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Photo of the Day: Gravity Storm

February 25 - Pt. Richmond

Today's Photo of The Day was sent by Gareth Orkney of Quantum Sails in Pt. Richmond, who saw these blown over trailerable boats in the nearby pen. Let it be a reminder that it's winter, and it's nasty out.

A JS9000 rests on top of a Melges 24 at Brickyard Cove.
Photo Gareth Orkney

Kelly O'Neil Hensen in Critical Condition

February 25 - Everett, WA

The horrible news out of the Pacific Northwest is that Kelly O'Neil Hensen, a terrific photographer at hundreds of regattas in the U.S. and at the America's Cup (see www.kellyophoto.com), as well as a great sailor, athlete, mom, and wife, is in extremely critical condition after her car was crushed by a truck on Sunday night. She has not regained consciousness, and may not make it. It's hoped that she will have stabilized enough by Thursday for surgery. This really fine person needs everyone's best wishes and prayers.

Olympic Team Trials

February 25 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Persistence paid off for Kevin Hall of Ventura on Sunday, when his fourth bid for an Olympic slot was a winner in the Finn class of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Sailing being held in Ft. Lauderdale February 12-22. Hall had previously finished eighth at the '92 Olympic Trials in the Finn, fifth at the '96 Olympic Trials in the Laser, and second in the 2000 Olympic Trials in the 49er class. Hall only started sailing the Finn within the last year, which speaks volumes about the talent that has made him a noteworthy sailor since he won his first world championship in 1986. By winning the first four races of the Trials, conducted from Lauderdale Yacht Club, Hall established a commanding lead in the 23-boat Finn fleet. Over the remaining races, he would cross the finish line first an additional five times, including the 16th and final race of the series - which he did not have to sail.

Kevin Hall

In the opening race Sunday for the Yngling fleet, with just four boatlengths to spare, Carol Cronin (Jamestown, RI), Liz Filter (Stevensville, MD) and Nancy Haberland (Annapolis, MD) crossed the finish line first, making them mathematically unbeatable, and they elected to sit out race 16 as the remaining five teams fought through the last race to determine the final standings for the fleet. Cronin, Filter and Haberland won with a low score of 31 points. Hannah Swett (New York, NY/Jamestown, RI) with Joan Touchette (Newport, RI) and Melissa Purdy of Tiburon finished 4-3 to retain second overall on 36 points. Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI), Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe Farms, MI) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, NY) kept third place overall after finishes of 2-4 gave them 38 points.

Left to right: Carol Cronin, Liz Filter, Nancy Haberland

Not only will Cronin, Filter and Haberland get to compete in Athens, but they will do so in the event making its Olympic debut at the 2004 Summer Games.

The 49er class also saw their champions decided before the final race of the weekend. Tim Wadlow (San Diego) and Pete Spaulding (Miami, FL) opened the day by winning their 10th race of the series and followed that with a second place finish. That performance allowed them to take a DNS (did not sail) score for the final race of the series, which they then dropped, for a total of 48 points. Dalton Bergan (Seattle) and Zack Maxam (Coronado) posted finishes of 2-1-1 to move back into second overall on 59 points, while Andy Mack (White Salmon, WA) and Adam Lowry (San Francisco) dropped back one spot in the overall standings - to third - on 64 points after finishes of 3-3-4.

Pete Spaulding and Tim Wadlow

After trading wins yesterday with Lars Guck (Bristol, RI) and Jonathan Farrar (Niantic, CT) in the Tornado class, two-time Olympians John Lovell (New Orleans, LA) and Charlie Ogletree (Houston, TX) put the hammer down in Sunday's first race, turning a sizable lead into a win. When Guck and Farrar crossed the finish line fifth, Lovell and Ogletree became mathematically unbeatable.

John Lovell

Charlie Ogletree

On Saturday, Meg Gaillard (Pelham, NY/Jamestown, RI) clinched the Europe class with 15 points, followed by Krysia Pohl of Alameda with 34 points. Gaillard set the pace from the outset of the regatta, only failing once to cross the finish line first - in race 10, when she and two other sailors were over the starting line early, an infraction which required them to restart properly, leaving Gaillard with some ground to make up. Even in that race, she caught up to finish second.

Meg Gaillard
Photos Media Pro

The winners of these Trials now become members of the USA's 2004 Olympic Sailing Team which will compete next August in the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens, Greece. For complete results: www.ussailing.org/olympics/OlympicTrials/2004/.

She'll Never Be for Sale for as Long as I'm Alive

February 25 - St. Barth, FWI

"The gaff-rigged schooner you photographed sailing out of St. Barth was the Avenger of Lunenburg," reports Tom Gallant. "I've owned her since 1979, and have sailed her over 50,000 ocean miles. She was built in the mid '60s by David Stevens of Second Peninsula, Nova Scotia, who also designed her. David was one of the most respected designer/builders in the East, and also a brilliant racing sailor.

Photos Latitude/Richard

"During the '80s, we spent every winter in the tropics and the summers in Nova Scotia. Avenger has won her share of races, having picked up trophies in the Mayor's Cup Schooner Race in New York City, The Newport Classic, Bequia Regatta, and many over the years at Schooner Race Week in Nova Scotia. She is a fast and comfortable passagemaker - and will never be for sale as long as I'm alive. To me, she is the perfect cruising machine."

Pushing the Beach Cat Envelope

February 25 - Antwerp, Belgium

Up in Antwerp, Belgium, Thomas Plog and Glenn Roothooft are getting ready to tackle the Atlantic Ocean on a two-masted beach cat. Their goal is the current Atlantic beach cat record of 15 days, 2 hours.

For what it's worth, there have been at least five beach cat attempts on the Atlantic since 1986: In November 1986, the Frenchman Daniël Pradel and the Australian Tony Laurent did the first such crossing in 18 days with a Hobie 18. The next four attempts didn't better the original time. But in 1999, the Dutch-French duo of Hans Bouscholte and Gérard Navarin dropped the time to 15 days, 2 hours, with a slightly modified NACRA cat.

Needless to say, this is extremely dangerous, and not something you want to try.

As for the Big Multihulls . . .

February 25 - Atlantic Ocean

They are all repaired and continuing or about to restart their Jules Verne attempts. Steve Fossett's maxi-cat Cheyenne managed the incredible feat of re-attaching her forestay . . . while covering 457 miles! They remain about 400 miles ahead of the record pace.

The repair team works on Orange's starboard bow.
Photo Gilles Martin-Raget/Orange

As for Bruno Peyron's Orange, the bow crash boxes have been repaired, and by the time you read this he should be underway again. Olivier de Kersauson and the tri Geronimo have fixed their gennikers, and are also on the verge of getting underway again.


February 25 - 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

February 25 - 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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