Photo of the Day

Only as Strong as It Needed to Be

November 22 - Auckland, New Zealand

The photo of the day is Oracle Racing's America's Cup boat USA 61, lying on her side in the Hauraki Gulf after her keel fell off yesterday during two-boat testing. But to see it, you have to visit the New Zealand Herald's Web site at: While the crew had to scramble to safety, none of them were hurt.

The 21-ton keel sheered off in about 22 knots of wind and a flattish sea while Chris Dickson and crew were racing against Paul Cayard who was on USA 49. Both IAAC boats, of course, belonged to Cayard's AmericaOne syndicate in the last Cup, and were then sold to Larry Ellison's Oracle Racing. USA 61, which lost her keel, was the boat Cayard sailed in his narrow loss to 'Prada' in the Louis Vuitton Challenger Finals.

The last time a keel fell off an America's Cup boat was back in '95 when the French boat lost its lead. As Buddy Melges once famously noted, the ideal America's Cup boat is built only as strong as it needs to be to cross the finish in the last race.

Even though Ellison and therefore Oracle Racing have all the money in the world, you can't buy time. So even if the keel could be recovered - it's in about 120 feet of water - and the boat put back together, there is no way the syndicate can make up for lost two-boat testing during prime time - this being spring in New Zealand. Oracle Racing does own two more America's Cup boats, the Hawaiian 'Abracadabras', which are in Richmond, California. One of them is for sail on eBay for less than $90,000.

Weather Updates

November 22 - Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

Tropical Weather

Once again it's quiet in the tropics regions of the entire world.

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.: Also check out (but note that the Java Applet is still not working with some browsers on Macs - including your Webmistress's Netscape Communicator!)

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


Another Shattered Memory

November 22 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico

You may recall that yesterday we asked if the famous Z-town footbridge in the accompanying photograph still stood. In only a matter of hours we had our response from Craig Gottschalk of Scorpion: "It has been quite awhile since anyone had the pleasure of crossing the rickety Zihuatanejo footbridge. It was ceremoniously replaced with a more permanent cement version, obviously constructed by the lowest bidder.  About half of the old bridge, the two ends, remain. The center span was removed to allow the passage of occasional flybridge power boats into what has now become a muddy water boatyard and panga anchorage. The dreams of a grand marina complex there are just another shattered memory."

West Marine Caribbean 1500

Having been on the Ha-Ha, we're a little late reporting this, but Steve and Linda Dashew of Tucson, Arizona, set new a record in the Caribbean 1500 by covering the course in 128 hours with 'Beowulf', their Deerfoot 84. The course took the fleet of 55 boats - mostly made up of cruising boats between 40 and 52 feet - from Hampton, Virginia, to Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. 'Beowulf' also corrected out first, but only by 2.5 hours over 'Hi Flite', George and Barbara Masson's Pearson 424 from St. Petersburg, Florida, which had nipped 'Calypso Rose', John Burkhart's Passport 44 from Annapolis, Maryland. For more see

Photo Courtesy Beowulf


November 22 - 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


Vendée Globe Update

November 22 - Atlantic Ocean

While most of us will be at home or over at relatives enjoying a big turkey dinner tomorrow, the Vendée Globe fleet will be trying to work their way through the doldrums in the Atlantic. As of yesterday, these incredibly fast monohulls might as well have been glued in place as they weren't making much more than two knots. The current leaders are: 1) 'Aquitaine Innovations', Yves Parlier; 3) 'PRB', Michel Desjoyeaux (+20 miles); 3) 'Sill Matines La Potagère', Roland Jourdain (+45m); 4) 'Active Wear', Marc Thiercelin (+45m); 5) 'Solidaires', Thierry Dubois (+46m); 6) 'Kingfisher', Ellen MacArthur (+50m); 7) 'Sodebo Savourons la Vie', Thomas Coville (+57m); 8) 'EBP' - Esprit PME - Gartmore, Josh Hall (+112m). You can access the Vendée Globe Web site at:

From the crew here at the 'Lectronic Latitude house to the crew there at your house, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, which we are officially declaring a four-day holiday. We'll be back Monday!

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