Photos of the Day

September 3 - Benicia

Saturday's Jazz Cup to Benicia was a hot one, as becalmed racers swatted flies and consumed copious quantities of fluids. Due to three protests, some scoring errors and other problems, we don't have results yet, but they'll be in the October issue of Latitude 38. And you can check Thursday or Friday. In the meantime here are some photos to enjoy.

Bruce and Lina Nesbit's Olson 34 Razzberries

Marrakesh, an Express 34 sailed
by Craig Perez, won PHRF-B.

Santana 35 winner Blue Fin and the Olson 30 Run Wild

Photos Latitude/Rob

Aboard Hank Easom's Yucca

Marrakesh and Mark Halman's Hobie 33 Sleeping Dragon approach the sugar plant.

A new boat on the Bay, the Beneteau 36.7 Summer and Smoke, owned by Robert Orr of Yountville, sails the last little upwind leg to Benicia.

NOOD Sailing on Labor Day Weekend

September 3 - San Francisco

San Francisco Bay served Southern California weather to the 120 yachts racing in nine classes in the San Francisco Sailing World NOOD (National Offshore One Design) Regatta, presented by Mount Gay Rum and hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club Saturday and Sunday.

The light airs suited the crew of the winning boat in the 30-boat J/105 class. "We grew up sailing in light air in Long Beach so we were more experienced in the conditions than the rest of the boats," said Shawn Bennett of Zuni Bear. "Knowing what to do to tune the boat for six to eight knots and then having the guts to do it made a big difference. We cracked off six turns on the shrouds."

The moderate airs were no help at all to the crew of Ego, Don Jesberg's Melges 24. After sailing to the head of the class on the first day and winning the Hall Spars & Rigging Boat of the Day award, Ego lost her rig in the last race. With Ego placing 20th in that race close competitor Seadon Wijsen and Star had the edge to win the 19-boat class in the regatta. "The only reason we won was because Don Jesberg lost his rig in the last race," Wijsen said. "We beat him in the first race (of the last day) and were beating him in the second before he lost his rig but it wouldn't have been enough to win."

In a tight battle John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti won the 18-boat Farr 40 class.

John S. Wimer of Half Moon Bay is the new J/35 North American champion. Sailing Fast Lane, Wimer and his crew took two firsts, two seconds, and one third in their five-race competition, topping second place Jarlen by four points.

In the 1D35 class, Bill Wright sailed a perfect regatta with Zsa Zsa, winning with five points in the six-boat fleet. Barry Lewis missed perfection in his J/120 Chance with a third in the second race, but won the class with just six points. Tom Baffico and Forest Baskett, with their Express 27 Baffett, came similarly close to all bullets except for some slips during the first race of the first day on their way to a class win.

Mark Varnes and the J/80 DB1 also came tantalizingly close to all firsts, placing second in only the last race for a class win. Dave Klatt of Oxnard won the 13-boat J/24 class with Jaded.

For more, see the October issue of Latitude 38.

Light Air Windjammers

September 3 - Santa Cruz

Only 12 boats were able to finish the Windjammers Race from St. Francis YC to Santa Cruz which began at 9:30 am Friday. Two Scoops, an Express 34 in Division 3, said they led their fleet under the bridge and past Pigeon Point, at which point the wind quit. Nine hours later they were still in first but could not finish before the deadline of noon on Saturday. No one in Divisions 3, 4 and even B (which had a motoring allowance) finished. The four finishers in Division 1 were Rosebud, Rollercoaster, Heartbeat and Cipango, in that order (corrected time). Eight out of 14 entries in Division 2 finished, the top three being Spindrift V, X-Dream and Auspice. The prevailing wind was backwards - from the south - so the race was a beat.

Ironwoman Meets the Challenge

September 3 - Greater San Francisco Bay Area

Lisa Le Faive, a 33-year old commercial captain/legal secretary, tells how she achieved Ironwoman status this Labor Day Weekend: "It all started Friday with Windjammers. It was a light air beat down the coast with a cast of characters on Kokopelli2, a Santa Cruz 52. We were having a great time until we hit a hole at Davenport around 11:30 pm, so we cruised into Santa Cruz and closed down the bar. I woke all bright-eyed and bushy-tail to go meet the Sloans, on Blue Fin, a Santana 35, for the Jazz Cup. The boat was just sold, so it was the last chance for the whole crew to sail together one more time. We drifted into First in Division, and 18th overall. (All I can remember was begging for more sunscreen!) Finally, on Sunday at the NOODs, I sailed two Cityfront races doing foredeck on Kolibri (formerly known as New Moon), an Express 27."

Aussie 18 International Regatta

September 3 - San Francisco

This week's sailing's not over yet - head on down to Crissy Field and check out the 18-ft skiffs competing each day this week. Today's races begin at 1pm, and should be a real crowd-pleaser, as the skiffs are known for downwind speeds of 30+ knots. After yesterday's Race 1, Robert Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers are leading with RMW Marine. Racing continues through Saturday. San Francisco is the last stop on a world circuit which began in Australia this January. Competitors come from Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA.

Urbanczyk Abandons Raft Voyage

September 3 - Santa Cruz

Vessel Assist towed the 40-ft Nord, a two-masted sailing raft made of redwood logs, safely into the Small Craft Harbor Friday afternoon, after a lack of wind and a dicey tiller prompted skipper Andrew Urbanczyk of Montara to abandon his solo attempt to cross the Pacific on the unusual craft. The 67-year old Urbanczyk was quoted in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle as saying, "Most people my age are watching TV or playing bingo. I'm still trying to follow my dreams." His intention was to sail wherever the winds would take him - Hawaii or possibly Japan. He left Pillar Point Harbor the weekend before last, taking with him only a cat for company. He returned with two extra crew, a couple of dragonflies who stowed aboard, which Urbanczyk, pleased at their survival, released on shore. His raft was well equipped with GPS, EPIRB, a liferaft and other safety gear. In 1978 the adventurer set a solo sailing record, singlehanding his 27-ft sloop from Japan to San Francisco in 49 days.


September 3 - 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

September 3

Atlantic Ocean

Tropical Storms Edouard and Dolly

A tropical storm watch is in effect from Flagler Beach to Fernandina Beach in Florida for Edouard. An extension of the watch area southward may be required later today. The storm center was at 30.3N 78.6W and stationary at 1500Z today. Winds are at 55 knots, gusting to 65, with 12-ft seas. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Dolly failed to develop into a hurricane and turned harmlessly to the north, maintaining winds in the 45-55 knot range. See

Pacific Ocean

Hurricane Hernan

While sailors in the Bay Area enjoyed (or cursed) unusually calm weather this weekend, Hurricane Hernan has been blowing like stink off the west coast of Mexico. Max sustained winds are currently at 85 knots with gusts to 105 knots! Hernan's center was located at 19.3N 119.7W as of 1500Z. His current track is west-northwest at 9 knots, but he is predicted to turn north as winds begin to diminish. To keep track of Hernan, see

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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