Photo of the Day

August 21 - France

You have to say this about the French, they've got their own ideas about things - and aren't afraid to commit to them. While we were at the Outremer cat factory at La Grande Motte, France, we were shown an Outremer 45 under construction that had a unique location of the 'escape hatch'. The sales manager explained that the owner insisted the hatch be on the bottom of the boat so the owner - an enthusiastic spear fisherman - could simply stick his catch through the hatch rather than having to drag it up on deck. He then planned to pull himself up through the hatch! The owner of the boat is 70 years old, and must be very spry. If you think that's an odd feature, there's a 170-foot cat under construction for a private owner that will have a swimming pool!


Photo Latitude/Richard


America's Cup Jubilee

August 21 - Cowes, UK

As this issue of 'Lectronic Latitude goes to cyberspace, the marquee event of the America's Cup Jubilee - the reenactment of the original America's Cup Race in 1851 - is still under way. Some 201 boats representing more than 100 years of sailing started the 60-mile race around the Isle of Wight in England. The fleet started in ideal sailing conditions, and some of the boats have already finished. Taking line honors in a time of four hours and 48 minutes was Gianni Agnelli's Frers-designed 92-ft Stealth, which only 10 days ago was first to finish the Fastnet Race. Although six years old, these have been the giant daysailer's first two races. Her time was less than half the 10 hour and 35 minutes it took America to cover the same 60-mile course. Hasso Plattner's R/P 81 Morning Glory was five minutes back, while Michael Slade's R/P 90 Skandia Leopard was third. The closest racing so far, however, was down in the America's Cup class, where Italy's Luna Rossa edged Great Britain's GBR Challenge (GBR52) by less than five seconds.


The older GBR41 before the start of the re-enactment
Photo Rick Tomlinson/GBR Challenge


12 Meters jockey for clear air
Photo John Greenland/Courtesy www.madforsailing.com

For details on perhaps the greatest yachting race/parade ever, visit www.americascupjubilee.com and www.madforsailing.com.


Assault Victim Bob Medd Flies to Calgary

August 21 - Calgary, Canada

Bob Medd, who barely survived a murder attempt while sailing in the Sea of Cortez aboard his Aloha 34 The Learning Curve, flew to Calgary, Canada, yesterday, to be with his family and undergo reconstructive surgery. This according to Bob Willmann of the Islander 34 Viva, who buddyboated with Medd most of last winter and who started Medd's fateful cruise in company with him. The good news is that "Bob is doing extremeley well and is expected to make a full recovery." He will live with his daughters when he gets out of the hospital. Having lost everything, Medd's future is uncertain, but he would like to get another boat and continue cruising. Family and friends are setting up a trust fund, and we'll let everyone know the details as soon as they are available. Friends can email Medd at rgmedd@hotmail.com.

Willmann says Bob wants to stress that everyone he met during the whole ordeal - with the exception of his two attackers, of course - was extremely kind, helpful, and professional. These include the four Mexican fishermen who found him and sacrificed a day's income, the police, the mayor, the immigration officers, the doctors and nurses in Santa Rosalia - all went above and beyond to help him. An elderly patient in the Mexican hospital even gave Bob his shirt for the ride north. He notes that all of the Mexican citizens he's met have expressed sorrow and shame that this thing happened in their country. All of them are confident the men will be found and punished.

There have been a number of relatively minor conflicts in the reports about what happened to Medd. Here are the accurate details, according to Willmann:

Bob Medd, a 52-year-old singlehander from Calgary, departed Santa Rosalia aboard his Aloha 34 TLC on Sunday, August 12, with the intended destination of Bahia San Francisquito, about 20 hours farther north in the Sea of Cortez. Shortly after 9PM that evening, two men in a panga came alongside asking for water. Bob went below to get some from the refrigerator. When he turned around, he found that the men had boarded TLC, and that one of the men was holding his wallet and a bread knife that had been on the counter. He attacked Bob, slashing him on the wrist. While they fought, the other started hitting Bob in the head and face with some object, presumably a rock. Bob was knocked unconscious.

Sometime during the night, Bob regained consciousness and found himself lying in a pool of blood in the salon. He also became aware that TLC was on the rocks, with the motor still running and the mainsail raised. He made it into the cockpit but passed out again. When he next awoke, the boat was listing heavily and breaking up on the rocks. He knew he was in big trouble. He grabbed a blanket, some water, a flare gun and a flashlight, and attempted to swim/crawl to the beach. He reached the rocks and once again passed out. He was awakened by pain when the rising salt water reached his neck. That was the first time he knew that his throat had been slit from ear to ear. All day Monday he passed in and out of consciousness, without ever seeing another boat. His wounds were getting very infected and he had lost a lot of blood.

Tuesday afternoon around 3PM, four fishermen spotted his boat on the rocks and came over to investigate. They discovered Bob on the beach and immediately saw that he was in dire need of medical attention. They managed to get him into their panga and used five of his flares to attract a Mexican naval vessel that then transported him back to Santa Rosalia. An ambulance was waiting when they arrived and Bob was taken to the local hospital. The Mexican doctors did everything they could, and were responsible for saving his life.

On Thursday he was taken by car to a hospital in Southern California. The drive took over 12 hours. The California doctors were told they had an emergency patient who had been attacked by pirates and had his throat slit. They didn't believe the story until they actually saw Bob. When they saw him, they were amazed he'd managed to stay alive for so long. They operated on him during the early hours Friday morning, and were able to stabilize him.


Bob Medd in the Sea of Cortez . . .
Photo Deb Castellena


. . . And in the hospital after the attack


Ha-Ha Entries through 70

August 21 - Baja Ha-Ha World Headquarters

The entry deadline for the Ha-Ha 2001 is September 12, so if you haven't signed up yet, you're running out of time to procrastinate. If you still haven't gotten an entry packet, make out a check for $15 to Baja Ha-Ha, Inc, and send it with a self-addressed 9x12 envelope to 21 Apollo Road, Tiburon, CA 94920. For more information, see www.baja-haha.com. There are going to be quite a few repeats this year, not the least of which are in this group of ten: Millennium Falcon and a group from Club Nautique in Marina del Rey, which this year will be sailing Fast Reorrg.

61) Tenacious / Beneteau 45f5 / Michael Wagner / Sausalito
62) El Regalo / Tayana 52 / Charles & Teresa Wilsdorf / Henderson, NV
63) Fast Reorrg / Hunter 50 / Club Nautique / Marina del Rey
64) Kate / CT 41 / Larry & Julie Gibbs / Benicia
65) Sailmaters II / Stevens 47 / Joseph Ahlering / San Francisco
66) Millennium Falcon / 60-ft Custom Schooner / Michael Ganahl and Leslie Hardy / San Francisco
67) Tuatha / Westsail 32 / Skip Riley / Ojai
68) Journey / Tayana 37 / Curt Buchanan / Portland
69) Zonda / Bavaria 42 / Greg Nuyens / Atherton
70) Desperado / Chris Craft 48 M/Y / Edward Kelly / Redwood City


Repeat entry Millennium Falcon
Photo Latitude/Richard


YOTREPS

August 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/


Weather Updates

August 21 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/.

California Coast Weather

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.

Pacific Winds and Pressure

The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.


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