Photos of the Day

May 24 - Azores Islands

Today's Photos of the Day are from the Azores, and are a salute to all those crews and vessels making the transatlantic crossing right now. With any luck, most of them had a decent off the wind sail from either the Caribbean or the East Coast of the United States, staying above the Azores High but not dipping down too deep and getting caught in the zephyrs. Things are a little tricker as it's high enough north for the lows to come across and throw in some weatherly work. But good weather or bad, everyone is pleased to reach the unexpectedly beautiful volcanic islands. When in the Azores, the big thing is to paint your boat name on the dock or wall. As you can see, there's not much room left. The shots were taken by Jim Drake from atop Big O. The classic wood boat rafted up to Big O is the classic Ticonderoga. The photos were taken in 1995.

Ticonderoga (left) and Big O (right)

Photos Jim Drake

Where's Soldini?

May 24 - Carthage, Tunisia

Yesterday, the great Giovanni Soldini vowed that he and his 60-ft tri TIM would beat Steve Fossett's 120-ft mega-cat PlayStation in the Marseilles to Carthage (Tunisia) TransMed record attempt. We haven't heard from him since, but Steve Fossett reports that after averaging 24.38 knots for 458 miles, he has chalked up another speed record. The previous record was set 11 years ago by Florence Arthaud with the 60-ft tri Pierre 1er. Fossett bought the boat from her and renamed her Lakota. Arthaud had averaged 20.66 knots. This was not a walk in the park for Fossett and his 12-person crew, as they made 25 sail changes in 18 hours. Said Fossett, "It was extraordinary sailing. Everyone did a great job - and our two newest crew members Howie Hamlin and Trevor Baylis - who are current world champions in 18-ft skiffs - proved to be hot sailors."

Photo Guillaume Plisson, Corbis Sygma

Photo Latitude/JR

Two Big Spectator Events This Weekend

May 24 - San Francisco Bay

Don't forget, the Sausalito Cup, to be competed for by five IACC boats, including Oracle Racing's USA 49 with Larry Ellison at the helm, will be sailing this evening, a long race on Saturday, and two buoy races on Sunday. You won't be able to miss them. They'll also be anchored off the Sausalito YC in downtown Sausalito.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, you won't want to miss Saturday's Master Mariner's Regatta. It starts in the Central Bay, with the fleet working their way down toward the Oakland Estuary. It's always a great sight.

Doing It the Hard Way in Southern California

May 24 - Santa Barbara

The 22nd annual Hardway Race from Santa Barbara to Ventura is perhaps the finest test of sailing skills and ocean racing tactics in Southern California, because it must be done by going around the Channel Islands and then down the Channel, reports Mikell Becker, Commodore of the Santa Barbara Sailing Club. This year's event was held last weekend, and attracted a variety of competitors from Bill Gibbs 52-ft cat Afterburner, which was first to finish the Ensenada Race; to Seth Radow's Sydney 40T Bull; to the J/22 Liquidity. Entrants were treated to a day of moderate breezes, afternoon sunshine, and a couple of pods of blue whales along the way.

This year's Hardway Race was sailed around Santa Cruz Island again, a return to the historic Hardway course. Companion race courses included a multihull course around Anacapa Island, and two coastwise courses for spinnaker and non-spinnaker competitors. The most popular course this year was the Coastwise Spinnaker, a 43-mile course incorporating a 12.7 mile beat out to the E. SB Channel NOAA buoy, a nearly 13 mile run down the channel to Platform Grace, followed by a fast reach across to the finish at the entrance to Ventura Harbor. There were a few surprises this year. Afterburner finished last in the ORCA division race around Anacapa, and the top five Coastwise Spinnaker boats in Class B finished faster than the winner of the Coastwise Spinnaker A Class on corrected time. The following perpetual trophies were awarded: both the Hardway Race Overall Winner and First to Finish honors went to Quantum's skipper Udo Gietl. Winner of the Coastwise Spinnaker course was Hawkeye's skipper Richard Mullarky, while Coastwise Non-Spinnaker competitor Tracy Kennedy took top honors in his class. Other individual class winners were ORCA class - William Boyes skipper of 2 of 10 and Coastwise Spinnaker Class A won by Walter Pressel, Skipper of Lina. For complete results, visit


May 24 - 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 24 - 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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