— ALL IN THE FAMILY only recently emerged from a spectacular four-year restoration. (More on her later.) It was also great to see the Bear Boats back in force after a 'hibernation' from racing in the last few years.
here has always been a family feel to the Master Mariners — how could it be otherwise among a group of folks whose passion is to restore, preserve and sail old wooden boats? But this year's Regatta took the 'family ties' to new heights. For example, while Tom List and the Polaris crew (Mark Welther, Loyal Tarbet, Chris Rust, Bill Wells and 'Sarah') were on their way to winning the Gaff 2 Division, Tom's son Hans was winning Gaff 3 in his own boat, the 30-ft Tahiti ketch Sequestor. Aboard for the victory were Anton Hottner, Jodi Boyle, Sophie Van Der Wort, Suzie Q and 'Katie'. (The two boats even shared a bit of common
ancestry: both were built locally — Polaris in Oakland in 1906, Sequestor in the Delta in 1940.) Sequestor's win marked quite a turnaround from last year when Hans and crew finished pretty much DFL. Hans attributes the remarkable comeback of '07 to the fact that, "This year, we didn't break anything."
ver in the Big Schooner Division, Al Lutz was back for his 14th year helming the San Francisco Maritime Museum's venerable scow schooner Alma — at 60 feet and 116 years one of the largest and certainly the oldest boat in the fleet. Sharing the same high-noon start in the reverse-handicap event was his wife Jill, at the helm of her recently restored Bear Boat Bongo. At 23 feet, the Bears were among the Regatta's smallest Silhouettes on the shade — humanoid preventers in use on the Bird Boats 'Robin' (foreground) and 'Curlew.'
participants — but at eight boats, its biggest one design fleet. Alma took third while Bongo went on to win her division. Another family tie — among the usual cast of thousands aboard Alma were Al's son, Brendan. Aboard Bongo (named after the bear in the movie Dumbo), were Kit Styckett, Michael O'Callahan and Tom Montoya. "We had just been back in the water for 3 weeks after being out for 10 over at KKMI," says Jill. "We were adjusting the backstay the whole way around the course!" Their main competition came from multiple season champion Chance, but a tight spinnaker reach on the penultimate leg catapulted them into the lead for good. For an encore, Jill's goal is to return the Bear fleet to onedesign status in WBRA in the near future.
nother welcome returnee was the aforementioned Black Witch. Owner Rick
The July 2007 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.