Photos of the Day

May 23 - St. Tropez and Nice, France

"I have a couple of Photos of the Day to share with you from during my visit to the South of France a couple of weeks ago," writes Jeannette of the Bristol 32 Con Te Partiro, a name she didn't translate. "While in St. Tropez, I came across the San Francisco schooner Athene, which was sure looking fine. Captain Christian said to say hello to you.

"The other photo relates to a reader's letter from the May Latitude 38. You were talking about this huge motoryacht with a fully rigged sailboat onboard that the reader had seen in Panama. Well the other - and at 323 feet, even larger - motoryacht, Le Grand Bleu was in the port of Nice on May 3, which is where I took the photo.

"While I've got you, I'd love to make one other comment. You often hear people say, 'If you can sail the Bay, you can sail anywhere.' I bought a Bristol 32 from Long Beach last year and brought it up the Coast in early November. As you know, there is a little place called Point Conception along the way. Well, I've never seen waves like that on the Bay before."

Thanks for the photographs, as they bring up fond memories. Although St. Tropez does get overrun and becomes a circus in the season, it's really a lovely place, and some of the pre-Bardot traditions endure. And you do get to see some very lovely boats there. In our opinion, however, by far the best places to see semi-great and great yachts is Port Vaubon, Antibes. It's fabulous. As for Le Grand Bleu, you can tell she's almost as large as the nearby cruise ship. And if you look closely, you can see the dark blue 72-ft Dubois sloop that lives on deck.

It's nonsense to say, "If you can sail the Bay, you can sail anywhere." On the other hand, "If you can sail in the Gulf of the Farallones, you can sail anywhere," is absolutely correct.

Photos Courtesy Con Te Partiro

Barr's Schooner Record Beaten - Twice

May 23 - Cornwall

One of the most enduring - and romantic - sailing records was set in 1905 when legendary skipper Charlie Barr sailed the schooner Atlantic from New York to Cornwall, UK, in 12 days and four hours. The record endured many attempts until it was broken 75 years later by Eric Taberly with a trimaran - which is sort of like cheating. Bernie Tappy's 244-ft modern schooner Phocea - see the May issue of Latitude 38 - smashed the record down to 8 days in 1988, but they used power winches and such. Paul Goss, skipper of the 212-ft schooner Adix - which has similar dimensions to Atlantic - has always wanted to beat the record fair and square. He tried twice and failed, but earlier this month set off in pursuit of the record again, this time joined by the smaller but much lighter 152-ft Dijkstra-designed Windrose.

After a thrilling battle across the Atlantic, both Windrose and Adix beat Barr's record with Atlantic, the former by 17 hours and the latter by 11 hours. Ironically, Adix averaged 12.5 knots, much faster than Windrose's 11.8, but finished six hours later because she had sailed a longer route. Atlantic averaged only 10.8 in 1905, having sailed a much shorter course. While the longer Adix may have been expected to beat the shorter Windrose, she's more heavily built and weighs much more. She didn't do as well in the lighter stuff, but nearly caught up in the stronger winds near the end. Both big schooners hit top speeds of just over 25 knots. Congratulations to the skippers and crews of both.

IACC Spectacle on the Bay This Weekend

May 23 - Sausalito

Five IACC boats will be racing the Bay Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the first ever Sausalito Cup. Larry Ellison of Oracle Racing has brought USA 49 to the Bay for the event, and will be driving. One of Dennis Conner's Stars and Stripes from years ago, newly purchased and placed on the Bay, will be rechristened USA 11 during a ceremony at the Sausalito YC on Saturday afternoon.

The format of the event will be a buoy race on Friday evening, a long Bay race on Saturday, and two buoy races on Sunday. When not racing, the 80-footers will be anchored off the Sausalito YC in downtown Sausalito, where the public is welcome to view them. The event has been organized by John Sweeney and his America's Cup Media LLC, and has all the makings for a real crowd pleaser. Don't miss it.

Photos Latitude/JR

Fallout from Greenpeace Ramming Is Almost Radioactive

May 23 - Lorient, France

Greenpeace seems to have poked themselves in the eye with the deliberate ramming of Areva, Le Defi's French challenger for the America's Cup. Then they appear to have punched themselves in the nuts by trying to put the blame on someone else - in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. The madforsailing Web site poll is running 9 to 1 against Greenpeace, with many detractors saying they support Greenpeace's goals or are even members. What incensed others is the environmental groups claim that the ramming was caused by the authorities misdirecting their boat - despite video on the Internet showing that this was clearly not the case. Greenpeace, like big corporations, needs to learn that when you make a mistake and have to 'eat shit', it's best to take big bites and get it over with. As for Le Defi, the repairs were expected to take two days. But the fallout is going to last much longer.

David and Goliath

May 23 - Mediterranean Sea

Perhaps the best sailing record currently owned by a woman is Florence Arthaud's 22-hour run in the 458-mile passage from Marseilles to Carthage, Tunisia - the so-called TransMed. The Frenchwoman's record is in danger this weekend, however, from two entirely different but very potent multihulls. One is Steve Fossett's record-crushing 120-ft maxi cat PlayStation, the other being charismatic Italian Giovanni Soldini's 60-ft Open tri TIM. Soldini, the winner of the Around Alone Race with a monohull is not afraid of the bigger cat. "We will beat them," he said.


May 23 - 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

May 23 - 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 another view, see

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