Photos of the Day: Singlehanded Farallones

April 7 - San Francisco

"The Singlehanded Sailing Society's Singlehanded Farallones came off successfully in typically varying springtime conditions," reports race chair Max Crittenden. "Light air kept the entire field in sight from the race deck at Golden Gate YC for more than an hour after the start, and by the time the wind picked up, the boats had to buck the flood. But soon reports of 30 knots of wind, breaking waves, and (in two cases) gear damage were coming in from retiring racers. Out of 57 starters, 35 boats finished, most of them in a mellow evening breeze. Daniel Benjamin's Aerodyne 38 Fast Forward was the first one back across the finish line, with an elapsed time of 8:07:46. First (and only) multihull finisher was David Martin's F-27 Gerry De's Flying Circus.

Alchera came in third in the ULDB division.

"Provisionally, the top finishers overall on corrected time were: 1) Uno, Wyliecat 30, Steve Wonner; 2) Sleeping Dragon, Hobie 33, Mark Halman; 3) Auspice, Schumacher 40, James Coggan. Full provisional results are on the Web at"

The Islander 44 Kuewa sailed in the Non-Spinnaker division.
Photos Latitude/JR

We'll have more, including more results and more shots from the 'Latitude helicopter' in the May issue of Latitude 38.

Fast Forward finished first after putting in a full day's work.

Multihull winner by default: Gerry De's Flying Circus

Auspice topped the PHRF 129 & Under fleet.

Spring Crew List and Party

April 7 - San Francisco

The big spring crew list, the one for cruising, daysailing, boat swapping and co-chartering, appears in the big April issue of Latitude 38. (The racing list was published in the March issue.) In case you haven't been able to get a copy, we've also posted the crew lists online.

One neat way to use the list is to arrange to meet prospective skippers/crew at the Crew List Party, a neutral venue with plenty of possibilities. That gives you just two more days to line up a rendezvous or two - the party's this Wednesday at the Golden Gate YC in the City. For all the details, a map, driving directions and a flyer you can download and print out, see our Crew List Party Web page at

Tips on the Baja Bash

April 7 - Cabo San Lucas, BCS

"I saw Doña de Mallorca and Profligate in Cabo at the beginning of April before they started the Baja Bash, and she seemed surprised I was still around!" writes Captain Jim Elfers, author of the now out of print Baja Bash. "Baja ain't perfect, but I still prefer it to the Great North, and even obtained Mexican citizenship recently. I split my time between deliveries, surveys, and my bed and breakfast. In any event, she indicated that you were going to try breaking Rule #1 of the Baja Bash by returning home in the spring! My book is long out of print, but since you asked, here is a rehash of two pertinent areas:

"Skipper Tim Murison is right to go out to the San Benitos. As I wrote in the book: 'The vast majority of boats heading north always go east of Cedros, enjoying its lee for several hours. My philosophy is to go west of the island. Why? 1) It allows you to give Punta Norte at least a six mile offing. 2) It's a shorter rhumbline course to San Diego. 3) Going outside gives you an immediate and clear idea of what the weather is like as opposed to guessing and hoping from the lee. 4) Since you will usually know the true weather before you reach Cabo San Agustin, you have the option of changing your mind and rerouting to the east side of the island or anchoring at Bahia Sur. 5) The fact that if you do commit yourself to the west side and start to get hit by heavy air, you still have the excellent anchorage at Islas San Benitos. 6) This course sets sailboats up for a much better sailing angle to cross over to 'mainland' Baja than coming from the lee.

"As to Profligate breaking Rule #1, here are the eight rules as written in my book - remembering that they are more appropriate for a retired couple from Los Angeles cruising in a Catalina 36 than you folks in a 63-ft twin diesel catamaran:
1) Avoid Spring. 2) Get Comfortable With Your Boat - meaning be confident in your ability to bleed the diesel, sail at night, and so forth. 3) Bring The Right Stuff - meaning emergency repair items. 4) Optimize Your Vessel - meaning clean the prop, reduce windage, distribute weight properly, and so forth. 5) Jump On A Favorable Weather Window. 6) Avoid Afternoon Cape Transits. 7) Keep The Mainsail Full And Driving - referring to powertacking. 8) Go outside rather than inside Cedros.

"As for the Irwin 37 who did the Clipper Route and sailed 2,700 miles in 28 long, cold days on the wind, that's not a terribly impressive time - although it was for an Irwin 37. He mentions that he arrived in San Francisco before other boats made it to San Diego. Assuming that is true, and that most cruisers are retirees or have minimal time pressure, could it not be possible that the other boats enjoyed a few days in Cabo, anchored in Mag Bay, traded for lobster or fish in Turtle Bay, or checked out Ensenada or San Diego? None of these are options on the Offshore Route, but more power to those who can or wish to."

Readers - Elfers is correct in that spring is the worst time to come north along the Baja coast. Late winter and early summer would both be considerably better for weather - plus you'd have more time to enjoy warm water waves such as these at La Launcha near Punta de Mita.

Photo Latitude/Richard

But since Profligate has to be in Mexico through late March's Banderas Bay Regatta and then has obligations in Southern California by mid-April, spring, the worst time of year to come north, is when it has to be done. Like Elfers, we would not recommend coming north from mid-March until mid-May. In fact, if we were a retired couple with a Catalina 36, we'd have the boat trucked back to California from San Carlos.

In a related issue, does anybody know why they don't run a semi-submersible yacht carrier from Puerto Vallarta to Southern California in about mid-May? We think there would be a tremendous market from such a service. Old hands will remember they used to put yachts on a ship for the run from Cabo to Newport Beach . . . until somebody ran off with all the money.

Our last word on the Baja Bash is that the engine(s) should be checked very carefully before leaving Cabo. As Wayne Meretsky was checking Profligate's port engine, he discovered that the bracket for the high-powered alternator had cracked. Although it looked fine even when running at high speed, a close inspection revealed the problem. It was quickly repaired.

Profligate is now in San Diego, having made it from Cabo in four days and a couple of hours, averaging over eight knots for the trip, including the stop for fuel at Turtle Bay (where Ernesto might as well have been wearing a bandito outfit). Although the trip started out in flat water, it got and stayed rough and sloppy from south of Turtle Bay to San Diego. There were lots of launches over waves and plenty of slamming, nonetheless the cat did a pretty good job of maintaining speed - thanks to a great crew of five.

What's a Sextant?

April 7 - Marion, MA

As in years past, the Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race will have a separate division for boats that will navigate using celestial and DR only. Some younger sailors probably have no idea what celestial is. In any event, if you want to be one of the nearly 80 boats to participate, visit

Battle of the Sexes, Rolex Sailing Division

April 7 - Oakland

As most of you know, Northern California pulled off a tremendous coup in the world of sailing last month when Marinites John Kostecki and Liz Baylis respectively were chosen Rolex yachtsman and yachtswoman of the year. This is like being named MVP in any other sport.

John Kostecki

Liz Baylis
In any event, just for fun the two stellar sailors will have a match race on April 23 to help kick off the five-day Pacific SAIL EXPO boat show at Jack London Square in Oakland. You don't want to miss it, for in addition to being great sailors, John and Liz are both very pleasant and approachable people, devoid of any attitude.


April 7 - 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

Weather Updates

April 7 - 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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