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Photos of the Day: Wheeler Regatta

April 3 - Berkeley

The Hunter 31 Sunset Woman
Photo Erik Simonson

In case you're not familiar with it, the Wheeler Regatta is a whole weekend of fun hosted by Berkeley Yacht Club, with two buoy races on two courses Saturday and a pursuit race on Sunday, sprinkled generously with live jazz, nourishment and adult beverages. The bigger boats sail for the Rollo Wheeler Perpetual Trophy, while smaller boats vie for the City of Berkeley Perpetual Trophy.

Shameless, a custom Schumacher 30 sailed in Division A on the Berkeley Circle. The course for bigger boats was out in the Central Bay.
Photo Erik Simonson

More Div. A action: (l-r) the Olson 25 Clean Sweep, Shameless and the J/24 TMC Racing from the Laser 28 Stink Eye.
Photo Latitude/Chris

Saturday's second race was finished off the clubhouse deck at the entrance to Berkeley Marina.
Photo Erik Simonson

The Wylie Wabbits had a one design fleet.
Photo Erik Simonson
If you like Erik's photos, check out his Web site at

Always happy to oblige our readers with some T&A. The 'T' above is courtesy of the Cal 20 Cheeky Monkey. Even cheekier was the crew aboard Wylie Wabbit #24K (below).

Photos Latitude/Chris

Golden Moon,
Kame and Sally Richards' Express 37, drifts along nicely in the light air and sprinkles during Sunday's pursuit race.
Photo Alan Smithee

For results and more, see the May issue of Latitude 38.


RC Chooses the Farallones Course for Most Divisions

April 3 - San Francisco

Sapphire is shining. The Synergy 1000 was the first monohull to finish.

The 2006 Doublehanded Aleutians Race was held on April 1 - a surprisingly pleasant day - with unusual course options. Course A was 2,800 miles to Attu Island in the Aleutian chain, and return to San Francisco, while Course F was to and around the Southeast Farallon Island, about 58 miles round trip. Nervous skippers waited anxiously for the course flag to be hoisted, and a collective sigh of relief was heard when 'F' fluttered into sight.

The crew of Erin doesn't look happy.

Lil Bear tearing it up.
Photos Latitude/LaDonna

Desperado, an Express 27, took first on corrected time, with the Mancebo 31 Bloom County and the Express 27 Ergo taking second and third respectively. For full results, see event organizer Bay Area Multihull Association's Web site at www.sfbama.org. Also see our racing coverage in the May issue of Latitude 38.

Volvo Boats Depart Rio

April 3 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race started yesterday from Rio de Janeiro. The boats are trading positions quickly with the latest report showing that ABN AMRO ONE and Pirates are tied. ABN AMRO TWO is trailing by just a mile, Ericsson by two, and Brasil 1 by four. This leg could be interesting.

A non-crew cameraman makes a leap for freedom.
Photo Jon Nash/www.volvooceanrace.org

Tracy Edwards Plans to Sue Qatar

April 3 - Qatar

In a stunning ruling, a civil court in Qatar has ruled that British yachtswoman Tracy Edwards is not responsible for massive debts she incurred when Qatar Sports International - an organization set up by the Crown Prince to promote the image of Qatar - reneged on an agreement to sponsor the 2005 Oryx Quest race. It's a remarkable ruling because the civil court judge essentially ruled against his own government, clearing the way for Edwards to file a personal injury suit after having to declare bankruptcy and liquidate her company, Quest International Sports Events Ltd. She plans on filing suit in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Britain's Prince Andrew, Tracy Edwards, and Perry Smith of QSI on a happier day
Photo MORQ

Of the ruling, Edwards said, "It is important to me, and those who have supported me through the past two years, to prove that I did nothing wrong and to set the record well and truly straight. This is the first step in our legal action to justly compensate the Quest creditors, my team and me, for the debt that is owed."

Puddle Jumpers Are Leaving Mexico

April 3 - Pacific Ocean

While at least one Pacific Puddle Jumper has already arrived in the Marquesas (see Friday's 'Lectronic), the bulk of the fleet is just now leaving the Mexican mainland for the South Pacific. Here is a report from the crew of Ohana Kia on their second day out:

"The major job these first two days is simply adjusting, which I have to say this crew is doing very well. Since we are only heading in one general direction, the boat is eternally heeled over to the port side. Learning to function that way is a chore which I liken it to holding a Pilates position forever. It can be fun if you just roll with it.

"Next one must adjust to all the new smells, sights and sounds of being aboard and underway for so long. The warm fresh air is so nice but even that is barely enough to cover the smells of produce that goes bad faster than you can eat it. The water out here is the deepest, most beautiful royal blue. It makes even the most ominous swells look not so bad.

Lisa, Bruce, Matthew and Tristan Martin are adjusting well to their ocean passage Photo Latitude/Andy

"A lot of people had asked us what would it be like to not be able to see land, and personally I love it. It's an amazingly peaceful feeling, not fearful at all. We have a brown boobie bird constantly flying around with us though no hitchhikers yet. And this morning I saw a turtle go floating by. Listening to the water run by can be very soothing. Hearing the boat slap down hard past the steep side of a swell will startle me out of the deepest sleep.

"What still is the most amazing to me is the sheer power of the wind. By no choice of its own it's being harnessed to propel all 15 tons of us through the water and in a specific direction nonetheless. It's awesome to feel the force that wants to turn the boat up into the wind and the keel and rudder fighting back to maintain a course. Impressive."

Check out the April issue of Latitude 38 to read about the Martin family and several more of this year's Puddle Jumpers.

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