|Sailors Graham Short (center) and Bob Beth (right) with their â€śAussie captainâ€ť friend (left). PHOTO COURTESY OF GRAHAM SHORT
San Francisco Bay has long been celebrated as one of the worldâ€™s greatest places to sail. With the Americaâ€™s Cup excitement just beginning to build, many eyes are now on our beautiful bay and those who conquer its often-unpredictable waves, wind, fog and chilly water. Several of the talented, brave souls are members of our community.
In this issue of the Bay Times, we introduce you to just a few of our local LGBTQ sailors. Some sail recreationally, while others compete. All are captivated by our unique and ever changing bay, which is the largest Pacific estuary in the Americas.
Bay Area Sailing Resources
By Katharine Holland
If the Americaâ€™s Cup has piqued your interest in getting out on the water, here are a few of my favorite resources:
Barbary Coast Sailing Club
BCSC is an LGBT recreational sailing and power boat club that welcomes boat owners, partners, crew, water skiers and kayakers. The initiation fee to join the club is $50. Annual dues are $90 for an individual and $170 for a couple. Check the club out first by attending a meeting. Monthly dinner meetings for $20 are held the first Thursday of every month (except July and December) at 6:30 pm at the Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda. Be sure to check the Events Calendar to see when the next meeting is. They just hosted â€śDelta Keels & Heels,â€ť a drag party on the boats in the Delta. www.bcbc.net
SF Sailing Team
This is an LGBT sailing racing team. Racing practices and meetings are dormant in non-gay games years. Emails for racing crew or day sailing fun are put out on the teamâ€™s yahoogroups list. www.sfsailingteam.org or join the yahoorgroups list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SFSailingTeam/
Cal Sailing Club
CSC is a non-profit, volunteer-run sailing club in Berkeley. Although not LGBT, they are very friendly to all. You canâ€™t beat the price!
Membership costs just $75 for 3 months ($70 for students and seniors) plus 2 hours volunteer work. There are no charges for lessons, equipment use, cruises or other club activities.
Beginning sailing lessons are given on Monday and Thursday afternoons, and on Saturday mornings. To take a sailing lesson, come to the clubhouse between 1 and 4 p.m. on Monday and Thursday (between 1 and 6 p.m. when Daylight Savings Time is in effect), or between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Qualified fellow CSC members teach lessons on a first-come, first-served basis. www.cal-sailing.org, 124 University Ave, Berkeley (510) 549-2969
Lake Merritt Boating Center
Although not LGBT, they are friendly to all. Lake Merritt Boating Center is located on Lake Merritt, inside Lakeside Park. In order to sail on this beautiful, scenic lake, you will need to provide sailing certifications, pass a sailing test, or take a class. Advanced Sailboats require check-out certification. Boats are $25 or less an hour. (510) 238-2196
Friday Night Races
If you are a racer or want to learn, look up the directory of San Francisco yacht club â€śbeer canâ€ť races on Latitude 38 magazineâ€™s web site. Held April through September, you can usually show up with a six-pack of beer or soda at the dock - how the races got their name - and hop a ride as crew.