Photo of the Day

July 17 - San Francisco

Today's Photo of the Day is of John Kostecki of Fairfax - winner of the recently completed Volvo (Around The World) Ocean Race with the German-owned illbruck, and the new owner of the 24-hour monohull speed record - who was celebrated at the St. Francis YC last night by a crowd of well over 300. John was introduced by fellow club member Paul Cayard, who had won the previous edition of the event when it was called the Whitbread. St. Francis members took considerable pride in the fact that two of their own - who had been nurtured from youngsters in their junior program - had scaled the summit of offshore ocean racing, particularly in an event based on the other side of the world. The club richly deserves to take a bow.

For those who don't know Kostecki, he's a regular guy who doesn't put on airs. His team won the Volvo by using extreme care in selecting the crew, relentless preparation, and then sailing better than anyone else. It's always the toughest when you have the favored boat, but Kostecki and crew were up to the enormous challenge. Well done, John.

What's next? Kostecki will head down to New Zealand for the America's Cup. He can't participate, however, as he helped designed the German illbruck boat, which will not be racing this time. (Maybe in '06.)

The Volvo is an extreme race that lasts 11 months and takes the fleet through the most demanding of the Southern Ocean and the frustrating doldrums. So Kostecki is not sure if he wants to do another, but would be more inclined to do so if they use bigger and faster boats - as is now being considered. The one thing that John said he did want to do - and this was a shock to us - was a nonstop around the world race on a maxi multihull.

Pacific Cup Is a Dandy

July 17 - Pacific Ocean

Because 'Lectronic Latitude comes out each day about the same time as the new day's report on the West Marine Pacific Cup, we're a little out of sync. So each day around noon, you should tune into for the latest. But as of yesterday at noon, the race was shaping up to be a terrific one. First of all, the Class G boats are catching up with the fleet like Ferraris after bicycles. The great 147-ft Mari-Cha III currently has a lead of just several miles over the soon to be great R/P 86 Zephyrus. Third in this group on a boat for boat basis is Philippe Kahn's R/P 77 Pegasus which, thanks to many Volvo vets, is doing a great job of hanging in. Just so everyone understands the context, these three are the greatest large racing yachts to ever sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Still correcting out first in fleet is Skip Allan, who is doublehanding his venerable Wylie 27 Wildflower. Hell, we remember when Allan did the Singlehanded TransPac on that boat - it was 1978! He probably still has some of the original sails.

Wildflower at the start of the Pacific Cup

Sailing Magazines Sold

July 17 - Newport, RI

World Publications has purchased Cruising World and Sailing World magazines. All editorial, sales and marketing staffs of Cruising World and Sailing World, including publisher Sally Helme, Cruising World editor Herb McCormick, and Sailing World editor John Burnham, will remain with the magazines, which will continue to be headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island. The back office operations will move to Winter Park, Florida.

Earlier this year, the Southern California-base Latitudes and Attitudes was sold. Latitude 38, bucking the trend, has not been sold.

Biggest Big Boat Owner of Them All

July 17 - Caribbean

We're told that Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, has picked up yet another major yacht. For several years he's owned the 203-ft Meduse - and may still own it. When one of the McCaw brothers of the Northwest saw his stock holdings tumble, Allen bought his 300-ft nearly-new Tatoosh. More recently, he bought another McCaw brother's also nearly-new 323-ft Le Grand Bleu. Apparently the vessels are going to be put into the charter trade. We have no idea how much they'll charter for, but if you've got to ask . . .

Photos Latitude/Richard

The Allen Armada



Le Grand Bleu

Cherie's Self-Esteem Project

July 17 - San Francisco Bay

Cherie - who did the Ha-Ha last year aboard the Swan 53 Mistress, where she fell in love with Greg Rutkowski of the Morgan Out-Island 41 Scirocco - makes no bones about wanting to be in 'Lectronic and Latitude 38. "It really helps my self-esteem," she says. So when she was in town and went sailing with us last weekend, we took these photos to give her a boost. Our favorite is the one with knife, which has a Jane Russell quality. Which one do you think should go in the print edition?

A few people might be inclined to snicker. Before they do, they should learn a little bit more about her. Here's a woman who upon graduating from college started selling cars. Through long hours and hard work - and moving up the various industry ladders - she made some big bucks. As in enough to buy a couple of houses. After a number of years where work was everything, Cherie decided that seeing the world was the most important thing - and has since been to something like 35 countries. We don't know about you, but we admire anyone who sets respectable goals and them achieves them.

Scirocco is currently in storage at Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Greg and Cherie will rejoin the boat in October, at which time they'll head for Panama, Trinidad, and the rest of the Eastern Caribbean by Christmas.

Photos Latitude/Richard

Outta Here

July 17 - Mill Valley

The regular 'Lectronic editor will leave for Oahu tomorrow and the finish of the West Marine Pacific Cup. Because of that and the deadline for the print issue, we may miss a few days. Mahalo.


July 17 - 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

July 17 - 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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