Photo of the Day

February 15 - Mazatlan, Mexico

Today's Photo of the Day is of a float at the recent Carnaval in Mazatlan. Photographer Dave Wallace of Air Ops missed the shot he really wanted, the one of the Osama bin Laden - no kidding - float. The float had three-foot long rats at each corner, with the centerpiece being a guy dressed up like an Arab dancing on a big coffin. Politically correct has not yet gotten south of the border.

Photo Dave Wallace

Over Before It Started

February 15 - Brest, France

Bruno Peyron and the maxi-cat Orange got off to a great start in their attempt to set the 25,000-mile Jules Verne Around the World Record. Peyron and 13 crew left Brest yesterday and were soon doing 28 knots in just 20 to 25 knots of wind. Then, just a half hour into what was assumed to be a 60 to 70 day challenge, the mast snapped 18 inches from the top - apparently as a result of too much strain from the genniker. Nobody was hurt. The boat is heading for Vannes to assess the damage. Peyron hopes the mast can repaired in a week. Good luck. For great photos, visit

Olivier de Kersauson hopes to start his Jules Verne attempt sometime very soon with the 120-ft trimaran Geronimo. He was delayed when his carbon fiber mast snapped 18 feet from the top several months ago.

Remembrance for Carl Schumacher

February 15 - San Francisco

A remembrance gathering for well-loved yacht designer Carl Schumacher will be held on Sunday, March 24, between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. at the St Francis YC in San Francisco on the Marina Green. A parade of boats, particularly Schumacher boats, will follow the event and proceed from the club to the Blackaller buoy and then to their respective home ports. The family also wishes that if anyone intends to make a donation, that it be made to the Carl Schumacher Fund, Encinal Sailing Foundation, 1251 Pacific Marina, Alameda CA 94501. The Foundation is a 501(c) (3) organization.

Keeping It Clean

February 15 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico

"I've been following your Z-town stories and pictures with interest," writes Chris of Oakland. "Since I won't be sailing there just yet, I'm going to fly and stay ashore in April. But your last item about all the boats anchored off Playa de Ropa - where I'll be staying - got me wondering. Do you know whether these cruisers' effluent standards are compatible with my - and my children's - love of swimming and snorkeling? Are there places in this protected bay that have notable water quality problems, or am I way off base? Since I assume cruisers are out there to enjoy nature's oceans and also partake in healthy water activities, I'm hoping the level of awareness is fairly high. If not, I'd be happy to offer to accompany cruisers for a trip out to sea for discharge."

Good question. While we're not 100% positive, we don't think cruisers crap into Z-town Bay, for the simple reason that almost all cruisers swim in it regularly. Our normal routine - which we think is widespread - is to wake up in the morning and go to shore for a little breakfast . . . and to use the head. Naturally, there are emergencies, so you have to have contingencies. When we were down there last time, one of our crew got a little turista in the middle of the night. The options were turning on our marine sanitation device, go into a bucket for later offshore disposal, or leave it in the head for later offshore disposal. Bottom line, we think cruisers keep it clean for their own good.

Actually, we think there's a much greater danger posed by the effluence of the general population, whose numbers have swollen in the hills around the little bay. As a result, as much as we love raw oysters, we wouldn't even think of eating one in Z-town. Not anymore.

Anybody else have any input on the subject? (email Richard)

Photo Latitude/Richard

America's Cup Boats on the Bay This Weekend

February 15 - Tiburon

"The newly-formed International America's Cup Class - San Francisco (IACCSF) is the world's only organized fleet racing of America's Cup yachts. These majestic boats, owned by America's Cup Media LLC, sailed in the '92 and '95 America's Cup competitions. On February 16 and 17, Il Moro di Venezia (ITA-1), NZL-14 and NZL-20 will be raced on the Bay by crews of professional and amateur sailors from throughout the world. Spectators will be able to watch the exciting event from Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island, San Francisco, and private boats.

NZL 14 racing on the Bay
Photo Courtesy

"The International America's Cup Class - San Francisco has been formed with the following goals: a) Increase awareness, appreciation for, and participation in the America's Cup. b) Provide owners and syndicates with a venue to enjoy and showcase these magnificent pieces of America's Cup history. c) Offer fantastic sponsorship opportunities to organizations wishing to leverage the marketing power of IACC racing. America's Cup Media LLC contracts the yachts to advertisers as sailing billboards when they are not racing in the IACCSF.
The inaugural race, hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, will begin a series of races to be held throughout the year with a trophy and cash prize at stake. Sponsors are lining up to participate, with two already committed. The 2003 season will expand further, with more yachts and more races, culminating in the 2003 IACC Worlds. This will be a two week event with numerous IACC boats competing for the largest cash prize in sailing history. For additional information, refer to"

Singlehand Through the Panama Canal? No.

February 15 - Panama

"I was recently discussing singlehanding my Islander 28 through the Panama Canal," writes Christian Leube. "Do you know how much it would cost for a boat my size?"

We think it's about $350, but perhaps someone who has just come through the Canal can give us the latest (email Richard). By the way, there is no way you can "singlehand" through the Panama Canal. The rules require that you not only have a canal pilot, but also four linehandlers, plus four lines of 125 feet in length, as well as captive cleats. These are good rules, for without them you'd badly damage your boat.

First Cayard, Now Dickson

February 15 - Auckland, NZ

Larry Ellison's Oracle Racing America's Cup Syndicate has two of the world's best America's Cup skippers under contract: Paul Cayard and Chris Dickson. Cayard wasn't brought to Auckland for the winter practice, reportedly for having problems with Ellison, and is in fact now sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race. And the talk on the dock is that Dickson is now on a "leave of absence," as a result of having problems with the crews.

Some organizations thrive on harmony, others - like the Oakland A's when they were winning all the World Series - thrill on aggression and in-fighting. If there's an America's Cup syndicate that can thrive on the latter, it's probably Ellison's Oracle Racing.

Volvo Ocean Race

February 15 - South Atlantic

With just 963 miles to go to Rio, Northern Californian John Kostecki and illbruck have a nearly insurmountable lead of 82 miles over Tyco, which pulled ahead of Amer Sports One. The big news is that News Corp, which had been battling in third, lost her rudder while sailing at 22 knots on a shy spinnaker reach. Hitting ice in the Southern Ocean may have contributed to the rudder breaking.

Positions on February 15 at 0400 GMT: 1. illbruck, 963 miles to finish; 2. Team Tyco, 81 mbl; 3. Amer Sports One, 97 miles behind leader; 4. Assa Abloy, 109 mbl; 5. djuice, 109 mbl;. 5. News Corp, 167 mbl; 7. Amer Sports Too, 536 mbl 8. Team SEB, 1,460 mbl. See


February 15 - 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

February 15 - 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 has moved to

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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