Photo of the Day

May 23 - Napa River

A couple of weeks ago, we had great response to a caption contest about a powerboat on the rocks in Catalina. Let's see what you folks can do with this powerboat 'up the reeds' in the Napa River. Email your answers to Richard.

Photo Latitude/Richard

Ellen MacArthur Does It Again!

May 23 - Terragona, Spain

Sailing as part of the five-person crew aboard Alain Gautier's 60-foot trimaran Foncia-Kingfisher in the 2,705-mile Challenge Mondial Assistance from Cherbourg, France, to the Azores, to the Mediterranean coast of Spain, Ellen MacArthur, sailing's biggest heroine, finds herself in the winner's circle again. As you'll recall, she came out of nowhere a year ago to win the Europe New Man One Star with her Open 60 Kingfisher, then finished second with the same boat in the around-the-world Vendée Globe.

In France - and much of Europe - the Challenge Mondial and the 60-foot trimaran racing circuit is huge. While this year's race was one of the slowest ever - the winner only averaged a little over 10 knots, which is pathetic when you consider these boats have covered 625 miles in 24 hours - it was also one of the closest ever. With just 150 miles to the finish, the standings looked like this:

1 - Bayer en France, Yvan Bourgnon, 154.8 miles from the finish.
2 - Groupama, Franck Cammas, 1.3 miles from the leader.
3 - Belgacom, Jean-Luc Nélias, 4.3 miles from the leader.
4 - Foncia, Alain Gautier, 4.4 miles from the leader.
5 - Gitana IX, Thierry Duprey, 200.6 miles from the leader.
Retired : Banque Populaire, Lalou Roucayrol.
Retired : La Trinitaine / Team Ethypharm, Marc Guillemot.
Retired : Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam.

But in the last miles of what turned out to be match racing on a calm sea, Alain Gautier and his crew bested Jean-Luc Nélias and Belgacom at the finish by merely 12 minutes. "It was absolutely fantastic!" said MacArthur. "We were a great team and had a very good time. We never gave up, even when we were 40 miles behind. These boats are amazing. We were reaching at 30 knots in a very confused sea during the first days of the race. It was just amazing to see these boats perform so well in those conditions."

The starting line in Cherbourg
Photo P. Garenne

The happy winning team in Terragona
Photos Courtesy Challenge Mondial Assistance

For details, visit

PlayStation Smacks Miami to New York Record

May 23 - New York

Steve Fossett and his international crew of 12 aboard the 125-ft maxi catamaran PlayStation set a new Miami to New York world sailing speed record of 2 days 5 hours 55 mins. This beats the previous mark - set by Bruno Peyron and Cam Lewis in the 86-foot Data Explorer - by 17 hours. In the first two days, they covered 1,008 miles. The crew included Dawn Riley of Sausalito, West Marine's Chuck Hawley, and Peter Hogg of Mill Valley.

Congratulations are in order of course, but this record can't be considered a big deal, not when PlayStation and Data Explorer are the only two big multihulls to have ever done it. The real test will come shortly when PlayStation will take on the Transatlantic record that has stood for 11 years. First, however, the record-hungry Fossett will jet to the balloon with which he'll attempt the first Solo Around the World Balloon Flight. The last time he tried it, you'll remember his balloon was struck by lightning and fell 29,000 feet to the ocean, where Fossett was rescued by a yacht.

May 23 - San Francisco Bay

Whale in the Bay

As we headed into Raccoon Strait yesterday from Richardson Bay, we looked out toward the Gate and saw this whale. Yes, we know there's not much to see, but he was camera shy. And when he did come much of the way out of the water, we couldn't get our camera on him fast enough for a good shot. You'll just have to trust us.

Photo Latitude/Richard

Hay Schooner on the Bay

While just about to enter Richardson Bay, in addition to the whale, we saw Billy Martinelli's lovely hay schooner replica. She's busy now, taking out children on educational sails. She's also looking good.

Photo Latitude/Richard


May 23 - 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

May 23 - 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 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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