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Photos of the Day: Mayor's Cup

July 14 - Long Beach

Last year's champion Liz Hjorth rounds the windward mark just ahead of Sandy Hayes in Flight Three.

When the second annual women's match racing Mayor's Cup got underway in Long Beach on Wednesday, a Bay Area sailor started first off the line and kept her position to win the first race. Charlie Arms is the Director of Sailing for the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, and a member of Vallejo and Southwestern Yacht Clubs. She is currently 46th in the ISAF World Women's Match Racing Rankings and 8th in the United States rankings.

Charlie Arms (front and center) and crew

Eight teams from four countries are competing this year, and racing continues through Saturday. To follow all the action, see http://mayorscup.insideyachting.com.

Caroline Bejar and crew of Brazil hoist the kite.
Photo Sean Downey/Mayor's Cup

Collision Course

July 14 - San Francisco

Last Saturday afternoon, the 30-ft Sea Scout whaleboat Viking was on its way back to its Aquatic Park base from Angel Island when it was involved in a T-bone collision with a Catalina 36. Fortunately, none of the 12 people aboard Viking - nine teenage Scouts and three adults - nor the four aboard the Catalina, were injured. But the open whaleboat suffered several broken planks and immediately swamped. After the hit, the Catalina crew dropped their sails, started their engine and rendered assistance. They eventually got all nine teenagers aboard, either by taking them directly off Viking, or pulling them out of the water (everyone was wearing lifejackets). At one point during these maneuvers, the whaleboat capsized and the three adults still aboard climbed onto the upturned bottom. They were taken off by a St. Francis YC race committee boat, which had been stationed nearby for the San Francisco Longboard Classic and had heard a 'pan, pan' call for help on the radio. A number of boardsailors in the event also stopped racing and came over to stand by or render aid, some pulling floating Scouts onto their boards until a boat could pick them up. Just about the time everybody was finally out of the water, two Coast Guard boats arrived. Eight of the Scouts were transferred to the 47-footer. One, suffering from mild hypothermia, was transferred to a smaller boat and later taken to a hospital where he was checked and released.

Viking, an open keelboat built in Puget Sound in the '30s, was eventually righted and towed back to Aquatic Park by a commercial salvor. Despite being dismasted and sustaining lots of damage, Sea Scout director Nick Tarlson hopes she will sail again. "At one time, almost every high school in the Bay Area had a Sea Scout team and one of these boats," he notes. "Now there are only two left, Viking and Corsair. Yes, we'd like to keep them alive and sailing."

The 75-year-old Viking was heavily damaged in a collision last weekend. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries.
Photo Courtesy Nick Tarlson

We're going to withhold further details of this incident until we've heard from all parties involved - or at least allowed them ample time to call back. Hopefully, that will be by the deadline for our August print issue.

Tahiti Tourisme Cup Welcomes Puddle Jumpers to Polynesia

July 14 - Raiatea, French Polynesia

Although arriving in the Tahitian islands by sailboat is its own reward, this year's fleet of Pacific Puddle Jumpers received a particularly warm welcome. In honor of their arrival in the islands the government tourism organization inaugurated the first-ever Tahiti Tourisme Cup late last month, which will become an annual event. As cruisers worked their way west through the Marquesas and Tuamotus, the announcement of the event quickly spread, and roughly 20 boats showed up to enjoy the fun. Among them were French ex-pats in residence, North American and European cruisers and vacationing bareboaters.

Racers enjoy a show of traditional Polynesian music and dance.

Following a welcome reception and cocktail party, June 30, at Raiatea's Hawaiki Nui Hotel, the Raiatea to Tahaa race was scheduled to get underway the next morning at 9 a.m. Understandably, however, the start was delayed for two hours due to France-Brazil World Cup quarterfinals - where France eliminated Brazil 1-0. The French yacht Sternell took line honors, followed by American yachts Carpe Diem and Fenella.

Although the fleet included a wide variety of boat types, the racing was fast and fun.

The post-race Tahitia festival at the Taravana Yacht Club featured outrigger canoe races, Hobie Cat races, a pétanque (lawn bowling) competition, and exhibitions by local artisans. This new event, in combination with the Tahiti Pearl Regatta (see our report in the May '06 issue of Latitude 38), are meant to showcase the islands' traditional Polynesian culture, as well as their alluring attractions as a top-notch sailing venue.

Cruiser Bob Bechler of Sisiutl gets some rowing tips before the big canoe race.
Photos TahitiPresse/Tahiti Tourisme

A Million Miles of Racing

July 14 - Pacific Ocean

West Marine Pacific Cup

Halfway celebrations in Hawaii races like the Pacific Cup usually consist of opening gifts of champagne, chocolates, books and other treats from home. One Pacific Cup boat had something extra special to celebrate - Timm and Betty Lessley's Cal 40 California Girl was named winner of the 2006 race's unique Million Mile Trophy. 'Cal Gal earned the honor for having the best performance on the day the millionth mile was sailed, which was yesterday. (When all the miles of all the boats which have sailed all the Pacific Cups since 1980 were totalled up, it was found that the '06 race would see the million-mile mark passed, thus the special award.) The icing on California Girl's cake is that they also still lead Division A. All other boats mentioned in Wednesday's Lectronic Latitude also still lead their fleets - including the SC 52 Lightning, which still leads the fleet overall.

In the Pacific Cup, you don't even have to get to Hawaii to win stuff - California Girl earned the Pacific Cup's Million Mile Trophy yesterday at just past the halfway point.

If the fleet keeps up its present pace, look for the first boats to start rolling in sometime Sunday. For more: www.pacificcup.org.

Singlehanded TransPac

The Singlehanded TransPac is coming down to the wire. By this weekend, the six finishers already anchored in Hanalei Bay, Kauai, should be joined by the remaining seven boats still at sea at this writing. Three skippers due in today, in order, are Synthia Petroka on the Hawkfarm Eyrie, 2004 winner Phil MacFarlane on Sail A Vie, and the grand old man of the Singlehanded TransPac, Ken 'The General' Roper on his Finn Flyer 31 Harrier. This is the ninth Solo TransPac for the 77-year-old Roper.

Synthia Petroka (seen here departing the Bay on June 24) sails Eyrie into Kauai today to complete her first Solo TransPac.
Photo Latitude/Richard

The '06 race has been one of the most agonizingly slow ones in the event's history. After the June 24 start, most of the fleet was becalmed for almost a week when the high evaporated - then reformed right in front of them. Despite the earlier frustrations, spirits are now high as the 15th running of this West Coast classic draws to a close. Check Monday's Lectronic Latitude (or the Web site at www.sfbaysss.org) for results.

Barometers not Allowed on Passenger Flights

July 14 - Chaguaramus, Trinidad

Joseph Altmann of Suzy Q is in a quandary in the Caribbean: "I recently learned that barometers are not allowed as either checked or carry on luggage on passenger flights. I had my barometer repaired and was bringing it back to the boat in the Canary Islands. When I was boarding my flight at the Newark, New Jersey, airport, the barometer was confiscated by the TSA. It took me several weeks and a big hassle to get it back.

"I have since been trying to find a way to return the barometer to my boat and since we are now in the Caribbean, it cannot be shipped by ground transportation. It appears the TSA thinks there is mercury in the barometer (like a thermometer) although this is not true. Does anyone know how I can get my barometer back to the boat? Since various countries in the Caribbean have different customs regulations and due to the delicate nature of the barometer, I would prefer to carry it with me if possible."

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