Photo of the Day: Got Your Outfit Ready for Carnival?
February 7 - Trinidad
Photo Courtesy Trinidad Tourism Board
Golden Gate Yacht Club Midwinters
February 7 - San Francisco Bay
Yucca, Hank Easom's beautiful 8-Meter, was less than 100 yards from her Sausalito berth, just beginning the 45-minute motor over to the 11 a.m. start of the fourth GGYC Midwinter race on Saturday. "We've got eggs," announced Hank, who spun the boat into a bat turn back to the dock. "I think we have just barely enough time to haul out."
Easom and his six-man crew flew into orbit, getting Yucca up out of the water on its cradle and began removing an improbably thick carpet of herring eggs off the bottom. Using a pressure washer and various improvised scraping tools, the smelly job was done in less than 15 minutes. "Yummm, eggs for breakfast!" declared Charlie Mohn, covered in the slimy fish goo.
Al Blair had the motor running even as Yucca was halfway back into the water, and the boat left at warp speed. With the pedal all the way down, Yucca arrived at the starting line just a few minutes late, but fortunately in plenty of time for the ensuing one hour postponement. Eventually, a nice 10-knot westerly filled in and the fleet got underway for a two-lapper up and down the Cityfront.
With a clean bottom and typically solid tactics, Yucca took her fourth bullet in the series to, we think, mathematically wrap up the Seaweed Soup Trophy (best performance) for an unprecedented fourth time. "It helps to have your own boat yard!" claimed Hank.
Faster Horses and Two Scoops
View from Yucca as she hunts down the tail end of Division 1
Hank Easom (standing) and crew aboard Yucca
Jazzy, the newest 1D-35 on the Bay
Zephyra won their class and is currently leading Division 1 overall.
All Photos Latitude/Rob
We have no idea who else won on Saturday, but suspect the results will be posted soon at www.ggyc.org.
Ellen Coming Down the Home Stretch - in Record Time
February 7 - Ushant, France
As we write this report at 11 a.m. PST, British singlehander Ellen MacArthur is closing in on the finish line of her solo round-the-world record attempt. And, although it would be tempting fate to declare that she will definitely break Francis Joyon's 72-day, 22-hour record, with any luck at all, she'll do just that.
At this writing, Ellen, aboard her 75-ft trimaran B&Q, is making close to 20 knots in 16 knots of breeze. The finish line, off Ushant, France, lies less than 100 miles ahead. If she crosses it within the next 43 hours, she will have set a new solo circumnavigation record and will have become only the second person to successfully circumnavigate solo nonstop aboard a multihull.
Although Ellen has had to surmount major obstacles during her 27,000-mile ordeal, such as horrendous weather and gear breakage, it is probably safe to say that her greatest challenge has been physical fatigue. Her support team reports that the 5-ft tall, 28-year-old dynamo is deeply exhausted as she comes down the home stretch, after battling frustrating winds during the past few days. One can only imagine the mental stress she is under as she drives toward the finish. Massive crowds of well-wishers are expected to greet Ellen when she arrives at Falmouth, England.
At this writing, B&Q's ETA at the finish is expected to be between 2300 tonight and 0100 local time tomorrow morning (between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. PST). Check out www.teamellen.com for up-to-the-minute coverage, and look for a wrap-up report in the March edition of Latitude 38 magazine.
Ellen MacArthur aboard B&Q
Photo Courtesy DPPI / John Bandsilled / B&G
Remember Wind? continued ...
February 7 - San Francisco Bay
We received this response to our piece in Friday's Lectronic Latitude from Michael Moore:
My wife was doing a bit of surfing this morning and came on 'Lectronic Latitude, and saw the photo sequence of Hoot rounding down. It's really hard to believe that was 10 years ago. Since the text pretty much said you guys don't remember anything about the event, I'll do my best.
First of all, that crash was indeed right under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was at the end of the Crewed Light Ship Race. The photos were taken by a guy named Donald Hilbun, I believe. The crew included owners Andy and Annette Mcfie, me, another guy named Dom, and a bow man named Glen. There was probably someone else, but as they say here in the South, I've slept since then.
I was spending a nice quiet evening at home when Andy called wanting to know if I could sail the Crewed Light Ship with him. As my wife was a regular and scheduled to sail the race with Tim and Karen Knowles on Dragon Song, I made it a condition that Andy promise to beat Dragon Song. I think the response was "I could beat that old man with one arm tied behind my back!"
The only early setback I remember was getting to the boat with no boots, so I sailed the whole race in sandals. I remember a nice uneventful trip to the Light Bucket. But there were squalls waiting out there. Just as we rounded there was one coming in. We were somewhat dumbfounded when Andy said we would outrun it. He gave it a great try. It was one hell of a ride before we finally found the back of a wave with the bow. After cleaning up and looking around, discretion seemed the better part, so we jib reached for a while.
Eventually conditions moderated a bit, and the kite was an option again. We enjoyed a nice sail down the channel and eventually were approaching the South Tower on port jibe with Zamazan outside of us. And that is where the story really got interesting. It was clear that we were going to want to jibe shortly after passing the south tower. But we were all pretty much just concerned with getting past the South Tower Demon in the newly building conditions without incident.
And then I looked across to Zamazan, and my heart missed a beat.
Mike: "Andy, they are going to jibe."
So right at the South Tower, we jibe. No problem, everything is great, watch the puff, ease ... Ease ... EASE ... EASE THE DAMN KITE!!!!!!!!!
Photo Donald Hilbun
I swear I was trying. But the winch was loaded up with about 5 wraps having just been occupied by the guy. As I was easing sheet, it was pooling at my feet, all bound up on the winch. You've seen the result. The best line of the day came just before the boom dropped.
Andy: "Don't ease anything ... I can steer out of it!" I suppose he was doing a great job of drying the rudder out wiggling it around like that. We eventually recovered, and got sailing just in time to watch Dragon Song go sailing by, all smiles.
Ahh the memories, they are all I have left for now, living in Tennessee, and working in North Georgia. Lake sailing hardly scratches the itch. Thanks for posting the pictures again. And you were right, you did run them right away.
Oryx Quest 2005
February 7 - Gulf of Oman
They're off! The latest round-the-world adventure, the Oryx Quest 2005, is now in its third day. The following press release, hot off the press an hour ago, describes the action so far:
Kimball Livingston, SAIL magazine's West Coast editor, was in Doha for the start. He sent the above photo with the comment, "A typical shoreside scene in the new sports capital of the Middle East ...."
Local conditions are playing a big part in deciding which boats get the breeze, but the first major obstacle of the race will be a region of high pressure directly in the path of the yachts. Sailing through the center of the high pressure is tactical suicide because wind travels at the slowest velocity and its direction is unpredictable. Instead the skippers and their weather routers aim to travel around the edges and cut across before they add too much distance to their journey.
Doha 2006 crewmember Paul Larsen has found time to describe life on board so far:
"The first day and a half has been hard work on the 'pumps' (two-man coffee grinders) with sail change after sail change. Decisions aren't made based on how tired we are but on what is needed. Everyone is dead tired but conditions are improving which should allow us to all catch up on the sleep we have missed out on in the hectic past few weeks. We must fuel the human engine as much as possible - lots of food and water as our bodies begin to harden up to the rigors of sailing one of these big, powerful boats."
Doha 2006 was also involved in an extraordinary incident when the boat hit something with the port rudder while leading. The crew promptly dropped headsails and turned the catamaran around, running backwards in order to free the object, which they discovered to be a shark. Although Geronimo managed to take the lead during this maneuver, it seems even Jaws cannot stop skipper Brian Thompson and the Doha 2006 crew, who were soon in the chase once again.
Race positions at 1800 (GMT) Monday, February 7, 2005:
Visit www.oryxquest.com for the latest positioning data.
New Check-In Is Not What Was Promised
February 7 - Ensenada, Baja, California
We arrived in Ensenada the day President
Fox was in town to open the Centro Integral de Servicios (one
stop check in/check out). Although we did our arrival paperwork
through Baja Naval (Roger Greg of Baja Naval is great and we
highly recommend both him and Baja Naval), we opted to do our
own check out.
February 7 - The Ocean Planet
Bruno Peyron's maxi-cat Orange II
continues to shred the planet at an amazing pace, already about
1,800 miles and four days ahead of Steve Fossett's absolute world
record time of 58 days, 9 hours - and Orange is only two
weeks into the trip! The last three days have been particularly
intense, as Orange has been clocking 650 miles
See www.maxicatamaran-orange.com for more, including updated boat positions every 15 minutes.
Tom Hill's Titan 12 Smashes Record
February 7 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
This press release came in just in as we were uploading today's report:
Nine boats have broken the record in the Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race, but it will be Tom Hill's Puerto Rican entry Titan 12 that will go down in the books as the new record holder. The Reichel/Puch 75 shaved almost 13 hours off the previous record set in 2003 by Zephyrus V for a new benchmark of 2 days, 10 hours, 24 minutes and 42 seconds.
Titan 12 officially finished the race at 00:29:42. The race course was 810 miles from the Port Everglades inlet off Fort Lauderdale, across the Gulf Stream, through the Bahama Islands, past Cuba and on to the finish at Montego Bay, Jamaica.
With six boats left to finish by tonight or early tomorrow morning, Makoto Uematsu's Japanese entry Esmeralda, with multiple world champion Ken Read (Newport, RI) aboard, currently leads the fleet on corrected time.
For race results and more information, visit www.montegobayrace.com.