes took to the water to join the festivities. As it happened, most of our crew were out of town (yes, on that “one” day of the year). But we have friends in all the right places and therefore have a great bunch of photos to share with you.

The theme for this year’s parade was Rockin’ the Bay.
© 2024 Mia Bernt
The fireboats were out strutting their stuff.
© 2024 Mia Bernt
Who’s the sailor in the dinghy?
© 2024 Mia Bernt

Marcia Eldridge had a great vantage point from aboard the schooner Freda B.

How many pennants can one boat have? The answer: as many as it has earned.
© 2024 Marcia Eldridge
Call of the Sea’s Matthew Tuner joined the fleet.
© 2024 Marcia Eldridge
Let the blessings begin. Boats cruised past the Corinthian Yacht Club’s Blessing Vessel in Raccoon Strait to pick up good vibes for the coming summer.
© 2024 Corinthian Yacht Club/Facebook
The fun didn’t stop when the boats were docked. Sailors got into full rock ‘n’ roll mode at CYC.
© 2024 Corinthian Yacht Club/Facebook

Did you sail for Opening Day on the Bay? Add your photos to our monthly Sailagram gallery.

A Second Consecutive Congressional Cup Victory for Chris Poole

Long Beach Yacht Club kicked off this year’s World Match Racing Circuit with the past weekend’s 59th annual Congressional Cup. USA’s Chris Poole, and his Riptide Racing team, returned to win his second consecutive Congressional Cup and crimson blazer. Poole and his team — Joachim Aschenbrenner, Bernardo Freitas, Mal Parker, Luke Payne, and Harry West — defeated five-time Congressional Cup winner Ian Williams 3-1 in a tense final.

Chris Poole & Riptide Racing
Chris Poole and Riptide Racing scored for the second year in a row.
© 2024 World Match Racing Circuit

Showing dominance early, Poole claimed the first point of the event. With so much talent and experience in these boats, Williams and Poole pushed the match-racing rules and boats to their maximum.

Chris Poole and Riptide racing leading runner-up Ian Williams.
Chris Poole and Riptide Racing lead runner-up Ian Williams.
© 2024 Ian Roman/WMRT

Reflecting on the victory, Poole said, “It’s an incredible feeling. It would be impossible without my team. We didn’t start the week the way we wanted to, but once we started sailing like we did last year, we were pretty confident it was going to be ours to win.”

Spectator action off the pier in Long Beach.
Spectator action off the pier in Long Beach.
© 2024 Ian Roman/WMRT

Experience and confidence paid off as the Riptide team held off Williams to stay on top for the win.

Complete results and information here.

What Kind of People Do the Baja Ha-Ha?

As the sign-on day for the 30th annual Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers Rally approaches, the Poobah is curious about who will join the fleet for this year’s sail south. He recently mused over those who have sailed the Ha-Ha in years past.

In lieu of writing 10,000 subjective words to describe them, we’ll rely on the “a picture is worth 1,000 words” approach to get the job done. So here are 10 semi-representative photos from the 2018 Ha-Ha to give you an idea. Don’t ask us to name names, because something like 13,000 people have done the Ha-Ha and there are a few we have forgotten.

What’s the Ha-Ha? It’s the 750-mile cruisers’ rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, with R&R stops at fun and funky Turtle Bay and surreal Bahia Santa Maria. This will be the 30th running of the event.

The event starts on November 4 from San Diego. Registration begins at noon on May 9 at

Will this be the last Baja Ha-Ha?

The goal of the Grand Poobah, that would be me, and Patsy Verhoeven of the Gulfstar 50 Talion, who became the Assistant Poobah 15 years ago, was to do at least 30 of them. We will have accomplished that this year. After 30, it all depends on our health. Right now Patsy and I, touch wood, are healthy. Unfortunately, nobody stays healthy forever, so if you want to be sure you do a Ha-Ha and become part of Baja history, it would be best not to procrastinate.

Here’s hoping you’ll be sailing south with us this fall!

The “Lucky Season” Is Here: Golden Ticket Winners Are Collecting Latitude 38 Hats

It’s the “lucky season” again. As Latitude readers pick up their magazines, some are happy to find a Golden Ticket between the pages, telling them they’ve won a new Latitude 38 hat. If all sailors are — like some we know — always losing hats, or getting them grubbed up with engine grease (we won’t mention names, but if you’re reading this, you know it’s you), then our latest winners, Paul Linsteadt and Robert Fairbank, will be quite happy with their prize.

Paul Linsteadt picked up his copy of the February issue on Saturday, February 10, at the Oakland Yacht Club. (The date is surely etched into his memory for the joy of winning the hat.)

Paul was a member of OYC for 12 years before he sold his boat and moved to the foothills. But he says, “I miss the Bay! I’m looking around for a boat.” In the meantime, Paul and his wife chartered a boat in the Abacos in late February, and, ” I could use a nice hat,” he tells us.

“Thank you! I feel very lucky,” Paul wrote.
© 2024 Paul Linsteadt

We presume Paul has been having a great time on the water, as we haven’t heard from him since!

Our next winner, Robert Fairbank, is a longtime Bay sailor, starting his journey in the mid-1970s as crew aboard the Farallon Clipper Mistress II. He then bought a Santana 22 in the mid-’80s, and a Yankee 30, Double Play, in the early ’90s. “I raced Double Play until I bought an Olson 911S Double Down [in] 2011,” Robert says. “I had great boat partners in all three boats.’

When Robert sold Double Down, “a custom Schumacher 30, really a 911S with a few mods designed by Carl Schumacher,” he had been racing on the Bay for 40 years. He was then without a boat for a while, until he and his wife Anna bought a 34-ft DeFever 34 [a trawler] — “I know, the dark side” — that he keeps at South Beach Harbor.

Regardless of craft, Robert says the best part of sailboat racing was making new friends. “My most memorable sailing adventures were a trip from French Polynesia to Hawaii and a transatlantic crossing from Morocco to Martinique. Both of those trips were on other people’s boats.” Robert and Anna are current members of the South Beach Yacht Club.

Golden Ticket Winner
“We love your smile, Robert!” He’ll be smiling even more now that he’s received his new Latitude 38 hat.
© 2024 Robert Fairbank


Robert found his Golden Ticket in the April issue that he picked up at South Beach Harbor.

Will you be the next winner? The May issue is nearing the docks … Get ready to pick up your copy from any one of our great distributors.