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Photo of the Day

October 6 - Bahia Santa Maria, BCS

Photo Latitude Archives

Today's Photo of the Day is from the spectacular Bahia Santa Maria stop from last year's Baja Ha-Ha. If you're taking your boat in the Ha-Ha and need crew, or if you are crew looking for a berth, we highly recommend you attend the Mexico-Only Crew List and Ha-Ha Kick-Off Party tonight at the Encinal YC in Alameda from 6 to 9 p.m. Because there are likely to be several hundred people at the party, to be effective in your search, it helps to have a flyer with your photo and basic information on it. In addition to skippers and crew looking to match up, West Marine will be handing out certificates giving you $20 off on your next $75 purchase, Dick Markie will be there from Paradise Marina in Mexico, and Sal will be on hand to let somebody pull the line and inflate a liferaft.

The Encinal YC is located at the foot of Triumph Street, Pacific Marina, Alameda. It helps to get a map off the Internet, as it's a little confusing. The party is free to all who signed up for the Mexico-Only Crew List or who are registered for the 2004 Ha-Ha. It's a mere $5 for all others. No earlybirds, please! See you there.

Express 27 Nationals

October - San Francisco Bay

Attitude Adjustment in the Express 27 Nationals

Hosted October 1-3 by Richmond YC, the Express 27 Nationals crowned Soren and Liga Hoy as this year's champions. Their Attitude Adjustment beat out second place finisher Will Paxton's Motorcycle Irene and third place Tom Baffico's Baffett, as well as 22 contenders in eight races with one throwout. Liga Hoy comments:

"Our victory was a complete Attitude Adjusted Team effort. The five of us relatively big folks were actually 20-something pounds under the 880-lb Express 27 weight limit. Jeff Thorpe drove under all sorts of influences and pressures to ultimately pull it off - a truly professional sailor. J.V. Gilmour of RYC fame was the star bowman who didn't miss a jibe or a wind shift call as well as some critical equipment repairs. Deb Hong - a long-time Bay Area talent, who flew in especially from Portland, OR, was the 94-lb big spirited all-around back-up for everyone from bowman to backup trimming the brand spanking new kite (North). Soren Hoy called tactics and trimmed and I was trimmer and blue-handled wincher from rail. Our crew work was honed at the SFYC Summer Keel and the Express 27 Pre-Nationals Regatta the weekend before the Nationals, where the winds seemed to average 25 each weekend.

The winning crew with their trophy
Photos Ralph Deeds

"At the Nationals, we were especially spurred on by the relentless competitive spirits and superbly talented team efforts of all the other Express 27 crews on the water. We have Motorcycle Irene, Baffet, Swamp Donkey, Moxie, Chimo, Magic Bus, and many others to thank for keeping us awake and tuned in throughout all eight races. Jeff Zarwell did a great job as PRO, despite motor problems on Saturday.

"The one-of-a-kind Scott Easom winch drums led to Caribbean blue handles on topsides were critical in getting us on the rail and up to speed in the tacks, especially in the bigger wind (Saturday and Sunday) - they allowed the crew to trim the genoa and jib from the windward rail. The Donkey sailed by after the first race on Friday and asked, "What are those blue handles for?" At the RYC dock, many Express 27er's stopped and asked to pull the handles.

"If only Carl Schumacher had been there to see a 21st century Attitude Adjustment, his First Express 27 out of the Santa Cruz molds (hull #1) in 1982 win the 2004 Nationals and the 2004 Season Championship after a wait of 22 years. In spirit, he definitely was!"

Mooring Situation in Puerto Escondido a Mess

October 6 - Puerto Escondido, BCS

Earlier this summer, Fonatur, the Mexican tourist development agency, put mooring balls all over the popular Puerto Escondido, Baja, anchorage, and announced they'd start charging for them once amenities - showers, free water, free parking - were provided. But with no amenities in place, they announced that as of October 1 they would start charging about 50 cents a foot per day, no matter if a boat was on a mooring or on the hook. And that everyone would have to sign a five-page contract written in Spanish. So far none of the cruisers signed a contract, and we're told that last Friday most of the boats with crews left for either the Waiting Room or other places.

There have been negotiations between Angus, Commodore of the Hidden Port YC, and Fonatur's rep. The latter has offered 20% off the first three months with a signed contract, but nobody is going for it.

This is just another case of Fonatur, or their licensee, completely misunderstanding the boating market in Mexico. Puerto Escondido has always been a free anchorage, and the proposed rates are way out of line. Only time will tell how it all works out. We hate to say it, but Fonatur has blundered with this spectacular piece of property since the late '80s.

Fleet Week This Weekend

October 6 - San Francisco

But can it be a real Fleet Week without the Navy's Blue Angels? We'll find out when they get replaced with Canada's Snowbirds, which contrary to the name, aren't people headed south in Airstream trailers, but a stunt flying team. They practice on Friday afternoon, and the big show starts on 3 p.m. on Saturday, just about the time the Cal football team finishes beating USC in L.A.

Fleet Week is a big deal with lots of activities. See the San Francisco Chronicle for complete details.

American Vendée Globe Entry Arrives in France

October 6 - Les Sables D'Olonne, France

Bruce Schwab of Alameda, the only American qualified to participate in the Vendée Globe, arrived in France yesterday after a 10.5-day crossing. He's in fine shape, but his Wylie-designed Ocean Planet apparently suffered some underwater damage when it twice struck inanimate objects at high speed. The always underfinanced Schwab expects it will cost $50,000 to make the repairs, which is $50,000 more than he's got. Unless he can raise funds, he may not make the starting line. For more details on the Schwab effort, read the October edition of Latitude 38.

Ho, Ho, We're Gonna Go - Yacht Racing to Vietnam!

October 6 - Hong Kong

October 26 will be the start of the fourth biennial, 656-mile, Hong Kong to Vietnam Race. The race is sponsored by VinaCapital, a - holy Ho! - Vietnam-based asset management and corporate finance specialist. The 16-boat fleet is headed by Grant Wharington's 98-ft screamer Skandia, and features some other hot entries.

More Buccaneers and Wenches from Buccaneer Day

October 6 - Two Harbors

For the first installment of this feature, see Monday's 'Lectronic.

Thanks to Johnny Depp, buccaneers now wear more make-up than wenches.

Breaking all the rules of being a buccaneer, this fellow married his wench one week before Buccaneer Day.

Ouch, watch that scabbard!

Sunglasses add an authentic touch to the buccaneer outfit.

Arrr, mateys!

Hey, take that kind of behavior to the foc'sle!
Photos Latitude/Richard

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