Photos of the Day: Berkeley Midwinters
February 13 - Berkeley Circle
Saturday and Sunday marked the last of four races in each of the two Berkeley Midwinters series. Top finishers of both series meet again on Sunday, February 26. Race organizer Bobbi Tosse explains: "We call this a 'trophy winners race': everyone who gets a trophy, gets a free race on the Bay. All the first place winners start together and vie for the 'Champion of Champions' perpetual trophy. After a 10 minute break, we'll start all the secnd place winners. Then, after another 10 minutes, we'll start all the third, fourth, etc. boats. Essentially, it's a test of the PHRF system."
During Saturday's 45-minute postponement, folks aboard the J/24s Nice Shot and Casual Contact tossed a frisbee back and forth, while the swimmer between them fetched any missed throws.
The bowman on the Merit 25 Loose Lips worked his Vitamin D requirements while hooking up the jib.
The crews on the Moore 24 Sanity Retention (above) and the Melges 32 Merlin (below) relaxed while the fleets waited around for the breeze to fill in.
Pre-start Photos Latitude/Chris
The predicted 10-20 knot westerly filled in and racing got underway.
Hiking out on the J/24 Breakthrough
A Bodacious downwind leg
Racing Photos Latitude/JR
Southbounders Gather in Zihua
February 13 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico
A decade ago, just about everyone who sailed to Mexico and planned on an extended cruise headed west to the South Pacific. Central America was all but off limits because of civil wars, a lack of facilities, and governments' indifference to nautical tourism. But that's all changed, as for a number of years now cruisers have been welcomed to places like Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. That - combined with the fact that Central America is much less expensive than the South Pacific - has meant that these days as many, if not more, cruisers continue south as opposed to west. At least in the beginning. Instead of going directly from Mexico to French Polynesia, many now go by way of Central America, Ecuador, and the Galapagos.
The folks aboard the Union 36 Secret O' Life report that last Friday the crews from 17 southbound boats got together in Zihuatanejo to meet one another, trade info and strategies - and enjoy a great afternoon at Owen Lee's Las Gatas Beach Club. The event, hosted by The Bungalow Company - a Bend, Oregon, design firm with a special interest in seeing cruisers have a good time - brought together skippers and crew of all the committed southbound boats in the area for several hours of cold cervezas, great food, lots of discussion - and, of course, a spirited round of bocce ball. The accompanying photo shows the crews of Barefoot, Barraveigh, Creola, Hurrah, Kingsway, Last Resort, Loon III, Mustang Sally, Sarabi, Secret O' Life, Slipaway, Sol Surfin, Sumatra, Terra Firm, Tide 'n Knots, Two Can Play, and Victoria.
Photo Courtesy Tide In Knots
15 Entries in Solo TransPac
February 13 - San Francisco
Fifteen skippers have so far signed up for the 15th bienniel Singlehanded TransPac Race, which starts June 24 off the Corinthian YC. Included in the fleet are many veterans, including:
* Ken "The General" Roper, who is competing in his "ninth or tenth" one aboard his veteran Finn Flyer 31 Harrier.
* Skip Allan, who completed the very first SHTP in 1978 and is back with the same boat, the custom Wylie 27 Wildflower.
* Defending champion Phil MacFarlane, who won the 2004 race on the oldest boat, his 1971 Ericson 35 Sail A Vie.
The race itself is one of the 'undiscovered' jewels of shorthanded racing in the nation if not the world. With none of the glitz or numbers of most shorthanded transatlantic races, the solo TransPac typically also has little of the terror or horrendous conditions of some of those events. Although it can be hairy for the first few days, most of the last week to 10 days of the Solo TransPac is downwind sailing in warm, lovely tradewinds. The race ends at spectacular Hanalei Bay, Kauai (the setting for the movie South Pacific). After the race, the skippers and their families enjoy the aloha spirit of the islands and typically help greet later finishers. The shared accomplishment of crossing an ocean by oneself has forged many longtime friendships which last well beyond the beach at Hanalei - and is a main reason many veterans keep returning year after year.
Entries close on April 15. For more on entering or other aspects of the race, log onto the sponsoring Singlehanded Sailing Society Web page at www.sfbaysss.org. While you're on the Web site, check out SSS's excellent ongoing seminar series, which can benefit anyone sailing to Hawaii, either on this race or the concurrent West Marine Pacific Cup.
Flash Second to None
February 13 - San Francisco Bay
"I noticed a caption in one of last month's 'Lectronic Latitudes that claimed that the SC 50 Emily Carr was the first boat around Southampton in Corinthian YC's Sunday midwinter race," writes Will Paxton. "You must have blinked and missed us on the Transpac 52 Flash. We rounded probably 45 minutes before and couldn't even see them as we started the second lap on the other side of Raccoon Straits."
Sorry about the mistake, Will. Perhaps a photo of Flash at last year's Big Boat Series will help ease the pain and suffering. - Ed.
The Volvo Fleet - Minus One - Heads to Wellington, New Zealand
February 13 - Melbourne, Australia
Six of the seven Volvo 70s are off on the third leg - Melbourne, Australia, to Wellington, New Zealand - of the Volvo Around the World race. As always, the Dutch boat ABN Amro One, with Stan Honey of the Peninsula navigating, is in the lead. Movistar, the Spanish boat that had been such a favorite before the start of the race, is close behind in second, with Marin's Paul Cayard and Pirates of the Caribbean in third. Brunel did not start.
Photo Oskar Kihlborg/www.volvooceanrace.org
Panama Still Aground at Ensenada
February 13 - Ensenada, Mexico
Photo Lonnie Ryan
Yes, the 850-ft APL container ship Panama is still aground near Ensenada Harbor, and things aren't looking good. Lonnie Ryan reports that his sources tell him there is a crack in the ship's hull, and that the only thing preventing a big oil spill is sand impacted in the crack. If the ship is pulled off at high tide, presumably the sand will fall out of the crack and oil will pour out of the hull. Mind you, this isn't coming from official sources, but oil spill containment equipment is on hand. However, it's not at all clear that the ship can be pulled free. Her bow is now at about a 75-degree angle to the beach and floating, but the stern - and rudder and prop - are said to be firmly in the sand. Ryan reports that while containers are being offloaded as quickly as possible, there are still about 700 on the ship.
Peter Benchley, Author of Jaws, Passed Away this Weekend
February 13 - Australia
We don't know if there was any connection, but several tourist beaches along Australia's Gold Coast were closed because of a massive feeding frenzy close to shore involving more than 100 hammerhead, gray, nurse, and whaler sharks. "When they (sharks) feed on the bait fish they do close their eyes and there is a danger of collision," a life guard said. "If they are chomping, they could very easily chomp on humans." A number of surfers ignored the warnings and caught waves within yards of the feeding frenzy.
Great Job Opportunity of the Day at Latitude 38
February 13 - Mill Valley
In the 29-year history of Latitude 38, we've had a total of only five account representatives. With Mitch Perkins - one of our current two representatives - moving on to pursue other interests after 18 years of terrific work for Latitude, there is now an opening for the first time since the mid-'80s. If you're at all interested about the opportunity, read the following job description carefully - but whatever you do, DON'T CALL!
The account representative is a key position at Latitude, tailor-made for a sailing enthusiast and sales professional who is well versed in relationship selling. Duties include actively selling and servicing current advertisers, as well as prospecting and acquiring new advertisers for our monthly and specialty publications. The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic self-starter who has a proven track record in sales. Creativity and knowledge of advertising principles are necessities. The candidate must be detail and team-oriented, and possess excellent time-management skills. The ability to work within deadlines and under pressure is essential. Graphic/print/publishing experience is preferred, and computer knowledge is required.
Skills and Experience:
A passion for sailing a must, and marine industry experience a plus. Latitude 38 is beginning its 30th year of offering entertaining and informative reading to West Coast sailors, as well as offering a terrific value to a fantastic group of marine businesses. We want someone who can contribute to this tradition.
We offer a competitive pay structure - why else would our reps stay around for 18 years? - and benefits package includes medical, 401(k), and a friendly, flexible work environment.
Please send a resume of your professional selling experience along with a cover letter of your sailing background and interests to Joy. And whatever you do, don't call!