Living , Modern

Richard

Spindler

1948

The sailing magazine, Latitude 38, was founded, edited, and published in San Francisco by Richard Spindler at the age of 29. Almost four decades later, Spindler has grown Latitude 38 from a regional San Francisco Bay Area sailing magazine into a magazine for the West Coast of the U.S. and sailing venues around the world. He continues to champion sailing at many levels and remains the editorial voice of Latitude 38.

In 1994, Spindler founded and managed the Baja Ha-Ha International Cruising Rally, from San Diego, California to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Over 10,000 sailors and 2,500 boats have participated, making it second in popularity only to the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC). Many sailors have used the ‘Ha-Ha’ as their launch pad to cruise across the Pacific and around the world. “If it weren’t for you, my family and I wouldn’t be doing this,” is a common refrain of participants. In addition, Latitude 38 also co-organizes the Pacific Puddle Jump for sailors crossing anywhere on the west coast of North America to French Polynesia. Among the benefits to participants is they need not post the very expensive bond previously required of all other visitors by boat. Several hundred sailors from around the world sign up each year. The event is free.

Fundraisers founded by Spindler include Zihua SailFest, a cruiser fundraising idea for Mexico that has raised close to $500,000. The funds from the SailFest are used for the educational needs of non-Spanish speaking Indians in Mexico. The Pirates for Pupils Spinnaker Run for Charity and the Banderas Bay Blast in Mexico were also created by Spindler. Generous towards all sailors, during the Antigua Sailing Weeks, he would regularly race with 24 or more women aboard his boat, the women not allowed to sail on the “serious” boats. Over the last 19 years, he has taken nearly 2,500 non-sailors out for a sail. His comment is, “I do love sailing and do love sharing sailing with others.”

Spindler also founded other free events to encourage people to use their boats: The Sea of Cortez Sailing Week, which attracted as many as 200 boats a week to Caleta Partida in Baja, California in the 1980s, the SoCal Ta-Ta, a week-long cruising rally from Santa Barbara to Catalina, and the Catnip Cup for multihulls on San Francisco Bay. In addition, 15 years ago he founded ‘Lectronic Latitude, the symbiotic online digital version of Latitude 38 to which he contributes three to six items a week.

Also, according to Capt. Larry Hall, Commander Group San Francisco, Latitude 38 editorials were responsible for the Coast Guard deciding to abandon its Zero Tolerance policy and begin viewing mariners across the country as “customers.”

Accomplishments and Honors

  • Founder, editor, and publisher of Latitude 38, a West Coast sailing magazine
  • 1994, founded and managed the Baja Ha-Ha International Cruising Rally, from San Diego, California to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Latitude 38 co-organizes the Pacific Puddle Jump for sailors crossing anywhere on the west coast of North America to French Polynesia
  • Founded Zihua SailFest, a cruiser fundraising idea for Mexico that has raised close to $500,000
  • Created Pirates for Pupils Spinnaker Run for Charity and the Banderas Bay Blast in Mexico Fundraiser
  • Founded The Sea of Cortez Sailing Week
  • Founded the SoCal Ta-Ta, a week-long cruising rally from Santa Barbara to Catalina

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