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Photos of the Day

May 5 - Antigua

Photo Neil Forrester

As you can see from today's Photo of the Day by Neil Forrester, both English and Falmouth Harbors at Antigua in the West Indies are packed with sailboats. And why not? This week is the 39th running of Antigua Sailing Week, the granddaddy of all wild 'n' crazy regattas in the tropics, with well over 200 entries from all over the world. Some are even from San Francisco, as evidenced by this excerpt from Daily Sail's coverage of the regatta:

"Typical of the enthusiastic competitors found at this year's regatta, Abid Hussain from San Francisco couldn't keep the huge smile off of his face moments after returning to the dock from racing in Bareboat IV class. 'This regatta is fun because you have all of these different classes and different levels of ability on every boat,' said the young sailor, who chartered the boat along with friends from the Bay Area and Greece. 'We are in the middle of our class. There are the top boats and the bottom boats and we are one of five in the middle. We are all within a couple of minutes of each other and we're always near each other in the standings. It is great sailing!'"

Tom Hill's Puerto Rico-based R/P 75 Titan (pronounced 'Tea-tan') is leading the series overall, with Roger Sturgeon's Santa Cruz-based TransPac 52 Rosebud close behind.

Chippewa, partially obscured by spray. The dark-hulled Swan 68 is a frequent competitor at Antigua and other Caribbean events.
Photo Daniel Forster - not to be confused with Neil Forrester

The Open 60 Pindar, with a great paint job, beating up the south coast of Antigua, with the distinctive rocky shore in the background.
Photo Daniel Forster

2nd Annual Marina Mazatlan Regatta

May 5 - Mazatlan

The weather for the second annual Marina Mazatlan Regatta, held April 18-23, was - surprise, surprise - perfect. Blue skies and fine winds were the perfect complement to a weekend filled with food, races, and celebrations galore. "No one sank, drowned, or protested. No one even threw anything at anyone else," reported Mike Latta aboard the Falmouth Cutter Narwhal.

Three racers battle it out in perfect conditions.

This relatively young event was organized by Marina Mazatlan's Harbormaster, Antonio Cevallos, and a crew of volunteer cruisers. It may be young but it's already an impressive affair, featuring a parade, racing, and an awards banquet complete with dancing girls and great prizes. In addition to all that fun, the marina hosted gatherings all weekend at their new Cruiser Lounge, feeding the ravenous hoards such succulent fare as tacos and bacon-wrapped hot dogs. If you missed the festivities this year, mark your calendar for next April and join in the fun!

The lovely Mazatlan Carnival Dancers entertained the crowd with their wild stage show.
Photos Courtesy Marina Mazatlan

Willows Woman Dies from Injuries Suffered in a Boating Accident on Clear Lake

May 5 - Clear Lake

Lynn Thornton has succumbed to injuries suffered during a tragic boating accident on Clear Lake last Saturday evening. The woman was one of three crew aboard Mark Webber's O'Day 27 Beats Workin II when it was hit head-on by a 24-ft Baha powerboat that was reportedly traveling at high speed. All five on the sailboat were injured, but none as seriously as Thornton.

The powerboat was being operated by Lake County Chief Deputy Sheriff Russell Perdock, who was not injured. Tests showed he had no alcohol in his system.
Webber, who was operating the sailboat, had a blood alcohol level of .18, more than twice the legal limit. There were also reports that the sailboat didn't have running lights on at the time of the accident.

But according to a reader from Clear Lake who requested anonymity, there's more to the story: "The O'Day 27 Beats Workin II came in second in the Konocti Half Cup, and was slowly drifting across the lake around 9:15 p.m. According to witnesses on shore, the off-duty deputy ran into them at a speed of about 40 mph. Lynn Thornton, Mark Webber's fiancée, was so badly injured that she wasn't breathing when she was air-lifted to the hospital. What hasn't been mentioned in the news reports is that the speed limit on Clear Lake is reduced to 5 mph after official sunset, which was at 8:15 p.m. that night. Obviously the sailboat should have had its running lights on, but if the deputy had been going the speed limit, the collision probably wouldn't have resulted in such terrible injuries."

With the summer and Delta boating season about to begin, Thornton's tragic death is a reminder to everyone of how careful they have to be on the water. And that above all, speed kills.

Going to Mexico? You'll Need a Passport Starting Next Year

May 5 - Washington, DC

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires that by December 31, 2006, all air and sea travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico, and Canada have a passport. This is a big change, as it used to be that birth certificates and/or driver's licenses were enough.
Anticipate that it will take up to a month to get a passport - unless you're willing to fork over a large fee. So get those passports now.

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