'Lectronic Index

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Did the 700-Mile Record Do in the Transatlantic Record?

August 27 - La Baule, France

Orange arrived today at La Baule after its bid against the North Atlantic record, during which it beat the 24-hour sailing speed record.
Gilles Martin-Raget/

A question we haven't seen addressed yet in Bruno Peyron and Orange's 31-minute miss of Steve Fossett and PlayStation's 4-day 17-hour transatlantic record is whether Orange's going for the 700-miles-in-24-hours record cost them the transatlantic record. You might remember that when Fossett and crew did their transatlantic, they thought about going for the 24-hour record, but decided against it, as it would have required them to sail a longer distance to get a hotter sailing angle. In order to get the 24-hour record, it's our understanding that Peyron and crew also had to deviate from their best transatlantic course. As it was, Fossett and crew only sailed nine more miles than the rhumb line. Orange sailed much further than that, which possibly added more than 31 minutes to their time. Upon Peyron's almost beating his record, Fossett sent the following message to his crew:

"It is remarkable that Bruno Peyron and his Orange crew very nearly broke our PlayStation Transatlantic Record of 4 days 17 hours 28 minutes. When we took over 43 hours off of the prior record which stood 11 years, I thought that would be good enough to stand for 5 years. The standard of Speed Sailing is going up incredibly fast. Now in less than 3 years, Orange is knocking on the door. Their performance is outstanding in every respect: boat, strategy, and especially the crew. We are honored every time they attempt one of our records, and they are going to be strong contenders in their next attempts: Marseilles-Carthage then the Round the World. These are the most exciting times ever in Speed Sailing."

Creative Mark Roundings

August 27 - San Francisco Bay

We saw some creative mark roundings last Saturday at San Francisco YC's Summer Keelboat Regatta on the Berkeley Circle. The leading boats in each class, such as Craig Healy's Etchells I Love My Wife (first two pics), rounded perfectly. Note that the wife-lovers ­ driver Healy, middle man Brodie Cobb and forward hand Dave Gruver - ease their main but keep the jib trimmed in to help blow the bow down. They hike the boat around the mark until it's flattened out, only then leaving the rail to set the spinnaker.



A lot of other mark roundings weren't as proficient. Many boats underestimated the flood and came up short on the mark. Some of them bumped against it, wiggled their away around, did their penalty circle, and kept racing (picture 3).


A few boats hopelessly fouled competitors while hitting the mark, amassing so many penalty turns, they're probably still out there doing them (picture 4).


Still others (pic 5) decided simply to sail away with the marks, which is a good trick if you're not doing well and hope to get the race abandoned. Just kidding, just kidding.

Photos Latitude/Rob

For more on the Summer Keelboat Regatta, see the September issue of Latitude 38, due out Thursday, September 2.

Mariners Not the Main Cause of Pollution

August 27 - Los Angeles

Where does the pollution in bays and the coast come from that causes thousands of swimmers to get sick each year, and fish and other wildlife to be harmed? The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday reported that each year 850 billion gallons of untreated sewage and waste spill from sewer systems, many of which date back 100 years or more. This does not count an additional 3 to 10 billion gallons of raw sewage that flow from more modern sewage plants, such as in Southern California, that don't handle storm water.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the EPA report was released on the same day that popular Dockweiler State Beach had to be closed after 200 gallons of sewage spilled into the water from the Hyuperion treatment plant. These findings aren't an excuse for mariners to pump poop overboard inside the three-mile legal limit, but they do help put water pollution issues into context.

'Sleeper Wave' Claims Forestville Resident

August 27 - Bodega Bay

Seventy-one year old Richard Franceschi was killed on Wednesday when the boat he and three other firefighters were fishing from between Bodega Head and Bodega Rock was slammed by a 'sleeper' or 'sneaker' wave. What makes the
incident so chilling is that Franceschi and the three firemen - which included his son, the owner of the boat - were all trained in swift-water rescues, but still not one could save Franceschi. The survivors told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat that the water had been as smooth as glass for a long time before the sneaker wave suddenly appeared. The phenomenon of sneaker waves is not completely understood, but they occur most frequently in fall through spring. Deep water is the antidote.

Cal 40s Rendezvous in Belvedere This Weekend

August 27 - Belvedere

The conjoining of the San Francisco contingent of the Cal 40 Association is on schedule for August 28-29 at the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, sponsored by Jay Capell, #125, Leilani. The Jensen-built sloops, designed more than 40 years ago by C. William Lapworth, plan to arrive around midday on Saturday and may take a spin around the Knox course on Sunday. The hope is that this will be the first edition of an annual event. For more info, contact Tom at (415) 505-0203 or Jay at (415) 420-6804.

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