Photos of the Day

April 10 - St. Barts

Today's Photos of the Day don't really have anything to do with sailing, but since they come from a sailing trip, we're squeezing them in. During our annual New Year's vacation to St. Barts in the Eastern Caribbean, we bought a package of Kellogg's Corn Flakes. As we sat at the Auberge de Petit Anse above the tropically blue sea enjoying a bowl, we were stunned to read the copy on the side of the familiar box. It had nothing to do with free toys or sports stars, but offered some surprisingly simple advice on how to improve one's life. We suppose it was just a matter of time before old hippies started heading up marketing departments.

Speaking of St. Barts, here's a third photo that shows the difference between sailing in the chic parts of the Caribbean and the West Coast of the United States. The photo shows two boats leaving the harbor at Gustavia for a daysail. The one in front is a J/40, which on the West Coast qualifies as a relatively large boat, but in this part of the Caribbean qualifies as a dinghy. The sailboat behind her is a Swan 100, which in St. Barts rates as a relatively large boat. We wonder if the owner had some Corn Flakes for breakfast, and if he read the message on the side. In any event, if you enjoy looking at big sailboats, there's no place like St. Barts at New Year's.

Photos Latitude/Richard

No Sex for Us, We're British

April 10 - Auckland, New Zealand

Apparently we missed this when it first came around, but when it came time to be assigned sail numbers for the more recent America's Cup boats, the Brits were in line to be given #69. Hilariously, they declined. The French, as you might expect, enthusiastically claimed the number as their own. Different cultures, different passions.

Oracle Ace on Top in Congo Cup

April 10 - Long Beach

Oracle Racing's America's Cup efforts haven't been the slickest looking show in the world, what with keels falling off their boats and the demotion of sailing heroes such as Chris Dickson and Paul Cayard. But maybe things are a lot better than they appear on the surface. For one thing, the latest fun rumor is that the keels feel off the Oracle Boats because they are working on a way to move or twist them, as just a degree or two of better pointing ability would be devastating. Secondly, who needs a Dickson or Cayard when Peter Holmberg, originally from the Virgin Islands, continues to kick butt in the match racing circuit? At yesterday's Congressional Cup put on by the Long Beach YC, Holmberg was the top dog. Rich Roberts explains:

"Who is going to stop Peter Holmberg from winning his fourth Congressional Cup in five years? Nobody had the answer on a breezy opening day of racing Tuesday when the world's No. 1-ranked match racer ran the table against fellow America's Cup campaigners Ken Read and Rod Davis, former world champion Ed Baird, local favorite Scott Dickson and Britain's Andy Green to stand alone at 5-0. Holmberg, from the U.S. Virgin Islands, looked even more like a solid choice to lead Oracle Racing's challenge starting later this year.

"Holmberg, coming off wins in the last two Swedish Match Tour events, was on his game. He beat Read by forcing him over the starting line early with a quick, deft tack. Next he got Dickson when he feinted a 'dial-down' hunting move, then came back on the wind as Dickson, sailing with older brother Chris as tactician, hesitated and momentarily fell into irons head to wind. Then Holmberg scrubbed off a penalty against Davis with a hard luff near the finish that drew Davis into a foul that canceled out his own.

"Other action included a couple of America's Cup veterans tumbling overboard - bowman Jerry Kirby off Read's boat and main sail trimmer Steve Erickson off Brady's boat. Each hauled himself back on board without serious injury, although Kirby was still bleeding from the bridge of his nose back on shore.
The Congressional Cup's total purse is $25,000. The top eight finishers receive Swedish Match Tour Championship Prize points. The top eight point leaders at the conclusion of the Swedish Match Tour divide a $200,000 prize purse, with the Swedish Match Tour champion receiving $60,000."

The Congo Cup continues through this weekend, and is held right off the tip of the Belmont Pier, just south of Long Beach. If you want the greatest possible front row seats for the best match racing in the world, it's free, and it's at the end of the pier. It's entertaining beyond belief, and if you're in the area you really should check it out. In most racing, the starting area is kept clear. In the Congo Cup, spectator boats are anchored near the starting area, and used as weapons by the competing boats. Near collisions are a dime a dozen.

Photo Rich Roberts

Racing for Dollars

April 10 - Fremantle, Australia

The Royal Perth Yacht Club burst back onto the international sailing scene today with the launch of a spectacular and innovative new ocean race, starting and finishing in Fremantle. With a total prize purse of US $6.4 million, the race will pass the three notorious capes - Leeuwin, Horn and Good Hope - to port, and take about 45 days, from a start in December 2004. This will be a non-stop blast around the infamous Southern Ocean, sailed in identical 25 meter boats, with the winner taking US $2.5 million, and a 'skins' type format making it possible for one boat to collect up to US $4.65 million. Although this is a non-stop ocean race, there will be eleven legs, each one starting and finishing with the fleet passing through a gate, either created with electronic waypoints, or a physical gate like Cook Strait, between North and South Islands, New Zealand.The organizers of the 'Antarctica Cup' race will supply the boats, which are to be designed by Ron Holland, and built in Western Australia, with the entry fee for the event including the purchase price of the boat. America's Cup winning sailor, and lifetime Fremantle resident, John Longley said about this new project, which is scheduled to happen every two years, "It is not often that a great idea corresponds with a great need."

This race will be open to yacht clubs around the world, which will represent their countries; boats will have to be skippered and crewed by nationals of the country they represent, making this very much a 'nations cup' of bluewater ocean racing. There was no mention made of the entry fee.

Looking for Matching Money

April 10 - San Francisco Bay Area

"Thanks so much for your support of Bruce Schwab's Wylie-designed Open 60 Ocean Planet and the Made in America Foundation's program to get a U.S. entry into the Around Alone race. Once again we find ourselves in need of help. We have a great opportunity to raise the money that will get us to the starting line of the Around Alone race this September. Hank Grandin - of Tinsley Island fame - has organized a group of our existing supporters to put forward a 'matching grant' of $50,000. However, we only get the funds if we can raise at least that amount in new donations between April 1 and June 15, when the matching grant expires. For details, contact Dave Fullerton, Board of Directors, Made in America Foundation, at (650) 701-8806 (work) or (650) 281-4519 (mobile).

Builder Steve Rander sitting on the boat's carbon fiber 'throne'

Rander (in red jacket) supervises Ocean Planet's 'nose job'.
Photos Skip Allan

Wheels for Dinks

April 10 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico

If you're going to go cruising in Mexico this winter, you're probably going to want wheels for your dinghy to keep from destroying your back. Which kind to buy? Mexico vets seemed to express their opinion in this photo taken during this year's Zihua Fest.

Photo Latitude/Richard


April 10 - 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

April 10 - 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 The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at

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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