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Enjoying LIfe at Bahia del Sol, El Salvador

May 19 - North Atlantic Ocean

Sunset at Bahia del Sol

Today's cruising photos come from Terry Bingham and Tammy Woodmansee of the Eagle Harbor, WA-based Union 36 Secret O' Life.

"Secret O'Life arrived in beautiful Bahia del Sol, El Salvador, a few weeks ago," report the couple. "We're enjoying the friendly people and tropical scenery here in El Salvador, and getting used to squalls and rain! Lots of boats are being left here for the summer, including ours. A few others have decided to spend the rainy season here aboard their boats. On May 17, the crews of 14 boats celebrated the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Adrian's near-miss here with a dinghy raftup. During the raft-up, Colette of Tarazed, and a resident of Bahia del Sol since 2002, told of how they had been fully-prepared that day for a direct hit - which fortunately never came. Anyway, we all had a great time."

Jain and Aly of Loon III with the colorful hats.
Photos Courtesy Secret O' Life

More Drama Caps Off the Volvo Ocean Race

May 22 - North Atlantic Ocean

In a stunning turn of events this weekend, the crew of ABN Amro Two turned into the wind once more, this time to come to the aid of the ailing movistar. Barely 24 hours had passed since they lost 32-year-old crewmember Hans Horrevoets, when movistar skipper Bouwe Bekking called for assistance.

The Spanish entry had been plagued with keel problems throughout the race and, on Sunday, they got worse. The boat was leaking badly and, considering the worsening forecast, Skipper Bekking made the tough call to abandon ship. The transfer of the 10 crewmembers was done while the boats were in the eye of a weather system and went off without a hitch.

This morning, the crew of movistar was transferred ashore while the body of Horrevoets is now aboard a Royal Netherlands Navy Frigate bound for his homeland of Holland. Seb Josse, skipper of ABN Amro Two, has chosen to finish the race in Horrevoets' honor.

The movistar crew are transferred to a RIB to go to Falmouth, England
Photo Oskar Kihlborg/Volvo Ocean Race

"I have so much respect for Seb Josse and his crew for the mature and professional way they have handled all the events that have arisen on this dramatic leg," said Jan Berent Heukensfeldt Jansen, CEO of Team ABN Amro. "The seamanship displayed to recover Hans and then go to the rescue of fellow competitors is astounding. They are now continuing on to Portsmouth in the spirit of the race, as Hans would have wished."

The tragic events of last week have cast an understandable pall on the seventh leg of the race. As expected, ABN Amro One sailed across the line far ahead of the rest of the fleet, securing the overall win with two legs still to go. But what normally would be a huge celebration, filled with cheers and spraying champagne, was a more subdued event as crewmembers' thoughts dwelled on their lost teammate.

The projected overall standings of the 2005-6 Volvo Ocean Race are as follows:
1) ABN Amro One - 81 points (out of 87.5 possible points to date)
2) Pirates of the Caribbean - 55 points
3) movistar - 48 points
4) Brasil 1 - 48 points
5) ABN Amro Two - 45 points
6) Ericsson Racing Team - 43.5 points
7) Brunel - 7 points

To read more about the dramatic seventh leg, go to www.volvooceanrace.org.

Pirates crossed the line in second place in Portsmouth, UK, at the end of Leg 7.
Photo Oskar Kihlborg/Volvo Ocean Race

The Year of Establishing and Smashing Multihull Records

May 22 - New York, NY

There is so much going on in the world of multihulls breaking ocean racing records that it's hard to keep track. Unfortunately, it's not as fulfilling as one might wish.

To be honest, we can't remember who got it started. Perhaps it was Ellen MacArthur, who apparently in recognition of the financial emergence of China, went over to the Far East and either broke or established records for a bunch of runs in Asia with her 75-ft trimaran B&Q. But as with thinly traded stock, it's hard to determine the real value of such records.

Then there was Olivier de Kersauson and his 125-ft tri Geronimo, who laid down a couple of records on obscure courses in Australia and to Tahiti before, to his credit, setting a new Los Angeles to Honolulu standard. L.A. to Honolulu is a 100-year-old course with countless record attempts. He went on, of course, to set a San Francisco to Yokohama record. That run has also been thinly traded to date, but apparently is going to become an international standard.

The many-fendered Geronimo a few days prior to the start of her San Francisco to Yokohama record run.

Over in the Atlantic, the great Yves Parlier sort of set a solo 24-hour record of 587 miles with his 60-ft hydro-foiler cat Médiatis Région Aquitaine, but it gets an asterisk because several of the Open 60 trimarans claimed to have 620-mile runs during a transatlantic race a few years ago.

All this leaves us with round-the-world record holder Bruno Peyron and his 120-ft maxi cat Orange leaving New York for Newport for the start of an assault on the transatlantic record. This one will be a real challenge, for Steve Fossett and crew did it with the maxi cat PlayStation in 2001 in an astonishing time of 4 days and 17 hours - an astonishing average of 25.78 knots. As tremendous a record as that is, if Orange gets the right weather, she'll almost certainly break it, as she's the only boat to have done over 700 miles in 24 hours.

Dan Nerney

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