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Photos of the Day: SSS In-the-Bay Race

June 14 - San Francisco Bay

Today's Photos of the Day come from a weekend of spectacular sailing on the Bay. We started Saturday morning doing the Singlehanded Sailing Society's In-the-Bay Race, during which time we saw the Coastal Cup fleet take off for Santa Barbara. We followed things up in the afternoon with the Catnip Cup multihull cruiser event to Vallejo, and the Catnip Cup return on Sunday. What great weather! What a great place in the world to be able to sail!

Today, we feature action from the 20-mile In-the-Bay Race.

Mark Deppe and his J/120 Alchera leads another boat on the last leg from Blossom to the Corinthian YC finish.

Three boats beat to Blossom.

Jay Capell's beautiful Cal 40 Leilani, reaching across the face of Angel Island.

One of the Moore 24s on the beat from Southampton to Blossom Rock.

Friends Dave Reed, owner of the Peterson 34 Bacarat, and Robert Sutherland, are either giving us 'the bird' or indicating they've won their division.
Photos Latitude/Richard

Arab Airline to Support Kiwi America's Cup Effort

June 14 - Auckland, New Zealand

Is this a weird world or what? It's just been announced that Emirates, an up-and-coming airline based out of the Middle Eastern Arab country of Dubai, has signed a contract to become the lead sponsor and have naming rights for the New Zealand Challenge for the America's Cup in Valencia, Spain, in '07. For this, they ponied up $21 million. Based on that, the Kiwi government is going to throw in another $19 million. The America's Cup was a boon to the New Zealand economy.

All this comes on the heels of Qatar giving something like $50 million to Brit Tracy Edwards to build and campaign a new maxi cat, and to host two around-the-world races for maxi cats: the Oryx Cup, which will start and finish in England in 2005, and the Qatar Cup, which will start and finish in that Middle Eastern country in late 2006.

What's next, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda funding a New York YC entry in the America's Cup?

GPS to Be Jammed . . . But Don't Worry on West Coast

June 14 - Southeastern U.S.

As part of NATO training exercises on the East Coast, the U.S. military is testing a system for jamming signals from navigation satellites through June 20. The only possible side-effect is that it will disable mariners' GPS devices and force them to rely on dead-reckoning. Yikes! Fortunately, the effects will be limited to waters 60 miles off the coast of North Carolina, and along the coast of Northern and Central Florida. Cell phones may be affected, too.

Surge in Interest in the Ha-Ha

June 14 - Tiburon

"As of today, we'll have sent out 147 entry packs for this fall's Baja Ha-Ha," reports Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler. "We can't recall having so much interest so early, so we expect to have more than 100 boats hit the starting line again on October 25.

"By the way, did anybody catch Tom and Vicky Jackson's Rookies in Mexico article in the June issue of Yachting World? It was an overview of a winter cruise to Mexico, with some fine photographs. I was chuffed when they called the Ha-Ha, 'the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) of the Pacific.' What a neat compliment."

Mike Golding Sets Transat Monohull Record

June 14 - Boston, MA

Arriving in Boston yesterday from England in the 2,800-mile singlehanded Transat, Brit Mike Golding and his Open 60 Ecover set a new singlehanded transatlantic monohull record of 12 days and 15 hours - an average speed of 9.23 knots. What's even more remarkable is that Golding lost the hydraulics necessary to move his canting keel from one side of the boat to the other, and had to do it manually - a long and difficult process in an already exhausting singlehanded race. To make things easier, in storm force conditions of the North Atlantic, he'd lay the boat over on her side, and let gravity swing the keel down before securing it in position. It was Golding's first major victory in many attempts, and was well deserved.

Dawn Wilson Needs Your Help!

June 14 - Ensenada, Baja California

"Thank you for your continuing series of articles on the plight of American cruiser Dawn Wilson stuck for so long now in an Ensenada jail," writes Sue Counselman of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. "I realized that while I faithfully followed your series and continued to hope for an article on her release, I had still done absolutely nothing to help! Yesterday I logged on to Dawn's Web site (www.dawnwilson.com), clicked on 'how you can help', and did something about it. I also clicked onto the email address of U.S. Representative to Congress Bob Filner, who is actively involved in the fight to free Dawn, and wrote him a brief three sentences expressing my gratitude and support for his efforts. I emailed a link to Dawn's Web site to everyone in my address book and asked them to log on. Then I wrote a check and mailed it. I write this letter in the hope that other good-hearted but idle people will recognize themselves and take action as well. My activities on behalf of Dawn Wilson took very little of my time, and I was able to manage it all in the comfort of my beautiful home with a cup of coffee at my desk. It was the least I could do."

Folks, Dawn really needs everyone's help now. It was expected last week that she would be released, but she was not. There's still a slight opening before they 'throw away the key', but it's a short one. Currently there are people and organizations - Sacramento Bee, Dateline NBC, KFI radio, and Fox News - fighting for her, but she also need your support now. Visit www.dawnwilson.com to learn how to help.

Rules of the Road and Float Planes

June 14 - St. Thomas, USVI

"Greetings from St Thomas in the U.S. Virgins," writes Kirk McGeorge of the Hylas 47 Gallivanter. "I reckon you've gotten plenty of response to the question posed about seaplanes and right of way rules in the Friday 'Lectronic Latitude. Allow me to draw your attention to COLREGS Rule 18 - Responsibilities Between Vessels (International & Inland) which reads, in part: 'A seaplane on the water shall, in general, keep well clear of all vessels and avoid impeding their navigation.' A seaplane is the 'most burdened' of all vessels, and must give way to every other sort of vessel."

Funny, it was while at Charlotte Amalie in the U.S. Virgins with our Ocean 71 Big O that we learned about seaplanes - and that they are at the bottom of the right-of-way list.

"My understanding," writes Chris McKesson of the electric powered 36-footer Sundance in the Pacific Northwest, "is that while landing float planes are the 'give way' vessels to almost everybody - probably because most of us aren't looking up. However, there are designated Marine Aerodromes in areas like the inner harbor of Victoria, BC. As a practical matter, it's common courtesy even when outside of designated areas to try to give a float plane circling for a landing a clear shot at an upwind 'runway'. It's a common - and interesting - experience in this part of the world to share a fuel dock with an airplane."

Dona Lee Robbed Near Barranquilla, Colombia

June 14 - Barranquilla, Colombia

Jim and Kate Bondoux report that according to the Panama Connection Net, Bob and Dana of the vessel Dona Lee were robbed while anchored near Barranquilla, Colombia, on June 7. Apparently six men fired shots as they approached. Bob and Dana went below and locked their companionway hatch. The men reportedly boarded the boat and stripped what they could, taking the couple's ditch bag, which had passports and other valuables. The couple put out a Mayday, and the Colombia Coast Guard arrived a half hour later.

As we've reported many times before, other than Cartagena, the coast of Colombia - particularly around Barranquilla - is considered quite dangerous. It was less than a year ago that we had a long article in Latitude 38 about a South African couple having thieves posing as police come aboard their boat in this same area.

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