Stadium racing in Comox is the bomb!!

OMG!!  If you have never done stadium racing (like me) it will blow your mind.  Stadium racing is short-course racing that revs up the heart rate, puckers the ole sphincter, and is an adrenaline rush the kind of which you have never experienced.

James, Stuart, and Andrew Robinson up in Comox put this together, and it is the bomb!  They let us borrow their Diam 24 trimaran for the weekend.  It comes with a furling jib and Code Zero.  This is the training boat most of the French teams use with names like Banque Populaire and Francois Gabart sprinkling the headlines.

You start with a reaching start, just like in the America’s Cup.  Except the turning mark at Comox is only 2 boat lengths from a rock jetty!  That first time my rudders cavitated for 3-4 seconds, hurtling us straight for “the wall” and ultimate extinction, before they dug in and saved us and the boat from obliteration.

Next leg is downwind.  Keep the kite up.  What?  We are already there?  Crap!  Hurry up and douse!  Unfurl the jib!  We’re going right out of the gate.  Ten seconds later we are tacking within five feet of the jetty.  Fans are shouting to us from the overhanging outlook 10 feet above, and rooting us on in the middle of our tack.  Meanwhile Stuart is giving the play-by-play over the loudspeaker.  Stay focused.

Got a minute to collect our thoughts and clean up the carnage on the upwind leg.  Only a minute.  We’ve closed on Andrew and the cross will be close…inches close.  Which way out of the upwind gate?  We’re going left.  Crap!  We have to thread our way through the pilings from an abandoned pier.  Whew.  Made that.  Into a gybe.   Where’s Andrew?  Crap again!  He went outside and gained another 3 boat lengths.

Come on, gents!  Only one more short lap to go!  Stuart is still blaring the play-by-play.  I can hear the crowd cheering us on.  Let’s go.

After one more lap of total chaos it is back to the reaching mark for the final reach into the finish.  Flying a hull as we get the horn!  Victory again.  Well, almost victory.  Second place.  It will have to do.  Especially since there are only two boats!   Somebody pass me a gallon of water, 5 Valiums, and 3 energy bars.  It’s only been a 15 minute race and I am ready to collapse.

What?  We’re in sequence again already?  We gotta do it again?  Yeahhhh, baby!  Bring it on!!!  I want more!

(More photos to come.)

Jericho & R2AK Update

Jericho can be dicey sometimes.  Some times you can be sitting out there in 60 deg. wind shifts (like last year), and other times you can be hauling ass in a beautiful, 20k westerly (like this year).  Yep.  That’s right.  If you skipped Jericho this year you missed out on a doozy, and if you were there you are still wearin’ the smile smeared all the way across your face !

Saturday saw 5 races in 17-22k with gusts to 25k.  Water was flat owing to a 2-3k flood that caused a bit of havoc at the weather mark for some of the sailors.  The flat water allowed the skippers to put the bow down, grin from ear to ear, and let out an occasional “Whoop!”  Watching the F-18s barrel down the shore under kite was fun, but the real bonus was the incredible scenery.  Sunny and warm both days with the urban, Vancouver skyline to the east giving way to the snow-capped mountains to the north.

Those of you not watching the R2AK tracker, I highly suggest you keep it off if you want to get anything done during the day!  The race is on and updated pretty much regularly so you can sit there watch the tracker and your grass grow all at the same time.

It is pretty exciting with Morgana Buell’s team “Sail Like a Girl” leading the race as of this writing.  But the lead is slim and nothing is given, especially this early in the going.  But it is pretty cool to see this team of 8 women sailing their Melges 32 like it is stolen.  Go girls!!

‘Lectronic Latitude rocks it with youth on Nacra 15s in 30k!!!

Hats off to Latitude 38.  This S.F. rag posted this article about youth teams on Nacra 15s in 30k!!  Yee haw!  Included Nick Lovell (Johnny’s boy from Olympic Tornado fame in the 90’s).  This stuff pumps me up.  The photos are awesome!!

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About Last Weekend

May 18, 2018 – San Francisco, CA

On Monday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, we asked the West Coast about their weekend. Last Saturday in San Francisco, we had gnarly, gale-force winds offering both glory and carnage for sailors. In response to our query, Kimball Livingston wrote the following subject-line-only email: “We sailed teenagers on Nacras on Saturday. All day.” Intrigued, we asked for pictures.


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Local Nacra 15 sailors Jack Sutter (helming) and Charlotte Versavel — both of whom are 15 years old — looked pretty comfortable in last weekend’s big winds.

© 2018 Bryan Paine


As it turns out, there was a Nacra 15 clinic held at St. Francis Yacht Club last weekend with juniors from around the country. Local boats included sailors Jack Sutter and Charlotte Versavel, as well as Hoel Menard and Cali Salinas.


Coach Bryan Paine photographed all the action. Nick Lovell — the 13-year-old son of Tornado silver medalist Johnny Lovell — sends his bows deep.

© 2018 Bryan Paine


“As chair of our junior committee,” Livingston wrote, “I can say that we are pleased to find that the Nacra 15s are manageable for young teenagers  — much more stable than 29ers. Last Saturday’s clinic was sailed in an ebb-tide drubbing with gusts to the high 30s; without that manageability it would have been over in a hurry. Not that it was easy. The only skipper who didn’t capsize was 13-year-old Nick Lovell from New Orleans.”


Sutter and Versavel (crewing) out on the trapezes and lookin’ good.

© 2018 Bryan Paine


“When the weather moderated on Sunday,” Livingston — who is also a St. Francis Staff Commodore — continued, “we sailed the kids under the Golden Gate Bridge and almost out to Point Bonita. Then the coaches lined them up and said, ‘Send it.'”


“Here are Hoel Menard and Cali Salinas, sending it,” Kimball wrote us.

© 2018 Kimball Livingston

– latitude / tim

Hobie 101/102

Last Saturday Fleet 95 held its annual Hobie 101/102 class at Sail SandPoint.  The weather was great.  Unfortunately the  turnout was not as great as the weather.  Only two people showed up for each class.  It was great to see the turnout from the fleet, though.  In attendance were: Al & Kailey, Laura & Xena, Peter & Will,  Tim, Josh, and Caleb.  Paul & Bob were in the yard working on the 17, and ready to jump in if needed.

The weather was sunny and warm.  The light northerly in the morning we thought for sure would, um, peter out.  But not so.  Instead it built to a perfect 10!  So while Tim and Al were  holding court under the tent for three of the students in 101, Peter was 1-on-1 with Ken (from Quinault) for 102.  (Ken’s 16-year-old crew joined 101.)

After a great lunch we rigged Laura & Tim’s boats while showing the nubes how to.  After a brief clothing change the two boats were off the beach enjoying a perfect sail under sunny skies.  Those not sailing formed a peanut gallery at water’s edge with camping chairs and shared a wonderful day in the sunshine.

It was sad to see Caleb’s 17 load up and drive away with new owners.  He sold it to some West Seattle guys who likely will not be racing.  We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

We all packed our gear up to head home.  But not before we helped retrieve Tim’s tent which had managed to jump over two cars with the help of that beautiful northerly.  It was simply a fantastic day all around for the fleet.