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Photo of the Day

March 2 - San Francisco Bay

Photo Courtesy Swiftsure
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Who are these mystery men? Long-time Bay racers will recognize the man on the right as Saratoga sailor Sy Kleinman, owner of two boats named Swiftsure, a teak-decked racer-cruiser (also known as 'Big Blue') and a pure-bred racing version, a Schumacher 54.

As for the man on the left, that's none other than legendary news anchor Walter Cronkite. Last Saturday, Sy and his wife, Phyllis, hosted Walter on 'Big Blue' for a sail around the Bay, out under the Golden Gate Bridge and back. According to Susan Ruhne, who passed this item on to us, "Once Sy turned the wheel over to Walter, he didn't want to give it back! Walter was in town for a Commonwealth Club event, and the organizer knew he liked sailing, so set it up."

Incidentally, we've always loved Sy's rationale for buying 'Big Blue' rather late in life (he's now in his mid-80s). The way we heard the story, he said he only had so many Sunday afternoons left to enjoy in life, and he'd just as well prefer to enjoy them out sailing. Amen to that!

- latitude / ss


March Issue Makes the Rounds

March 2 - San Francisco Bay Area

The March issue is trucking its way around the Bay today.
Photo Latitude/Annie
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

The March issue of Latitude 38 is being distributed today to all the usual locations. Get yours while they're hot!

- latitude / cw

Velux 5 Oceans Update

March 1 - Atlantic Ocean

After rounding Cape Horn a week ahead of his nearest competitor, and nearly two weeks ahead of the remainder of the fleet, it should come as absolutely no surprise that Bernard Stamm is poised to win leg two of the Velux 5 Oceans race. He's currently 200 miles southwest of Bermuda and 500 miles from the finish line in Norfolk, Virginia. His 14-knot average over the last 24 hours, combined with a forecasted increase in wind speed from a huge low-pressure system over the northeastern U.S., means that race organizers expect him to arrive in Norfolk on Sunday morning.

Photo Bernard Stamm
©2007 onEdition

But it has not been easy sailing for Stamm. Though the Swiss sailor likes to give the appearance of all being well on the good ship Cheminées Poujoulat, that's not necessarily been the case. He's had to collect rain water to supplement his ailing watermaker, and the other day he had to climb the mast twice, once to fix a bad connection in his electronics, and then again to repair his staysail halyard.

Of course, that's nothing for the other V5O racers. Second-place Kojiro Shiraishi has been battling light winds for most of the leg from Fremantle. At one point, he thought he'd have to make a pit-stop to top up on fuel and food supplies. Now 2,800 miles behind Stamm, he's had a reversal of fortunes, and is rocketing along the coast of Brazil, with an average 13-knot speed over the last 24 hours. He reports: "Racing in the middle of nature like this does give us lots of opportunities to test ourselves. If we can keep this good run we should be okay with water and food supplies to the finish. But it is all down to the wind. We will ask the wind Gods to look favorably on us."

It's been a light leg and mentally excruciating leg for Japanese sailor Kojiro "Popeye" Shiraishi, but leg two appears to have done well for his physique.
Photo Kojiro Shiraishi
©2007 onEdition

Novice circumnavigator Unai Basurko of Spain is in third, 4,312 miles behind Stamm and making the most of Koji's misfortunes, weather-wise, to plan a route that keeps him moving forward. Meanwhile, Graham Dalton, sailing the only Open 50 in this race (everyone else is racing Open 60s), and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston passed within a mile of each other on Wednesday, south of Brazil.

The two seem to have a running competition for who can make the most pit-stops in this race. (Or is it a cruise for them?) The score is tied at two apiece. Kiwi Dalton pulled into his home country to top up on food and fuel after a diesel leak ruined nearly all of his food stores, and then into the Falkland Islands to replace a broken mainsail headcar. Sir Robin returned to Fremantle just after the start to repair his autopilot, and then made his second stop in Ushaia to repair his mainsail headcar after passing Cape Horn. Also topping the to do list was fixing his satellite weather information systems - his wind instruments failed not long after he left Fremantle and he sailed across the Southern Ocean with only local weather reports when available. Sir Robin was also hoping to get a haircut during his layover. No, we're not making this up - and we're not sure Hollywood could either. Apparently he was too busy between the first and second legs of the race in Fremantle to take care of domesticities.

- latitude / ss

Ayala Cove Moorings Repaired

March 2 - Angel Island

Dave Matthews, Angel Island Park Superintendent, reported that the mooring field at Ayala Cove has reopened. New eco-friendly moorings were installed last month but were quickly closed after several boats were fouled in floating lines. "The mooring field repairs have been completed by the Department of Boating and Waterways," Matthews said. "The previous problems experienced by boaters should be resolved with the repairs." Bravo to the DBW for acting so quickly - rather surprising for a government agency.

- latitude / ld

Memorial for Joakim Jonsson

March 2 - Alameda

Details have been announced for a memorial service for Joakim Jonsson, a long-time Bay Area racer and boat builder who died on February 20 at the all-too-young age of 38.

This Sunday from 10:30 to 11 a.m., friends will celebrate Joakim's life by sailing past Blossom Rock. A 60-ft powerboat flying a Swedish flag will be on station just west of the buoy, and boats are instructed to leave it to port, under spinnaker if possible. The schedule will allow boats racing in this weekend's Spring Keel Regatta to be on time for their noon start. "We will score the jibes and post scores for the best wraps online," says Simon Winer, echoing the unique spirit and sense of humor of his friend. "We will not entertain protests or requests for redress."

A service will follow from 2 to 5 p.m. at Encinal YC. Friends are requested to bring a story and something for the potluck. There will be a keg and a no-host bar.

Anyone who wants to take part in the parade and needs a ride should contact Simon Winer. A flotilla will leave EYC at 9 a.m., returning to the yacht club by 1 p.m.

See the March issue of Latitude 38, which comes out today, for more on Joakim and the legacy he leaves behind.

- latitude / ss

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©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.