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The Fastest Sailboat Ever

May 22, 2015 – Switzerland

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Long, sleek and sexy, Sprindrift 2 is one mean sailing machine. 

© 2018 Spindrift Racing /

The fastest sailboat that has ever sailed the oceans has just become faster, at least in theory.

Latitude readers will likely remember the incredible sailing machine Banque Populaire V, which covered an almost unbelievable 908 miles in 24 hours en route to shattering the transatlantic record back in 2009. The 140-ft long VPLP-designed maxi-trimaran went on to set nearly every major record in ocean sailing including the transatlantic in both directions and nonstop around the world in a scant 45 days, 13 hours, and 43 minutes. After her record round-the-world run, the boat was sold to Swiss billionaire Dona Bertarelli (sister to Alinghi syndicate owner Ernesto Bertarelli) and renamed Spindrift 2. After breaking her own east-to-west transatlantic record in early 2014, Spindrift 2 went on to compete in last year’s Route du Rhum solo race across the Atlantic before she returned to the shed for a major refit and an all-new adventure.

Spindrift 2 roaring offshore — with a reef in. Amazingly, she's clocked 908 miles in a single day, averaging more than 37.8 nm per hour! But in her new incarnation she's expected to be much faster. 

© 2018 Spindrift Racing /

With structural modifications, a new engine, a slightly shorter (and 25% lighter) mast, and all new sails, Spindrift 2 has been thoroughly optimized with the main goals being to reduce overall weight, weight aloft and loads. By pulling more than a ton (!) of weight out of the carbon-fiber mast, rigging and sails, the boat should — in theory at least — be faster on all points of sail without a reduction in reliability, even considering that the boat’s structure itself has been lightened significantly. Her main goal? To break her own Jules Verne Trophy record for the fastest nonstop round-the-world circumnavigation.

Baron Rothschild's new Gitana will be an all-carbon beauty. 

© 2018 Yvan Zedda

While Spindrift 2 looks to break her own lofty record, another boat is in the works that should be even faster. Enter Baron Benjamin de Rothschild’s Gitana racing syndicate. The same group that sailed into San Francisco Bay in 2008 on maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 to set the record from New York to San Francisco has recently announced plans to build the first built-from-the-ground-up fully-foiling maxi-trimaran that the world has ever seen. Skipper Seb Josse and the entire Gitana team has been hard at work to develop the platform and technology for the new foiling maxi-tri by modifying their MOD70 Edmond de Rothschild, which is breaking records as we speak. Expect the boat to be on the water — and above it — in mid-2017 with a Jules Verne attempt that winter.

- ronnie simpson

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Hank Easom Biopic Debuts

May 22, 2015 – Mill Valley, CA

Filmmaker Oleg Harencar and his production team had a brilliant idea a few years ago when they decided to make a series of short biographical films, dubbed Life on the Water. Each short film in the series spotlights the life and accomplishments of a legendary Bay Area sailor.

The first, on Ron MacAnnan, tireless caretaker of the M-Class sloop Pursuit, and the second, on Commodore Tompkins' childhood trip around Cape Horn aboard the legendary schooner Wander Bird, were both very well received by Bay Area audiences. The newest in the series, profiling renowned Bay Area sailor/boat builder Hank Easom, will debut next Thursday, May 28, at Mill Valley's Throckmorton Theater, at 7:30 p.m.

Up the mast at 80? Nothin' to it. Hank Easom is a remarkable sailor, an accomplished boat builder, and one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. 

© 2018 Woody Skoriak

Having grown up around the Sausalito waterfront, Hank got into sailing when his age was in single digits, and won his first trophy at age 11. Now in his 80s, Hank still avidly races his beloved 8-Meter Yucca, and often makes it into the winner's circle. "This portrait will take us from his early development as a young wide-eyed boy to the well-earned wisdom of present day," say the filmmakers. "An inspiring story of an inspiring sailor."

A Q&A session with Hank and Oleg will follow the new film's debut, as well as a screening of the Tompkins film: Cape Horn Passage in Schooner Wander Bird. Advance tickets may be purchased here.

- latitude / andy

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Ad: Stockton Sailing Club

May 22, 2015 – Stockton, CA

© 2018 Stockton Sailing Club /

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Barker Goes to Japanese AC Team

May 22, 2015 – Bermuda

Dean Barker in Bermuda

Dean Barker dons new team colors in Bermuda.

© 2018 SoftBank Team Japan

Kiwi Dean Barker, who was dumped as skipper for Emirates Team New Zealand in February, has been picked up by the America's Cup Japanese challenger, SoftBank Team Japan. Barker will serve as skipper and CEO of the new team.

"This is an incredible opportunity to build a new team from the ground up,” Barker said from Bermuda. "It’s an honor to take on the responsibility of both CEO and skipper. We're filling the key roles on the team as quickly as we can. I think we’re pulling together a very strong team. Our goal is to win the America's Cup."

SoftBank Team Japan was confirmed as a challenger earlier this month. The team is now focusing on preparations for the first America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth on July 24-26. See

- latitude / chris

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Weekend Racing Preview

May 22, 2015 – California

War Pony and Deception on starboard tack

The Farr 36 War Pony and SC50 Deception head out to sea in the 2012 Spinnaker Cup, while, in the background, the Navy destroyer USS Decatur arrives.

© 2018 /

With 24 boats registered, the Spinnaker Cup to Monterey started today, with SFYC running the 11:00 a.m. start in the Knox area, and Monterey Peninsula YC presiding over the finish off Municipal Wharf 2.

The J/24 Nationals begin today, hosted by Berkeley YC. The 25 boats signed up are coming from as far away as Montana and Texas. The slogan on the poster reads, "Berkeley Blows."

The inaugural SoCal 300 Offshore Race, a qualifier for the Transpac, also starts today. The race, co-hosted by Santa Barbara and SDYCs, sails from Santa Barbara to San Diego via the Channel Islands.

Legend and Farida on opposite tacks

The 52-ft S&S yawl Legend (foreground) and Ingrid 38 Farida in last year's Master Mariners Regatta. Crissy Field in San Francisco is a good vantage point from which to watch the first half of the race.

Photo Latitude / Ross
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Cityfront start times for tomorrow's Master Mariners Regatta, with sail numbers to help both spectators and competitors identify the boats, are available at

Starting in the morning off Golden Gate Yacht Club, much earlier than the Master Mariners, will be the Singlehanded Farallones Race, with 45 boats registered.

Moore 24 on a white-sail broad reach

Andy Hamilton returns from the 2013 Singlehanded Farallones aboard the Moore 24 Bar-Ba-Loot.

© 2018 /

After 51 years, the Whiskeytown Regatta is still going strong. The two-day sailing and camping event this weekend in the foothills west of Redding welcomes dinghies, centerboarders, keelboats and multihulls. The scenic reservoir has plenty of water.

Trailer-sailors have the choice of heading in the opposite direction, to Alamitos Bay YC's Memorial Day Regatta in Long Beach. The 76 entries range from Sabots to F18 cats, Shields, and Cal 20s.

StFYC will host a US Sailing Match Racing Championship Qualifier on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

The 2015 Farr 40 circuit will continue on May 27-30 with the West Coast Championship at Cabrillo Beach YC in San Pedro. After a successful Midwinters in San Diego, Alberto Rossi's Enfant Terrible is in charge going into this second circuit event.

The 'Lectronic Latitude crew will be observing Memorial Day with a holiday on Monday, so our next post will be on Wednesday. Have a wonderful weekend!

- latitude / chris

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