Out & About The Bay – by Jillian Humphreys

The Maritime Day Festival is Back

Being a boater my whole life and growing up with a family that is just as addicted as I am to anything nautical and a bargain, you learn where the best nautical events are happening. The amount of nautical swap meets and fairs is continuing to grow, and is well on the way to getting back to normal after what the year 2020 brought us. Maritime Day in Sausalito is an annual event that happens by the Galilee Harbor. Although this was my first time visiting the event, it is now on my calendar for years to come.

Gailee Harbor offers boat rides to guests.

Galilee Harbor has a rich history within the Sausalito community. Italian fishing families lived at the base of Napa Street and built their vessels that were more widely known in the Mediterranean. These vessels were propelled by oars or lateen sails, and after a few years Crichton and Arques leased the Oceanic Boatyard to begin their boat building operation. The original Napa Street Pier was built for crab fishermen. By the year 1894, the liveaboard barges served as vacation getaways for wealthy San Franciscans. The barges were located in the waters adjacent to Sausalito and became fulltime residences for families that were displaced during the 7.9 magnitude earthquake in 1906. In the 1940s, the Marinship ship building company became the shipyard that constructed merchant “Liberty” ships and tankers in an effort to assist during the war where over 70,000 workers were employed. The Oakland Ship Building Company at the Marinship built barges and earned the Navy E Award for fast production. The Napa Street marine railway was extended, and following the war, remains the only railway large enough to accommodate 300-ton ships on Richardson Bay. In the 50s Cass Gidley established a major fish processing operation on the pier, which included a fish market and fish-and-chips restaurant. In 1972, the Whitefin was the last boat to be hauled out on the 300-ton marine railway. After decades of working with the city, county and state, they were approved to dredge the area. By the early 2000s, the construction of an access pier and parking lot was completed. Not long after completion, docks were installed, berths were being occupied and public bathrooms were completed.

The nautical swap meet had plenty of vendors selling items ranging from books like The Islands of San Francisco Bay which focuses on the ecology, to other vendors displaying shackles and other marine treasures. For someone who might love and collect nautical décor, there were certainly plenty of items to rummage through. There were other vendors present, ranging from Spaulding Marine Center and Boatyard to local artists selling works of craftsmanship.

S/V Schooner Alma. Photo courtesy of Louis Benainous.

In case history and a boat ride suited your wants, you could get a boat ride on historical boats like the Alma, the last of her kind. She is an 1891 scow schooner that was designed to navigate the shallow waters of the Delta and rest on the bottom at low tide. Due to few bridges and connecting roads, the Alma would deliver goods throughout the Bay and Delta regions, similar to how semi-trucks do today. The Alma is a National Historic Landmark, part of the San Francisco Maritime division and is 80 feet in length, while its depth only comes in at four feet. As a child, I remember the visits the Alma would make to the port of Stockton. If you are interested in touring the Alma, visit the National Parks website at www.nps.gov

The Sausalito Historical Society and Sausalito Working Waterfront Coalition were available to answer questions that one might have in regards to the area. The Marinship was a busy area during World War II as they were able to launch and christen a new boat every 13 days, but now the historical area faces the challenge of city officials who wish to see the it made into affordable housing. Sausalito’s Working Waterfront has been an industry leader in experiential learning opportunities for the community for years. Maritime, industrial businesses and local artists, along with a number of non-profits have established a home base in the Marinship. The Sausalito Historical Society’s mission is to collect and preserve photographs, artifacts and printed materials that document Sausalito’s rich nautical history, to provide access to the collection to the public for academic research and to develop publications as well as outreach programs to inspire interest in Sausalito.

Galilee Harbor provided live music and fish and chips, along with delicious homemade pie throughout the day’s festivities. This made the vibe of the day more relaxed as you watched the Arques School of Traditional Boatbuilding demonstrate how a wooden boat is built from the ground up. Some visitors were seen relaxing by Mono Street Marsh in the hope of catching a glimpse of the local wildlife.

Spaulding Marine Center had an opportunity for guests to help in their “Pelican Project.” The project is offered to novices as well as the most advanced boat builders, as Spaulding has a number of in-house kit boats. If you had no idea, kit boats are the best and I feel the easiest way to start learning a newfound love for boat building. Once you have completed the kit boat, you are able to take it home for you and your family to enjoy. Some families work together on the project. Almost all of the materials needed to build a kit boat are included when you go through Spaulding Marine Center. They provide trained instructors and extra tools that may be needed, as well as the open space needed to complete the project. If you are interested in becoming an improv boat builder, feel free to check out their ever-growing classes for adults and kids alike at www.spauldingcenter.org

Sausalito has been a place close to my heart since I first visited when I was 10. I found peace on the shoreline at night, listening to the music of the ocean. Please feel free to join the Sausalito Waterfront next year for this annual event, and maybe I will see you there. Keep up to date with all of the upcoming events at Galilee Harbor on their website www.galileeharbor.org

The Swinging Sixties Birthday Bash At LLYC

On this special occasion and anniversary of the Loch Lomond Yacht Club, I went and met some new friends, along with some old ones for a party full of laughs, which is worth more than diamonds right now in any language. I heard of the festivities from Colleen Stauss who is a new acquaintance I met through the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association. As it turns out, Colleen also happens to be the commodore of the Loch Lomond Yacht Club. The LLYC is a volunteer run club, with their clubhouse located at the Loch Lomond Marina in the San Rafael Bay. Back 60 years ago the founding 21 members would meet at Fred Manley’s Boat Shop at the Loch Lomond Marina. The yacht club was founded on Aug. 11, 1961, however the clubhouse was not officially opened until 1965, and by that time the membership had grown to about 200 members.

Local artists come out and showcase their crafts.

The day was celebrated with people from all around the Bay with a cruise in of sailors from Honker Bay, Island YC and others. Remote control boat races, corn hole and dockside refreshments were the highlights of the afternoon. After a round robin tournament with the RC sailboats, the winner was Ed Zahariades from Alameda YC. Once the bar opened up at 6 and dinner was served, dancing to local band 7th Sons was enjoyed by all in attendance. This party was a celebration of all that this little yacht club can do. After all, they brought in a number of new members during the lockdown of 2020.

Sound check on the main stage.

This year even marks the return of sailboat racing after a 25-year hiatus, as they are having Thursday night beer can series in the summer months. LLYC will continue the spirit, as they will have their own midwinters series starting in November. As the LLYC is still working to awaken from 2020, they are looking for a fresh new adventure in reviving the “Serpentines” and getting back to their usual way of boating life. The Serpentines is the name of the junior yacht club. The club is for teenagers and has its own Board of Directors that work with LLYC. The members are also looking forward to the return of the weekly Friday night dinners, monthly Saturday events and numerous cruise in or cruise out events every month. PICYA members are always welcome to cruise in, as the LLYC has a guest dock which they lease annually from the Loch Lomond Marina.

All of the LLYC Board was on deck to celebrate the 60th Birthday.

The Loch Lomond Yacht Club is a mix of power and sail boats, but all of their members agree that they have a great commodore. Colleen is known as the “Atomic Blonde” at the club for her positive can-do attitude. She has been the commodore for five years and swears that this will be her last year, but with her involvement with PICYA and Pacific Coast Yachting Association it may not be that easy for her. Colleen came to Loch Lomond as a guest of a member in 2013, as she had a childhood full of small boat sailing on the shores of Michigan. In 2015, Colleen stepped up and became the treasurer of LLYC and the rest is history. Colleen was in charge of the buffet at the 60’s bash and the tid-bits were tasty. She also stepped up and brought about the 1st annual Opening Day parade up the San Rafael canal this spring. The work that Colleen does not only for her club, but also for PICYA does not go unnoticed as in 2020. She was honored with the PICYA Staff Commodores Silver Star Award that is given to the individual who devotes time to the betterment of PICYA. “As for all yacht clubs, these last 18 months have been extraordinarily challenging. LLYC prides itself that we have found a balance to remain open and relevant. It was due to the support of our current board of directors and membership that we were able to do so,” Colleen states as she beams with pride. Colleen, I personally want to thank you for the warm welcome that you provided me when I came to celebrate at your club, thank you.

Jeff of Honker Bay YC proves that drinking beer is serious business.

Loch Lomond Yacht Club has a long list of events that keep members and guests having a great time. Feel free to reach out to them at www.lochlomondyc.com as they do have to keep events within local guidelines.

The Atomic Blonde herself, Colleen. Photo courtesy of Matt Beyers.

West Marine US Open Sailing Comes To San Francisco

The three-day event came to the SF Bay with hopes of sailing in the best venue for summer winds, which reached over 20 knots on opening day on Friday.

Johnny Heineken, a local kite boarding world champion, took an early lead by the end of Friday. He had his work cut out for him as two other locals, Markus Edegran and Kai Calder were making Heineken work for it in the Open Formula Kite class. Heineken was able to edge out and lead the fleet of 17 into Saturday as he won the last two races of the day. In the eight-foot iQFoil event Hawaiian native JP Lattanzi was on his game as he went on to take the first four races and ended with a three-point lead over the second place, Bryn Muller and six points over fellow Hawaiian Danicka Sailer. Southern California was well represented in the worldwide affair on the race course on the nine-foot iQFoil as Xavier Ferlet ended the day four points between himself and fourth place after the days after five races.

The competition was hot throughout the fleets. Photo courtesy of US Sailing.

On day 2 on the SF Bay winds and choppy sea made a challenge that was accepted by the ILCA and 420 classes. With winds at 15-25 knots, it made for some gusts that made the kite boarding fleets racing strategy a little more than the competitors bargained for. As everyone knows, it pays to have local knowledge, regardless of the sport.

Both Cristobal Hagerman Haro and Adrien Gaillard of Mexico had a score of 20 points by the end of the day to take the lead away from Xavier by six points in the iQFoil 9 fleet. JP continued to dominate the iQFoil 8 by winning four more races out of the five held on Saturday. Bryn made it known that she came to play as she was only six points behind him in second. Kai took on the challenge of winning first place in the Open Formula Kite fleet by edging out Johnny by two points. The I420 fleet opened their start to the regatta by completing three races on Saturday. Jack Murphy and Sawyer wasted no time in making their presence known as they took the bullet in the first two races and took second in the third race to Alec Van Kerckhove and Dylan Murphy.

Wind was consistent throughout the weekend. Photo courtesy of US Sailing.

On the final day of competition, sailors saw winds around 19 knots, and it was ideal for the medal races. Adrien was able to take first after a strong showing and took the iQFoil 9 event after he took a one-point lead ahead of Cristobal. They were tied after Saturday’s event and were able to hold off Xavier. Alexander Temko followed the duo in third. This ensured that Temko was named the top American athlete in this part of the competition. JP never let 1st place out of his sights from the very beginning of the competition in the iQFoil 8 fleet. It paid off as he took the gold after the 13-race regatta. Bryn was not far behind and took the title of top female in the fleet. I am sure that the six-point spread between the two will shrink in coming regattas. After taking over first place on Saturday, Kai did not let the Open Formula Kite 1st place trophy go. Markus was able to hold off Johnny and came home with silver at the end of the event by winning races 11 and 12 of the 13-race regatta. Jack and Sawyer went on to win the event by four points.

The West Marine US Open Sailing offers a high-quality Olympic-class and one design racing for U.S. athletes with a long-term goal of getting recognized by national and international competitors. The US Sailing organization and the community of sailors in the U.S. have created a demand for a racing and training program based in the United States. The program will serve as a runway to the Olympic games for prospective athletes in the different sailing classes. With the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles quickly approaching, the need for US Sailing to create a platform for athletes is apparent and they hope it will last for years to come.

The series of regattas known as West Marine US Open Sailing travels throughout the country and allows for US Sailing to provide more in-person coaching, training, and data collection, which supports the sailors that attend these events all over the country. These regattas are a vital part of the training regimen for young sailors as they are participating as part of the Olympic Development Program. The ODP is a US Sailing initiative supported by the AmericaOne Foundation that provides world-class coaching support to promising American youth sailors competing in high-performance classes.

The San Francisco Yacht Club played Organizing Authority and host yacht club for this regatta. These promising young sailors will most likely be a name to watch for in the 2028 Olympics. To follow their achievements or to donate to their program, check out www.ussailing.org

Sir Thomas Lipton Comes Back to Life, Again

The Lipton Cup has always been an event with rich history not in the SF Bay, but throughout the country. Lipton first visited San Francisco Bay in 1912 to race in the 12-meter class at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915. Then WWI broke out, but the Lipton Cup was still raced in 1916, 1918, 1919 and 1920 and at that time, the Cup was won by John Hanify. With the death of Hanify, the 12-meter class also dismantled and the Cup itself was “lost” for four decades.  PICYA regained control of the Cup in 1960 when it was found at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Corinthian YC team celebrates their win with Sir Thomas Lipton himself, well his cardboard self. Photo courtesy of Kellie Taylor.

When I was a kid, my father would go and race the Lipton Cup in the Bay with friends, and it was always something that I wanted to participate in. The Lipton Cup has always been a one-race event that was done in conjunction with another regatta in the Bay, and was not exactly what the Lipton family had in mind when they distributed the numerous trophies to the different clubs. The vision of Lipton for the race in the SF Bay was to gather the “best of the best sailors and have them compete.” That is why in 2017, the change began to take place on how the Lipton Cup is sailed today.

In 2017, a group of sailors from different yacht clubs from around the SF Bay and members of PICYA gathered and discussed what they could do to get more yacht clubs involved in the regatta. Dick Loomis of Richmond YC, Kim Desenberg of Richmond YC, Kimball Livingston of St. Francis YC and Winston Bumpus of PICYA were the key players in making it happen. Bumpus researched the Deed of Gift to see if there were any limitations on what was to be sailed. Once it was discovered that there was nothing about one design class racing, Kimball stepped up. Kimball brought up that StFYC had a fleet of 10 J-22s. It was clear that they had the boats. Now they needed to be able to not only get the sailors enthused, but also PICYA.

The rules for the regatta were simple, follow the US Sailing rules of racing, no protests as judges are on the water, on one day the skipper needs to be over 60 and the third day the skipper has to be a woman. Throughout the new era of the Lipton Cup, the number of clubs that have stepped up and participated in the event has increased, as well as the number of sailors to participate in the shore activities. The liars dice competition is one of the favorites, and there is of course a trophy, that joins the eight other trophies that are given out for the event. Every day there is a 1st and 2nd place trophy given out, as well as an overall. The competing clubs in the 2021 Lipton Cup were Berkeley YC, Corinthian YC, Encinal YC, Inverness YC, Richmond YC, St. Francis YC, San Francisco YC, Sausalito YC, South Beach YC and Tahoe YC. The three-day event is usually the same weekend as Father’s Day and usually goes around the Bay.

All of the teams beating upwind. As you can see it was close racing. Photo courtesy of Liptoncupsf.com

The racing began by starting at St. Francis Yacht Club and finishing at South Beach Yacht Club, and the day’s requirement was that the skipper had to be at least 60 years of age. The racecourse was up to Blackaller off of Crissy field, across to Harding and down to day marker 7 before heading under the Bay Bridge. The Bay was exciting as it was windy and great until the fleet headed under the bridge where the heat wave made the wind vanish and the sailors had to depend on the flood. Three boats stayed a bit high on the course trying to keep in the wind while the rest kept a small amount of breeze and stayed up current of the next mark, NAS 1 off the Naval Air Station in Alameda. The committee shortened the course, and SFYC was the first boat to finish. They were one of the boats that stayed lower and it paid off. Inverness stayed up in the small amount of wind and came in second. Corinthian came in third and StFYC finished fourth. Three boats got swept by the mark and were unable to finish the race. South Beach Yacht Club hosted the Friday evening affairs, provided slips for the boats and parking for the early arriving Saturday sailors.

Saturday was started early by a commute from South Beach Marina, across South Bay and down to Encinal Yacht Club, who hosted the buoy races. The first gun was at 1305 with a great display of the true meaning of the Lipton Cup. All six races that were planned for the day went off without a hitch as there was a steady breeze all day. The Encinal YC provided a great deck to have lunch on and watch the day’s races underway from the starts to the finishes. Volunteers from Encinal assisted in providing food, entertainment and dock space for the contestants, support boats and guest boats who took out spectators, along with ferry boats for transporting sailors that were scheduled to sail on Sunday. Cookies with all of the club burgees decorating them were the highlight of the desserts. An excellent dinner was provided and awards were presented, along with a special tribute given to Dick Loomis who passed away earlier this year. Corinthian won the day, followed by San Francisco, South Beach and St. Francis. Under the new Lipton Cup series format, results from this day counted double for the overall.

Sunday was the final day and another destination race. The start was near the Naval Air Station to a weather mark, then under the Oakland Bay Bridge, around Alcatraz, off to Blackaller off of Crissy field and down to the finish at StFYC. The breeze grew as they left the South Bay and made their way around the Bay. The race had the requirement that the skipper must be a female. The St. Francis YC boat had an all-woman crew, and seeing them out there was inspirational as a fellow female sailor. Some of the boats had carnage as one boat had their entire crew go into the Bay. They were able to recover and finish the race. After the race to the St. Francis YC, teams met in the Grill Room to debrief about the day’s race and the regatta overall. The awards ceremony was held in the atrium, which had been decorated with burgees of all participating clubs, a PICYA burgee, a replica of Lipton’s personal ensign and Lipton himself was a large stand-up prop. Day three awards went to first place Richmond Yacht Club, second place San Francisco Yacht Club and third place went to the all-woman team of St. Francis Yacht Club.

The overall winners were Richmond YC in third, Corinthian YC in second and San Francisco YC with the win. The Liar’s Dice Champion award (has to go to the yacht club) went to Encinal YC and South Beach YC.

PICYA is making this regatta something that area clubs want to participate in, and as boats are first come first serve, keep your eyes open on picya.org and be prepared to be one of the “best of the best” in the San Francisco Bay. The 2022 regatta is going to be hosted by the Corinthian YC and a new fleet will be revealed in 2023 hosted by the San Francisco YC.

Let me know where I can find you out on the Bay by reaching out to me at jillian@yachtsmanmagazine.com.