Photo of the Day
January 17 - St. Barts
The lovely young couple in the photograph taken at the original 'Cheeseburgers in Paradise' are Andrew Connell and Franciane Gréaux. Andrew is a Stonington, Connecticut, boy who sailed to the Caribbean and fell in love with lovely Franciane, a native of St. Barts who is as sweet as she is lovely - and that's saying a lot. Andrew has been working on boats, while Franciane is a diver and one of the two employees of the new St. Barth Marine Sanctuary.
Anyway, the week before New Year's, Mark Delgiudice - who got his start in sailing by helping build the Soverel design 'The Shadow' in Florida, then racing her in the Pan Am Clipper Cup in Hawaii and the Big Boat Series - and Andrew were showing Dennis Conner around St. Barts. Conner is thinking about buying a house on the island, and he's been out sailing on Tray Fitzgibbon's Meriten 63 'Mischievous', a boat that Mark and Andrew take care of. After the sail, Mark and Andrew introduced Dennis to 'ti Punch, a Bartian concoction that's as potent as it is small. After a drink or two, the enthusiastic Andrew decided he just had to show the biggest name in sailing the boat he and Franciane had bought last year. Mark worried that it was a bit of an imposition, but Dennis was game to hop into the dinghy and go out to the moorings to have a look. When Andrew pointed out his boat from a short distance away, Conner immediately responded: "That's 'Arieta', a Standfast 40 from the 1973 Admiral's Cup." And he was right. Dennis may not be in as good physical shape as he once was, but his memory is sharp as a pin.
Andrew Connell and Franciane Gréaux at St. Barts' Cheeseburgers in Paradise
Andrew now offers the boat - renamed 'Corcovado' - for sailing and surfing charters in the Caribbean. And yes, if you know where to look, there's good surf in the Caribbean. He'll take six people sailing and to great surf spots for $5,000 a week, including all the food and drink. And if Franciane can get a little time away from her job at the sanctuary, she might lead a few dives, too. For further information, Andrew and Franciane can be reached by email.
The Big Green Cruising Machine
January 17 - Alameda
Some sailors think that green boats are bad luck, but that's
obviously not true of Dewey and Darlene Hines. The boat in the
photo is their new Wylie-designed H&B 68 'Jade'. The H&B
stands for Hines and Jim Betts, the latter being the Truckee
boatbuilder. The boat has an aluminum hull with a composite deck.
Two of the more unusual features are the large pilothouse and
the 11-ft long 'back porch', which has benches on each side and
a huge open area through which the dinghy can slide in and out.
January 17 - South Africa
We don't know about the rest of you, but we're always inspired by folks who have to overcome obstacles to achieve something. For example, Richard Case of Newport Beach and the yacht 'Suntrekka'. He lost a leg in the military years ago, but kept on plugging away at his dream of sailing around the world. A singlehander, he just crossed the Indian Ocean and arrived in South Africa. See the February Latitude to follow his trip from Australia across the Indian Ocean.
Photo Courtesy Suntrekka
January 17 - Tiburon
The folks over at Baja Ha-Ha, Inc., keep getting SASEs and
checks for entry packs for the next Baja Ha-Ha. Unfortunately,
they are in hibernation until May 1, so sending them anything
is useless. A full announcement about Ha-Ha VIII will be made
in the May Latitude
and in 'Lectronic Latitude.
The Ha-Ha will start from San Diego on October 30 and end with the awards ceremony in Cabo San Lucas on November 10.
January 17 - 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 www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/
January 17 - Ventura
Ventura Harbor, long one of the best kept secrets on the California coast, is going to become famous in March. In a somewhat surprise move, Oracle Racing has selected Ventura rather than Long Beach as their summer training base for their 2003 America's Cup campaign. This means that Dickson, Cayard and many of the other rock stars of sailing will be calling Ventura - where farmland butts up almost against the marina - home for much of the summer.
This information comes from John Scheibe of the 'Ventura County Star', who quotes the mayor as saying there is an agreement between Oracle Racing, the Ventura Port District and the city. Oracle is to make an announcement in the next couple of days.
Ventura has some of the most reliable afternoon breezes in Southern California, and it's only an hour or so to Los Angeles. Oracle will reportedly contribute $75,000 to the cost of dredging the entrance, as their boats need 16 feet of water. Ventura Boat Yard apparently has an agreement to transport two sailboats between the water and a warehouse.
We kept a boat in Ventura Harbor for a year or two, and it has a lot going for it. It's quiet, there's great surfing and bodysurfing across the street, there's good afternoon sailing, and it's only about 11 miles to the closest of the Channel Islands. Good for you, Ventura!
January 17 - Southern Ocean
The big blue 'Club Med' catamaran, leader of The Race, is now
in the Southern Ocean. Sailing in the Roaring Forties at average
speeds in excess of 23 knots, the 'Club Med' lead over 'Team Adventure'
grew to more than 200 miles at one point last night.
Over the past few days the 'Club Med' crew has managed to work the boat into a position where it was able to benefit from the prevailing westerly winds of a depression typically found in the Roaring Forties before its closest rival 'Team Adventure'. But first into the weather is first to hit the next soft obstacle ahead, in this case the back of the cold front associated with the same depression. The difference in distance to go to the finish between the two leaders had reduced to 154 miles today, but should now remain stable as both boats begin to sail in similar conditions again. Grant Dalton had this to say this morning: "We are in it. This is the South. We have 30 knots but unfortunately we can't use it all. The weather is horrible, very very wet and trying conditions. It is ugly sailing. This is a bad part of the world. Nighttime is weird. We were sailing sometimes at 30 knots in the pitch black. Often can't see a damn thing; we have to be really careful."
The reduction in distance between the two leaders is because 'Club Med' picked up the prevailing westerlies first, stretched out and then, because of the relatively high speeds, sailed into the back of the weather front ahead. A weather front, like anywhere else in the world, is associated with an abrupt change in wind direction. The established wind-driven ocean swell then needs time to re-orient itself leaving a confused sea in its path, something that is not conducive to easy, fast sailing. Dalton's frustration was expressed thus: "We are embedded in the back of this low pressure system. We have caught it up and are now knocking on the back of the cold front which is not ideal. The sea is very confused and we are not able to really open her up in spite of 30 knots of wind. We just don't have the waves to get the good rides. The Golden Position is not so golden. We've lost 30 miles overnight and this situation may continue as 'Team Adventure' is able to enjoy a better and more established wave pattern and a freer wind angle further behind us."
The current weather forecast is for the depression to fill and ease as it moves to the east, which will see both boats sailing in similar conditions again which will allow 'Club Med' to exploit its lead to the full. Dalton's optimism about the future: "We are sailing in those puffy frontal conditions. Hopefully this system will slack off soon and yield a more stable set of sailing conditions." But handling this big and powerful catamaran is not for the faint-hearted and extra vigilance is required at all times now that the crew are in the South. Earlier today the crew had a warning of what can happen when you push too hard in difficult conditions: "We stuck it in once, sailed into a wave and the boat stopped. I was in my bunk and ended up standing on the bulkhead at the front of my bunk. Neil McDonald was on the mainsheet and went flying straight down the hatch. You have to watch it in this place, one bad wave and it is all over. It will bite you on the backside if you let it."
The pace and the concentration shown by the 'Club Med' crew have yielded good results over the past few days. The Race is now very much between 'Team Adventure' and 'Club Med' as 'Innovation Explorer' continues to struggle to sail free from the South Atlantic High more than 500 miles back: "Relative to Loïck Peyron and the 'Innovation Explorer' crew, I feel sorry for them. We are a whole weather system ahead of them now."
|Positions at 1100 GMT
1- Club Med 18,225.5 miles from the finish line
2- Team Adventure 154.5 miles from the leader
3- Innovation Explorer 510.1
4- Warta Polpharma 1,671.7
5- Team Legato 2,563.9
For the latest images (including the latest photos from onboard) and audio from 'Club Med', visit www.catamaran.clubmed.fr.
Graphic Courtesy Team Adventure
by Rich Roberts, 'Yachting' Key West Race Publicity Director
January 17 - Key West, Florida
A mischievous summer storm blew in from the Atlantic Ocean Tuesday and brought the Bermuda Triangle with it. Everyone involved in 'Yachting' Key West Race Week 2001 agreed that it was a tactician's kind of day when speed was second in priority to location. As the light rain fronts rolled progressively over the four courses, laid out east to west over a seven-mile expanse, each saw varying conditions with one thing in common: a lot of navi-guessing going on. The day belonged to those who were lucky or smart - or both.
Winds fluctuated from 5 to 19 knots and swung through about 60 degrees left and right. The 37 Farr 40s were typically flipped inside out until conditions settled down to a steadier 8-10 for the second race in the afternoon. George Carabetta's 'Diana' from Meriden, Conn., was last and 21st in Monday's first two races but won Tuesday's first race by 23 seconds as Philippe Kahn's 'Pegasus', an Admiral's Cup contender from California, went from a 2-7 Monday to a 20-12 Tuesday.
Harry Melges, 1-1 among 59 Melges 24s Monday, was 10-14 as dark horse Neil Sullivan of Annapolis ran his string to 3-4-1-4 for the lead.
Footnote: Kahn's tactician is San Diego's Mark Reynolds, an Olympic gold medalist and the Sperry World Sailor of the Year, which shows how crazy the gods were Tuesday. 'Diana's tactician is Stu Bannatyne, a recent addition to John Kostecki's 'illbruck' America's Cup team.
James Richardson's 'Barking Mad' - 'Pegasus' rival for the Admiral's Cup slot - charged to the front of the Farr 40 fleet with a 5-4 effort. George Andreadis's 'Atalanti XII', with Robbie Haines, slipped to an 8-22 day but was awarded Boat of the Day honors for Monday's 1-5.
Doug DeVos of Holland, Mich., owner of the 1D35 'Windquest',
was away on business for the day, but Dan Cheresh, a former national
champion, had the boat out in front through the first windward-leeward
lap until a shift of 50-60 degrees skewed the course. As W.S.
Shellhorse of Lake Wesley, VA, sailed 'Avalanche' to victory,
'Windquest' settled for fifth, and tactician
Dobbs Davis lamented, "We couldn't cover 20 boats."
"It was pretty weird," said Ken Read, helmsman for Makoto Uematsu's Farr 50 'Esmeralda', which leads the IMS class with a string of 1-1-2-1 finishes. The IMS course was third in line for the weather, enabling those who stayed alert to see what was coming. Read said, "Binoculars were a valuable tool. [Tactician] Tony Rey and [navigator] Ian Moore kept their heads out of the boat all day."
Sometimes amateurs figure it out better than the pros. Tom Coates, sailing the J/105 'Masquerade' from Newport, RI, scored a 1-3 because he listened to his tactician, Chris Perkins. They took a port-tack start at the committee boat and went hard right, as most boats went left. "Chris was right, as he usually is," Coates said. "We didn't look back. On the other hand, on the same course, Woody Bergendahl, on the J/29 'Tomahawk' from Ludlow, VT, was 1-4 because he decided that "for the most part, the left paid off."
For complete results see: www.Premiere-Racing.com.
January 17 - Pacific Ocean
To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/.
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 University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite picture by clicking here.
Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.
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