Challenger Trials Resume Monday

December 6 - Auckland, NZ

The Semi-Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series begin on Monday in Auckland (Sunday on our side of the dateline). OneWorld will race Prada, and Alinghi will race Oracle BMW Racing.

Arbitration Panel hearings to deal with the complaints filed against OneWorld Challenge will begin on Saturday and are expected to conclude on Sunday. Sandwiched in the middle on Saturday evening will be the always-spectacular Louis Vuitton Ball.

Photo Bob Grieser/Louis Vuitton Cup

Hopefully, the Arbitration Panel will make its ruling before racing starts on Monday. If they rule against OneWorld, the schedule could be thrown into total disarray. For details of the charges against OneWorld and a complete history of the circumstances, see

Yesterday, the Defenders, Team New Zealand, quietly and privately marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Sir Peter Blake. Sir Peter guided Team New Zealand to victory in the America's Cup in 1995 and led the campaign in 2000, when New Zealand became the first country outside the U.S. ever to defend the America's Cup. He was shot by pirates last year while exploring the Amazon. A proposal to rename Viaduct Harbour (the Cup's home in New Zealand) Blake Harbour has been postponed, as American Express has paid for title sponsorship of the Harbour, and the Kiwis won't do anything to endanger their possession of the Cup. Indeed, Blake's widow, Lady Pippa, said Sir Peter would spin in his grave if he thought the Harbour was being renamed to the detriment of Team New Zealand. For more on proposed tributes to Blake, see Catherine Masters' story in the New Zealand Herald, at

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Hit by Jetcat

December 6 - Sydney Harbour, Australia

In another Down Under news item, Sydney to Hobart entry Infinity III has sustained damage and injuries before the race even begins.

A Sydney Ferries Jetcat collided with the yacht as it was sailing in front of the
Opera House in Sydney Harbour late Friday. At least five passengers from the yacht were thrown into the water, a witness detailed. The wife of one crewmember was bleeding from the mouth when she was pulled from the water, the witness said. Two of the passengers were taken by ambulance to the hospital. The green hulled Farr 65, owned by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Rear Commodore Martin James, was hit by the twin hulls of the Jetcat on the port stern pushpit and amidships. The owner was not on board his yacht at the time of the incident.

Trials for the sometimes dangerous Sydney to Hobart Race are scheduled for this weekend.

Photo Funnies

December 6 - Cyberspace

This photo was sent to us by John Bock, who commented, "This is the best use for an old boat I've seen recently!" We've been holding onto this since summer, saving it for a rainy day.

It may be old, but it seems to be holding water.

Go to Richmond and Sail a Small Boat

December 6 - Pt. Richmond

Tomorrow (Saturday), from 11:00 to 4:00, the Richmond Yacht Club hosts Sail-a-Small-Boat Day, weather permitting (as of Friday morning, the forecast is for partly cloudy skies with highs to the mid-60s and variable winds, so apparently whatever rain we get is supposed to finish up overnight). Sail-a-Small-Boat Day is a free event, generally held the first Saturday in March and December, wherein owners of various dinghies and small boats lend their craft to sailors interested in taking them for a spin. Last March, the boats ranged in size from DeWitt Dinghies to Etchells, and conditions were sunny and puffy.

Bring a wetsuit, spray suit or other sailing gear, a PFD, and a change of clothes. For more information, call Gail Yando at (415) 232-6310.

A Year's Worth of Sailing in Half an Hour

December 6 - A Tube Near You

Sunday, December 8, at 1:30 PM PST, ESPN2 will air the 30-minute 'International Year in Sailing', highlighting the Star Worlds, College Nationals, Farr 40 Worlds, Hamilton Island Regatta, One Ton Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Clipper Race, Route du Rhum, Around Alone, Sail for America, Sausalito Cup, Big Boat Series and America's Cup 2003. Seems like a lot to cover in half an hour, but that's the nature of the medium. See, where you will also find the ESPN2 schedule for Cup coverage.


December 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

December 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

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 views of sea states anywhere in the world, see

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