Photo of the Day

August 15 - Redwood City

"I snapped this beautiful photo from Pete's Harbor in Redwood City the other day," writes Greg Retkowski of an unnamed Morgan Out-Island 41. "Since I moved aboard, I've been surprised to find sunsets like this are the norm rather than the exception. I'm preparing for the Baja Ha-Ha, and then bringing my boat back to her place of origin, Florida. I'm looking for crew to share the food and fuel costs."

Photo Greg Retkowski

Where the Girls Are

August 15 - Two Harbors, Santa Catalina Island

If your teen-age boys complain there aren't enough teen-age girls where you go sailing, take them to Two Harbors, Catalina - where this shot was taken last week. "There were hundreds of under 18 girls in bikinis on the beach," reports Latitude's Andy Turpin, "much to the delight of the young guys on our boat. Hundreds and hundreds. Friendly, too."

Photo Latitude/Andy

Believe it or not, sometimes relationships that start at Two Harbors last past the end of summer. Two of the Wanderer's best friends met at Catalina. She sailed over with her parents; he came over with a gang of guys. They hooked up, married, have two kids, and live in Mill Valley.

Summer Keelboat Regatta

August 14 - San Francisco Bay

The pulse of Bay Area yacht racing is quickening now, as witnessed at last weekend's excellent San Francisco YC-hosted Summer Keelboat Invitational. Five one design classes sailed on two different race courses on either side of the Berkeley Circle. Conditions were splendid, as evidenced by the shots of Farr 40s below. Topping the 13-boat Farr 40 class were, once again, John Kilroy and his well-oiled Samba Pa Ti crew. Other class winners were Sails Call (J/105, Ian Charles), Eclipse (Express 37, Mark Dowdy), Motorcycle Irene (Express 27, Will Paxton) and Monsoon (Melges 24, Bruce Ayres). Complete results can be found at

Photos Latitude/Rob

Winning Farr 40 Samba Pa Ti

Fastnet Race

August 15 - Cowes, UK

Three days after the start of the 608-mile Rolex Fastnet Race - from Cowes, England, to the Fastnet Rock off Ireland, and back to Cowes - and the winner of the Fastnet Challenge is still up for grabs. Giovanni Agnelli's 92-ft almost all carbon Frers-designed Stealth was the first monohull to finish, despite taking something like seven hours to cover the last nine miles. It was a fine finish for the six-year old boat, which is said to have been designed to "go to lunch, not to weather." Although the boat rarely races, Agnelli, the honcho at Fiat, is never aboard. He treats the boat like a racehorse.

The second monohull across the line was Mike Slade's R/P 90 Leopard of London, five hours behind Stealth, followed by Ludde Ingvall's 79-ft Nicorette, which finally overtook Hasso Plattner's 80-ft R/P Morning Glory in the light air right near the finish. The maxis were followed by the Volvo 60 Newscorp, which overtook John Kostecki and the Volvo 60 illbruck in the fluky air near the finish. One Volvo skipper said the Fastnet was "too short to be long and too long to be short" to give many hints on the upcoming Volvo Around the World Race.

For a time, it looked as though the Dean Barker driven Morning Glory might have a chance to correct out first, but then American Skip Sheldon and the R/P 65-ft Zaraffa temporarily took over the corrected time lead. Now everyone is waiting to see if David Lowe's Farr 52 Loco can replace Zaraffa at the top. Some of the smaller boats in the 225-boat fleet are not expect to finish until Friday, thanks to lighter winds.

The first boat to finish the Fastnet, of course, was Francis Joyon's dated Nigel Iron's 60-ft tri Eure et Loire. They reported that it took them just 30 minutes to overtake the Volvo 60s that had started 10 minutes ahead of them. All the monohulls played the tides at the beginning of the race, but not Eure et Loire. Since they were sailing upwind at 17 knots, finding favorable tides wasn't as important as finding flat water.

There are some interesting contrasts between the first to finish multihull and the first to finish Stealth. Stealth was driven by Kenny Read, and crewed by 17 other veterans of the America's Cup and Whitbread Races. Eure et Loire had a crew of four, including 58-year-old Rodney Pattison, a winner of several Olympic medals long ago. (In fact, Pattison wore the same fleece top he wore when winning the Flying Dutchman Gold at the Olympics in Acapulco back in '68!) The crew on Stealth said they sailed to the Fastnet Rock at 15 knots, and back at 14 knots. The crew of Eure et Loire said they sailed both ways at 24 knots until the wind went light. quoted Pattison as follows: "The speed and the thrill and the sensation of sailing them [60-ft trimarans] - it's like a drug, it just hooks you. I'm sure the Volvo 60s are fun to sail, but I don't think they had a lot of fun out there. We have though. While they're all getting drenched on the weather rail, we're all up on the weather float keeping dry."

Volvo 60s at the start

The South African Simonis 65 Merlin rounds Fastnet Rock

The happy crew of Stealth

Team NewsCorp finishes in the fog

illbruck was the second Volvo 60 to cross
the finish line off Plymouth Sound

Photos Strategic Courtesy Royal Ocean Racing Club

Nonetheless, don't expect multihull racing to overtake monohull racing anytime soon. The thrills are there, but not the close and tactical competition.

For more details, results and photos visit

Mistaken Identity

August 15 - Sea of Cortez

"The picture on page 215 of August issue of Latitude 38 is identified as San Evaristo, but is actually Isla San Francisco in the Sea of Cortez," writes Doug Clark of the Oyster Cove-based Gypsy Soul. "I've enclosed two photos, one of San Evaristo, and of Isla San Francisco. Both were taken during our cruise last winter. The closest boat is our Morgan 462. San Evaristo is a short trip across the channel and a bit north of Isla San Francisco, on the Baja mainland. One of the many fascinating features of the anchorage at Isla San Francisco is the zillions of herring, sardines or whatever. These fish form a solid, moving layer several feet thick below the boat. Although the water is clear, you can seldom see the bottom due to these fish."

San Evaristo

Isla San Francisco

Photos Courtesy Doug Clark

Thanks for the correction. We remember when the waters of Bahia Cabo San Lucas were so thick with fish that you couldn't see the bottom. That was in the late '70s.


August 15 - 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

Weather Updates

August 15 - Pacific Ocean

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.:

Pacific Winds and Pressure

The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For another view, see

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