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Photos of the Day

July 20 - Kauai

Today's Photo of the Day comes from Tom Dick in Hawaii, and is of Melissa, the lovely kite trimmer on his Beneteau 42s7 Eau De Vie, which used to be based out of Sausalito. Melissa's wearing traditional Hawaiian foul weather gear, and epitomizes the laid back sailing style of the Islands.

Sailing during the night start of the Oahu to Kauai Race, which was won by Eau De Vie.

The post race party. Looks like fun to us!
Photos Courtesy Tom Dick

Morning Glory Sets 24-Hour TransPac Record

July 20 - Pacific Ocean

Morning Glory
Photo Latitude/Richard

Yesterday Hasso Plattner's Germany-based MaxZ86 Morning Glory pulled ahead of sistership Pyewacket and the other Class A boats in her second day of the TransPac, reeling off 393 miles, crushing the old TransPac 24-hour record by nearly 50 miles. Nonetheless, it's still nip and tuck with Pyewacket and Genuine Risk, which are within about 10 miles. These boats are so fast in even the mild conditions they've been having, we're confident that one of them will set a new course record. If the trades finally kick in, all three of them are easily capable of over 500 miles, and perhaps even the monohull 24-hour record of 530 miles.

With the smaller boats having gotten skunked on wind during their handicap days, the big boats are going to correct out. Currently leading the fleet is Rosebud, Roger Sturgeon's San Francisco-based TransPac 52, followed by ancient Ragtime, the original 'sled' from the '60s, that was bought by a group in a lien sale a few months ago(!), and Morning Glory. That Ragtime is doing so well is blowing everyone's mind, as she was first to finish in the race in '73 and '75.

This also may be a record year for lack of sun. Some of the smaller boats are more than halfway to Hawaii and report having only seen the sun and moon for a few minutes since they left L.A. under overcast conditions more than a week ago. But at least they are starting to see a breeze. Alas, despite their enormous headstart, the big dogs are going to be flying past them in a two or three days.

The news from Rick Gorman's Swan 53 Incredible is that they sighted William Peterson's Newporter 40 Kamera, which he abandoned last month after being dismasted on the last leg of his nine year circumnavigation. She was easy to identify, as she had 'Derelict' spray-painted on the side of her hull.

Photo Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

More Lucky Sperm

July 20 - Sausalito

We'll have to share the responses we got to our 'tasteless boat name' contest later (see Monday's 'Lectronic), but can report that one reader says the Lucky Sperm is owned by "an heir of the San Francisco Chronicle fortune."

Too Busy Having Fun to Write

July 20 - Vanuatu

The other day we got a request from Jamie Rosman of the Alameda-based Taswell 49 Tardis to ask if anyone has seen Marc and Teri Mendelson, who have been out cruising for four years aboard their 52-ft ketch Tauranga. Apparently they normally stay in touch with family and friends frequently, but hadn't been heard from in a month. Rosman and the others didn't really think anything was wrong, but still.

Today's new is good. "We're having fun in Vanuatu, " Marc and Teri wrote, "It's great that you are worried about us, but you needn't be. We're just having fun now and not sitting at the computer.

Kostecki Free?

July 20 - Valencia, Spain

It's been reported in Scuttlebutt that Marin's John Kostecki has been dismissed as skipper and sailing director of the BMW Oracle America's Team Effort. In the recent Acts, BMW Oracle did well but not great. Syndicate head Larry Ellison has a history of replacing heads of departments at Oracle and on his America's Cup boats. Personality-wise, Kostecki might not have been the greatest fit. Does that mean Kostecki might be free to race in the upcoming Volvo, which he won last time around? Could be.

We Knew It Couldn't Be Us Humans

July 20 - Arctic Circle

According to research by the University of Ottawa, a major source of chemical contamination in the Arctic has not been human activity after all, but "bird droppings." It was found that the chemical pollution in ponds frequented by seabirds can be many times higher than in nearby regions. The report went on to suggest that everybody buy a Hummer, load it up with rifles, and eliminate the polluters. Okay, the last sentence isn't true.

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