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AC World Series Semifinals Today

June 29, 2012 – Newport, RI

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

An avant-garde conceptural art piece? No, it's a shot of Emirates Team New Zealand crew members trying to sort things out after their boat took a dive during yesterday's ACWS action. © 2018 Ellen Hoke

In the realm of international yacht racing all eyes are on Newport, RI today as the America's Cup World Series moves into the semifinal round of its match racing championship. Oracle Team USA's Jimmy Spithill faces Artemis Racing today and OTUSA's Russell Coutts will race Luna Rossa Piranha. Winners of the best-of-three match will move on to Sunday’s match racing championship — the conclusion of this year's multi-city series.

Saturday will be dedicated to fleet racing (see TV shed in our Weekend Update below).

The Bay Area's Ellen Hoke, having been deputized as a Latitude 38 roving reporter, gave us a behind-the-scenes update this morning after a briefing with AC's Iain Murray. "Emirates Team New Zealand (which flipped yesterday) was the first boat to capsize with the wing extension. Yes, rumors are true that the kevlar tip did fill with water." It was a very expensive day, she reports, as the overturned hulls suffered water damage, a pod camera was lost, and there was extensive electrical damage. Nevertheless, the boat will be back on the water today.

"All of the teams were working together with bits and pieces to help get ETNZ back on the water," Ellen reports. "There is a great attitude between the team bases as they help each other out." Thus far, no boat has missed a race due to repairs.

Jimmy with kids
Jimmy Spithill, seen here getting mobbed for autographs, had a banner day yesterday on the racecourse - and it was his 33rd birthday. © 2018 Ellen Hoke

Both Oracle Team USA crews put in excellent efforts yesterday, despite spotty wind conditions on much of the course. Spithill (who turned 33 yesterday) and his crew won the opening fleet race, followed moments later by Coutts and crew in second place. Later, both crews won their (best-of-three) quarterfinal matches 2-1.

"The fleet race began as scheduled at noon but the winds were light and patchy," reports OT USA. "On some portions of the racecourse the southwesterly seabreeze was filling, but other portions were in windless zones as the new breeze worked its way up the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. Spithill and crew nailed the start perfectly at the windward end and led the fleet at the first turning mark to great applause from the estimated 5,000 or so spectators lining the shoreline of Fort Adams State Park. Spithill led all the way around the race track to secure the win even though the crew’s one-time comfortable advantage was whittled to mere lengths approaching the finish.

fleet racing newport
Due to tricky winds yesterday, racing was particularly challenging, but both Oracle Team USA boats dominated. © 2018 Guilain Grenier/ORACLE TEAM USA

“We got a good jump at the start, but the breeze didn’t quite settle,” said Spithill. “There were a lot of passing lanes and a little bit of stop and go. But I thought JK (John Kostecki, tactician) did a really good job to get us through the mine fields. We were constantly turning our heads, but it was a good one to get under the belt.” Meanwhile, Coutts was admittedly feeling a bit rusty at the helm, as it was his first live ACWS action since last September. ". . .but he staged a furious rally to come from last place at the first leeward gate to second at the finish," the team reported. "Coutts worked the right side of the racecourse up the beat and found a fresh puff of wind that allowed him to overtake many of the competitors to the left of him." In the match racing, Spithill and crew beat Team Korea and Coutts’ boat defeated Luna Rossa Swordfish. See the website for more.

fleet racing start
Thursday's fleet and match racing drew huge crowds of spectators, but this weekend the turnout should be massive. © 2018 Ellen Hoke

- latitude / andy

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Singlehanded TransPac Starts Tomorrow

June 29, 2012 – Corinthian YC

This year's start probably won't be as windy as the beginning of the previous SHTP in 2010, but the racers won't care - they just want to get started! Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Tomorrow morning noon, 23 intrepid solo sailors will set out on the 18th Singlehanded TransPac, a 2,120-mile biennial slide from San Francisco Bay to idyllic Hanalei Bay on Kauai. Recent weather forecasts, if they're to be believed (which is never), indicate that the fleet has the whisper of a hope for a rhumbline course straight to Hanalei. Then again, anything can happen over a race this long.

For the first time, Solo TransPac boats will be fitted with Yellowbrick trackers, and folks at home can watch their progress on the race's site. You can also download the free 'Yellowbrick Race Viewer' app for your phone or iPad, and "buy" the race for £1.99 to watch their progress wherever you go.

Trackers will allow the viewing public to watch the race unfold in near-real time. © 2018 Yellowbrick

The fleet — with the exception of the Open 50, due to depth concerns — can be viewed this afternoon at Corinthian YC in Tiburon after 3 p.m. The public is welcome to come down the to docks, meet the skippers and check out their rides. Sailors are also encouraged to escort the fleet out the Gate tomorrow morning, and as an added bonus, you'll also get the spectacular site of the Great San Francisco Schooner Race fleet doing their thing at the same time.

- latitude / ladonna

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Ad: Catamaran Access

June 29, 2012 – Oakland, CA

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Weekend Racing Preview

June 29, 2012 – San Francisco Bay and Beyond

Gold Coast Australia crew
Gold Coast Australia's skipper cracks open (another) bottle of champagne. © 2018 Martin McKeown / onEdition

Congratulations (yet again!) to Gold Coast Australia, who have won the Nova Scotia to Northern Ireland race in the Clipper Round the World. Crossing the finish line off Greencastle on the north coast of Ireland at 0237 GMT this morning, the Aussies have secured their eleventh win after a tough, 2,350-mile, upwind battle across the North Atlantic. Upon arrival in Derry-Londonderry, Tasmanian skipper Richard Hewson said, “The worst part for us as a team was the lack of sleep, and we didn’t see sunshine for about two weeks. It was all worth it though… as before we knew it we were in Northern Ireland being welcomed by a flotilla of ships. Incredible!” See

If you're not lucky enough to be in Newport, RI this weekend. . .

Spectators at AC45 WS
A crowd of spectators enjoyed fine weather and hot racing in yesterday's AC45 World Series. Photo Latitude / John A.
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

. . . you can watch the AC45 World Series here:

On, Saturday, June 30, 11:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m  PDT. Coverage of match race and fleet race finals in Newport, RI, will be broadcast live on NBC-TV, Sunday, July 1, at 11:30 a.m. PDT.

Besides the start of the Singlehanded TransPac, which is covered above, Bay Area racing this Saturday includes the Great San Francisco Schooner Race, out of San Francisco YC. If you like watching the Master Mariners Regatta, this is another such treat for the eyes.

Also tomorrow, Island YC is running the Silver Eagle Race, a long distance Bay race, with divisions for one design, PHRF, BAMA and shorthanded boats. Registration closes tonight at midnight. The YRA has two races on their schedule tomorrow: OYRA's Half Moon Bay Race and WBRA #6 on the Cityfront. South Beach YC will have a two-day regatta this weekend for J/120s and J/111s. See

Richmond YC is hosting the three-day Santa Cruz 27 Nationals, beginning today in the Southampton Shoals and North Bay racing areas. Fourteen boats are registered, coming from as far away as Arizona and Washington.

Further upstream, Andreas Cove YC is hosting the Island to Island regatta, a race from Twitchell Island on the San Joaquin River down to San Francisco Bay, around Angel Island, and back to Twitchell Island. See for complete info.

- latitude / chris

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New Latitude Out Today! (Sorta)

June 29, 2012 – Latitude 38 World Headquarters

Due to a major hiccup at the printer, delivery of a large portion of the July edition of Latitude 38 magazine will be delayed until Monday.

July Latitude 38
If you're not in Marin, and can't wait until Monday, download the mag for free! Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Magazines will be available today, however, at our regular Marin County distribution points. And the full eBook version should be available for downloading (free) from our website by 5 p.m. today also.

We regret the inconvenience, as we're anxious to get all the latest sailing news from the Bay Area and beyond into your hands.

- latitude / andy

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