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Check Out the June Latitude

May 31, 2013 – San Francisco Bay Area


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Pick up your copy of Latitude 38 today! Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As you read this, the June issue of Latitude 38 is making its way around the Bay Area and beyond. Pay special attention to the cover, featuring Zamazaan in May's Great Vallejo Race, then turn to page 85 to see the cover we almost ran. Both were taken by Bay Area marine photog Erik Simonson, and both are great, but very different. Tough choice! 

We also have a full report on the race itself, a complete break-down on the tragic death of AC sailor Bart Simpson, tips on taking a trip up the Petaluma and an interview with Stan Honey about LiveLine (see the related post below). Of course that's just a tiny portion of what you'll find in the magazine, which is also available as a free download from our site. Grab your copy for a little leisurely weekend reading, then be sure to tell us which cover you liked best!

- latitude / ladonna

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Made in Santa Cruz Race Week

May 31, 2013 – Santa Cruz, CA

Wednesday Night Race
As the sun sank low in the west, the breeze increased and clocked to the north for Wednesday night's race in Santa Cruz. This is the Express 37 Escape. © 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

Wednesday night races in Santa Cruz are about as close to the ideal of a beer can race as you can get, with no entry fee, no entry form, no race documents, no start line and no results. One boat is the 'rabbit', and the others start off its stern. It's not run by the yacht club, and therefore this week's race couldn't be an official event of Made in Santa Cruz Race Week. However, Race Week swelled the ranks of the beer can fleet to more than 35 boats, as out-of-town Moore 24s and Santa Cruz 27s used the casual race as a practice for their Nationals, which start today. They got to practice in plenty of wind and flat seas – the surf is still not up in Surf City.

Boat prep in Santa Cruz
The center of activity in the West Harbor: Alan Wirtanen prepares to step the mast of his black Jester, while Morgan Larson reties Grendel's bowline, as photojournalist Jeremy Leonard interviews him. Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Official Race Week events resumed on Thursday, with the entertaining Jester race. Built by Moore Sailboats, these 8-ft dinghies are as despised as El Toros are beloved in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sailed not by juniors-in-training, but by adults who claim they are "too old for these boats," they used to be raced regularly, but have been sitting idle for 10 years. Nevertheless, 16 showed up for three late-afternoon races. The starts took place right under the hoist, and the windward mark was the red harbor entrance buoy. Each race was won by a different sailor: Mike Holt, Chris Watts, and Dennis Bassano, who "pulled off the old port-tack start at the pin end" in the last race. Chris Watts won overall. Ellen Kett and Janie Larson were the two women sailors; Janie's son Morgan took over for her in the last race. The illustrious grand prix sailor is back home for the Moore 24 Nationals. 

Jester Race
Jester racer Ellen Kett in Snail chases Serge Pond in Pocket Rocket. Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Jester race was immediately followed by the Concours d'Elegance. For those of us with some vague idea of Santa Cruz boat-building history, it was a thrill to see Grendel and Summertime, both looking lovely, in the water surrounded by their offspring Moore 24s. We'll have more on that in a feature article in the July issue of Latitude 38. The Wizard of Santa Cruz himself, Bill Lee, presided over the Concours, joined by fellow judges Skip Allan, Dave Wahle, and Eileen Sundet, who made the rounds of 20 entries.

Summertime
The newly restored Moore 24 plug Summertime, built in 1969, took a spin around the harbor yesterday. Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

For much more, see www.madeinsantacruzraceweek.com.

- latitude / chris

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Ad: You Can Make a Difference!

May 31, 2013 – Alameda, CA

Protect the Bay

© 2017 / www.coast4u.org

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Icom Sees the Light

May 31, 2013 – Bellevue, WA


Icom has agreed to replace crumbling cords. © 2017 Gordon Long

In the March and other recent issues of Latitude there have been reader complaints about microphone cords falling apart on their otherwise highly regarded Icom radios. Icom had not been as responsible as many of their customers had hoped, but fortunately that has changed.
 
"We've been in contact with Icom," reports Charles Fort, Director of Consumer Protection at BoatUS, "and they have agreed to replace the cords at no charge, regardless of model or warranty status. Owners will need to fill out a Repair Submission form found HERE and send the microphone and cable, along with a copy of the form (keep one for yourself) to: ICOM America, Bellevue Service Center, 2380 116th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004."
 
We're filing this under 'better late than never'.

- latitude / richard

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Stan Honey's Digital Magic

May 31, 2013 – San Francisco Bay

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing tech guru and three-time circumnavigator Stan Honey for a June-edition article (out today). In it, you'll learn about how Stan's LiveLine graphics will be superimposed over live video of this summer's Louis Vuitton challenger series, the Red Bull Youth America's Cup and the AC 34 finals.


The LiveLine graphics created for America's Cup 34 events are simply amazing. They will greatly aid both sailors and non-sailors in understanding the nuances of match racing at any given moment. © 2017 LiveLine / ACEA

Here's an out-take from our reporter's notebook about some of Stan's team's earlier work that you may find interesting — and may help you settle a bar bet:

Latitude 38 — "This question has been making me scratch my head for years: When a football player is running down the field and crosses the superimposed yellow first down line that your team created, why doesn't the yellow line cross over the player's body? Is there a simple way to explain this, because we assume it's a similar issue with America's Cup boats?"

Stan — "Yeah, we do the same thing here. I'll explain it for football: We measure where the camera is, and we measure the pan, tilt, zoom, focus of the camera, — 30 times a second — so we know exactly what part of the real world is in the frame of video. In the case of football, we know where the yellow line is supposed to be, because we've entered in that it's on the left 48.1 or whatever it is, and we've measured the crown of the field. So then we compute every pixel that we should turn yellow. But before we turn it yellow, we look at the color of every pixel, and we check to see that the color is the appropriate shade of green or brown to be on the field, and that it's not the appropriate shade to be on an athlete.

"Only if that pixel is showing the field, do we turn it yellow. So we draw around the athletes. And the interesting thing is that even if the Niners, with their brown pants, are playing Green Bay, with their green jerseys, the computer and the camera can do a good enough job in telling the slight difference in colors so that we can still draw around the athletes.

"In sailing we do the same thing. It's much harder in sailing because the water has a very rapidly changing color, based on whether there is sun or clouds or shade, or whether there's a puff or a light spot. And some of the boats have sort of gray hulls — the same color as the water in some cases. So it's a lot trickier, but we do the best we can. Occasionally you'll see us screw it up and we'll draw a little bit on one of the boats. But for the most part we're able to do a good enough job to produce the illusion that the graphics are on the water."

Latitude 38 — "Amazing!"

Check the AC website for updated TV coverage, which will include LiveLine graphics. And be aware also that most or all of the races will be available live streaming on the Internet. So if you plan to watch from the water or along the Cityfront, be sure to bring your iPad or other wifi device. 

- latitude / andy

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