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Sunny Day on the Circle

August 7 - San Francisco Bay

Naked Lady streaks into the lead.

ODCA racing on the Berkeley Circle was held in spectacular summer conditions over the weekend. Unusually warm winds in the 15-18 knot range made for some great sailing in the Islander 36, Olson 30, Olson 25 and Santana 22 fleets. Winners have yet to be posted to www.yra.org. Check out the September Latitude 38 for more details.

- latitude / jr

Baleineau leads the Olson 25 charge in the second race.
Photos Latitude/JR

Aldo Alessio

August 7 - San Francisco Bay

Unusually warm westerlies saw many crew in shirtsleeves all weekend.

52 boats showed up for the annual three-day Aldo Alessio Regatta. The event, established in 1992 through an endowment by former St. Francis Commodore Alessio, used to be a coastal ocean race. Now it's a 'combo plate' of an ocean race to the Lightship and back on Friday, followed by two buoy races off the St. Francis YC on Saturday, wrapping up with a Bay tour race on Sunday.

Here's a New Deal for you: sailboats and motorboats in the same race! Not really - FDR's presidential yacht Potomac just seems to be joining Chance (foreground) and the rest of the J/120 fleet.

Boats raced in four divisions, three one-design and one IRC class. Winners included Mario Yovkov's Outlaw in the 1D-35s, Dave Wilson's Good Timin' in the (24-boat) J/105 class, Rick Wesslund's El Ocaso in the J/120s and Gerard Sheridan's Elan 40 Tupelo Honey in IRC.

Sweet Sensation in the midst of battle in the 1D-35 class.

The Aldo Alessio Perpetual - a painting of Aldo's Rhodes 49 centerboarder Mistress - will be awarded to the best overall performance in the ocean racing part of the event. See www.stfyc.org and the September issue for final standings.

- latitude / jr

A fender bender between Hazardous Waste (left) and Larrikin required the former to do a 720.
Photos Latitude/JR

Latitude's Former Photoboat Available as a Mechanic's Special

August 7 - Northern California

Latitude has a new-to-us photoboat, a Bertram 28 flybridge currently going under the name of Island Fever. As such, our former photoboat, a Bertram 25, is now for sale. We won't mislead anyone, she's been ridden hard and put away wet. But she is a Bertram, she has upper and lower steering stations, and the design is cute as hell. We also won't mislead anyone about her mechanical condition. The engines and V-drives need work - in fact, the whole boat needs going over. On the other hand, we offer this mechanic's special for a mere $3,500, on a strictly where is, as is, basis.

Photo Latitude/Richard

Car Carrier Disabled off Aleutians

August 7 - Aleutian Islands, AK

The 654-ft Singapore-based car carrier Cougar Ace, carrying 4,813 brand new Mazdas, hailed a Mayday on July 23, just over 200 miles south of the Aleutian Islands, after the vessel began listing severely and taking on water. Two Air National Guard Pavehawk helos and a Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk hoisted all 23 crewmembers to safety the next day, while a shoreside team planned the ship's salvage.

The salvage team loads pumps aboard the disabled car carrier Cougar Ace from the support boat Makushin Bay.
Photo Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

Cougar Ace is currently stable but still listing at more than 60 degrees and slowly taking on water at the cargo door ramp. Pumps have been loaded aboard to move the water from the cargo deck to a starboard ballast tank in hopes of reducing the list, which started just after her ballast was adjusted at sea. The ship is being towed into the calmer waters of the Bering Sea to continue salvage efforts though it hasn't been decided where it will be towed once pumping is complete.

Tragically, 40-year-old Seattlite and naval architect Marty Johnson was conducting a survey aboard the ship on July 31 when he slipped on the nearly vertical decks and fell to his death.

- latitude / lb

A Passel of Cruising Kids

August 7 - French Polynesia

Photo Courtesy Blue Sky

Check out all the cruising kids who are going to play hooky - or be home-schooled - out in French Polynesia this year!

Having completed the 3,000-mile voyage from mainland Mexico to Polynesia, members of the Puddle Jump Class of 2006 are now living the good life in the Tahitian islands. This shot was snapped last month by Jim and Emma Mather of the Redondo Beach-based Down East 45 Blue Sky during a waterside barbecue. Pictured are crews from Lawur, Blue Sky, New Dawn, Neriad, Kohilo, Kubuki, Adiamo, Cheers, Spirit of Assy and Verena.

As this shot indicates, when you share an experience as challenging as crossing the Pacific, you can't help but bond with a passel of new friends. And often those friendships last for decades.

- latitude / aet

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