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Picture-Perfect Tahitian Welcome

June 27, 2012 – Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia

Papeete welcome party
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

With their pre-departure anxieties a distant memory, Puddle Jumpers were all smiles at the opening party of this year's Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

It goes against the very nature of cruising to have to be someplace on a particular date. But well over 100 South Pacific cruisers made special efforts to attend this year's Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous, held last weekend (June 22-24). Because we're sitting in a thatch-roofed bungalow with sketchy wi-fi and our laptop is about to die, we'll just give you some highlights here and save the full-blown report for the August 1 edition of Latitude 38 magazine.

When we arrived in Papeete last Thursday there was good news and bad from local weather prognosticators: Plenty of wind was predicted for Saturday's sailing rally from Tahiti to Moorea (roughly 16 miles), but rain was expected throughout the weekend. Luckily, the forecast was only half right. We had booming 22- to 25-knot winds for the crossing with rowdy seas which made for spirited sailing, but the rain gods held their water until after dark each day.

first dance
You know you're in Polynesia when you find yourself witnessing a dance show like this one. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The annual Rendezvous has a dual purpose: to celebrate the fleet's successful crossing from various points along the West Coast of the Americas, and to introduce the arriving sailors to highly revered traditions of Polynesian culture in music, dance, sport and cuisine. Thus, it becomes a memorable benchmark in the travels of all who attend.

rally race start
With plenty of wind to power the fleet, the start of the rally-race to Moorea's Opunohu Bay was serenaded by a troupe of Tahitian drummers. © 2018

In addition to our full report in next month's magazine, we'll have a recap on the crossings of the entire Pacific Puddle Jump fleet in September. Online sign-ups for the 2013 Puddle Jump will begin in December, and next year's Rendezvous will be held again in late June (dates TBA soon).

race to moorea
The seas were lumpy, but the wind was strong, making for a fun, fast crossing. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

fruit carriers race
The ancient fruit carrier's race is always fun for all ages. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

girls team
An all-girl canoe team from four different boats strikes a pose with the Marquesan drummers. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

canoe race
The highlight of Sunday's beach activities is always the six-person outrigger canoe races, where cruisers join local pros in a round-robin competition. Big fun! Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / andy

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Fall Crew List Party

Classy Deadline the 15th

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See the current magazine here.

Ex-Captives to Cruise Again

June 27, 2012 – England

Paul and Rachel Chandler, who were kidnapped by Somali pirates near the Seychelles in October '09 and were released a little over a year later, are ready to head out again on their repaired Rival 38 Lynn Rival. The Chandlers were held for 388 days before their captors accepted about $700,000 in ransom, and they say they still owe friends and family a lot of money. While those same people are supportive of their decision to continue cruising, Rachel says, "some of our friends don't understand our passion for sailing, for cruising, for traveling." But from their perspective, if they'd stopped cruising, the pirates would have won. "If we weren't to go back to doing that we'd have a huge hole in our lives," says Paul. "We would have been defeated."

Paul and Rachel Chandler's book Hostage drops in the U.S. in September. © 2018 Chicago Review Press

Incidentally, we've received a review copy of the Chandlers account of their ordeal, Hostage: A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Pirates, and what we've read has been gripping. Did you know, for example, that Lynn Rival was recovered quickly after the attack and was stored in a yard in England for the year the Chandlers were captive? The book will be released this September by Chicago Review Press and can be pre-ordered from Amazon. (There also appears to be British release of the book, so if you don't want to wait for the 'Americanized' edition, you can pick it up used now.)

Looking emaciated, Debbie Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari's family say the couple were 'fattened up' by the pirates for the last several weeks of their captivity. © 2018 AP

In other Somali pirate news, South Africans Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz were released last Thursday after 20 months in captivity. The couple were sailing toward Mozambique in October 2010 on a yacht delivery when they were taken hostage (a third crewmember managed to escape). It's estimated that the pirates were paid $700,000 for their release.

- latitude / ladonna

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Latitude 38 Online or Offline

June 27, 2012 – Mill Valley

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© 2018 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC /

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© 2018 John Mann

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Racing Round-Up

June 27, 2012 – San Francisco Bay and Beyond

J/105 racing
J/105s broad-reaching on a westerly in SYC's Invitational. The boat in the foreground is Doug Bailey's Akula. © 2018 Roxanne Fairbairn /

Competition among the 19 entries was intense in last weekend's J/105 Invitational Regatta, a series of five races run by Sausalito YC west of Alcatraz. "Racing on both days was in clear weather into a flood with winds from 215 to 245 degrees at 10-20 knots," reports regatta chair John Cashman. "This was a 'Class A' event for the fleet, with Blackhawk, skippered by Scooter Simmons, winning by a clear margin with three bullets, a second, and a fourth, for a total of 9 points. Arbitrage, skippered by Bruce Stone, was second with 20 points, and Risk, co-skippered by Jason Woodley and Scott Whitney, came in third with 27 points.

"Good sportsmanship was exhibited by the low number of protests which were heard at the end of each race day," adds Cashman. "None of the protests involved any of the top three finishers." (The local J/105 fleet has a long-standing reputation for protests.) For complete results, see

Opti Heavy Weather
Opti kids race on the Cityfront in the Opti Heavy Weather Regatta. © 2018 Chris Ray /

After a foggy, drizzly, cold start on Friday, St. Francis YC's Heavy Weather Optimist Regatta got a break from the weather gods and enjoyed sunny, breezy weather on the weekend. Frankie Dair and Chance Weston led the championship division, with 21 and 22 points respectively. In the Green Division for younger, less experienced sailors, Sarah Young bested Matthew Wright with 15 points to his 23.

Frankie Dair
Frankie Dair in the Red Subdivision won the regatta by just one point. © 2018 Chris Ray /

The Catalina 22 Nationals were hosted by Gold Country YC on Scotts Flat Lake near Nevada City on June 11-14. Winning the Gold Fleet, Bob Scott is the new Catalina 22 National Champion and the Spinnaker Fleet Champion. Randy Pawlowski finished second and Doug Brennan came in third. "Bob Scott was out of Lake Lanier, GA, and Randy was from Florida," said Brennan. "The rest of us in the Gold Fleet were from California." Silver Fleet competitors came from as far away as Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska.

Halligan on the trailer
Halligan hooligans, left to right: Glenn Warner, Doug Thome and Bob Scott. © 2018 Doug Brennan

Lynn Van Hooser of Arlington, TX, is the 2012 Silver Fleet Champion. Going into the final race on Thursday, she was five points behind fleet leader Wes Hoffschildt of Foresthill, CA. Van Hooser scored a bullet in Thursday's only race, which put her in a tie with Hoffschildt, and she won the tie-breaker. She is also the recipient of the Betty Gay Clements award in recognition of being the highest finishing of four woman skippers. See

Temptress and Dark Star at a leeward mark.
Ray Godwin's Farr 40 Temptress (left) leads Dark Star in the latter's only loss all weekend at LBRW. © 2018 Rich Roberts

Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week was held on June 22-24 in plenty of breeze. Jeff Janov's Dark Star dominated the Farr 40 class with six wins in seven races, with a lone loss to Ray Godwin's Temptress. "They sailed really well," Janov said of his Long Beach rival. "This fleet is really tough. Anytime you do well it's very rewarding." Three others completed perfect weekends: Larry Spencer's Blue Star in Olson 30s, Mark Surber's J/125 Derivative in PHRF-2, and John Sangmeister's Morelli ProSail 40 catamaran in the Random Leg 1 class that sailed offshore in daily races of 18.5 to 27.5 miles. We'll have more in the July issue of Latitude 38, which comes out on Friday, but you can check out the results in the meantime at

Sixteen Women's Match Racing teams, including the 12 selected for the Olympics, are competing in the ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds in Gothenburg, Sweden, June 26-30. After one day of racing, the early favorites have proven their worth and taken control, including Anna Tunnicliffe's Team Maclaren, which has held the top spot in the rankings since September 7. See

- latitude / chris

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