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Orange II Hits Whale at 30 Knots

February 28 - South Atlantic Ocean

Photo Gilles Martin-Raget/Orange

Yesterday afternoon the maxi cat Orange II, in the midst of a phenomenal circumnavigation that's seen them averaging a hair under 24 knots for 35 days, hit what is believed to have been a whale, and at 30 knots. "It was a very violent impact, a bit like when you run up on the sand or hit a rock," said skipper Bruno Peyron. Although the 120-ft cat didn't suffer any structural damage, there is an area of delamination on the front of the nearly 12-ft tall composite rudder. The question is whether the constant stream of water against the delaminated area will pull it apart over time and slow the boat down, and if so, should they, and can they, effect repairs at sea. Meanwhile, the big cat is rocketing up the east coast of southern South America, blessed by following winds. They have only 5,800 miles to the finish - which at the current pace is only about 11 days. To follow this story, see www.maxicatamaran-orange.com.

Puerto Vallarta Race Wrap Up

February 28 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Victory for Scout Spirit
Photo Rich Roberts

Here's the Del Rey-Puerto Vallarta Race story in a nutshell: 21 starters (12 cruisers, 9 racers) left Marina del Rey in four waves Feb. 11-18. The first half of the race was upwind and rainy, causing four boats to withdraw for various reasons - including Pyewacket, which had the best shot at breaking the 20-year-old course record. The second part of the race was much better - spinnakers and sun - but it was still a long, slow race by any standard.

The first racing boat in was Doug Baker's canting-keel Andrews 80 Magnitude 80, which finished in 5 days, 6 hours, 50 minutes - eight hours off the record set in 1985 by Dick and Camille Daniels' MacGregor 65 Joss. Scout Spirit, co-skippered by Dave Janes and Jay Steinbeck, came in ten hours after Magnitude, easily saving her time to win class and overall honors.

Other class winners - all of whom received $2,000 Corum watches - follow:

DIV. AA (Feb. 18) - 1) Scout Spirit, R/P 77, Dave Janes/Jay Steinbeck. (3 boats)
DIV. A (Feb. 17) - 1) Beau Geste, Farr TP-52, Karl Kwok. (3 boats)
DIV. B (Feb. 16) - 1) Chicken Little, SC 50, Don Adams/Rick Palmer. (3 boats)

SALSA DIVISIONS (motor allowance):
SPINNAKER-A - 1) Lark, J/46, Bob & Kathy Patterson. (4 boats)
SPINNAKER-B - 1) Green Dragon, Catalina 380, Gary Green. (2 boats)
NON-SPINNAKER-A - 1) Lazy Bones, Irwin 54, Jeff Allen. (4 boats)
NON-SPINNAKER-B - 1) Camelot, Catalina 36, Hiro Funaoku. (2 boats)

Answer to February 18 Mystery Photo Sequence

February 28 - Panama

We asked if anyone knew the location of the yard where John Haste was getting his Perry 52 cat Little Wing hauled out. Nobody did. The correct answer is Astilleroveracruz on the Pacific side of the Republic of Panama.

Photo Courtesy Little Wing

In the accompanying photo you can see Haste's cat being relaunched. We'll have more on this yard, which can handle 12 boats at a time, in the near future.

Banderas Bay Regatta in Less than Two Weeks

February 28 - Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

If there's a better venue and better sailing conditions for a cruisers' regatta than Paradise Marina and Banderas Bay, we don't know what it is. So no matter if you're in Mexico on your own boat, or you're a sailor tired of the gray skies in California and looking to crew, you don't want to miss the Banderas Bay Regatta. It's fun, it's free to enter, nobody takes the competition too seriously, and it runs March 12-15. And don't forget, the Pirates for Pupils charity spinnaker run from Punta Mita to Paradise Marina is on the 11th.

Here's a few historical shots from the '02 BBR:

Racing action in the ideal conditions on Banderas Bay.

The crew of the Swan 65 Casseopia having fun with shaving cream to bond before the race.

The crew of Profligate

Cleaning up in the pool after the awards dinner.
Photo Latitude/Richard

Schwab's Vendée Globe in Perspective

February 28 - Les Sables d'Olonne, France

It's true that Alameda's Bruce Schwab, who recently finished the Vendée Globe, was 22 days off the pace. On the other hand, campaigning hand-to-mouth, he finished ninth out of 20 starters. He also averaged 8.98 knots for the 23,680 miles.

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