Billionaire Boat Cup

July 11 - Gothenburg, Sweden

Add Swedish media mogul Jan Stenbeck to the list of billionaires in pursuit of the America's Cup. The Gothenburg-based Victory syndicate now owns NZL38, one of the 'Black Magics' from '95. Four Kiwis go with the boat until September, at which time she will be crewed almost entirely by Swedes. Mats Johansson, a Swedish Star class sailor will be the skipper. The boat has already been rechristened 'Cristina' in honor of Stenbeck's daughter. The Victory challenge will build their own boat next year.

In Northern California, the Wanderer, publisher of 'Latitude 38', reports he's also ready to lay down a challenge. "All we need is to find someone with $100 million willing to partner with us."

University of Hawaii Meteorology Graphic

Click here to see enlarged graphic.

Weather Updates

July 11 - Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean Weather

The winds have gone light for the finishing boats in the Vic-Maui and Singlehanded TransPac races as well as for the group that started the West Marine Pacific Cup from San Francisco yesterday. It looks like the Pacific High is coming down, so the smart boats will probably be heading south to avoid it.

California Coast Weather

It's light out at the Lightbucket.

Pacific Sea State

Check it out at:

Tropical Disturbances

There are no tropical storms or hurricanes in the Pacific.



July 10 - Cyberspace and the Pacific Ocean

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

Photo Latitude/Richard

 2001 Banderas Bay Regatta

Terry O'Rourke has announced that March 23-26 will be the dates of the Paradise Marina-based Banderas Bay Regatta in 2001. This is an ideal cruisers' regatta, as it features ideal mellow racing conditions and perfect facilities. Many consider it the 'formal' of the cruising season. If you're in Mexico, you won't want to miss it.


July 11 - Pacific Ocean

Singlehanded TransPac

With 15 of the 22 boats that will finish the Singlehanded TransPac from San Francisco to Kauai already across the line, it appears that the overall winner will be Greg Nelson with 'Starbuck', a Berkeley based Black Soo 30-footer. 'Starbuck', which was built way back in '68 and was one of the first ultralights, apparently gave Nelson a sweet ride, as he averaged 5.8 knots over the course. We'll have full coverage in the August 'Latitude'. You can also visit

Singlehanded TransPac Profile:

Greg Nelson
Boat: 'Starbuck', Black Soo (1968)
PHRF rating: 150
Yacht Club: SSS
Homeport: Berkeley
Occupation: Network Engineer
Age: 32

 In something approaching a tradition among sailors preparing for the solo TransPac, Greg has replaced or upgraded "nearly everything from the keel to the masthead" on 'Starbuck' in the two and a half years he's owned the boat. And yes, for local San Francisco sailors who remember the name, this is the 30-footer with the wildly colored sails formerly owned by Donald Goring. (Nelson has temporarily stored those sails in his garage in favor of newer, more conventionally hued canvas for the race.)

'Starbuck' may be the oldest boat in this year's race - she was built in the Van de Stadt yard in Holland in 1968 - but she'll be far from the slowest. According to Nelson, she was one of the first ultralights ever conceived and the first planing boat to sail the Bay.

Greg told us he wouldn't be sure of his course strategy or exact route until he left the dock, although he allowed, "I'll be looking for, um . . . wind." Likewise his sleep patterns. "I'll sleep when I'm tired. I'll be awake when I'm scared or nervous."

Greg is not so lackadaisical about his boat's performance. Having sailed 'Starbuck' to First Place in the '99 Singlehanded Farallones (Fourth in '00) and an overall season championship in the '99 SSS series, Greg has proven he and 'Starbuck' are a force to be reckoned with. He'll be sailing the "hard-chined little blade" for a win.

Navigation: Four GPSs (Garmin and Magellan), three handhelds and one fixed.
Steering: primary: Autopilots (Four, Autohelm and Magellan); secondary: self.
Food: Simple meals - single pot, canned. "Nothing gourmet, what do you expect from a single burner gimballed stove for a galley?"
Special thanks: Napoleon, Allen, Ron X2, Bruce and Kathryn.

Photo Latitude/Richard

West Marine Pacific Cup

Twenty-four more entries will answer the gun to join the 29 boats that started yesterday for Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. Conditions along the coast appear to be on the light side, which is bad news for these slower boats that started first.

Two boats have dropped out before the start, and one may be in the midst of a miraculous comeback. Fred Babian's Palo Alto-based Norseman 447 reportedly dropped out because the owner was hit in the head with the boom several days before the start. 'Presto,' Todd Wilsie's Bravura 35 from Seattle, lost her rig before making it down the coast, and 'Kiwi Coyote', an Elliot 46 glamour project from Auckland dropped her rig coming up the coast. But 'Coyote's Auckland owner, Robin Stewart, is over at Svendsen's trying to get them to quickly whip up an aluminum stick. 'Coyote' may start a day late. Now the big question is whether Commodore Tompkins and his Wylie 38 'Flashgirl' will be ready for tomorrow's start.

Better late than never. Early on the second morning of the race, the Kaneohe YC decided to let the final three entries on the waiting list into the event.

For details, see

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