Photos of the Day

December 23 - Carriacou, Grenada

Today's Photos of the Day are of some nasty business. What's the last thing you'd expect during the last few hours of a 21-day, 2,940-mile Atlantic crossing, particularly when sailing downwind in light air? How about the boat sinking from under you? Well, that's just about what happened to Tony Johnson and Terry Shrode aboard the former's Richmond-based Ericson 39 Maverick. With water almost coming over the floorboards in the middle of the night, the duo dug around and discovered 10 mysterious "fountains" of water pouring into the boat. Despite efforts to stem the tide, the water kept coming in at an ever faster pace. The duo were lucky enough to make it to a boatyard in Carriacou. When the boat was hauled, this large crack on both sides of the hull was discovered, accounting for the curious ingress of water. How the crack got there remains a mystery. Fortunately, the boat is insured. For full details, see the January issue of Latitude 38, which will be distributed beginning December 30.

Photos Courtesy Maverick

Oracle BMW Whomps OneWorld to Gain Vuitton Finals

December 23 - Auckland, NZ

A come-from-behind victory yesterday gave Larry Ellison's Oracle BMW Racing team a 4-0 victory over Seattle's OneWorld, launching the Golden Gate YC-based team into the Louis Vuitton Finals.

One last look at OneWorld
Photo Franck Socha/Louis Vuitton Cup

Eleven teams started the Louis Vuitton Challenge, and now only the top-rated Swiss team Alinghi and Oracle BMW are left. The first race of the Finals, to see who will face off against Team New Zealand, will be on January 11. Alinghi has had a decided edge over Oracle BMW so far, winning the most recent match-up 4-0, so they will be favored. If Oracle BMW loses, it certainly won't be because of Ellison being unwilling to cough up the money for the latest in tech equipment. OneWorld and some other syndicates are saying that Oracle BMW has been using military radar that is so effective it can read information - perhaps the opposing tactician's mind - on opposing boats. The Oracle BMW afterguard is also equipped with sunglasses that have 'heads-up' display units similar to those used on the helmets of fighter pilots. For more, check out the January issue of Latitude 38.

This is the second America's Cup in a row that a Northern California team has made it into the Louis Vuitton Finals. Last time it was Paul Cayard's AmericaOne for the St. Francis, which lost by one race to Prada. Let's hope this time homies have better luck against the Swiss.

Ellison to Sell One of His Motoryachts

December 23 - Auckland, NZ and Northern California

Katana, Larry Ellison's 235-ft motoryacht with 22 crew that is his home in Auckland, is for sale for a reported $65 million. Could it be true, as some suggested a few months ago, that Ellison, like a lot of other tech people - specifically OneWorld's Craig McCaw - is feeling the financial pinch? No, it can't be true. Ellison is selling Katana because he's already got the 192-ft Ronin, which he often keeps in Sausalito, and because he's taking delivery of a new motoryacht. The talk in the industry is that his new one, which will be his first new, will be 400 feet long.

Ellison is not the only Northern California tech guy who is soon to take delivery of a huge new yacht. According to reports, Tom Perkins of Belvedere will be the owner of Maltese Falcon, the 286-footer that Perini Navi is finishing. When done, she'll be the largest private sailing yacht in the world. At least until Jim Clark, formerly of Netscape and the Peninsula, takes delivery of Athena, his 292-ft clipper ship - which will be the largest clipper ship in history. It's good to know that some people came out of the tech downturn with more than a whopping tax obligation.

Maltese Falcon
Graphic Courtesy Ken Freivokh Design

It's the Jules Verne Season

December 23 - France

Olivier de Kersauson has his maxi 120-ft trimaran Geronimo poised to take off around the world in hopes he can recapture the Jules Verne record he set with a smaller tri. Sometime this winter, Ellen MacArthur, Queen of the Oceans, will be setting off after the sail record in Kingfisher II, her maxi-catamaran. We wish them both swift and safe passages.


December 23 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? The YOTREPS daily yacht tracking page has moved to

Weather Updates

December 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

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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