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Photo of the Day: Pucker Factor

December 3, 2007 – West Coast

Storm Warning
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Talk about 'pucker factor' - this monster is bigger than the storm that killed the crew of the northbound catamaran Cat Shot last December. Photo Courtesy NWS/NCEP - Ocean Prediciton Center
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you were thinking of going out for a daysail today anywhere along the Washington, Oregon or Northern California coast, you might want to rethink those plans. A 957 mb low is spinning up off the West Coast with hurricane force winds predicted to hit today.

While Oregon will see the brunt of the storm — 65-85 knot winds with upwards of 45-ft seas — Northern California will also get spanked with 45-60 knots and 27-ft seas in the northern portion. NOAA has issued a storm warning for the entire coast as far south as Point Arena, and a gale warning to Pigeon Point. They are also warning of hazardous seas through Wednesday.

What's bad news for sailors could be good news for surfers as the Mavericks Surf Contest is slated to 'start' this Friday off Half Moon Bay. The contest is unique in that its 'start date' is really just a guideline — once conditions are deemed 'perfect'  by event organinzers, 24 pre-picked surf gods will have just 24 hours to make their way to Half Moon Bay and get suited up. The call could come anytime between December 7 and March 31. The contest was cancelled last year as conditions were never acceptable so organizers have to be drooling over the early start to the storm season.

- latitude / ld

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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A-Cup Update: The Plot Thickens

December 3, 2007 – Geneva, Switzerland

It wasn't too many years ago that America's Cup promoters were doing anything they could think of to make the contest for the Cup more appealing to the general public — that is, ready for prime time. But the hubbub created by defender Alinghi's proposed rules changes to the 1887 Deed of Gift and S.F.-based BMW Oracle's resulting lawsuit, have certainly tarnished the Cup's image in the eyes of diehard race fans and neophytes alike.

The latest salvo, according to a variety of published sources, is that the Swiss Alinghi team (Société Nautique de Genève) has refused to negotiate with challengers in the wake of the NY State Supreme Court's recent decision which declared that BMW Oracle would be the challenger of record in the next A-Cup series. As it stands now, the competition would probably take place next summer in 90-ft multihulls.

A further twist to this messy business is that Grant Dalton, head of the New Zealand team, has reportedly disclosed an agreement with Alinghi that if the Cup competition were postponed until 2010, the Swiss would pay the Kiwis around $24 million, or $37 million if postponed to 2011. So much for retooling sailing's reputation as an elitist sport.

Stay tuned for further developments, as this plot will surely thicken before these thorny issues are resolved. 

- latitude / at

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Holiday Shopping with Lat 38 Logowear

December 3, 2007 – World Wide Web

T-shirts actually come in so many colors we couldn't fit them in the photo.
Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Need the perfect holiday gift for your favorite sailor? Check out our chandlery for tons of T-shirts and hats — they make great stocking stuffers!

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Multihulls Racing Around the World

December 3, 2007 – The Atlantic Ocean

If actual racing, as opposed to America's Cup lawyering, is your passion, you should direct your attention to the Atlantic Ocean right now. While the nine-boat Barcelona around-the-world fleet is certainly worth following, by no means miss the efforts of singlehander Francis Joyon and his new 100-ft trimaran IDEC, who are going after the singlehanded around the world record set by Ellen MacArthur with the trimaran B&Q / Castrorama, as well as Franck Cammas and his crew on the 105-ft maxi trimaran Groupama III, who are going after the Jules Verne around-the-world record for crewed boats.

Francis Joyon set off from Brest, France 10 days ago in an effort to break Dame Ellen MacArthur solo around the world record. © 2018 Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / Idec

IDEC and Groupama III were to start at the same time, which would have made  for an interesting comparision, but while Joyon and IDEC were able to start 10 days ago, Groupama III was delayed and is only expected to start today. In a friendly radio chat the other day, Cammas told Joyon that he'd gotten such a great start it wasn't clear whether the bigger crewed multihull would be able to catch him.

And it's true that IDEC has gotten off to a very fast start. For after just 10 days of sailing, Joyon and his bright red trimaran are already 752 miles ahead of the pace that MacArthur set in establishing her 71-day record run. You'll recall that in making a new record, MacArthur beat Joyon's previous time, set in a very old boat with old sails, by a matter of just hours.

As for Cammas and his crew on Groupama III, they have a very tall order — to beat the 50-day, 16-hour around the world record established by Bruno Peyron and the 120-ft maxi cat Orange II. But they have proven that their big tri — which is much lighter than Orange, and therefore theoretically better in light winds and capable of higher bursts — is capable. After all, Groupama beat Orange II's trans-Atlantic record last year, averaging nearly 30 knots all the way across, and  in the process, set a new 24-hour record of 796 miles. And no, 796 is not a typo.

So like we said, if you like your sailing heroes to prove their stuff on the water, with incredible courage and mind-boggling speeds, the Atlantic Ocean is the place to look right now.

- latitude / rs

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Banderas Bay Blast

December 3, 2007 – Banderas Bay, Mexico

Rod, the owner of the new Swimmer's Restaurant, and Life Saving Bar, located on the beach at the dinghy landing in Punta Mita, is coming through for the Banderas Bay Blast and Pirates For Pupils. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Good news for those participating in this weekend's Banderas Bay Blast:

1) Christian Mancebo has declared that all participants in Leg One from Paradise Marina to La Cruz will receive free berthing Friday night at his new Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz. What's more, Christian will be providing cold drinks when the boats arrive. Just one thing — at this time, water is in very short supply at the marina, so if you want it, you will have to pay for it.

After the docktails, the entire group will be heading up to Philo's, who will be ready with pizzas, ribs, cold drinks and hot music, starting at 7 p.m.

2) Following Saturday's Leg Two from La Cruz to Punta Mita, there will be panga service provided by the new — and oh, so lovely — Swimmer's Restaurant. So if you stop in and have a drink there before moving on to the Punta Mita Yacht & Surf Club — i.e. Margarita Restaurant, about 250 yards down the beach —  nobody would mind. In fact, Rod, the owner of Swimmers, is thinking about  establishing a shoreboat service for boats in the anchorage on a seasonal basis.

By the way, Swimmer's is the last restaurant at Punta Mita to the west, and is at the foot of the breakwater where cruisers have always tied their dinghies.

3) If anyone can find Radio Rob in P.V., it's possible there will be wi-fi available in the Punta Mita anchorage soon — maybe even this weekend. Latitude has bought the necessary equipment and will be happy to shuttle Rob out, while Swimmer's will provide the Internet service.

4) The Pirates for Pupils lunch 'banquet' — don't forget your pirate costumes — will be held at Swimmer Restaurant starting at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, just prior to the start of the Pirates for Pupils Spinnaker Run for Charity back to Paradise Marina. After the lunch, there will be panga service out to the boats — again, provided by Swimmer's Restaurant.

Watch out for infections in the tropics! Gillian of the Alameda-based Catalina 42 Destiny got an infection on her elbow in Mexico, which then blew up like crazy. Fortunately, she received excellent - and inexpensive - treatment at the AmeraMed Hospital next to the Vallarta Marina. In any event, the injury will not keep her out of the Banderas Bay Blast. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

It would be a huge help to everyone, particularly those providing food and panga service, to get some idea of how many people will be attending. So please email Richard and let him know if your boat (and how many crew) will participate. As it stands now, the entry list is growing each day. Yesterday afternoon Wayne, Carol and Mary on the 45-ft Capricorn Cat showed up at Punta Mita — simply because they found somebody's dinghy drifting a mile offshore — and reported they are in, and that a number of boats they've been hanging with at Isla Isabella and Chacalla are in. Then Pete Boyce of the Tiburon-based Sabre 40 Edelweiss III mentioned that he and a total of four crew will be flying in to participate too. As much advance notice as possible is appreciated; entries will be accepted right up to the start of the event on Friday afternoon.

For event instructions, visit the Vallarta YC, Philo's or the Punta Mita Yacht & Surf Club (aka Margarita's restaurant in Punta Mita.)

- latitude / rs

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