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West Marine Looking for a Female Boardmember

December 3 - Watsonville

"We are looking for an accomplished businesswoman and boater with experience as CEO/COO/EVP in a public or private company to serve on West Marine's Board of Directors," reports Randy Repass, founder of West Marine. "Previous board experience is not necessary."

Randy also reported that he'd hoped to enter his Wylie 65 cat ketch in this year's Ha-Ha, but she was still a couple of months short of completion. Maybe next year.

Aurora in Light Air Atlantic Rally for Cruisers

December 3 - Atlantic Ocean

"We had our halfway celebration last night, and we should hit the 1,000 miles to go mark soon, moving ahead slowly but surely," reports Mark Bernhard of the Northern California based Catana 58 catamaran Aurora. This is the second year in a row he and his brother Mark have done the 2,700-mile Canary Islands to St. Lucia event. "Unlike last year, wind has been a scarce commodity this year, with only a couple of days above 20 knots. The forecast through the end of the week looks pretty bleak, with not much more than 15 knots predicted. We've had the kite up almost nonstop, and we've dropped all the way down to 16N looking for wind. St. Lucia is down at 14N. Everyone aboard is fine. With Thanksgiving and David's birthday behind us, we're all looking forward to the countdown to the finish."

In other news from the 210-boat ARC fleet, the boats in the Royal Ocean Racing Club sponsored racing division are blazing along. In first place with just 558 miles to go is the Volvo 60 Spirit with Hamish Olphant running the show. They are currently on pace to knock nearly a full day off the ARC record of 11 days, 23 hours. The current record is held by the Farr 65 Spirit of Diana, running in sixth place in this year's event.

In second is Venom, another Volvo 60, but 130 miles off the pace. Third is the Dixon 65 Liara, 774 miles out. Perhaps the real performance surprise of the event has been Galop 1, Christophe Ferreya's little Outremer 45 catamaran, in fourth place boat for boat with just 811 miles to go. But to prove how important the skipper and crew are, there's another Outremer 45 in this year's ARC, and she's way, way back in the fleet.

Here's a file photo of an Outremer 45, now owned in the South of France by former Sausalitan Noel Gaudinet.

All Boatowners Invited to Participate in the St. Francis YC Lighted Boat Parade

December 3 - San Francisco

Who: 30+ 25-80 foot power and sailboats. When: Saturday December 13. Time: 6-7 pm. Where: San Francisco waterfront, Fort Mason to Crissy Field. Join members of the St. Francis YC and Marina Blvd. residents as they ring in the holiday season with the annual Decorated Boat Parade. More then 30 power and sailboats will begin the parade at 6:00 pm off Fort Mason and follow the shoreline to Crissy Field, returning to the City Marina at approximately 7:00 pm. Spectators are encouraged to view the parade along the waterfront, including the Marina Green, the breakwater, and Crissy Field.

All boatowners are encouraged to participate in the festivities along with members of the St. Francis YC, Golden Gate YC and Sea Scouts. Local resident, boatowner and head elf, Grant Settlemier, has led the effort for the last 15 years. He encourages homeowners along Marina Blvd. to 'Light the Boulevard' for the season. "We want the entire area, homes and boats, to be lighted during the month of December," he says. For more information, contact the St. Francis YC or Susan Ruhne at (415) 250-8300.

Eight Bells for Roger Wales

December 3 - California

We regret to have to report that Roger Wales, well known for being the Northern California Hans Christian and Freedom Yachts dealer in the late '70s and early '80s, recently passed away at age 64 of melanoma. A colorful character, Wales had an unusual entry into the yachting business - he sold Hans Christians out of the back of his car while still a full time employee at Montgomery Ward's. He did this for almost a year before getting into the business full time. In addition to racing high performance boats to Hawaii and Mexico, Wales and his wife Darien cruised to Mexico aboard their Freedom Aurora in '92-'93. They've left the boat in San Carlos ever since, returning for about a month of cruising each year.
Darien reports that Roger's melanoma started as a funny spot on his back just three months ago, and 'exploded'. This despite aggressive treatment at the John Wayne cancer center in Southern California.

Joyon Continues Hot Pace in Solo Circumnavigation

December 1 - Atlantic Ocean

French 'recluse' Francis Joyon continues his record pace in pursuit of the solo circumnavigation record aboard the 90-ft trimaran IDEC. He covered 321 miles getting out of the doldrums in the Atlantic, followed by another 379 miles. The only problem is that he's almost 90 degrees off his ideal course to the Cape of Good Hope. Average speed so far? 15.5 knots - not bad for a singlehander.

Profligate's Progress

December 3 - Caribbean Sea

Despite a good weather report, Profligate reported winds in the squalls of up to 40 knots and steady 25-knot winds as she battled east across the Caribbean from Aruba in the general direction of the Eastern Caribbean. It's a grind, but they've covered about 3,100 miles of the 3,500 miles from Cabo to Antigua, so God willing, it's almost over. Sipping a Mt. Gay and tonic while listening to a steel drum band play on Shirley Heights overlooking English Harbor shouldn't be more than a couple of days away. Antigua is the destination, as the huge Caribbean Charterboat Show starts soon.

Some shots from earlier in the trip:

Having to replace a prop 50 miles offshore the coast of Mexico after it struck something and was bent.

The bent prop.

Puesta del Sol Marina in Nicaragua, where the crew made a three-hour pit stop. They were there such a short time they didn't have to check in.

Taking on fuel at Nicaragua.

A friend met along the way.
Photos Wayne Meretsky

Cheyenne, Ex-PlayStation, Crosses the Atlantic

December 3 - France

Steve Fossett has positioned his maxi cat for the start of a Jules Verne Around the World record attempt. He'll have company, as several other maxi multihulls have the same record in mind.


December 3 - 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.

Weather Links

December 3 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

Check out this guide to San Francisco Bay Navigational Aids: http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/sfports.html.

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

The site for the Pacific Ocean sea states has moved to http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/PacRegSSA.shtml.
For views of sea states anywhere in the world, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data.

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