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Front Row for the Surf Show

June 14, 2013 – Tahiti, French Polynesia

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Known as the heaviest wave in the world, when Teahupoo gets revved up to full power, it's an awesome sight. We can't even imagine trying to surf it. © 2018 Caroline of Orkestern

One of the many cool things about world cruising is that you sometimes find yourself in the right place at the right time to experience amazing natural phenomena. That was the case early last week when Tahiti's world-famous surf break, Teahupoo (Cho-Poo), swelled to epic proportions, and several boatloads of newly-arrived cruisers were there to witness the spectacular show. 

Will and Sarah Curry of the Vancouver, BC-based Beneteau First 405 Hydroquest were among them: "We nailed it on the timing and caught one of the biggest swells of the year. Words can’t describe how amazing it was to be right off the break when the sets came through."

Will (foreground), Sarah (lime top) and their cruising buddies took in the show from the relative safety of their observation launch. © 2018 Caroline on Orkestern

They, and fellow Pacific Puddle Jumpers from the Freemantle, AUS-based Gunboat 52 Kiapa, the Anacortes, WA-based Lagoon 440 Double Diamond and the Sweden-based Orkestern, drove out to Tahiti Iti (an appendage of the main island) in rental cars, and hired a launch for a front-row view of the action.

"We knew the swell was coming," says Will. "On Friday night (May 31) we felt it. Huge waves were crashing over the protective reef on Tahiti’s west coast, turning the normally flat calm anchorage and mooring area into a surging mess of water, with some waves even breaking inside the reef"

What makes Teahupoo so beefy? As this illustration from the great surfing site shows, when big ocean swells hit the steep, uplifted coastline of Tahiti Iti, their mass is pushed up and folded into mountainous, perfectly formed surf breaks. © 2018 Sean Collins / Surfline/Wavetrack, Inc /

As Will explains, "The name Teahupoo translates in English to 'broken skulls,' so it’s predictably hardcore." In fact, just watching from the relative tranquility of a spectator boat can be a gnarly experience that's likely to get the old adrenaline pumping.

Meanwhile, many 2013 Pacific Puddle Jumpers will gather at Papeete on June 28 to take part in the annual three-day Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous. Both a celebration of the fleet's successful crossing from the West Coast of the Americas and a celebration of Polynesian cultural traditions in music, dance, sport and cuisine, the Rendezvous draws cruisers from many nations. Click here to register online.

Beginners need not apply. The wave is so big and so fast that dare-devil surfers have to be towed into the launch zone by Jet Skis. © 2018 Caroline of Orkestern

- latitude / andy

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Win Steve Miller Tickets

June 14, 2013 – AC Pavilion, San Francisco

The Steve Miller Band will be joined by the Doobie Brothers to kick off the America's Cup Concert Series at the AC Pavilion this summer. © 2018 Tim Brown

 Just a reminder to pop on over to to enter for a chance to win a pair of VIP box tickets to see the Steve Miller Band and the Doobie Brothers on June 21 — of course! — at the America's Cup Pavilion at Piers 27/29. Enter before 5 p.m. tonight; the winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. 

If you don't win, you can still buy tickets HERE, starting at $52. The America's Cup Event Authority has promised to donate a portion of each ticket sold to's youth outreach program. Good music and a good cause!


- latitude / ladonna

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Ad: Harken Eco Sand Shorts

June 14, 2013 – Cyberspace

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The MOD Squad In California

June 14, 2013 – San Diego

The MOD70 Orion has been sailing San Diego Bay, known for light winds, the last couple of days. Lowell North, long-retired founder of North Sails, and his wife Bea got to go along. With Lowell at the helm, Bea reports Orion hit 22 knots in just seven knots of true wind. We wonder if the Pope has ever gone faster. Certainly not on San Diego Bay.

- latitude / richard

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Weekend Racing Preview

June 14, 2013 – California and Chicago, IL

Frank Morrow's IMX38 Hawkeye in last year's Full Crew Farallones Race. Be safe out there! © 2018 Peter Lyons /

Links to fleet assignments and Sailing Instructions for tomorrow's OYRA Farallones Race can be found at the home page, YRA keeps busy the following Saturday with the Summer Sailstice Race, which is part of the Party Circuit, and WBRA Knox.

Knarrly action in last weekend's woodies regatta. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

This Saturday Lake Washington SC will host One Design #3. Registration opens at 12:30 and racing starts at 3. According to their email, "The weekend looks perfect for sailing. Wind 8-9 mph SSW and the temp in the low 80s. Come out race and then fire up the BBQ and have dinner at the club." Go to

Young sailors can compete in BAYS #2 at Richmond YC on June 15-16, then the Opti Heavy Weather Clinic on June 18-19, followed by the Opti Heavy Weather Regatta June 20-23, at StFYC.

Running this weekend at StFYC is the Kilroy Realty Corporation Match Race Championship in the club's J/22s. Several West Coast women are sailing in the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, with racing starting today at Chicago Match Race Center. Two California teams are among the eight sailing on Lake Michigan in Tom 28s. Shala Lawrence hails from San Diego and her crew are Julie Mitchell, Summer Greene, Tracy Nacke and Julie Servais. Katie Maxim of Napa is trading her umpire whistle for the tiller at this event, her first USWMRC. She has some fellow Bay Area sailors on her team: Stephanie Wondolleck and Janice Wondolleck of San Rafael, Kerry Sullivan, and Vicki Sodaro of Tiburon. West Coast crew members on other teams include Katie Pettibone, Ivy Binns, and Liz Hjorth.

South Tower Race
A sweet moment for Don Quinly's Cal 2-27 Sweets III in last year's South Tower Race. Photo Courtesy Sweets III
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Stockton Sailing Club's South Tower race begins on Friday, June 21, at 10 a.m. According to SSC, "The South Tower race was dreamed up at the bar years ago by a group of rowdy, almost comatose sailors who thought a fun and exciting time could be had by racing their boats from Stockton around the South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge and back to SSC. It can get pretty hairy out there at night trying to tack through the winding, twisting, sometimes shallow river. If you're lucky you'll round the one and only mark, now Blackaller buoy, before midnight. If you've got good karma you'll be able to ride the incoming tide for awhile before the winds come up to hurl you back to SSC. If you didn't blow up your spinnaker in the Ditch Run you might want to try it." See or call (209) 951-5600.

After  a few adjustments, protests, and distractions, BAMA will present the Doublehanded Farallones awards at Encinal YC on Saturday, June 22, during Summer Sailstice — time TBA, so keep an eye on for updates.

Eight boats have finished the Coastal Cup from San Francisco to Marina del Rey; the awards party is scheduled for tomorrow at Del Rey YC. It looks like the Bakers' SC70 Retro from Long Beach has won overall honors. The Coastal Cup is a feeder race for July's TransPac.

You can find many more races and sailing-related events on our online Calendar.

- latitude / chris

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