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Where Did All These Sailors Come From?

The recent Rolex Big Boat Series was another smashing, returning-to-normal success. Great racing, great boats, great weather and a great time reconnecting with sailing friends. So where do all these sailors come from? We often hear that racing is struggling because nobody can find crew, but the RBBS is a testament to the fact that if you look, you can find them. Check out the photos below.

Friends on the rail
The Bay is breezy, so Greg Dorn’s Dehler 46, Favonius, had a great lineup of friends on the rail.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Sharon Green / Rolex
Rolex Big Boat Series Crew
If you’re not calling puffs, this is a great place to tell your favorite joke. Other questions for the rail — boots or sneakers? Left foot over right or right foot over left?
© 2021 Sharon Green / Rolex

Besides no crew, another myth about sailing is that it’s expensive. It can be for big-boat owners, but it’s likely that most of the people in these photos are sailing for free and some are even getting paid to sail. You do have to earn your spot with skills and dedication, especially for an event like RBBS, but once aboard the actual cost, beyond appropriate apparel and a PFD, is negligible.

Santa Cruz 37 Wild Card
Nicholas Grebe brought all his pals on the Santa Cruz 37 Wild Card.
© 2021 Sharon Green / Wild Card
J/88 Ravenette
It’s all smiles on Brice Dunwoodie’s J/88 Ravenette*.
© 2021 Sharon Green
Rogers 46 Lucky Duck
The two Rogers 46s, Lucky Duck in the foreground and Bretwalda 3 in the background, fielded two big teams to handle tight-quarters maneuvers and big breezes on San Francisco Bay.
© 2021 Sharon Green / Rolex
The red crew
In the ‘old days’ all this red or black foul weather gear would have been yellow. Apparently yellow is pretty much out.
© 2021 Sharon Green/Rolex

None of this is to say finding, organizing, and managing a crew is easy, but Sharon Green has provided photographic evidence that it is possible. To help skippers and crews connect, Latitude 38 recently updated its Crew List page on the website, so both can list the pertinent information and connect for sailing. Beyond racing, there are lists available for cruising, Mexico only, daysailing and co-chartering. Our recent Crew List party had over 300 people attend, and the new crew list already has over 200 people listed.

Different kind of sailing
The photos above may not be your kind of sailing. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to join sailors on the Bay.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

If you really want to crew, beyond simple sailing skills there are a lot of things you can do to help an owner, with a big one being to help them organize their crew!

Chuck Hawley had other suggestions in his recent Good Jibes Podcast. With the West Coast’s 12-month sailing season there’s a lot of sailing to be done, and with some patience and persistence, it shouldn’t take long for owners to fill up their boats with helpful crew, or for crew to find an owner who gets them sailing the Bay or over the horizon.

*You’ll see more of this crew on Friday.

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