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Photo of the Day

July 18 - Sausalito

Photo Latitude/Rob

Today's Photo of the Day is of the motoryacht Lucky Sperm, temporarily berthed in Sausalito. She's more evidence that just because a person has a lot of money doesn't mean he/she also has good taste. The Climax, PA, based motoryacht also has a graphic - we're not making this up - of a bunch of sperm swimming around a couple of horseshoes.

What's your nomination for the most tasteless boat name besides the ubiquitous Blow Job?

Urgent & Important!

July 18 - Mill Valley

There was a fatal glitch over the weekend on Latitude 38's submission's page for the Classy Classifieds. All the ads submitted between 11 p.m. on Friday night and 10 a.m. this morning (Monday) were lost. They were NOT, however, redirected to any other destination, so no credit card information was compromised.

The Web site has now been repaired, so we request that you resubmit your ad. The Classy Classified deadline will be extended until Tuesday, July 19, to try to accommodate everyone. We apologize for the snafu.

Biggest and Fastest TransPac Boats off to a Fast Start

July 18 - Los Angeles

The big boats hit the line off Pt. Fermin at top speed.

When the slowest boats started the Los Angeles to Honolulu TransPac last Monday, it took some of them 24 hours to pass Catalina. When Roy Disney's MaxZ86 Pyewacket led the big boat fleets past the island yesterday afternoon, it had only taken them 1 hour and 45 minutes from the start. The 10 knots or so of wind they had was better than the early starters, of course, but these big new boats are just soooooo fast. While only light to moderate winds are expected for this year's race, it's nonetheless expected that the course record will fall. Furthermore, with the earlier-starting boats having seen their handicap time frittered away in light winds and overcast skies, it's very likely that for only the fifth time in history a boat might have a clean sweep of first to finish, first overall, and first on corrected time. The leading candidates are Disney's Pyewacket, Hasso Plattner's sistership Morning Glory with Russell Coutts, and Randall Pittman's 92-ft Genuine Risk.

Within five minutes of the start, Pyewacket, Genuine Risk, and Morning Glory have pulled away from the other boats. We think one of them is going to take it all while setting a new course record.

Pyewacket helmsman Robbie Haines gives a friendly wave while owner Roy Disney, in red, videos the action. Funny, you think he'd have somebody else doing that. Having made up with the Disney Corp. folks, Roy was able to start his final TransPac in a great frame of mind.

This shot of Genuine Risk is our favorite, not because of Dave Ullman at the port wheel, but because of the man at the back of the boat, navigator Mark Rudiger. One of the classiest acts in sailing, Rudiger, who was Cayard's navigator when they won the Whitbread Around the World Race, was very ill for a long time. We take his presence on the boat as a sign that he's doing well. Damn, that's good news. A longtime resident of Marin, Rudiger later moved to the Sierra foothills.
Photos Rich Roberts

Still Awaiting Word Whether Moon & Stars Survived Emily

July 18 - East Coast of Mexico

Hurricane Emily lashed the Caribbean coast of Mexico with 135 mph winds last night. Despite the northern wall, the worst part of a hurricane in the northern hemisphere, hitting right at Cozumel, initials reports haven't recorded any deaths. This is a huge improvement over Gilbert, which hit in the '80s and killed 300. And that's when there were only 25% of the hotel rooms there are now in what is one of the biggest resort regions in the world.

Yesterday afternoon, Lupe and JR, who are with their new-to-them Catana 47 cat Moon & Stars, were waiting to get hit at Isla Mujeres, which is just across from Cancun. "We took the cat out of the water at a very protected marina, and are trying to get her secure. Otherwise it's like a normal day, with people swimming in the pool and laying in the sun. But at midnight tonight we know we'll be hit. It's scary. Thank you for your concern, but we'll be fine, and will contact you as soon as we can."

We haven't heard from Lupe yet, which doesn't surprise us, as the communications infrastructure has no doubt taken a real beating. In the world of hurricanes, Emily is a category four out of five.

Beer Can Racers Going Swimming in Bay - and Don't Like It at All!

July 18 - San Francisco Bay

Rich Korman was ejected from the helm of his Moore 24 JR shortly after the chute was set in windy conditions out by Yellow Bluff during the Corinthian YC's Friday Night Beer Can Race. He was picked up in less than five minutes, but was described as already looking pretty shook up by his swim in the Bay.

Just to prove that going overboard isn't gender specific, about the same time on the same evening, Jennifer Sechrist went overboard from a J/24 just before the start of the Berkeley YC's Friday Night Beer Can Race. "My mind started racing once I hit the water," she says, "recalling all of the things that I had learned about the dangers of hypothermia, exhaustion, and so forth. But before I could really start to worry, Phil Mai and crew of the Merit 25 Loose Lips came along and literally plucked me out of the Bay in what had to be a textbook-perfect woman overboard rescue. I was in the water no more than a minute."

Please folks, be careful out there!

Cayard and the Volvo

July 18 - California

Reader Edward Killeen has sent us what he says is 'evidence' that Marin's Paul Cayard will indeed be heading the Pirates of the Caribbean II entry in the upcoming Volvo Around the World Race. "Isn't this old news?" he asks.

It's not old news is the sense that no official announcement has been made about skipper and team, and apparently won't be made for another two weeks. Until then, let's just say that we'd be very surprised if Cayard - who is the most qualified and who is available - wasn't named the head pirate.

Terrorist Bombs Kill Tourists in Turkish Resorts

July 18 - Turkish Coast

Lost in all the reports about the terror bombs in London is the news that terrorists have been targeting the tourist areas of the southwest coast of Turkey that are so popular with European tourists - and with charterers and cruisers. Five people were killed in Cesme by a bomb in a trash can, while a week ago Sunday 21 people were injured by a bomb in a soda can at Kusadasi.

What's unusual about these attacks is that they are not by Islamic radicals against Westerners per se, but are rather the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons attacking Turkey's economy in the hope of finally getting their own independent state. Unfortunately, they believe the best method is by attacking Westerners in the resort areas. Last year 20 million mostly Western tourists spent nearly $19 billion in the area.

Up the Queensland Coast

July 18 - Queensland, Australia

Photo Courtesy Moonshadow

To end today's 'Lectronic on a more upbeat note, here's a photo of George Backhus' sweetheart Merima sailing his Sausalito-based Deerfoot 64 Moonshadow up the Queensland Coast of Australia. They're about to start the Darwin to Kupang, Indonesia, Rally.

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