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AC 35 Actively Courting Hawaii

May 5, 2014 – Lanai, Hawaii

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

You may recall that a year ago the Auld Mug 'posed' for this shot overlooking the Golden Gate. Now, squint your eyes and picture coco palms swaying in the background. © 2018 Giles Martin-Raget / ACEA

The America's Cup trophy, along with an entourage that includes award-winning The Billionaire and the Mechanic author Julian Guthrie and Golden Gate Yacht Club Commodore Norbert Bajurin, has been racking up the frequent-flyer miles as of late. Undertaking an ambitious Hawaiian tour with more than half a dozen presentations on three different islands last week, the group did everything from holding fundraisers for yacht club junior programs and various local chapters of the nonprofit Better Business Bureau to public book signings, another yacht club appearance and even an intimate dinner presentation at Lanai's famed Hotel Lanai.

With Larry Ellison's purchase of the island of Lanai leading to rampant speculation about the Cup's potential future in Hawaii, this most recent PR tour certainly begs the question: are Larry and company really planning to hold the 35th America's Cup, or some element of it, in the Aloha State?

We don't know, but by all accounts the Cup and its entourage were shown nothing but 'aloha' on their visit to the islands. With more than $5,000 reportedly raised for the Waikiki Yacht Club's junior program, throngs of local sailing enthusiasts lined up to catch a glimpse of the Cup at sold-out venues wherever the Cup traveled. Event organizers were reportedly thoroughly impressed with Hawaii's reaction to the oldest trophy in sport.

Golden Gate Yacht Club Commodore Norbert Bajurin shares ideas for AC 35 events in Hawaii. Photo Courtesy Tina Yuen / Pacific Business News
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Commodore Bajurin and Oracle Team USA insider Guthrie predictably kept the America's Cup plans close to their chests, but with Hawaii's reliable trade winds, warm water, stunning scenery and mid-Pacific location between California and Australia/ New Zealand, the 'Aloha State' provides a compelling venue choice, to say the least. Although bringing the America's Cup finals here seems unrealistic to many Cup observers, an AC World Series — using easy-to-ship AC 45s — would seem highly plausible, and provide significant commercial interest to sponsors like PRADA, Louis Vuitton and others. Time will tell. Stay tuned for updates here and in the pages of Latitude 38 magazine.

- ronnie simpson

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Know Why You're Celebrating Today?

May 5, 2014 – The Left Coast

Here on the Left Coast today — aka Cinco de Mayo — is one of those holidays that gets marketers, restaurateurs and bar keepers revved up to a fever pitch of excitement. But we've always thought it curious that seemingly few who celebrate this day — including many sailors currently cruising Mexico — could accurately tell you what the date commemorates.

Mmm. . . multicolored margaritas. Perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo, right? But do you know why you're celebrating this day? Photo Courtesy Wikipedia Commons
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

First, let's be clear that despite all the annual May 5 hoopla, Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexico's independence from Spain (the equivalent of our Fourth of July). It actually commemorates a great battlefield victory in 1862 — at Puebla — over an occupying French army that was sent by Napoleon III to take over the country due to unpaid debts. Talk about a hostile takeover!

It was actually five more years before the Mexicans completely ousted the French from their lands, but the victory at Puebla was such a phenomenal underdog triumph that it has always been fondly remembered. Although outnumbered and outgunned, the Mexicans, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza, first diverted and slaughtered the French cavalry, then sent a herd of stampeding cattle into the French infantry, who were struggling through heavy mud after a torrential downpour. Mexican machetes, fueled by patriotism — and, who knows, maybe a little tequila — finished them off. Americans were completely uninvolved, by the way, as they had their hands full fighting their own Civil War. 

So viva Zaragoza! And viva Mexico! But if you are inspired to celebrate today, along with the millions of US residents of Mexican ancestry, we strongly urge you to do your imbibing at home or at the dock, rather than out on the water.

- latitude / andy

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

May 5, 2014 – San Francisco Bay

It was a busy weekend of racing on the Bay in remarkable sailing conditions. On Saturday, the Singlehanded Sailing Society's Round the Rocks race got off to a roaring start on the Olympic Circle, with breeze well into the low 20s by the first start at 10:30 a.m. Single- and doublehanded participants in 13 classes headed south to round Alcatraz, then past Harding Rock, through Raccoon Strait, and on to round the Brothers. Heading back past Red Rock, they finished in front of Richmond YC.

Greg Nelson's Azzura 310 Outsider just after her start in the Doublehanded Sportboat division. He and his crew went on to win their division. Photo Latitude / Ross
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Although conditions warranted some reefing at the start, racers eventually fell into far calmer waters when they reached Raccoon Strait. After that, the fleets experienced an easterly as they headed toward the Brothers. "There was a little bit of a fiasco around the Brothers," according to Jib Martens, who doublehanded his Worth 40 Freedom with his son Will. "The wind went light and changed direction, and the current is wicked there. Some boats ran into trouble getting too close to the island and had to turn on their engines. Others got flushed a little wide making the turn to the SE." Jib and Will avoided the mess and sailed on toward a healthy 20+ knot breeze at the finish. Results for the 66 finishers are here.

Jib Martens (foredeck) and son Will sailed their Worth 40 Freedom through Raccoon Strait and eventually won the doublehanded spinnaker division. Photo Latitude / Ross
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

St. Francis YC ran the eight-fleet strong Elvstrom Zellerbach Regatta on Saturday as well. See all the results for dinghies to kiteboarders here.

Elsewhere on the Bay, Sausalito YC ran the YRA's HDA races off Knox buoy on Saturday. Their noon start saw breeze in the low 20s and the flood current kept the chop reasonably low for the four divisions. A second race was held for just the Olson 25s and Santana 22s. Complete results are here.

And back in the Circle, San Francisco YC's Small Keelboat Regatta brought in three Melges 24s and a surprising (and welcome) six J/24s for the day's racing. Participants enjoyed fresh breeze between 14 and 18 knots, and completed three races. Congratulations to Melges 24 owner Doug Wilhelm aboard Wilco and J/24 skipper Darren Cumming aboard Downtown Uproar on their wins. Results should be posted soon. 

And if you haven't seen the collision between Alinghi and Red Bull in the Extreme 40 Series in Qingdao, China — take a look!

- latitude / ross

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May 5, 2014 – Ventura, CA

Contour 34, 2000

Contour 34 sailing under spinnaker

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Excerpted from Sailing Magazine: "[Cole Beadon designed] the Contour 34 SC to be the largest trailerable trimaran available with viable accommodations for extended cruising. The 34 SC had to also be a legitimate offshore yacht with transoceanic capabilities, and the swing-wing retractable ama system had to have the structural integrity of a fixed-beam system."

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