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A Battle of Epic Proportions

August 28, 2013 – Puerto Vallarta

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Cart load after cart load of stuff like this. It doesn't mean that the stuff isn't good or doesn't have value, it just means you don't have to carry it everywhere you go. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

There are two kinds of people in the world. The Hoarders, as exemplified by Doña de Mallorca, and the Tossers, exemplified by the Wanderer. The former keep everything. Everything! The latter chuck everything that hasn't been used in a few months. "This isn't a cargo ship!" the Tosser thunders.

The battle between the two began in earnest yesterday afternoon aboard Profligate in the oppressive afternoon heat at the Marina Riviera Nayarit. The Wanderer, with a goal of removing 2,000 lbs of unnecessary weight to compensate for four drums of epoxy having been added to strengthen the boat, didn't need to look far for stuff to toss.

Three of the five dinghy anchors . . . for just one dinghy. And no, our new non-skid isn't pink. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In just one deep and hidden-away section of one part of the food locker, he found 50 lbs of pasta and rice! And that was after giving a 25-lb bag of basmati rice away the day before to some workers. We always knew we could finish a Ha-Ha at Cabo and take off for French Polynesia without having to take on any extra food.

In what is possibly a world record, the Wanderer found five — count 'em! — dinghy anchors for just one dinghy. Along with three giant spray cans of white lithium grease, engine and sail drive manuals for engines and sail drives that were removed from the boat nearly 10 years ago, and 12 pairs of mostly rusty vice grips. The list goes on and on and on.

We know that Pastafarianism is a religion recognized by the IRA, but de Mallorca never told us that she was a member. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Wanderer figures he's removed about 1,200 lbs already — who needs seven half-empty bottles of extra virgin olive oil or a half-bag of three-year-old charcoal? — and is hoping to remove another 1,200 lbs. And not to take on more unnecessary weight before the start of the Ha-Ha.

To that end, all 13 members of the Profligate crew for the Ha-Ha are being advised they will not be allowed to bring more than 30 songs each. After all, every unnecessary and extravagant byte will only slow down the boat.

No worries that the food taken off the boat will go to waste, as most of it will be headed to the 'work for food' program in Mita. As for everything else the Tosser has banned from the boat, the Hoarder has eagerly stuffed into bags with the intention of cashing in big-time at an early December marine flea market in La Cruz.

"And I get to keep all the money," she informed the Wanderer.

"It's all yours," replied the Tosser. "I just never want to see any of that crap again."

Any 'cleaning out the boat' stories you'd like to share

- latitude / richard

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

August 28, 2013 – San Francisco Bay Area

Express 27 Nationals
The Express 27s wrapped up their Nationals on Sunday. Left to right: Libra, Summer Palace, Peaches, and Motorcycle Irene. © 2018 /

The 15 Express 27s sailing for their Nationals run by Richmond YC 'enjoyed' a veritable palette of conditions, starting with light wind and a strong flood for Friday's long distance race, too much chop on Saturday, and light-to-moderate wind on Sunday. "Sunday started out light and built; Saturday started out windy – and built," said Dan Pruzan of Wile E Coyote, whose wily ways won Friday's race. The new national champion, Will Paxton and Zach Anderson's Motorcycle Irene, won all six buoy races.

The Flying Scot Riskmaster flew across Tomales Bay last weekend. Left to right: Hobey Landreth, Sam Hinckley and Jim Phelan. © 2018 Jim Laws

John Phelan won the annual Flying Scot fleet series at Inverness YC August 24-25 with a 2-2-1-1-1 posting. Chris Longaker came in second, and Ned Congdon third. "Shifty, light southwesterlies kept everyone guessing," said winning crew member Hobey Landreth.

The Central California Coast rules U.S. Adult Sailing – at least at the eight-race 2013 Championship hosted by New York's Rochester YC in J/24s last week. David Klatt of Ventura YC, with crew Lane Desborough, Garrett Baum and David Paudler, won the regatta with a score of 22; Pat Toole, George Witter, Kent Pierce and Dale Turley of Santa Barbara YC placed second with 26 points. Klatt described the battle in the last race, sailed in a light southwestly: "We were in a mini tacking duel with Santa Barbara down the stretch. We rounded the top mark in second and our goal was do nothing radical, but Texas got in the way. All three of us jibed over at once. We were able drift in to win in the race. It was a great way to finish the regatta. I'll be sailing J/24s for as long as I can," he added.

John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti had a near-perfect final day in white-knuckle conditions on big waves to leapfrog three teams for victory at the Audi Melges 20 Nationals. Macatawa Bay YC hosted the championship in Holland, MI, on August 23-25. The Los Angeles-based Kilroy sails for StFYC.

Which sailors in the whole world do you think are most worthy of the title Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year? One week remains to make your choice known to the mucky-mucks at ISAF. Go to Nominations close on September 4.

- latitude / chris

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Mexico-Only Crew List Party

August 28, 2013 – Alameda, CA

Mexico or Bust
These cruisers said, "Adios" last year.
Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Come to Latitude 38's Mexico-Only
Crew List Party and Baja Ha-Ha Reunion

Wednesday, September 4, 6-9 p.m.
This year returning to Encinal YC in Alameda
Free for paid 2013 Baja Ha-Ha skippers & first mates
$7 (cash only) at the door for everyone else

Free Munchies  •  No-Host Bar  •  Door Prizes
Demonstrations • Slide Show • Guest Experts
No reservations • Come as you are!
Info here:
Learn about Latitude 38's free online Crew List here.

Preceded at 4:30-6 p.m. by a free Mexico Cruising Seminar
Downstairs at EYC featuring Mexico Marina Managers

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Huge Crowd Turns Out for Cat Racing

August 28, 2013 – Cardiff, Wales, UK

One would have assumed that the final race of the Louis Vuitton Cup on San Francisco Bay, between Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand, would have been the most popular high-speed catamaran racing show in the world during the last week. Unfortunately, it was not. But in the differences between the Louis Vuitton Cup and what was actually the biggest cat sailing event are perhaps lessons to be learned for future America's Cups.

The Extreme 40 Sailing Series in Cardiff, Wales was a spectacle of epic proportions. © 2018 Extreme Sailing Series

Monday's Act 6 of the Extreme 40 Sailing Series in Cardiff, Wales, was the most popular catamaran racing event with spectators last weekend. Officials reported a crowd of 120,000 from an urban area of 800,000 for an event that has none of the glamor or prestige of the America's Cup. For the sake of comparison, the San Francisco Bay Area has a population of 7 million. We're not sure how many spectators showed up for the last race of the Louis Vuitton, but we don't think it was anywhere near 120,000.

And it seems spectators really enjoyed the show... © 2018 Extreme Sailing Series

Some interesting differences between the Extreme Series and the Louis Vuitton:

1) The Extreme 40s, which are a scaled up one-design version of Tornado beach cats, cost pennies to build, maintain and ship compared with AC72s. Perhaps that is why there were two teams from Switzerland and one each from Denmark, New Zealand, China, Great Britain, Austria and Oman. It was the team from Oman that won. 

2) The Extreme 40s use soft mains and gennikers, keeping costs down and making it easy for Sunday sailors to identify with sailing them. While not as fast as the AC72s, the 40s have hit speeds in excess of 40 knots.

3) The Extreme 40 Series is fleet racing. So even if 'your' team was well back in the pack, you could still be excited about whether they would beat whoever was closest to them.

4) The racing was competitive, particularly among the top four boats.

5) Alinghi, previous winners of the America's Cup, finished second, with Northern Californians Morgan Larson as skipper and American sailing star Anna Tunnicliffe as crew. Ernesto Bertarelli, winner of the 32nd America's Cup, had been driving Alinghi early in the series, but then rookie Larson came in and kicked butt so well that he became the skipper.

...all 120,000 of them! © 2018 Extreme Sailing Series

A few readers have groused that we must surely despise Larry Ellison and Oracle, and complained that we haven't been mindless cheerleaders for the 34th America's Cup. In truth, we have the greatest respect for Ellison's rise from humble circumstances through intelligence and tenacity, and admire the fact that he's as wealthy as he is because in the early days of Oracle he risked everything to continue to own a huge amount of the company's stock rather than take the easy money from venture capitalists. As for Oracle, nobody has to buy their products, so it seems to us they must be doing something as well or better than the competition. With regard to those of you who resent our not being blind cheerleaders for the Cup, pardon us for liking to think that, to at least a certain extent, we're journalists and not a public relations company for one small segment of sailing. We've reported what we thought was the good and the bad about the 34th America's Cup, so perhaps a review is in order:

The Good: 

1) San Francsico Bay has proven to be a fabulous sailing venue, in terms of sailing conditions, the venue, the spectating, and the scenery. Hands down, it's San Francisco Bay sailing, and the image of San Francisco, that have been the biggest winners of the 34th America's Cup so far.

2) The AC72s are astonishingly fast and look spectacular while foiling.

3) The America's Cup World Series racing last year (on AC45s) was an exciting and competitive crowd-pleaser.

4) There is still hope. The Red Bull Youth America's Cup fleet racing starts Sunday at 11 a.m., and we think it is going to be competitive and very popular with spectators. There is also the three-day Superyacht Regatta slated for America's Cup lay days. Alas, there has yet to be a list of entries so we fear it may not be much of a regatta at all. The biggest hope, of course, is that the America's Cup Finals will be so exciting and competitive that it will make everyone forget much of what has transpired so far. As we've mentioned previously, we think Oracle is going to beat the Kiwis.

The Bad: 

1) Dreadful participation. The Louis Vuitton organization was promised at least eight teams for the challenger series, but only two-and-a-half showed up. In our view, the astronomical costs of a campaign limited the entries, which limited interest. 

2) Unsuitable boats. The AC72s aren't appropriate for even typical afternoon sailing conditions on San Francisco Bay. And if a 72's hydraulics fail even in allowable wind speeds, some crews say they will almost certainly flip.

3) No competitive sailing to date. There hasn't been any! First, Artemis missed most of her early Louis Vuitton races, resulting in numerous one-boat races. Second, two of the first three Louis Vuitton Cup races were decided by breakdowns. Third, bless the Italians, but they just weren't remotely competitive with the Kiwis, so every race was like 63 to 0 in football.

4) The allegations of cheating in the AC45 races. A lot of people seem to have their heads in the sand about this, just as many people wanted to stick their heads in the sand after the Watergate burglary. But this no longer seems to be the little deal that everybody, ourselves included, wished it was.

To our thinking, the above are undeniable facts. If you want to shoot the messenger, please use blanks.

But like we said, we at Latitude have hope. Hope that the Red Bull, the Superyacht Regatta and Cup Finals will be way more exciting than what's gone on up until now. And we hope that the next America's Cup, hopefully to be held again here on San Francisco Bay, will be so much more like the Extreme Sailing Series. That is: 1) Race in relatively economical one-designs to ensure there are at least a dozen entries; 2) Fleet racing instead of the usually soporific match racing.

- latitude / richard

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