'Lectronic Index

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Photos of the Day: Doublehanded Farallones

April 9 - San Francisco

On a breezy day, with currents favorable both out and back, the Bay Area Multihull Association hosted the Doublehanded Farallones Race on Saturday. Nine classes, and a total of 101 boats, headed out to the Farallon Islands, 27 miles offshore under mostly cloudy skies, with a fair wind. By the afternoon, racers saw gusts well into the upper 20s as they returned to the start/finish line at the Golden Gate YC.

Elise falls victim to the South Tower Demon on the return to the Bay. Starting between 8 am and 9 am, finishing at or after 5 pm and handling the ocean and its challenges with two people can make for a long, cold day.
Photo Courtesy Chris Ray

Some close duels were fought right up to the finish
and some mental errors started to crop up as the finish line neared.
Photo Courtesy Chris Ray
More photos at www.printroom.com/pro/crayivp

Forrest and Rowan Fennell, sailing Rowan's Moore 24 Paramour, decided to capitalize on the serendipitous timing of the DH Farallones race and the first day of salmon season by dragging a fishing line out to the islands. They managed to hook a 10-lb. king salmon about 8 miles away from the Farallones and a seventh-place finish overall in the 100+ boat fleet.
Photo Courtesy Rowan Fennell

There are no reports of carnage from the race, however we understand that Phil Medley and Alan Prussia on the Corsair 24 C-Creature, who were planning to do the race, flipped over the night before in the central Bay. Thankfully nobody was injured and the boat was recovered. We'll have more on this story in Wednesday's 'Lectronic.

As for results, Trevor Baylis and Stan Schreyer on the 32-ft cat Lightspeed were the first boat back with an elapsed time of just over six hours. That was enough to give them third place overall on corrected time. Ray Wells' F-27 Wingit won on corrected time. As for the monohulls, David Kuettell's T-1150 Serena was the first boat back although Dave Hodges' Farr 38 Timber Wolf was the fastest monohull on corrected time, finishing second overall. Full results at www.sfbama.org.

- chris ray & latitude / ss


An Inconvenient Dissenting Opinion

April 9 - Planet Earth

Not everyone is jumping onto the Inconvenient Truth bandwagon - most notably, William Gray, one of the nation's top hurricane forecasters. "He's one of these guys that preaches the end of the world type of things," Gray said of Al Gore in an interview on Friday. "I think he's doing a great disservice and he doesn't know what he's talking about."

Gray, who's one of the most reliable hurricane forecasters in the country, has long poo-pooed the theory of global warming, instead theorizing that recent climate change is just part of a multi-decade cycle. Incidentally, Gray is predicting a "very active" 2007 hurricane season with a 74% chance of a major storm making landfall.

We at Latitude recognize that there certainly is climate change going on but, given the well-known climate cycles of the world and all the politics that have crept into science lately, don't know whether to believe Gore or Gray. But on the grounds that actions speak much louder than words, we'd find Gore to be much more believable if he didn't live in a 20,000-sq. ft. mansion that, according to the the Nashville Electrical Service, uses twice as much gas and electricity in a month than the average American family, profligate as they might be, uses in an entire year. His gas and electrical bills for 2006 came to just under $30,000.

- latitude / rs / ld

Sam's Anchor Cafe is Open Again

April 9 - Tiburon

Sam's Anchor Cafe in Tiburon, one of the Bay Area's favorite boat-in watering holes, reopened their doors last week after a month-long $500,000 'refit'. The popular restaurant shut down after a March 3 kitchen fire, which left many area residents and fun-loving boaters to fend for themselves. Considering how packed the docks usually are on weekends, we're certain the reopening will be met with cheers (and beers) all around.

Sam's Anchor Cafe is so popular with boaters that it's hard to find a spot to dock.
Photo Latitude/JR
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

- latitude / ld

America's Cup Update

April 9 ­ Valencia

You know the old saying about the only sure things in life being death and taxes? We hereby vote to amend that statement to something along the lines of "death, taxes, and controversy in the America's Cup." The 2007 edition of the race has yet to fully get underway, but there are already inklings of self-interest, questionable sportsmanship, and back room negotiations coming in to play. Then again, this is the America's Cup. What's new?

To the surprise of few, Alinghi won the 7-race Act 13 last week by a solid margin, using their final chance to line up against the potential challenger syndicates to reinforce their dominance. Although Act 13 was a fleet race rather than the match racing format we'll see for the remainder of the AC, there's little doubt that the Cup defender has top-grade crew work and boat speed, and will be a formidable force when the finals finally roll around.

What did come as a surprise was the fast performance of Italian syndicate +39 straight out of the gates. Skippered by Iain Percy and notoriously under-funded (many on the team haven't received a paycheck in more than four months), +39 led nearly the entire first race last week by a comfortable margin. The good fortune didn't last, as a broken spinnaker on the last leg led to a 10th place finish by the Italians. But someone somewhere must have been scared, and here's where the hint of controversy comes in.

When United Internet Team Germany took out +39's only current-generation rig during a port-starbord collision in race three the next day, the jury ruled that the Germans were at fault. To their own credit UITG bent over backwards to help +39 come up with a replacement mast. One remedy floated was that the Germans would give +39 one of its current racing masts. The jury supported the plan, but acknowledged it would require a change to the protocol governing the 32nd Cup since +39 would be using a mast designed and built by another competitor. Any change in protocol requires an agreement between the Defender and the Challenger of Record, BMW Oracle Racing. Continuing its practice to consult all challengers before agreeing to a protocol change, BOR met with the entire Challenger Commission to vote on the amendment. The tersely-worded statement following that meeting simply said the change was a no-go. Whether the veto was due to a team (or teams) wanting to get +39 out of the way, or trying to avoid setting a precedent for additional protocol changes, is unknown. True to form, no one is talking. In an interesting aside to the story, +39 announced yesterday that its representative on the Challenger Commission, Paul Henderson, is no longer part of the team or the Challenger Commission. Henderson had been rather outspoken publicly about the unfairness of the Challenger Commission's ruling. Again, no word as to the cause for the sacking. In any event, it's gotten people talking - and wondering - what's going on over in Valencia, and whether any of this is good for the sport.

All that aside, here's how it looks going into the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series: Emirates Team New Zealand goes into the LVC series with four bonus points on account of its top rank among the challengers in the last nine Acts. San Francisco's "hometown team", BMW Oracle Racing, is the second-ranked challenger and carries three bonus points into the LVC series. So do third-ranked Luna Rossa Challenge and fourth-ranked Desafio Espanol. Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia, Victory Challenge, +39 and Shosholoza have two points, with the South African team making a late charge in the last few Louis Vuitton Acts to move up the standings. +39's two points are part of the redress awarded by the jury after the dismasting. Areva Challenge, United Internet Team Germany and China Team settle for one point, the French having dropped in the ranking following a 10th place finish in Act 13. Odds-makers still have ETNZ as winner of the LVC, but as as we know, this is the America's Cup. Anything can - and will - happen between now and the trophy presentation.

As for +39, the team is working to get its boat and rig race-ready for the first round robin racing in the LVC series next week. Suffice to say, however, it's highly likely that Percy and Co. will be among the teams packing their bags when the round robin stage concludes in early May.

- latitude / ss

Mark Your Calendar for Strictly Sail Pacific

April 9 - Oakland

For boat owners, the arrival of spring means it's time to address that long list of boat projects which have been lying dormant over the winter. We can think of no better place to get tips, insights and materials for virtually every project on your list than at the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show, held April 18 - 22 at Oakland's Jack London Square. In addition to getting valuable 'face time' with all sorts of vendors and manufacturers, free seminars are offered daily on subjects ranging from racing tactics to onboard yoga techniques.

This year, Latitude's show involvement will include several special events on Friday, April 20: a West Coast Circumnavigators' Rendezvous aboard the replica schooner Lynx at 2:30 pm); a Baja Ha-Ha How-To seminar (5:45 pm in the St. Francis tent) by event founder and Latitude 38 publisher Richard Spindler; and a Baja Ha-Ha reunion party, 7:00 pm at the Latitude booth, #321.

To make the most of your visit to Strictly Sail Pacific, check out Latitude 38's boat show planner, either inside the current issue of Latitude 38, or as a free PDF download. It can be accessed by clicking on the thumbnail on our home page. There is also a link on our e-Books page. See www.latitude38.com/ebooks.html.

©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

- latitude / at

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©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.