Skip to content
May 24, 2024

Alameda’s ‘Svendsen Maritime Park’ Officially Named

“It was a very late meeting…but WE WON!!!!!!” This was the email we received from Sabrina Svendsen the morning after the Alameda City Council voted to name Alameda Marina’s new park “Svendsen Maritime Park.” The result came after much campaigning, community input, and many meetings.

Svend Svendsen sailing
Records show that Svend Svendsen immigrated to the US from Denmark in 1956.
© 2024 Courtesy Svendsen Family

It wasn’t smooth sailing, Sabrina had admitted in February. Despite gaining support from three out of five members, the proposal still faced opposition.

“The council decided they wanted the parks and recreation department to dive deeper into my dad’s contributions, including a background check, before making a final decision,” Sabrina had told us. We looked into the information tabled on the council’s website last week and could see the effort that had gone into uncovering all of Svend’s history.

Svend moved to California from New York sometime between 1957 and 1960, possibly driving across the country.
© 2024 Courtesy Svendsen Family

The Svendsen family’s campaign was presented to the council in July 2022. At that time, “Svendsen Maritime Park” joined nine other names under consideration, including Dockside Park, Riveter’s Waterfront Park, Shipbuilder’s Park, Tibbitt’s Shipyard Park (Barnes & Tibbitts shipbuilding company 1919-1922) and others, all based on the idea of the park’s waterfront location. By January 2023, council staff had narrowed the list to two contenders — Svendsen Maritime Park and Riveter’s Waterfront Park. As we might expect, the research on Svend Svendsen delivered a positive account of the man who had contributed so much to the Bay Area and its sailing community.

Sabrina says the naming process was more than just a tribute. “[I]t’s a testament to the values and history my dad and the boat works represented.” We can see that, and are happy that the new park will be named in honor of someone who was known and beloved within the community he worked hard to support.

Sven's sailboat Svendle
The Alameda Post wrote that Svend fostered youth development by sponsoring junior sailing programs at Encinal Yacht Club and Island Yacht Club, and with the Sea Scouts.
© 2024 Courtesy Svendsen Family

After perusing the Alameda City Council’s Executive Summary regarding this naming process, we understand the park (privately maintained and open to the public) will include a continuation and realignment of the San Francisco Bay Trail, open lawn areas, waterfront promenade, seating and picnic areas, and a long floating dock to launch, store and instruct on non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks, small sailboats, and paddleboards.

The image below is an artist’s rendering of the new park’s proposed layout.

We know the actualization of the park is still a long way off, but we look forward to seeing the community enjoy many hours of fun in what we hope all agree is a fitting tribute to Svend Svendsen.
© 2024 Photo supplied by Sabrina Svendsen

Richmond Yacht Club’s David Liebenberg Qualifies for Paris Olympics

The suspense of the Olympic trials is finally over, with the last US Sailing team members to qualify for an Olympic berth. Richmond Yacht Club’s David Liebenberg and his skipper, Sarah Newbury Moore, will head to Paris/Marseille to represent the US in the Nacra 17. It’s a stellar result meaning David will join Daniela Moroz and Hans Henken as Bay Area sailors headed to France to compete in this summer’s Olympics.

Sarah Newberry Moore - David Liebenberg
They’re in! Sarah Newberry Moore and David Liebenberg have qualified to represent the US at the Paris Olympics.
© 2024 Drew Malcolm

For both Sarah and David it is the culmination of a 10-year quest. Beyond the last 10 years of competition and hard work, they first had to make sure the US qualified to have a berth at the Olympics, which they did at the Pan Am games last November. Next they had to qualify by having the best combined points of US competitors at this year’s Trofeo Princesa Sofía and Nacra 17 World Championship. Following the event David said, “It’s quite a relief. It has been nearly 10 years coming, and to finally secure a spot feels amazing.” He added, “It definitely hasn’t fully sunken in yet. It comes in waves.”

With the weight of qualifying for the Olympics now behind them, the pair will join the rest of the US Sailing Olympic team in fine-tuning, coaching, and competing in preparation for the Games, which start in July.

You can read more about David’s Olympic sailing path in Christine Weaver’s interview here. You can learn more and contribute to Sarah and David’s campaign here.

Congratulations to Sarah and David!!

The US will compete in nine of the 10 Olympic classes, having failed to qualify the country in the ILCA 7 class. The following 13 sailors will make up the US Sailing team in France:

Women’s Formula Kite (Women’s Kite): Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, CA)

49er (Men’s Skiff): Ian Barrows & Hans Henken (San Francisco, CA)

Women’s iQFOiL (Women’s Windsurfer): Dominique Stater

ILCA 6 Radial (Women’s One-Person Dinghy): Erika Reineke

Mixed 470 (Mixed Two-Person Dinghy): Stu McNay & Lara Dallman-Weiss

49erFX (Women’s Skiff): Stephanie Roble & Maggie Shea

Men’s iQFOiL (Men’s Windsurfer): Noah Lyons

Men’s Formula Kite (Men’s Kite): Markus Edegran

Nacra 17 (Mixed Two-Person Multihull): Sarah Newberry Moore & David Liebenberg (Richmond, CA)

Trust Rubicon Yachts With Your Next Boat Purchase

Rubicon spends more time with buyers and sellers than any other Bay Area yacht brokerage. This hard work translates into more boats being sold and more boats for sale. Our brokers are in the office day and night listing and selling boats because it’s what they love to do. Stop by one of our six locations to get started.

US Sailing and America One Racing Clear the Air and Get Back to Sailing

It’s been a challenging Olympic year. As the US Olympic sailors have battled to secure their berths for the Olympics, US Sailing and America One Racing have been battling a lawsuit. To everyone’s relief, the latter has now been settled. US Sailing filed a lawsuit in January against America One Racing, the largest private funder of Olympic sailors, creating great uncertainty, friction and criticism during this Olympic year.

With the dispute behind them both US Sailing and America One Racing issued statements, with US Sailing saying, “US Sailing, the National Governing Body for the sport of sailing, announced today that it has come to a final resolution of terms settling all legal and other matters between US Sailing and America One Racing. US Sailing is pleased that this matter is resolved so that the greater sailing community can join us and be focused on fully supporting the 13 American athletes that will be representing the United States in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.”

America One Racing issued a statement saying that no money had changed hands, and that both parties agreed to release all claims and have established a mutual non-disparagement agreement.

As we know, it’s often hard to unite the United States. With the lawsuit settled, all parties have united in their wish to get back to sailing and supporting Olympic athletes in their quest for Olympic gold.

Here’s a Peek at Who’s Already Signed Up for Baja Ha-Ha XXX

Two weeks after registrations for the 30th Baja Ha-Ha opened, 71 boats had signed up for the annual cruising rally to Mexico, a number that the Ha-Ha’s Poobah, Richard Spindler, says is typical for this time of year.

Sixty-one of these boats are sloops, the biggest being Zac and Karina Singer’s sleek La Cruz-based Andrews 56 Encore. Almost as long but bigger in volume is David and Allison Shuttleworth’s CT54 Epifania, which is an entirely different boat from Encore. Epifania is a Taiwan-built Bob Perry-designed classic cutter-rigged ketch.

The two smallest boats registered to date are from Oregon: Chris Fowler’s Ericson 32 Red Beard from Portland, and Mike Meloy’s Catalina 32 Even Keel from Corvallis.

As usual, the majority of the boats are in the mid-40-ft range. Lots of them are oldies but goodies. So far the oldest might be Chris Fearon’s Islander 36 Mambo from Canton, Ohio. The Poobah remembers selling Islander 36s, which are still good-looking, in the early ’70s.

Currently there are eight catamarans, not including Profligate, the 63-ft Hughes that will be the mothership for the 27th time. This is a typical catamaran-to-monohull ratio for the Ha-Ha.

As always, powerboats are welcome in the Ha-Ha, and two have signed up so far: Jeff Gerard’s DeFever 53 Eventide from Kensington, and Ed and Wendy Thomas’ San Diego-based Mikelson 43 Apogee.

Stand by! The paid entries have now surged to 74! And we have a new biggest boat: Phil Friedman’s Farr 85 Sapphire Knight.

You can stay up to date with all the entries here.

The Poobah and Doña de Mallorca are currently on our canal boat in Saint Florentin, France, after two weeks of gallivanting around France and Italy. I’m finally settled in a very quiet area and have got my Starlink cranking, so I’m about to begin one of my favorite tasks of the year — writing the bios for the Ha-Ha entries.

For those who have been sleeping far inland, the Ha-Ha is the 750-mile cruisers’ rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, with stops at fun and funky Turtle Bay — where fuel is once again being sold from the pier — and surreal Bahia Santa Maria. The event starts on November 4. The Notice of Rally and entry form can be found at

There are different ways to cruise south to Mexico, but we think being part of the Ha-Ha is the most fun — eight big social events — easiest and safest because of the numbers. Plus, by the time you get to Cabo, you’ll have made all kinds of new cruising friends.

We’ve missed only one of the 28 Ha-Ha’s to date, and can’t wait to do our 29th. We hope you’ll join us.

Note: Sapphire Knight was a Performance Division class winner in last month’s Newport to Ensenada Race.