October 6 - Bay of Biscay
|Talk about cojones! Six months ago,
Pete Goss' Queen-blessed, wave-piercing, 'wind-surfer rigged',
120-foot maxi cat 'Team Phillips' was England's embarassment
to the world, as both bows broke off during an early sea trial
in moderate conditions. The entire team of sponsors, designers,
builders and crewmembers did a great job of keeping the faith,
however, and the world's largest all carbon fiber structure was
rebuilt. And last Saturday, a crowd of 40,000 was on hand to
see the boat put back in the water.
Yesterday, having had nothing that could be called a sea trial, Goss and crew set sail with 'Team Phillips' from Dartmouth, England, across the Bay of Biscay. The dreaded Bay of Biscay is not the best place to gingerly shake a boat down, but time is running short for Goss and 'Team Phillips' to qualify for and make the star of The Race, the no-holds-barred around the world race to start from Barcelona on December 31. In fact, if the monitors assessing the strains on the hulls and rigs indicate all is well, 'Team Phillips' and her crew will immediately head across the Atlantic for New York. After a week in the Big Apple, they would make an early November Atlantic crossing hoping to qualify for The Race.
No matter what the outcome, former Royal Marine Pete Goss had done England proud for the way he has stood tall during these most difficult and trying months. We wish him and his crew the best.
Photos Courtesy 'Team Phillips'
Oh no, not again! We just got a report in that 'Team Phillips' had to return to port due to excessive movement at the base of one of the masts.
October 6 - Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
Tropical Storm Olivia is blowing at 45 knots as she continues
to head further off the coast of Mexico to oblivion.
In the Atlantic/Caribbean, almost all tropical storms move to the west and northwest. But Tropical Storm Leslie, which just formed north of the Bahamas, had to be different. She immediately took off in a northeasterly direction. With only 35 knots, she's not even much of a threat to Bermuda. Former Hurricane Keith as gone ashore in eastern Mexico.
To see what the winds are like on the Bay right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/. It looks as though it will be a great weekend for sailing on San Francisco Bay or flying cutting edge jets, depending on your preference.
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.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml.
You can view the new University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite picture by clicking here.
Seas are normal in the Eastern Pacific. Check out today's sea
state at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.
October 6 - Baja Ha-Ha World Headquarters
It's hard to believe some of the things cruisers have done
- and gotten away with. Check this part of a bio from Jim Van
Patten who is entering his Beneteau 510 in the Baja Ha-Ha:
"My sailing knowledge all comes from books and experience. For example, the only sailing I'd done before buying my first boat, a 38-footer, was a four hour sea trial. That weekend, I attempted to singlehand the boat to Hawaii. Unfortunately, once I got a couple of days out, I couldn't see any airplanes. You see, this was long before the days of GPS, and while I had a sextant, it was mostly a beautiful bulkhead decoration - because I didn't have a clue how to use it. My plan was to follow the vapor trails of the jets flying from LAX to Hawaii, and I had fully prepared myself by putting together a complete list of the departure times. It all got pretty interesting, but nine days later I was back in California."
Believe it or not, some sailors used to use vapor trails to try to 'confirm' they were headed in the right direction. An even better believe it or not: Way back when, Pan Am even altered some flight to Hawaii to drop down near the surface to try to see some TransPac boats. When we asked a United pilot if he'd done the same thing during this year's West Marine Pacific Cup, he just laughed.
October 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 http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/
October 6 - Boston
|It's been a great year for women in competitive
sailing, highlighted of course by Ellen MacArthur's brilliant
victory with 'Kingfisher' in the Europe New One Man Star - or
whatever they called that open transatlantic race. And it's gotten
even better now that Alex - a woman - Phillips has skippered
'Gladstone', one of 12 identical Rob Humphries-designed 72-footers
to first place in the first leg - Southhampton to Boston - of
the 'round the world BT Global Challenge.
Early on there was an example of what might be called 'a woman's touch'. The entire fleet got hit by Force 11 winds not long after the start. Most skippers decided to carry on, and their boats suffered. Phillips decided discretion is the better part of valor, and ran with the wind in the opposite direction of the finish. But after the squall passed, she and her crew had a whole boat, which helped in their victory.
The victory for 'Gladstone' and Phillips was all the sweeter, for they had the least sponsorship and got it the latest. While other teams got new team shirts to wear almost every day and got to train in exotic locales, 'Gladstone' had to rely on grit and teamwork. Prior to starting the first leg, 'Gladstone's crew bonded by all having their hair dyed orange to match the hull of their boat. Only skipper Phillips held back - with the promise that she'd also dye her hair if they were one of the top three boats in the leg to Boston. She now has an appointment with a hairdresser. See www.btchallenge.com
Photo Courtesy BT Global Challenge
October 6 - Cannes, South of France
If anyone thinks that Prada chairman Patrizio Bertelli had gotten his fill of sailing after losing to New Zealand in the America's Cup, they couldn't be more wrong. In addition to having his 2003 America's Cup effort going full bore, Bertelli also has a stable of boats in the Med, from the sleek and modern to the classic. As much as he loves America's Cup yachts, Bertelli - like many wealthy Europeans - has a real passion for classic yachts. So for the Cannes Regates Royale, which ended last weekend in the South of France, Bertelli donated the new Prada Trophee. The regatta featured 78 Dragons, six meters, eight meters, 12 meters, 15 meters, the J Class 'Velsheda', and the 135-foot gaff-schooner 'Mariette', owned by Tom Perkins of Belvedere.
Photo of Mariette by Tim Wright
October 6 - St. Tropez
With the Regates Royale having concluded last weekend, many
of the top sailors and yachts headed a few miles west to St. Tropez
for the Voiles de St. Tropez Regatta. And at least one, Roy Disney
of Los Angeles, flew over from the States to participate. His
75-foot 'Pyewacket' was already in the Med after having competed
As some sailors may remember, the Voiles de St. Tropez replaced the grand and much-beloved La Nioulargue Regatta, which fell victim to lawyers and the French legal system following an unfortunate collision and death.
This year's Voiles has been hampered by light winds, and there was controversy when Wednesday's racing was abandoned. Yesterday there was a light breeze early that allowed the 10-boat Wally fleet and the Spirit of traditional classes to get away. The IRC A class was to feature a showdown between Mike Slade's new 90-ft supermaxi 'Leopard' and Roy Disney's 'Pyewacket'. Alas, Disney's boat, like several others, ran aground in the mud while hugging the coast. It took half an hour before they were able to push the boat off with a spinnaker pole. Prior to that, 'Pyewacket' had looked strong in the light going.
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