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Photos of the Day: Part I

June 30 - San Francisco Bay

Is San Francisco Bay the Best Damn Place in the World to Sail?

It certainly isn't during the winter, but during the summer it's nothing short of spectacular. For one thing, you almost always can take your pick of either challenging breezes in the Slot for thrilling sailing, or more mellow and warm places such as Raccoon Strait for easy sailing. Check out our Photos of the Day, Part I.

Basking in the warmth of the roar of the Giants crowd off PacBell Park

Sending spray flying from a Newport 30 in the Central Bay during an ebb.

Jamming along the Embarcadero at hull speed with just the main and staysail.

Relaxing in a late Sunday sail up Raccoon Strait, where the water is flat and the breeze is warm.

Photos Latitude/Richard

North Sails Race Week

June 25 - Long Beach

Rich Roberts reports: "A lot of things can go wrong in sailboat racing, and most of them did at the 19th North Sails Race Week concluding Sunday. The spoils went to those who overcame their bad luck or blunders (take your pick) or simply waited for fate to make their days.

"Jim and Lori Thompson, sailing their new J/109, Shekinah, from San Pedro, didn't even finish the first race of the three-day weekend when they sailed over their spinnaker. But later they were able to discard that result as the worst of the seven races, break a tiebreaker with Dick Velthoen and Paul de Freitas' J/35 Rival and - shazam! - collect additional honors as PHRF and event Boat of the Week for winning the most competitive class. They also shared the Lydia Kent Family Trophy with PHRF 3 winner Paul Kent, one of eight descendants of the trophy's late namesake on board.

"A throw-out was introduced this year, but it didn't help Samba Pa Ti. John Kilroy's Farr 40 from California YC, with Paul Cayard as tactician, twice recovered from jumping the gun in starts Saturday to share first place with Peter Stoneberg's Shadow from St. Francis YC going into the last race. But then a third misstep Sunday was fatal, and that was compounded when Samba Pa Ti failed to return back across the line completely to clear itself, requiring a second restart. By that time, a fickle 4-knot breeze that greeted the fleet of 130 boats on the final day had built to a brisk 15 swinging hard right for the second race, leaving few passing lanes to play catch-up.

"Another San Francisco boat, Tom Coates' Masquerade, also overcame a setback to run away with the largest class where 25 J/105s contested their Pacific Coast Championships. Coates wasn't on the boat. He cut his left hand severely last Wednesday so, on 48 hours' notice, tactician/mainsail trimmer Chris Perkins became skipper and helmsman.

"The Yacht Club Challenge Trophy was won by St. Francis YC, based on the class wins by Masquerade and Shadow, and a second place by Bill Wright's Zsa Zsa behind Fanger and Mario Yovkov in the 1D35s."

For the complete story and results, visit

Around Alone Skipper Dies Suddenly

June 30 - Savona, Italy

Simone Bianchetti, 35-year old skipper of Tiscali, which finished third in the 2002/2003 Around Alone race, died on a boat in Savona, Italy, in the early hours of Saturday morning after suffering what is believed to be a stroke.

His wife Inbar called for medical assistance and an ambulance arrived within minutes, however it was too late for the Italian sailor.

Zaraffa Sets Transatlantic Record; Zephyrus Drops Out

June 30 - Cuxhaven, Germany

Skip Sheldon's R/P 65 Zaraffa was the first boat to cross the finish line in the 3,618-mile DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge from Newport to Germany. It took her 13 days and 15 hours, during which time she hit a top speed of 25.7 knots. Navigator Mark Rudiger of Marin was instrumental in the fast passage, setting the boat up to catch a cold front.

Zephyrus V
Photo Latitude/Richard

Bob McNeil, also of Marin, didn't fare as well. His R/P 86 Zephyrus V has dropped out of the race after problems with the lower bearing on the rudder. At the time, ZV had logged 440 miles in 24 hours, and was going after the current monohull 24-hour sailing record of 484 held by John Kostecki. But with bad sea conditions and a dicey rudder, McNeil decided to bag the race and head to England for repairs.

The Trouble with Teak from Burma

June 30 - Washington, DC

"The blurb in Friday's 'Lectronic regarding a ban on Burmese teak, and encouraging a letter to one's Representatives, sounds like a good idea - if the only voice heard is that of the manufacturers. In fact, this is not some random act of Congress. Nine members of Southeast Asian nations have made the unprecedented move rebuking Burma in protest of the jailing of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Japan, Burma's biggest trading partner, as well as the European Union, have also imposed sanctions and other penalties against the Burmese military junta currently in power. I encourage everyone to do a news search on Burma before making requests of their Congressional Representative. I'm sure there will be pain from some business groups, but I think this is a necessary move for us that will hopefully not be permanent," writes Mike Stevens, Cinni, Coronado 25, San Diego.

The fact that 'Lectronic ran the blurb for the NMMA does not mean we support their position.

They Say Tourism Is Way off in San Francisco . . .

June 30 - San Francisco Bay

. . . but there hardly seems enough room on the Bay for just the Blue & Gold fleet.

Photo Latitude/Richard

Surviving Going Overboard

June 30 - San Francisco Bay

Don Condon has been crewing on the same Bear boat with the same skipper for 15 years, yet he went overboard during the Woodie Regatta and darn near died. He and the skipper have come up with a list of 10 things they did wrong:

1) Stay on the boat. I should have been better braced for the roll that pitched me over.

2) Know how thy life preserver works, especially the inflatable kind.

3) Practice MOB drills. In 15 years of racing, we have never practiced an MOB. We have gone back and picked up hats and stuff, but not had a specific MOB drill.

4) Have more floating stuff on board. We have the one horse collar, but took off all the regular life jackets when we had enough of the inflatables.

5) Wear different boots. Mine filled up with water. They didn't pull me down, but I wasn't able to kick very well with them.

6) Stay calm. I did all right with this most of the time I was in the water, except when the boat went by and didn't get me. My yelling quickly tired me and increased the anxiety of those on the boat - which just slowed things down.

7) Think about swimming to shore. It never crossed my mind until later. I'm not sure if I could have done it, however.

8) The crew should have had a line ready to throw to me when they came by.

9) The crew could have untied three stopper knots and let go of the spinnaker instead of wasting minutes fighting to pull it back aboard before they could come for me.

10) I should have worked harder to get the inflatable vest to inflate. It would have made things less stressful.

We'll have more on this incident in the August issue of Latitude 38.

Photos of the Day: Part II

June 30 - San Francisco Bay

Is San Francisco Bay the Best Damn Place in the World to Sail?

It certainly isn't in the winter, but the summer is nothing short of spectacular. It's not just the variety of breezes - see item above - but also the great scenery. Check out our Photos Of The Day, Part II:

Enjoying the breeze below Coit Tower

Sailing with an urban backdrop

'Line sailing' with Alcatraz and Mt. Tam in the background

On the hook behind an increasingly scarred-up Angel Island
Photos Latitude/Richard


June 30 - 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

June 30 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

Check out this guide to San Francisco Bay Navigational Aids:

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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