Photo of the Day

July 13 - The Delta

Photo by Jeff Kauffman
July seems to be National Run Aground Month, and even the powerful are not immune. A few years ago, Ted Kennedy ran the family yacht aground off Martha's Vineyard and had to be pulled off by the Coast Guard. A few days ago, the yacht former President George Bush and his wife Barbara were aboard had to be pulled off by the Coasties and the Kennebunkport firefighters.

On the Fourth of July, Jeff Kauffman of Hidden Harbor Marina snapped this photo of Sebastian Francese's Emeryville-based Catalina sailboat at Decker Island in the Delta where it had been left high and dry by the day's extreme tides. Francese was stranded on board for more than a day, which he said wasn't all bad - probably because he had a "very attractive woman" to keep him company.

'Code One' Enters The Race

July 13 - Loick Peyron announced that he will be co-skipper of the 110-foot catamaran 'Code One' for The Race. 'Code One' is a near sistership to 'Club Med', Grant Dalton's cat which in the course of setting a new transatlantic record covered an astounding 628 miles in one day. Filmmaker Stephane Peyron, Loick's brother, will be part of the crew. Bruno Peyron, the oldest of the three brothers and the organizer of The Race will join his two brothers on 'Code One' for a tune-up when they go after the transatlantic record in October.

What qualifications does Loick have to skipper the Gilles Ollier designed and built maxi cat? Well, at age 40, he's sailed across the Atlantic 37 times, 16 of those singlehanded. He also has 10 victories on the multihull circuit. We don't know about the rest of you, but we're impressed.

Weather Updates

July 13 - Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean Weather

Winds are looking moderate for the Pacific Cup fleet, but the bad news is that everyone looks as though they may be headed more than normal, meaning much more windward work and no chance of setting kites very soon.

California Coast Weather

For the third day in a row it's been very light along the California coast. Pt. Argie didn't even have wind in the double digits yesterday.

University of Hawaii Meteorology Graphic

Click here to see enlarged graphic.
Pacific Sea State

For such moderate winds, the Pacific Cup fleet is suffering through some lumpy seas. Check it out at: For another view, check out:

Tropical Disturbances

There are no tropical storms or hurricanes in the Pacific, which means we're overdue off the coast of Mexico.


Coup Ends in Fiji

July 13 - Fiji

After nearly two months, the coup that overthrew the elected government in Fiji has ended. On May 19 ethnic Fijian George Speight overthrew the government of Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, by taking him and 17 other government officials hostage. Like 44% of the population of Fiji, Chaudhry is of Indian descent. After 56 days, the native Council of Chiefs have elected Josefa Iloilo as interim President. Just before the relatively bloodless coup ended, Speight the deposer and Chaudhry the deposed spoke amicably for several hours.

There is no guarantee that the coup will stick. It got only mild support from the military and there were mixed feelings even among ethnic Fijians. In addition, the country's main trading partners, the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia are all pissed that a democratically elected government was knocked off. Many believe that Chaudhry will rise again.

Photo by Ralph Neely

Fiji, of course, is one of the most popular cruising grounds in the South Pacific, with the clearest water we've ever seen. While some resorts and other tourists facilities were trashed during the long coup, we've yet to hear of cruisers experiencing any problems. One reason is that the small country is spread out over thousands of relatively small islands. The accompanying photo of Pt. Vuda Marina when it was new was taken by Ralph Neely of 'Neeleen'.


July 13 - 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


West Marine Pacific Cup

July 13 - The Golden Gate

The third wave of starters took off in fine fashion at 1:30 p.m. from the St. Francis YC starting line yesterday. Most of the nine starters in Division E (the only start on Wednesday's ticket) hit the line so aggressively we thought we were watching a Cityfront race instead of a 10.5-day, 2,070-mile slide to Hawaii! A few protest flags went up, and one boat, 'Zamazaan', even peeled off a quick 720. 'Cha-Ching' led the charge over the horizon, followed in order by 'Black Knight', 'Osprey', 'Glama!', 'Matador', 'Flashgirl', 'Zamazaan', 'Roam', and 'Flite'. (A tenth boat, the Bravura 35 'Presto', was scheduled to start but unfortunately dismasted coming down from Washington.)

Conditions were similar to the previous two starts (12-15 knot westerly, big ebb), but for the first time the sun actually peeked out from behind the clouds. The omnipresent fog bank off the coast remains, but according to the weather forecast so far (the weather buoy 250 miles offshore is reporting perfect 15-20 knot winds on the beam) this year's Pacific Cup should be a fairly safe and easy one. Despite the benign conditions, two boats - the doublehanded 'Crinan' and the Portland-based 'Witchcraft' - have already dropped out. 'Witchcraft' reported mast problems seven hours into the race; 'Crinan' withdrew for as-yet unknown reasons.

Two more starts are scheduled for today (Thursday) at 2:10 p.m. - six SC 50s in 'F', and six SC 52s in 'G'. The four biggest boats - 'Taxi Dancer', 'Rage', 'Pegasus' and 'Kiwi Coyote' - will take off on Friday at 2:50 p.m. The custom Elliott 46 'Kiwi Coyote' - was scheduled to start on Thursday with the SC 50s, but was recently granted an extra day by the race committee. The 'Coyote' crew has been working feverishly to replace the carbon rig they broke motoring up the coast from L.A. with an aluminum version.

After getting some sleep, Commodore Tompkins decided to do the race with his Wylie 39 'Flashgirl' which, after seven years of construction, is almost done.

The Farr 52 Zamazaan, a great transPacific boat, tacks out the Gate in pursuit of the Aerodyne 38 Matador.

'The Antrim 27 'E.T.', a race favorite, started on Tuesday.

Division E boats hit the starting line hard.


All Photos Latitude

Tune in to for position reports and more.

Pac Cup Extra
 If you read the 'Kites to Kaneohe' preview in the July issue of 'Latitude', you might be wondering just who is the "bearded PhD who drinks Coors Light and smokes Carltons"? The guilty party - John Clauser, skipper of 'Bodacious' - appears in the accompanying picture, along with wife Bobbi Tosse. This will be Clauser's eighth 'fun race to Hawaii', tying him with Jim Corenman ('Heart of Gold') as the highest mileage Pac Cupper of all time. We're not worthy!

When we saw him at 'Weavapolooza' (the excellent Marina Village-sponsored kick-off celebration), John hazed us pretty hard for writing that everyone should take advantage of the 125% jib credit loophole (good, we wrote, for a 'free' 3.5 hours on the course). 'Bodacious' is one of the boats taking their 150%, and Clauser - who never lacks for an opinion - swore up and down it's crazy not to take one. Given the relatively light conditions so far, he may be right - but the debate rages on.

John and Bobbi Get in the Aloha Spirit at the Kick-Off Party

Photo Courtesy Bruce Schwab

One part of Clauser's tried-and-true Pac Cup routine that we do agree with is growing a wild-looking beard before the race. "It's fun," claimed John, "and it's cheaper than buying sun screen!"

Singlehanded TransPac

'Latitude's editor on the scene in Kauai, John Riise, offers the following update at noon on July 13:

"By the time you read this, 22 of 23 competitors in the 12th Singlehanded TransPac from San Francisco to Kauai will have crossed the finish line, completing one of the most unusual ocean races on record. A woman took first to finish for the first time ever, a boat was abandoned for the first time ever - and on the same day no less! And that was just the beginning. At this writing, the oldest boat in the fleet, a 32-year old Black Soo sailed by Greg Nelson of Alameda was the fleet leader on handicap.

Who almost tailed-end another competitor off the Farallones at night?
What caused the General's mast to come down 500 miles from Kauai?
Why did the racers vote "screw him" when they were polled about one competitor's difficulties?
How did the fire start on one of the Olson 30s?
Which boat ruined a boom, pole, sail and almost lost his autopilot in one roundup?

For answers to all these and many other questions, don't miss the August issue of 'Latitude 38'.

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