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June Begins with a Magical Full-Moon Summer Weekend

Could it be the best Friday night of the year? We won’t know until September, when the CYC Friday evening beer can series is over, but it was a pretty perfect start to the first June weekend on the Bay. Warm, steady breezes on a cloudless Friday night took racers around an 8.5-mile course that, unusually, featured a steady breeze from start to finish. Despite its being about as beautiful as one could hope for, you wouldn’t have wanted to miss the preceding eight races in the series — they’ve all been pretty good.

Ethan Doyle and Eric Baumhauf’s sweet-looking Aerodyne 38 Syzygy proves it was a cloudless evening.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

It’s hard to imagine a better way to finish the work week or start a weekend than gathering a crew for a Friday night beer can race. It’s a ritual we’ve followed for 30-plus years and never tire of. Thirty years might seem like a long time, though as the course took us around Easom Buoy (formerly Yellow Bluff) twice on Friday, we thought of Hank, who may have rounded that mark more times than anyone else on the Bay. He raced Friday night races aboard Yucca for decades, and countless other races on the Bay.

The ever-shifting weather keeps every race different, and competitors keep every start and rounding interesting. Getting the crew together and connecting with the rest of the fleet is the icing on the cake.

Recently greased winches.
Why is this man smiling? Beyond its being a perfect evening to sail, Tom Woolley is grinding on recently greased winches.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / JA

Although we love flying a kite, we’ve always raced non-spinnaker. It allowed us to race easily with the kids when they were very young and made it fun for everyone, as a spinnaker can make things a bit more complicated and tense. Whatever works for your boat, make sure you don’t miss your local beer can series.

John Rook's Liquid Asset
Summer is here aboard John Rook’s Ranger 33 Liquid Asset.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

We did say “cloudless” and we took photos to prove it. Light fog and cooler breezes crept in during the rest of the weekend, but Friday was welcoming to all.

Full moon
The post-race evening was treated to a full moon rising.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Despite a sunny Saturday, we shifted gears back to boat maintenance. While Tom was happier grinding the freshly greased primary winches on Friday night, we still had the halyard winches left to clean up and grease.

Despite a sunny Saturday we shifted back to boat maintenance. While Tom was happier grinding the freshly greased primary winches on Friday we still had the halyard winches left to clean up and grease.
The teeth in the halyard winches, thick with crusty, messy grease, would have horrified any dental hygienist.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Pulling the halyard winches apart revealed the same gooey mess of grease that had been hiding in the primaries. It all cleaned up decently well until we went to remove the central spindle from the winch base. It just wouldn’t slide out. That made no sense, so with the wisdom and skill of crewmember Randy Gridley, we got out the only tool that helps in these circumstances: a hammer. After removing the winch base from the deck we were able to pound the spindle out to discover the deformed teeth of the main spindle. This attests to the crew’s power when we call for halyard tension and a question about how many times these might have been pulled and cleaned since they were mounted in 1989.

Winch repair
The halyard winch greasing revealed surprising deformation of the gear teeth.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Randy always has the right tool for the job. With the help of a Dremel, we were able to grind down the teeth just enough so the spindle slid into and out of the base with relative ease. We’ll probably replace the spindles, since the problem will only get worse, but in the meantime, we now have all of our winches freshly greased, which will help keep the crew smiling regardless of the weather.

The Latitude 38 calendar also showed the Delta Ditch Run, a full-moon Midnight Moonlight race, Mercurys racing at EYC on the Estuary, a St. Francis YC match-racing event, and much more. It was a pretty perfect weekend to start the month of June, and there’s lots more great sailing ahead. We hope to see you out there.

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1 Comment

  1. milly Biller 4 months ago

    We arrived at the Stockton Sailing Club just as the full moon rose, after a wonderful race to Stockton aboard Bren Meyer’s Wyliecat 30, Uno. Playing Cat and mouse with the Moore 24 fleet made it especially fun ! Big congrats to Joel Turmel !!!!

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