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Photos of the Day: Midwinter Racing

December 11 - San Francisco Bay

One hundred one boats signed up for Berkeley YC's popular midwinter series, and most of them showed up on Saturday, with about half that many attending the separately-scored Sunday event. As always, races were contested on Olympic Circle courses. Unlike always, southerlies to 20 knots or more on both days made for wet rides on many boats. Ironically, the rains that pelted the Bay Area over the weekend took a break during the racing, at least on Saturday, and the sun actually broke through on portions of the course.

The Merit 25 Challenger takes a tumble. They were one of many.

"It was almost like summer out there!" said one crew of all the knockdowns she witnessed. There were a few torn sails and at least a couple of fender-benders we heard of, too. Read all the gory details in the January issue of Latitude 38.

Results has not been posted on BYC's Web site (www.berkeleyyc.org), at 'press' time, but should be up later today.

Meanwhile, on a course nearby, RegattaPro's Winter One Design Series was enjoying some good breeze and good competition.

Blackhawk down - and retrieving a spinnaker while the fleet sails away.

Hands inside the bus! - the Beneteau 40.7 Inspired Environments threads the needle between two upwind J/105s

A half dozen J/105s round the mark.
Photos Latitude/JR

This was the second race in this popular series. The second installment in the RegattaPro Winter Keelboat Series was held the previous Saturday. For more information on these one design midwinters, see www.regattapro.com.

- latitude / jr


Cayard Back in the Cup

December 11 - Valencia, Spain

Desafío Español, Spanish challenger to the America's Cup, has hired Marin's Paul Cayard as a technical and sports advisor for its 2007 campaign. According to the press release issued today, the international sailing veteran is initially contracted for two months of work supervising the preparation and fine-tuning of the team's new boat, ESP-97. After that, Cayard and Desafío Español may discuss further opportunities to work together, though there are no concrete plans at this time.

South Beach YC Grows Up

December 11 - San Francisco

SBYC Commodores old and new cut the ribbon at yesterday's grand opening. Current Commodore Lorianna Kastrop is at left.

South Beach YC's snazzy new clubhouse had its official 'grand opening' on Sunday. With several Bay Area clubs dating back to the late 1800s (and histories that could fill books), it's been both entertaining and educational to see SBYC 'grow up' from a tiny group of sailors operating out of a double-wide mobile home in 1989 to a full-fledged PICYA club with 500 members, a full racing program (including the current Island Fever midwinter series), a great junior program - the whole shooting match. Over the years, they've done much of it from rented or borrowed quarters. Now they'll operate from one of the prettiest clubhouses on the Bay. All Bay Area sailors are invited to come down and check it out at Pier 40 on the Embarcadero, right next to AT&T Ballpark.

- latitude / jr

SBYC's new clubhouse has a great view of South Beach Harbor.
Photos Latitude/JR

ARC Boats Flood into St. Lucia

December 11 - Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

More than 40 boats have finished the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and 30 more are expected to arrive in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, in the next 24 hours. The first across the line last Thursday was the Italian maxi Capricorno, completing the rally in 11 days, 5 hours and 32.5 minutes, shaving seven hours off the course record. They were closely followed by their fellow countrymen aboard Fantasticaaa a scant two hours later.

Lance Batten and Susie Bowman of the Berkeley-based Beneteau 40 Eaux Vives were again on the finish line doing race committee work. In fact, they took this photo of the record-breaker crossing the finish line.

Meanwhile, the casualties continue to mount on this running of the ARC. The crew of the Bavaria 35 Arnolf were evacuated yesterday, 48 hours after a collision with a submerged object - a whale is suspected - ripped off their rudder. The crew attempted to steer the boat with emergency rudders and drogues but became exhausted in the rolling seas and made the difficult decision to abandon ship. Another Bavaria, Be-Bop-A-Lula, this one a 47-footer, came to their aid and plucked them off Arnolf.

And it's not just ARC boats that are having problems. The Belgian-flagged boat Allegria, which was not a part of the ARC, called a Mayday on Saturday night when one of the doublehanded crew had a mental breakdown and jumped overboard. Three ARC boats - Tracker My Way, Macnoon and Sunrise - began a search, with Sunrise transferring two of their crew to help navigate Allegria. Four hours later, the 30-year-old crewman was recovered. His condition wasn't getting any better, so a British warship evacuated him.

We'll have a full update of the ARC in the January issue of Latitude 38, which will be on stands on December 29.

- latitude / ld

Crash Alert

December 11 - Turtle Bay, BCS

With 165 boats in last month's Baja Ha-Ha, there were bound to be interesting tidbits that dropped through the cracks. But a 40-ft powerboat plowing into an anchored Ha-Ha boat in the middle of Turtle Bay - and nobody knew anything about it? Turns out that Pierre-Alain Segurel's Islander 36 Phileas Fogg did indeed take part in the Ha-Ha, and did get clobbered, but the collision occurred on November 10 - after the end of the cruising rally. We're trying to contact Pierre-Alain for more details, but for now all we know is what he wrote on his shoreside contact's Web site:

Bahia Tortuga, Mexico - Friday, November 10, 2006
I woke up this morning as people were screaming like mad men... Realized something wrong was happening... Look through the port to see a huge power boat coming at us... We just had the time to jump on the starboard side of the boat protecting ourselves.. The impact was huge and the damage extensive... Nobody got injured...The chain plates went through the deck, the head part exploded and the deck separated from the hull over 8 feet... It is over... I do not know yet what is going to happen I will keep you posted....... I doubt Phileas Fogg will ever get back to the US....

- latitude / jr

Phileas Fogg's
port side was a mass of wreckage after she was hit by a big powerboat a month ago. The interior looked even worse.

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