Photos of the Day
January 27 - San Francisco Bay
It wasn't the biggest fleet (215 entries, well shy of the 253-boat fleet in 1994), it wasn't the fastest race (the record is still 2 hours, 17 minutes, set by the Antrim 30+ Erin in 1996), but the 20th Three Bridge Fiasco had to be the most pleasant one in history. The weather for the Singlehanded Sailing Society's season opener on Saturday couldn't have been nicer - sunny, flat water, and a gentle 5-10 knot northerly. "It was a perfect midwinter day," claimed SSS scorer Bill Charron. "It also was a great pursuit race, as everyone seemed to finish all together."
The winner of the zany 21-mile Bay tour (Blackaller Buoy, Red Rock, Treasure Island - in any order!) was Bill Erkelens, Sr.'s custom C-Cat Freedom, which crossed the Golden Gate finish line first at 2:30 p.m. Erkelens and crew Mark Rudiger, who now lives up in Grass Valley, sailed the course clockwise (Blackaller first, through Raccoon Strait to Red Rock, T.I.), finishing with an elapsed time of 2:54:29. "It was perfect conditions for us," said Bill. "We double-trapped both upwind and down, and we had fun starting last and passing everybody!"
The top monohull was the green Schumacher 40 Auspice, sailed by Jim Coggan and his 17-year-old son Brian. The Coggans finished at 2:45 p.m. after sailing a counterclockwise course. "We went to Blackaller first, and then were able to skirt the hole at Fisherman's Wharf by sailing out towards Alcatraz," said Jim. "We picked up about 50 boats at once right there. We sailed a longer distance, but it really paid off!"
The top singlehander was Dan Benjamin, whose red Aerodyne 38 Fast Forward crossed the line at 2:58 p.m. after sailing a clockwise course.
For more, including results and photos, see Race Sheet in the February issue of Latitude 38, due out Friday. Also see www.sfbaysss.org and/or drop by the Oakland YC on the evening of February 12 for the awards ceremony/debriefing.
Check back tomorrow for our Key West Race Week report.
Moore 24s prepare to start. They fielded the biggest fleet (27 in the Doublehanded Division). The 3-Bridge kicks off their long Roadmaster Series.
The Express 27 Dianne
Vitesse, a Santa Cruz 27, sailed by Ward Latham (l) and skipper Grant Hayes, before the start.
Rhett Smith borrowed the Express 37 Expeditious.
Here they prepare to set . . .
. . . And here they are on the run past Red Rock.
Cape to Rio Fleet Leaders Trickle In
January 27 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The trimaran Nicator, skippered
by professional yachtsman Klabbe Nylöf,
The Brazilian catamaran Adrenalina Pura, skippered by Georg Ehrensperger, finished the grueling race late Sunday evening, amid much excitement from the local crowd.
The next excitement in Rio is bound to be the arrival of the first monohull, the German entry 81-foot maxi Morning Glory. Skipper Hasso Plattner reported this morning at 1000 GMT that they were 101 miles away.
For the latest updates, see www.capetorio.org.
Kingfisher2 Has Left the Dock
January 27 - Lorient, France
The big cat Kingfisher2 is poised to pounce on a Jules Verne Trophy attempt. Ellen MacArthur and her all-male crew have left Lorient and hope to cross the starting line in the English Channel tomorrow morning, subject to this evening's final weather briefing. Says MacArthur, "We have done everything we can to prepare, now it is time to race."
Meanwhile, Olivier de Kersauson and crew aboard the trimaran Geronimo should round the Cape of Good Hope tomorrow. They are flying before a 30-knot NNW wind, averaging 22-23 knots of boat speed.
To follow these Jules Verne attempts, see www.grandsrecords.com and www.kingfisher-challenges.com/uk.
January 27 - 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 27 - 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