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Photos of the Day: Sadie Hawkins Race

February 27 - Alameda

Rascal and Aqua Nut on the last run down the Estuary.

Island Yacht Club's Sadie Hawkins women skippers' race was held Saturday just in the nick of time before the current crop of storms slammed into the Bay Area. "We were certainly lucky to have a sunny day and enough wind to buck that awful ebb!" commented long-time IYC Racing Co-Chair Joanne McFee.

Elaine and Pegasus XIV

Nine boats competed on the Alameda Estuary in this annual event that is almost as old as the 35-year-old yacht club. "No one has challenged our claim that this is the oldest women's race on the Bay," said McFee.

Joanne McFee was grateful to the excellent race committee which allowed her to get out and race the Ranger 26 Kristina.

Top boats in Division A were: 1. Rascal, Wilderness 30, Ruth Summers, AYC; 2. Bewitched, Merit 25, Laraine Salmon, BYC; 3. Aqua Nut, Melges 24, Alicia Bernhard, EYC. Top finisher in the 3-boat Division B was Elaine, Santana 22, Leah Pepe, SYC. Also honored was the top Island YC finisher, Pegasus XIV, custom 37, Linda Newland. Prizes were West Marine bags containing a choice of red or white wine.

Linda Newland at the helm of the ultralight 37-footer Pegasus XIV, which was designed and built (and rebuilt after "hitting something hard" on a delivery north from Ensenada) by husband Dan Newland.
Photo Latitude/Chris

Bewitched, with downtown Oakland in the background
Photos Rich Ahlf except as noted

Not a Record Year for the San Diego to Vallarta Race

February 27 - Punta Mita, Mexico

The 15 boat fleet - 12 racing and three performance cruising - that started San Diego YC's 1,000-mile Vallarta Race on various days last week isn't the biggest in the world, but it's a good one. Alas, the competitors have been bedeviled by light winds from the start. The glamor boats include Doug Baker's Long Beach-based 80-ft turbo sled Magnitude 80, the Williams/Campbell Dencho 70 from St. Francis and Long Beach YCs, Dennis Conner's SC 70 Mongoose from San Diego YC, and Bob Lane's Andrews 61 Medicine Man from Long Beach - all of which are easily capable of 300+ mile days. Alas, they've rarely been able to consistently sail at over 10 knots.

Dennis Conner and Mongoose at the last start on Friday

One great feature of the race is the Flagship Race Tracking, which thanks to transponders on every boat, allows nearly constant tracking of the courses, speed over ground, and heading. It makes the race much more interesting to follow. So check it out by going to http://fistracking.com/pv/index.html. The race site is at http://sdyc.org/vallartarace.

Richmond YC member Jim Gregory's Morpheus started on Wednesday.
Photos Courtesy San Diego YC

As of yesterday, it looked almost certain that one of the boats - either Dennis Pennell's R/P 50 Blue Blazes from San Diego YC, or Marcos Rodriguez's Beneteau 40.7 Iataia - would cross the Punta Mita finish line before nightfall today. Now it's touch and go, and we're a little worried that our photographer, who has been waiting at the bar of the Punta Mita Yacht & Surf Club, might not be able to get any shots in focus. You'll know by the Wednesday 'Lectronic.

Q&A at Philo's About Yacht Club Marina in La Cruz

February 24 - La Cruz, Mexico

Two areas of Mexico are in desperate need of boat slips. One is the the southern tip of Baja, where the demand for slips and the lack of competition have made Marina Cabo San Lucas the most expensive marina - at least to our knowledge
- in the world. The much-traveled crew of the Peterson 75 Zulu confirms that it's even more expensive than Puerto Cervo on Sardinia, and Portofino. If it's true that
consumers always win when businesses compete, there might be some relief later this year when the first 100 of a planned 520 slips become usable at Puerto Los Cabos, which is near San Jose del Cabos.

The other area in dire need of additional slips is Banderas Bay. Construction began late last year on the La Cruz Yacht Club, which developers say will be a 400-slip marina with a two-kilometer long malecon for public strolling, an outdoor amphitheater, restaurants, condos, shops, a fuel dock, a travel lift, and boat repair shop. The additional slips, half of which are to be rented and the other half to be leased on a long-term basis, are seen by the entire marine community - even Harbormaster Dick Markie at competing Paradise Marina - as very desirable. The demand/supply imbalance is that far out of whack.

Shortly after the Yacht Club began construction, a group of Americans who own property next to the marina claimed that the marina was developing property it didn't own, didn't have all the necessary permits, and was generally illegal. Then one of the Vallarta papers published a less-than-objective article blasting the project. More recently, however, another publication came out with a very pro-marina article, saying that all the permits had been in place from the beginning, there were no problems, and it was full steam ahead.

Construction continues at the new La Cruz Yacht Club marina.
Photo Latitude/Richard

A representative of the Yacht Club marina is going to show up at Philo's in La Cruz on Wednesday night to answer questions from the public on this important project. We'll have a report.

They Would Think We Were All Nuts

February 27 - Southern Ocean

"This morning it was another display of the speed of ABN AMRO One as we left
the ice waypoint on a reach with ABN eight miles astern," reports Paul Cayard, skipper of the Pirates of the Caribbean Volvo Ocean Race entry. "She passed about one half a mile to leeward of us in just three hours, carrying more sail than us. She had up similar foresails to ours but had a full main where we had to have one reef. She just has that much more power from her beam and probably a heavier bulb. For reaching, her beam gives her another advantage which is a wider sheeting angle. Pretty depressing to see our lead, something that took us 48 hours to accumulate, get burned up in three hours by a guy just sailing straight past us going 1.5 knots faster.

"I just came down below from steering the boat for a couple of hours and could not help but think that tonight is one of those nights, that if any normal person were on the boat, they would think we were all nuts. Picture this: on deck, it is a caustic environment; pitch black, drizzling and blowing 25 knots. The spray is pelting you in the face and chest as you stand exposed at the wheel. You are wheeling this 70-ft boat around, heeling over at up to 28 degrees as you go
catapulting down the waves that you can't see. You are clipped on because the amount of heel is so steep that if you lose your balance, you will fall 15 feet to the rushing water below on the leeward side of the boat.

"We are traveling along at 20 knots average with the apparent wind angle (the wind you feel on your face) coming from 50 degrees off centerline which pitches the spray and wind in your face at about 35 knots. The helm has a very light feel on the wheel as the front half of the boat is out of the water most of the time. Then you think about where you are, surfing across the bottom of the planet, thousands of miles from anywhere, and even you begin to think that this is crazy."

ABN AMRO Two reported hitting 40 knots in a burst. See www.volvooceanrace.org for more.

Stugeron is a 'Sloppy' Drug

February 27 - Santiago Bay, Mexico

In the February issue, we ran a letter suggesting high doses of Vitamin C were just as effective in combating mal de mer as Stugeron, a motion sickness drug available just about everywhere but the U.S. We wondered why the FDA has a different attitude toward Stugeron than other countries, considering its apparent lack of side effects. Roy Verdery, a cruiser and M.D. currently in Santiago Bay, Mexico, explains:

"I am writing in response to your comment about Stugeron for seasickness and your annoyance that the FDA doesn't approve it for sale in the U.S.

"I talked about medical preparations for cruising at the 2006 Zihuatanejo SailFest and used that opportunity to review medications for seasickness, including Stugeron, which is a brand name for cinnarizine. Even though many people have found that cinnarizine is effective in preventing seasickness without noticeable side effects, it's not a good drug. Cinnarizine is a 'sloppy' drug which interacts with at least three different receptors in the brain and the rest of the body, histamine and acetylcholine receptors like most drugs for seasickness, along with dopamine receptors. In addition it is a calcium channel blocker. Incidentally, almost all adverse effects of cinnarizine are found by looking for information under the generic name. There is very little literature criticizing the brand name drug.

"Low dose cinnarizine - 25 mg - is sold in many countries as Stugeron (among more than 40 brands) for vertigo and motion sickness. Cinnarizine in low doses is banned for use in treating motion sickness in airline pilots in the U.S. because it impairs judgment. Higher dose cinnarizine - 75 mg - is sold as Stugeron Forte in countries where it is available, to relax arteries due to its calcium channel blocking effects. High doses have also been reported to unmask Parkinson's disease or make Parkinson's worse due to blocking dopamine receptors. Drugs which have such different uses with such small differences in dose are just not good drugs, even if they are effective in some instances.

"In these many regards, cinnarizine is similar to other medications taken for nausea and seasickness, including Phenergan and Compazine which are available in the U.S. and have similar physical and psychological side effects. In fact, all seasickness drugs, including Dramamine, Bonine, and Transderm-scop, have many significant side effects and need to be used with caution, especially if you are operating complex and expensive equipment in situations where judgment and clear thinking are critical.

"Cinnarizine is commonly sold in other countries as 25 mg tablets, but it's usually effective at lower doses. Cinnarizine is not safe for pregnant women or children younger than five. People who have taken cinnarizine, and who have found it to work without side effects, should take the lowest effective dose. They should still consult their physician, especially if they have Parkinson's disease, take medications for depression, or have heart disease. Higher dose 75 mg tablets of cinnarizine, such as Stugeron Forte, are aimed at a different problem than seasickness.

"Don't hold your breath waiting for the FDA to approve it for sale in the U.S."


February 27 - San Francisco Bay

Cam Lewis wrote in to point out an error in a recent 'Lectronic, as well he should have considering the last sentence of his email.

"Not a complaint but a correction. The photo in the February 20 'Lectronic Latitude, showing two Antrim 27s going upwind during the Jack Frost Series is actually one Antrim 27 and my Melges 24, Tinseltown Rebellion. I probably wouldn't even point it out except my all-women crew was proud of how hard they were hiking."

T-Reb (left) on the heels of the A-27 Max
Photo Latitude/JR

Advertising Sales / Latitude 38 Sailing Magazine

February 27 - Mill Valley

Latitude 38, the country's largest and we like to think the best sailing magazine, has an established Northern California territory available for a person with initiative, excellent sales skills, a knowledge of print media, and at least a basic familiarity with sailing. Our publication has a near cult-like following, which has given our account representatives an unusual environment in which to thrive - perhaps explaining why the typical tenure has been about 15 years.

Our benefits include health insurance, 401k, and car - to say nothing of a great team atmosphere. Did we mention that this position requires a minimal amount of time on Bay Area freeways, almost no overnight travel, and you don't need to own a tie? Sorry, we don't have a corporate campus, just a great old house in Mill Valley. If you enjoy working hard on a great product in a family rather than corporate environment, email your resume and a brief introduction to Joy. Whatever you do, don't call.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced sales professional well-versed in relationship selling with an interest in sailing. Duties include actively selling and servicing current advertisers as well as prospecting new clients for our monthly and specialty publications. 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 is essential. Graphic/print/publishing experience is preferred, and computer knowledge is required. We run programs such as MS Office, Filemaker Pro, InDesign, Quark, and Photoshop on Macs.

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