Club pride to be tested in San Diego

The yacht club challenge circuit points west in the fall toward San Diego Yacht Club’s Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup. Attracting top teams across the USA, the round-robin format in J/105s held within San Diego Bay on October 28-30 in San Diego, CA.

“Planning for this signature regatta has been going on since January and I couldn’t be more excited about the 107th running of the Lipton Cup that dates back to 1904,” noted event chair JR Young, and while SDYC owns sets of sails dedicated to the event, Young relies on local owners to donate their boats, and a volunteer army to look after them.

Eleven teams are registered from yacht clubs east to west for three-days of racing. Some novice to the Lipton Cup, and some experienced, all skippers were selected by their home club to best represent them on (and off) the water.

American Yacht Club – Skipper Dwight Greenhouse
California Yacht Club – Skipper Will Peterson
Chicago Yacht Club – Skipper Will Holz
Coronado Yacht Club – Skipper Scott Harris
Del Rey Yacht Club – Skipper Chris Weis
Long Beach Yacht Club – Skipper Keith Ives
Newport Harbor Yacht Club – Skipper Justin Law
New York Yacht Club – Skipper Peter Levesque
San Diego Yacht Club – Skipper Tyler Sinks
San Francisco Yacht Club – Skipper Shawn Bennett
Storm Trysail Club – Skipper Bill Zartler

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Eight Bells: Jim Hokanson

James Gilbert Hokanson, better known as “Hokie” to many, passed away peacefully September 14, 2022 in his Fallbrook, CA residence with family by his side. He was 91 years of age.

After his Coast Guard service, his career as a Culver City police officer, and running his business Hokanson’s Sails for over 35 years, Jim and his wife Phyllis built their retirement home in Fallbrook. Jim and Phyllis were together over 70 years and shared a lifetime of love.

Born in Minnesota, he moved to California as a child. His love affair with the sea began at an early age and he became a master yachtsman well known in the sail racing and sail making industry. When he retired, he became a farmer tending to his avocado grove in Fallbrook. He was an integral part of his neighborhood and will be deeply missed.

Jim is survived by his wife Phyllis and his children Pamela Bounds and her husband James Bounds, his son Ty Hokanson, his grandchildren Brady and Paige, and his nephew Pete Millikin.

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Is this the next level of madness?

It is one thing to have canting keel and water ballasted boats racing against fixed keel designs, but ‘Maxi week’ at 2022 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is taking it to the next level (of madness?) by permitting the entry of Roberto Lacorte’s fully foiling 60-foot maxi FlyingNikka.

Unlike FlyingNikka’s first event at 2022 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, where the radical boat was placed in a special division in which there were no other entries, her second event in Saint-Tropez will be starting in Division 1 alongside luxury sailing yachts nearly twice her size and well matched with each other… but markedly slower than the foiler.

It is notable the highly refined maxi racing yachts are in Division 2… did they protest the notion of racing against something so different? Their ratings aren’t that much different than the stately yachts in Division 1 which will have to contend with this anomaly.

Racing in France takes place October 4-8 (layday on the 6th), organized by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez in conjunction with the International Maxi Association…

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Cruising: Hawaiian Island Hop

Photo by Ellen Massey Leonard

We didn’t get off on the right foot sailing into Hawaii. It was our own fault, of course. We should have known better. It’s never a good idea to assume that just because procedures were a certain way one year, they will be the same the next. It was an especially bad idea given the world was still in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, “Go away!” shouted through a megaphone, didn’t seem like the most constructive way of handling the situation.

Not to say my husband, Seth, and I was entirely surprised. Having lived in the islands for a number of years now, we knew sailors often don’t get much of an aloha from the authorities in this part of the world. We also knew the reasons for this attitude, having heard the stories of sailors being polluters, creating eyesores both above the surface and sewage below, as well as sailors who contribute nothing to the economy while making use of the state’s infrastructure and paying no taxes. Then there are that handful of entitled cruisers who have behaved rudely to local officials over the years, sealing the deal, as it were. The result is a kind of official obstruction to sailing here, as well as poor services for boaters, both local and transient, which is a shame. Hawaii has one of the greatest seafaring histories in the world, and yet it’s very difficult even for locals to cruise the islands. One of our good friends—a Native Hawaiian, no less—was recently run out of an anchorage on the island of Lana`i with no reason given. The official antagonism toward cruisers is all the more bizarre because the rest of the people who live here don’t seem hostile to sailors at all.

Knowing all this, and despite being Hawaiian residents, Seth and I had decided against sailing directly home when we’d left North America aboard our cold-molded sloop, Celeste, deciding instead to sail to French Polynesia—an area we had both wanted to go back to ever since our circumnavigation a dozen years earlier…

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