'Lectronic Latitude

July 20 - Mill Valley

It's deadline here at the print version, so there will be minimalist 'Lectronic Latitudes for this week. Before sure to check out the 'back issues' of 'Lectronic, most of which have timeless material.

Photo of the Day

July 20 - California Coast

Great minds think alike. When Columbus sailed the ocean blue back in 1492, skeptical members of the crew wanted to turn back, fearing they were going to sail off the edge of the world. "Sail on!" ordered Columbus.

Similarly, when we were sailing from Long Beach to Newport Beach earlier this year on 'Profligate', the wind started going light - as it usually does on that trip. Some of the crew wanted to call it a day, but Heather of Newport (see the accompanying photograph) climbed up on the seagull striker and spotted wind in the distance. "Sail on," she said, just like Columbus. So we did.

Photo Latitude/Richard

America's Cup Update

July 20 - San Francisco

The rumors have been going around for months, but on Monday it's expected that Larry Ellison - owner of 'Oracle', 'Sayonara' and two large motoryachts - and the St. Francis YC will announce a challenge for the next America's Cup. It's long been assumed that Bruce Farr, who designed 'Sayonara', will be the head designer, and that Chris Dickson, another Kiwi and a guy in tune with Ellison's aggressive style, will be at the helm. AmericaOne's Paul Cayard, who made it to the challenger finals, and his two boats will also be part of the package.

The Race Update

July 20 - Rhode Island and Europe

With The Race - the non-stop virtually no rules around the world race to start less than six months from now, two boats are ready for major tune-ups, while others are being modified and repaired. Both Steve Fossett's 'Playstation' and Grant Dalton's 'Club Med' are in Newport, Rhode Island, waiting for the right weather to challenge one of the longest standing and greatest sailing records: the 6 day, 13 hour Atlantic crossing Serge Madec did with the catamaran 'Explorer' back when she was only 75 feet long. 'Playstation' and Club Med are both inherently much faster - and potentially even more dangerous boats - so chances are reasonably good a record or boat will be broken. Madec, by the way, now spends his time racing Mumm 30 monohulls.

Over in England, Pete Goss is trying to put his 120-foot wave piercing cat 'Team Phillips' back together again. As you'll remember, 45 feet of one hull broke off in light conditions and the other was severely weakened. The repair will add a whopping two tons to the boat's initial displacement of 18 tons. And in France, two near sisterships to 'Club Med' are being built, one of them for Cam Lewis of Maine.

University of Hawaii Meteorology Graphic

Click here to see enlarged graphic.

Weather Updates

July 20 - Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean Weather

The trades have filled in nicely for the Pacific Cup fleet. And down off Baja, the wind is light and the seas flat, perfect for boats sneaking back to California between hurricanes.

California Coast Weather

If you wanted to bring a boat up the coast, last week was the time. Right now it's blowing 25 to 30 knots day and night, with 10 foot seas.
For details see: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml

Pacific Sea State

Conditions look normal in the North Pacific, but there's some nasty seas 300 miles to the south of Tahiti. Check it out at http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.

Tropical Disturbances

A tropical depression is moving west 250 miles to the south of Hawaii with 30-knot winds. Check out 'One-C' at http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/e_pacific/2000/index.html


 Med Cruising

July 20 - Monaco

Perhaps the most famous port in the Med is Monte Carlo, home to some really big yachts. When we pulled in with 'Big O' about five years ago, we were surprised that they had a Med tie for us - and it was only $65 a night, a fraction of what something similar would have cost on the East Coast of the U.S. There's lots of fun stuff to do in Monte Carlo for free or almost free. The waterfront natatorium is great, there's lot of terrific sculpture in front of the Casino de Paris, and the people-watching is above average. No, you don't have to break the bank at Monte Carlo to either stay there or have fun there.


July 20 - 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 http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps


West Marine Pacific Cup

July 20 - Pacific Ocean

Game on! We haven't seen today's (Thursday) position reports yet, but it seems the 65 boats still remaining in the eleventh edition of the Pacific Cup have finally hit the trades. The Pacific Ocean was flatter than a reflecting pool for the last 10 days, but we suspect the fleet is zooming along gleefully right about now. If sailors had long memories - which fortunately they don't - races like this one would have killed the sport years ago.

Since yesterday, the bantam-weight Antrim 27 'E.T.' has moved into the lead in Division D over the previous leader, 'Bodacious' - another sign the wind is filling in. A glance at the excellent charts on the http://www.pacificcup.org/ site really helps you understand how the race is shaping up. Almost invariably, the leaders in each class have snuck south in the last few days - setting themselves up with better wind and a better angle to the finish. The slot car part of the race is over, and the drag racing is about to begin!

'La Diana' is slowly being ground down, with just an 80-mile lead now. 'Lina' is listed as the overall winner still, but her northerly position could hurt her against 'Octavia' in the next few days. 'Pegasus' is currently passing boats left and right, and should be a no-brainer for line honors.

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