Photos of the Day: Berkeley YC Midwinters

February 11 - Olympic Circle

Today's photos come from Saturday's Berkeley YC Midwinters, held in very light air on the Circle. What breeze there was came mostly from the WNW, and ranged from 0-8 knots. However, the RC sent all fleets on a short (3.8 nm) course, and most were able to finish. Sunday's racing featured more breeze (10-12 knots), and both days were a warm spring tease.

The weekend's events wrapped up the series, except for the Champion of Champion Trophy Winners' Race on Sunday, February 23. For our report, see the March issue of Latitude 38. For complete results, see

Photos Latitude/Rob

Boats and Can-Can Girls Lift Their Skirts

February 11 - Auckland, NZ

When the Kiwis lifted the skirts from NZL-82, the boat they have declared for the America's Cup, a still-intact hula (hull appendage) and bright orange flames painted on the keel bulb were revealed. An Auckland graphics company, Signing-On, and its flamboyant chief executive, Ross Hall were responsible. Says Hall, "I reckon it gives them about three knots."

When the Swiss lifted the skirt from their boat, folks were looking more at the accompanying Can-Can girls, who had also lifted their skirts. On the ladies' undergarments was spelled out, 'SUI64'. For photos (and full reports) see

The Beerfort Scale and Coarse Sailors

February 11 - Cyberspace

Yesterday, we ran Greg Sherwood's request for a scale measuring wind speed using beer. He sited the examples, "Force 2 - blows the head off your beer," and "Force 6 - you have to sit on the cases to keep them from sliding across the cockpit." We asked our readers if they could point us in the right direction and got many responses (thanks to all of you who wrote in). The above examples are actually from two completely different humorous scales, and they are highlighted below in bold.

Several readers pointed us in the direction of the Beerfort Scale, on line at

Force 0: Sails hanging limp. Tiller tends itself.
Force 1: Beginning pressure on sails. If sheet is eased out, the tiller still tends itself.
Force 2: Sails flapping in the breeze, and boat drifting to leeward. Sheets must be tightened and one hand put on the tiller. As the wind fills the sails, the boat heels. Case of beer must be placed on cockpit floor.
Force 3: The beer may be knocked over and must be supported or held in hand.
Force 4: Empty bottles rolling against each other on cockpit floor. Must be thrown over side. [Webmistress's note: please don't do this!]
Force 5: All beer streaming behind boat must be hauled in.
Force 6: Nobody can hold onto more than one beer at a time.
Force 7: The case of beer slides back and forth on cockpit floor. One person must be appointed to sit on it.
Force 8: Bottles can still be opened by one person. Beginning of difficulties pouring into the mouth without spilling.
Force 9: Bottle must be held with two hands. Only experts can get the cap off by themselves.
Force 10: Two people required to open bottles. Empties must be thrown to leeward only. Very difficult to find mouth. Some teeth may be knocked loose.
Force 11: The beer tends to foam out of bottle. Very difficult to drink. Lips split and teeth fall out.
Force 12: All open bottles foam. Impossible to drink. Temporary abstinence may be required.

Others referred us to the Course Sailor's Beaufort Scale at and They are not completely identical, but here is our extrapolation:

Beaufort number Wind Speed [mph] Description For Coarse Sailors For use on land
 0  0-1  Calm Boats move sideways with tide. Cigarette smoke gets in eyes.
 1  1 - 3  Light air Coarse yachtsmen hoist sail, then wind instantly drops. Wet finger feels cold.
 2  4 - 7  Light breeze Tea towels blow off rigging. Pubs close one window.
 3  8 - 12  Gentle breeze Coarse boats careen. Difficult to make tea underway. Pubs close two windows.
 4  13 - 18  Moderate breeze Coarse boats lose mainsheet through block and have to go aground to recover it. Beer froth blows off.
  5  19 - 24  Fresh breeze Coarse sailors get book on sailing from cabin and turn up bit on reefing. Customers in pub gardens go inside bar.
 6  25 - 31  Strong breeze Coarse sailors try to double reef and go aground. Elderly customers have difficulty leaving pub.
 7  32 - 38  Moderate gale Coarse sailors rescued by launch. Pub door cannot be opened against wind.
 8  39 - 46  Fresh gale Aaaaaaah!!! Pub sign blows down.
 9  47 - 54  Strong gale Coarse sailors in public house. Coarse sailors struck by falling sign.

Only of interest on TV

For more on 'Coarse Sailing', see Michael Green's book, The Art of Coarse Sailing.

These scales are riffs on Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort's wind force scale developed in 1831. For that scale and its history, see

Weather Updates

February 11 - 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

Top / Index of Stories / Subscriptions / Classifieds / Home

©2003 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.