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Photos of the Day: Weekend Racing

March 5 - San Francisco

In spite of the dismal conditions, racing was tight in the 18-boat Express 27 class, 22-boat Moore 24 fleet, and the 12-boat Melges fleet, who are slowly gathering in town to warm up for their Worlds in Santa Cruz this May.
Photo Latitude/Sutter
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Photo Erik Simonson
©2007 h2oshots.com

Photo Latitude/Sutter
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

The midwinter season wrapped up at Golden Gate, Sausalito and Richmond YCs while the spring sailing season got started at St. Francis YC this weekend. Unfortunately, the conditions were more appropriate for the former than the latter.

With the light breeze and heavy current that seem to have been the status quo this winter, GGYC barely got in their fifth and final race of the '06-07 Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup series. Only the first four fleets started (PHRF 1, 2 and 3, and IODs). Racing was abandoned for all others.

Down the road, those same conditions led the StFYC race committee to cancel Saturday racing for the Spring Keel Regatta without even leaving the dock. They tried to salvage the weekend with three races for the 74 boats that came out to play on Sunday, but like a stubborn child, the wind and current proved less than cooperative. Only the Melges 24s and Express 27s got in a third race before the northerly died on Sunday afternoon. The abbreviated regatta stood at two races for the Moore 24s, J/24s, Knarrs, and Folkboats.

From across the Bay, it appeared that the Sausalito mids had decent breeze for their last hurrah near Richardson Bay on Sunday. Results should be posted soon at www.syconline.org. Meanwhile, over at the Richmond breakwater, a big fleet of smaller boats had more breeze than last month. Preliminary results have been posted at www.richmondyc.org. Results from racing at GGYC and StFYC are at their respective Web sites, www.ggyc.com/raceresults.php and www.stfyc.com.

- latitude / ss


Zihua Passage-Makers Are Poised to Jump

March 5 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Zihua has long been a favorite stopover for cruisers along the central coast of Mexico, especially since the phenomenal rise in popularity of the Zihua SailFest in late January. With that in mind, Latitude 38 staged a special send-off party last week for the Zihua contingent of Pacific Puddle Jumpers (in addition to our annual Puerto Vallarta event).

Hosted by Rick's Bar - aka 'cruiser central' - the event drew both those who are about to depart on the 3,000-mile passage to the Marquesas and others who may make that crossing next season.

The Zihua contingent gathers at Rick's Bar. Laurent and Stephanie (in front, outside left and right) were heroes.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

As with the PV event, held February 26 at the Vallarta YC, two special emissaries came all the way from Tahiti to welcome fleet members to their Polynesian paradise. Stephanie Betz, representing Tahiti Tourisme, and Laurent Bernerdt of Polynesian Yacht Services scored extra points for fortitude, as they had decided to treat themselves to an adventure by taking the bus from PV to Zihua. That 12-hour trip turned into 20, when the bus was held for six hours by Federales while they cleared the route of banditos, followed by an engine breakdown.

The pair reached Z-Town shortly before the fete, however, and thrilled the fleet with alluring photos, cruising literature and info. Look for a complete report in upcoming editions of Latitude 38.

- latitude / aet

Pretty Ginger Niemann of the one-off sloop Marcy won this black pearl in a raffle - it was hand-carried all the way from Tahiti.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Alene Rice and Bruce Balan of the Cross 46 Migration are both longtime multihullers who recently found each other.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

David & Melanie Boots of Talerra
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Aussies Greg & Debbie Cockle will be sailing home aboard the Catalina 42 Volare, which they bought on the West Coast.
Photos Latitude/Andy
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Heinie and Cabo Races

March 5 - Baja Coast and Caribbean Sea

Newport Harbor YC's 14th annual Cabo Race started Saturday with 51 boats making their way from Newport Beach to Cabo. Race information has been dismal so far, but it appears that as of 8 a.m. this morning, the lead boat, Jim Madden's R/P 66 Stark Raving Mad is just off Turtle Bay. Check out the race tracking at www.07caborace.org.

San Francisco's Rick Wesslund's J/120 El Ocaso posted four bullets and a second to win the Spinnaker 5 division of the Heineken Regatta.
©2007 www.rockskipper.com

Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent, there was plenty of information coming this weekend from the 27th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, an event as popular for the parties as it is for the racing. This year, an extra day of racing was added before the main event for the top race boats. Up for grabs was the inaugural Budget Marine Commodore's Cup. Volvo Ocean Race winner ABN Amro took the prize, winning each of three races. ABN Amro's primary competition, the 75-ft Titan 12 was forced to withdraw with a damaged forestay.

Jim Swartz's Swan 601 Moneypenny finished second to ABN Amro 1 in the five-boat Big Boat 1 fleet.
Photos L. Richter
©2007 www.rockskipper.com

As for the regatta itself, more than 200 boats in 20 divisions were there, from top race boats to mom-and-pop cruisers and charterers. With three straight wins in the Non-Spinnaker 2 class, Antigua-based sailing veteran Bernie Evans-Wong's Cal 40 Huey Too was named Boat of the Regatta. Complete results and photos are online at www.heinekenregatta.com.

- latitude / ss

Going the Distance

March 5 - Nassau, Bahamas

Mike Harker, who learned to sail in the 2000 Baja Ha-Ha aboard his Hunter 340 WanderLust, then went on to sail 28,000 miles on his Hunter 466 WanderLust 2, has arrived in Nassau, Bahamas, on the first leg of a circumnavigation aboard the new Hunter 49 WanderLust 3.

Mike Harker on the new Hunter 49 WanderLust 3 has started his year-long circumnavigation.
Photo Courtesy WanderLust 3
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

The newest addition to the Hunter fleet, and the first with all the Offshore Mariner options, made her debut last month at the Miami Boat Show, and will take the Manhattan Beach-based Harker around the world in the next year. His tentative schedule has him transiting the Panama Canal in April, participating in the Sydney Boat Show in July, rounding the Cape of Good Hope in November, celebrating New Year's in St. Barths, and joining the Miami Boat Show again next February. It sounds like a crazy year for Harker but we have little doubt he'll 'go the distance'.

- latitude / ld

New Owners for Capricorn Cat

March 5 - Brisbane

Wayne The Mango Man from Brisbane, and his lady Carol Baggerly have, we've just learned, acquired Blair and Joan Grinols' 45-ft custom cat Capricorn Cat. For about 10 of the last 12 years, Capricorn Cat was one of the most active boats in the Pacific, sailing to Mexico, Hawaii, the South Pacific, Micronesia - and usually back each year, too. Now in his mid-70s, Blair, one of the best-liked people in cruising, has had a few health issues, so he and Joan will now be limiting themselves to riding motorcycles and quads in the desert.

Wayne and Carol are smiling thinking about their new catamaran.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Wayne and Carol are hoping to make this fall's Baja Ha-Ha with Capricorn Cat, but first need to sell Wayne's much loved Cross 42 trimaran Little Wing. "She's a great cruising tri because she's sleek, sound and very fast," says Wayne. "Built using the WEST System, she's also got a Perkins 4-108 diesel, watermaker, autopilot and lots of other goodies. Little Wing was built in '84, and I've owned her for the last nine years. If you've got $79,000 or close to it, and are interested in a great cruising tri, email us."

- latitude / rs

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