Photos of the Day

November 8 - Pacific Ocean

The Baja Ha-Ha Rally fleet should be arriving in Cabo San Lucas today, wrapping up seven days of glorious sailing interspersed with three equally glorious days of shore leave. As we did yesterday, today we bring you Tom Lyon's aerial photography of the start, way back in San Diego on October 30.

The Morgan Out-Island 41 Bronco, sailed by Nels Torbersen of Hayward

Little Wing, a Perry 52 cat sailed by John Haste of Anchorage, AK

Photos Tom Lyon

Synergizer, an Ericson 28 sailed by John Riley and Larry Weinhoff from Daly City

Jeff Rothermel's Wilderness, an Aerodyne 38 out of Manhattan Beach. Boy, that's a tall rig!

Brits Ahead in Jacques Vabre

November 8 - Atlantic Ocean

The multihulls are now between the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. The northeast trade winds are filling in over to the east of the course off the North African coastline. A low pressure system sitting over to the west may oblige the leading multihulls to head upwind to get back on route ­ these two weather systems could shuffle the pack before the fleet reaches the next obstacle ­ the Doldrums.

In the Multihull Open 60 fleet, Englishwoman Ellen MacArthur and Frenchman Alain Gautier hold a tenuous lead of 8 miles with their older but proven Kingfisher-Foncia over the brand new entry from Belgium, Belgacom, sailed by Jean-Luc Nélias and Michel Desjoyeaux. "We are going upwind now in a southeasterly breeze, trying to get back to the east but it's hard going," MacArthur explained. These top two in the west are marginally off the pace in terms of boat speed compared to the two multihulls furthest in the east. One is Groupama (Cammas/S. Ravussin), which made a lightning quick pit-stop of one hour at Santa Cruz de Tenerife (in the Canaries) to replace the starboard rudder and is already back in third place, up to speed in a good 15 knot northeasterly breeze.

Still dominating the 60-foot monohulls just south of Madeira is British/Irish entry Ecover. Skippers Mike Golding & Marcus Hutchinson have guarded their backs well but they are looking over both shoulders. Over to their west is Swiss skipper, Bernard Stamm (Bobst Group-Armor Lux), back in second place, only 28 miles behind. Hutchinson explained, "We are now more on the direct route but Bernard is a new threat to us, as we want to cross the Doldrums right over to the west but the wind is going to be right on the nose in the next 24 hours."

In fifth place is the Brit-Aussie duo of Moloney/Turner on Casto-Darty-But, whose sails and spirits are somewhat deflated. They found a hole in their spinnaker, which they repaired and rehoisted. Then it blew out as they sailed under a big squall.

The other Brit-Aussie pairing of Alex Bennett & Paul Larsen are leading the Monohull Open 50s on One Dream - One Mission, passing Madeira to the east, and being chased at a distance of 64 miles by Saving (Le Youdec/Bacave). Bennett is counting on his router to pull them through: "We're still working on tactics with Lee Bruce to avoid the parking lot coming up to our south and think we'll be able to pop our nose through a break. The only thing to do is keep moving - nothing eats away your lead like having to stop dead!"

For more news and all the standings, see

PlayStation Record Attempt False Start

November 8, 2001

Steve Fossett's PlayStation crossed the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 0826.26 GMT this morning on her bid to set a new record crossing the English Channel from Cowes on the Isle of Wight to St Malo, France. In the Solent there was 22 knots of wind and the 125-ft Morrelli/Melvin-designed mega-cat was sailing under one reef and a staysail.

One hour into the attempt and with the winds gusting to 50 knots with forecast 40-50 knots all the way, skipper Fossett decided to abort this morning's attempt.

As of 1230 GMT PlayStation was heading back towards Southampton. Steve Fossett: "Nothing is broken, but it was necessary to abort the attempt. We cannot maintain enough speed due to the rough seas." Bay Area navigator Stan Honey is once again sailing with Fossett.

Graphic Courtesy

PlayStation was vying for one of four new trophies to be presented by the Yacht Club de Dinard (in Malo Bay) in cooperation with Windevent, a French sports promotion company. The trophies are for multihull, monohull, up to 60-ft and over 60-ft. The current English Channel record was set by Tracy Edwards and her crew aboard Royal & Sun Alliance in October, 1997.

The latest news now is that Fossett has scraped plans to challenge the Channel crossing record this week, and will instead attempt the round the Isle of Wight record. With a strong crew already assembled Fossett has decided to have a crack at retrieving the Isle of Wight 'Round the Island' record he once held on his 60-ft trimaran Lakota. "Conditions are now very poor for a Cowes-St Malo record but a northeast wind is ideal to go round the island. We used to hold this record (3h 35min set in 1994) and it was broken last summer by Rodney Pattison sailing Dexia Eure et Loire in a time of 3 h 10 min. I'd like to get it back!"

PlayStation will leave the Empress Dock in Southampton tomorrow (Friday) morning around 0700 GMT and be ready to start about 0900. There appears to be no good weather pattern for a further attempt on the Cowes-St Malo record for the next week at least, so the plan now is for the crew to return home after the Isle of Wight circumnavigation and wait for a new opportunity over the coming weeks.

For more news, see

Great American II Ahead of Record

November 8, 2001

In a different record attempt, skipper Rich Wilson and co-skipper Bill Biewenga left New York City on September 19 aboard the 53' trimaran Great American II for Melbourne (in southeastern Australia), to beat the record set by the clipper ship Mandarin in 1855-56. Mandarin sailed the same 14,000-mile route in 69 days, 14 hours.

As of Wednesday, November 7 at 0825 GMT, Great American II was 728 nautical miles ahead of the comparable position of Mandarin. They are in the Indian Ocean, southeast of the Cape of Good Hope, 3,516 nautical miles from Melbourne, Victoria, and expect to arrive in Melbourne, between November 22 and November 26, where they will be hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria.

Great American II
Photo Courtesy

The team is sharing audio reports, pictures and journals and answering questions of K­12 students worldwide as part of the Ocean Challenge Live! program. For more details,


November 8 - 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

November 8 - 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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