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Photo of the Day

August 19 - Tunisia

Photo Courtesy Timoneer

Today's Photo of the Day is of the biggest double hook-up we've ever seen - two 200-pound bluefin tuna. The big fish were caught from a really big boat, the 150-ft DuBois-designed ketch Timoneer while she was sailing off Tunisia. We stumbled across the photo on the Timoneer Web site, which we had stumbled over because we'd done the Around St. Barth Race aboard her last New Year's Eve. If you've got a minute, you might visit www.timoneer.org to check out what kind of boat some couples - they are really sweet, too - order when they are 81 years of age and continue to race at age 84. While on the site, you can see their other boat, the water-ballasted S&S 77 Sleighride, which has hit 22 knots in 25 knots of wind!

Around the World in 78 Days

August 19 - Sanxenxo, Galicia, Spain

The Volvo Ocean Race begins in just 78 days, with an in-port race in Sanxenxo, Galicia, on November 5. Following that, on November 12, the seven-boat fleet of new canting-keeled Volvo 70s will depart from Vigo on Leg One, bound for Cape Town. We'll be rooting for ABN AMRO 1, which Stan Honey will navigate, and the Disney entry, The Black Pearl, with Paul Cayard as skipper and Kimo Worthington as shore manager.

According to the subscription-only Web site Daily Sail, "The best piece of news in the build-up to November's Volvo Ocean Race was the announcement by Disney that the race is to be used as a promotional vehicle for the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, Dead Man's Chest. It is a fairly safe prediction this single step will serve to turn what might otherwise have been 'just another round the world yacht race' into an event that leaps out of the sports pages and into general news and tabloids. However with the recent announcement of Paul Cayard as skipper of the Pirates boat, the Disney entry now has real winning potential."

The Disney entry, which is largely funded by Volvo, is certainly the shot in the arm this race, the smallest Volvo/Whitbread yet, needed - but we're not sure we'd bet the ranch on The Pirates winning overall. Cayard certainly has the right stuff - Farr design, Green Marine-built, and a killer crew to be announced shortly - but will it be enough to overcome a late start and a somewhat skinny budget?

Shooting from the hip, we figure Brasil 1 (BRA, skipper Torben Grael, navigator Adrianne Cahalan) and MoviStar (ESP, Bouwe Bekking/Andrew Cape) are the boats to beat. Both are well-funded Farr boats, and each is already training hard (MoviStar set a new 24-hour speed record, 530 miles, virtually right out of the box - a preview of coming attractions). The second tier, in our opinion, would include the Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed ABM AMRO 1 (NED/skipper Moose Sanderson), which despite a great crew and being first in the water is still an unknown quantity design-wise, and the two Farr sisterships Ericsson Racing (SWE/Neal McDonald) and The Black Pearl (USA). Rounding out the fleet are the mysterious Premier Challenge (AUS, Grant Wharington) and ABN AMRO 2 (NED), the 'youth boat' (which has two American crew, George Peet and Andrew Lewis, bringing the grand total of Americans in the race up to four).

With scary fast boats and less crew than before (just 10), the fleet will undoubtedly spread out more than before. But records and boats are going to be broken, and it should be all kinds of fun to follow at www.volvooceanrace.org. Look for a full preview of the Volvo Race in the next issue.

No More Tin in Pacific Grove

August 19 - Pacific Grove

Some of you who have been down to Pacific Grove recently have written to ask if we have anything to do with Latitudes at Lover's Point, the "Coastal Cuisine" restaurant that used to be called The Tinnery. The answer is yes. You see, running a magazine takes about as little time as running a restaurant, so with all that time on our hands, we said, "What the hell, we might as well run two businesses as one." So we do editorial stuff on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Mill Valley, and cook on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Pacific Grove. Weekends we go sailing. So come on down to Latitudes - we've got a great view - and ask for the 'Editor's special', which is a combo of steak tartare and sashimi. Not only do we like it raw, but we like to conserve energy.

The above, of course, is a joke. Not the existence of the restaurant, but that Latitude has anything to do with Latitudes.

Hurricanes. Who Cares About Hurricanes?

August 19 - Bahamas

As we all know, it's already been a very busy tropical storm season in the Atlantic-Caribbean, as they've already had seven tropical storms and three hurricanes - with the three busiest months of the season to go. Because of all this storm activity, and Florida having taken a beating last year, Rob and Mary Messenger, who did the first Ha-Ha and cruised the Maude I. Jones around the world for 10 years, figured the marinas in the very exposed Bahamas would be almost vacant. But when they showed up with the charter powerboat they are now running, they found it so crowded that sometimes they had to wait to get into marinas. So apparently the people in that part of the world assume that they and their boats are too precious to be hit by tropical storms. It's a wonder they can get insurance.

Anyway, Rob and Mary, who will be coming to California soon to get out of the heat, report that the Bahamas are great, as there are still lots of lobster around and you can always catch fish for dinner. They report that the annual routine for cruisers is to sail as far south as Georgetown - aka 'Chickentown', because many cruisers are afraid to continue on down to the Eastern Caribbean - in the middle of winter, and then gradually work back north in the spring and early summer.

Ah, but the heat! Day or night, Florida and the Bahamas are said to be unbearable during the summer.

Classy Classified: Pacific Cup Syndication

August 19 - San Francisco

2006 PACIFIC CUP SYNDICATION: Farr 40 One Ton. Boat berthed in SF. Ocean race equipped for Pacific Cup and OYRA series. Need partners. Boat came in 2nd in class in 2004 Pacific Cup. Email or call Mike (916) 769-0299.

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