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Photos of the Day:
Master Mariners Regatta

June 2 - San Francisco Bay

Today's Photos of the Day come from last Saturday's Master Mariners Regatta on San Francisco Bay. Managing Editor John Riise, who was out photographing the event, summarized it this way: "It was a lovely day for the Master Mariners, but it rarely blew even 15 knots. On the other hand, the wind was even warm for a change. 62 participating boats was a little off from previous years, but it was still a terrific event."


We'll have a feature in the July issue.

 Photos Latitude/JR

Spinnaker Cup

June 2 - San Francisco to Monterey

The sixth annual Spinnaker Cup, co-hosted by Monterey Peninsula YC and San Francisco YC on Friday, May 28, was easily the best one ever - perfect weather, a record number of entries (58, compared to 49 last year), and a new course record. Mark Jones' Andrews-designed TP-52 Flash hit a top speed of 22.7 knots while sailing the 88-mile course in 7 hours, 53 minutes - knocking 4 minutes, 32 seconds off Pegasus 77's 1999 record. Most of the fleet pulled into Monterey between 10 pm and 2 am, and MPYC's hospitable little clubhouse rocked into the wee hours.

Roller Coaster, Big Boat Class Winner

Equity Kicker and Surfer Girl (2nd in Big Boat Class)

The inside route was the way to go this year, with winds up to 30 knots reported off Año Nuevo and Davenport versus just 15-20 knots five miles further out. Class winners were Roller Coaster (SC 50, Jack Gordon), Scorpio (Wylie 42, John Siegel), Shaman (Cal 40, Steve Waterloo), Desperado (Express 27, Mike Bruzzone) and Sleeping Dragon (Hobie 33, Mark Halman). The latter boat, which sailed doublehanded, was also the overall winner. See www.mpyc.org for full results.

Equity Kicker

Emily Carr

Onboard Morpheus

 Photos Latitude/Rob

Tom Kulinski Killed in Car Accident

June 2 - Bay Area

"Tom Kulinski died in a car accident last Wednesday night, two days before the Spinnaker Cup in which he was the backbone of the team on the Beneteau 40.7 White Fang," reports Patty Lin. "The skipper and crew decided to continue the race as that is what Tom would have wanted. Tom's death left a hole in the team, as he was core talent, inspiration, planner, crew and boat manager for the boat. Tom was very much looking forward to participating in next month's West Marine Pacific Cup to Hawaii. Tom raced on many other boats in the Bay Area, including the Melges 24 Light Brigade, the Wylie Wabbit Dust Bunny, and Lightnings. A service was held for Tom in Dixon on June 1."

Cruising Alaska Instead of Winning
the Pacific Cup

June 2 - Northern British Columbia

This year's West Marine Pacific Cup - the first boats start on June 28 - is going to be a fine one. It's almost a given that the 140-ft Mari-Cha IV will set an elapsed-time record. Nonetheless, the number of entries is down to 56 boats, and the following letter - written from Prince Rupert, British Columbia, on May 31, is a partial explanation of why that's the case. It was written by Skip Allan, owner of the Capitola-based Wylie 28 Wildflower, which won class and fleet honors in the last Pacific Cup.

Skip Allan of Wildflower on the left

"Wildflower and I are in northern British Columbia, about to cross into Alaskan waters. I crossed tracks with SAM, Tom and Sharon Alexander's Garica 49 that took second in class in fifth overall in the last Pacific Cup. Sharon delivered SAM up the coast. But I put Wildflower onto a trailer to Anacortes, and came up I-5 in 48 hours. I'll sail her home to Santa Cruz later this summer. Cruising Alaska has always been on my "to do list." So we are doing it. Sailboats are in the minority up here, as 9 out of 10 are powerboats. I will keep my eyes and ears open for a story, but the guy who did Alaska in the Montgomery 18, as reported on in the last two issues, would be really hard to top."

In other words, sailors go in cycles, from wanting to race, to wanting to cruise.

Wildflower's interior

SAM heading out the Gate


 Photos Courtesy Wildflower

Profligate's Regress Complete

June 2 - San Francisco Bay

Finishing up extremely strong, Profligate was back on the Bay in time to sail on Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. It was great to be back sailing in such a spectacularly beautiful urban environment - especially since it was so warm on those two days. Here's a recap of her return trip from Antigua to San Francisco:

Antigua to Panama: 1,150 miles in 5.5 days. It mostly blew 18 to 22 knots, always from aft, with lumpy seas. The surfing opportunities were endless, and during this leg the cat hit her highest speed ever of 25.3 knots. (The Wanderer got off in Panama, at which point Doña de Mallorca was co-captain with Bruce Ladd to Puerto Vallarta, and co-captain with Roberto Sutherland the rest of the way to San Francisco. Other crew on the Pacific side included John Pettitt, Wayne Bingham, Ian MacLean, and Jim Milski. Everyone got along extremely well.)

Atlantic side of Canal to Pacific side of Canal - six hours. Rapid transit!
Panama to Nicaragua: 698 miles in 3.5 days. Five-hour pit stop.
Nicaragua to Acapulco: 780 miles in 4 days. 12-hour pit stop.
Acapulco to P.V.: 436 miles in 2.5 days. 12-hour pit stop.
P.V. to Cabo: 320-miles in 36 hours. 26-hour pit stop.
Cabo to San Diego (with four hours in Turtle Bay):
730-miles in five days. Four-hour pit stop.
San Diego to San Francisco - 451 miles in 48 hours.

At one-month-to-the-day from Antigua to San Francisco, it was clearly an extremely fast trip. Some of the reasons were consistent following winds down to the Canal, then flat seas and light headwinds from Panama to San Francisco. Doña de Mallorca reports the strongest winds on the way up from Panama were 25 knots - right under the Golden Gate Bridge! It was calm all the way from Panama to Puerto Vallarta. From P.V. to Cabo, and from Cabo to San Diego, it blew 20 knots at the most, but was usually much lighter. The biggest seas were 6 to 10 feet along the Baja Coast, but only for a relatively short time. From Panama to San Francisco, the idea was to motor all the time to beat the June 1 start of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season. As it was, Tropical Storm Agatha kicked up two weeks before the start of the season and chased Profligate shortly after she left Puerto Vallarta.

Commander's Weather played a significant role in the rapid delivery. Specifically, when Agatha, which was to blow as high as 55 knots, began to form, Commander's gave the okay to leave Cabo for San Diego. Commander's was also critical in the fast trip from San Diego to San Francisco. We planned to spend some time in Southern California having fun and waiting for a weather window, but when Commander's reported there was a 2.5-day window along the Central California coast, the decision was made to jam north. Having rounded Conception and Sur in flat seas and no wind, Profligate made it inside the Gate just as 25-knot winds were starting to blow and the seas were starting to build. Had she not made it into the Bay then, it would have been days before there was an even marginal opportunity to come north. So much of the fast trip can be attributed to luck and the fact that the weather routers were there to identify the windows.

For the record, Profligate is powered by two 56-hp Yanmar diesels which, because speed was more critical than fuel economy, were both run at the same time. They burned 1.5 gallons of fuel per hour. What lessons can be drawn from this trip? 1) Unless you have a very fast boat with a relentless delivery crew, it's crazy to think you could leave California at the end of the Mexican hurricane season and make it to the Eastern Caribbean before the reinforced trades start for the winter. It's a two-season deal - although you could make it to the Western Caribbean by late in that first season. 2) If you're going from the Eastern Caribbean to California, you should leave the Caribbean for the Canal by April 1. 3) Weather routing services can be extremely helpful, as is the means of commuicating with the service. 4) For maximum sailing pleasure and the best weather, don't have any time contraints.

Commander's Weather

The Transat Begins

June 2 - The Atlantic Ocean

In the larger world of sailing, the big news is that the Transat Singlehanded Race the 'wrong way' across the Atlantic started from England over the weekend headed for a finish at Boston. There are 37 entries, with most of the attention on the 60-ft trimarans and the Open 60 monohulls. Despite the fact that the course is over 4,000 miles, many of the boats were over the starting line early.

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