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Twenty Big Yachts Entered in New York YC's Transatlantic Challenge

April 8 - New York, NY

The 90-foot Fife ketch Sumurun

On May 20, some 20 yachts over 70 feet are slated to try to beat the Transatlantic Race record still held by Charlie Barr and the 185-ft three-masted schooner Atlantic. Although other yachts - the foiler tri Paul Ricard, the monohull Mari-Cha IV, the maxi-cat PlayStation, and others - have broken the record, none have done it in a race or without the benefit of starting when conditions are ideal. The maxi-schooners Adix and Adela came closest to breaking the record in '97, but both fell short. With any kind of decent record, Mari-Cha IV, which crushed the Pacific Cup record last year, should break the century old mark.

Mari-Cha IV should crush the 100-year-old record.

A close-up of the Sumurun cockpit shows that they'll be racing in old-school lack of comfort and shelter.
Photos Latitude/Richard

Juniors Can Sail a 505 at Strictly Sail Pacific

April 8 - Oakland

The booth for Bay Area Youth Sailing (BAYS) is Junior Sailor Central during Strictly Sail Pacific, coming up April 13-17 at Jack London Square. Beginning sailors and their parents can learn about summer sailing programs. Young sailors can learn about opportunities to compete in the Bay Area by picking up the latest news of the Bay Area Junior Racing Circuit, including an up-to-date calendar. You'll be able to watch an Optimist regatta from the show docks and track the race results of the Pacific Coast Championship, a competition for top high school sailors from California and Hawaii that takes place on the Estuary during the show weekend.

Advanced junior racers can step aboard a high-performance 505 and crew for an experienced skipper on Saturday the 16th.

The 505s can be wet and wild so bring your spray gear!

Photos Sharon Green

Powerboater Fined $63 for Non-Payment of Fees at Angel Island

April 8 - Angel Island

"The rangers on Angel Island are taking a more active role in collecting fees - going up to $20 on May 15 - for the moorings and docks, and are requesting boaters to use the self-pay envelopes located at the top of the docks near the souvenir center," reports Tom Keegan of the San Francisco-based Killin' Time.

Busy Ayala Cove from atop Mt. Livermore
Photo Courtesy www.angelisland.org

"On March 26, they were out in an inflatable to make sure everybody paid, and they were very polite. However, a powerboat in the cove didn't have anyone aboard - which is not uncommon, as there are places to go and things to see. But I could not believe what happened next, as the two rangers boarded the vessel, one of them going below! The owner of the boat returned while they were still there, and he was furious! The Coast Guard arrived shortly thereafter, and everybody had a meeting at the dock. Eventually the owner of the powerboat left with a $63 ticket for non-payment of fees.

"We later questioned the rangers about their right to board vessels. Their response was that they can board any vessel they want to as long as they have a safety or security concern."

So you want to make sure you pay your fees.

TransPac Boats to Gather at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach

April 8 - Long Beach

It only took 100 years, but the TransPac has finally got a place - Rainbow Harbor in downtown Long Beach - for all the entries to gather before the various classes start on various dates in the middle of July. It will give the public a chance to see - and bond - with the boats and crews before the start. What a great idea! We'll have details as the starts draw closer.

The Cal 40 Illusion, which won her class in the '03 TransPac, will be one of the boats on display at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach.

There are currently 71 boats entered in the TransPac, suggesting it will be one of the largest fleets ever.

Forty-Three Overflow Pipes Pour Sewage into the Bay

April 8 - San Francisco

One of the latest stinks in San Francisco is over the development of Piers 27-31, which would include, among other things, a sailing and boating basin. One of the ways opponents are trying to thwart the project is by raising environmental questions about water quality. According to a member of the Sierra Club, 40% of the time they tested, the water had disease-causing bacteria. On the other hand, an environmental inspector for the Port of San Francisco says overflows causing sewage spills only happen three to five times a year.

The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that San Francisco has 43 outflow pipes that, after heavy rains, pour hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated sewage into the Bay and ocean.

Monohull 24-Hour Record Broken

April 8 - Southern Ocean

The skipper of the new Volvo Open 70 MoviStar reports that while testing in the Southern Ocean, they covered 530 miles in 24 hours, a record for a monohull. For those without calculators, that's an average of 22.08 knots - or about what the maxi-cat Orange II averaged in her 50+ day circumnavigation.

The Volvo Open 70 is the replacement for the Volvo 60. Marin's John Kostecki held the 24-hour record for a long time, having covered 484 miles in 24 hours on the Volvo 60 illbruck. HIs record was bested by Robert Miller's 140-ft Mari-Cha IV, which covered 525 miles. The multihull record of just over 700 miles was set by Orange II.

The Once Great Admiral's Cup Canceled Again

April 8 - Cowes, UK

In the late '70s through the '80s, Britain's Royal Ocean Racing Club's (RORC) Admiral's Cup, which included the Fastnet Race, was the pinnacle of international offshore racing. And led by Dave Allen of the Belvedere-based Imp, Northern California participants often kicked ass. Alas, the event has declined greatly in recent years. It's been canceled before for lack of interest, and despite positive signs for this year, had to be canceled once again. May this once great event rest in peace along with Hawaii's Clipper and Kenwood Cups.

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