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Photos of the Day

August 9 - Southern California

Buzz, a Henderson 30, just before Anacapa.
Can you imagine a 30-footer that rates 27 PHRF?

Today's Photos of the Day are from last Friday and Saturday's 81-mile Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race. We're happy to report that attendance was up about 15% from last year to 138 starters. While it's a fun race for everybody, with the course taking everyone out between Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands, then back to the beach above Pt. Dume, then across Santa Monica Bay to Redondo Beach, the big pre-race drama was whether any of the monohulls would finally be able to finish ahead of Bill Gibb's 55-ft catamaran Afterburner. For the last bunch of years Gibbs has beat the monohulls in the Ensenada and King Harbor Races, so you know they were just dying to beat him. With Doug Baker's new Andrews 80 Magnitude still in Hawaii after the Pacific Cup, monohull hopes went with Richard and Mary Compton's newish Andrews 77 Alchemy. Like Afterburner, Alchemy came in with a rating of -141.

In the zephyr-like start, Mike Campbell's Victoria, the powerboat, plays race committee to Mike Campbell's TransPac 52 racing machine Victoria in the background.

The Profligate crew began smiling once the wind and boat speed picked up above 10 knots.

This year's race started in 2-4 knots, and the top monohulls pulled away from Afterburner. But when the wind filled in to 5-8 halfway to the islands in screecher reaching conditions, Afterburner passed the monohulls, getting to the islands with a half-hour lead. There's a big lee from Santa Cruz, and Afterburner got stuck in her own personal hole, allowing several monohulls and one of the F-31 tris to break away back into the wind in the channel. Finding a maximum of 20 knots of wind at Dume, Afterburner overtook all her competitors to beat Alchemy across the finish line by 20 minutes, having completed the course in 8 hours and 9 minutes.

Photo Courtesy
Lisa Renshaw-Gegg

Pendragon and Ghost II ghosting along behind Santa Cruz Island.
Monohulls massacre catamarans in conditions such as this.

As for the dozen of us aboard Profligate, we had a fine time, with ups and downs. Armed with not much more than a storm jib for the ultra light air start, we got left in the dust. But it was kind of fun having Jake Wood's Mull 84 Sorcery slip by just to leeward of us. As was the case with Afterburner, once the wind built a little and we got the screecher up, we were able to roll lots of the monohulls, including a Santa Cruz 50 with a chute so big that it looked like it came off Mirabella.

The SC 50 Main Squeeze just entering the lee of Santa Cruz Island

Mike Grant screeching Profligate toward Anacapa

Like Afterburner, we stuck like glue in the lee of Santa Cruz Island, but probably for twice as long. Once we broke free to the coast and Dume, we had an absolutely lovely run. Upon entering Santa Monica Bay just after sunset, the wind shut off completely. Knowing Santa Monica Bay as we do, and the inability of cats to move in light air, we bailed by 10:30 p.m. Eventually, 33 of the 138 boats would drop out. In our case, it was a smart move. A nearby SC 50, which can move in light air, took about 11 hours to cover the last 20 miles, and had to keep going back and forth between a chute and #1 to do it.

Hillary, one of the Profligate crew, playing water nymph
in the hot and windless lee of Santa Cruz Island.

All Photos Latitude/Richard
except where otherwise noted

Nonetheless, it was a fine time with fine folks, and we fully intend to be there again next year. The only other Northern California entrant we know was Paul Marston with his new F-31 trimaran Sally Lightfoot. Having won overall two years ago with an Antrim 27, Paul had high hopes. Alas, he was 7th in class. He'll do better next year. The Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race - everyone should put it on their calendar.

Corrections and Clarifications

August 9 - Errata Land

Corrections and Clarifications from last week's reports from Santa Barbara: First, Mike Pyzel did the first Singlehanded TransPac in 1978, of course, not 1998 as per our typo. But he still owns his beloved Cal 28.

Dick Compton's Alchemy is an Andrews 77, not an 80. We get her confused with Magnitude, which is an 80, because both were designed by Alan Andrews and recently built by Dencho of Long Beach.

Now for the clarifications. Perhaps we weren't as clear as we could have been, but we never meant to suggest that Alchemy was in any way involved with the incident two Wednesday nights ago in which Peter Copeland on the J/80 Feather suffered severe and perhaps life-threatening injuries. According to Tony Pascone, Copeland was hit squarely in the temple by the boom during an inadvertent gybe. Copeland has reportedly had several operations since, but after more than two weeks remains in a coma. As we said before, our prayers are with him.

In that same 'Lectronic, we had mentioned that Alchemy had a blotch on her bow because of a collision with a J/24 during the same Wet Wednesday race in which Copeland had been injured. According to Pascone, "the J/24 Los Lobos t-boned Alchemy, which was on starboard tack. The fellow driving the port tacking J-24 was putting the outboard on the back of his J-24 when the collision happened." The J/24 lost her rig and a woman crewmember reportedly suffered some broken ribs. Alchemy had her paint job restored in time for the King Harbor Race.

And now we'll bring the whole Santa Barbara experience full circle. If you remember from last Wednesday's 'Lectronic, we reported that our welcome gift to Santa Barbara was a mismatched set of locally-made breast implants. Advises Pascone, "As it turns out, the majority of the silicone used in breast implants is manufactured by NuSil Technology of Santa Barbara, led by the same man who designed the fun-bag-goo several years ago. That would be Richard Compton, the owner of Alchemy."

Lest anyone get the idea that NuSil's corporate mission is to outfit all flat-chested 18-year-old girls with a set of eye-popping hooters, here's a more accurate description of of what they do: NuSil is the world's leading formulator of silicone compounds for aerospace, healthcare, electronics and other applications requiring precise, predictable, cost-effective materials performance. NuSil operates state-of-the-art laboratories and processing facilities in North America and Europe and provides on-site, in-person application engineering support worldwide.

We haven't seen Compton since way back when he owned the little Geronimo. He was always a nice guy and even divulged his secret for career success, which was something to the effect of, 'Work for a big company in the beginning to learn how the business world works, then find a niche they don't want to go after, and take advantage of it for yourself'.

Olympics to Start This Week in Athens

August 9 - Greece

Northern California's sailing hopes ride with Paul Cayard, who with Phil Trinter will be sailing in the Star class. It can be very tough to win in Athens, as the wind varies from strong meltemis to flukey local winds.

The Executive Director of the Bay Conservation
and Development Commission Wants Your Help
on Marina Policy Updates

August 9 - Bay Area

Will Travis, the Executive Director of the BCDC, writes:

"As you are probably aware, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission has regulatory authority over development and activities, including marinas, in and around San Francisco Bay. The Commission evaluates permit applications for marinas and boating facilities to determine whether they are consistent with the policies of the San Francisco Bay Plan.
We have received a federal grant to update its Bay Plan recreation findings and policies, which have not been comprehensively reviewed since they were first adopted by the Commission in 1968.

As part of the update project, I would appreciate your early input to ensure that the interests and concerns of the boating community are addressed. To accomplish this, I've enclosed a copy of the Commission's existing Bay Plan recreation policies that address boating and marinas for your review. The entire Bay Plan section on recreation can be found at www.bcdc.ca.gov/library/bayplan/bayplan.htm#30.

Our cursory review of the existing policies indicates that they are generally adequate, and there are no fundamental issue areas that need to be addressed. However, there may be some minor updates needed to reflect changes that have occurred over the past 35 years.

If you have any comments about the current policies, particularly if there are issues that you think they should address and do not, please let us know. Joe LaClair, a senior planner on our staff, is managing this project. He can be reached at 415-352-3656 or via email.

As the project progresses, we'll be touch with the boating community more formally, but I wanted to give you an early opportunity to comment so that we can better scope the overall project."

On a personal note, we can vouch for Will Travis. If you have a complaint or a suggestion, he really will listen. He may not necessarily agree with you or act on your suggestion - especially if you want to fill in the Bay - but he certainly will hear you out.

Reader Poll

August 9 - Midway Atolls

In the last 'Lectronic, we reported that U.S. Fish and Wildlife requires that all boats that refuel at Midway Atolls - there are not a lot of them, boats or atolls - have a pollution boom put in place. And that the fee for this service is $500. Our question: Do you think this is a legitimate requirement and a reasonable fee, or a ploy by Fish & Wildlife to keep boats away?

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