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Photo of the Day

February 25 - Espiritu Santo, BCS

Photo Liz Strand

Today's Fisherman of the Day award goes to Rick Strand of Sonoma-based Ericson 38 Sarah Elizabeth. The Ha-Ha vet and his wife Liz were taking a walk on one of the islands not far from La Paz when there was a splashing in the water near the shore. Rick ran up, saw this lovely mahi mahi, and herded him onto dry land for a hookless catch. He sure tasted good. For more details, read Rick's letter in the next issue of Latitude 38, due out on Tuesday, March 1.

Bruce Schwab First American to Finish the Vendée Globe

February 25 - Les Sables d'Olonne, France

Alameda's Bruce Schwab crossed the finish line in France this morning aboard his Wylie-designed Ocean Planet to become the first American to complete the Vendée Globe singlehanded around-the-world race. The former rigger completed the course in 109 days for 9th place. True, his time was 22 days slower than winner Vincent Riou of PRB, but to our thinking anyone who can complete the Vendée is a champion. Mind you, this was the second time in two years that Schwab - notoriously underfinanced - has completed a singlehanded race around the world. Latitude 38 salutes his tremendous achievement - and all of you who dug deep to finance his effort.

Snow and hail dusted Ocean Planet on Schwab's last night at sea.
Photo Bruce Schwab

Corinthian Midwinters

February 25 - Tiburon

The 2005 Corinthian YC Midwinters, the biggest and most popular midwinter series on the Bay, concluded last weekend with 109 boats sailing in 13 classes, a fine turnout given the nasty weather. Saturday was nothing short of miserable (pouring rain, no wind, big ebb), and eventually 48 boats dropped out. Sunday was much better, though still overcast and occasionally drizzly. The course on both days took the fleet over to the Cityfront and back, with winds switching from north on Saturday to south on Sunday.

Full results are posted at www.cyc.org. Overall winners follow:

DIV. I (< 62) - 1) Great Sensation, 1D-35, Rod Hagebols. (14 boats)
J/120 - 1) Valkyrie, Mark Varnes. (5 boats)
EXPRESS 37 - 1) Golden Moon, Sally & Kame Richards. (6 boats)
IOR WARHORSE - 1) Aleta, Peterson 46, Keith Brown. (6 boats)
J/105 - 1) Aquavit, J/105, Tim Russell/Roy Steiner. (17 boats)
DIV. II (62-114) - 1) Faster Horses, J/100, Doug Holm. (19 boats)
NON-SPINNAKER I (< 136) - 1) Basic Instinct, Elliott 1050, Jan Borjeson. (12 boats)
DIV. III (115-141) - 1) Silkye, WylieCat 30, John Skinner. (10 boats)
SF-30 - 1) Jane Doe, Olson 911-S, Bob Izmirian. (6 boats)
NON-SPINNAKER II (137-147) - 1) Smogen III, Custom 36, Julle LeVicki. (9 boats)
DIV. IV (> 141) - 1) 306LP, IOD, Jim Davies. (16 boats)
NON-SPINNAKER III (148-200) - 1) Roeboat, Catalina 30, Rod Decker. (6 boats)
NON-SPINNAKER III (201-up) - 1) Chica, Cal 20, Ted Goldbeck. (7 boats)
AOTEA TEAM TROPHY - 1) Team CYC (Basic Instinct, Smogen III, Chica). (10 teams)

The victorious Team CYC. Left to right: Julle LeVicki, Jan Borjeson, Ted Goldbeck
Photos above Latitude/Rob

The happy Moore 24 E-9 crew took home a wee bit of silver for second place in PHRF-4.
Photo Doug Owen/Corinthian YC

Ketch Maxine Lost After Being Stuck to the Bottom

February 25 - Isla Isabella, Mexico

In the February 14 edition, we reported that Greg and Mai's (they request their last names not be used) Newporter 40 Maxine had sunk at Isla Isabella. It sort of gave the impression that the boat had hit a rock, been holed, and went down. But that wasn't it at all.

The couple have now released their account - which is the harrowing tale of their boat being stuck to the bottom in storm conditions, with an anchor that couldn't be raised or lowered, and a chain that couldn't be cut. After 40 hours, fishermen at the nature preserve were able to take them off their boat and get the sick Mai to shore and then to San Blas for treatment. Although the 5/16-inch chain had been sawing right through the bow of the ketch, the couple thought she'd be fine until they returned. While at San Blas, they received the terrible news that the only things still above the surface were the tops of the masts.

The couple's report appears in the March issue of Latitude 38.

Pirates for Pupils Fun Fest to Be on March 11

February 25 - Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Just a reminder to everyone who will be on hand for the Banderas Bay Regatta: just before, on March 11, the catamarans Profligate, Capricorn Cat, Humu-Humu, Little Wing, and other boats, will be gathering at Punta Mita for a little lunchtime fun, to be followed by the classic spinnaker run to Paradise Marina. The spinny run - one of the most pleasant in the world - will be open to folks who make a donation to a fund-raiser. Some of the money will be going to the Punta Mita (aka ejido Emiliano Zapata) education and environmental fund, and some of it will be going to schools elsewhere in Banderas Bay.

Lauren Spindler, Honcho of the Baja Ha-Ha, has announced that $500 will be contributed in the name of last year's Ha-Ha participants to this good cause, and the same will be done in future years, too.

Photo Latitude/Richard

Nobody will be required to wear pirate costumes such as the folks in the accompanying photo, but it will be a lot more fun if you do. Tea Lady, Lupe, and Profligate will have more info on this event next week over the net in P.V.

Orange II Continues Incredible Voyage

February 25 - Cape Horn

After just 32 days at sea, Bruno Peyron, crew, and his maxi cat Orange II will be rounding Cape Horn, an astonishing seven days ahead of Steve Fossett and Cheyenne's record pace. Day and night for 32 days they've been averaging almost 24 knots. We've only sailed at 24 knots twice in our life. Once very briefly on the way from Antigua to Panama aboard Profligate, and once on the Bay aboard the then maxi-cat Explorer about five years ago. The feeling of speed aboard Explorer was incredible, as we and Aussie America's Cup legend John Bertrand hung onto the forward cross-beam for dear life laughing our asses off. To sail over 24 knots for a few seconds is one, thing, to do it for more than a month . . . well, it's hard for us to believe.

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