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Photos of the Day

November 22 - Baja California

Today's Photo of the Day is a warning to all the many people - particularly those with kids - cruising in Mexico that the pangañeros are pretty casual when it comes to swimmer safety. Rarely do they give much room, and even more seldom do they slow down. It's less dangerous when there is someone forward who can act as a spotter, but when the operator is alone, as in the second photo, you can see that the raised bow makes it impossible for him to see anything - be it a dinghy or a swimmer - directly in front. So dinghy and swim defensively, please!

- latitude / rs

Photos Latitude/Richard

Etchells Worlds

November 21 - Fremantle, Australia

John Bertrand won race five at the Etchells Worlds today in Fremantle. Bertrand, who wrested the America's Cup away from the New York YC in 1983 when he skippered Australia II, finished six boat lengths ahead of 1999 Etchells world champion Cameron Miles (AUS) today. Tiburon dentist Craig Healy was first around the top mark and finished third.

Craig Healy's I Love My Wife kicking up spray in Fremantle
Photos Courtesy Audi Etchells Worlds

After a challenging start to the regatta, Craig Healy was all smiles today. "We were OCS on the first race, so we've been very conservative all week. Today we had some space, as the guys below us were over early. We were close with John Bertrand up the beat and we stayed tight from there."

The series lead has not changed - Jud Smith (USA) leads the series with 31 points - but behind him there has been a reshuffle. Ante Razmilovic (GBR) is second with 35, Alastair Gair (NZL) is third with 38 points, Andy Beadsworth (GBR) also has 38 points. Healy has moved up to 17th place. Of the other NorCal boats, Andrew Whittome is 43rd (after having a bit of trouble with their Northern Hemisphere-calibrated digital compass), Kers Clausen is 59th, and John Gilmour is 63rd in the 70 boat fleet.

- latitude / ss

Onward Through the Fog

November 22 - Bahia Santa Maria, BCS

Rainbows - love 'em. Moonbows, we've seen them. But a 'fogbow'? We thought Steve Ott from Catatude had had a few too many cervezas when he started describing "a rainbow in the fog" at the start of the final leg of the recent Baja Ha-Ha Cruiser's Rally. To be sure, at the third start in Bahia Santa Maria early on November 8, a thick onshore fog had rolled over the fleet. But a fogbow?

"I have pictures!" he laughed. "I'll send them to you!" And he did.

Photos Steve Ott

We never doubted you for a minute, Steve.

- latitude / jr

Racing Round the County

November 22 - Anacortes, WA

What's wrong with this picture? No, not the missing backstay, silly. Take a look at the background. Look familiar? Probably not, because it was taken during the Round the County race. That's San Juan County in Washington state. Steve Wonner and his crew (Bren Meyer, Andy Hall and Kimball Hall) on the Wyliecat 30 Uno (that explains the missing backstay) towed the boat to Anacortes, WA, on November 8 for the two-day event, which featured predominantly cold, wet weather but great competition.

The 70 boats included the Perry 65 Icon, a Santa Cruz 70 and several SC52s, and numerous J/Boats of both symmetric and asymmetric spinnaker persuasions. Uno, a consistent winner here on the Bay, finished 3rd in its division and 13th overall. "We changed many preconceptions about catboat performance," says Wonner.

- latitude / ss

Surfing the Coast of Baja

November 22 - Bahia Santa Maria, BCS

A few folks have written in to ask us what the surf was like during the Baja Ha-Ha. We didn't think it was too good around Turtle Bay, but when we got down to Bahia Santa Maria, there were about 10 guys riding the point the two mornings we were there. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either. In the top photo, that's Hill Branscomb of San Francisco, who sailed aboard Mark and Molly Rogers's Berkeley-based Island Packet 45 Southern Star, getting a nice ride in the first photo.

"Did you catch any of the surf up at Turtle Bay?" he asked us. After we said, "No," he told us that it had been fabulous. He paid a young Mexico guy to drive him to surf spots to the north and the south of the bay. "It was unbelievable point break stuff, 7-ft top-to-bottom waves that just peeled on and on. And there wasn't anybody else there."

West Coast surfers are so accustomed to cold water - even in the summer - that they just assumed they'd need a wetsuit at Bahia Santa Maria. It turned out to be pretty warm inside the neoprene, what with the water being 79 and the air even warmer.

- latitude / rs

"Hey, where am I, Santa Cruz?"

When the swell is big and the tide goes out, the point at Bahia Santa Maria becomes a dynamite wave.
Photos Latitude/Richard

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