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Updates from Latitude’s Racing Desk

Bay Area Winter Racing

Corinthian Yacht Club (the one in Tiburon) says they’re “slowly creeping back!” They invite racers to “Gear up for Valentine’s Day with a vaguely heart-shaped pursuit race.” The entry fee is just $20. CYC will follow that up with their regularly scheduled Midwinters on February 20-21. They added March 6-7 as the second weekend to complete the four-race series. “With the variable winds of winter, the race has been called ‘Jungle Ball for Boats’.”

A later message from CYC notes: “We are intending to schedule one or more of the midwinter races as pursuit as well, likely Sundays. This will be spelled out in the Sailing Instructions.” Missing from these events are the big raft-ups in the harbor (due to health orders, CYC is currently limiting berthing to members only) and shoreside parties.

In accordance with the health orders of Alameda County, Berkeley YC is allowing the following in this weekend’s Midwinter races: “The maximum number of crew on each crewed boat (both racer and race committee) may be from no more than three households. Doublehanded crews from separate households are OK.” This will be the last weekend of regular racing in the series, but top finishers will have a chance to compete in the Champion of Champions on Sunday, February 28.

Start at XOC
A light-air, blue-sky start in last month’s Berkeley Midwinters.
© 2021 Glen Garfein

The Regatta PRO Winter One Design Invitational moved their first warning from 11:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 13, in hopes of pulling off three races on February 13 and March 13, weather permitting. RegattaPRO had to forego their planned races in December and January. J/105, J/88, J/24, J/70, Melges 24 and Moore 24 fleets are racing in the series.

The good news from the Singlehanded Sailing Society: The next race in the season will allow doublehanders. The bad news: The SSS limited registration to 150 boats. They opened registration on Saturday morning and completely filled all spaces on Sunday. Unlike for the Three Bridge Fiasco, there is no waiting list. The race on February 27 is called the Corinthian, but CYC can’t allow a race committee of non-members at the club. So, the race will start and finish out in front of the Golden Gate YC on the San Francisco Cityfront. The rest of the course will remain the same, involving roundings of Blackaller Buoy, Southampton, Little Harding and Blossom Rock.

Looking Ahead to Spring

Newport Ocean Sailing Association’s Newport to Ensenada Race will start off the Balboa Pier on April 23. Race organizers at NOSA are planning for a traditional Ensenada finish. But they do have a backup plan to go to San Diego instead, should that be necessary. That course would send competitors around the Coronado Islands. In preparation for the race, NOSA will hold Racing and Winning at Night seminars on February 25 and March 25.

Pacific Northwest

“It’s taken some rework of the logistics because of the Canadian border closing and the cancellation of this year’s Swiftsure,” writes Dennis Damore, the commodore of the Corinthian Yacht Club of Portland, “but CYC and our title sponsor Schooner Creek Boat Works were determined to make this year’s race happen.” The Pacific NW Offshore is scheduled for “June 10-13, to allow for more time for COVID recovery. To register follow this link: Pacific NW Offshore Registration.” This 193-mile race begins off the mouth of the Columbia River and finishes in the bay at Port Angeles, Washington.

Racing to Hawaii

Registration is now open for the 2021 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race from San Francisco Bay to Hanalei Bay, Kauai. “We are planning the race, but COVID is of course complicating the situation,” wrote race chair Brian Boshma on the SSS forum. “We will make a final call on the race on March 15. The usual events that happen at the start and finish will be modulated by COVID.” The race normally starts at CYC, and CYC hosts the fleet for a couple of days in advance.

SHTP 2018 skippers
The 2018 SHTP skippers didn’t have to worry about social distancing or quarantines. And CYC graciously hosted their send-off.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

“If we are lucky, everyone will be vaccinated and we can have a normal start, finish and celebrations at both ends,” continued Brian. “A big question for all those seriously considering the race is as follows: If Kauai’s ‘resort specific bubble’ is still in place, and they can’t assure it will be lifted by June 19, the start date, would we get sufficient participation to make the race viable? Would you still have an interest if your friends and loved ones would have to spend 10 days in a designated resort prior to being allowed general island access?” Another possibility is a finish on a different island in Hawaii, such as Oahu, where a negative COVID test is sufficient to allow travelers entry. Follow the discussion on the forum here.

Race organizers at the Transpacific YC have extended the deadline for standard entry fee payment for July’s Transpac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. The new deadline to avoid a late fee is April 30, 2021. World-class navigator Peter Isler will offer a special course in his Marine Weather University, Preparing for Transpac: Navigation, Strategy, Weather, Electronics and More, on Saturday, February 20, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Registration is already open for the 2022 Vic-Maui Race. That’s still a long time off, but here’s something you can do this very month: The Virtual Vancouver International Boat Show runs February 24-27 and offers free registration. Seminars of interest to potential Vic-Maui racers (and other offshore sailors) include:

  • Preparing your boat for offshore, Christof Marti, Thursday, February 25, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Vic-Maui for Racers and Cruisers, Jim Innes, Friday, February 26, 11 a.m.-12 noon.
  • Offshore Personal Survival Training, David Sutcliffe, Friday, February 26, 3-4 p.m.

1 Comment

  1. Greg Clausen 3 years ago

    After a horrible non sailing year I am confident that this race will happen, the plus is that a lot of these sailors will be old enough to be in the vaccine age category.

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A Sailor's Search for Spirit
Bobby Popoff is looking for SV Spirit, a 66-ft modified Monk design previously owned and built by Harold A Jones, former owner of Vancouver Tug (now SeaSpan).