Pre-Big Boat Mishap
September 20 - Bahia Santa Maria, BCS
For months owners of West Coast racing boats having been anxiously awaiting the start of today's St. Francis YC Big Boat Series. So what happens yesterday? After days of record hot weather, the fog and the wind poured through the Gate with a will, blowing an honest 30 knots and perhaps gusting higher. Many of the boats that went out for their last tune-up were hammered, and returned to the dock with a variety of moderate to serious damages. Hurt worst of all was Dale Williams' Farr designed ILC 46 'Wasabi', seen in the accompanying photo, which lost her rig. While the winds probably won't be as strong for the series as they were yesterday, it's an ebb tide event and should be great for spectating. It's the biggest Big Boat Series ever - and could be one of the best.
Photo Latitude/John Arndt
September 21 - Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
Yesterday it looked like Tropical Storm Norman was going to
hit mainland Mexico south of Manzanillo. But it went a little
ways offshore, skirted Puerto Vallarta, and now appears to be
headed up the eastern side of the Sea of Cortez in the general
direction of Mazatlan and Guaymas. Fortunately, the maximum gusts
are only 35 knots and it should tend to fizzle, but we take nothing
for granted. Norman is the 10th tropical storm of the season,
and there have already been six hurricanes. Fortunately, there
has been no damage to speak of.
Tropical Storm Norman
Tropical Storm Helene
To see what the winds are like on the Bay right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/. But we can tell you it's going to be another perfect day for racing on the Bay.
Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml. Right now, it's quite calm all along the coast.
You can check out today's sea state at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.
Going the Wrong Way
September 21 - Fethiye, Turkey
"Who wants to crew down the Red Sea to Sri Lanka? asks Steve Faustina of the Oakland-based Barnett 42 'Solitaire'. I'm currently in Fethiye, Turkey, having spent the summer cruising the Med. I had crossed the Atlantic singlehanded in the summer of '99, departing Ft. Lauderdale and making stops at Bermuda and the Azores. It was a very pleasant and uneventful crossing all the way to Gibraltar. I wintered in Barcelona, Spain, until April 2000, and have been cruising the Med since. I've stopped at Mallorca, Sardinia, Tunis, Malta, Crete, numerous Greek islands in the Aegean, and now the Turkish coast - which has been my favorite. I will be stopping in Cyprus and Israel before heading onto the Suez canal and the Red Sea.
"Everyone says that I'm going the wrong way around, but I haven't found that to be the case - especially now that I get to go 'down' the Red Sea. Even though I have been singlehanding most of this trip, I have had crew for certain stretches and friends and family visit at times. I am open to accepting crew, especially for the trip down the Red Sea to Sri Lanka. So if anyone is interested, contact me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org."
September 21 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace
Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/
September 21 - San Francisco
Dan Cheresh wrapped up an impressive One-Design 35 Nationals title yesterday during heavy air conditions on San Francisco Bay with his aptly named boat 'Extreme'. At one point, only one of 18 boats was carrying a chute on a downwind leg that featured a solid 30 knots. "It looked like a yard sale," said one of the crew. Robert Hughes finished nine points back at 28 points with 'Heartbreaker', while Kara Zylstra took third at 50 points with 'Wild Thing'. Eighteen boats competed. For a feature story on this great event, see the October edition of Latitude 38.
Dan Payan of Hillsborough started the last two races of the
One-Design 35 Nationals tied for third with his boat 'Rigel'.
But during a jibe in 20+ knots of wind near the starting line,
the mainsheet whipsawed him on the neck with great force, throwing
him face down on the cockpit sole. "It almost knocked his
head off," said one of the crew. Realizing their owner/driver
was completely out and perhaps seriously injured, the crew dropped
the jibe, fired up the engine and alerted the San Francisco YC
race committee boat that they needed medical help. To their credit,
the race committee boat had an EMT onboard.
But approximately 45 seconds after he was knocked out, and before help could arrive, Payan regained consciousness - and charge of his boat. "What are we doing?" he said. "Let's get going!" The rest of the fleet had charged off in the distance, so Payan and crew gave chase. They didn't have their best day of racing, but they hung in for the last two races. Who says guys from Hillsborough aren't tough?
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