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Photos of the Day: Rolex Big Boat Series

September 15 - San Francisco Bay

Howl beats toward Blackaller Buoy as the J/120 class recedes behind them.

Today's Photos of the Day come from yesterday's start of the Rolex (Little) Big Boat Series at the St. Francis YC. This year's Big Boat Series is little in the sense there aren't the usual big boats, not that there aren't a lot - 90 - of entries.

The second J/105 start on Thursday

There was plenty of wind, as it blew in the mid-20s most of the day, with gusts to 30 and more at times by the Golden Gate, near the yacht club, and down near the Olympic Circle. Most of the boats go into the teens, and Lani Spund's SC52 Kokopelli II sure looked as though she was in the 20s on one run.

Swiftsure and Cipango cross paths.

Given the strong winds, there were some incidents. Campbell River's Wylie 44 Ocelot from Portland lost her rig about eight feet above the deck at the start of a spinnaker run, another boat broke a gooseneck fitting, and R.T. Barton and his son had the Barient 33 coffee-grinder winch get worn through aboard their Andrews 56 Cipango. And there were enough roundups and torn chutes to put every sailmaker into the black.

Kim Desenberg of KKMI leaves the St. Francis with the Barient 33 coffee-grinder winch that the line had worn through on Cipango. With Barient long out of business, the Cipango crew were hoping KKMI could somehow weld the winch back into operating condition.
Photo Latitude/Richard

Unfortunately, a few folks were hurt, too. Inspired Environments had a crewmember brought ashore after he was hit in the head with the boom. But apparently it wasn't too bad, as he was later seen at the post-race party looking like a guy ready to be in a production of Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage. A crewmember aboard Kokopelli lost the tip of a finger. In the post-accident confusion, he was rushed to Marin for treatment while his finger was put on ice and brought to the St. Francis. And many crewmembers suffered an unusually high number of bruises.

But it was great racing, and boats in four of the eight divisions shot two bullets. They were: Andy Costelo and Jim Barton's Double Trouble in the eight-boat 1D-35 class; Chris Chamberlin's Stewball in the six-boat Express 37 class; Gerald Sheridan's Tupelo Honey in the 10-boat IRC division C, and Barry Lewis's J/120 Chance in the 10-boat J/120 division. Well done everyone!

bashes to weather.
Photos Latitude/JR except as noted

The racing continues with two races today, two on Saturday, and the finale on Sunday. Beautiful conditions are expected today, while Saturday and Sunday may get funked up by an offshore flow.

- latitude / rs


The 'Lectronic Used Sailboat of the Day Is an Islander 36

September 15 - Empuriabrava, Spain

If we were 25 again, we'd be all over this one. The Islander 36 in question is Geja, the boat that Palo Alto-based teachers Dick and Shirley Sandys sailed most of the way around the world over a period of about 15 years of part-time cruising. In fact, if you go to our home page, www.latitude38.com, and go to the LATITUDE 38 Google box and type in 'Geja', you'll get to read a bunch of the Changes in Latitudes they sent to us.

Dick passed away earlier this year, so Geja, which is now on the hard 90 miles north of Barcelona, Spain, is being offered in an estate sale for just $10,000. The boat is said to be fully functional, including the engine, but the interior and exterior could use some TLC. We do know that she was cruised right up until a short time before Dick's death. To us, the cool thing is that she's already in Spain. Yes, it's getting a little late in the season to do much sailing in the Med now, but she'd be all ready to go for next year. Just think of it, for 10k you could have a well-known 36-ft design all set to take you to Ibiza, Mallorca, Barcelona, the French and Italian Rivieras, Elba, Sicily, Corfu . . . Oops, excuse us for drooling. And after a season or three of cruising in the Med, you could probably sell her for more money than you paid for her. Say, anybody want to go thirdsies on an Islander 36 in the Med?

Please, no tire-kickers or bottom-feeders, as this will be an emotional sale. But if you're interested, don't delay, as we can't imagine this deal will last more than a week or two.

- latitude / rs

16th Annual Racer Chaser

September 13 - San Francisco

We invite you to advertise in the 2007 Latitude 38 YRA Calendar, a comprehensive full color guide to Northern California racing. Ideal for any club, class, association or business wanting to reach local racers. Click here for details (a PDF flyer will download).
(415) 383-8200; John Arndt, ext. 108; Shawn Grassman, ext. 107.

And Now It's Hurricane Lane Heading for Baja

September 15 - Mexico

Just 10 days after Hurricane John threatened mainland Mexico, damaged a few boats and did lots of land and road damage in Baja, Tropical Storm Lane, about to be Hurricane Lane, is following a somewhat similar path. Although a significantly weaker storm, and one that looks as though it won't damage the mainland and may harmlessly go up the center of the Sea of Cortez, there are no guarantees it won't change course and strike land.

Graphic Courtesy Unisys Weather

Historically September is the most active month for hurricanes off Mexico.
See http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/e_pacific/2006/index.html.

- latitude / rs

Baja Ha-Ha Entries Top 170, an All-Time Record

September 15 - Tiburon

If your entry isn't postmarked by today, you'll owe a late fee of a beer per entry - which means 170+. So don't procrastinate any longer.

One of the latest entries, the S&S 70 Alsumar, owned by Ted, Bill and Mike Davis of Las Vegas, will probably be the largest in the fleet. Check out the photo they sent of Ted and wife Vicky, captioned, "Lime's on the coconuts." Oh boy.

The Davis gang will be using the Baja Ha-Ha as a tune-up for next year's TransPac.

Another recent entry is from Bruce Coleman's 1957 Hallberg-Rassy P-28 Leveling Sprit. We know she's a wood boat, because we used to periodically live aboard a friend's P-28 in Santa Barbara Harbor while attending UCSB in the late '60s. There was another P-28 in the harbor, and a couple eventually sailed her around the world.

- latitude / rs

Maltese Falcon Wins Perini Cup

September 15 - Porto Rotondo, Sardinia, Italy

Photo Courtesy Perini Navi

The big unanswered questioned about Tom Perkins' recently launched 287-ft Perini Navi Maltese Falcon, with the unique Dynarig that features 15 square sails on three unstayed rotating masts, is how she would perform compared with similar boats outfitted with traditional rigs. The answer is quite well, based on a report from Perkins:

"Falcon won the Perini Cup last weekend in Porto Rotondo. The wind never exceeded 10 knots for the two-race series, with the average wind speed about six knots. Our toughest competitor was the Ed Dubois-designed Squall, which took first to our second in the first race, but then second to our tie-breaking first in the second race. We were the fastest around the course on both days, and everyone was amazed at Falcon's ability to point as high as any of the other yachts - and with good VMG, too. It was a wonderful first race for us, as we have many ideas for going faster. As I write, we're sailing through the Straits of Bonifacio at 18 knots."

Is there anything better than hearing from somebody who totally loves their boat?

- latitude / rs

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