The Maritime Report for May 2, 2013

The Maritime Report for May 2, 2013

Dave Bloch

You've already heard about the closing of Nelson's Marine and its impact on the International Rescue Group, which is trying to get its second boat into the water. If you missed it, check out this article right here in The Alamedan.

Kristen Hanlon's article on the Alameda DragonFlyers is great, too! From our boat-home in Marina Village Yacht Harbor, we see the synchronized paddlers of these long, graceful boats out on the Estuary nearly every day, with different teams practicing or competing. (I'm not sure if this sailboat rule also applies to dragon boats: "Any time there are two boats going the same direction, it's a race.")


Oakland Yacht Club presents renowned sailor, author and NBC commentator Gary Jobson at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at their clubhouse in Alameda. Tickets are $20, $35 with a BBQ dinner served from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Jobson will look at "Who Looks Strong and Why?" for this summer's big America's Cup races. The event is expected to sell out, so get online reservations immediately at

The Alameda Community Sailing Center is taking reservations for their Youth Summer Sailing program! The Discover Sailing Summer Camp sessions are five full days and aimed at kids 8 to 13 years old. Sessions are filling up fast! Information and reservations are at


The big Opening Day on the Bay Decorated Boat Parade with the theme “The Great Race” took place on Sunday morning. Your reporter belongs to two of the clubs here on the Island, and both of them were represented this year.

Oakland Yacht Club hit the bay with close to 20 boats in the "Flags and Streamers" division to celebrate their 100th anniversary. The boats were decorated with dozens of red/white/blue flags, along with their limited-edition 100th anniversary burgee. (The burgee is the usually-triangular flag of every yacht club; the equivalent of a logo.) OYC was awarded first place in the division, an honor nearly always won by St. Francis Yacht Club. The award reflects a huge effort on the part of all the members who decorated their boats and motored all the way from Alameda to the staging area; that location is right off the shore of St. Francis YC, so they make a much shorter trip.

Island Yacht Club entered two boats this year. Their "Sailboat Decorated to Theme" did not place this time, an unusual occurrence at least partially due to the boat not reaching the staging area in time to join the parade with the others in its category. The current that day was a strong four-knot flood, meaning that the boat could only make about two knots (just over two miles per hour) all the way from the Bay Bridge to St. Francis. A strong westerly wind didn't help either.

But the second boat did very well! This boat, called "America's Grail," was built entirely by students from The Berkeley School under direction of IYC's Glen Krawiec. The kids strung hundreds of small flags on lines that were hoisted to the top of the mast. They also built two-dimensional replicas of the America's Cup catamarans which the "raced" from the stern to the bow of the decorated boat, complete with shotgun blasts at the start and finish of the race. The performance took place in front of the judging boat, a big Hornblower Bay cruise ship sitting out off the San Francisco city front.

So an exciting day was had by all! Although our area is blessed with great sailing year-round, the 2013 season is now officially OPEN. Find someone with a boat (links to all the Alameda clubs are available at and give it a try!


Is your boating or sailing organization holding an event you want Alamedans to know about? E-mail the info to and I'll get it into this blog for you. Keep in mind that these articles are usually written on Tuesday for Thursday publication in The Alamedan.


Island Yacht Club’s entry had dozens of racing pennants along with large flags of the three America’s Cup challenging countries, Italy, Sweden and New Zealand.

The kids of The Berkeley School show off their Second Place Youth entry with flags and two simulated catamarans ready to race up the deck.

Here are just two of the many boats Oakland Yacht Club entered in the “Flags and Streamers” division.

Photos by Speranza Avram.