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Weekend Racing Wrap-up

April 26, 2010 – The Bay

Ay Caliente! Beneteau First 40.7
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Aaron Kennedy's Beneteau First 36.7 Ay Caliente! truckin' home from the Lightship in Saturday's OYRA Duxship race. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

If you were racing this weekend, chances are it was in a 'ship.' Whether it was the Duxship, the Bullship or a wooden ship, you likely had great breeze, plenty of sunshine, and a lot more fun than we did. The OYRA's Duxship race got breeze in the 20-plus range with seas in the 10-ft range on Saturday. The 25-mile Cityfront-Duxbury Reef-Lightship-home jaunt outside the Bay brought out a quality fleet, including the elapsed-time winner, Chip Megeath's R/P 45 Criminal Mischief which finished in 4h, 5m, 28s, but fell to third in PHRO 1A behind Kevin Flanigan and Greg Nelsen's Fox 44 Ocelot and Andy Costello and Peter Krueger's J/125 Double Trouble. Overall honors went to the Shorthanded division-winner, John Kernot's Moore 24 Banditos. PHRO 1 went to Mark Howe's Farr 36 War Pony. David Britt's Beneteau 10R Split Water won PHRO 2, while Jim Quanci's Cal 40 Green Buffalo went away with the honors in PHRO 3.

Max Fraser leads the way in the 57th annual Bullship race. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

Two weeks ago, Bullship Grand Admiral John Amen had a tough call to make — start, or postpone for a week or two as boat after boat arrived at the Sausalito YC the morning of April 10. A building southwesterly in front of a front arrived earlier than forecasted and the Bay was capping by 6 a.m. Amen girded himself for any criticism and made the right call by any metric, postponing for two weeks to allow for changing the arrangements and getting a new USCG permit. This Saturday, Amen and the rest of the El Toro faithful were rewarded for their pragatism when, just minutes before the 9 a.m. start, the 24 sailors in the 57th Bullship got a 6-knot breeze that carried them across the Bay from Sausalito to San Francisco Marina in a little over an hour. Aptos' Max Fraser won in the boat he grew up sailing, but had since sold and borrowed back for the event. Fraser started at the pin end of the line and, aside from one 100-ft covering hitch, pretty much sailed straight across the Bay in the light flood, and was the first to find the relief on the Cityfront. Gordie Nash just pipped Amen for second at the post, while last year's winner, Skip Shapiro, was the top 'Clydesdale' (or skipper over 200 lbs).

On the Circle, the WBRA convened for two races on the season-opening weekend hosted by Richmond YC. Significant was the resurgent Bear boat division, which turned out six boats in its recent-memory WBRA debut. The Folkboats brought out 11 teams and the Knarrs 18.

- latitude / rg

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Abby Sunderland to Stop in Cape Town

April 26, 2010 – Cape Town, South Africa

Abby is undoubtedly disappointed in having to end her quest for the record, but she should be proud of what she's accomplished so far. © 2018 Gizara Arts /

It was announced on Abby Sunderland's blog yesterday that the 16-year-old record-seeker would be stopping in Cape Town, South Africa, to deal with a potentially dangerous autopilot problem. The Thousand Oaks sailor left Cabo San Lucas on February 6 in a bid to become the youngest person to solo circumnavigate non-stop, and had difficulties with her self-steering almost from the beginning. Her main autopilot failed some time ago, and now her back-up has become tempermental. Having no windvane on her Open 40 Wild Eyes, Abby and her team have made the wise choice of giving up her record bid instead of pressing on and risking the loss of the autopilot altogether. "It's one thing to sail across an ocean with one well-working autopilot," her blog said. "it's another to keep going with one that is not at all reliable. It would be foolish and irresponsible for me to keep going with my equipment not working well." The posting says she will continue her voyage after repairs are made, though it's uncertain if it will be non-stop from there.

We congratulate Abby on sailing halfway around the world without stopping, which is an absolutely tremendous feat. That said, we're not at all surprised that it was equipment failure that ended her quest. "As four-time circumnavigator Scott Piper of the J/160 Pipe Dream IX told us on last year's Baja Ha-Ha," said the Grand Poobah, "'The biggest obstacle is breakage.' What surprises me is that Jessica Watson' S&S 34 Ella's Pink Lady has had very little breakage on her trip. Has anyone seen my copy of 1,001 Ways to Prepare and Eat Crow?"

Indeed, the 16-year-old Aussie is closing in on Sydney — she's just 1,500 miles away — but has had some rough-going in the last few days. "I was in my bunk asleep this time when we went over, and I was woken up when various objects and a whole lot of water landed on top of me," she wrote on her blog on Saturday. "It wasn't too bad as far as knockdowns go. I'd say the mast only just touched the water and there wasn't any damage." Her last knockdown, which was really a 180, damaged one of her solar panels — the worst damage she's seen for the entire voyage.

Jessica Watson was sailing under storm jib in rough weather that also pounded Jeanne Socrates. More of the same is forecast for the next few days. © 2018 Jessica Watson

Meanwhile, according to solo circumnavigator Jeanne Socrates, she and Jessica are very close to each other but Jeanne's attempts to contact Jessica or anyone on her team have been met with 'radio silence'. "Jess sent me a very nice email in February to say how sorry she was to hear of the repairs needed in Cape Town and asked me to email her when I left so we could talk on HF/SSB radio as we both sailed east," she posted on her site. "While my computer was still working, I was able to email her several times wishing her well and giving her my position but I never received a reply." Yesterday, Jeanne posted that she and her Najad 380 Nereida were buzzed by the same Coast Guard plane Jess reported talking to. "He called me Ella's Pink Lady. I asked him where she was. He came back and reported that she is 56 miles to the NNW. My worries confirmed — we crossed paths. But now I know she's astern of me." It seems strange that Jessica's team would not want her to be in contact with another solo sailor who is in such close proximity — even emails from us regarding the situation were ignored. We wish both Jeanne and Jess smooth sailing for the remainder of her trip, but according to the forecast, the ride looks bumpy for the next few days.

- latitude / ld

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Ad: Grand Opening

April 26, 2010 – Your Boat

© 2018 Just4Boats /

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The Email Scam Using Norm Goldie's Name

April 26, 2010 – Cyberworld

Last Friday we ran what we believed was a very suspicious email supposedly sent by the controversial Norm Goldie of San Blas asking for funds to pay for emergency medical care for a relative in England. Several readers reported getting the almost identical request for about the same amount of money needed, also for someone in England, but from someone else. In addition, Bruce Adornato writes, "I'm only a neurologist and not a gynecologist, but "critical uterine fibroid" are three words I've never heard strung together. Sort of like an emergency oil change."

A number of other similar skeptical comments would seem to confirm that Goldie's email has been hacked, and somebody is trying to rip off our readers and him. Indeed, phony requests for emergency funds on behalf of friends and relatives who are far away and not immediately available for contact have become a classic internet scam. Beware.

- latitude / rs

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Photo of the Day Revealed

April 26, 2010 – Ell Cove, Baranof Island, Alaska

This photo was taken just outside Ell Cove on the east side of Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska. Some of the more exotic guesses were Scotland, Crater Lake and even Costa Rica. © 2018 Sally Sailor

No one can say our readers aren't sharp. When we posted Friday's Photo of the Day contest challenging you to guess the location, we thought we'd receive far more varied responses, but almost all of the guesses were split between Lake Tahoe and the Pacific Northwest. Most noted the cold-water seaweed, gravelly 'sand', the snowy mountain peak, and even the ferry far, far in the distance. But only one guess was correct, and to such a degree of accuracy that we had to award the winner not only a hat and T-shirt, but a bumper sticker and pen too! "Could it be Alaska, near Baranof Island?" asked Ted Biggs of Santa Cruz.

And the winner is...Ted Biggs by guessing Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska. No telling what he would have won if he'd guessed Ell Cove! © 2018 Google Maps

Since the actual location of the shot was just outside Ell Cove on Southeast Alaska's Baranof Island, we were flabbergasted! How on earth could he have known that? Had he been there before? Is he just psychic? No, 'Captain Ted' employed some detective skills. "My clue was not the picture, though I thought with the snow in the mountains that it would either be Alaska or New Zealand . . . But wait, picture by 'Sally Sailor'? I searched your site and came up with this photo and caption:

After some chilly sailing near Sitka, Alaska, this sailor warmed up in a natural hot spring on Baranof Island. © 2018 Sally Sailor

"And it's such a nice-looking place, I'm sure they haven't wandered too far in that time. Good 'nuff for a guess, anyway." Congrats to Ted for having such fantastic deductive skills, but don't expect us to make that same mistake again. We're on to your wily ways. Thanks to everyone for playing!

- latitude / ld

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