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October 22 - Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda

Barry Pickthall reports from the Investors Guaranty King Edward VII Gold Cup Pro-Am Regatta in Bermuda:

Take your eye off the ball for just a second, and catastrophe can follow in very short order. It can happen to the best of us, as two America's Cup skippers found to their cost out in Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda, yesterday.

Three-time America's Cup champion Russell Coutts was competing in a Pro-Am regatta with British PGA golfer Nick Faldo, Sir John Vereker, the Governor of Bermuda, and Doug King, the CEO of primary sponsor Investors Guaranty all aboard. One moment they are sailing along quite happily getting to know each other and which ropes to pull when - Bang! - the bows of rival America's Cup skipper James Spithill's boat come crashing over the deck.

It was a classic T-bone collision that surprised Spithill's crew as much as it did Coutts, for neither were keeping a look-out. Luckily, no one was injured, and Russell Coutts celebrity crew now have the pictures to remind them of what sailing is all about.

For his part, Nick Faldo who was at the helm at the time, is returning the compliment by inviting Russell Coutts for a round of golf. Who will be driving the cart? "Certainly not me," said Faldo. "I'm a danger in anything doing more than seven knots!"

Photos Copyright Reserved Bob Grieser/Swedish Match Tour/PPL Photo Agency

Safely to Port

October 22 - San Francisco Bay

Paul Herzmark of Oakland, who will be crewing aboard Bronco in the Baja Ha-Ha, writes: "A friend (Matt Onsum) and I sailed over to Angel Island on Saturday, and on our hike up to the top of Mt Livermore we saw this view:

"I am sure the sailor in the picture made it safely to port!"

Cruising Season in Zihuatanejo

October 22 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico

If you're thinking of heading to Z-Town this winter, you may be interested in this update from Rick Carpenter of Rick's Bar:

"Memo and I will be opening our doors October 30, with lots of changes this year including a Tapas Menu, Tequila Shots-Margaritas and Draft Beer Bar on the first floor, and an all new sound system that should really rock. A large collection of 'loaner' instruments will be on hand (guitars, bass, harmonicas, etc.) for our musician friends and we hope to see everyone available before the season gets too hectic. Lots of cruisers are coming this year starting in early December (according to my emails) and we're looking forward to lots of local events such as: 1) November, Rick's traditional Thanksgiving Dinner 2) December, Clown Convention (300 of them on the 14th), Christmas Dinner and New Year's 3) February 2-6, 4th Annual Zihua Sailfest and local Carnaval with parades, etc. 4) April 2-10, 2nd Annual Zihua International Guitar Fest.

"Many more events are lined up. Additional details can be found on the following Web sites: www.zihuatanejo.com.mx/ricks/ and www.zihua-ixtapa.com/zihua/guitarfest/."

A Very Different Wind Experience

October 22 - San Diego

On the subject of Leif Vosstrom's mention of no wind in Wednesday's 'Lectronic, Lyon Omohundro writes, "I ran into Leif Vosstrom in Catalina on Monday night, and we had a very different wind experience. Ken Olson and I had crewed for John Murphy, owner of Cadence. We left Ventura Sunday with decent sailing into Redondo Beach, probably beam and broad reaching at least half the seven-hour trip. Monday we motorsailed to Catalina (10 hours), then left at 4:00 am to head for San Diego (13 hours). We almost made it in without getting pounded; the last ten miles or so was no worse than the Potato Patch [just outside the Golden Gate]. We sailed half of that leg as well. At the peak of it we had 25-30 knots, but it only lasted an hour and the sea state was still manageable. Luckily it cleared completely as we got close to San Diego.

"As you probably know, Wednesday morning San Diego and SoCal got heavily hit (50 kts), and we heard of a boat grounded on Bird Rock. Needless to say we were grateful we had gotten in the day before. "

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