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Photos of the Day: a Surreal Sinking

April 18 - Mangaratiba, Brazil

Lord Jim
takes an unanticipated bath in the crystal clear waters near Angra dos Reis, Brazil.
Photo Holger Kreuzhage
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

As reported here earlier, the 72-ft gaff tops'l schooner Lord Jim struck an uncharted rock off the coast of Brazil recently, but was cleverly refloated and is currently being restored in a yard at Mangaratiba.

As described in the April edition of Latitude 38, watching the great schooner slip away into the depths was a horrifying and surreal experience for owners Tracy Brown and Holger Kreuzhage. Seeing these images, though, it's ironic that the location was so stunningly beautiful.

Kreuzhage reports that repairs are going well, using the excellent woods available locally. "This should extend her life for at least another 30 to 40 years," he says. "You can't keep a great old schooner down!" Stay tuned for photos of the ingenious refloating process.

- latitude / at


Weekend Racing Roundup Part 2

April 18 - San Francisco Bay

J/105s rounding the top mark in the windy and wet third race on Saturday.
©2007 Peter Lyons/www.lyonsimaging.com

As promised, here's the rest of the story to last weekend's racing. You'll recall from Monday's 'Lectronic that we said Friday night's beer can races started the weekend on a good note, and Saturday had something for everyone - rain, calm, sun and wind. At South Beach YC, 15 boats tried to cure their case of Spring Fever with a couple of races on Saturday. Don Sellers' Dehler 39 Josie topped the 'quick boats' fleet (PHRF 120 and below), while Bill Hackel's Islander 36 Highlighter led slower boats (PHRF 121 and above) with two bullets.

Meanwhile, on the Central Bay several boats ran into trouble - or had trouble run into them - as the wind piped up Saturday afternoon. Among the victims were Timo Bruck's J/120 Twist and John Hunt's J/24 Mr. Toad, who both fell prey the same J/24 in separate incidents on the Cityfront during J/Fest. (Adding insult to injury, Twist ran aground just east of St. Francis YC not long before she was hit.) We're told that prior to the two collisions, the owner of the at-fault J/24 had a nearly spotless record during 20 years of racing. Let's hope he got it out of his system.

Onboard Barry Lewis' Chance as the J/120s truck down the Cityfront in 30 knots of wind.
Photo Laura Watt
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Over at SFYC' s Resin Regatta, inconsistent sailing instructions led to some confusion in race two about how to round the leeward gate. Most fleets figured it out, but a confused Alerion Express and a Melges 24 literally crossed paths near the gate during the second race, resulting in damage to the Melges' starboard rail. With a temporary patch back at the dock that night, the Melges was back out on the race course the next day.

Talk about a study in contrasts. Nothing Ventured passes to leeward of Mil Besos on Sunday during the Resin Regatta. This wasn't the only time a Melges 24 and an Alerion Express 28 faced off during the Resin Regatta.
Photo Latitude / Sutter
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Speaking of the next day, what a difference! On Sunday racers were treated to clear skies, winds in the mid-teens, and just enough current to keep the game interesting. A perfect day, and for some sailors, a perfect weekend. Three boats - Russ Silvestri's Etchells 22, Alan Field's Melges 24 and Chuck Eaton's Alerion Express 28 - smoked their Resin Regatta divisions with straight bullets, as did Ed Walker's Casual Contact in J/Fest's J/24 division. Full results from all races are online: www.stfyc.com (J/Fest); www.sfyc.org (Resin Regatta) and www.southbeachyc.org (Spring Fever).

- 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.

The Cup Runneth Dry So Far

April 18 - Valencia, Spain

Hide the Prozac - for the third straight day, light winds have caused the cancellation of racing in the Louis Vuitton Challenger Elimination Series. It's hard to believe that after all the buildup, all the hype, all the spinning of the last four years, the 32nd America's Cup has yet to begin. But if you think this is frustrating for the sailing public, or the sailors, imagine being behind the cameras, where millions of dollars have been spent, big blocks of air time have been arranged and even more millions of advertising time has been promised. Or ashore at the America's Cup village, where tens of thousands of people have come to see the show - only to go home with few T-shirts. For what it's worth, the local bars are reportedly making a fortune.

The frustration aboard Mascalzone Latino has been evident on every Cup boat in Valencia for the past three days.
©2007 ACM 2007

While most of the daily quotes of the last few days center around the frustration of various teams, so far the best is from Mr. America's Cup himself, Dennis Conner. When asked a few days ago who he thought would win, DC said, "We already know who's going to win this America's Cup, don't we? It's going to be a Kiwi. It's just a matter of which one."

- latitude / jr

An Insider's View of the America's Cup

April 18 - Tiburon

Interested in getting an insider's view of the America's Cup without forking over thousands of dollars to fly to Valencia? Then be sure to reserve a seat for North Marine Group CEO Tom Whidden's presentation at Corinthian YC on Wednesday, April 25. The 57-year-old sailmaker and member of the America's Cup Hall of Fame will present a behind-the-scenes look at the race for the Auld Mug based on his experience with eight America's Cup campaigns (all with Dennis Conner; three times as a Cup winner). The talk begins at 7 p.m. Attendance is gratis, although the optional dinner beforehand is $12.50. Reservations for both the talk and the dinner are required and can be made at www.cyc.org/speakers/reservations.shtml. Be sure to reserve your seat soon, as CYC officials expect the talk will 'sell out'.

- latitude / ss

The Crazy Frenchman of Portobelo

April 18 - Portobelo, Panama

Some stories are so good that any attempt at summarizing them is like blurting a punchline without the joke. Such is the case with The Crazy Frenchman of Portobelo, a must-read tale posted on the Web site of Cheyenne Weil and Joshua Coxwell of the Brown Searunner 31 trimaran Time Machine (both are Oregonians who left San Francisco in November, 2005, and are presently in Belize).

By way of introduction only, the main characters are the crazy Frenchman, who lives on a ketch with at least one sail always up, even at anchor; the crew of a big spiffy poweryacht; a large audience of cruising boats anchored in this Panamanian stopover; and mysterious boat fires in the night. But like we said, this is one you really have to read to appreciate. Find it here: http://sv-timemachine.net/?p=234.

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 or email her.

- latitude / rs

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