Photos of the Day

June 12 - San Francisco Bay

Today's Photos of the Day are of Melinda Erkelens, Legal Counsel for Oracle Racing, showing the proper way to christen a boat, while her husband, Bill, Oracle Racing's Chief Operating Officer, looks on. Women are frequently too delicate with the bottle, not breaking it on the first try.

The boat in question was USA-71, the first of Oracle Racing's two new boats, both of which were built at their facility in Ventura. USA-76, Oracle's second boat, will arrive in Auckland in early July. While Oracle's trial boats featured white hulls, the new one has a charcoal gray hull with Oracle on the bow in bright red.

Many of the 140+ members of the Oracle Team were on hand for the ceremony. Conspiculously absent was Larry Ellison, the man behind Oracle and Oracle Racing. We wouldn't read anything into his absence.

For longtime Bay Area sailors, it was great to see Bill and Melinda in the spotlight. These are locally grown folks who are nice people - and excellent sailors. We remember being at the Kaneohe YC in Hawaii about 10 years ago when the two came in, having finished first and correcting out first in the West Marine Pacific Cup with a 26-ft hard chine boat.



Photos Courtesy Oracle Racing

After the christening, USA-71 was taken out into the Hauraki Gulf for tuning. When the other boat arrives in July, the team will go into even more intense training. The Louis Vuitton Challenger series starts in October. The America's Cup Finals will be early next year. Oracle Racing flies the Golden Gate YC burgee.

What other syndicates have launched new generation boats? Alinghi, Victory, Dennis Conner, OneWorld (two of them), GBR, Mascalzone Latino, Prada Challenge, and Le Defi's Greenpeace Nuclear Challenge.

The Panamanians Are the Friendliest

June 12 - Panama

"We're enjoying the remote islands of the seemingly forgotten cruising area of northwest Panama," report Dorsey and Janice Warren of the Tahoe City-based Mariner 48 Sun Dazzler. "We just love Panama! The weather during the December to April dry season was great. Since arriving from Costa Rica last December, we have visited many great, remote, quiet anchorages, in both the northwest and the Perlas. We're now visiting the islands of the northwest part of Panama for the third time. We also spent several months in Panama City, including hauling out at the new Flamenco Marina Yard, which was great. They dive on the bottom to make sure the straps are set right for their 150-ton lift; security guards all around all night, there are three excellent restaurants adjacent to the yard; and there's a small bar in the yard which serves coffee, beer, and sandwhiches. Try finding that in the Bay Area. It was a great place to have equipment shipped in to catch up with maintenance after three years. The Panamanians are just the friendliest folks we've met, and we plan to spend at least another year on both sides of this great little country before heading towards East Coast and Europe."

Some Moron and Geronimo

June 12 - Richmond to Stockton

France's Olivier de Kersauson, the French maxi trimaran guru and former holder of the Jules Verne record, is generally regarded as not the most pleasant or easy guy to get along with. But now he's got a reason to be pissed. The other day, his just relaunched 125-ft tri was T-boned by a 30-footer sailing in 25 knot winds. "The damage is what you might see if some moron in a 4X4 drove into the Formula 1 pit lane during a Grand Prix, and straight into the race car and its pit crew," said the understandably ticked off Frenchman. As a result of the collision, a five-ft by five-ft section of the hull below the waterline was shattered, and the uni-directional strands making up the carbon fiber structure were severed. In order to make repairs, the boat has to be completely stripped, the mast and rigging removed, and the boat put under a re-erected tent.
Meanwhile, Tracy Edwards and her crew on the maxi-cat Maiden II - ex-Club Med - have left to chase Steve Fossett's 687 miles in 24 hours record. Wouldn't it be cool if a woman owned the all-time 24-hour speed record?

Boeckel's Body Found

June 12 - Long Island Sound

The body of Jamie Boeckel, the skipper of Blue Yankee who went into the water during a spinnaker maneuver while at the end of the pole on May 24, was recovered off Long Island Sound yesterday.


June 12 -
San Francisco Bay

Yesterday we reported that some of the Mari-Cha III crew thought that Zephyrus would beat them to Hawaii in the Pacific Cup. That's not true. What is true is that most of the better racers are favoring Zephyrus.

Photo Latitude/Andy

Woodies on the Weekend

June 12 - San Francisco

Photos Latitude/Andy


June 12 - 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

June 12 - 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

Top / Index of Stories / Subscriptions / Classifieds / Home

©2002 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.