Photos of the Day
May 23 - Sausalito
Today's Photo of the Day was taken last night at Schoonmaker Yacht Harbor in Sausalito. When we returned from a great sail yesterday evening, the denizens of the nearby bushes and benches were yelling and howling at the top of their lungs. This in itself is not unusual, but their keeping it up for half an hour or so was. We didn't get. Then we took a minute from putting the boat away to notice that they were, as tradition dictates, howling at the moon. We suppose that means they're more in touch with nature than we are.
Conditions Stink for Start of Transatlantic Challenge
May 23 - New York, NY
It couldn't have been a much worse start for the 20 great yachts boats entered in the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge, the New York YC's 3,300-mile race from New York to Lizard Point, UK. The wind was blowing a mere three to five knots, and the forecast wasn't calling for much better in the near term. This is not what the owners and crews of the likes of the 144-ft Mari-Cha IV and 100-ft Maximus were hoping for. Ironically, the race had been delayed by one day because of gale-force headwinds.
In the early going, Robert Miller's Mari-Cha was said to be holding a slight lead over Maximus. This portends well for the bigger boat, as she's expected to waterline Maximus in stronger winds.
Celebrating Diversity on the Bay
May 23 - San Francisco Bay
It was a beautiful day on the Bay yesterday, with all kinds of sailing conditions. Over on the Cityfront race course, Barry Stomp of the Islander 36 Tom Cat reported that it was bowing 30 and gusted to 35. Some of the Knarr sailors who sailed the Knox course a few miles away reported they hardly had any wind at all. We didn't get out until about 5 p.m., but we found all kinds of conditions on the Bay, from 20 knots off Sausalito's Hurricane Gulch, the Cityfront, and near Alcatraz, to much lighter stuff out by Yellow Bluff and in the center of the Bay. A little bit of everything plus beautiful weather - not a trace of fog - made for a great sail. Here are some of the things we saw:
The Islander 36 Tom Cat reaching across Sausalito's Hurricane Gulch. The background makes 'the little willow' look more European than any other California coastal city.
Here's a puzzler. Who has crew riding the rail at 7 p.m. on a Sunday night - long after the racing is over - and with a kayak on the bow? But they looked good.
After a long winter and wet spring, it was great for sailors to get sun-drenched.
Adventure Cat 2, looking good with a big crowd on the way to Alcatraz . . . and with a mast standing tall once again.
Doing the right thing. When the wind died off the west end of Raccoon Strait yesterday evening, this Ensign was left drifting. Fortunately, these nice folks on the Ericson 35 gave them a tow to Sausalito. Unfortunately for the Ensign folks, if we heard correctly, their home port is Berkeley.
May 23 - Newport Beach
David Team at the helm of Scout Spirit
Rich Roberts reports:
Randall Pittman's slippery fast Genuine Risk - named for a Kentucky Derby winner - looked like a thoroughbred of sailboats Sunday as it galloped away from Roy Disney's Pyewacket in the last two races of the inaugural First Team Real Estate Invitational Regatta, organized by the Balboa and Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs to benefit Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.
A crowd at the committee boat end of the starting line
Genuine Risk found its legs by switching to a larger headsail, but the big Dubois 90's problem was that it just ran out of track. Pyewacket - named for a movie witch's mystical cat - won single races Friday and Saturday while Genuine Risk suffered a second and third, leaving Disney's Reichel/Pugh-designed maxZ86 atop Class 1 by a single point.
Pyewacket leads Genuine Risk (right)
If the event's scheduled fifth race had been sailed, G.R. might have had a shot. As it was, principal race officer Mike Wathen's committee, bedeviled all weekend by fluky winds brought on by an unwelcome high-pressure system, did well to finish with a pair of races Sunday in single-digit breeze - and those were shortened from two laps to one around a three-mile windward-leeward course.
Genuine Risk tactician Bill Hardesty, who had won the prestigious Lipton Cup for San Diego Yacht Club on the same waters in similar conditions a week earlier, gave credit to other members of Pittman's afterguard, including Dave Ullman and the owner himself. The San Diego boat never gave itself a chance with poor starts the first two days, but on Sunday they left the gate flying.
"Randall drove the starts and upwind legs," Hardesty said. "He's a very good sailor. And Dave is the wizard of these kinds of conditions."
Also on board: one of the world's great ocean racing navigators, Mark Rudiger, in a comeback to competitive sailing since being stricken with lymphoma last year. Pittman had been holding a spot on the crew for him.
The other class winners on corrected handicap time were Paul and Laura Sharp's 19-year-old R/P 68, Taxi Dancer, from Newport Beach in Class 2 and the Oscar Krinsky/Walter Johnson 1D-48, Chayah, from Long Beach in Class 3. See www.nhyc.org for full results.
The 1D-48 Chayah (left) defends lead position against the Transpac 52 Rosebud.
Photos Rich Roberts/underthesunphotos.com
Taking Their Efforts Around the World
May 23 - San Diego
On May 7, 2005, at 10:30 am, Ardell Lien, a 2003 heart and kidney recipient from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, set sail from San Diego. Ardell's goal is to sail around the world solo on his 28-ft sailboat Catalyst to help bring national awareness to the importance of organ donation. And to prove that organ transplant works to save lives, and is not possible without organ donation. See www.organ-donation-for-life.com/pages/3/index.htm.