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Photos of the Day: Baja Ha-Ha Start

November 1 - San Diego

Today's Photos of the Day are aerial shots of the Monday start of the 13th Annual Baja Ha-Ha Rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.

The fleet after departure from Coronado Roads

The 657 sailors onboard the 163 boats starting in this year's fleet have had two days of excellent sailing in the First Leg of the event. Early this morning, the leaders were enjoying 18 to 25 knot winds as they approached Cedros Island. Ten miles south of Cedros, the winds died and the marine layer disappeared revealing bright sunshine and blue skies.

Three Ha-Ha'ers on their way

Kialoa III, the S&S 80 being sailed by folks from the Sailing School at Orange Coast College, was the first to arrive at Turtle Bay, the end of Leg 1. If all goes well, the remaining 162 boats will arrive by Friday, as 25 to 30 knot winds are expected along the Baja Coast. During that breezy period, the fleet hopes to enjoy pleasant weather conditions inside the well-protected Turtle Bay anchorage.

Mai Pen Rai on the left, Lady Hawke on the right

The beautiful Patricia Belle

Friday will see the famous Turtle Bay Beach Potluck Party and Saturday morning, the start of Leg 2 to Bahia Santa Maria. We'll keep you posted on our progress. And, of course, you can read the whole story in the December issue.

- latitude / rs

The mothership and crew: Profligate enroute to Mexico
Photos Latitude/Annie

Olympic Pre-Trials Wrap Up in Southern California

November 1 - Long Beach

The US Sailing Olympic and Paralympic Pre-Trials wrapped up Sunday with the completion of the men's and women's 470 and RS:X events in Long Beach. Taking the top spot in each class were Stuart McNay of Chestnut Hill, MA, and crew Graham Biehl of San Diego in the men's 470; Amanda Clark of Shelter Island, NY, and crew Sarah Mergenthaler of Harvey Cedars, NJ, in the women's 470; and Ben Barger of Tampa, FL, and Nancy Rios of Cocoa, FL. in the men's and women's RS:X windsurfer, respectively.

The Bay Area was represented by four-time Women's All-American and Belvedere resident Molly Carapiet. Sailing with crew Molly O'Bryan of Annapolis, she finished ninth of 12 boats. "We learned a ton over the course of the Pre-Trials," Carapiet reports. "Our coach Pease Glaser helped us enormously. We have made huge progress in many areas, but we still have a lot of holes to fill in our abilities." Next up for Team Molly is hard-core training before the 470 North Americans and the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, both in January and both qualifying events for the US Sailing Team.

Team Molly: Molly Carapiet (skipper) and Molly O'Bryan
at last weekend's 470 Olympic Pre-Trials in Long Beach.
Photo Courtesy GTSphotos.com

Pre-Trial racing for the other Olympic classes took place earlier last month in San Diego, Newport Beach, and Newport, RI. A year from now, Olympic aspirants will reconvene at the same venues for formal Olympic and Paralympic Trials to select who will represent the U.S. in Qingdao in 2008.

- latitude / ss

Schooner America at Allianz Cup

November 1 - San Francisco Bay

This past weekend we were amongst a lucky few who were able to enjoy a sail on San Francisco Bay on a replica of the schooner America.

The replica, built in New York in 1995, was a stunning addition to the activity around the World Match Racing Tour's Allianz Cup held this past weekend on the Bay. You can read more coverage of the event in the three 'Lectronic Latitude pages from last week. While a Brit, Ben Ainsle, won the Allianz Cup, it was another story when the original America won back in 1851.

The replica of America is operated by Troy Sears of Next Level Sailing out of San Diego, along with two other IACC America's Cup boats he charters on San Diego Bay. Besides the Cup itself, the black schooner is the ultimate icon from the history of the Cup, and her presence on the Bay added a great connection for racers and spectators alike. And, despite light airs, she slipped through the Bay waters giving us a sense of the threat she presented to the British over 150 years ago. The long black hull, spacious teak decks and sharply-raked masts all combined to make a memorable sail of this living history.

- latitude / ja

Photos Latitude/John Arndt

More Allianz Cup

November 1 - San Francisco

Here are a few more shots from last week's Allianz Cup at the St. Francis Yacht Club.

Not only was the racing top-notch, but so was the entertainment. Oracle-sponsored aerobatic champion Sean D. Tucker entertained spectators in front of the yacht club with his neck-breaking maneuvers nearly each day before racing kicked off.

Larry Ellison (red spinnaker), in his first appearance on the World Match Racing Tour, leads New Zealander Cameron Dunn (blue spinnaker) in Friday's racing. According to Ellison's tactician Gavin Brady, the team spent a few weeks practicing on the Bay to get used to the conditions, during which time the lightest wind they saw was 15 knots. When it came time for actual racing, most matches were completed in less than 10 knots of breeze.

Whether it was because of the nice late-October weather or the exciting on-the-water action, spectators filled the grandstands next to the yacht club. Organizers worked hard to make the event as spectator friendly as possible, with a nearby tent village and play-by-play commentary by BMW Oracle Racing's Tom Ehman and former America's Cup sailor Geordie Shaver. They even patched in the umpires to explain the calls they were making on the water.

On a related note, in Monday's 'Lectronic, we reported that the J/105s used for Allianz Cup racing were chartered from the local fleet. In fact, the St. Francis YC and the fleet worked together to loan boats to skippers in the event. Another example of local sailors coming together to support world-class racing on the world-class Bay.

- latitude / ss

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