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The Un-Northern California Sailing Look

Having spent much of the summer in Southern California for a change, we couldn’t help but notice a couple of differences between sailing down there and up in Northern California. The first, of course, is the weather. We haven’t seen 20 knots down there all summer, something we’d typically get almost every afternoon and early evening on the Bay. We miss that wind. On the other weather hand, we haven’t seen any serious fog down south, and haven’t missed that stuff at all. And while it can sometimes get cold along the Southern California coast, even in the summer, it’s often warm and sometimes hot. A couple weekends ago, for example, we had a great spinnaker run from Avalon to Newport. Even though we were moving along in the 10 to 13-knot range, happily leaving some of the huffing and puffing big trawlers in our wake, it was still so warm that nothing more than shorts and a T-shirt was required, and then only for common decency. It was often warm even at night. We enjoyed many a wonderful after-sundown BBQ on the beach at Two Harbors, attired in just shorts and a T-shirt. That’s hard not to like. In fact, if we had to chose between global warming and global cooling, we can assure you that we’d prefer Hades.

Another major difference we noticed is the attire that some Southern California women – perhaps more specifically, some Newport Beach women – wear while sailing. Take, for example, Shannon Green, the star attraction in the accompanying photo. She’s not just a member of a prestigious Southern California yacht club, but an enthusiastic participant in the Ensenada and other races, beer can races, and has sailed on Bill Gibbs’ catamaran Afterburner, the fastest boat in Southern California. She spends many summer weekends crewing on cruising boats to Catalina, and for Labor Day she chartered the sailboat she’s standing on in the photo. Based on her actions, she’s really into sailing.

Shannon’s not just a pretty face, she’s also a dedicated sailor and real estate developer.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

And like some other Newport Beach women, she’s into what we in the sailing provinces would consider to be some unusually vibrant sailing outfits. For example, if she was seen getting off a sailboat at Ayala Cove in the outfit she’s wearing in the accompanying photo, we’re certain that most folks would assume –  rightly or wrongly – that she’s a not particularly sharp ecdysiast. In reality, she’s a successful developer, currently cobbling together a mall or something in Denver. And mind you, she’s not even wearing what we’d describe as ‘the full Shannon’. That would consist of a bubble gum-colored miniskirt, a lime green top, and matching pink with sparkly sequins sunglasses and cowgirl hat. And it’s not like Shannon is the only women sailor in Newport who dresses this way. But we’re open-minded, so vive la différence!

The bottom line is that there are more differences in Northern and Southern California sailing than just the weather.

P.S. Did we mention that Shannon is single and that, if she doesn’t do the Little Ensenada Race, is likely to be at Catalina for the wild and wooly Buccaneer Day festivities at Two Harbors on October 6?

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Who says sailing with kids is tough? Here’s what super-sailor Rob Wallace has to say about it: Rob knew baby Cristopher was a born-sailor on the way back from Hawaii in ’87 – check out the kid licking the salt spray off his lips!