Photo of the Day

August 6 - San Francisco Bay.

"When Doug Chew named his newly-acquired Merit 25 Challenger, former boat partner Phil Mai of the Merit 25 Loose Lips told him it was not a lucky name. Doug's an experienced racer, but it was only his third time out with the new boat when fate overtook them. Approaching the windward mark during a windy Berkeley Yacht Club Friday Night Race, a J-40 on port was unable to fall off enough to duck Challenger on starboard. Challenger tried a last-second crash tack, but the J-40 skewered the Merit broadside and knocked two of the crew off the starboard rail. The Merit flooded and sank while the big J stood by to assist. But after several attempts with the Lifesling, they were still having trouble making the recovery in the 25-knot conditions. Along came Ned Walker from Olympic Circle Sailing Club in the J-24 Casual Contact, who picked up three of the Challenger crew in one pass under sail. The fourth was pulled out by Brent Draney and the B-25 Zilla. Challenger spent the night wedged between pilings of the abandoned Berkeley Pier, and was re-floated and towed in the next morning by Vessel Assist. The boat, formerly Ragin Cajun, seems to have suffered remarkably little damage - except for the big hole in the side and the bent rudder."
So reports Paul Kamen.

Photos Courtesy Paul Kamen

Doug Chew, Challenger

The Challenger crew warming up after rescue at OCSC.

Santa Barbara To King Harbor Race

August 6 - Santa Barbara

Is there a more fun race in Southern California than the 81-mile Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race? Not that we know of. And for the faster boats, this year's conditions couldn't have been much better. It was a spinnaker reach to the west end of Anacapa Island, followed by an easy spinnaker run to Redondo Beach. The best conditions were between Anacapa Island and Point Dume, when the fleet jibed downwind in 15 to 20 knots of wind with following seas permitting fine surfing. Doug Baker's Turbosled Magnitude made the trip in under eight hours, less than a half hour behind the fastest multihull, Afterburner. However, later in the evening the wind died, leaving some of the 119 entries on the race course for more than 24 hours. Class winners include Locomotion, Cita, Lina, In the Fridge, Stark Raving Mad, Sidekick, La Diana, Friction Loss, Dead Spider and Incredible. For complete results, visit

Fleet heading out.

William Gibbs at the helm of his 52-foot cat Afterburner.

Afterburner crew, which averaged better than 10 knots for the course.

Photos Latitude/Richard

Maps and Charts

August 6 - Accurate Maps and Charts

Tired of cruising down the coast of Mexico and finding points to be a half-mile or more away from where the charts say they are supposed to be? Maybe there's hope. Last year the Space Shuttle spent 11 days taking a trillion measurements to create a stereo photo of 80% of the surface of the earth. "It's going to be 100 times better than any global map that we have," said Tom Farr of NASA. Check it out at


Cat Test

August 6 - La Grande Mott, France

During our trip to Europe in June, we visited Noel Gaudinet, an old sailing friend of ours from Sausalito. He'd bought and cruised a Union 36 to Mexico, then had to store her on the hard as he took a series of jobs in Europe for several years. While in Europe, he became interested in multihulls. In fact, he recently purchased the Outremer 45 - see accompanying photo - which had kicked butt in last year's Europe 1 New Man Start. So when we visited him in La Grande Mott, France, he was happy not just to show us his boat, but also the nearby Outremer factory. While at the factory, who would walk in but Mark and David, a couple of guys from San Francisco who'd been aboard Profligate and are looking to buy either a large monohull or large multihull for a circumnavigation. As it turned out, we - Mark and David, Dona de Mallorca, Noel, and the factory sales rep and his assistant, and the Wanderer - all went out sailing on the new Outremer 55.
See the second accompanying photograph of the delightful sail.

It turns out that Mark and David aren't the only ones in the Bay Area who are looking to purchase and/or build a 55 to 65 foot cat. So this Saturday, from noon to about 5:00, we're taking a group of them out aboard Profligate, Latitude's 63 foot cat, so they can get experience on a big cat in big wind and pick the Wanderer's small brain. If you're also interested in purchasing a large cat and would like to take part, give the Wanderer a shout by email. All we're asking is that anyone who comes be willing to donate $100 to $150 - sliding scale, you know - to Profligate's 'sister city' in the mountains above San Blas, Mexico. With the $400 the boat raised last year, they were able to purchase 1,500 items of clothing for the very poor and send a young blind boy to school to learn braille.



Photo Latitude/Richard


Greatest Days Ever?

August 6 - San Francisco Bay

If you weren't out sailing on San Francisco Bay on Saturday and Sunday, you missed two of the finest sailing days - and nights - ever. We've got tons of photos that we'll be running all week.

Here are a few examples:



Photos Latitude/Richard


August 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

Weather Updates

August 6 - 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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