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Photo of the Day

July 2 - England

Roller Furling Madness

Some of you folks are going to think that our Photo of the Day, of a roller furling mechanism for a jib, was doctored in Photoshop. It wasn't. It's just the kind of custom hardware required if you're like Joe and Luciana Vittoria and want your latest Mirabella to be 245 feet long. Why does the furler have to be so big? Because the mast is going to top out at 300 feet above the water - or about 80 feet higher than the roadbed of the Golden Gate Bridge. The boat is expected to be launched this fall in England, and we suspect she'll be on the hook at St. Barth in the Caribbean for New Year's.

Photo Courtesy Mirabella V

First TransPac Start Is Not so Fast

July 2 - Long Beach

The only thing slower than the Web site was Tuesday's first start of the 41st TransPac off Long Beach. Rich Roberts reports on the brilliant revival of this great race:

"The starting gun fired punctually at 1 p.m. Tuesday for the first of three starts in the 42nd TransPacific Yacht Race to Hawaii . . . and nothing happened. On a warm, sunny day, with a breeze of only two knots and an opposing current of 1-1/2 knots, the first 25 of 58 boats were left sailing in place. Three minutes later Palo Alto's Stan and Sally Honey, veterans of many TransPacs sailing their Cal 40, Illusion, were the first to nurse their boat across the line. They were followed six minutes later by William Boyd's Beneteau 47.7, Beautiful Day, from San Diego, at the pin end of the line, a couple of lengths in front of Robert Rice's Tripp 40, There and Back Again, from Long Beach. After 45 minutes Kirby Coryell and Neil Weinberg, sailing Beach Music from Lafayette, doublehanded, willed their red Tayana 52 across to complete the exercise in agony.

"The group consisted of 10 Cal 40s, 11 Aloha class boats racing in Division 5. Divisions 3 and 4 will start Friday, the Fourth of July, followed by the largest and faster Division 1 and 2 boats on Sunday.

"The prospect of sailing 2,225 nautical miles on a liquid treadmill did not seem appealing, but most of the teams appeared to be taking the frustration in good spirits - although Greg Boyer of Long Beach may have considered firing up the grill hanging off the back of his Cal 40, John B. But as Beach Music got under way, a southwest breeze was starting to fill and Santa Catalina Island became visible through a haze 23 miles offshore. Whether anyone would clear the West End without tacking was doubtful, barring a significant wind shift to the right.
After their start, the Honeys went west along the Palos Verdes peninsula for 15 minutes, looking for relief from the current, but as they tacked to starboard their early lead was threatened by B'Quest, the San Diego Tripp 40 manned by a crew of disabled sailors representing Challenged America in Division 5."

Daily position reports, news summaries, photos will be posted at until the completion of the race. Check the July Latitude for our preview of the TransPac, plus Racing Editor Rob Moore's almost nearly infallible predictions on the class and overall winners.

Photo Rich Roberts

The July Issue Is Out, but Missing a Couple of Photos

July 2 - The Bay Area

The July issue of Latitude hit the streets yesterday. Unfortunately, due to a photo embedding problem, three photos and the photo captions for the "Eye On The Bay Race" feature, pgs 134-135, didn't appear. Who could believe that modern technology could let us down every now and then?

Photos Latitude/Richard

C'est La Vie Finally Leaves New Zealand

July 2 - NZ

"Kia ora from New Zealand for the last time," write Keith and Susan Levy of the Richmond-based Catalina 47 C'est La Vie. "The wind and rain have been relentless and C'est La Vie has been tugging at her lines in the Opua Marina. Winter has beset the island, which means the days are short, the water is the color of the Nile, and the sand flies have become ferocious, so it's time for us to go. We've sold our car, made all the repairs, and provisioned the boat. So we're saying goodbye to the excitement of the America's Cup, sheep-dotted hillsides, Franz Joseph Glazier, the fjords of Milford and Doubtful Sound, fly fishing on the shores of Lake Taupo, the geysers of Rotorua, white water rafting in Queenstown, the euphoria over the All Blacks rugby team, Maori culture, the Haka - and some of the friendliest people in the world. Good on all of you. The barometer is falling fast, the high has come and gone, and the low pressure now over the land promises southerlies on the backside - so Des on Russell Radio is telling us it's time to get going. We'll have to don our longjohns, fleece ,and foul weather gear for a good part of this passage, but the promise of warm, tropical weather in Fiji lies ahead. As we're about to leave, we're wondering where our old buddyboats are - Aventura, North Road, Li'l Gem, By Chance, Mobisle, Final Straw, and Raven? We will be making this passage alone. No worries, mate!"

Keith & Susan in front of the conga line in PV.
Photo Courtesy
C'est La Vie

Alinghi and Oracle to Battle on the Bay in Moet Cup

July 2 - San Francisco Bay

Alinghi, winners of the America's Cup, and Oracle BMW, runner-up in the Louis Vuitton Series leading to the America's Cup, will do battle on San Francisco Bay September 15-20 with their best boats in a new event called the Moet Cup. This will be serious stuff, with many of their best crew, including Gavin Brady and Chris Dickson aboard Oracle BMW's USA 76, and Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth aboard Alinghi's SUI 64.

The America's Cup course racing will be staged within viewing distance of Pier 39 and the Marina District, with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop. The event is expected to recapture the drama of America's Cup Class match racing as the teams prepare for their upcoming campaigns for the America's Cup in Europe. It will be the first authentic America's Cup match racing event in the USA since the trophy was lost to New Zealand in San Diego in 1995. The same international umpires who governed the racing in New Zealand will make instantaneous calls from patrol boats on the race course to ensure a fair playing field.

Alinghi and Oracle BMW Racing are working together to improve the 152-year-old competition. The Moet Cup is a first step toward making the event more accessible to the general public and sailing fans worldwide. For the teams, this highly anticipated competition provides a training platform and the opportunity to try out new crew in an authentic racing environment.

The Golden Gate YC, in partnership with the Treasure Island Sailing Center, will run the Moet Cup on-the-water Race Committee. Moët & Chandon is the official sponsor of the Moet Cup, with event partners Oracle Corporation, BMW, Hewlett-Packard, TAG Heuer and Henri Lloyd.

In last month's Sausalito Cup, Oracle BMW was a walkaway winner. In the Moet Cup, she'll have stiff competition from Alinghi, winners of the America's Cup.
Photo Courtesy Oracle BMW

Good and Bad News for Tim Kent and Horizontal Everest

July 2 - Bermuda

The Canadian Around Alone skipper, whose Open 50 Everest Horizontal flipped during the Bermuda 1-2 after her keel fell off, is in a bad news-good news, situation. His trip to try to find his upside-down boat some 100 miles from Bermuda failed. But when he got back to shore, he learned that another boat had spotted Everest Horizontal while he was out searching. The other boat just hadn't been able to reach Kent by radio. So now Kent is running around Bermuda trying to find a suitable tow boat before the Everest Horizontal's lastest position grows stale.

Two Great Special Events

July 2 - San Francisco Bay

If you're around San Francisco Bay in July, we highly recommend you take part in both the San Francisco YC's Midnight Moonlight Marathon - a pursuit race from Raccoon Strait to Vallejo and back, and the Silver Eagle Long Distance - 67 miles in-the-Bay race. The former is on July 12, the latter on July 19, and they are great fun. For details, check out the July issue Race Calendar.

The Fourth of July

July 4 - Mill Valley

There will be no 'Lectronic Latitude on July 4. We'll be out sailing - and you should be also! Happy Holiday and good sailing!


July 2 - 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

July 2 - 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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