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Strictly Sail Pacific, the West Coast's Biggest Boat Show, Opens Today

April 13 - Oakland

Strictly Sail Pacific, the new name for Pacific Sail Expo, opens today at noon at Jack London Square in Oakland, and runs through Sunday night. There will be over 300 exhibitors, countless boats, and scores of seminars for this biggest of all West Coast sailboat shows. You don't want to miss it. The hours are noon to 7 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more details, see the big, fat, four-color glossy boat show insert in this month's Latitude or visit: <www.strictlysail.com>

Visit Latitude at Strictly Sail Pacific

April 13 - Jack London Square, Booth #321

Dona de Mallorca and friends will be wo-manning the Latitude booth at the show today through Sunday. She's got lots of free magazines to give out, plus all new colors of Latitude shirts and hats for sale. Plus, you can ask her how to join Profligate during a sailing adventure such as to Catalina, in the Santa Barbara to Redondo Beach Race, or on a surfing and sailing adventure on Banderas Bay, Mexico.

Time Change For Caribbean/Mexico Seminar At Strictly Sail Pacific

April 13 - Oakland

There has been a time change for Latitude publisher Richard Spindler's 'Comparing Caribbean and Mexico Cruising' seminar. It will be at 4:45 p.m. on Friday rather than at 6 p.m. This is because there will be a Baja Ha-Ha Reunion Party at the Latitude booth (#321) starting about 6 p.m. on Friday.

The Grand Poobah will be giving the Baja Ha-Ha Seminar at 6 p.m. on Saturday, as scheduled. The 12th Baja Ha-Ha starts late this October.

Chris Dickson Takes Lead In Long Beach YC Congressional Cup

April 13 - Long Beach

"It was like old times with everybody chasing Chris Dickson after opening day of the 41st Congressional Cup, presented by Acura," reports Rich Roberts.

"Fourteen years after he won the granddaddy event of match racing for the second time, he returned with a crew from the BMW Oracle America's Cup team he leads, to sweep five races for a narrow lead over a real granddaddy, England's Chris Law, 52, and France's Mathieu Richard, each 4-1. Russell Coutts? He's tied with Dean Barker, his successor at Emirates Team New Zealand, at 3-2. His day started slowly when he missed the skippers' meeting and then launched the completion in a slugfest with Law in which he drew four penalties but was still in the fight to the finish. It was a memorable race but a forgettable start for the three-time America's Cup winner, who said at the evening press conference, to all-round laughter, "I can't remember anything about the day."

The Congressional Cup is the one major event where spectators can actually look down on the heated pre-start match race action. The Belmont Pier is the place to be now through Sunday.

Chris Law charges to the weather mark.

Photos Courtesy Rich Roberts

Man Charged with Murder on the Bay

April 13 - Sonoma

Two days ago a Sonoma judge ruled that there is probable cause to believe that Corbin Easterling, 35, of Vallejo, murdered his wife, Jennifer, 35, while on a jet-ski outing on San Pablo Bay October 12. As such, Easterling will stand trial. The accused told police that his wife had sucumbed to the elements after their jet-ski broke down on San Pablo Bay, resulting in their drifting around through the cold night. The prosecution claims that Jennifer didn't die of hypothermia, but was suffocated and drowned.

'Save the Island Pigs', Cry Some Environmentalists

April 13 - Channel Islands

There's a big problem at Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the Channel Islands. Feral pigs are threatening the Santa Cruz Island fox and other endangered species, and are tearing up archaeological sites, native plants, and causing erosion. As a result, the National Park Service, which administers the eastern part of the island, and the Nature Conservancy, which owns the rest, are paying $5 million to have Prohunt, a New Zealand company, eliminate every last one of the several thousand pigs. Domesticated pigs were introduced to the island in the 1880s, and those that escaped turned feral. Getting rid of the pigs is no small job. It's expected that it will take 10 hunters more than two years to do the job - even though they'll be shooting from helicopters as well as using tracking dogs and traps. The money will come from the proceeds of a lawsuit against the Montrose Co., which dumped DDT into the Santa Barbara Channel decades ago, supposedly setting off what some claim was a complex chain of events that necessitates the killing of the pigs.

Not all environmentalists agree that the pigs need to be killed, of course, so the Channel Islands Animal Protection Association started protests on Monday about the same time the shooting started out at the island.

Photos Latitude/Richard

Juniors Can Sail a 505 at Strictly Sail Pacific

April 13 - Oakland

In last Friday's 'Lectronic Latitude we told you how the booth for Bay Area Youth Sailing (BAYS) will be Junior Sailor Central during Strictly Sail Pacific this week 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.

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