Photo of the Day

February 6 - SoCal

Fastest boat in California? Bill Gibbs of Southern California was a beach cat sailor in the mid-'80s, but then needed to devote all his time to his family and business. In early '98, he says he woke up and realized that his kids were grown and his business could carry him, so he went and bought a 40-ft Crowther cat for day sailing and ocean races in Southern California - and maybe cruising. After owning the boat a while, he remembered that his wife doesn't like to sail, so he mostly raced the boat. "My 'Sonrisa' was as slow as a mono under 10 knots, slower than a mono under six knots, and has never beat an F-31," says Gibbs. "So I started looking for a used racing cat with credentials - and ORCA compatibility, which requires accommodations. I found 'Afterburner', a 52-foot long and 30-foot wide cat described as "the fastest boat in New Zealand," and after seeing the boat in New Zealand with my wife, bought her. It sounds easy, but shipping the boat back home and reassembling her raised the price by 50%. Simply put, the boat gets scary really quick. But it's a fun scary, if you know what I mean. She'll sail much faster than we will at the moment. We had winds up to maybe 12 knots last Saturday off Ventura and we were spinnaker reaching at 20 knots. There's not a lot of room for mistakes, so we're taking it slow."

'Latitude 38' readers know that we're routinely skeptical of a lot of speed claims. But when Gibbs says that 'Afterburner' was doing 20 knots in 12 knots of wind, we don't doubt him for a second. So if you're doing the Ensenada Race, you may want to keep an eye out for the new hot rod on the California coast.

Pineapple Cup

February 6 - Lauderdale to Jamaica

After leading most of the 'Mobay Race', Roy Disney and his Los Angeles-based R/P 75 'Pyewacket' have had to drop out. With the wind having gone dead, Roy apparently had an obligation to be at a theme park opening. Our Racing Editor Rob Moore reports from Spliffsville:

"Pfffffffff (sound of no wind). Zzzzzzzz (excitement factor). This is really getting ugly. No finishers in sight (9:45 local time). 'Pyewacket' has dropped out and is limping into Ochos Rios 60 miles or so away from here. Roy has to be at some kind of Disney theme park opening tomorrow. Big letdown, as they were leading from the get-go. Jim Dolan's 'Sagamore' should finish first now, but when?"

So 'Windward Passage's record from 1971 still stands, perhaps the longest standing record of any relatively important race. For the gory details, as they become available, visit

Midwinters at Richmond Yacht Club

February 6 - Richmond

Andy Turpin was over at the Richmond Yacht Club Midwinters on Sunday, and this is some of what he captured with his camera:

Mystery Cruising Spot

February 6 - ???

If you don't know where this is, tune in tomorrow.

The Race Update

February 6 - Southern Ocean

Not much happened in the last 24 hours other than that 'Innovation Explorer' pulled a little closer to 'Club Med'. The first two boats only have about four more days in the Southern Ocean if all goes well.

1. Club Med / dtf 9,581.6 miles to finish.
2. Innovation Explorer / dtl 595.6 miles
3. Team Adventure / dtl 4,660.5 miles
4. Warta Polpharma / dtl 5,346.3 miles
5. Team Legato / dtl 6,383.3 miles

Vendée Globe Update

February 6 - Atlantic Ocean
No race is over until the boats have crossed the finish line, but it's beginning to look as if young Ellen MacArthur's brilliant run on the Vendée Globe is about to fall short. With leader Michel Desjoyeaux having less than 1,500 miles to go, he's pulled into a 122 mile lead and is sailing two knots faster. Anything can happen, but time is running out. No need to cry for Ellen, however, as she'll return home to England where she'll be coronated as their latest hero. For many years the French have known that women can be brilliant offshore racers, and now MacArthur is proving it to the English-speaking world. Good on her! Amidst all the acclaim for MacArthur, people shouldn't overlook the - so far - brilliant sailing of leader Michel Desjoyeaux. See

Ellen MacArthur on 'Kingfisher'
Photo Courtesy

Yesterday's 'Lectronic

February 6 - Mill Valley

Due to an in-house mistake, only half the 'Lectronic Latitude was posted yesterday when everyone was notified. You may want to check it again, particularly the business about the St. Francis YC and Oracle Racing. Sorry for the error.


February 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

February 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 Ocean Weather

Today's University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite was not available again this morning. You can try it yourself at

Pacific Sea State

Seas are normal in the Pacific. But you might check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For another view, see

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