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The Fleet is In!

November 9, 2012 – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Scot Free and the rest of the fleet had smooth sailing down Baja. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Wind was very light — and sometimes non-existent — during the final leg of this year’s Baja Ha-Ha rally, but the promise of hot tropical weather was definitely fulfilled. Both air and water temperatures along the Baja Peninsula were substantially hotter than normal, which meant better-than-normal fishing and being able to stand middle-of-the-night watches in shorts and tank tops.


Plenty of boats in the fleet caught enough fish to share. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Since our last report from Turtle Bay, the fleet sailed 240 miles to remote Bahia Santa Maria, on the outside of the peninsula that defines the northern basin of Mag Bay. Sailing conditions were spectacular, with moderate winds of 8-18 knots and relatively flat seas. Several skippers exclaimed that the two-day run had been the sweetest sailing they’d ever done.


This is one spectacular way to start the day. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Swimming in 74° water, hiking and beachcombing were the principal activities during the lay day, last Monday, followed by the annual BSM beach party on Tuesday — complete with a four-piece rock ‘n’ roll band that came all the way from La Paz and across the desert to perform. 


Singlehanded TransPac vet Jim Kellam (right) of the Spencer 35 Haulback is no longer singlehanded. His new bride Janet, seen here shading her fair Canadian skin from the harsh Mexico sun, is enjoying their honeymoon. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A rolling start was declared at the 7 a.m. start of Leg Three, Wednesday, meaning that all boats could motor down the course at 5 knots without penalty until the breeze filled in. Sadly, it was late afternoon by the time there was enough wind to carry spinnakers, and even that petered out during the night. But the sky overhead was ablaze with brilliant stars and the sea state was smooth as silk. 


The fleet anchored at BSM. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Most boats arrived in Cabo early Thursday having motored much of the way, but at least two boats, including Camelot and Talion — both from Oregon — toughed it out and sailed the whole way. They were still out there inching along last night while hundreds of their fleet mates were whooping it up at the famous dance bar Squid Roe. Needless to say, a good time was had by all. Look for our complete Baja Ha-Ha recap in the December edition of Latitude 38

 

- latitude / andy

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Classy Deadline the 15th


Artemis Launches Their AC72

November 9, 2012 – Alameda


The first Artemis Racing AC72 was christened in Alameda on Monday. © 2017 Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing

If you thought the devastating loss of Team Oracle's AC72 USA 17 meant you wouldn't get to watch one of the monster cats plying the waters of San Francisco Bay for several months, then you obviously forgot about the Challenger of Record, Artemis Racing. Led by Bay Area golden boy Paul Cayard, the Swedish team is based in Alameda and launched the first of their two AC72s on Monday. 


Barbro Osher gets a helping hand from CEO Paul Cayard. © 2017 Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing

Sweden's Consul General Barbro Osher — who has also been dubbed the 'Godmother of Artemis' — christened the cat. "We are extremely excited to get out sailing with this first boat and the learning opportunity it represents," said designer Juan Kouyoumdjian. "Sailing here, in the realities of San Francisco Bay, makes the lessons hard, but extremely relevant."

Watch for the boat's bright red hulls on the Bay next week. Training will be led by French multihull legend Loïck Peyron, who will sail with the team this month before continuing with France's Energy Team for the AC World Series.

- latitude / ladonna

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Rock That Shirt!

November 9, 2012 – Mill Valley


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Race Notes

November 9, 2012 – San Francisco; Dublin, Ireland; and Les Sables d'Olonne, France

Taking care of business – Latitude's Racing Desk has received too many press releases this week to hold them all for the December issue. So here's a 'Lectronic version of Race Notes:

US Sailing held their annual meeting in San Francisco — for the first time in more than 30 years — on October 31-November 3. On Saturday they announced that their newly elected board members include America's Cup PRO John Craig of San Rafael, and former Olympic and America's Cup sailor JJ Fetter of San Diego. Go here for more.

John Craig
America's Cup PRO John Craig has been elected to the US Sailing Board of Directors. © 2017 / www.americascup.com

The awards dinner on Friday at San Francisco's Marriott Marquis honored Dick Rose of Seattle with the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for his outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing. Read more about Rose and the other honorees here. Then US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider held their annual awards dinner at St. Francis YC on Saturday. West Coast sailors honored with "Charlie Awards" (named for Charlie Leighton) were Women's Match Racing crew Molly Vandemoer of Redwood City (Commercial Award) and Men's 470 crew Graham Biehl of San Diego (Social Media Award, with his skipper, Stu McNay). Read details about the team awards here.

US Sailing is accepting nominations for Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. If you're a member, you can go here to make your nominations.

When the results of the election were announced on Tuesday, not everyone was pleased with the result. We're talking of course about the storm of controversy following ISAF's announcement of Brit Ben Ainslie as male Rolex World Sailor of the Year. The achievements of the Olympic gold medalist, who broke Paul Elvstrom's record for the most Olympic medals in sailing and who shifted gears in a matter of days to AC World Series skipper, are impressive. But his behavior on the race course in the 2011 Finn Worlds tarnished his reputation (Ainslie was disqualified from two races for jumping a media boat driver who'd gotten in his way). Ainslie's been Sailor of the Year four times before, in 1998, 2002 and 2008.

Lijia Xu
Laser Radial sailor Lijia Xu won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. © 2017 / www.london2012.com

The female winner is China's Lijia Xu, who won the gold medal at London 2012 in the Laser Radial. She's the first Asian sailor to win an Olympic gold medal in a dinghy class. She spoke eloquently of her passion for the sport: "Sailing has given me the chance to chase my dreams and the stage to show my potential. It has provided me with the opportunity to see, feel and explore the world. Sailing leads me to a path of a better life, a life full of vitality, excitement and joyful experiences.” The announcement and presentation were made at Mansion House in Dublin, Ireland. See www.sailing.org/worldsailor.

Ben Ainslie and Lijia Xu
ISAF Rolex Sailors of the Year Ben Ainslie and Lijia Xu strike a pose with their new accessories. © 2017 Rolex / Kurt Arrigo

Nineteen male and one female solo sailors will start the Vendée Globe non-stop race around the world this Saturday, with thousands of spectators expected to gather at Les Sables d'Olonne, France, to see them off. Most of us can't be there in person, but we can watch online at www.vendeeglobe.org. The start's at 12:05 GMT — counting on our fingers, we judge that to be 4:05 a.m. PST.

Enough talk. Time to go sailing!

- latitude / chris

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