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Rolex Big Boat Series Wraps Up

September 19, 2016 – San Francisco, CA

Spinnakers drying
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

After a wet, raucous and brutal Saturday in the Rolex Big Boat Series, crews took advantage of Sunday morning's shoreside postponement and a building heat wave to dry spinnakers and foulies.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After a windy and chilly Thursday and Friday, and an even windier Saturday (30+ knots of breeze were reported), Sunday dawned brilliant, warm and with a suspicious amount of east in what little breeze fluttered the flags at St. Francis Yacht Club, where the Rolex Big Boat Series had one more long race scheduled. By noon the easterly, a harbinger of the winter sailing season to come, had died and enough of a westerly had filled in through the Golden Gate to begin starting sequences.

Kuai and J/105s

Dan Thielman's Melges 32 Kuai sails through a flock of J/105s on the beat up the Cityfront on Sunday.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Sunscreen was in high demand and layers were shed. Some fleets sailed out past the bridge to Point Diablo, before returning to the Cityfront for the traditional downwind finish right smack in front of the clubhouse, always a delight for families, spectators and photographers.

girls taking pictures

Sunday made for glorious spectating, as the week's chill gave way to the warmth so treasured in San Francisco.

© 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

Crew of Gentoo

PHRF Sportboat was among the divisions that came down to the last race. The crew of Paul Dorsey's Soto 30 Gentoo, pictured here, emerged victorious by three points over Kuai, seen in a previous photo.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine in the club's courtyard followed the successful completion of the regatta, while the award ceremony got underway in the Starting Line Room.

Post-regatta party

Racers and their supporters lined up for appetizers at Sunday's post-race party.

© 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

Six Rolex watches were among the prizes awarded, as that company has continued its title sponsorship now for the 12th year. Perpetual trophies that date as far back as the regatta's inaugural year, 1964, were also presented. We'll have results, a report and many more photos in the October issue of Latitude 38, but in the meantime, see www.rolexbigboatseries.com.

Xtreme2 crew

After collecting their awards, the C&C 30 division winners from Dan Cheresh's Extreme2 greeted second-place finisher Stephanie Stroub from Tiburon.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / chris

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Classy Deadline the 15th


Militants Release Abducted Sailor

September 19, 2016 – The Philippines

After being held captive for nearly a year by Philippine militants, Norwegian sailor and business manager Kjartan Sekkingstad was released Saturday, much to the relief of family and friends. The release was reportedly spurred by the Philippine government's ongoing military operations against Sekkingstad's Abu Sayyaf captors. It is unclear whether a ransom was paid. 

Kjartan Sekkingstad and Rodrigo Duterte

Freed Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte appeared at a press conference today.

© 2017 Rene B. Lumawag

As reported last year, Sekkingstad was abducted September 21, 2015, from a resort marina which he managed on Samal Island, in the southern Philippines, along with Canadian cruisers John Ridsdel and Robert Hall — both of whom were executed for lack of ransom payments — and Filipina Tess Flor. 

According to CNN, the Moro National Liberation Front, which is in peace talks with the government, assisted authorities in the operation. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte — who has made headlines recently for promoting vigilante justice against drug dealers, and also for demeaning President Obama — is credited with a high-pressure campaign against militant groups that includes land, air and sea operations.

- latitude / andy

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Ad: Get 30% off Propspeed at KKMI

September 19, 2016 – Pt. Richmond and Sausalito, CA



© 2017 KKMI / www.kkmi.com

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Murder at a Cruiser Center in Mexico

September 19, 2016 – La Cruz de Huantacaxtle, Nayarit


This photo shows Marina Riviera Nayarit, just after it opened a few years back, and the town of La Cruz. With a new four-lane highway making La Cruz the gateway to Punta Mita, and construction about to begin on the town's first multi-story waterfront hotel, La Cruz is becoming an ever more busy place.

Photo Courtesy Unknown
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

American expat Landon Hollander, editor of the Inside La Cruz online magazine and a longtime full-time resident of La Cruz, was murdered on Saturday night while his wife Connie slept upstairs. Details of the murder, other than that Landon was killed with a knife, are not clear.

Although the well-liked Hollander had been a guest aboard Profligate once, he wasn’t a sailor or an integral part of the sailing community. We mention the murder because La Cruz, home to Marina Riviera Nayarit, La Cruz Shipyard, and the popular anchorage, is so associated with cruising in Mexico. In his early 60s, Landon and his wife lived across the main road on the hill on the other side of town from the marina.

The murder is a shocking development because relations between expats, cruisers and locals has always been excellent in La Cruz — as it has been along the entire Vallarta Coast. We live aboard in Cruz three months a year, keep Profligate in Marina Riviera Nayarit nine months a year, and have always felt safe. Doña, for example, has never hesitated to walk through even the poorly illuminated parts of town alone late at night.

It’s unclear what the motive might have been in Hollander’s murder. Theft is a possibility, as Hollander’s car was stolen and hasn’t been recovered, and Connie’s purse was also stolen. However, there is a possibility that something entirely different was going on, as members of the La Cruz community tell Latitude 38 that one of Hollander’s dogs had been poisoned a few months ago, and then a second dog of his was also poisoned.

Katrina Liana reports that there is no sense of fear on the part of cruisers currently in La Cruz. As for the Wanderer and Doña de Mallorca, we look forward to returning to Marina Riviera Nayarit and La Cruz on November 12, and the three-day Banderas Bay Splash for cruisers in mid-December.

- latitude / richard

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