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Photos of the Day: Hurricane Ivan

September 13 - Grenada

Today's Photos of the Day are by unknown photographers and are of the recent destruction on the island of Grenada caused by Hurricane Ivan, one of the worst in history to hit the Caribbean. As you probably know, he's just hit the Cayman Islands, is about to smash Cuba, and still poses a significant threat to the U.S.

Ivan at 1345 GMT today. The eye is just south of western Cuba.

How are things in Grenada after Hurricane Ivan? Very difficult. This was written by a cruiser who was at Spice Island Marina and sent to Charles Steel of the United Kingdom, who has a 47-ft cat in the marina:

"Although any damage is bad news, your boat fared better than the vast majority. Several boats dragged out of Prickly Bay. One man was rescued off a boat with no engine during the hurricane, after it broke loose and began to head to sea. They brought him to their boat, which shortly thereafter wrecked on the reef. They rigged lines to the shore, and they all began to make for the shore hand over hand. Ray, the man they rescued, couldn't hold on or slipped and was drowned. In another instance, a 33-year old Frenchwoman was hit by a boom and killed. Her body was recovered when it washed ashore.

"I counted 28 boats in Secret Harbor alone that were sunk, aground, or holed on reefs. Every boat in the Spice Island Marina is down. The mast on your cat, Charles, appears to be destroyed - as are the majority of masts here - with folds in more than one place. Your port keel is snapped off and the starboard one is cracked along its length - but still attached to the hull. We made a cursory glance of your boat and saw no hull damage and nothing impaled through your boat. The topsides and deck are undamaged, and no ports are broken. Your boat is also in a prime location to be set back up for repairs or relaunched. Word is they are sending one of those submergible ships to pick up all boats that can be made watertight for shipment to other destinations for repairs. I would not count on being able to get any repairs done in Grenada as there are hundreds in front of you.

"Here's some info that I hope will be helpful:

"1) The easiest way to get to your boat is to fly in to Trinidad. Stay at Crews Inn or nearby in Chagauramas, then try to catch a ride on one of the relief boats being sent in.

"2) Don't come now, but wait until U.N. and U.S. troops arrive. After 72 hours of their arrival, I think the risks will drop dramatically. Right now the Trini/Tobago Coast Guard are the only active marine protection. There has been much looting, but no troops or police have been visible in the outlying area such as Lance Aux Pines (Spice Island, Prickly, Secret Harbor). St. George is quite dangerous to non-locals. Spice Island Marina has some vestigial security, but it's likely to get much better within a week.

"3) Food and Water.You can get drinking water by asking on the radio as there are many people with watermakers happy to help. Monmot Hotel, near the beach in Prickly behind the Calabash Hotel is presently allowing folks to stay free, but they have no water, power, or food. Food is scarce because of distribution and power problems. That should improve in a week, but rely on tinned foods aboard your boat for a best bet.

"4) Shelter: If I had a catamaran like yours, I might not have escaped the island - or at least would have returned in a week when the security is better. When I left it was just like camping. Bring a manually powered flashlight. If you don't have an oil or paraffin lamp, aboard, bring a Coleman paraffin lamp with extra wicks. You'll need to get kerosene and mentholated spirits from another cruiser.

"5) Local transportation. Get your dinghy in the water, but lock it with a big chain everywhere you go. Buy or trade for gas anywhere you can. It's a challenge getting gas, but things should improve.

"6) Communication: A Sat phone is perfect.

"7) Bring cash. No ATMs will work until the power comes back on. Then again, if you live off tinned foods, you won't need much cash.

"8) Bring antibiotics for any infections and any other needed medicine. No businesses - including pharmacies - are open and they can't get resupplied.

"9) Security. I think your boat is moderately safe. When you arrive, you'll probably be physically safe - but stay in the cruiser areas and don't plan to travel after dark, even after the curfew is lifted. When I was there I carried my flare gun and shells with me. I didn't end up needing it, but other cruisers had some incidents. Having said that, I want to emphasize that Grenada is not a war zone. It's just deteriorated from a perfectly safe, low key island to one with 90,000 homeless and distraught people who have lost rule and order in their lives.

"10) I recommend that you don't come until you can be really productive. That would involve coordinating with your insurer to make sure there will be a surveyor there. A crane on a barge is being sent over to lift boats, but since yours is on the hard, that wouldn't help. You should probably plan on buying all the supplies you'll need here in Trinidad, but call first, because everyone is headed here for major repairs."

Top Three America's Cup Yachts Blown Over

September 13 - Marseille, France

After finishing a successful Act I of the next America's Cup in Marseille, the top three America's Cup boats - BMW Oracle, Alinghi, and Emirates New Zealand - were blown off their stands in the wee hours of Saturday morning by a fierce storm. Nobody was hurt, and three other competing yachts - K Challenge, Le Défi, and the South African entry - did not go down.

The extent of the damage to the boats is unclear, but was more than minor. But Chris Dickson, speaking for BMW Oracle, says they have a second boat that can be ready to go in two weeks for Act II in Valencia in early October. Emirates New Zealand's loss apparently isn't so great, as honcho Grant Dalton has said the boat was so slow downwind that the only way to fix it was with a chainsaw. Apparently now would be the time.

Act II in Valencia will be bolstered by the arrival of two Italian teams. BMW Oracle, incidentally, came out on the top dog in Act I.

'Madmen' Win Rolex Farr 40 Worlds

September 13 - San Francisco Bay

"We aren't trying to hit any home runs," noted Barking Mad tactician Terry Hutchinson about midway through the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds held September 8-11. He was referring to concentrating on good starts and then letting the crew on Jim Richardson's New England-based boat "do the things we do well to get us past boats." The strategy worked well enough to carry the baseball analogy a step further - the 'Madmen' (and women) not only won, they pitched a no hitter.

Barking Mad (#21, center) rounds the offset mark in heavy traffic in the last race on Saturday.

In this class's most decisive victory in its six-year existence, Barking Mad's 9,2,1,4,2,8,7,5,7,2 record in the 10-race, no-throwout series was nothing short of phenomenal. They were never out of the single digits, and their 47-point final tally was nearly half that of Massimo Mezzaroma's 88-point, second place Nerone, the 2003 defending champion. For additional perspective, we remind you that this is the hot one design, owner-driver big boat class in the world right now, and Hutchinson's tactician peers out there included Paul Cayard, Peter Isler, TNZ's Hamish Pepper, Ed Baird and Mark Reynolds. In another testament to the depth of talent in this fleet, each of the 10 races was won by a different boat.

Conditions were wet and wild over the four-day series on the Berkeley Circle course.

This is the second Farr 40 World Championship for Richardson, who is also the current Farr 40 Class President. (Barking Mad also won the fleet's first Worlds in 1998.) And they are planning to race in the Farr 40 division of the upcoming Big Boat Series, which begins on Thursday. It will in interesting to see if they can carry the momentum through and complete a 'grand slam'.

On full afterburner, Crocodile Rock chases Peregrine (left) and a couple of other nearly obscured boats (the guy in black under the middle boom is Nerone's tactician).

For more on the Worlds, pick up a copy of the October Latitude 38, or log onto Rolex's excellent Web site at www.farr40.org or the hosting St. Francis YC Web site at www.stfyc.org.

Results: 1) Barking Mad, Jim Richardson, Boston, USA (47 points); 2) Nerone, Massimo Mezzaroma, ITA (88); 3) Warpath, Steve and Fred Howe, San Diego, USA (104); 4) Le Renard, Steve Phillips, Maryland, USA (105); 5) Slingshot, Chuck Parrish, Hillsborough, USA, 110.

Jim Richardson (with bottle), Terry Hutchinson and some of the crew of Barking Mad getting into celebratory mood after arrival back at the St. Francis YC docks.

Ha-Ha Entries Top Record

September 13 - Tiburon

Baja Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler reports that paid entries for the Ha-Ha have soared above the 150 mark, a new record. While the official deadline was last Friday, she has extended the deadline to September 17 - but that will be it. We'll have a complete list in 'Lectronic on Wednesday.

More on Eos

September 13 - Drake's Bay

Photo Parker Diving

Queen Lucy Mewes reports that Eos, the J/37 on the beach at Drake's Bay last weekend, is owned by attorney Ryan Werner of Point Richmond. He and his family, however, had just moved to the South of France for a year's sabbatical. Apparently three or four friends were entrusted to sail and watch the boat while the Werners were away. According to Mewes, Ryan was going to race Eos in the 2006 Pacific Cup.

We asked readers if they had any recent news of the disposition of the boat. Jeanette of Con Te Partiro said it was still on the beach when she was there, and other than missing her keel, appeared to have little damage. "The word on the beach was that a salvage company was going to try to bring it on the beach and truck it away."

But now the folks from Parker Diving Service tell us she was declared a total loss and that her remains were successfully removed from the beach by that salvage company.

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