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First Day of America's Cup Racing Canceled

April 16 - Valencia, Spain

©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget

In what we fervently hope is not a foreshadowing of things to come, the very first day of racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup - the official challenger elimination trials for America's Cup 32 - was Canceled today because the breeze was too light and unstable.

Correct us if we're wrong, but didn't the powers-that-be choose Valencia specifically because of its reliable breeze? Excuse us while we have a Hauraki Gulf flashback.

The lone American entry, BMW/Oracle Racing, was slated to sail against United Internet Team Germany. That match will now be pushed to the bottom of the schedule. Assuming there is wind tomorrow, BMW/Oracle will race the South African Shosholoza team and Sweden's Victory Challenge.

BMW/Oracle's new grinder Tatjana Patitz shows off her winning form. Yeah - they wish. Actually, the German supermodel was scheduled to sail aboard in the 18th 'man' position for the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup. No word on whether she can make the rescheduled match-up.
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW Oracle Racing

Eleven teams from nine countries are competing for the right to face 2003 Cup winner Alinghi Challenge in the America's Cup best-of-nine match races in June. To follow the challenger trials, log onto www.americascup.com.

- latitude / jr


Weekend Racing Roundup

April 16 - San Francisco Bay

In case you missed it, this weekend was a story of extremes and demonstrated that Mother Nature is still working out the kinks of spring before we get to receive the blessings of summer.

The prelude opened Friday night with a lovely, albeit light evening for Beer Can racers around the Bay. Is there any better way to cap off a work week?

Prime Mover enjoys prime conditions during the second race of Berkeley YC's Friday night series.
©2007 Peter Lyons/www.lyonsimaging.com

Chapter One - the 54th annual running of the bulls in the El Toro fleet, otherwise known as the Bullship - came around early Saturday morning with plenty of the wet stuff falling from the sky. All but two of the hardy Toro sailors who'd signed up for the race came to the starting line anyway, and all but one of those who came finished. Winner Will Paxton covered the course from Sausalito to San Francisco in less than 50 minutes. Not a record-setting pace, but mercifully quick for an 8-ft dinghy in driving rain. Will's dad, Fred, finished second, and Gordie Nash rounded out the podium finishes in the 29-boat fleet.

The Toro fleet and the spectator fleet braved the elements for Saturday's Bullship.
Photo John Riise
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

The second chapter - the climax, if you will - hit Saturday afternoon and featured clearing skies, a big ebb and wind upwards of 30 knots on some parts of the Bay. Can you say 'wet'? J/Fest racers on the Cityfront saw the best of the action, although those sailing in the Resin Regatta on the Berkeley Circle and South Beach YC's Spring Fever certainly had their fill of the fun as well.

The J/Fest sailor above managed to stay on this J/24 with some timely help from his friends.
©2007 Chris Ray/www.crayivp.com

We'll have the rest of the story on Wednesday, with more photos from Chapter Two and a summary of Sunday's stunning Grande Finale. If you're a CliffsNotes kind of person, go to www.stfyc.org for J/Fest results and www.southbeachyc.org for Spring Fever results. Scores for the Resin Regatta should be available at www.sfyc.org later today.

- latitude / ss

Advertisement: Charter a 'West Coast Cat' in the Caribbean

April 16 - British Virgin Islands

Three of the four Leopard 45 catamarans in our fleet are owned by Northern Californians. These cats were designed and built specifically for four couple - or big family - charters in the BVIs, as they have four cabins with heads/showers en suite and the most spacious salons and cockpits in their class. Prices range from just $540/week/person in the low season to $820/week/person in the high season. Come find out what your sailing neighbors already know - that sailing a cat in the Caribbean with your friends and family is a blast. We also have a large fleet of monohulls. Having been in business since 1974, we like to think we can answer all your charter questions. So please call us at (888) 615-4006, visit our Web site at www.sailinthebvi.com, or email us.

Young Puddle Jumpers to Set Sail for Marquesas

April 16 - South San Francisco

As our regular readers know, most sailors heading from the West Coast to French Polynesia jump off on that 3,000-mile passage - dubbed the Pacific Puddle Jump - from points along the Mexican coast. But Ciel and Angie Tierra of South San Francisco are bucking the norm. They'll head out the Golden Gate this week, intending to jump off directly for the Marquesas after a coastal shakedown cruise to Santa Barbara.

Their Islander 34 Tuscany was bought seven years ago as a bargain fixer-upper, but is now one of the more unique boats in this year's 60-boat fleet. With Angie's help, Ciel, an accomplished shipwright, has spent untold hours customizing every inch of the interior with fine ash and mahogany joinery. Her main salon is a veritable Chinese puzzle or woodworking innovation, including a disappearing flat-field monitor and a double-fold inlaid dinner table.

Ciel and Angie making last-minute additions to their floating masterpiece.
Photo Latitude/Andy

Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Read more about Angie, Ciel and the rest of the '07 Puddle Jumpers in the April and May editions of Latitude 38.

- latitude / at

Is It Safe to Sail Inside of the Pt. Blunt Buoy?

April 16 - San Francisco Bay

William Coverdale raced on San Francisco Bay for years aboard his Olson 30 Killer Rabbit, but because of the racing rules, never sailed between the Pt. Blunt Buoy, off the southeast tip of Angel Island, and the island itself. He recently found himself aboard a boat skippered by a "senior sailor" who insisted it was safe to go inside. Coverdale wasn't so sure.

Recreational boats sail inside of navigation buoys all the time. For example, we cut inside of the Peninsula Pt. Buoy off Belvedere all the time, as well as the Pt. San Pablo Buoy, and several others. But the topography of the southeast tip of Angel Island has always suggested to us the possibility of isolated offshore rocks. So what's your experience? Have you passed between the buoy and the island? Or better yet, for informational purposes, have you sailed inside and hit bottom?

One we've always wondered about is '1' at the entrance to Mare Island Strait. Anybody know how much water is inside of that thing? (Email Richard.)

- latitude / rs

Need Sea Time?

April 16 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Latitude 38's 63-ft catamaran Profligate will be headed home from Puerto Vallarta April 29 and could use some experienced crew for the delivery to San Diego. If you're interested, call Doña at (415) 269-5165.

- latitude / rs

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