of the Day

September 5 - Newport Beach

Today's Photos of the Day come from yesterday's action at 'The Wedge' in Newport Beach. Thanks to Hurricane Hernan off Mexico - which once had winds to 150 knots - the surf was up and forecast to stay that way through Friday. The waves were so big that guys were surfing head-high waves inside the Newport Beach breakwater on the Corona del Mar side. There was, however, plenty of depth in the middle of the channel, so boat traffic was not impeded.

The action at The Wedge was the best, and it was virtually non-stop. There were great rides, horrible wipeouts, and plenty of ballsy performances. Despite 'experts only' in double overhead conditions, at least three bodysurfers had to be dragged from the water, spewing water from their lungs. But there was humor, too. Late in the day, the force of a wave ripped a guy's trunks off just as he was thrown up on the beach in front of the crowd of thousands. Guys hooted and women squealed. The poor guy tore off his fins and used them for front and aft coverage as he worked his way through the throngs. It was hilarious.


Photos Latitude/Richard

The Wedge

Almost 60, Conner Still Kicking Ass

September 5 - San Pedro Channel

Rich Roberts reports:

A 38-boat fleet rode a roller coaster of swells through the first race of the 2002 Etchells North American Championship Wednesday, led by Dennis Conner in defense of the title he won at Holland, Michigan, last year. The unsummerlike scene also featured a lingering coastal fog that formed a daunting backdrop around the 1.75-nautical mile windward-leeward course set in the San Pedro Channel between Santa Catalina Island and the mainland. Conner, with Peter Burton and Al Pleskus as crew, sailed from third place to first on the last leg of the nine-mile race to edge longtime Etchells rival Jud Smith of Marblehead, MA, and the Mark Thornburrow/Tim Parsons entry from Hong King after a two-hour battle. "They went to the wrong [side of the leeward] gate," Conner said. "The [south] gate was farther upwind. As soon as we went around we were ahead of them. We went around and tacked and they were inside of us."

Photos Rich Roberts

Three for the Record

September 5 - Isle of Wight, UK

Bruno Peyron and the maxi-cat Orange were recently denied Steve Fossett's Around Ireland and Britain record by a matter of hours, but that hasn't stopped three more maxi-multihulls in their own attempts on the record. Already today, Olivier de Kersauson has taken off in his maxi-trimaran Geronimo, and Tracy Edwards has taken off in the maxi-cat Maiden (ex-Club Med and sistership to Orange). Soon to join them is the radical foiler trimaran L'Hydrotere, which although half the size of Geronimo and Maiden, is capable of perhaps even higher speeds. She's notoriously fragile, however. The weather forecast looks excellent for breaking the record, so it's likely to be a slam dunk for either de Kersauson or Edwards. Bon voyage!

Aussie 18 Regatta

September 5 - San Francisco

The International 18 Skiff class is making a rare appearance on the Bay this week, treating spectators to a visual feast. Skimming across the wavetops at speeds normally only attained by windsurfers in these waters, these ultralight skiffs are said to be among the most difficult - yet most exhilarating - boats ever designed. With five out of 11 races scored, General Electric, out of Long Beach, sailed by Howard Hamlin, Mike Martin and Andy Zinn, is leading with 12 points (see Racing continues through Saturday. Look for a full report in the October issue of Latitude 38.

Photos Latitude/Andy


September 5 - 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 5 - 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

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