Photos of the Day: Botox Barbie Lights Up Caribbean's Red Light District
January 3 - St. Barth, French West Indies
In order to achieve his victory, Stryker and his crew - which included Bill Lilly of Newport Beach-based Lagoon 47 Moonshine, Patty Cochran of Corona del Mar, and the Wanderer - had to beat a lot of boats whose masts are so tall they are required to show red lights to prevent airplanes from flying into them. Included among them were the 135-ft J Class Endeavour, the 136-ft J Class Ranger, the Dubois 162-ft Tiara (without a helicopter on her aft deck), the Alloy 160 Georgia, the Swan 112 Highland Breeze, as well as a lot of terrific small boats, such as the Swan 82 Opus V, the new 72-ft sloop Fearless, the 72-ft sloop Gitana, and the Dubois 72 Bellaxtrix (which was entered as "tender to Le Grand Bleu", because she's carried as deck cargo aboard Russian oil oligarch Roman Abramovich's 300-ft motoryacht).
It was a fair race, with blustery tradewinds
between 15 and 22 knots, sunshine and small squalls, and a course
that featured a lot of beating into five-foot tradewind seas
and slop, as well as a long downwind leg, followed by a flatwater
Indeed, it wasn't the first time Stryker
has done well sailing upwind around St. Barth. Back in '91, he
won 27 gallons of rosé after he and Fifties Girl
beat the 56-ft Jubilee, winner of the Route du Rose transatlantic
race, boat for boat from St. Thomas to St. Barth.
A few hours after the end of the race, the captains and crews gathered on the Charles de Gaulle Quai once again to welcome the new year with plenty of champagne, fireworks and bon années. It didn't turn out to be quite as wild and crazy a New Year's fete as it seemed it was going to a few days before, but nobody was complaining. Our highlights were hanging around La Gamelle with owners Philou and Mimi, who are dear friends with just about everyone, no matter how small their billfold, and later strolling into Bête à Z'Ailes at about 2 a.m. to find Jimmy Buffett playing once again for an enthusiastic crowd of about 50. The singer of choice of most sailors in the world seemed to be both surprised and delighted to have made it to age 60.
You gotta love St. Barth. The following morning L'Essentie, one of the local 'newspapers', featured a bunch of photographs of celebrities who'd been on the island, as well as a two photographs of cars that had driven off the narrow roads at almost the same spot on New Year's Eve. The editorial comment on the wrecked cars? "A certain kind of symmetrical beauty, no?"
We're staying here in the islands a little longer to learn about the French approach to beauty, food and sex, and hoping that your new year will be as good.
Mike Slade's New Maxi-Maxi Leopard Is Presented
January 3 - London, England
Mike Slade and Chris Sherlock
Most of what Sherlock said has turned out
to be true. Farr has indeed designed the maxi-maxi, his first
in many years, and Leopard 3, as she is to be called,
is being built at McConaghy. However, she won't be done until
June, and the drop canting keel concept has been tossed in favor
of the more common canting keel. In addition, she'll have twin
daggerboards up forward - they cost $100,000 each - instead of
the single canard foil such as on the R/P designs.
Youngest Solo Trans-Atlantic Sailor
January 3 - Antigua
Michael Perham, 14, sailed into Antigua - and the record books - today to become the youngest person to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean. Perham sailed from Gibraltar on November 18 aboard his Tide 28 Cheeky Monkey and was closely trailed by his father, Peter, in another Tide 28. While Peter never physically assisted his son, the pair were always in contact via radio and even traded watch schedules for added safety.
Perham estimated the trip would take about four weeks, but equipment failure that forced stops in Lanzarote and the Cape Verde Islands, rough weather, damage to Peter's rudder and Michael's mid-Atlantic swim to clear his own rudder combined to lengthen the trip to seven weeks, still an impressive feat. To read more about this gutsy kid's adventures, check out his website at www.sailmike.com - you can even donate to the two charities he's been working with: RYA Sailability and Children in Need.
Michael Perham, 14, is the now youngest person to sail solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Photo Courtesy www.sailmike.com
- latitude / ld
SoCal Singlehander Dismasted Near Cape Horn
Jan 3 - Southern Ocean
The Long Beach-based ketch Privateer was dismasted late yesterday afternoon in stormy conditions on her approach to Cape Horn. Singlehander Ken Barnes is apparently unharmed, and currently awaiting rescue by the Chilean Navy and a Maltese freighter.
Singlehander Ken Barnes
As reported earlier here, and in Latitude 38, Barnes was attempting to become the first West Coast sailor to complete a lap around the planet nonstop. Although he admittedly had little offshore experience, Barnes, 47, had spent years in preparation for this attempt, and had made extensive modification to his steel cutter-rigged ketch - which, coincidentally, was built in Malta - to prepare her for the storm conditions.
Graphic Courtesy www.kensolo.com
Although details of the dismasting are as yet unclear, he was apparently quickly in touch with authorities via his satphone. At this posting, his position is reported to be 54.45S, 86.11W (roughly 250 miles off the Chilean coast). C-130 aircraft are attempting to locate the 50-ft Privateer and the 570-ft rescue freighter should reach his position by tomorrow afternoon, by which time wind and wave action is predicted to subside.
An ironic twist to this story is that American singlehander Donna Lange, who is two-thirds of the way through her own solo attempt (Rhode Island to Rhode Island), is currently within 150 miles of Barnes position. See www.kensolo.com and www.donnalange.com for updates on both sailors.