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Photo of the Day

March 12 - Ensenada, Baja California

This 45-ft ketch was the victim of a galley-related fire in Ensenada on Saturday. Photo Lynn Bradshaw
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Details are still sketchy but Lynn Bradshaw aboard her Hans Christian 33T La Vita reports that a 45-ft ketch caught fire at Marina Ensenada on Saturday. Lynn said the new owner of the boat was on board cooking when the fire started. The onboard fire extinguisher didn't help - it's not clear whether it failed or just couldn't keep up with the flames - so the fire department was called. The first truck arrived in just minutes, but the fire had progressed so quickly that the propane tanks exploded and the whole boat was engulfed. "The firemen really risked their lives," Lynn recounted, "because there was diesel in the tanks, gas in the dinghy and possibly more gas stored on the boat." Firefighters finally gained the upper hand but not before both masts had fallen and the boat was gutted. The owner suffered a burn on his leg and was reportedly in shock over his loss.

We'll have more details in the April issue of Latitude 38, including ways to prevent such a disaster on your boat, but in the meantime, BoatU.S. is a great resource for fire prevention information. Check out their Web site at www.boatus.com/seaworthy/fire.

- latitude / ld


Big Daddy Regatta

March 12 - Pt. Richmond

Hanging out on the Wabbit Keala
Photo Latitude/JR
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Punxsutawney can have their groundhog. Out here in the Bay Area, there's only one way to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring, and that's to sail in Richmond YC's Big Daddy Regatta. Named for then commodore Bob 'Big Daddy' Klein, who conceived of the idea (with Gary Clifford) back in 1983, this 25th annual BDR was once again a smashing success, even down to having that commodity so rare in the past few months - wind. Well, at least on Saturday afternoon.

The legs were short, the breeze picked up after Race 1, and the current was strong on all Big Daddy courses.
Photo Latitude/JR
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

A hundred and one boats in 12 fleets turned out for the pirate-themed festivities - which included dancing Saturday night to the tunes of Shark Sandwich and awards for the best buccaneer attire. On the water, the usual format featured three short races Saturday on each of three neighboring East Bay venues - Southampton, the Berkeley Circle and the 'Deepwater' course off Treasure Island. That was followed on Sunday by the Big Daddy Pursuit Race - from the Richmond breakwater around Alcatraz and Angel Islands (in either direction) and finish back in the Richmond Channel. Almost everyone this year went clockwise, but alas, the breeze went away and much of the fleet ended up dropping out.

A mixture of boats drift over the line in Sunday's windless start.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.
Photo Latitude/Chris

The big winners of the weekend were 1D-35 owner Andy Costello and his Double Trouble crew, who won their division on Saturday and toughed out the light stuff to also win on Sunday.

Complete results for the Big Daddy Regatta can be found at www.richmondyc.org.

Cloud Nine (right) on the way to a win of the Ultimate 20 class on Saturday.
Photo Latitude/JR
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Saturday winners were: PHRF 1 - Double Trouble, 1D-35, Andy Costello; PHRF 2 - Desdemona, J/120, John Wimer; PHRF 3 - 10R, Beneteau First 10R, Chris Corlett; PHRF 4 - Dianne, Express 27, Steve Katzman; PHRF 5 - Paramour, Moore 24, Rowan and Marina Fennell; IRC - White Fang, Beneteau 40.7, Mark Howe; 99er - Razzberries, Olson 34, Bruce and Lina Nesbit; SF 30 - Shameless, Schumacher 30, George Elliott; J/105 - Wonder, Tim Kennelly; J/24 - Casual Contact, Edward Walker; Ultimate 20 - Cloud Nine, Jim Carlsen; Wylie Wabbit - Kwazy, Colin Moore.

- latitude / jr

J/24 Worlds a Smashing Success

March 12 - Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Hosted this year by the Vallarta YC, last week's J/24 World Championship was hailed by many longtime campaigners as the venerable class's best Worlds ever. The ideal combination of moderate breezes, relatively flat water, skillful race management and top-notch club facilities made it a memorable contest for the 70 competing teams from 14 countries.

Although consistently challenged by many top J sailors, the 2006 champ, Brazil's Mauricio Santacruz and his team aboard Bruschetta maintained dominance throughout the five-day, 10-race event (with one throw-out). Five U.S. teams made strong showings throughout the week, each placing in the top four in at least one race. In the final tally, Mark Ingham's Brain Cramp and Mark Hillman's Bethesda took second and third in fleet.

During its first decade of existence the Vallarta YC has hosted a variety of high profile sailing events, yet the J/24 Worlds was its premier event to date. For complete results, daily reports, and photos see www.j24mex.com.

- latitude/aet

Pirates for Pupils on March 21

March 12 - Punta Mita, Banderas Bay, Mexico

Just to remind everyone, the Pirates for Pupils fund-raiser will be held on March 21, just prior to the Banderas Bay Regatta. The event consists of a dress up as a pirate or wench lunch at the Dorado Restaurant in Punta Mita at noon, followed by a lovely 10-mile spinnaker run to Paradise Marina starting at 2 p.m. All boats are encouraged to participate, and all guest passengers are encouraged to donate $20 or more to a great cause that benefits both schools and the waters of Banderas Bay. When you get to the P.V. area, contact Ronnie 'Tea Lady' for details. We'll be there with Profligate and some of the other big cats, and hope you'll join in on the fun and fund-raising.

- latitude / rs

What's It Cost to Cruise Down in Mañanaland?

March 12 - Mexico

The subject was broached this morning when we spoke to Martin Vienneau, who way back in the early '80s bought hull #2 of the Brewer 45 ketches from Herb Madden of Sausalito Yacht Harbor. According to Vienneau, over the last five years he and his Japanese buddy Teruo lived happily on $15,000 a year - everything included, including flights back to Japan and the U.S. "We dined out all the time, too, but almost never stayed in a marina." Vienneau says that some folks cruise on less and some cruise on more. He estimates that the average would be about $22,000 a year.

Vienneau's ketch, Crystal Wind
Photo Courtesy Martin Vienneau

©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Vienneau reports that his friend Teruo, "The best crew I ever had," was forced to return to his native Japan because of kidney failure. Because he has to get on a dialysis machine three times a week, his sailing days are over. So Vienneau came back up to San Diego - but only temporarily. He'll soon be headed back to Mexico with his ex-wife. They split up 20 years ago, but nonetheless remained great friends.

- latitude / rs

Martin Vienneau with a small friend
©2007 Elizabeth Vienneau

Advertisement: Latitude 38 Needs a New Accountant

March 12 - Mill Valley

We didn't shoot the old one or anything, he just retired after all these years. We couldn't quite decide where to locate a new one, so we thought we'd ask you. If you own a small business and have an accountant in Marin that you'd recommend, we'd love to hear about him/her. Please contact Richard.

- latitude / rs

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