Photo of the Day

July 9 - San Francisco

Today's Photo of the Day is from yesterday's first start of the West Marine Pacific Cup from San Francisco to the Kaneohe YC on Oahu. In recent years, the Pacific Cup has been attracting some of the hottest boats in sailing - Mari-Cha and Zephyrus this year - and that's had some Pacific Cup honchos worried. The Pacific Cup was started as the amateur 'fun race' to Hawaii, and they don't ever want to lose that tradition. Chalmers Ingersoll's San Francisco-based Tayana 37 Gaea should put their fears to rest.

Far be it from us to criticize another's boat, but in a quarter century we can't remember seeing an entry less geared for a fast race. In a downwind competition to Hawaii, the keys are light weight and keeping the weight toward the center of the boat - neither of which has been done in this case. Nor can we remember a race entry with so much gear hanging off the back - liferaft, fenders, spare line, BBQ, wind generator, self steering, outboard, and so forth. As for the big roller thing, is Gaea going to be doing some purse seining on the way to the Islands?

Photo Latitude/Rob

It's fortunate that early sailing conditions have been so mild, for if it had been typically rough off San Francisco, half that stuff probably would have been washed away, and the liferaft torn off or at least completely soaked.

Once again, we don't mean to be critical, but properly stowing gear is a basic part of good seamanship, and we don't think that's the case here.

Score a Big One for Oracle Racing

July 8 - Germany

In something of a shocker, BMW in Germany has announced that they've entered into a $20+ million deal with Oracle Racing's America's Cup efforts. BMW's senior marketing executive Karl-Heinz Kalbfell said the prestige carmaker was interested in building a long term relationship such as they have with Williams BMW Formula One team. Kalbfell said BMW had talked with Germany's illbruck - recent winner of Volvo Around the World Race - about an America's Cup deal with them, but "felt happier with Oracle Racing." Reports that the effort will now be called Oracle BMW Racing have not been confirmed.

Oops, Wrong Hole!

July 9 - Sausalito

We're not big on hunting and fishing, but we've always been a big fan of Tom Stienstra, who writes the always excellent Outdoors column for the Chronicle. If you need a little humor today, check out his column on 'goofs' in the sports section. Here's an excerpt:

"7. The eager boater. At Sausalito last weekend, hearing that the striped bass were biting like ferocious dogs in San Francisco Bay, a boater launched and then gassed up at the dock. Except he placed the fuel nozzle in a rod holder instead of the gas tank and start to fill the back of his boat with gas. In turn, the automatic bilge pump starting pumping the gas into the water. Before it was all over, the beleaguered fellow was arrested, and he faces a $10,000 fine for pollution."

Junior Sailing Programs

July 9 - Marin County

Our roving photographer took some shots of the fun-loving kids at the junior programs of the Sausalito YC. A private note to the folks running one of the programs - PFDs.

Photos Latitude/Rob

Hilarious Headlines

July 9 - More from Marvelous Marin

According to the Mill Valley Herald, America's Cup yachts will race on Richardson Bay. We weren't aware that IACC boats were being made with shoal draft keels.

In any event, it should provide great entertainment for those living aboard derelicts and other semi-floating objects in R. Bay. Maybe this boat could be the windward mark.

Photo Latitude/Chris

Photo Latitude/Rob

Twenty-Seven Boats Start West Marine Pacific Cup

July 9 - San Francisco

Leaving in near ideal conditions, 27 boats sailed under the Golden Gate yesterday on their way to Oahu in the Pacific Cup. The Cal 40 Victoria! - picked by Latitude as a likely class winner - was the only non-starter. Giant Slayer, an SC 27 that had been stolen and sailed to Alaska, was reinstated. Given the unusual extreme heat, many people feared the boats wouldn't get away from the coast, but it looks as though they're having decent conditions - eight to 15 knots of wind with near flat seas. Two of yesterday's starters were the doublehanded Express 37s Elan and Surge III, which should be getting a good jump on the boats that start in the next three days. With luck, they might be able to get a 600-mile head start on the likes of Mari-Cha and Zephyrus, which don't start until Friday. Of course, those two rockets are fully capable of making up 200 miles a day on the Expresses. It will be fun to watch. If you want to follow the event, check out New positions should be posted each day about noon.

Meanwhile, here are some photos our Racing Editor snapped yesterday:

Bob Gray steering his Ranger 33 Coquelicot

an Ericson 41, and Cayenne, a Passport 40.

Giant Slayer - found!

Dueling solar panels on Andiamo and Mirage

Photos Latitude/Rob

Surge III and Moonshine surge toward the Gate

Tad and Skip doublehanding Wildflower

and First Light demonstrate speed wrinkles . . .

. . .
while Little O defines headstay sag.


July 9 - 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 9 - 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. (please note, this URL has been updated):

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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