Photo of the Day

Generosity at the Ha-Ha
December 6 - Bahia Santa Maria

Dick Markie, Harbormaster at Marina Paradise just north of Puerto Vallarta, holds up $420 U.S. dollars that had just been given to him by the Grand Poobah of the Baja Ha-Ha. The money was contributed by members of the '00 Ha-Ha fleet for a 90-minute sail aboard the catamaran 'Profligate' during a layday at Bahia Santa Maria. Markie will be taking the money to Norm Goldie, long time friend of cruisers in San Blas, Mexico. Goldie will use the money to buy life-support supplies - such as food and blankets - for the very poor children who live in the mountains behind San Blas.

Just three days before, Marina Paradise had played host to a chili cook-off to support the Kids in the Dump - kids who actually struggle to stay alive by living in the Puerto Vallarta dump. We'll have more details later, but over $2,000 was raised in one day. We're proud to announce that 60 copies of the December edition of Latitude went like hotcakes at $2 each, adding to the total.

In other Baja Ha-Ha charitable news, the Ha-Ha just sent a $500 U.S. check to the Club Cruceros de La Paz's Subasta program. Each year the program raises about $10,000 to support a breakfast program for poor kids in La Paz, as well as to purchase school supplies, uniforms and medical items for children, and to buy Christmas gifts for the orphans. The Ha-Ha donation represents the proceeds of selling aerial photographs of the boats at the start of the Ha-Ha. The photographs have been taken for the last several years by Tom Lyons, a vet of several Ha-Ha's. Because of the considerable expenses involved in taking and processing the photographs, it's not the most efficient method of fund-raising, but every little bit helps. We're also told that Mary Shroyer of Marina de La Paz has established four scholarships for poor children with high academic averages. The Club Cruceros has also contributed to the program.

Photo by Richard


New Elapsed Time Record

December 6 - Atlantic

A new elapsed time record in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers! After a closely fought contest across the Atlantic from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to St Lucia, a new course record of 12 days and 18 hours was set by Luc Coquelin of France with the Open 50 'Multicap Caraibes'. Keesjan Baartmans' Swan 68 'Splendid', on her fifth ARC, finished just one hour later. The new record knocks eight hours off the previous mark, which had been set in the '98 ARC by Adam Gosling with 'Yes!', a Sydney 60.

Luc Coquelin of 'Multicap Caraibes' said, "We had an excellent crossing, with only two days of light airs - but an Open 50 still sails well in light airs! There were no problems on the boat, my tactic being to push steadily all the time. Our maximum speed was in the region of 15 knots, our best 24-hour run was 275 nautical miles. We thoroughly enjoyed the race and are delighted to have won."

For 'Splendid', Keesjan Baartmans said, "We were ahead of you ('Multicap Caraibes') for a while, but when we saw your 275-mile day, we just knew you were going to beat us to the line. Congratulations!." 'Splendid' had an incident-free crossing, apart from blowing one new spinnaker within three days of the start. 'Splendid' takes Line Honours in the Cruising Division of ARC2000.

Dona de Mallorca - who claims to have been part of a Swan 65 crew that averaged 10 knots on a delivery from Las Palmas the the Caribbean - will note that 'Multicap Caraibes' only averaged 8.8 knots during her record crossing.

Photos courtesy ARC Rally


December 6 - 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


America's Cup

December 6 - Auckland, New Zealand

A five-man international panel validated the Swiss Challenge for the 2003 America's Cup. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron said it had sought an interpretation of the Deed of Gift, which suggests that no yacht club could enter unless it held an annual race on an arm of the sea. The Societe Nautique de Geneve, for which the Swiss entry would sail, is based on Lake Geneva, a long way from the sea.

While the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron claims they wanted to make sure they could accept the Swiss entry, a lot of observers - 'Lectronic included - thought their months of delay was a wussy, vengeful and completely un-Kiwi like way of getting back at Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth. Coutts and Butterworth were mainstays of the victorious Kiwi America's Cup team in 2000, but have jumped ship to more lucrative offers from the Swiss Team. When all is said and done, the Royal New Zealand's Yacht Squardron's delaying tactics have won them nothing - but a diminished reputation whom so many had worked so hard to achieve.

The Northern California locals are all right on the ocean!

December 6 - Auckland, New Zealand

Northern Californian John Kostecki and the illbruck Challenge Volvo Ocean Race team from Germany arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, after an exhilarating 3,270-mile training run from Fremantle, Australia. "Sailing 12 days in 30 knots, that's when you get a really good test," said Kostecki. They had a top speed of 30.6 knots and a peak 24-hour run of 414 miles. Kostecki knows Auckland, of course, having been Paul Cayard's right hand man during the last America's Cup. Kostecki will return with the German America's Cup effort in 2002.

Another top Northern California ocean racer who arrived in the antipodespther on a Volvo 60 was Mark Rudiger, skipper of 'Assa Abloy'. Thanks to light headwinds, Rudiger and crew had a relatively slow sail from Hong Kong to Sydney. "This has been a very successful sail as we have learned a lot about the boat, the sails, systems, watches, nutrition and steering," said Rudiger. He knows the Volvo 60s, having been the navigator for Paul Cayard's victorious effort in the last one.

Kostecki, Rudiger and their 60s will be lining up with three more top Volvo 60s in the Telstra Sydney to Hobart Race that starts on December 26.

The Race

December 6 - Paris Boat Show

Meanwhile, almost all the way around the world at the Paris Boat Show, Cam Lewis was announcing that his Team Adventure maxi catamaran entry in The Race, which seems to have been hanging on by a mere thread, has gotten much stronger. The difference? Major sponsorship from Good timing, too, as what may be the greatest around the world ocean race ever starts from Barcelona on December 31.

Bruno Peyron, organizer of The Race, has dispatched a maxi monohull, ex-'Merit', to the Southern Ocean to be a potential rescue boat for participants in The Race, which starts December 31 from Marseilles. Skippered by Alain Gabbay with a crew of six, including an emergency doctor from the Marseilles battalion of navy firefighters, the monohull will take up a station between the Kerguelen Islands and Cape Town on the route to be taken by the competitors of The Race. They will then follow the fleet as far as Cape Horn, ready to provide assistance if necessary. 

Photos courtesy Team Adventure

Vendée Globe

December 6 - Atlantic Ocean

Yves Parlier has become the first of 20 singlehanded skippers to reach the Roaring Forties in the Vendée Globe singlehanded around the world race. The Frenchman wasted no time taking advantage of reaching the strong winds first, sailing 419 miles in 24 hours, an average of 17.4 knots. This is a new race record, besting the 374 miles Christophe Auguin sailed in the '96-'97 Vendée Globe winner. Officials aren't sure, but Parlier's 419 miles might be the most ever sailed by a singlehander on a monohull. With the burst of speed, Parlier, who badly injured both legs in a paragliding accident last year, increased his lead to 100 miles over Michel Desjoyeaux in PB.

Standings: 1) Aquitaine Innovations, Yves Parlier; 2) PRB, Michel Desjoyeaux (+95 miles); 3) Sill Matines & La Potagère, Roland Jourdain (+161m); 4) Active Wear, Marc Thiercelin (+317m); 5) Kingfisher, Ellen MacArthur (+324M); 6) Sodebo Savourons la Vie, Thomas Coville (+326M).


Photos courtesy Team Adventure

Weather Updates

December 6 - Pacific Oceans

Tropical Weather

The Atlantic/Caribbean region hurricane season is almost over.

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out

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

You can view the University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite picture by clicking here.

Pacific Sea State

Seas are normal in the Pacific. But you might check at:
For another view, see

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