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The Other Southern Ocean Challenge

January 11 - South Atlantic

While countless cyber-spectators around the world keep tabs on the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, another around-the-world campaign is heading toward the Southern Ocean, albeit at a much slower pace and with much less fanfare.

Virgin Islands-based singlehander Donna Lange is currently 5,000 miles into a solo circumnavigation, heading down the South Atlantic - now roughly 1,000 miles south of the equator - en route to New Zealand, which is her only planned stop.

Donna Lange marks her route on a globe.

Sailing aboard her Southern Cross 28 Inspired Insanity, she left Portsmouth, RI, November 11. Since then, this mother of four, who earns her living as a musician and charter skipper, has already had plenty of challenges such as dodging Hurricane Epsilon and having to climb the mast to retrieve a halyard.

Inspired Insanity leaves the harbor.
Photos Courtesy Donna Lange

Look for a detailed report on Donna's ambitious voyage in February's Latitude 38. In the meantime, you can follow her progress and learn about her inspirations at

Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman Announced

January 11 - Portsmouth, RI

Nick Scandone (Fountain Valley, CA) and Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI) today were named US SAILING's 2005 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year.

Sally Barkow

Nick Scandone

Photos Courtesy US Sailing

Nominated for the first time, Nick Scandone was recognized for his win of the 2.4 Metre World Championship in Italy. His remarkable performance in the 88-boat fleet included besting seven world champions as well as three Paralympic medalists who were among the 34 disabled competitors going head-to-head with the class's best able-bodied sailors from around the world. Scandone chalked up two first-place finishes in the eight-race series to edge out his closest competitor - an able-bodied sailor and three-time world champion - by 10 points for the championship crown. Only two other disabled sailors finished in the top 10 at the event. Additionally, Scandone successfully defended his U.S. Independence Cup/North American Challenge Cup title and won the America's Disabled/Open Regatta. At the 33-boat IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship in Denmark, Scandone won the final two races of the nine-race series to finish sixth overall in the 2.4 Metre fleet.

A California native, the 39-year-old Scandone grew up in Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley. He learned to sail through the junior program at Balboa Yacht Club (Corona del Mar) in the Naples Sabot. At UC Irvine Scandone helped win ICSA's (Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association) 1988 North American Dinghy and Team Racing Championships, earning him ICSA All-American honors. He won the 1991 470 North American Championships while training for the 1992 Olympic Trials. After finishing out of the money at the Trials, Scandone became a weekend warrior in a variety of classes - Schock 35, Snipe, Melges and the Lido 14 in which he is a two-time national champion.

Three and a half years ago Scandone was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Now 40 lbs. lighter, using a cane and with braces on both legs, Scandone has battled this progressive neuromuscular disease, for which there is no approved medication or cure, with a positive attitude. "Sailing has allowed me to have something to look forward to," he said. As often as is possible, he swims and gets out sailing in his 2.4 Metre while continuing to compete against able-bodied sailors. While he has become physically weaker over the course of the illness, Scandone's tenacious determination and competitive drive have not diminished one bit.

Sally Barkow, the selection panel's unanimous choice as US SAILING's 2005 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, was recognized for her "versatility and consistency, both abroad and at home" after winning a string of noteworthy international events - including two world championships - in four different keelboat classes.

"This is something I've been trying to achieve for three to four years," said Barkow. "It's been a fantastic year for our team."

At the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, held in Bermuda and sailed in J/24s, Barkow recovered from two penalties - and the mid-race loss overboard of one of her crew whom she quickly pulled back onboard - to come from behind twice in three matches to post a 3-0 sweep of the final round.

In France, Barkow won the ISAF St. Quay Match Race sailed in Beneteau First Class 8 before heading to Annapolis for US SAILING's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship where she successfully defended the title she first won in 2003. This time it was with one race to spare after a consistent performance in the 42-boat J/22 fleet that featured several Olympians, world champions and three previous winners of the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year title. "There was Sally, and then there was the rest of us," said two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Jody Swanson about Barkow's impressive victory.

In the Olympic Yngling class, Barkow and teammates Debbie Capozzi and Carrie Howe took the top prize at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR; the Expert Olympic Garda/Eurolymp Regatta in Italy; and Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères, France. They cemented their top position in the Yngling class with the world title they claimed at the Yngling Women's World Championship in Austria.

For additional information on the awards, visit www.ussailing.org/awards/rolex.

Looking Forward to Latitude 38 Crew List Party on April 5

January 11 - San Francisco

The much-anticipated Spring Crew List Party will return again this year to the Golden Gate Yacht Club on the San Francisco Marina. GGYC is just down the spit from St. Francis YC and features an incredible panoramic view of the Bay.

The date is firmed up for Wednesday, April 5, 6-9 pm. If you get on the March and/or April 2006 Crew Lists, you get in free. Otherwise it's just $7 at the door. To find out how to get on the Crew List, read the January issue of Latitude 38, or see our Crew List Web pages.

When you arrive, you'll select a color-coded name tag to fill out with your name and what you are seeking, be it a crew position on a race boat, a couple of people to help you take your boat to Hawaii, or just someone to sail with on the Bay. The versatile Latitude 38 Graphic Arts Department will whip up the usual munchies, then conduct a door prize raffle for T-shirts while they last. The club will be selling drinks at the bar. Hope to see you there!

When Footballs and Yachts Collide

January 9 - Seattle

The boat show organizers up in Seattle, whom we don't envy, are grateful for everyone's patience in the boat show date scheduling challenge. "It's been confusing to some and a hardship to many," says Boat Show Director Tracy Mills, "but I think it's going to culminate in a great second weekend."

The closing date has been changed for the Seattle Boat Show (the indoor show at Qwest Field Event Center). Due to the Seahawks playoff schedule, the Seattle Boat Show will close this Friday, the 13th. However, the Lake Union Boats Afloat Show, held on Lake Union at Chandler's Cove, will remain open through Sunday, the 15th. Both shows opened on the 6th, having been moved up from the original January 13-22 schedule. For more info, see www.seattleboatshow.com and www.boatsafloatshow.com.

The Latitude 38 Performance Trophy

January 11 - San Francisco

The new Latitude 38 Performance Trophy will be awarded to the yacht with the most convincing win relative to its own division in the Pacific Cup. The intent of this is to allow boats of widely varying types and sizes, starting on different days and encountering different weather, to compare their racing success against the entire Pacific Cup fleet. It does this by evaluating the winner of each division relative to the finish times of other boats in their own division.

The Latitude 38 Performance Trophy does not replace the Pacific Cup for best overall corrected time. It is an alternate method of computing race performance, and has a significantly different meaning than the Pacific Cup.

The method of calculation compares the winning margins in each division over the division averages, but also attempts to evaluate the level of competition in the various divisions. Tightly clustered finish times are presumed to represent a higher level of competition, while widely scattered finish times indicate a greater degree of randomness or rating inaccuracy, or a more inconsistent set of competitors.

The Latitude 38 Performance Trophy rewards a stand-out finish in a competitive division according to the following procedures:

Only the winners of divisions with four or more finishers are eligible.

For example, in a division with four finishers [Max Ebb fans read on!]:

Fourth place is disregarded, leaving three corrected finish times for all subsequent calculations. These are abbreviated as T1, T2 and T3.

The average of these three times, Ta, is computed.
Ta = (T1+T2+T3)/3

The square of the difference between each corrected time and the average corrected time, V, is determined:

V1 = (Ta-T1)^2
V2 = (Ta-T2)^2
V3 = (Ta-T3)^2

The "Scatter Factor," SF, is calculated as follows:

SF = (V1+V2+V3)/2
(the SF may be recognizable as the "standard deviation."

The division performance factor, DPF, is determined by comparing the division winner's winning margin with the scatter factor, as follows:

DPF = (Ta-T1)/SF

The DPF is computed for each division winner, and the boat with the highest DPF is awarded the Performance Trophy.

Similar formulas are used for divisions of five, six and seven or more competitors.

To summarize the method in mathematical terms: The Performance Trophy is awarded to the boat that wins its division, after dropping the bottom 20% of finishers, by the greatest number of standard deviations.

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