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Cayard and Coutts Announce World Sailing League

February 9 - Lisbon, Portugal

Both Cayard (right) and Coutts (left) are committed to skipper teams. Portuguese-based international sports marketer Joao Lagos (center) is also heavily involved in the formation of the league.
©2007 World Sailing League

The World Sailing League, a joint venture headed by Marin's Paul Cayard and Kiwi sailing legend Russell Coutts, became more than just a rumor today at a press conference in Lisbon. Details are light at the moment, but it is known that the series will consist of 12 teams, representing nations, fleet racing 70-ft one design catamarans. There is also the possibility of time trials and slalom racing. At stake is $2 million for the series winner.

The catamaran design is still to be finalized, and the first prototype is expected to launch later this year. Fourteen of the one design boats will be built in 2008, with the first event slated for 2009.
©2007 World Sailing League

Boats and equipment will be transported between venues on a customized support ship, what organizers consider a "transportable pit lane." No word about where racing will take place or which countries will be represented, but it's worth noting the information on the WSL Web site is available in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Chinese.

It's still early, but from where we sit, this has all the right ingredients - name recognition, a wealth of experience, forward thinking, and international support - to be a big winner for the world racing scene. We expect to have more information in a future issue of Latitude 38. In the meantime, you can read the complete press release at www.wsl2009.com.

- latitude / ss


Armed Boardings Can Be a Good Thing

February 9 - Ensenada, Baja California

"We were boarded in the fog by one of those cool-looking Mexican Navy gunboats on February 5 while 30 miles south of Ensenada," reports Rob Wallace of Newport Beach. "We were nearing the end of a delivery from Puerto Vallarta. The members of the boarding party were courteous and brief - but all business. They also had me fill out a survey rating their performance! We all know that there were armed boardings in Mexican waters, by the Mexican Navy or the U.S. Coast Guard, in the past, but they were rare. A more visible Navy can only be good for all of us cruising Mexican waters. I, for one, don't mind the occasional inconvenience, and I welcome any increase in security."

As some of you may know, Alberto Calderon, the recently-installed President of Mexico, has made fighting drug cartels a major goal of his first year in office. Federal troops have been dispatched in large numbers all over the country, including to Tijuana, in order to, among other things, oversee the police, some of whom have been in cahoots with the drug smugglers. But make no mistake, the heat is on smugglers, so don't be surprised - or alarmed - by a boarding.

Speaking of smuggling, we had a friend from the Caribbean who apparently used to smuggle stuff from Colombia. He got caught, served a long term in prison, and was released. But according to his friends, the Colombians came back to him and said that he owed them another smuggle. So it was either do the job for them or get a bullet in the back of the head. So he did it. He was caught. We're told that on the way from the jail in England to the courthouse, the Colombians tried to kidnap him from the police, but were unsuccessful. When it came time for his sentencing, the judge said, "Your parole officer hasn't been born yet."

- latitude / rs

Historic Ketch Lively Lady Sails for Hawaii with At-Risk Youth

February 9 - San Diego

Those sailors who were conscious and ambulatory back in the mid-'60s will remember the tremendous excitement generated by Sir Francis Chichester's solo, one-stop circumnavigation aboard Gypsy Moth IV. Following in his wake a year later was British nurseryman and fruit vendor Alec Rose in his 1948 cutter Lively Lady. Rose, like Chichester, was knighted upon his return in the summer of '68 (354 days).

These days, according to the late Sir Alec's wishes, the boat is being used as a sail training vessel for disadvantaged or at-risk youth. Having just sailed north from Mexico, she departs today from San Diego - weather permitting - for Hawaii. Called the Raymarine Lively Lady Project, her 27-leg circumnavigation is designed as an educational and character-building experience for its young crewmembers, each of whom have done extensive advance work in preparation. The crew changes at each port call.

Still going strong, the 36-ft cutter (now ketch-rigged) was built in Calcutta, India, by first owner SJP Cambridge with the assistance of two Indian cabinetmakers.

Photo www.livelylady.net
©2007 Offshore Expeditions

To learn more about this worthwhile project, see www.livelylady.net.

- latitude / aet

That Sinking Feeling

February 9 - Tacoma, WA

Can you imagine walking down your dock to this sight?
Photo Scott Little
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Scott Little of Tacoma sent us this shot of a 42-ft woodie that sunk at Tacoma Foss Waterway last weekend. "The owner had just bought the boat and was moving it from Seattle to Olympia when he stopped overnight in Tacoma," Little wrote. "He said it was a good deal but had a small leak. It sank overnight." What a terrible way to remind folks to make sure your thru-hulls are sound and your bilge pumps are working.

- latitude / ld

West Coast Cats All over the Caribbean

February 9 - The Eastern Caribbean

While standing in line to fly out of the British Virgin Islands yesterday morning, we got into a conversation with the couple behind us - who turned out to be Steve Dilbeck and Carolyn DeBoer, who have the Express 37 Escape in Santa Cruz. They were in the BVIs because they also have a boat there, a Voyage 440 cat named Skedaddle. It's actually their second cat in the Caribbean. Their first was a Lagoon 42 that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan, which hit Grenada in '04. They first heard about that while in the wilds of Canada when the Coast Guard called to ask if they knew why their EPIRB had gone off.

Anyway, Lloyd's paid off in about three months, and they ordered the owner's version of a Voyage 440 cat built in South Africa. They've been loving it ever since taking delivery about 18 months ago. They are also fortunate in being able to get enough time off to really enjoy the cat. "We go for about 3.5 weeks about five times a year," says Steve. "Three and a half weeks is nice because it makes the long trip to the Caribbean seem worthwhile, and after that long Sharon and my business partners like me to come back to Santa Cruz for awhile."

Carolyn and Steve, heading home . . . but only for a bit.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

The couple tell us that on an upcoming trip, they'll be joined by a Monterey Bay couple who, like them, have a monohull in California, but are thinking about buying a cat for the Caribbean.

If you've read the February issue of Latitude 38, you probably know that we've put the new-to-us Leopard 45 'ti Profligate in the Tortola-based B.V.I. Yacht Charter management program. As we eased her back into the slip not far from The Moorings base in Road Town a couple of days ago, we couldn't help noticing that the Leopard 45 next to ours was Dreamcatcher from Los Gatos. And that another Leopard 45 in the program is Sognare from Sacramento. That means that three of the company's four biggest cats are owned by Northern Californians. If anybody wants a great deal on a eight-person bareboat charter in the British Virgins, call B.V.I. Yacht Charters at (888) 615-4006, and they'll set you up with any of these Leopard 45s. Rates for eight people vary from $4,350 in the off-season to $6,550 in the high season. Based on personal experience, we can assure you that these are great cats for eight, featuring four cabins with heads/showers en suite, and have enough room for someone 6'4" to stand in the front of the salon or comfortably crash in the bunks.

A few hours later we had dinner with Tim Schaaf, former dockmaster at Cabo Isle Marina, and his lady Marsha McCoskrie. A couple of years ago they bought a Leopard 45, christened her Jetstream, and have totally tricked her out. They do crewed charters in the BVIs and can be reached at www.jetstreamsailing.com. Tim, by the way, knows everything there is to possibly know about the Leopard 45s, and how to dress them out for personal use.

Tim and Marsha
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

A few days earlier, while dinghying across St. Martin's Simpson Bay Lagoon to get some great Indian food at the place on the water across from the airport, we spotted what looked to be a brand new Chris White designed 48-ft cat called Katzenjammer. We don't know who the owner is, but the good-looking cat showed St. Helena as a hailing port.

©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

We're sure there are more West Coast based cats in the Carib; these are the ones we just happened to come across in our limited travels.

Of course, a lot of cats in the Caribbean hail from places other than the West Coast. Such as Allures from the famous ocean sailing country of Luxembourg. Allures is a Bluebay 102, and makes the Privilege 48 to forward and port of her look like a dinghy.

- latitude / rs

Allures can be chartered for about $70,000/week.
Photos Latitude/Richard
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

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©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.