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June 21, 2024

Hank Easom Scholarship Fund Announced at Spaulding Marine Center

Spaulding Marine Center recently held an event to formally announce the creation of the Hank Easom Endowment Fund, seeded with a generous donation from the Easom family. The fund has been established to support the long-term sustainability of the Center’s Boatworks 101 Marine Technician Apprenticeship Program.

Jan Easom Kneib and Michael Zolezzi Yucca
Jan Easom Kneib sits aboard Hank’s former 8-Meter Yucca with current owner Michael Zolezzi in advance of the fundraising event.
© 2024 Michael Lewis

Jan Easom Kneib was on hand to announce the fund and recall Easom Boatworks’ founding on the Sausalito waterfront in 1956 when the area included 10 boatyards. She recalled Hank’s deep friendship with legendary Sausalito boatbuilder Myron Spaulding and Hank’s complete enjoyment of and commitment to sailing and being on the water. This long relationship is now continuing with the Easom family’s support of the nonprofit Spaulding Marine Center. This support will help secure the future of young people in the maritime industry as they enroll in the apprenticeship program.

Jan Easom Kneib presents Spaulding Marine Center’s general manager Matt Zarem with one of Hank’s first trophies.
© 2024 Michael Lewis

Harry “Hank” Easom, in whose honor the fund is established, was a sailing legend in the Bay Area. As a teenager, Easom bought a kit for a 20-ft plywood boat designed by Myron Spaulding, founder of Spaulding Marine Center in Sausalito. Racing soon became Easom’s lifelong passion.

As well as being an invaluable mentor to Hank when he started Easom Boatworks, Myron became a lifelong friend. Hank admired Myron’s accomplishments as a boat builder, designer and racer. He was truly Hank’s North Star.

Pete and Lucy McCormick standing with Boatworks 101 graduate Robert Morte, who now works with Pete at Jeff Brown Yachts in Sausalito.
© 2024 Michael Lewis

The marine industry in the Bay Area has a shortage of qualified talent to meet demand, due to a lack of technical education, scholarship availability, and work experience. The fund will provide scholarship recipients with an opportunity to attend an accredited apprenticeship program in order to gain employment in the marine industry. The current class is the fourth to participate in the apprenticehip program, with prior students such as Ocean Mancebo (now working at Helmut’s Marine in San Rafael) gaining employment with local companies.

Spaulding Marine Center president Bill Edinger describes the benefits of the Boatworks 101 Program.
© 2024 Michael Lewis

Of course, everyone is invited to support the fund by donating to the Hank Easom Endowment Fund and volunteering expertise and knowledge to the apprentices. The support is invaluable to the program and the marine technicians who graduate. In addition there is a $50,000 matching grant from the Gladys Spaulding Fund for donations made up until the end of the year.

Jan describes the new Hank Easom Scholarship Fund to the assembled audiience.
© 2024 Michael Lewis

Hank Easom sailed his last race in February 2023, 10 days before his death at age 88, finishing first in class, division, and overall. In commemoration of his accomplishments and contributions, the Hank Easom mark is now set off the Marin Headlands, replacing the former Yellow Bluff mark.

Donations can be made here.

Whether to Weather the Summer in the Delta

If you’ve been asking yourself if you should take advantage of the weather and sail into the Delta this summer, the answer is Yes! Why not? The Delta offers a plethora of natural waterways, many of which provide a perfect cruising ground. And you’re quite likely to bump into other sailors who are out there looking to just relax, and enjoy the warmth and the swimmable waters.

raftup with water toys
There’s plenty of fun and friends in our local Delta summer cruising grounds.
© 2024 Jim Adams / Flibbertigibbet

In 2009, Latitude 38 initiated the Delta Doo Dah (DDD) — a do-It-yourself summertime cruising rally to the California Delta. And when we say do-It-yourself, it’s exactly as it sounds, DIY cruising. (Which, when you think about it, is what cruising is.) You pick a day, provision the boat, and off you go. To help sailors get the most out of the Delta, we coordinate a little package with a calendar of events, information about the waterways and the facilities to be found, and, of course, swag. Delta Doo Dah veterans are likely to have a collection of unique DDD burgees for their boat, and they’ll be proud of it!

Delta Doo Day 15 banner
The 15th Delta Doo Dah’s burgee was pretty cute.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC /

This year, we’re taking a step back. Don’t worry, we’re not walking off the dock completely, we’re just giving you the helm and encouraging you to be even more intentionally DIY in your planning. You may have noticed that we didn’t make an official announcement about this year’s Delta sailing rally. Maybe you visited the Delta Doo Dah page on our website anyway and looked at what’s on the agenda for this year. Honestly, we’re pretty stretched for time and haven’t created a calendar of events. But we can tell you that Owl Harbor Marina in Isleton is ready to welcome you all again. Owl Harbor is hosting a BBQ for cruisers on July 27. By the way, did you know Owl Harbor has been voted “Best Marina in the Delta” two years running?

Despite not being as official as it has been in the past, the Delta Doo Dah is still the Bay Area’s favorite summertime sailing opportunity. The Delta is a fantastic place to spend your summer sailing hours, whether all at once or over multiple visits. We strongly encourage you to go. Even it you’re new to cruising; especially if you’re new to cruising. You can sail all day, drop the hook whenever you want, and find a nice, quiet corner to settle in for the evening and watch the sunset from your deck. And in the morning you get to do it all again!

Tranquility awaits.
© 2024 Sylvia Stompe

Head over to the Delta Doo Dah page and add your name to the list of sailors already decided on where to spend their summer. Once you’re on the list, take a look at this Delta cruising story from 2006. It’s a classic! The Cruise of the Laundry Basket

Short Sightings — A Gust of Sailing News

Here’s a gust of news rippling across the California sailing waters. There are opportunities to sail, race, walk the docks, and connect to sailing the Bay with the mainsheet clamped hard in your teeth.

Transpac 2025 Entries Are Now Open!

Entries are now open for the 2025 edition of the Los Angeles to Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race. Known as the Transpac and held biennially since 1906, this classic 2,225-mile ocean race is a bucket-list event for many sailors and skippers, several of whom have signaled their commitment by registering early.

The Master Mariners Wooden Boat Show — One Day Only, on Sunday

The Master Mariners Wooden Boat show is running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday at the Corinthian Yacht Club. It’s the one day a year you can step aboard some of the Bay Area’s best classic wooden boats, including the schooner Brigadoon, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. See the poster on the Summer Sailstice site here.

US Sailing Has Opened Nominations for the 2024 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year

Between June 18 and December 18, US Sailing is seeking nominees who are United States citizens and have demonstrated on-the-water excellence at national and international events, bringing global recognition to sailing in the United States in the calendar year.

Following closure of the nomination period, US Sailing’s Yachtsman and Yachtswoman nominating committee, approved by the board of directors, will select three finalists for both the Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Award based on the merits of the nominees.

Is anyone thinking they should nominate Cole Brauer for Yachtswoman of the Year so she doesn’t get missed?

To nominate for Yachtsman of the Year, click HERE

To nominate for Yachtswoman of the Year, click HERE

It’s Summer Sailstice Weekend

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to post your sailing plans on the Summer Sailstice map. There are boats signed up from the South Pacific, across the US and over to Europe. And, of course, lots happening on the Bay. It looks like the ideal weekend to #raiseyoursails to celebrate sailing with the rest of the world.

Speaking of Summer Sailstice Weekend — SailGP Hits New York; Brazil Joins the League for 2025

As SailGP’s Season 4 continues this weekend in New York, New Zealand holds the lead with 92 points, with Australia and Spain in second and third place respectively. USA is in eighth place with 52 points. This is the 12th of 13 events making up this year’s SailGP race calendar. Season 5, which begins in November, will see the introduction of SailGP Team Brazil as the 11th team on the global circuit.

Celebrating the announcement, SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said, “Brazil has achieved an incredible history of success in Olympic sailing and it’s fitting they are now entering the professional ranks of SailGP — competing against the best in the world. This opens up a new and very significant market for SailGP and we’re incredibly excited to further develop Brazil’s passionate fan base and strengthen our connection to the region.”

St. Francis Yacht Club Heavy Weather Opti Regatta

The annual Opti Heavy Weather Regatta is happening this weekend on the Cityfront. It’s a rip-roaring good time for Opti sailors who travel from far and wide to test their skills in the Bay’s summer winds. You’ll see them on the Cityfront when you’re out sailing this weekend. Thanks to Chris Ray for sending some shots of the sailing on Friday.

The Opti Heavy Weather Regatta sailors show us all how to sail the Bay.
© 2024 Chris Ray
Optis are ripping it up on the Cityfront this weekend.
© 2024 Chris Ray

It looks like fun. You’ll be amazed they can do it in the small boats, as you battle the Cityfront reefed down aboard your offshore keelboat.

You can see the results on Sunday here.

Have a great weekend of sailing!

About That Cover Photo … “Call of the Siren”

This month’s Latitude 38 magazine cover features Doug Saxe and his Farallon 29, Quark. Following is Doug’s story of his South Pacific adventures aboard this 45- (or thereabouts) year-old boat.

The siren’s call is irresistible. She beckons from afar with a charm that causes all reason and logic to fall aside. I’m drawn to her as if by a higher power. This is the call of Quark, my love, my muse. I found her as I’d left her, all tucked in tight at Marina de Papeete. She spent her “winter” patiently waiting for me while the people of Papeete enjoyed her beauty at the quay as they strolled, biked, and ran on the scenic promenade.

Upon my return, I found all was well with the boat. No leaks, no mold, no problems. The docklines will need to be replaced, but that’s expected. The wake from the ferries causes all the boats on this dock to dance crazily, tugging at their lines as if trying to break free.

Just a few projects to complete and Quark and I will be out on the islands again, anchored in a breezy lagoon. I’ll miss living downtown with all of the convenience of restaurants and grocery stores. On the other hand, it’s nice to have the contrast of remote anchorages nearby. Variety is the spice of life. This is why I’ve chosen to be a commuter cruiser rather than live aboard for several years while crossing the Pacific. It’s nice that Tahiti is convenient to the West Coast of the USA by an eight-hour nonstop flight — no more difficult than getting down to a boat in Mexico. And surprisingly, Marina de Papeete is less expensive than Puerto Vallarta marinas. Who would have thought that to be the case?

That reminds me: Dave Case! The guy who inspired it all. Shout-out to Dave for all that Quark continues to be, 45 years later. (Editor’s Note — Quark was built in Oakland in the ’70s from a bare hull and deck by Dave and his wife Vicki. They chronicled the build and a 14,000-mile voyage around the Pacific in Dave’s book Sailin’ South.) She has remarkable durability. She’s as well put-together as she has ever been and with little sign of wear, a testament to her initial build. She is, after all, on her third lap of the Pacific. Maybe she’ll even find her way to the Indian Ocean someday.

Cover photo boat — Quark
Quark — looking down from the top.
© 2024 SV Quark

Continue reading in the June issue.