Friday, September 13, 2019

On the Harbor: Biking around to check things out this summer

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I felt it was time to take a bike ride around the harbor to get a better feel on what’s going on and hopefully bump into a few people to discuss some of my observations over the summer...then get a better understanding of their concerns.
I first communicated with a friend, who prefers not to be identified, regarding the change in public access around the Sheriff’s harbor patrol office. The issue at hand – this is my interpretation – is that Lt. Corn reduced the time of the dinghy dock from 72 hours to 20 minutes, removed public parking and beach drop-off zones and closed off the service dock. After a bunch of hubbub this summer between the public, the California Coastal Commission, Orange County and the OC Sheriff’s Department, all the parties seem to still have their “panties bunched up.”
It was my understanding the Coastal Commission has received a Coastal Development Permit request from Orange County to retroactively justify many of the changes in access. The matter was in front of the Coastal Commission this week, which just happened to take place in Newport Beach. From a distance and without taking the time to pick up the phone and ask Lt. Corn for comment, who I have found very easy to talk to, it appears the OC Sheriff is taking their ball and going home still upset that the mooring contract was taken from them. I’ve also heard some other concerning stories this summer regarding the actions of some new deputies around the harbor. Yet still, on a positive note, I have witnessed Sheriff’s deputies stepping up and going the extra mile this summer. Remember the deputy that had to go aboard a moving stolen yacht and arrest the nut that was trying to steal it? I have also watched the Sheriff’s deputies deal with a boater, with a poorly maintained large vessel, which stalled in the middle of the Five Points Area and returned the vessel to safety. So, the question is do we all have our eye on the ball to make our harbor better? Is there a failure to communicate here?
Making our harbor better leads to my wish list. I wish we could have a second anchorage in our harbor and maybe even a day anchorage out in Big Corona.
While watching this year’s Jr. Sabot Nationals, which was held mid-week, taking place in the Five Points Area of the harbor next to the designated anchorage area this summer, I felt the anchorage should have been cleared. Could this happen in the future, probably not? Yet, if we had another location within the harbor, we could surely suggest that the visiting boaters use the other anchorage. Over the years, I have suggested a summer mooring field be placed for day use in Big Corona, and the idea did gain some traction, yet it was never acted on. Which I only can blame myself for in that I didn’t sell it better to the powers that be. What I did notice this summer, was a Newport Beach Lifeguard boat posted in Big Corona for most of the day. I dare ask the question without knowing the answer, but I sure would like to know the opinion of the lifeguards who worked this area if this idea is feasible.
Next on my wish list is a second launch ramp in town. This task is huge and very difficult, but the need for a second launch continues to grow. I never understood how quickly the parking fills up in the Dunes facility. I rode my bike through the launch ramp facility on the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend. The first complaint by the boaters was that there was no parking for their trailers still attached to their vehicles. Most had to find two parking places which makes the launch ramp that much more difficult to use and to my understanding, they were lucky to find that. I was informed that the line for the vessel wash down was extremely long, which is why most of them returned on Tuesday to pick up their boats. A city-owned launch ramp would be a dream come true and make our harbor that much more user friendly.
There were some other observations I noticed while on my ride around the harbor. When did the city reduce and move the guest mooring field? I was told six months ago, the new guest field now is to the south of the G & H mooring field and there are only four? That’s too bad, as I thought the idea next to Marina Park was ideal. My sources also informed me, I am about a month late on this one, that the Harbor Department purchased two Maritime Patriot 210 boats which will be delivered the first of the new year. At first glance, these vessels appear to be a good choice, and with the proper maintenance they should last 10 years.
Let’s hope the City gives the maintenance contract to Basin Marine, so that the hulls will last even longer.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

When I was five years old, 1965, my family was living in Hawaii and I enjoyed watching Batman on TV. If you recall the series one week you would see how Batman got in trouble and the following week you would see how he got out of trouble. At that time the weekly episodes would be flown over by airplane, one time the local TV station received the episodes out of order. Before the show started the announcer came on and explained what happened  “ We received the wrong episode this week so we will see how Batman get’s out of trouble and next week we see how he got into it.”  I still remember my mother’s laughter when she heard it.

Anyway, the point of the story is to explain that in my last week’s column I mentioned that I should have contacted Lt. Chris Corn from the O.C. Sheriffs department first to confirm what I had heard and read. Like I had mentioned Lt. Corn is very easy to talk to and he gave me a call when he read my column. So to “Get it right” I need to eat some crow. 

The dinghy dock is now open from 6:00 Am- 10:00 PM and so is the Beach access. There is a beach drop off zone and 10 parking spots, 21 spots on the weekend. I regret not picking up the phone in the first place, the good news is that I confirmed just how easy it is to contact Lt. Corn and get things right.

Sea ya.

Len Bose

Friday, August 30, 2019

On the Harbor: Sailing to Catalina during Long Point Race Week

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                                                                        By LEN BOSE
I can feel the close of summer approaching in many ways, one is that my body keeps telling me to look for shade and stay out of the sun, along with asking myself how did the days go by so quickly? Another way of accepting summer ending is that I have just completed Long Point Race Week and have added to all my memories of the good times I have had with my close friends in paradise.

It is amazing just how close to paradise we live, just “twenty-six miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is a-waitin for me...a tropical heaven out in the ocean covered with trees and girls. Water all around it ev’rywhere, tropical trees and the salty air,” quoted The Four Preps. The race from Newport Beach to Long Point, Catalina is sailed on Friday. Saturday’s race is from Long Point to Bird Rock, which is at the isthmus and returns to Long Point. On Sunday, we race back to Newport Beach. The racing is always extremely competitive, with most of Southern California’s top grand prix sailing boats entering the event. In attendance this year was Roy Disney’s Andrews 70 Pyewacket, Jim Devling’s Rogers 46 Carbon Footprint, Jim Bailey’s TP 52 Destroyer and Dave Clark’s Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion, just to name a few.

This year’s race over to Catalina was unique, because of the southerly breeze that showed up on Friday morning. This allowed us to head straight for Catalina, rather than heading up the coast before taking over in the prevailing westerly breezes. Most of the participants were tied up to their moorings before all the horns and cannons rang out, indicating it was happy hour or five o’clock. Many crews were setting up their sunshades and swimming before the last horn blast.
Saturday’s sail is always one of my favorite sails of the season, and this year was no disappointment. The breeze filled in earlier than forecasted and we had a lot of weather beat up the face of Catalina. With a fleet of 36 boats and the smaller boats starting first, the intensity level is always high if you can cross in front of your competitor or duck behind them. Once around Bird Rock, the colorful spinnakers pop like popcorn from the boat foredecks, the intensity is increased along with the wind speed, as many crews still needed time to clear their heads from the previous night’s antics. The downwind sail is always memorable and the blending in of the beauty of Catalina just adds that much more flavor to the event.

Over the last 15 years, much attention has been focused on the competitors’ escort boats. Boats reaching the status of megayachts await the racing teams with full staff, five-course meals and a three-page wine list, and let’s not leave out the hot freshwater showers for all the crew members. Less than a dozen of the teams go to that extravagance, yet many of us – the little guys – still seem to be having just as much fun as the one-percenters. The event is quickly becoming who has found this season’s most unique inflatable pool toys rather than being on a megayacht.
We have started the tradition of a parade route starting within the smaller moorings and towing our inflatables in a parade route that takes us outside to where the larger boats are kept after Saturday’s race. Here we come with our inflatable docks, ducks, islands and flamingos with cold beverages in hand and infectious laughter. All tied up together and being pulled by a small powerboat. The one-percenters could barely place down their umbrella drinks without spilling them, while asking if they could join in on the fun, or wonder if they should join the commoners. As one of the jesters, it was quite comical, and we plan on doing it up even more next year.

Saturday’s party was full-tilt, because it still felt like I had my jester costume on come Sunday morning during my walk of shame down the trail from the BYC facility to the local pier that leads back to the boat. I recall four pretty ladies referring to me as their dance partner, and with the need to hydrate as one of my top priorities before the start of the last race home.
The god of wind has been very kind to us over the last few years, and we had another great sail home. Some of our harbor’s top finishers were Lew Berry’s It’s OK finishing 2nd overall, Steve Sellinger’s Santa Cruz 52 Triumph in 5th and Jim Devling’s Carbon Footprint taking 6th place. We were a little disappointed in our results. We still had 100 beers onboard the boat, yet our race results were good...finishing in 7th place overall.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Jr. Sabot National Championships light up our waters

2019 Jr. Sabot Nationals Photo by Tom Walker
Not going to lie, I truly enjoy writing this harbor column, and as I headed out to the harbor aboard one of Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s coaching boats, which was so kindly lent to me without hesitation by NHYC race director Laurel Dinwiddie to observe this year’s Jr. Sabot National Championships, I was overwhelmed by all the Newport lovin’. After nine years of reporting this event, I went straight into my routine by heading to the coach boats and asking people like Mark Gaudio, Cameron MacLaren and Adrienne Patterson who I should be focusing on in the race. Gaudio has always directed me toward the new and upcoming sailors with the greatest passion. MacLaren seems to find the participants that are demonstrating the most sportsmanship on the water. And, while observing Patterson, you quickly notice the love she exudes for our sport and how infectious she is; the kids just soak it all in and leave her with a smile and the drive to compete...priceless. There is outstanding work by these coaches, and I hope you give them a “well done” the next time you see them at the club or on the water. 
Chase Decker

I also did a little homework before heading out onto the harbor and had noticed that Chase Decker, sailing for BCYC, had good results in the qualification round on the first day of sailing. What I missed was that his brother, Read Decker, who was doing even better. My mistake that I did not interview both of them during the break after the first day of the championships. My sincere apologies go out to Read. I learned that Chase sails a Corsair sabot and has been sailing now for six years. When I asked him how he was doing after the first two races he replied, “It’s going okay, wish I was doing better though.” I then asked about the starting line, which side of the course he wanted and how he felt about his boat speed. “I wanted middle boat then right side, of course, top right. I was not on the line enough and I need to push the line more aggressively. My boat speed is pretty good, I need to improve my starts,” he said. I asked how he determines which part of the starting line he wants to be on? “I see my angle from the committee boat, then see my angle from the pin to decide where I want to start on the line.” Interesting to note that the two brothers tied for 5th in the Gold fleet and only 10 points out of first. It will be fun watching these two growing up...reminds me of the Pickney and Mayol brothers.
Sophia Devling

The next person I noticed was Sophia Devling, and by watching her sail, it brought back lessons I learned about the race course. After rounding the weather mark in the second race in 5th place, Devling rounded a little wide and with good speed to dive down below her competitors, who were sailing a little higher to keep their air clean. Devling had clean air and showed great patience staying on starboard jibe, the whole run, then sailing into the lead. I asked her what she was thinking about during this run. “I just wanted to stay on starboard because I knew the current was pushing me to the mark,” she shared. On this race course there are two marks to choose from, referred to as a leeward gate, whereby the racers decide which one they would like to round. While sailing downwind, I asked Devling why she picked the left mark as we look at them. “I felt that there were more righties and more pressure on the right side of the race course.” Working her way back toward the finish, a competitor who selected the opposite gate, hooked into a left wind shift and appeared to be crossing her to take the lead. When asked why she did not try to cross him, she felt that it was best to tack in the left shift. Keeping in mind that she still had a chance to win if the wind went back to the right, Devling knew she still had second place. As it worked out, the wind did shift back to the right and she won handily. For the second year, I noticed some amazing patience from this sailor who was focusing on consistent finishes. When I asked Devling what she concentrates on to stay consistent, she replied: “Not taking any big risks, just trying to sail my boat well...finding the pressure.” Last year, Devling finished 20th; this year her 10th goal was accomplished.
Aidan Malm

It always amazes me to see the same family names stay on top of the leader boards generation after generation. This is how I noticed Aidan Malm, whose father Jamie has been one of our harbor’s best sailors for many years. When I asked Aidan how his first day was going, he replied: “Alright, it could be better.” Malm sails a Phoenix sabot that had been passed down to him from his brother and was originally sailed by his mother. I asked Malm about his observations from the race course. “Whether you won the boat or you won the pin you had to win aside. There were two shifts coming down both sides of the course and if you missed one as I did, you would get passed. I had a really good start at the boat and I missed the shift to go out right, thought I would find a small lefty closer to the mark. The kids to the right got a puff and got to lay-line before I did.”
Malm felt his boat speed was pretty good, yet he planned on concentrating more on finding that first wind shift. When asked what his thoughts would be returning to the race course that day he said, “Keep my head in the game stay level headed, hopefully, I will get to the top.”
Kingston Keyoung

I found two blue diamonds out on the harbor this last weekend, just like the one the old lady threw back into the ocean. First is Kingston Keyoung, who is 10 years old and has been sailing out of BCYC for the last two years. When I asked him what type of sabot he sailed, his reply was, “I’m not sure.” His goal for the championship was not to get last and when I asked about the starting line he said, “I start on starboard and then tack onto port.” It gets better. How did you decide which leeward gate to round? “I liked the right gate because everyone else was going to the left.” Without a doubt, Keyoung is a diamond and plans on returning next season. “I like the competition, it’s just a fun sport,” he said. It does not get any better than that and he will be a competitor to keep an eye on in the future.
There is one award I am always interested in which is the Jessica Uniack Memorial Trophy awarded to the Outstanding Junior Sportsman. Previous recipients include Becky Lenhart, Charlie Buckingham, Megan Kenny and Madeline Bubb, just to name a few. I heard the story as soon as I got on the water that a participant noticed that a competitor was left distraught and broke down crying, because she was unable to reattach her rudder before the start of the third qualification race. “People were just going past me and just looking, then a girl stopped and asked if I needed any help and I said, yes. She came and put my rudder in for me. Her name is Maddie Nichols,” said Olivia Corzine, who was sailing in her first National Championships. “This helped Corzine get through the first day and she ended up having a great first Nationals experience,” said Coach Cameron MacLaren.

Maddie Nichols
I will call the parents of kids to introduce myself and ask them if I can interview their child. When I reached Maddie’s mother, Melanie Nichols, I could feel the pride of her daughter’s sportsmanship in the inflection of her voice. Melanie was also quick to say her other daughter, Siena Nichols, had won the Iron fleet and she was on her way to the awards presentation. I talked to Maddie the following day, and she explained the situation to me over the phone. “I noticed a girl whose rudder had come out and she had just entered the starting sequence and I thought she would have enough time to put it back in place. When I came back around, I noticed that she was drifting backward, struggling with the rudder and crying. I asked her if she was okay, and she said, no. I then asked If I could help her and she said, yes, so I grabbed her boat and popped the rudder back in. I told her good luck, because I felt really bad for her, and didn’t want her to be sad during Nationals. Nationals is supposed to be fun. So, I thought I would go to help her.” You have to love this story, it puts a smile on your face, right?
I asked Maddie why she likes sailing. “I like sailing because of the different techniques you have to learn, and I like to learn. Two weeks ago, I moved up to C1 fleet which encouraged me to do better in Nationals.” She went on to tell me that she qualified for Bronze fleet this year and was only one spot out of making Silver fleet. “I did better than I did last year; last year I was last in Iron fleet,”  Maddie said. This year, Maddie finished 10th in Bronze fleet, but the way I see it, she is the true champion of our harbor. I hope each one of you shows her that harbor lovin’ she has so convincingly earned.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Friday, August 09, 2019

FOR SALE: 2000 35' Duffy "DownEast Style" ASKING $ 230,000

When you first approach this Custom Down-East style Lobster Yacht you will think to yourself “ I FOUND IT”. PLEASE take a look at the time and attention to detail this yachtsman has completed. With new head, raised salon settee, double berth in owners stateroom, custom cockpit settee and fresh bottom paint.

THE YACHT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.” Yes, you have found it, now all you have to do is make an appointment to view this fine yacht. For the West Coast buyer, the good news is you do not have to fly back East and truck the boat back. For the East Coast buyer I will pick you up at the airport. Either way the first person to see this fine yacht will make an offer.
These vessels are famous for their sea-keeping and maneuvering ability in strong winds and currents. Boat builders from Maine really know how to build some of the best yachts in the world.

Friday, August 02, 2019

A different perspective from the 2019 Trans Pac.

Horizon Trans Pac 2019 Photos Courtesy of
I have just returned from this year’s Trans Pac race from San Pedro California to Honolulu Hawaii 2,100 miles across the never-ending dark blue Pacific Ocean. We completed the race, aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon, in 9 days 6 hours and 39 minutes which is very close to a new record for this type of boat. We placed 2nd in class and 7th overall out of 95 entries, only 12 minutes out of first place. I’ve lost a Harbor 20 race, in our harbor, by more than 12 minutes before.
I won’t bother you with the races finer details or “gremlins” as we called them on the boat. For example, a wave coming threw the galley hatch and landing on the laptop and frying it, which lead to a very unhappy navigator who mentioned the possibility of that happening before the start of the race.  On the second night, we had a shiv, at the top of the mast, blow apart which chafed through one of our new halyards. Next was a type of “Who done it” when a crew member decided to open the holding tank on the boat which quickly overflowed. Our gremlin then decided to drop a winch handle in the wheel well, during a maneuver, and lock up the wheel which spun the boat out of control and we blew up our new 2A spinnaker. The propane regulator decided to freeze up which lead to missing a dinner one night, this was fixed the following morning. Then to top it off, the wind Instruments decide to crash the last five hours of the race. Most of these gremlins were caused by bad preparation on my part and have been noted. Just when I thought I was getting pretty good at this, there is always more to lean.

Gremlins where jumping from boat to boat and our problems were minuscule to many other competitors. The Santa Cruz 70 OEX had catastrophic rudder failure that caused the vessel to take on water and finally sink. Fortunately for OEX Mighty Mouse, Roy Disney on Pyewacket, was a couple of miles behind them and retrieved the crew on OEX from their emergency life-raft and saved the day! Nothing to joke about, Roy Disney saved nine sailors from the cold blue 200 miles off the California Coast and withdrew from the race and returned to Marina del Rey. Unbelievable seamanship by both crews with no loss of life. On the vessel Lucky Duck, a crew member was changing the propane tank on the stovetop and caught himself on fire 100 miles from the finish. He spent five days in the Hawaiian hospital and is doing fine, in fact, he is bringing the boat home as I write. Many boats retired from the race because of rudder problems and if that was not enough two days after the finish the skipper of Chubasco Jim Lincoln passed away in his sleep at the age of 61. The crew of Chubasco was left speechless and deeply disturbed by the loss of their friend. I met Lincoln earlier this year and was then always greeted by him with a big smile and a welcoming hello as if he was reaching out over the water to shake your hand. It goes without saying, Lincoln will be missed by many.

With all that being said let’s talk about the highlights of the race. During the race, I compared the race to a type of video game with the start of the game being relatively difficult then somewhat easier before the grand finale when everything is thrown at you at once. The race starts off easy with the light westerly breezes escorting you past Catalina and out to the outer waters where you are then greeted to 20+ knot winds and step waves. In full foul weather gear, the boat moving similar to a bucking bronco and water going over your head one hangs on for two days of hell, living sideways. In fact it is almost more dangerous inside the boat than outside in the darkness of the night. Trying to antiquate yourself to the watch system, the first time you hit the rack it is difficult to get any sleep. Then while preparing yourself to come on deck and being onetime to start your watch one needs to keep one hand on the boat and the other to put on all your gear. A couple of nasty falls occurred down below during this time of the race fortunately, no one was hurt just a little bruised and embarrassed. Then at the end of two days into the race, one is quickly remembered why we do this to ourselves. The breeze moves more behind us and the boat gets much flatter and more stable. The next 7 days are filled with warm downwind sailing with the large spinnakers up and surfing down the faces of the large Pacific waves. Life does not get better than that.

With the full moon rising in the east while the sun is setting in the west for the first part of the race we always had good light which makes sailing that much easier. For the first time, I saw a moonbow, not a rainbow or a Len Bose a moonbow. With the full moon up and a passing rain squall, one would see a moonbow I’ve never seen one before. Or course the stars are so close and clear it feels like you can reach touch them or you are in a virtual game flying between the stars. Just as one starts to relax and taking this all in the video game starts again by throwing a few obstacles in front of you like large floating trees or other types of large flotsam that if you struck might ruin your whole day. As we pushed on into the warm tropical trade winds the  moon would raise a little later each night and the breeze would build into the mid-twenties and it would get so dark that you could not see the person next to you. Just about then the navigator would inform us it was time to gybe the boat which is a rather complex maneuver intensified by the increased wind, sea state and of course the darkness. While driving the boat through these maneuvers thoughts of waiting for the moon to rise or why did we not do this before the sun went down crossed my mind. I took a deep breath looked up into the stars and brought my head back down and told myself I got this. All those dark gybes we nailed and I mumbled to the navigator “ You sure know how to test my skill level.” Knowing that I still got it or maybe even better than the past does place a rather large smile on my face. Now, if it was only easier to put my left shoe on I would feel like I was in my early thirties again. 

We are closing in to the finish with a narrow lead and about 300 miles to the finish. When the game kicks it up a notch or four and starts throwing everything it has at us. In the darkness of night, these low altitude clouds called squalls start attacking you making the wind jump from the low teens into the thirty’s within a few seconds then dumping buckets of rain on you just to make it that much easier to see and raise the intensity level on the boat. These squalls appear to be dark bowling balls rumbling down the lane behind you to knock you over like a pin. Believe it or not, this is fun to us, to be that last pin standing and extend or gain back the lead in the race.

Two good nights of fighting the squalls and noticing that your competition is gaining on you make you dig deeper. Now there is one small bit of water before you that will challenge you, that bit of ocean is referred to the Molokai Channel. The wind increases to the low 30’s the sea state is most challenging with the waves suddenly increasing in size as they bounce off the different islands around you. If you have ever seen the Wedge break it’s like that. You are setting up for a nice wave then all of a sudden it is three times the size. If that’s not enough add in the commercial boat traffic and having to contact them on the VHF radio to make sure they see you and cross safely in front or behind you. OK, I got this, then 5 miles out, if you are fortunate, you are finishing during the daylight and the photography helicopters show up. One can get a little distracted yet needs to be alert not to get hit by a big blast of wind between CoCo Head and Diamond Head called a Williwaw. Yes, the Hawaiians have a name for this sudden burst of wind. Now you just have to bring the boat past the red channel buoy, red right returning, at the Diamond Head Light House and it’s all Mai Tai’s from there.

Already looking forward to the next version of this game.

Sea ya

Friday, July 05, 2019

On the Harbor: Summer racing update...all week long

It appears the marine layer has dissipated and you can finally feel the heat of summer soaking in. I began feeling it eight weeks ago with the start of the summer twilight series in our harbor. One of the beauties of our harbor is that you can race, at almost every skill level, each day of the week.
On Mondays, the American Legion hosts the “Sundowners” which has 33 boats entered. The fleet that caught my attention this year is UCI/City of Newport J/22s. With five J/22s on the starting line most Mondays, by the way, this has to be the best deal in town to race in a summer season. If you are interested, head down to Marina Park and inquire about the requirements for checking out these boats at the Sailing Center. This June, Paul Zubaton edged out Chris Hill to win the month. In the Harbor 20 fleet, Tucker Cheadle aboard Summer Dream has been the boat to beat, even though Herb Fisher and Kevin Hampton have been keeping Cheadle on his toes and not making it easy on him. In PHRF A, Haydon’s Havoc devastated the fleet for the month of June, followed closely by Whisper. In PHRF B, Jim O’Conner aboard Celiatook the top spot over Gary Miltimore’s Hobo Flats.
BCYC Taco Tuesdays have become the popular spot for summer sailing with 52 boats entered this summer. Commodore Tolar knows how to promote a sailing event and again, for more than 10 years now, is crushing it with more than 230 sailors showing up for the awards presentation and opportunity drawing after each week’s race. At BCYC, the real prize is at the end of the season with who wins the overall series. Now halfway through the summer, don’t cringe when you read that in PHRF A fleet, Tim Harmon aboard the J/124 Cirrus is tied with Tim Richley sailing Amante, the Choate 48. In B fleet, Joe Degenhardt’s Lickity Split holds a slim lead over John Szalay’s Pussycat, and over in C fleet, Stuart Leigh on Rylacade is competing with Jim O’Conner sailing Celia. The Harbor 20 fleet is also very involved with Taco Tuesdays, with more than half of the summer series entries. In A Fleet, Len Bose sailing Only Child has a three-point lead over Mark Conzelman sailing Shana’s Secret. In B fleet, PJ Kohl aboard A-tack-Dragon has a two-point lead over Max Moosman at the helm of Boomerang. In C fleet, Debra Haynes sailing Spirt has a comfortable lead over Dick Somers skippering Stop Making Sense.
South Shore Yacht Club has the harbor on Wednesday nights with Scott Karlin sailing Valhalla III leading PHRF A with Valentine looking to gain that overlap as we start July sailing. In PHRF B’s, it’s Rylacade and Stuart Leigh facing off again with Jim O’Conner aboard Celia. The battle continues throughout August.
On Thursday nights, it’s all about NHYC’s Twilight Series with 46 boats entered. Most of the fleet consists of the Harbor 20 fleets, comprised of the most competitive sailors, with Bill Menninger consistently sailing to the top of A fleet. In June, he was challenged by Chris Allen sailing with Greg Helias aboard Zephyr and Shana’s Secret sailed by Mark Conzelman and Phil Thompson. Karen and Gary Thorne sailing Blue Skies took heart in the marine layer lifting and placed the dart for a bull’s eye on the last night of the series taking a 3-1-1 and moving into fourth place for the month. Give you one guess who was left with his tiller in his hand for fifth by the Thrones sailing so well. In B Fleet, Randel Hause sailing Second Wind had placed his siren on the bow of his boat and asked everyone to pull over and let him play through to win the month. Tom Corkett took second place aboard Sail Dates while Tyler Macdonald sailed into third place.
In C Fleet, Bob McDonald sailed consistently to take the top spot and was chased by Dick Somers in second and Roxanne Chan in third. For most of the month, the breeze was out of the south, so one had to navigate through the mooring to get to and from the weather mark which was placed just in front of the NHYC. Lead changes were drastic with many competitors going from first to last on one leg of the race. A big shout out to NHYC race committee for keeping the course balanced and the racing moving along.
Stuart Leigh aboard Rylacade
Looking over the results of most active skippers are Karen & Gary Throne sailing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on their Harbor 20 Blue Skies. Jim O’Conner is sailing his Catalina 32 Celia on Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesday nights, along with Stuart Leigh sailing his Hunter 46 Rylacade those same nights. I also noticed that Tucker Cheadle aboard his Harbor 20 Summer Dream is participating on most Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. Now if I was to award the golden pickle dish to the most active sailor this summer so far, it would have to go to Stuart Leigh aboard Rylacade. This team consists of at least 12 crew members each night, in their team shirts who are just having too much fun.
As you know, I am off to Hawaii in this year’s Transpac and will be taking the rest of July off from writing a column. I will be back in August with my Transpac recap along with any updates on harbor issues. Wish me luck!
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Friday, June 21, 2019

On the Harbor: Meet some of the local skippers getting ready to set sail in the Transpac

Horizon Finishing the 2019 Trans Pac     Photo courtesy of
Like I had mentioned a month ago, the 50th anniversary of the Transpac race takes place on July 10, 12 and 13 with the smaller boats starting first. Over the last two weeks, I have been forced to prepare the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon for the race. The Transpac is 2,100 miles from San Pedro to Honolulu, Hawaii. This year, our harbor has five entries competing in four different divisions. I thought it might be interesting to interview some of our harbor’s skippers before the start of the race.
My first call was into the Staff Commodore from the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Dave Clark, who will be sailing his recently purchased Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion historically known as G.I.
G.I. has a long history in the Transpac and has won the King Kalakaua Trophy, for first overall on corrected time three times in 1999, 2011 and in 2015. Clark and I sailed in the 1983 Transpac together aboard Amante, and it’s interesting how a type of brotherhood occurs with your crewmates over the years.
This year, Clark has recruited Buddy Richley as one of his watch captains. He is the owner of Amante and also sailed with us on the boat in 1983. Clark has skippered in a Transpac before aboard his Santa Cruz 50 Adrenaline. This time, it’s rather special because his son, Brooks, will be joining him. The Clark family has a long history competing in the race with Dave’s father, William Clark, who competed in 1949 aboard Gallant and in 1957 aboard Kialoa. It’s kind of interesting to note that in 1949 aboard Gallant, Henry Buckingham was a crew member. Today, I assume Buckingham’s son, Jim, will be crewing aboard G.I., which is kind of cool. There have been rumors that Clark has been going the extra mile in provisioning G.I. for this year’s race. When I asked Clark about the menu, he kind of chuckled and was quick to respond that his wife, Shelly, was doing all the hard work. G.I. doesn’t have an oven, so most of their meals are vacuum baked and pressure cooked, which I have found out is a skill within itself. The race’s first meal is always the most difficult to swallow, because as we leave the California coast, the boats are close – reaching and tipping over quite a bit. “We will be serving something simple and easy to eat, like burritos, the first night out. We are concentrating on meals that you can eat with a spoon or a fork, rather than needing a knife to cut the meals,” Clark said. He also told me about the Aloha party, which is a greeting party at the finish of the race. “We have the previous owners, the McDowell family, greeting us,” Clark said...which just adds to the story even more.

Next up is Carson Reynolds aboard the Nelson Marek 68 Bolt. This will be Carson’s and his father Craig Reynolds’ fifth time sailing together. The companionship between the two is unique and priceless. I had a chance to sail with the two of them in 2003, and have always envied their relationship and the experience sailing the race together. The Reynolds family also has a long Transpac history, and if I recall, Craig’s grandfather also competed in the race as a skipper. Carson, who is a new father himself, feels strongly about his father and son relationship, and hopes to inspire his children in the same manner. The race team Bolt will be in a very competitive division with the strongest competitor being Roy Disney aboard PyewacketBolt has taken to the strategy of being the lowest-rated boat, the boat with the smallest sails comparatively, and is betting on the big breeze to take the corrected time finish. I have always felt this a very strong strategy and hope we all have the breeze this year. “Because of our larger beam, we are hoping to perform well in the close reaching and that’s what we are concentrating on,” Reynolds said.

I was also able to contact Dan Gribble, the owner of the Trip 56 Brigadoon. When I inquired about his task list in preparation for the race, Gribble replied: “It feels like the list is still growing, but we are going to make it. I have my safety inspection later today.” Provision wise, it sounds like Brigadoon is the boat to be on with all of its meals being catered, packaged and well thought out. “No freeze dry food for us...remember the boat weighs 40,000,” Gribble said. When asked which point of sail the boat performs well at Gribble replied: “We will like the blast reaching with a big breeze and try to hold our own on the run. We have one of the bigger boats in our division.” Brigadoon will be returning to California after the race, and next year will be heading out to cruise the South Pacific.
J 46 Patriot

The last Newport Beach skipper I talked to was Paul Stemler, sailing his J-46 Patriot. Stemler competed in the 2015 race and finished at the top of its division, and at the close of the race felt that he could now check that off his bucket list. Well, his son, Pierce, has a different idea this year, and convinced his father to enter. The interesting part of the story is that most of the siblings of the previous crew have signed up this year. Stemler is hoping for a daylight finish, as his greeter is the Commodore of the Transpac Yacht Club, Tom Hogan, whose son, John, is sailing on the boat. This team has gone the extra mile preparing for the race and should do quite well.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Friday, June 07, 2019

On the Harbor: What is the future of Newport Beach?

Courtesy of Don Logan

Did I get your attention? If I did, then you should consider attending the presentation by Speak up Newport with speakers City Councilman Marshall “Duffy” Duffield and Harbormaster Kurt Borsting. The program takes place on Wednesday, June 12 from 6-7 p.m. with doors opening at 5:15 p.m. at the Civic Center Community Room, 100 Civic Center Drive.
Items on the agenda will include: Why the Harbor Commission and the City’s Harbor Department should be included within the city’s charter and placed on the 2020 ballot. What is the status of dredging in the harbor? What changes are proposed in the Harbor Code? What is being done to deal with increased use and crowding in the harbor? What harbor improvements are contemplated? The Harbor Patrol Sheriff is also called the Harbormaster. How is a harbor managed with two Harbormasters?
Unfortunately, my mind does not work quick enough to ask intelligent questions during presentations, and normally they don’t occur to me until about 3 o’clock in the morning, when I have completely digested the speakers’ talking points. If you are wondering if I keep a bottle of Tums next to me on my nightstand, yes, I do...the Costco size bottle.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big believer in Duffy’s vision of our harbor. Although the route is difficult – filled with unlighted, fixed telephone pole channel markers along with many shallows. This presentation might not be the time for questions, but rather a time to listen and take in the concept, then review, research and discuss the issues with other harbor users before presenting your or other organizations’ concerns.
I’ve made a list of questions for the different topics that will be discussed during this presentation and will be looking for the answers. For example: What is the status of dredging in the harbor? My first thought is not just the cost, yet it is a major component of the cost, and that is, where can you place the bad stuff? Another question is how will harbor dredging in the Upper Bay, around Balboa Island and in front of the Balboa Yacht Club affect the City’s eelgrass plan and RGP 54? If you are a waterfront homeowner and you are considering dredging your slip sometime soon, will this affect you? I know, and I hope you also know that “eelgrass is every harbor user’s friend,” and the harbor has had an extraordinarily good crop return over the last few years. This year, because of the amount of rain and runoff, how is our grass growing?
Changes proposed in the Harbor Codes or Title 17. If you would like to do a little research before the meeting, go to the City’s website and look over some of the proposed changes. Just Google “Newport Beach Title 17 Review” note “Working Draft Revisions” and take a look. Also, note that there is a Harbor Commission “Ad-Hoc” outreach meeting on June 24 concerning Dredging Permits. I only gave the preliminary revision’s second draft a quick review, but a couple of items jumped out at me. The Harbormaster can at any time board a boat and inspect the holding tank without warning. So, if I am one of the Harbormaster’s minions and you are racing in a twilight summer race, I can inform you that I want to inspect your holding tank right now. But what happens if the boat owner tells the minion to “Go pound sand?” What happens then? I understand the intent of the code, that it should be reviewed again. Another item I noticed in Title 17 is you can’t throw dead animals in the bay. Again, I understand the intent, yet I still recall I had a dead cormorant stuck in my rigging one time, and found pigeon and seagull nests on boats before, and quickly threw them into the bay. Now, I guess I will have to get a Hefty bag out and drive the refuse all the way up to the Huntington Beach disposal yard? I will also be taking one observation much more seriously and lobby to change the multiple moored boats permit or system to be just in front of the NHYC or BYC and open up the whole harbor.
Next topic is, “How to deal with increased use and crowding in the harbor.” I’ll be very interested in the approach and how it will be enforced.
Next up, “What harbor improvements are contemplated?” This is always interesting, yet my first thought is, let’s complete the tasks in front of us now before we spend too much time on any new ideas.
Lastly, there is a topic I questioned over a year ago and that is, “How is a harbor managed with two Harbormasters?” I snicker to myself when thinking of this question, but will be looking for a clear explanation.
Please come to this meeting, then contact me with your questions at, and together let’s go find the answers.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.