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Photo of the Day

April 21 - Antigua

Today's Photo of the Day comes from Northern Californian Joe Rinehart, who was in Antigua for the recent Classic Yacht Regatta. According to Joe, the photo shows the 175-ft schooner Fluertje in the process of doing a horizon job on the 357-ft barque Sea Cloud. You don't see racing action like that on San Francisco Bay.

Sea Cloud (left) and Fluertje
Photo Joe Rinehart

Years ago Fluertje was in the same division with our Big O in an Antigua Sailing Week. At 175 feet, she was a little big for our class, which mostly consisted of 70 to 100-footers. It reportedly took the big schooner 30 seconds to get the helm from hard port to hard starboard, which may have had something to do with her reportedly colliding with six competitors during the first weather leg. So she was either excused or retired after the first race.

Peter Gilmour Sweeps Day 1 of Congressional Cup

April 21 - Long Beach

Peter Gilmour seems bent on making the world of the Swedish Match Tour his own private pond. Already the winner of two of the first three events on the 2003-04 tour in Japan and Bermuda, the Australian veteran blew out of the gate with five wins in as many races on the first day of the 40th Congressional Cup Tuesday.

Peter Gilmour (left) has Terry Hutchinson in his sights.

Gilmour was shadowed closely by New Zealand's Gavin Brady and Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen at 4-1. A windup round saw two guys named Dickson and Coutts fighting each other to avoid the prospect of starting 0-5: Long
Beach's Scott Dickson, younger brother of Chris, and New Zealand's Allen Coutts, nephew of Russell. Dickson won, salvaging a measure of local pride.

Gavin Brady leads Sweden's Mattias Rahm past Belmont Pier in pre-start maneuvering.

Gilmour last sailed the Congressional Cup when he won it in 1988. In those days the event was run on the open ocean in borrowed Catalina 38s. The only other time he sailed a Catalina 37 - the match-racing specialty boats built for the event in 1990 - was in the World Match Racing Championship in 1996.

Racing starts at noon daily, conditions permitting. Live radio commentary of the racing may be heard worldwide on www.klbc.org or at 810 AM within a four-mile radius of the Belmont Pier spectator site. Video highlights of each day's racing may be replayed each evening on host Long Beach Yacht Club's Web site, www.lbyc.org. Sportshow TV is producing a half-hour highlight video to be aired later by the Outdoor Life Network. See also www.swedishmatchtour.com.

Chris Larson (right), tactician for Terry Hutchinson, appeals to the umpires.

Standings (after 5 of 18 rounds): 1. Gilmour, 5-0; 2. tie between Gram-Hansen and Brady, 4-1; 4. tie between Hutchinson and Baird, 3-2; 6. tie between Harrap and Appleton, 2-3; 8. tie between Rahm and Dickson, 1-4; 10. Coutts, 0-5.

John Kostecki (left), tactician for Gavin Brady, casts a wary eye at onrushing Terry Hutchinson.
Photos Rich Roberts

"Caribbean Gentleman Seeking Sex Slave"

April 21 - Anguilla

We wish the headline were a put-on, but apparently it's not. While visiting Anguilla last month, we were given a tour of the island by Bob Conrich, who moved there from San Francisco some 17 years ago. In the April 2 'Lectronic, we ran a photograph of Conrich and a paragraph about him - including a line saying he was looking for a new girlfriend.

A couple of days ago, we got an anonymous email suggesting that Conrich may not be the type of man that most women are looking for - or that we want to feature in 'Lectronic. It referred us to www.plazaone.com/rldc/redlite/personal/adds.htm, which included the following ad:

"Caribbean Gentleman Seeking Sexslave. Slaves need love too. Caring, patient, strong, self-confident, hung, virile, adventurous, highly-intelligent, worldly, protective, conscious, ethical teacher-father-master-friend seeks young or very young slave girl, submissive in heart, spirit and body. You will exist for me to use, own, control, love and enjoy, with total surrender and powerful intensity, so that my pleasure becomes your own and your deeds become art. Attractive, slender exhibitionists, those with talents, abilities and thoughts of their own, a sense of humor and a sense of themselves, and lovers of long distance sailing and beautiful places who are comfortable with both the poor and humble and the rich and famous given extra points. Lifetime commitment, security and other fringe benefits for the right person. Extraordinary opportunity! These are some of my interests. See my webpage for information on the superficial parts of my life: http://www.ai/bob."

The Web page referred to is that of the Bob Conrich who gave us a ride around Anguilla. So either Conrich hadn't been candid in telling us what type of girlfriend he was looking for or someone is pulling a not very funny prank.

In addition, we got an email from a person who claims to know Conrich's last girlfriend, and says she reports being the victim of many instances of mental and physical abuse at the hands of Conrich. We're not going to detail the accusations here, but let's just say there's fun, there's more edgy fun between consenting adults, and than there's non-consentual stuff in which one person is a victim. Nobody should be a victim. It can be a dangerous world out there, particularly for young women. So please be careful.

When we presented this information by email to Bob Conrich, he wrote the following in reply: "As I told you, my former girlfriend, who is from Vancouver, and who suffers from borderline personality disorder (a psychosis, in her case) has been doing everything she can think of to destroy me. (And alternately writing to me, begging to let her come 'home'.) She wrote me recently saying she'd seen your item, and thus it seems likely to me that she's responsible for whatever you received. I apologize for her involving you in our differences. I have no secret life that would be a concern to any of your readers."

Sail Expo Was a Grind for Some

April 21 - Oakland

Grant Headifen of SailTime had the winning time of 9:43 at the popular Lewmar winch grinder.
Photo Roby Hyde

With Pacific Sail Expo the West Coast was once again treated to its annual visit from national sailing businesses, a broad assortment of sailboats and numerous opportunities for education and entertainment. Beyond the usual extensive line up of boats and sailing gear in the tents were more varied and interesting activities than ever before. 

Randy Repass of West Marine brought his just launched Wylie 65 Convergence and personally gave tours of his unique and well thought out cruising dream.  Along similar lines was Steve Chamberlain's custom Schumacher 46 Surprise, rigged and ready to race in this summer's West Marine Pacific Cup.

Steve Chamberlain answered questions and showed Surprise.
Photo Latitude/Rob

Classic boat enthusiasts saw a taste of tradition with the Alma and the Grace Quan Chinese Junk from the SF Maritime Museum. The Arques School brought two beautiful small dinghies on land, the Hawaiian Chieftain gave evening sails, and the Master Mariners brought two buffed classics.

You could go racing in Etchells or sailing on a Corsair trimaran, a One Design 35, J/Boats, Hunters and others. Kite boarding was on display in the tents and acrobatically on the water in front of the show. The seminar program was extensive and high quality, and the parties Friday and Saturday kept attendees in the tents well past closing.

Eat What the Locals Eat

April 21 - Cuzco, Peru

Today's Artwork of the Day comes from cruiser Bob Willman of the Islander 37 Viva, who is currently in Peru. We'll let him explain:

"Those of you who are not guinea pig lovers will appreciate the enclosed photo of an oil painting that graces the wall in the main Basillica in Cuzco, Peru, the capital of the Incan empire. It seems Pizarro's priests ordered the local artists to paint religious scenes, and the guy who did this one figured Jesus would order cuy, (KOO-ee), the local Inca specialty, for his Last Supper.

Photos Bob Willman

"Many of the other paintings in Peruvian churches show sword-wielding conquistadors astride their chargers, trampling the local Incans to death. As such, it's difficult to comprehend how the current Incan population can worship in the Catholic church - but I guess the reason I'm cruising is to try to understand how such things can be. As for myself, I didn't try cuy - or, for that matter llama or any of the other Peruvian specialties - mostly because they are only served in expensive tourist restaurants. Besides, they probably just taste like chicken."

For what it's worth, we can't remember a year in which more West Coast cruisers are or say they are intending to cruise the west coast of South America, especially Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.

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