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Photos of the Day

December 8 - South of the Border

Today's Photos of the Day are from last weekend's big Chili Cook-Off at Paradise Resort and Marina in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. (See Monday's 'Lectronic Latitude for the group shot!) All the proceeds go to the school in nearby Bucerias. In the past, money has gone for desks and computers at the school. Now cruisers are going to build a whole new classroom to hold all the stuff. Nice going everybody!

Burgundy of Summertime Dream and Leslie of Doggone
might have gotten a few more customers if people didn't think
that they were serving chili from the toilet off a boat.

Crews from Paradiso, Anticipation, La Dolce Vita, Echo, and others put together the Godfather's Chili stand - and won for best chili.

Kyle of Desperado Marine and T.K. of Revenge won the best chili from a restaurant. Note they are stirring the chili with ostrich bones.

Jim Keltner, Commodore of the Vallarta YC, which hosted the event along with Paradise Resort.

Karen, a former West Marine employee who sailed Promotion
in the TransPac and on several boats in the Ha-Ha, guards the beer.

Dustin and Jean of Sabbatical sample the chili.

Irma of Desperado Marine takes a milk break courtesy of Jeff from the trimaran Moon Me.

Nobody was selling vegetarian chili.

All Photos Latitude/Richard

New G Class Multihull Announced

December 8 - France

The French insurance company Groupama announced yesterday that they would be underwriting a new 105-ft trimaran Groupama for successful 60-ft trimaran sailor Franck Cammas. The boat is designed to break around-the-world and transoceanic records.

Designed by Vincent Lauriot Prevost and Marc van Peteghem of Paris and to be built by Multiplast of France, various cat and trimaran designs and lengths were considered. At 105 feet, Groupama will be about 20 feet shorter than Steve Fossett's cat Cheyenne, Bruno Peyron's latest cat Orange, and Olivier de Kersauson's trimaran Geronimo.

However, the new 75-foot wide tri will displace four to ten tons less, which is significant. While cats are conceded to be faster in deep running conditions, it's agreed that going any faster than 25 knots in the Southern Ocean is useless because eventually the boat will get out ahead of the weather system it was riding in and into light air. In around-the-world races, the big gains are expected to be made going up and down the Atlantic, where trimarans might have advantages because they are more weatherly and faster in light air. The designers figure their new tri might be about two days faster than existing 120 footers. The boat should be launched in 2006.

Photo Courtesy www.multiplast-yachts.com

RYC Small Boat Midwinters

December 8 - San Francisco Bay

Fortunately, the weatherman was wrong about last Sunday's forecast and the first of four Richmond YC Small Boat Midwinters went off without a hitch. A gentle northerly blew just hard enough to propel the boats around three different race courses, but not hard enough to make anyone cold or wet - a perfect day for tooling around in little boats!

The two inner courses managed to sneak in all five of their scheduled races, while the outer course only got in two races before the wind fizzled. Class winners follow; complete results can be found at www.richmondyc.org.

Young David Liebenberg (1657) showed no respect for his elders, topping the 31-boat El Toro fleet

CFJ skipper Chris Gregory kept a low profile

Vince Casalaina and crew Sherry Eldridge (28856) won the Snipes

Whoa! What's this thing? We can tell you the owner is a real Kidder and the boat's a complete Hoot! Tune in to the next issue for the whole story.

Big boat sailors Mark Dowdy and Jason Bright (7873) have been doing a little 505 sailing on the side.

Mixed mark rounding.
How many different classes can you count here?

All photos Latitude/Rob

EL TORO - 1) David Liebenberg. (31 boats)
OPTI - 1) James Moody. (10 boats)
SNIPE - 1) Vince Casalaina/Sherry Eldridge. (7 boats)
BYTE - 1) Christina Nagatani. (6 boats)
CFJ - 1) Jim Parker. (2 boats)
WYLIE WABBIT - 1) Bill & Melinda Erkelens. (7 boats)
THISTLE - 1) Kristofer Vogelson, 'Arden & Hall'. (4 boats)
INTERNATIONAL 14 - 1) Kirk Twardowski/Mr. Margeson. (6 boats)
505 - 1) Craig Perez/John Paulling. (3 boats)
29er - 1) Johnny Heineken/Matt Noble. (9 boats)
CORONADO 15 - 1) David Rumbaugh/Kim Anderson. (6 boats)
420 - 1) Michael Kuschner/'Barhydt'. (4 boats)
INTERNATIONAL CANOE - 1) Anders Pettersson. (3 boats)
LASER - 1) Andrew Casey. (21 boats)
CONTENDER - 1) Gil Walley. (3 boats)
MULTIHULL - 1) Tornado, Bill Erkelens. (5 boats)
PORTSMOUTH - No results yet.

Remote Control Everything

December 8 - More from South of the Border

While in Mexico, we've learned that remote control seems to be taking over much of the sailing world. For example, Paul Biery of the Emeryville-based Catana 431 cat New Focus showed us a black box that allows him to control the steering and all engine controls of his boat. "I love it because it allows me to dock my cat myself." The only down side is that the black box, plus the installation of fly-by-wire gear, is not cheap.

Paul and Karen of New Focus

And then Frank Nitte and Shirely Duffield, who did the 2003 Ha-Ha with their Islander Freeport 36 Windsong, told us that the Opequimar Boatyard in Puerto Vallarta has a huge new Travel-Lift that is also remote controlled. Rather than driving the Travel-Lift, the worker controlling it walks alongside with the control box. Frank and Shirely know all about this because they're having their 36-footer prepped, sprayed with four coats of primer, and sprayed with four coats of Imron, for just $2,200 - that includes the price of the paint! They are using 'Juan The Painter', although a fellow named David is also supposed to be excellent.

Frank and Shirley of Windsong
Photos Latitude/Richard

Aikane Deal Off Also

December 8 - Puerto Vallarta

A short time ago we reported that J.R. and Lupe Dipp, two well-known sailors in the Puerto and Nuevo Vallarta sailing communities, made a bid on a Catana 58 catamaran. Their bid was just a little too low, so they made a bid on an Aikane 56 cat, which was accepted. In fact, we mistakenly reported that they'd closed the deal on the cat. "We were going to close the deal," said Lupe, "but then the owner pulled out a 23-page contract and said we'd have to pay the tax for importing the boat into the States because he hadn't done it himself. So that was the end of that deal." They now have an offer in on a Catana 47. We'll let you know how this novella turns out.

JR & Lupe
Photo Latitude/Richard

Dawn Wilson Update

December 8 - Northern California

Reader Joyce Clinton just reported that Dawn Wilson, who's story we have been covering for years as she was held in a Mexican prison, then recently transferred back to the U.S., is set to be released in just a few days. What a terrific Christmas present for her friends and loved ones! More details as we get them.

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