High and Dry

February 27 - Richmond

Climb Every Mountain would be a good theme song for today's Photo of the Day. Earlier this week the operator of the motoryacht in the photo had a little problem navigating his/her way out of the Richmond Channel. "I find it hard to figure out how this happened," says photographer Glenn Fagerlin. "The boat is perched atop the riprap and looks like someone couldn't wait to clear the breakwater. There is about 2 to 3 feet of the breakwater showing at high tide, and a lot more at low tide - when I took this. The boat was not adrift from the Bay or the channel to get this high up. It must have been under power."

Photo Glenn Fagerlin

Geronimo Has the Slows; Orange Has the Goes

February 27 - Atlantic Ocean

After enjoying excellent sailing conditions for a week, it looked almost certain that Olivier de Kersauson's 110-ft trimaran Geronimo would break the France to equator record of 7 days 4 hours in the first segment of the Jules Verne Around the World quest. But the big tri then got caught in the doldrums, so that she didn't actually cross the line until 9 days 7 hours. It's disappointing to be sure, but de Kersauson is still 43 hours ahead of the Jules Verne record he established with Sport Elec.

Meanwhile, back at the Multiplast yard in France, the mast for Bruno Peyron's 110-foot maxi cat Orange is almost repaired. Thanks to 'round the clock efforts, the repairs took 12 days rather than the expected 18 days. A new four-meter carbon masthead was built from the original molds. The mast should be restepped on Friday, and then Orange - if the current weather pattern holds - should leave the next morning in pursuit of Geronimo. What fun!

Have You Gone Mad?

February 27 - Bristol, UK

Madforsailing.com, surely one of the best sailing sites on the Web, has made a tack. Having always been free, on March 25 they are going to make the risky business move of trying to charge for it. Why?

"Simple economics. Unlike other sailing Web sites, we employ top yachting journalists to write original copy to bring you the best coverage of sailing worldwide, period. These journalists like to eat, so we have to pay them. The revenue generated through advertising sales and commissions on merchandise sales through the site don't get anywhere near covering the costs. Madforsailing.com has always believed in editorial independence and that our knowledgeable audience demands quality content delivered when it happens, and the move to subscription will enable us to continue to uphold these values and deliver even better coverage. So it is to you, dear reader, that we turn. We are asking you to put your hands in your pockets to ensure the world's best sailing Web site continues to deliver 365 days a year (no we don't get Christmas Day off - someone has to do the Sydney-Hobart preview!) £14.99 per year, or less than the price of one rum and coke per month. Cancel that magazine subscription that Granny bought you - who reads sailing magazines anymore anyway? - sign up for madforsailing.com and go and spend the rest in the pub."

Madforsailing does provide great sailing photos and coverage, but in our mind, the question is whether there are enough people who have enough time for such detailed race coverage. The market will, as it always does, make the decision. Say, if 'Lectronic Latitude could get its nearly 4,000 unique visitors a day to each pony up $20 bucks for a subscription . . .

Puerto Vallarta Race

February 27 - Pacific Ocean

With the lead boats less than 200 miles to the finish, and the later starting faster boats sailing at twice the speed, it looks as though it could be a major group finish at Punta de Mita tomorrow. John Garrison's Peterson 50 Checkmate, the only varnished hull in the fleet, has only 178 miles to go, but is only averaging 5.3 knots. On the other hand, Doug Baker's Andrews 70 Magnitude, the leader of the AA class, is 316 miles out, but is rocketing along at 10.1 knots. Magnitude is the overall leader, followed by Al Micallef's Lee 68 Merlin's Reata. For the current standings, visit www.sdyc.org.

Hey, That's My Boat!

February 27 - Isla Grande, Mexico

"Having just gotten back from my boat in Acapulco, I happened to check out 'Lectronic Latitude on the 25th - and saw the photo that included my boat, a guy doing a flip into the water, and a woman in the water," reports Carl Schiele of the Valiant 42 Querencia. "We were anchored at Isla Grande near Ixtapa at the time.
Here's the latest on the Acapulco YC. Berthing is about $1/ft/day, plus 20% tax - although you get 20% off if you belong to a reciprocating yacht club. I'm glad to hear that your surfboard wasn't stolen from your boat after all. Somebody boarded my boat in Acapulco and unbolted my rod holders. When I reported it to the harbormaster, he said that 'we will investigate.'

"We'll be headed to Texas soon."

Biggest Boats Ever for the Vallejo Race?

February 27 -
San Francisco Bay

Paul Kaplan, who drove one of the three IACC boats in last weekend's Corinthian Midwinters, said he had such a great time that he and at least one other skipper will be driving IACC boats in the Vallejo Race. They'll just have to be careful what part of the Richmond Bridge they duck through.

Currently there are four IACC boats owned on San Francisco Bay. If you want to join the fun, you can pick one up for about $250,000. That's about the price of a Farr 40. But as Kaplan noted, there's greater expense involved with the "care and feeding" of an IACC boat.

For photo essays on the Corinthian Midwinters and the IACC division that weekend, see the March issue of Latitude 38, to hit the streets Friday. For more of Tom Zinn's excellent photographs, see www.iaccsf.com/photos.html


Photos Tom Zinn Photography http://adrenalinimages.com

The two NZL boats bracketing ITA 1

NZL 20 headed for the turning mark at Elephant Rock

NZL 14, crewed by Kaplan's paint-suited boat yard staff

Monterey Chuffed by the Torch

February 27 - Monterey Bay

"While we don't do things here on Monterey Bay on quite the same scale as you do on San Francisco Bay, we still know how to celebrate a special event on the water," advises Fire Captain Barry Perkins, Shoreline Operations, Monterey Fire Department. "The accompanying photo is of Monterey Bay Aquarist Todd Love paddling Dr. Steve Webster, the aquarium's senior marine biologist and cofounder - who is carrying the Olympic Torch - past Monterey's fireboat carrying California State Park lifeguards Eric Strum and Jeff Field, along with the crew of Jim Courtney and Barry Perkins. The kayak was launched from Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station en route to a spectator-packed Monterey Bay Aquarium for the hand-off of the Olympic Torch."

Photo Courtesy Rick Rodewald


February 27 - 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 http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/

Weather Updates

February 27 - 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 http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/. The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay has moved to www.wrh.noaa.gov/Monterey/.

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.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml.

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: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.

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