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Great Pumpkin Regatta Nautical Trivia Quiz Solved

Among the fun distractions/competitions during Richmond Yacht Club’s Great Pumpkin Regatta is the trivia quiz. Before Sunday’s pursuit race, you pick up a tri-folded sheet of copier paper and take it aboard with you while you race (or, like this year, attempt to race). Online research is cheating! When you return to the club after a day of sailing (or drifting followed by motoring), you turn in your quiz and await the quizmaster to correct your homework. This year, no one finished the pursuit race due to currents so much more powerful than the wimpy breeze. One of the last boats still trying to round Alcatraz was Arcadia, sailed by our intrepid quizmaster, Gordie Nash. So we didn’t learn the answers and the winner until later. Then a misplaced computer delayed our sharing the quiz here.

Start of the Great Pumpkin
A functional westerly at the on-time start of the Great Pumpkin pursuit race on Sunday, October 29, didn’t hold.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Spoiler alert! The answers will be at the end of this post. Before you scroll down there, try to see if you can best the winning team’s score.

From Quizmaster Gordie Nash (unedited):

We hope you are challenged, entertained, and educated by our short “story” question style trivia questions. It has been 50 years since Roe v. Wade, the US pulled out of Viet Nam, the discovery of the Great Pacific Plastic Garbage Patch and the passing of Buddy Melges. [Buddy, aka Harry C. Melges Jr., died in 2023; his father, Harry C. Melges Sr., died in 1985. So we’re not sure what Gordie meant to say here.] Many of the answers can be found on the internet but we recommend you start a discussion with your crew about the information.

Q1. This Yacht Club has never moved from its original late 1800’s location. It does not own any flat land and the Island it is associated with is named after it. The first club newsletter was named the “Coconut Wireless”. It was rumored to have burnt down to justify a new club house to be built on the original site. This club was formed because of the need for a club for boat owners under 35 feet. It is credited with forming the SYRA. It is one of the premier clubs of San Francisco Bay.

A1. Richmond
San Francisco

Q2. One French sailor has “done it all”. He began with the 6.5 Mini Trans Atlantic races, moved up to finish two BOC single handed around the world races, raced in Route de Rum, Jack Vabrey, Vendee Globe and the modern Golden Globe, finishing on the podium in all but one and winning more than one. He has finished them all. A humble friendly sailor who simply always sailed well. He has earned the respect of his fellow sailors without being in the lime-light. Who is he?

A2. Robin Knox Johnson
Jean loc vanden Heade
Michael Desjoyeaux
Francois Gabart

Q3. The Newport Sailing Museum has lots of sailing memorabilia, holds classes, gives seminars, runs races, gives out awards and has famous boats on display. One of the boats was built by Paul Cayard and his father. Paul won the 1975 National Championships in this class. What class is it?

A3. Snipe
El Toro
Blue Jay

Q4. It is a National honor, quite difficult to qualify for and participate in the sailing Olympic Games. Only held every four years this event is commonly a ‘once-in-a-life-time-event”. There have been sailors who have participated in more than one Olympics. But family members are even more rare. But one family had a father and offspring win two Gold medals in two different classes in the same year! What family members were these? Father driving, youngster crewing.

A4. Paul Elvestrom and daughter Tina
Buddy Melges and son Harry
Bill Buchan and son Carl
Torbin Grael and daughter Martine

Q5. In 1740 the British Admiralty sent 6 ships and 1800 men to capture the treasure laden Spanish Galleon “Nuesta de Senora Covadonga” operating in the Pacific. Two returned to England early, one sank rounding Cap Horn, one small schooner grounded in Patagonia. “Centurion” went on to capture the treasure but the last ship crashed on an Island in Chile that now has this ships’ name. Of the 250 men shipwrecked, most died, some murdered, only 32 made it back to England to face mutiny charges. This true story is this years #1 best selling book written by David Grann. What is the name of this ship?

A5. White Cloud
The Endurance

Q6. Jack London wanted to join this yacht club after he moved to his new home in 1910. He sent his club application and letter to the private home of the then secretary. This person was also a lawyer and kept it in his personal file. His heirs found the Jack London correspondence and sold it on Ebay. A small group of club members paid the price and it now is on display in the clubs’ bar. What club did Jack London join?

A6. Aeolian

Q7. The “Cape Horner” square rigged sailing ship transported this major British export around the world and especially to Chile and other South America ports. The ships left Liverpool loaded and returned with goods from the Americas. It is said that the working life span of these ships was about 10 years. What was one of England’s primary exports during the “Age of Sail?”

A7. wool
guns and ammunition

Q8. When deciding which “way to go” for the SSS “Three Bridge Fiasco”, sailors do not think about which counties of San Francisco Bay Area the course is in. If a boats’ course were sailed close to the rum line between and around the three marks, Blackaller/Yerba Buena/Red Rock, how many counties will the boats’ actually sail in?

A8. San Francisco, Marin
San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa
San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda
San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda, Napa

Q9. Square rigged ship terms are still with us today. This Airline Company started the tradition of using ship terms. We go to an air”Port”, enter the “Cabin”, with a crew of “Captain”, “Navigator” and ”Steward”. This company also named their planes after famous sailing ships. One was used in “Raiders of the Lost Arc” and its Pacific headquarters was San Francisco Bay. What Airline?

A9. American Airlines “American Eagle”
TWA, “Flying Cloud”
British Airways “White Star”
Pan Am “Clippers”

Q10. Your morning coffee may be part of French Trans Atlantic Sailing Race history. This local company is now owned by the company who started the Jaques Vabre Trans Atlantic Race. Retracing historic coffee routes, first held in 1993 it starts in La Havre, today, October 29 and ends in the West Indies. Through acquisitions and mergers JDE France, listed on the Netherlands stock exchange owns what local coffee company?

A10. Starbucks
High Wire

Q11. During the ‘Golden Age of Pirates’ in the early 1700’s you needed this to become a real Buccaneer a ‘Pirate’. After England won the war with Spain the British crown released all the pirates. Admiralty suspension of this forced all the Caribbean pirates to become independents. What gave sailors permission to be come official British pirates before 1714? “The Act of Grace” 1717 again changed pirating.

A11. Letter of Marque
British provided and built ship
Private dock in Nassau, Bahamas
British provided warehouse in Kingston, Jamaica

Q12. World famous Buddy Melges lived 93 years sailing. He skippered and won an Americas’ Cup campaign, has 2 Olympic medals, 3 5.5 Meter worlds, 3Mallory wins, 3 Yachtsman of the Year Awards, 5 E Scow national wins, 7 Ice boat wins and a boat building company. His favorite sailing venue was Lake Geneva near his home in Zenda. He proudly invited many good sailors to race scows with him on his lake. When anyone questioned that lake sailing had variable winds from many different directions Buddy would tell them that you can always tell where the wind was shifting too because the “cows always stand with their tails into the wind”. Why did Buddy tell his competitors this? He wanted everyone to:

A12. admire his family farms’ cows
looking for cows instead of wind shifts
it was a joke because there are no cows in Wisconsin
look and see the beautiful lake because he sold real estate

How Did You Do on the Quiz?

Gordie told us that the scores ranged from three correct to three wrong. No one got a perfect score. The boat with only three wrong, winning the quiz, was Grant Kiba’s Take Five More, an RYC-based Olson 911 with five savvy sailors aboard. How did you do? Scroll down to the next section for the answers.

Droopy spinnaker
Take Five More’s spinnaker did fill some of the time during the attempted circumnavigation of Angel Island and Alcatraz, but the trivia quiz was more successful.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

For a report on the actual racing in the Great Pumpkin Regatta, see Racing Sheet in the December issue of Latitude 38, coming out on Friday, December 1. For some fun photos of Halloween costumes, see November 1’s ‘Lectronic Latitude.

And the Answers Are…

  1. Corinthian
  2. Jean-Luc Van Den Heede
  3. El Toro
  4. Bill Buchan and son Carl
  5. Wager
  6. Vallejo
  7. Coal
  8. San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa
  9. Pan Am Clippers
  10. Peet’s
  11. Letter of Marque
  12. Looking for cows instead of wind shifts

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