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June 10, 2024

There’s Always Excitement on the Delta Ditch Run

When we drove over the Richmond Bridge on Saturday morning for a sail out of Emeryville, we saw the fleet of Delta Ditch Run boats heading to Stockton in what looked like relatively benign conditions. And they were for much of the race, though that didn’t prevent some boats from finding some exciting moments along the way.

Container ship New York Slouth
Dodging ships is just one obstacle on the course. Dennis Deisinger’s bar pilot friend sent a photo from the deck of a ship in New York Slough.
© 2024 DD

Despite the calm start and what looked like a comfortable ride down New York Slough, the Bay and Delta were up to their usual tricks, with blustery winds, puffs and shallows. Marcus Canestra returned to the Corinthian YC early with a broken mast on his Melges 20 Boomer. And Andrew Scott’s F-27 Papillon found a big puff that flipped the tri. Luckily, we understand the crew and boat are all OK.

F-27 Papillon
Andrew Scott’s F-27 Papillon had a tough day, but everyone was OK.
© 2024 DD

Despite the fact that large tankers can make it all the way to Stockton just fine, sailboats in races tend to sail the edge to find the fastest way up there. Andy Schwenk’s new-to-him schooner Sir Edmund did the courteous thing and showed some competitors where the shallow spots were. They still managed to get second in class in Heavy 1 behind Craig Perez and his Express 34 Marrakesh.

Andy Schwenk's Sir Edmund
Andy Schwenk’s new-to-him schooner Sir Edmund polishing the bottom of the keel.
© 2024 Torben Bensten

We’ll share a more thorough report in the July issue. In the meantime, you can see the full results for the 94 boats that signed up for the 33rd annual Delta Ditch Run here.

Redwood High School Sailing Travels East to Annapolis

Redwood High School’s Northern League champion sailing team red-eyed to Annapolis in early June to race the Phebe King Memorial Regatta, a high school invitational for 18 teams, most of them from the Atlantic region and all of them except Redwood from east of Berkeley. Redwood’s sailors had won their foundation-sponsored adventure in two days of racing in May, solidly defeating 17 other Bay Area schools.

Morgan Headington leaning into it with crew Henry Vare.
Morgan Headington leaning into it with crew Henry Vare.

In Annapolis, Rhett Krawitt, Mark Xu, Akira Bratti, Morgan Headington and Henry Vare had their first taste of racing in C420 dinghies, to them an unfamiliar class, and nobody expected the sailing to be like home. It wasn’t. Over 36 light- to moderate-air races for A and B divisions, Redwood’s scores included first-, second- and third-place finishes and a few to make you wish that high school regattas would allow drop scores, but they don’t.

Mark Xu helming for Redwood High School.
Mark Xu helming for Redwood High School.

Redwood wrapped up sixth in the regatta in a whirlwind three days that included tours of the Maryland State House and the US Naval Academy. Winner of the 2024 Phebe King was Stony Brook Academy, a boarding school on the north shore of Long Island, NY, that proudly dotes on its sailing team. Redwood High does not officially recognize its sailing team, but the Northern League Championship trophy found a place there, and that makes a statement too.

Akira Bratti sailing with Rhett Krawitt on the Chesapeake.
Akira Bratti sailing with Rhett Krawitt on the Chesapeake.

Look for the full story in the upcoming July issue.

Do You Remember Sailing With Your Grandfather?

As Father’s Day draws near (it’s this coming Sunday, June 16) we’ve started thinking about the stories we’ve shared about sailors who were introduced to boats by their grandfathers. As we said in our ad last Friday about our Father’s Day gift promotion, grandfathers are fathers, too. And many grandfathers are sailors, just as many sailors are grandfathers.

Emily Zugnoni is the program director at Alameda Community Sailing Center (ACSC), and the winner of US Sailing’s 2023 Outstanding Community Sailing Program Award. Emily grew up sailing on the Estuary and San Francisco Bay aboard her grandfather’s Tartan 30 Lelo Too. In a May 2020 ‘Lectronic, Emily told us, “The foundation of my sailing knowledge came from my grandfather, Emile Carles, who kept every Latitude 38 ever printed in his garage, by the way.” Emily was also a guest on our Good Jibes sailing podcast last month.

Emily and her grandfather and mother
“First sail with my grampa, Mom and Bobo the Clown. No life vests. Yikes!”
© 2024 Emily Zugnoni

In February 2023 we heard from Cyril Kollock, who shared his memory of sailing with his grandfather, Dave Kollock. Dave was from Philadelphia, and before Cyril came along, sailed a 110 out of Ocean City, NJ. He later bought a Shields, and Cyril remembers sailing aboard with him a few times when he was very young. Later in life Cyril reconnected with sailing through Modern Sailing and now shares his rekindled passion with others.

Cyril with his grandfather on one of their sailing days, circa 1980, most likely in Ocean City. “At this time my grandfather had founded a large marine salvage company called Chockfast Resins, in Pennsylvania,” Cyril wrote.
© 2024 Cyril Kollock

And then there was Cal Currier, the Palo Alto teen who at 16 decided to sail across the Atlantic, west to east. Although Cal didn’t talk specifically about sailing with his grandfather, it was apparent that the elder Currier had bestowed a good degree of saltiness upon his grandson. Cal’s grandfather sailed across the Atlantic twice. Additionally, in 1948 his great-grandfather built a boat and sailed it to the Galápagos and back. The sailing blood didn’t skip a generation either, with Cal’s father James having sailed across the Atlantic and through the South Pacific.

Cal Currier and his grandfather Bill Saltonstall moments before Cal set off on his voyage across the Atlantic.
© 2024 The Currier Family

No doubt there are more stories in our archives about sailing with grandfathers, but we hope the ones we’ve shared above rekindle some warm memories of your own. In the meantime, add your granddad, grandpa or gramps to your thoughts for this coming Sunday (and every day), and maybe even show him some love with a Latitude 38 sailor’s gift package — he’s sure to appreciate it.