A Tour of Three Bridges in the Rain

January 28 - San Francisco Bay

The morning's rain and gloom didn't keep 173 singlehanded and doublehanded racers from starting the Singlehanded Sailing Society's Three Bridge Fiasco Saturday off San Francisco's Golden Gate YC in reverse handicap order. You can cross the starting line in either direction, then go around Blackaller Buoy (off Crissy Field), Red Rock (just south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge), and Treasure Island in any order. The fleet seemed to be about equally divided about which direction to go.The vast majority, all but 53, were able to finish by the 7 PM deadline, led by David Walbrook and John Rook, who crossed the line just before 3 PM on the Melges 24 SUV.

For a complete report and more photos, see John Riise's story in the February issue of Latitude 38, due to hit the usual Bay Area outlets on Friday the 1st. For the complete list of finishers, see www.sfbaysss.org/2002/tbfresults.html.

Blackaller Buoy

Moore 24 start

Express 27 start

Moore 24 start

Coast Starlight Ltd
Photos John Riise

Not Much Wind, Even Less Sleep for Volvo Racers

January 28 - Auckland, New Zealand

An excited crowd of 45,000 people gathered in Auckland to cheer on the eight Volvo Ocean 60s as they left the docks to the tune of blaring rock music to begin Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, and a huge fleet of spectator boats followed them out. After starting in a 15-knot easterly yesterday (Sunday) at 1300 hours local time, the competitors left Auckland behind and found light winds at East Cape, where they struggled to beat around the point in the wee hours of the morning.

illbruck at the start of Leg 4
Photo Rick Tomlinson

Amer Sports One and SEB tack around the Volvo buoy, a turning mark four miles from the start, where the wind blew at 17 knots.

"This has been the best start," claimed Kevin Shoebridge, skipper of current leader Tyco, "Usually we get out and it's straight to two reefs and a #4 [jib]!"

djuice skipper Knut Frostad commented, "After having spent the last twenty nights in a very nice big bed in Auckland, it's tough to get up at midnight for your first watch on deck."

An exhausted Neal McDonald, skipper of Leg 3 winner Assa Abloy, said he only got about an hour's sleep last night. "I guess most of the boats haven't had much sleep. We haven't been on a tack for more than about 10 to 15 minutes."

In the light air, the boats are all bunched up. Shoebridge says Tyco is only a half mile ahead of Amer Sports One.

In a couple more days the fleet will enter the Southern Ocean, beginning the most brutal part of the around-the-world race. Leg 4 will then take the eight yachts around Cape Horn and up the South Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

To follow the action and check out more great photos from the start in Auckland, see www.volvooceanrace.com.

Amer Sports One cameramen jump in the water after the start. Latitude 38 photographers do this all the time on SF Bay. Oh yeah, sure!
Above Photo Courtesy Amer Sports One

Blonde ambition: Amer Sports Too after the start

illbruck, SEB and Assa Abloy round the tip of the Coromandel Peninsula at Cape Colville.

All Photos Carlo Borlenghi/SEA&SEE
Except as Noted
All Photos Courtesy www.volvooceanrace.com

New Buoys Set by Cruisers

January 28 - Barra de Navidad, Mexico

Allan on Slainte writes, "After watching many vessels sticking their keels in the mud, the sailboats Slainte (pronounced Slan-tcha) and Li'l Gem set buoys to make the channel to Barra de Navidad lagoon more distinguishable. Slainte and Li'l Gem with language help from Janet of Bambolera contacted the Port Captain in Barra and got permission to set the buoys.

"The entrance is pretty straight forward. After passing the Grand Bay Hotel Marina entrance, head toward the island in the lagoon using 130 degrees magnetic. You should point your bow 100 feet left of the island. Next look back and keep the two red commercial buoys in line with each other all the way to the island. The red commercial buoys will stay at 310 magnetic. The four buoys set by Slainte and Li'l Gem will be clearly visible as your vessel sails forward to the lagoon on 130 magnetic. Do not turn into the lagoon until you're 150 [feet] from the island. The channel is between 10 to 17 feet deep at low tide and over 100 feet wide. The lagoon is nearly square, well over 600 by 600 [feet] wide and 9 to 14 feet deep.

"Attached is a simple chart of the lagoon with the buoys. Enjoy Barra's offerings including Tessa's excellent hamburgers and homemade milk shakes and Casa Chips' view, beer and help from owner Jack. Also in Barra there is an ATM, a French bakery, other fine restaurants and good stores, and with a 10 minute bus ride to the town Melaque there is more fun and exploring to be found."

For a more legible, printable view of the lagoon, click on it or click here.
(To print out the entire map on one sheet of letter-size paper,
select wide, landscape or horizontal print setup.)


January 28 - 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

January 28 - 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 is www.nws.mbay.net/home.html.

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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