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PICYA Championships

July 17 - San Francisco Bay

Craig Page's Wuda Shuda returned to the PICYA fray. The little Soverel 25 has won several 'Little Liptons' for San Francisco YC in the past few years.

A smallish fleet of 16 boats from nine different yacht clubs turned out for the annual PICYA Championships over the weekend. The three-race series and its historic trophies - the Lipton Cup, Larry Knight Perpetual, Little Lipton and Admiral's Cup - traditionally pits teams from all area yacht clubs against one another to determine bragging rights for another year.

Hardhat area! - John Clauser and the Bodacious Berkeley bunch try to hold off Ed Durbin's Mistral.

The same basic fleet as last year showed up - even the four division breaks were almost the same - and racing was conducted in much the same breezy conditions. The two races on Saturday were sailed in fog, but Sunday it burned off, except for a picturesque 'tourist fog' clinging to the Golden Gate (over just the roadway, leaving the towers exposed at the top and bottom).

They didn't have an award for 'wettest ride', but if they had, Bill Royall's SFYC-based Rhodes 19 Big Wow would have won it.

Who won? Wish we could tell you. Results had not yet been posted as this edition of 'Lectronic Latitude hit the digital street. Find them later today at www.picya.org.

Kyle Elliott's Fast Friends out of SFYC battles three generations of the Nash family on RYC's El Gavilan.
Photos Latitude/JR

Vintage Fleet Competes at Plastic Classic

July 17 - San Francisco

While many serious Bay Area races are shrinking in size, the Bay View Boat Club's loosely-run Plastic Classic seems to be drawing larger fleets each year.

Perhaps it's because the price of admission is minimal, you don't have to be a yacht club member to compete, and you needn't feel embarrassed if your rust-stained sails have lost their shape. The fun-loving Bay View crowd, in fact, likes to describe their organization as the un-yacht club. What their races may lack in professionalism, they make up for with an open-door attitude and raucous post-race parties.

A record 65 boats competed this year, with Brain Lee's Coronado 25 Suzy III taking top fleet honors - how often would that happen elsewhere? - followed by John Chile's Columbia 22 $1 Baby in second and Joe Balderama's Express 27 Archidmedes taking third. See the August Latitude 38 for a full report, or see www.plasticclassic.com for full results.

Photos Latitude/Andy

Viveka and Janice

July 17 - San Francisco Bay

Photo Latitude/JR

Something old, something new - Merl Peterson's lovely 75-ft schooner Viveka, built in 1929, was out sailing this past weekend, as was the new 130-ft Dubois sloop Janice. Built in New Zealand, the big boat made a stop here before continuing on to Europe.

Photo Bruna/oceanfilmboat.com

Hawaii Races Winding Down

July 17 - Pacific Ocean

West Marine Pacific Cup

Led by the Swede 55 The Contessa, the bulk of the 42-boat Pacific Cup fleet rolled into Kaneohe Bay over the weekend.

The Swede 55 The Contessa was first boat into Kaneohe in this year's Pacific Cup.

The Contessa, a doublehanded entry sailed by Shawn Throwe and Neil Weinberg, arrived at 11:40 a.m. local time. Second in about three hours later was Division E entry Lightning. Having started two days later, Tom Akins' well-sailed SC 52 also had the fastest elapsed time of 9 days, 3 hours, 5 minutes - not a record, but a fine run nonetheless. Although official standings must wait until all boats have finished, it appears both of these boats won their respective divisions.

Other provisional winners include:
Division A - California Girl, Cal 40, Timm and Betty Lessley
Division B - Tutto Bene, Beneteau 38s5, Jack Vetter
Division C - ET, Antrim 27, Liz Baylis and Todd Hedin
Division D - Synge, Synergy 1000, Mike Amirault

All yachts are expected to finish by Wednesday. For more: www.pacificcup.org.

Singlehanded TransPac

By the time you read this, all 14 official entries in the Singlehanded TransPac should be anchored in beautiful Hanalei Bay, Kauai, bringing to an end perhaps the most brutally slow race in this event's history. Arriving Saturday afternoon - conveniently right before the awards ceremony - was Ken Stuart on Second Chance. That left only the race's two smallest boats, Paul Woodward's Kirby 24 Hesperus and Chris Humann on the Dana 24 Carroll E. Unfortunately, Hesperus's rudder "fell off" a couple of hundred miles from the finish. All Solo T-Pac'ers are required to carry emergency rudders, but that broke, too. So Paul had rigged warps and was proceding to Hanalei at a blistering 2-3 knots. Just to be safe, Chris on Carroll E slowed down and sailed alongside Hesperus.

Paul Woodward's Hesperus finished the Singlehanded TransPac last night - without a rudder.

Carroll E will of course receive redress for his good deed, which may affect the standings in Division D. At this writing, however, Synthia Petroka had won that division aboard the Hawkfarm Eyrie. Other winners are:

Division A - Alchera, J/120, Mark Deppe
Division B - Foolish Muse, Olson 30, Andy Evans
Division C - Sail A Vie, Ericson 35, Phil Macfarlane
Overall - Alchera

Read the whole story in the August issue of Latitude 38. For more immediate gratification: www.sfbaysss.org.

Commodore Toys with the Dark Side

July 17 - Opua, New Zealand

In the continuing adventures of Commodore and Nancy Tompkins down under, Nancy writes, "Just when I think we are going cruising, everything changes."

Commodore, long a most conservative of sailors, is toying with the dark side by accepting a catamaran delivery from New Zealand to Japan. He once delivered Profligate from Cabo to San Diego, and wrote a single-spaced multi-page letter describing why we should "sell cat immediately."

The Mill Valley couple will be delivering the 46x24-ft high performance catamaran Zephuros in two legs: New Zealand to New Caledonia, where the boat will wait several months for the seasons to change for favorable weather for the voyage to Japan.

The very bright Zephuros in Tonga
Photo Courtesy the Tompkins

Nancy says that, "Current plans are to secure our Thula Mama mates for crew. They have extensive cat experience and are young and lively! Anna and Dave Fourie are currently living in Brisbane, Oz. We hope to leave New Zealand for New Cal by the end of July, leaving Flashgirl in Opua, Bay of Islands. Once Zephuros is secured in New Cal, we'll fly back to NZ and pick up our 'girl for some cruising: Tonga, Fiji and New Cal (Vanuatu if we have enough time).

"Flashgirl will wait for us in New Cal while we take Zephuros to Japan around the end of the year. Commodore is in his element, running around and dealing with the enormity of it all."

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