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Southern California Racing Fun

August 30 - Newport Beach

The SC70s Skylark and Westerly give gas to Mike Campbell's Peligroso at the light air start of the Newport to Catalina race. The SC70s have been making something of a comeback on the West Coast.

If you're a Northern California racer who might be interested in exploring different racing venues, there are three in Southern California we think you should consider: the well-known Newport to Ensenada Race in the spring, the Santa Barbara to King Harbor, Redondo Beach Race the first weekend in August, and today's featured event, the Newport Harbor YC and Balboa YC-sponsored Long Point Race Week.

Now in its eighth year, Long Point Race Week consists of three races over a long weekend: Newport to Catalina, Long Point to Ship Rock and back, and Long Point to the Newport Pier. It's open to one design, PHRF, and cruising boats, the latter of which only do the races to Catalina and back. Participants are encouraged to view the Friday to Sunday event as family and friends fun racing as opposed to hard core.

The original Checkmate, the Peterson 50 with the varnished hull from the early '80s, looks great and is still very competitive.

As we all know, the Southern California winds can often be a little light for Northern California sailors' tastes, but in August the breezes in the Catalina Channel are generally a little stronger and more consistent than other months of the year. We're told that two of the three races usually get 15 knots of wind, and that was the case this year.

For Northern California sailors, the Catalina venues are a pleasant change of pace. The Friday night post-race fun is at the Balboa YC's onshore facility at White's Cove, which consists of a bunch of picnic tables and BBQ pits overlooking the anchored and moored boats. Lots of crews pitch tents and sleep next to the beach. It's so un-Northern California. On Saturday night, the action moves to the Newport Harbor's lovely sliver of a facility at Moonstone, which is just one cove to the east, but also overlooks all the boats. In addition to a big prime rib luau dinner, there was live rock 'n roll under the stars. Throughout the weekend, there was free shoreboat service and garbage pickup. And because the races don't start until 1 p.m., there's lots of hanging around, socializing, hiking, swimming, and other fun to be had.

The moored fleet at Moonstone Cove. Some of the young bucks climb the mountain in back after the race.

The Newport Harbor YC's facility at Moonstone Cove, which features a petanque court, was the site of a prime rib luau and other festivities on Saturday night.

There were 40-some entries this year, and there could be more in the future, but because of limited food preparation facilities, meal tickets are limited. In fact, the meal tickets quickly sold out this year, leaving some to have to either go hungry or dine on Mt. Gay and Coke. Just kidding. In fact, one of the un-Northern California features of the event is that lots of the crew have their powerboats brought over to the island so they can dine and sleep in the finer boating styles to which they have been accustomed.

Post-race activities at Long Point include lounging in the warm water, hanging out with friends, launching water balloons, and other assorted mischief.

If variety is the spice of your racing life, you might consider coming down in early August to do the King Harbor Race, cruise the islands for a few weeks, then do Long Point before heading north again for the Big Boat Series. For further information on the Long Point event, contact Craig Fletcher via the Newport Harbor YC.

- latitude / rs

On the race back to Newport on Sunday, Jake Wood's Mull 84 Sorcery, which was arguably one of the fastest boats in the world in the mid-'80s, overtakes a smaller rival.
Photos Latitude/Richard

A Great Accomplishment

August 29 - Honolulu, HI

Ardell Lien and Catalyst
Photo Courtesy

Today at approximately 10:00 a.m. Hawaii time, Ardell Lien aboard the 27-ft Nor'sea Catalyst completed his circumnavigation when he arrived this morning at the Waikiki Yacht Club. You may remember Ardell as the singlehanded sailor who left the Waikiki Yacht Club on June 17 last year. In addition to completing this circumnavigation at the age of 71, doing it in a 27-ft boat, and completing it in less than 15 months, 'Al' is the recipient of a heart and kidney transplant. All the news media were here when he arrived. This may even make national news!

- Gene & Sheri Seybold

Leukemia Cup Comes to San Francisco Bay

August 30 - Belvedere

San Francisco YC's Leukemia Cup on September 9 benefits those who suffer from its 'title sponsor', as well as other blood and lymphatic cancers. A special attraction at this year's event is guest appearances at the post-race dinner and awards ceremony by Gary Jobson and Campbell Nolan. The former you already know. The latter is the 7-year-old son of regatta organizer Bill Nolan. Both are winning their battles against leukemia or lymphoma.

If you race, please sign up for this one. If you don't race, please sign up for this one. In fact, if you only take part in one race your entire life, make it the Leukemia Cup. There will be divisions for one design, PHRF, spinnaker, non-spinnaker - basically, if it's sail powered, they can probably fit you in. To register online, go to www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1317450.

If you can't sail, there are opportunities for sponsorship, donations and crew sign-ups for both racing and spectating boats. Get all the information you need at www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/regatta//all_page.adp?item_id=410523, or by calling Robin Reynolds at (415) 625-1145.

- latitude / jr

Turkey's Coastal Towns Bombed

August 30 - Turkey

A militant Kurdish liberation group known as the Kurdistan Liberation Hawks (TAK) has taken responsibility for several bombings of coastal tourist spots in Turkey and Istanbul over the last few days. The bombings started on Sunday with a blast in the low-income neighborhood of Bagcilar, Istanbul, injuring six, and continued later in the day with three simultaneous explosions in the Turkish resort town Marmaris - two in garbage cans along the main boulevard and one aboard a crowded minibus - injuring 21 people. Another bomb ripped through Antalya, Turkey - a major coastal hub - on Monday, killing three and wounding 87. The latest Turkish attack came today in Mersin, sending one woman to the hospital. The TAK vows to "turn Turkey into hell" and warns tourists to stay away.

The southwestern coast of Turkey is and has long been extremely popular with Western tourists from Europe and the U.S. When Big O cruised there in the early '90s, you couldn't have met a more hospitable and kind people, one big reason why it's such a popular charter base. John Thompson, who's cruising in the area, shared some photos of the stunning scenery, another big reason cruisers are drawn there.

- latitude / lb

Marmaris, Turkey, the scene of three terrorist bombings this weekend, is normally a bustling tourist mecca, as seen here.

Fethiye, another lovely Turkish coastal town, lies between Marmaris and Antalya and has, so far, been spared.
Photos John Thompson

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