Orange and the Trans-Med Record
September 24 - Mediterranean Sea
Bruce Peyron and his second generation maxi-cat Orange, having missed the transatlantic record by just half an hour, are having a go on the trans-Med, from Marseilles to Carthage, Tunisia. The record, held by Steve Fossett, is about 18 hours.
Photo Gilles Martin-Raget/Orange
"It's been very risky all morning," said the normally conservative Peyron, "and we even asked ourselves if we would not have to give up altogether. The conditions were really extreme. With 45 knots of wind at times, the cat was sailing at 35 to 40 knots - speeds unseen until today. The whole crew was on deck, hands on the sheets in order to be able to ease off at once if required. Only the very experienced helmsmen took the wheel, which means Sébastien Audigane and Lionel Lemonchois. But despite our constant attention, the boat went wild on two occasions under violent gusts, and we came close to the wipe out! Quite stressful, but at the same time very thrilling. Since noon, fortunately, the conditions are easier, the winds and the waves are more manageable. We'll soon send more canvas up, to optimize our angle towards the South Sardinian waypoint. We've been living wonderful moments since we've left the Marseilles harbor, towed by our fishermen pals who have been great. On board, the crew is at its best, very excited by the speed and totally concentrated on our final objective."
Be Careful What Part of Harbor Reef You Anchor On
September 24 - Catalina Island
"In the September 22 'Lectronic, you suggest anchoring on top of 'The Big Reef' at Twin Harbors at Catalina Island to save money on mooring charges," writes Gary Friesen of the Marina del Rey-based Whisk. "By your description, you must be referring to the reef that lies one quarter mile southwest of Bird Rock and is marked on its east end by a white lighted tower and on its west end by a green lighted buoy. I find this advice to be dangerous, and would like to alert you and your readers about it. I see that on September 22, 2004, the tide at 00:38 hours PDT was supposed to be -0.12 feet - exactly what it was on March 23, 2001, at 14:48 hours PDT when I sailed my 20-ft Mystere catamaran across that reef. I was being whisked from Marina del Rey on a three hour crossing. My beach cat draws 28 inches with the centerboards and rudders down, and just six inches when they are up. Both my port centerboard and port rudder were forced up as I crossed that reef and heard the sound of rock striking my glass boat! My repairs were done with a little epoxy and glass, but I would hate to hear the fate of a reader with a much heavier boat who finds himself run aground at low tide after anchoring on the reef at your suggestion."
Thanks for the caution. We supposed we were remiss in not adding that when anchoring on Harbor Reef - or any other reef - mariners should be careful to not anchor on a part of the reef that doesn't have enough water for their boat. Most of Harbor Reef has plenty of water, but you do have to be careful. Actually, it was our friend Jeff who turned us on to this great alternative to dropping the hook in 110 feet of water closer to the moorings.
One of the Two Harbors Harbor Patrolmen directs this boat where to anchor on Harbor Reef. Most of it is safe for anchoring, but you do have to consult your chart and know what you're doing.
Speaking of anchoring at Two Harbors, this is Ernie Minney's - of Minney Marine Surplus - schooner Samarang. We went over to see what kind of anchoring problems he was having. It turned out that he'd hooked a World War II mooring between Harbor Reef and the moorings. Thanks to the help of the great Harbor Patrol folks, he was soon desnared.
Tough Love in the Kahn Clan
September 22 - Toronto, Ontario
The only race Thursday in the Bell Mumm 30 World Championship almost didn't happen, and Philippe Kahn almost wished it hadn't. But there it was: his own son fouled him, he protested and the standings went inside out going into the fourth and final day Friday. The new leader, replacing 15-year-old Samuel (Shark) Kahn, is Fred Sherratt, representing the host Royal Canadian Yacht Club, who finished third.
New regatta leader Fred Sherratt of Toronto stalks David Pyles of Maryland at the offset mark.
The younger Kahn, who led by six points after the first two days, flamed out after the incident at the first windward mark when he and his father, sailing Pegasus 20 and Pegasus 591, were fighting for the lead. After doing a 720 - a double penalty turn - he rejoined the parade in seventh, briefly appeared to be making a comeback but went all the wrong ways as the wind died on the last downwind drift and straggled in 18th, beating only two boats.
Shark Kahn (left) starts his 720 after protest by his father Philippe (right).
Photos Rich Roberts
Principal race officer Mike Milner hoped to sail four races Friday to complete the 11-race schedule. The event rules say no racing can start after 5 o'clock, so Milner moved the day's starting time up an hour to 10:30 a.m.
Ironically, Thursday's race didn't start until 5:34 p.m. after four general recalls following a day of card-playing and lawn bowling before Milner, two miles out on Lake Ontario, decided there was finally enough wind to race - not more than 6 or 7 knots but just enough to race twice around a one-mile windward-leeward course.
Sherratt, sailing Steadfast, has 36 points. Tom Ritter's Tramp from Bloomfield Hills, MI, slipped into second place (44), followed by Shark (45) and Philippe Kahn (47).
For more, see www.mumm30rcyc.com.
Please Stop! No More Baja Ha-Ha Entries!
September 24 - Tiburon
"We've got 167 paid entries," says Lauren Spindler, "and we think that's plenty."
Latitude 38 Delivery Driver Needed
September 24 - Mill Valley
Reliable and responsible person needed to fill our SF/Peninsula route. Delivery falls around the first of each month, always during the week, yearly schedule available ahead of time. If you are someone we can rely on to help get the best sailing magazine to our readers and distributors, please introduce yourself by fax to Colleen at (415) 383-5816. Indicate your expectations. No phone calls please.