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Cal 40 #1 ‘Discovered’ in Richmond

Can something that is not lost be found? Though its location was known to some and nobody was really looking, it recently came to the attention of several folks including Fred Cook, owner of Schaefer Marine and the Cal 40 Sequoia, that Cal 40 hull #1 was languishing on an empty lot in Richmond. Cook, who worked at Jensen Marine years ago, did a complete restoration of Sequoia before doing the 2017 Transpac and taking third place. Though Cook says one Cal 40 restoration is enough, he now owns Hull #1 Persephone and wants to find the right person to get her sailing again.

Cal 40 Persephone
The Cal 40 Persephone looks a little scruffy but, like many before her, she can be brought back to shine.
© 2021 Cree Partridge

Cook says Persephone originally belonged to George Griffith. “As legend has it, George Griffith, Bill Lapworth and Jack Jensen were having lunch at the Los Angeles Yacht Club and they sketched out the parameters for a new design on a placemat or napkin. Jack Jensen told George Griffith, ‘If you can get me 10 firm orders for this boat, I will build a mold and start production.’ The rest is history.”

Beyond being hull #1, the boat has also been owned by none other than Dennis Connor, who raced her and won the Cal 40 class in the Ensenada Race in 2003. We wrote about it in ‘Lectronic Latitude, saying, “Dennis Conner sailed his new Cal 40 Persephone to third overall and first in class. And what a class, as no less than 20 of the 40-year-old Cal 40s competed.”

Cal 40 Persephone
This shapely Cal 40 is closing in on 60 years old.
© 2021 Cree Partidge

According to Cook, Persephone was sailed north from San Diego by her former owner in 2016, and while needing work, she has some good sails, mast and other attributes that will help her get sailing sooner. All she needs is someone ready to jump in. Cook contacted Cree Partridge at Berkeley Marine Center, where he’d restored Sequoia, and Cree now has the boat on the hard in Berkeley, ready for a look.

In Greek mythology the goddess Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, was abducted by Hades to the underworld, and her annual return to the surface is the sign of spring. If all goes well, it will be springtime again for this Persephone.

By the way, the storied history of the Cal 40 class is only getting longer and better. Tom Burden, owner of the Cal 40 Shaman, wrote a terrific story in ‘Lectronic Latitude on the Cult of the Cal 40.

If you’re interested in Persephone, contact Fred Cook at Schaefer Marine on (508) 995-9511 or Cree Partridge at 510-843-8195.


  1. Pat Broderick 2 months ago

    It only I was younger and had won last Saturday’s LOTTO I’d be say’n, “Watch out Green Buffalo, here I come!”

  2. Jamie McArthur 2 months ago

    I think it was LAYC not LBYC. George Griffith was telling stories years ago at the Cal 40 round up over in Catalina. The rest is spot on

    • John Arndt 2 months ago

      We stand corrected. We’ve updated the story to reflect that it was at the Los Angeles Yacht Club.

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