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Photos of the Day: Big Boat Series

September 19 - San Francisco

Inspired Environments' Owner Timothy Ballard was ejected overboard in this violent round-down at the finish line in front of the clubhouse.

St. Francis YC's 41st Rolex Big Boat Series concluded with a long Bay Tour yesterday, held in spectacular fall sailing conditions. It was a fitting way to end another great Big Boat Series, and a welcome respite for the 101-boat fleet after Saturday's wild, carnage-strewn second race.

Genuine Risk leads Morning Glory back through the Gate in Saturday's ocean race.
Top Two Photos Chris Ray

More than 1,000 sailors competed in the 7-race, no-throwout series - which, with Rolex stepping up as the new title sponsor and IRC coming into its own, was one of the best in recent memory. Philippe Kahn's TP-52 Pegasus 52, with Ken Read and Jeff Madrigali in the afterguard, was the star of the show, topping the 9-boat IRC-A class with five bullets. Another noteworthy performance was put in by Scott Sellers' Donkey Jack, which topped the 32-boat J/105 fleet, the largest in the regatta.

Pegasus 52 flies back to the Bay.

As usual, we'll have a full report on the BBS in the October issue of Latitude 38. In the meantime, see www.stfyc.com for full results, press releases, and great pictures.

Swiftsure II

IRC-A - Pegasus 52, TP-52, Philippe Kahn. (9 boats)
IRC-B - Zephyra, DK-46, Robert Youngjohns. (7 boats)
IRC-C - Scorpio, Wylie 42, John Siegel. (9 boats)
IRC-D - Current Obsession, J/109, Gary Mozer. (9 boats)
J/120 - Mr. Magoo, Steve Madeira. (10 boats)
Sydney 38 - Double Trouble, Andy Costello. (6 boats)
1D-35 - Wild Thing, Chris Busch. (8 boats)
Express 37 (Nationals) - Eclipse, Mark Dowdy. (11 boats)
J/105 - Donkey Jack, Scott Sellers. (32 boats)

Good Timin'

Genuine Risk
Photos Latitude/JR except as noted

Details on the Diving Death of Steven Swenson of Trinity

September 19 - Costa Rica

As reported last Friday, Steven Swenson of the Seattle-based Hallberg-Rassy 46 Trinity died in a tragic diving accident off northern Costa Rica on the afternoon of September 11. A genuinely terrific guy who had learned to sail on San Francisco Bay, Steven was the father of youngsters Leif and Gage, and the husband of Roma. Those who did the Ha-Ha last year will remember the family was awarded the Spirit of the Ha-Ha award, the event's most prestigious.

The Swensons
Photo Latitude/Andy

While on the boat in Costa Rica during the summer, the very athletic Steven had become passionate about diving. He did much of his diving off Playa Panama near Playas del Coco in the Gulf of Papagayo. When Roma and the kids returned to the States for five weeks, Steven dove almost every day. And when they returned to the boat, he continued to dive frequently.

According to Eric and Melissa Lockard of a Seattle-based Hallberg-Rassy 53, who with their kids had been almost constant companions with the Swenson family since the Ha-Ha, on that fateful afternoon Steven and another cruiser were diving at King Kong Rock, with a third person in the dinghy. The visibility in the water was poor, and Steven and the other diver got separated while underwater. Then a boat came overhead. Steven's dive partner stayed down longer than usual so as not to get hit by the boat. When he surfaced, the person in the dinghy told him he'd seen Steven surface - and then quickly submerge again. This would be consistent with what's known as 'shallow water blackout'.

Although nobody knows for sure, the speculation is that Steven might have had to stay down too long to let the boat go by, blacked out, shot to the surface, then sank and drown. They searched for his body until dark, but couldn't find him. Steven's body was recovered the following day in 65 feet of water. There was no sign he'd been hit by a boat.

Steven was not wild and reckless. Friends recall that despite the pilots telling him that it was safe to cross a bar at El Salvador and into the lagoon to a marina, he resisted for a long time. He finally decided to move on rather than take what he considered to be too great a risk.

"Steve was a close, dear friend," say the Lockards. "He had an adventurous spirit and great passion for life and all this world has to offer. We will miss him terribly. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Steve's family, and particularly to his wife Roma and their two boys, Leif and Gage. Photos of Steve and information on sending condolences can be found on our Web site at: www.sulaadventures.com.

A fund has been set up for Steven's sons. If you wish to contribute, send your checks to Swenson Children's Fund, 4580 Klahanie Drive SE, Suite 154 Issaquah, WA 98029. Lauren Spindler, the president of the Baja Ha-Ha, announced today that the Ha-Ha has contributed $2,000 to the fund in the name of all those who did the '04 Ha-Ha with the Swenson family.

Arrrrrrr! Do People Sound Like They're Talking Funny Today?

September 19 - Cyberspace

That's because it's the official Talk Like a Pirate Day. It was all started by Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers and John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur, who have written a book about it called, So You Want to Be a Pirate, Here's How. We bet their wives are so proud of them - in the off chance they have them. Their 'movement' has received a big boost from humorist Dave Barry.

Visit their site at www.talklikeapirate.com. Among other things, you'll find a helpful 'English to Pirate' translator.

Speaking of Pirates, Black Pearl Is Getting a Workout

September 19 - Southampton, UK

Black Pearl being the Disney-supported entry in the upcoming Volvo Around the World Race that is to be skippered by Marin's Paul Cayard, who won the world's most balls-out monohull race eight years ago.

Black Pearl, going about as slow as she can go.
Photo Paul Todd

Black Pearl got a very late start, so Cayard and crew are working like crazy to get her ready for the start. In just 12 days after the extremely high-tech Volvo 70 was launched, they have done the rollover test and sailed 2,000 miles. "We did 480 miles on the Pearl in the past 24 hours, and believe me, we are trying not to go too fast. She is capable of leaping small buildings if you are not careful, and the landings are a bit brutal.She is not a ballerina, more of a belly flopper. It's not going to be a comfortable ride around the world. The Volvo 60s were less violent than this baby. Awesome machine through. We have had the full fire hose conditions most of today, and inside it feels like you are getting dragged down a cobblestone street in a 55-gallon drum."

The distinctive Cayard profile as he drives at sunset.
Photo Oskar Kihlborg

Ex-Tyco Head, Owner of J Class Endeavour, Sentenced to 25 Years

September 19 - New York, NY

L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former CEO of Tyco International, was sentenced Monday to eight to 25 years in prison Monday for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the company. He was also ordered to pay $134 million in restitution and fined $70 million. Kozlowski, the son of a policeman, was convicted of having taken $600 million from the company, including $2 million for a toga party for his wife in Sardinia, where Jimmy Buffet was the musical headliner.

Kozlowski also owns the J Class yacht Endeavour. We actually crewed for him aboard Endeavour during the Around-the-Island Race in St. Barths about four years ago. We mistook him for the cook. He got a laugh out of it. To date, the court has been approving $100,000 a month to maintain the boat. We're not sure what happens to her now.

Dennis Kozlowski at the helm of Endeavour.
Photo Latitude/Richard

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