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April Issue of Latitude 38 Available Now

April 2 - SF Bay Area

The supersized April issue made its way around the Bay yesterday - and arrives by UPS in many more locations everywhere else in the next day or two.

Photo Latitude/Annie

In addition to a slew of engaging feature articles, as well as the latest cruising, racing and yacht chartering news, this issue includes a 48-page full color 'show planner' for the massive Pacific SAIL EXPO boat show (April 14-18 at Jack London Square, Oakland) and contact listings from our Cruising, Daysailing, Boat Swapping and Co-Chartering Crew Lists.

Extend your lunch break. The latest Latitude has hit the street. James Levy dropped this bundle off at Waypoint Pizza in Tiburon yesterday afternoon.
Photo Latitude/Andy

BVI Spring Regatta

April 2 - British Virgin Islands

From the notebook of Racing Editor Rob Moore, in the Caribbean for the BVI Spring Regatta: "The Festival is over. The Wednesday round Virgin Gorda Race was canceled due to light air. The real racing starts today. It promises to be bigger and better than last year, with lots of very competitive programs here. Rosebud looks good to win Class B. Mick Schlens and his Blade Runner crew (including Dave Ullman) have chartered the Bitter End YC's Express 37 and should do well in Class C. The big class is four boats: Pyewacket, Equation, Titan and Chippewa. Lots of beach cats are going in and out on Nanny Cay's new beach. There are lots of IC 24s (remodeled J/24s).

"The forecast looks light. Pyewacket is amazing. During yesterday's scenic tour of the BVI (form Bitter End to Nanny Cay around a bunch of islands), we [on Pyewacket] were going 14 knots with the kite up in about 10 knots of wind. I'd write more, but have to go sailing. Pyewacket, the Bitter End YC, the BVIs - it doesn't get any better than this!" See www.bvispringregatta.org for more, and check for our report in the May issue of Latitude 38.

Photos Alastair Abrehart

Maxi-Cat Meets Cruiser in Mid-Atlantic

April 1 - Atlantic Ocean

This story comes from Brian Thompson, British watch captain aboard Steve Fossett's maxi-cat Cheyenne, sailing for France, four days ahead of the standing Jules Verne around the world record.

"The highlight of the day was passing close to a cruising boat which was sailing steadily downwind towards the Caribbean, mainsail out on one side and genoa poled out on the other. It was about 40 feet in length, and we flashed by about 50 meters in front of it, on a perpendicular course. We did not want to go close astern because they might have had fishing lines out, but it was right on our course so we did want to have a good look at it. A fellow sailing yacht is a lot rarer and more interesting sight to us than a cargo ship.

"As we got close we could see there was nobody on deck, so Justin shouted over as we passed at 25 knots of boatspeed. Immediately a man flew up from the hatch, grabbed the lifeline and for a second stared in disbelief and surprise. Then he waved, we waved back, and then another man came out of the hatch. Within a minute they were far behind us, rolling gently downwind.

"It made our day, and we hope that we gave them a thrill to break the routine of their Atlantic crossing. We hope they have a good trip over, and make up some good recipes for the flying fish that they will be finding over the next 20 mornings, before they reach the Caribbean."

See www.fossettchallenge.com for updates and more reports from onboard Cheyenne.

Profligate's Progress

April 2 - St. Barth, FWI

We stopped in St. Martin the other day on our way to Anguilla, and while picking up some boat parts at Water World saw a familiar face observing a Catana 42 cat being hauled out for survey. It was Jerry Blakeslee, formerly of the Bay Area, who opened a branch of Bay Island Yachts in St. Martin, became the commodore of the St. Martin YC, and otherwise has kept himself very, very busy. In fact, he's been so busy - boats have been selling like hotcakes in St. Martin - he's retiring to cruise on his own boat. Having been in St. Martin for a long time, he's thinking about sailing down to Cartagena and checking it out.

Jerry Blakeslee

The next day we made it over to Road Bay, Anguilla, a lovely anchorage. Off on the western edge were a couple of ships, victims of Hurricane Luis, which hit in '97 with nearly 200-knot winds. Or maybe they were victims of Hurricane Lenny about four years ago, which wasn't as strong, but which hung around for three days. There's just no place to hide in this part of the Caribbean from stuff like that.

Road Bay hurricane victim

In the afternoon, we were given a tour of Anguilla by Latitude reader Bob Conrich, who was born and raised in San Francisco, but who has been living in Anguilla for nearly 20 years. Like Blakeslee, Conrich dreams about moving on, preferably on a cat even larger than Profligate! If you're a lady who wouldn't mind possibly hooking up with a guy with a house on a beautiful beach in the Caribbean, you can email him. He and his lady of some time broke up not too long ago.

Bob Conrich

Anguilla has some spectacular diving out at the reefs, terrific white sand beaches, three world-class resorts - but not much else. If you're looking for tranquility, this is the place. If you're looking for action, it's not.

Crocus Bay, Anguilla

While back on Profligate in Road Bay, another reader, Hans Deller of the F/P 48-2 cat Pentesilea II, stopped by to say how much he loved the magazine. He and his wife Ruth have owned and chartered their cat for the last six years. And they are having a killer year, with 22 charters booked from Christmas until August. In the charter business, that's working your buns to the bone, but is better than too little work, which they had last year. They charge $12,800 for up to eight guests. If you're interested in booking a charter, email them.

The Dellers aboard Pentesilea II
Photos Latitude/Richard

We're back in St. Barth for this weekend's ultra spectacular St. Barth Bucket, featuring some 22 boats, most of them new or nearly new, and all but one or two over 100 feet. Most will be racing with 20 to 30 crew, including the likes of Brad Butterworth, Kiwi key to Alinghi's triumph in the America's Cup, for the around the island race on Saturday, and a second race on Sunday. We haven't had a photographic opportunity like this in ages, so we're drooling.

Dawn Wilson Update

April 2 - Ensenada, Baja California

Joyce Clinton writes in regard to the American cruiser held in a federal prison in Ensenada, Mexico: "First of all I want you to know that I am writing this on my own and without Terry's knowledge. He would probably be embarrassed to know I'm asking for help for he and Dawn even though he has no reason to be embarrassed. They do need help and need it badly." Terry Kennedy is the imprisoned Dawn Wilson's fiancé.

"For the most current update check their Web page at www.dawnwilson.com. That will show you the link to the latest article in the Sacramento Bee telling her story [www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/8658479p-9586396c.html]. You can also make any donation on the Web page. . . even $10 would help them. Let me explain what's going on. Dawn has an 80% chance of getting out in the next few weeks. The judges want to release her but they are afraid that if they let her go, then they will have to release other prisoners in the same situation. . . so, they have to find a loophole in their constitution. This is how Terry's attorneys explained it to him two days ago. They also asked for another payment. They agreed to try to help Dawn for about $15,000 (very cheap compared to U.S. lawyers fees). Through donations from friends and many strangers, he was able to make a $2,000 payment, then $3,000, and today he needs to pay another $3,000. That leaves a balance of $7,000. So, I'm asking you to reach into your hearts and your pocketbooks to help a friend.

"Most of us have spent time in Mexico and our worst nightmare would be to be in a Mexican prison. Reading the article will give you an example of what it's like there. She even has to buy her own water to drink or shower. It's not easy to put yourself in someone else's shoes, but this could happen to any one of us, and it would be wonderful to know that our friends would be there to help if they could."

The Race Sues Tracy Edwards

The Race Event has commenced legal proceedings in France against the British sailor Tracy Edwards, and the legal entities involved in the organization of her round the world sailing events, Maiden Ocean Racing Qatar Ltd, Maiden Ocean Racing Ltd and Maiden Two Ltd. The Race Event is seeking damages for passing off and use of The Race Event know-how in respect of her round the world projects for 2005 and 2006. The first hearing took place on February 19, 2004.

2004 West Marine Pacific Cup Entry Boat Open for Tours at Pacific SAIL EXPO

April 2 - Oakland

Surprise, a Carl Schumacher designed 46-ft fast cruiser, will be open for tours during Pacific SAIL EXPO, April 14-18 at Jack London Square. Surprise, a veteran Pacific Cup racer, will compete in the 2004 race starting on June 28.

Surprise has a sloop rig without overlapping jibs or runners, and carries both masthead and fractional spinnakers. Built in 1997 of epoxy/Kevlar composite, she weighs 18,300 lbs., carries 140 gallons of fuel, and 120 gallons of water. Her equipment list includes a diesel fuel heater, watermaker, and extensive communications and navigational systems.

Surprise has raced on San Francisco Bay (2nd place, Big Boat Series), the 1998 West Marine Pacific Cup (5th in Division), and the 1999 Marina Del Ray-Puerto Vallarta race (1st overall-cruising). She carries a PHRF rating of 6. She has logged over 20,000 nautical miles and is owned by Stephen and Susan Chamberlin.

Photos: Surprise racing in the St. Francis YC Big Boat Series
Courtesy Surprise

Surprise will be open for 30-minute tours by appointment. The boat tour will include discussions of safety gear, emergency equipment, sail systems, communications, tactical information, and system redundancy. Show attendees
can sign up for tours during Sail Expo at the boat.

The West Marine Pacific Cup starts in San Francisco and finishes at the Kaneohe Yacht Club, on Oahu's windward shore, 7-14 days later. For more on the race, visit www.pacifccup.org.

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