Photos of the Day
January 29 - St. Barth, French West Indies
Maltese Falcon and Rising Sun are no longer the big kids on the block.
Today's Photo of the Day was taken at St. Barth yesterday, and is meant to show that nobody can have the biggest of any kind of boat for long - at least not these days. The boat on the right in the distance is Larry Ellison's 451-ft Rising Sun which, not long ago, was the largest privately-owned motoryacht/ship in the world. She's since been surpassed by several other motoryachts. The sailing yacht on the left is the recently launched Eos, a 310-footer that's reportedly owned by a German. Both yachts were built by Lurssen in Germany, a company that knows how to respect the privacy of their clients by not revealing details about their clients or clients' boats. Eos eclipses the previous longest sailboats in the world, those being Tom Perkins' Maltese Falcon which, although only 289 feet, was considerably larger in all other respects than Jim 'Netscape' Clark's 291-ft Athena.
But nobody needs to feel sorry for either of these gentlemen. In the case of Perkins, his belief in the unique and untried Dyna-rig, with 15 sails on yard-arms supported by three unstayed masts, has been justified. Not only does Maltese Falcon sail well, the concept has been so well received that Perini Navi, the builder, has plans to build a somewhat smaller version of Falcon with two masts using the same rig. As for Clark, he's having Royal Huisman build him a new version of the 135-ft J Class yacht Endeavour. For what it's worth, the mega-yacht market continues to explode, with some of the better yards sold out for the next three or four years. So don't wait too long to get your order in.
But not everyone is going for big. As we putted around the harbor in our inflatable, we noticed that even Jimmy B, the sailor's favorite singer, has a new sailboat. He was crawling around the deck of what looked to be about a 27-ft dark blue hulled sloop, with a drop keel, that was sitting on a trailer with her rig up in the commercial harbor. Groovy looks a lot like an Alerion 27, but was apparently built in France. Who knows, perhaps he'll join the local sail-every-afternoon-at-4 p.m. group? That's more our speed.
- latitude / rs
Jimmy B went the other way with his lovely French-built sloop Groovy.
January 29 - San Francisco Bay
Tall rigs vs. short rigs; port vs. starboard - it's mayhem at the start.
Pea-soup fog, a raging ebb, and the odd sprinkle could not discourage 279 starters for Saturday's epic Three Bridge Fiasco. Even the wind made a brief appearance off Golden Gate YC for the two-hour start of the Bay's biggest race of the year. (297 boats signed up, just three shy of the 300-mark the Singlehanded Sailing Society had hoped for, but - as far as we can tell - still a record.)
A friendly wave from a warmly-dressed crew on Wingit.
The right way this year was counter-clockwise, rounding the Bay Bridge first and Blackaller last. Though that meant fighting the ebb early on, there was enough relief along the shore that the contrarians could use the wind to their advantage before it shut down in the Central Bay. Bill and Melinda Erkelens on the Moore 24 Tortuga were first to cross the finish just before 3:25 p.m. At least 20 more doublehanded boats finished before the clock struck 4. Terry Cobb on the Express 27 Mirage was the first singlehanded sailor to finish, just before 4:15 p.m. In all, 132 entries finished and 147 DNF'd. Complete results are available at www.sfbaysss.org.
- latitude / ss
Boats that went to Blackaller first saw decent breeze early on.
Larson Gets Gold
January 29 - Miami, FL
Photo Dan Nerney/Rolex
The Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta ended on a high note for Capitola's Morgan Larson and crew Pete Spaulding (USA 11, fifth mast from the left). The 49er team recovered from a last-place rounding in Saturday's medal race (for the top 10 boats in each class) to cross the finish line in third. Combined with their third-place position going into Saturday's race, and an OCS for the class leaders Iker Martinez de Lizarduy and Xabier Fernadez of Spain, Larson and Spaulding's finish was good enough for gold.
Photo Walter Cooper/US Sailing
Morgan, whose sailing resume already included numerous national and world championships, now returns to his day job as part of the afterguard for Swedish America's Cup challenger Victory Challenge. For complete OCR results, go to www.rolexmiamiocr.org.
- latitude / ss
The Greatest Snack Locker in the World
January 29 - Golfito, Costa Rica
"It's a lot of work to cook on a boat," says Peter and Antonia Murphy of the Richmond-based Mariner 36 Sereia. "That's why nearly every voyaging yacht has a 'Snack Locker': a place where crew can help themselves to food whenever they get peckish. That way, when people get bored on watch, they don't go rooting around in your stores and eat the ONE CRITICAL INGREDIENT you need to make supper.
Sereia's snack locker proves you can get American-style snacks outside the U.S.
Photo Courtesy Sereia
"We replenished our snack locker in Costa Rica before heading to the Panama Canal. It is now a thing of beauty and grace. We thought we'd share it with you, as it will never be so perfect again."
- the murphys