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When a Canceled Sailing Trip Is Great News

May 27, 2015 – American Samoa


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

One thing that Rimas has been successful at is drumming up publicity for his campaign wherever he goes. He's seen here in American Samoa, where he had to be towed in to port (yet again), after sailing and drifting from Sausalito for 121 days.

Photo Courtesy Rimas Meleshyus
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

There's finally some good news from Rimas Meleshyus, the Russian-born American whose self-proclaimed 'world record attempt' of sailing a 24-ft lake boat nonstop around the world singlehanded ended last December after an agonizingly slow 121-day passage from Sausalito to American Samoa. Meleshysus now reports that he’s giving up on his San Juan 24 Pier Pressure, which he acquired for $500.

"Everything inside mast not working properly," he posted on Facebook. "Many time wires stuck and would not move. Sometimes I couldn’t raise the jib, and the mainsail never worked properly."

Many of the sixty-two-year-old's supporters hailed the decision, even as they pointed out Rimas’ glaring shortcomings as a sailor.

"If Rimas spent money he's earned, and did the work himself, he might take care of a boat," posted Rod Koch. "Maybe that's wishful thinking, as we've seen how he takes care of stuff handed to him on a platter. He doesn't. He breaks it, complains about it, loses it overboard, leaves it out in the sun, etc."

"The problem is not the boat it's Rimas," posted Jean Mondeau, one of his biggest helpers and one who spent countless hours helping Rimas prepare Pier Pressure as best he could. "He beats his equipment to destruction out of negligence. He can break a fiberglass hammer."

And, of course, Rimas’ critics were not surprised.

"Many of us have been accused and berated as being the 'voices of doom' since this ‘epic adventure’ began," posted David Gauci. "Now reality is rearing its ugly head as a result of Rimas not putting into action the steps he needed to succeed in his goal. Any real sailor would have pulled, inspected and repaired his rig immediately upon arrival, followed by the same inspect/repair/maintain process throughout the entire boat. I'm shocked that none of this was addressed in the five months when he arrived."

Jim Furnish reports that he spoke with Rimas by phone, and although it was hard to understand him, Rimas seemed to say he was putting Pier Pressure up for sale so he could return to California and buy another boat, perhaps a Vega 27 or a Contessa 26. Lord knows both of those boats would be more suitable for going around the world than a San Juan 24. Contessa 26s, for example, have been used for several singlehanded circumnavigations. But in Latitude’s opinion, the first thing Rimas needs to do is learn how to sail. Once he becomes a competent Bay sailor, perhaps he could become a competent coastal sailor, then an open-ocean sailor. After all, he had to be towed out the Golden Gate to start his attempted circumnavigation because he couldn’t sail his boat out.

- latitude / richard

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Classy Deadline the 15th


This Photo Cracks Us Up

May 27, 2015 – Aboard the Cat Liladhoc in the Caribbean


Basil and Basil during a special moment on a family educational cruise of a lifetime. 

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The thing that we find so amusing about this photograph is the apparent reversal of parent-child roles. What’s going on is that Basil Horangic is holding up a Slam waterproof bag that he’s found to be so valuable during his Menlo Park-based family’s cruise from the Black Sea to the Caribbean. He has a little-boy look on his face, don’t you think? Meanwhile, son Basil Jr, who is nine, is looking up from his ‘paperwork’ with a very skeptical parent-like ’what-kind-of-cock-’n'-bull-story-is-he-giving-you?’ look. We laugh every time we glance at the photo.

We'll have a story on the Horangic family — wife Caroline, daughter Theodora, 14, daughter Helen, 12, and young Basil — in the June issue of Latitude 38, which comes out Friday, May 29. They’ve been doing a family cruise that’s been different from most, in more ways than one. The main reasons for it have been to promote family togetherness and for the three kids to get a broader-than-normal education. And based on our conversation with them, the kids are learning a lot more than they would have, had they been in a regular school back home. Plus, they’ve had some pretty interesting extracurricular activities. The girls, for example, both sail Optis in international regattas, and all three kids kiteboard and scuba dive.

- latitude / richard

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Ad: Svendsen's Boat Works

May 27, 2015 – Alameda, CA



© 2017 Svendsen's Boat Works / www.svendsens.com

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

May 27, 2015 – San Francisco Bay and Beyond

Alma at the finish line

The National Park Service operates the 1891 National Landmark Alma. And on Saturday she won a yacht race! The Bear in the photo is Puff, which finished second in her eight-boat class.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In a relatively light-air and slow-moving Master Mariners Regatta on Saturday, Alma won the Big Schooner division for only the second time, the first being in 2001. And already some people are grumbling about the antique hay scow's rating!

Whirlwind exits the Bay

Whirlwind approaches the Golden Gate Bridge on the outbound leg of the Singlehanded Farallones.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Singlehanded Farallones Race had much more wind outside the Gate than the Master Mariners had inside. The SSS racers also contended with a big sea swell. Fatigue set in and 12 of the singlehanders called it a day early. Mark Eastham's F-31 trimaran Ma's Rover finished first, at 3:03. Dan Benjamin's Wyliecat 30 Whirlwind won overall monohull on corrected time, having completed the course in 8 hours, 11 minutes. 

fish eye view of Invisible Hand and Tai Kuai

This photo of the Spinnaker Cup start was taken from the Farr 40 Bright Hour, as Invisible Hand rolled Bright Hour. Tai Kuai is to windward of Invisible Hand.

© 2017 Ben Burbridge

Invisible Hand, Frank Slootman's R/P 63, won Friday's Spinnaker Cup. The race started from Corinthian YC and sailed down the coast to Monterey Peninsula YC, with 23 boats competing in four divisions. The star-studded Hand completed the 88-mile course in an amazing 7 hours, 42 minutes. See www.sfyc.org.

J/24s

J/24s raced for their National Championship on the Berkeley Circle.

© 2017 Martha Blanchfield / www.renegadesailing.com

Chris Snow's Bogus from San Diego won the J/24 Nationals hosted by Berkeley YC on May 22-24. Scoring three bullets in the nine-race series, Bogus topped a field of 25 boats, including one from Japan.

Action in the Match Racing Qualifiers

Stephanie Wondolleck, Katie Maxim, Janice Wondolleck and Hannah Burroughs lead Jack Barton, Sammy Shea, Chloe Bohannon, and Jackson Ridder approaching the windward mark at StFYC's Match Racing Qualifiers.

© 2017 Chris Ray / www.crayivp.com

St. Francis YC hosted the U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifiers in J/22s on Saturday and Sunday. Conditions were challenging, with winds from 13 to 23 knots. The winner, San Francisco's Russ Silvestri, dominated the event with 13 wins and only one loss, earning a berth at this year's U.S. Match Racing Championship on October 10-12 at Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay, NY.

The SoCal 300 course

The course of the SoCal 300 went from Santa Barbara to San Diego via the Channel Islands.

Photo Courtesy Lucky Duck
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The first SoCal 300 started on Friday. Chris Branning of Rio100 described the day as, "Best conditions for sailing, ever. Hands down!" Dave MacEwen of StFYC won the seven-boat regatta with the SC52 Lucky Duck.

Dave MacEwen and John Laun with trophies

Dave MacEwen and John Laun, SDYC's commodore, at the awards ceremony for the SoCal 300.

© 2017 Jenny MacEwen

Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s new 100-ft Maxi Comanche set a new course record for Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race. On Friday afternoon, 58 boats started the 185-mile race from Stamford YC in Connecticut, down Long Island Sound, around Block Island, RI, and back to Stamford. With an average speed of 16.2 knots, Comanche finished at 2:50:01 the next morning, for an elapsed time of 11 hours, 25 minutes, and 1 second. The founder of Netscape, Jim Clark is a legend in Silicon Valley.

With Santa Cruz native Morgan Larson calling tactics, Niklas Zennström's Swedish-flagged TP52 Rán won the Ford Vignale Valencia Sailing Week May 19-23. "The team has been together for a long time," said Larson. "Obviously there have been a few changes, but the main one was Adam Beashel and myself. Adam was spot-on all week and that was one of the main reasons we won!" Beashel is the team's strategist. See www.52superseries.com.

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet has arrived in Lisbon. Team Brunel finished at dawn this morning to win Leg 7 from Newport, RI. Even Team Vestas Wind is there, after six months of hard work to repair the damage done on a reef in the Indian Ocean. They'll start Leg 8 to Lorient, France, with the other six VO 65s on June 16.

- latitude / chris

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