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Weekend Racing Wrap-up

April 27, 2009 – Coast to Coast

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Cleve Hardaker's Sojourn crew pulled off a huge Newport Ensenada Race, raking in no fewer than four trophies and a $5,000 watch while winning the race overall - in a Catalina 30! © 2018 Rich Roberts

Newport to Ensenada Race — To win this year's Ensenada Race overall, you didn't need a canting-keel maxi or an ORMA 60 trimaran; all you needed was — a Catalina 30? That turned out to be the right choice for San Diego's Cleve Hardaker as his Sojourn, hailing from Silver Gate YC, won the President of Mexico Trophy and a $5,000 Corum watch for first overall, plus hardware for finishing first overall in PHRF, first in PHRF-K, and yet another trophy for being the first Catalina. Which begged the question, how would he get it all home?
"I'm worried about that," he said, smiling. "It's a small boat."
The 'little Catalina that did,' finished the race at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning — faster than we've ever finished the race, on boats a lot faster than a Catalina 30. While the economy and security concerns apparently drove down the number of boats in the final count to 270 entries this year, only three of the 260 starters dropped out as the fleet enjoyed enough steady breeze to see everyone into Ensenada by 4 p.m. on Saturday! On the elapsed-time side, Magnitude 80 set a new monohull elapsed-time record of 10h, 37m, 50s, averaging just under 12 knots over the 125-mile course.

Sojourn's crew, like many of the boats this year, never had to tack and only made one jibe into Todos Santos Bay. Kathy Spinner, the primary driver, Mark Spinner, Buz Boyd and race rookie Brendan Inglis rounded out Hardaker's crew.

"Now," Hardaker said, nodding to the rookie Inglis, "he thinks they're all this way."

A word of advice for Inglis: Retire from Ensenada races — that was as good as it gets.

Magnus Olsson may not seem the part of the stoic Scandinavian when doing a Revolutionary War re-enactment, but the 60-year-old skipper of Ericsson 3 sailed much of Leg Six nursing a bruised back, after being washed into one of the boat's steering pedestals. The 'Nordic team' aboard E 3 is on a tear, having won Leg Five and arriving second into Boston. © 2018 Ellen Hoke

Volvo Ocean Race — Ericsson Racing Team's two boats finished an emphatic 1-2 in Boston after nearly 15-and-a-half days of sailing since Leg Six started in Rio. Sailing's only five-time Olympic medallist, Brazilian Torben Grael, and his crew on Ericsson 4 finished just after 4 p.m. local time, taking the leg win while increasing the boat's overall race lead to 13 points.

“It feels fantastic," Grael said. "I think we had a very good leg. We were always very close to the other boats. I think it was very important when we gybed a few days ago. After that, there were not many options. . . It's one more step toward our objective.”

While Ericsson 4's race so far has been pretty remarkable, perhaps more remarkable is the fact that after 4,900 miles of racing Ericsson 4 finished just 12 minutes ahead of Magnus Olsson's Ericsson 3, which in turn finished just five minutes ahead of the previous leg-leader, Bouwe Bekking's Telefónica Blue.

“Of course we are really happy,” said the ebullient 60-year-old Olsson — who spent much of the leg nursing a bruised back suffered in a collision with one of the boat's steering pedestals. “My back is not too bad; the pain at the beginning was a lot, but my crew did all the work."

Despite leading the leg with a thousand miles to go, Telefónica Blue's Bekking, ever the optimist, was pleased with the boat's third-place finish.

“We had a really good comeback after two horrible days," he said. "Passing Puma and nearly catching Ericsson 3 was great. It has been fantastic and it's really nice to be back here. We've had some shocking times, but we've come back to a real high”.

Ken Read's Puma never really had a shot at making a grand entrance in her homeport, finishing fourth ahead of Fernando Echavarri on Telefónica Black, Roberto Bermudez de Castro on Delta Lloyd and Ian Walker on Green Dragon. For more reports check out

- latitude / rg

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Fall Crew List Party

Classy Deadline the 15th

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See the current magazine here.

Swine Flu in Mexico . . . & California & Elsewhere

April 27, 2009 – All Around The World

It's nice to know that the new and sometimes deadly swine flu — which is a combo of swine, avian and human flu — that started in Mexico was nice enough to not get going until the cruising season in Mexico pretty much ended. Since this flu strain only has an incubation period of 48 hours, if you were down in Mexico but have been back for more than two days, you won't get it from having been south of the border.

Just how serious is this flu? Experts don't seem to have any idea at this early stage. It could be over very quickly, or it could develop into something really terrible.

Carnitas won't give you swine flu . . . but the guy serving them might. © 2018 Webb Logg

What would we do if we needed to go to our boat in Mexico? It turns out that we do need to go to our boat, which is currently in La Paz, to get her home before that June 1 start of hurricane season. Having planned on flying to the boat later this week, we're going to hold off until there is more clarity about what's happening. What would we do if we were on our boat in Mexico? We'd head out to an anchorage and stay there until more is known.

As no doubt everyone has heard, the best ways to prevent swine flu are to keep away from groups of people, wash your hands often, don't shake hands, and remember that this stuff happily lives on money, keyboards, doorknobs and other common areas. You can, however, eat pork and not worry about getting the swine flu.

Above all, don't freak out — at least not until instructed to.

- latitude / rs

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Moms Love Latitude Gear

April 27, 2009 – Latitude 38 World Headquarters

Mothers Day
Flowers that wilt and die or eye-catching gear she can wear all year? You know the answer.
Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Mother's Day is hurtling toward us at lightning speed, and what better gift for Mom than something pretty from Latitude 38's online chandlery? Flowers are soooo 1982 and candy will just make her feel fat afterward. Give the gift she can enjoy all year 'round!

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Life Before Google Earth

April 27, 2009 – Latitude 38 World Headquarters

Ol' Ptolemy's maps contained a bit of mis-information, but considering what he had to work with, they are truly amazing. © 2018 Webb Logg

With modern technological advances impacting virtually every aspect of our lives these days, it's easy to take many of them for granted. Consider, for example, the realm of geography and navigation. As every middle-aged sailor will recall, sailing offshore in the days before GPS ('BGPS') was a lot more dicey than it is today. If you practiced good seamanship, you always had a pretty good idea of where you were, but out in the middle of the ocean, beyond the reach of radio direction finders, navigation was a guestimate at best, especially during stints of bad weather. By comparison, of course, this is a splendid time to sail and navigate, whether you're voyaging around the world, or simply trying to make your way through a Central Bay fog bank.

The same can be said for 'armchair navigation'. Here at Latitude 38 World Headquarters, we're so addicted to using Google Earth for confirming locations and measuring distances, that it's hard to remember life without it ('BGE'). And it's amazing to think how far we've come in a relatively short period of time. Although Aristotle devised arguments that the Earth was round about 350 B.C., it wasn't until 1,800 years later, when Columbus 'discovered' the New World — or the New World discovered Columbus, as some like to say — that the theories of Aristotle and other round earth proponents were universally accepted. Imagine how hard it was to find offshore crew back in the days when folks thought there was an aburpt edge to fall off at the end of every ocean!

Can't get away to go cruising? No worries, you can always navigate the planet with Google Earth. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Probably the best known of the ancient geographers was Claudius Ptolemy (A.D. 90-168), a Greek who lived during the Roman era. Although he made some substantial errors on his famous maps, it's mind-boggling to think that his were the only maps available to European explorers 14 centuries later! All things considered, we'd much prefer to be living in the age of Google Earth. Now, please excuse us while we get back to navigating the canals of Chilean Patagonia.

- latitude / at

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