Photo of the Day
January 20 - English Harbor, Antigua
Today's Photo of the Day is of Mike Harker's Marina del Rey-based Hunter 446 Wanderlust sailing between the 'Pillars of Hercules' at Antigua in the Eastern Caribbean. In the near background is historic English Harbor, and in the far background is Falmouth Harbor. This is home to the Antigua Boat Show in December, Antigua Classic Regatta in mid-April, and Antigua Sailing Week in late April. English and Falmouth Harbors have played host to just about every great yacht and sailor in the world. No sailor should die without having sailed out of English Harbor at least once.
As for Harker, in 10 months he sailed 12,000 miles from Florida to and around the Med, and back to Antigua. He's now headed for Florida.
Photo Courtesy Wanderlust
Alinghi Defeats Oracle BMW to Move on to America's Cup
January 20 - Auckland, NZ
The Russell Coutts-driven Alinghi beat Oracle BMW in the sixth race of the Louis Vuitton Cup on Saturday to take the Louis Vuitton Finals, which means they move on to the America's Cup itself against Team New Zealand in a month.
It was a wild and exciting last race, with Oracle BMW incurring a penalty at the start and each team leading at various times. Nearing the finish, Oracle BMW slowed down to try to get Alinghi in a position to foul, but it didn't work. Although the final score of the series was 5-1, with Oracle BMW having been soundly beaten in the first two races, it was actually much closer than that. Indeed, the score could have easily been 3-3 right now.
Photos Franck Socha/Louis Vuitton Cup
Larry Ellison was gracious in defeat, saying they'd been beaten by the better team. He also said that he'd had a wonderful time, and would "absolutely" be back for another go. Given his net wealth and continuing income, the $85 million expense is but a drop in the bucket. He then hopped aboard his jet and flew back to California.
The Oracle BMW team is certainly much wiser for the experience. For one thing, in the beginning their boats were set up for heavy weather sailing. But by the Louis Vuitton Finals, their boat was totally set up for light air sailing, and they weren't as sure as they could have been how to trim the sails or drive it.
In other news, OneWorld closed up shop in New Zealand. Craig McCaw is not committing to another Cup attempt at this time, but says he'd be delighted to be part of a 'reform' committee.
An 80-ft Daysailer Grows in Long Beach
January 20 - Long Beach
When we first met Richard Compton of Santa Barbara some 20 years ago, he was racing a 40-footer called Geronimo. Then he raced the Andrews 70 Alchemy. We haven't seen Compton in quite a while, but life apparently has been good for him, because Bill and Heather Clute report he's having an 80-ft 'daysailer' built at DENCHO Marine in Long Beach.
Heather Clute, who, with Bill, had the Perry 59 Starbuck built at DENCHO, and Charlie, a longtime DENCHO worker go over plans for the new monster boat.
The deck, outside getting a tan.
The upside down hull, looking forward through the various stations
Photos Bill Clute
Maverick on the Mend
January 20 - Carriacou, Grenada
When we last reported on Tony Johnson and Terry Shrode, the duo trying to circumnavigate aboard Johnson's Richmond-based Ericson 39 Maverick, they darn near had the boat sink from under them while doing the last couple of miles of their Atlantic crossing. Once hauled at Carriacou, they discovered major cracks in the bottom of the boat just forward of the mast.
Here's the latest from Johnson: "Maverick has a big hole in its hull where the local glass man, George, has cut out the affected area in preparation for repairs. These unfortunately await the return of Uwe, another German, whose specialty is engineering. Uwe was committed to another large job which couldn't be dropped simply because the legendary Maverick showed up with a big boo-boo. The damage has been assessed by George, Uwe, Roy (who manages the yard), and a surveyor named Alan Hooper. All of these men inspire confidence and all maintain that the hull can be made seaworthy, which is the reassuring news. The not-so-reassuring news is that no one has any certainty about why it happened, and this includes the boat's designer, Bruce King, who was reluctant to venture an opinion on the phone. All claim to have never seen anything like it except on boats at the highest end of competitive racing, e.g., America's Cup. There are two possible explanations of its rarity, and one is that in fact it never has happened. The other is more likely but a little more sinister, and that is that, although it has happened before, the boats it happened to never made it to a yard where the damage could be scrutinized.
Photos Courtesy Maverick
"In all sailboats, of course, the mast is trying to go through the bottom of the boat and the weight of the keel is pushing in the same direction, while the two ends of the boat are buoyant, and the stays are trying to pull them up towards the masthead. So theoretically, all sailboats could break in half just where Maverick did. But they don't, and Maverick did, and beyond that bare fact lies speculation.
"Right now, as the Captain channel-surfs in search of glimpses of Britney at the American Music Awards, he is biting his nails hoping the repairs can be done in time to get to Panama in time to get through the Canal in time to get to San Diego in time to miss the hurricane season off the Mexican coast. The rest of our planned cruise through the lovely islands of this area of the world is distressingly out the window in a manner similar to a substantial chunk of the Captain's savings, notwithstanding any help that comes from insurance. Assuming the repairs are done in time, the next worry is whether they will hold through the big following seas of the western Caribbean, and the thousands of miles of head seas on the way to home."
January 20 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace
Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? The YOTREPS daily yacht tracking page has moved to www.bitwrangler.com/psn.
January 20 - 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 http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind.
The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at www.wrh.noaa.gov/Monterey.
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.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/Maps/Southwest.shtml.
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