Story of the Day

'Photo' Finish in St. Malo

August 9 - St. Malo, France

Two incredible stories are coming out of the approximately 3,000-mile Quebec (Canada) to St. Malo (France) Race. This open event - meaning anything goes for multihulls between 45 and 60 feet and monohulls 45 to 85 feet - has been held every four years since '82. But the 2000 edition is resulting in perhaps the tightest finish of any long distance race. With less than an hour to the finish, seven of the eight Class A multihulls are separated by less than 16 miles! The top three boats, Franck Cammas' 'Groupama', Marc Guillemot's 'Biscuits La Trinitaine', and Yvan Bourgnon's 'Bayer en France', are separated by just 3.3 miles. Is it any wonder that tens of thousands of French folks are hoving at the St. Malo finish?

The second incredible story is that Yvan Bourgnon and crew on the comparatively tiny 60-ft trimaran 'Bayer en France' came within a half mile of the 24-hour sailing record just established by 110-foot catamaran 'Club Med'. The bigger cat turned in a 625.7 mile day while crossing the Atlantic, while 'Bayer en France' just covered 625.34. That's less than six hundredths of a knot difference in average speed. The most amazing thing is that 'Bayer en France' had held the previous 24-hour record for 60 foot tris: 540 miles or 85 miles less. It was set by Yvan's brother Laurent who was singlehanding 'Bayer en France' back when she was known as 'Primagaz'. Here's is Yvan's report:

"When you know it's your turn to climb up to the top of the windward hull and take the helm, already the adrenalin starts pumping. I'm going into battle: my heart is thumping 140 beats to the minute and I am constantly aware that anything could happen from one second to the next. I get into my 'ejector seat' (the bolt which holds the mast is only 20 cm) and the see-saw motion begins: my bum lifts off and cracks down on each wave we surf. I feel the boat accelerating: 24, 25, 26 knots..! I use every ounce of strength to grip onto the helm as the vibrations are pushing the limit now. Twenty-seven knots and that's it, no more! The helm gives up...the rudders ineffective, no hold left. But the boat is hungry for more: it increases speed still all by itself: 28, 29, 30 knots! My heart pounds as we virtually take off."

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Weather Updates

August 9 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay right now, check out We were out for 10 hours yesterday, and if today is anything like Tuesday was, you'll have great sailing.

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.

Pacific Ocean Weather

Check out the weather map at right.

University of Hawaii Meteorology Graphic

Click here to see enlarged graphic.
Pacific Sea State

Seas are relatively normal in the North Pacific.
Have a look at
For another view, see

Tropical Disturbances

Good news in the Atlantic: Hurricane Alberto is down to just 60 knots and is taking a big turn toward the north away from the East Coast of the United States. Closer to home, Tropical Depression Four has been kicking up 30-knot winds while meandering around a couple of hundred miles off the coast of Florida. It's not expected to be a big storm.

Hurricane Gilma well off the coast of Mexico has also fizzled to 60 knots of sustained winds and may be on the verge of breaking up.

See and for more.

Tropical Depression Four (left) and Hurricane Alberto

Unisys Weather Graphics

Hurricane Gilma off Mexico


Sun and Ice in Alaska

On a recent charter in Alaska's Kenai Fjords, we encountered everything from sunny, pleasant sailing conditions to near-Arctic ice, fog and driving rain as we approached the head of Aialik Bay to attempt viewing a reportedly spectacular glacier (the fog obscured our view). We'll have a full report and more photos in an upcoming edition of 'World of Charter'.

Tim Dore practices one finger sailing on Resurrection Bay aboard a chartered Beneteau Oceanis 361.

As we crept up Aialik Bay in a low fog and glacier-cold rain,
David Demarest (whose great-grandfather went down on the 'Titanic') kept a sharp watch on those ice floes.

Photos Latitude/Chris


August 9 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at


Kenwood Cup

August 9 - Hawaii

The racing is over, now it's time for the jury to decide the winners.

In the wee hours of morning during the 150-mile Molokai Race that wraps up the Kenwood Cup, Scooter Simmons of Northern California lost the top part of the mast on his Sydney 41 'Cha-Ching'. 'Big Apple III', Hideo Matsuda's Farr 45 racing for Japan, and 'Smile', Simon Whiston's Beneteau 40.7 racing for Australia, both pulled out of the race to stand by 'Cha-Ching' - which suffered no casualties and was eventually able to motor away from danger under her own power.

When the preliminary results were tallied, it looked as though the Kiwi team had overtaken the Aussies, as the last Aussie boat would have had to put eight places between her and the last Kiwi boat. But since both 'Big Apple' and 'Smile' are due redress for standing by the temporarily disabled 'Cha-Ching', it's possible - although considered unlikely - that the Aussies may have been able to hold onto their lead. Final results will appear in tomorrow's 'Lectronic Latitude. For more, check out the story and great photos at

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