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Photos of the Day: Opening Day

April 30 - San Francisco Bay

The theme of the Opening Day parade this year was 'Pages of Time'. 1934 is represented by San Rafael YC's 'The Rock'.

Ed Broberg

We in the Bay Area always have much to be grateful for when it comes to weather, and that was particularly true this weekend. Although fog at the Gate reminded us that summer isn't far off, boats out yesterday for Opening Day on the Bay - the 'official' start of the sailing season - saw perfect sailing conditions. 'Tis the season to get out and enjoy the Bay!

- latitude / ss

Flipping through the pages to 1945, we visit V-J Day aboard the Sausalito Cruising Club's entry.
©2007 Ed Broberg

One giant leap forward in time, and the Eagle has landed. Said Lucie Mewes, "That's the Island YC winning entry, despite the fact that our banner (One Small
Step For Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind) was weighed with a rope which fell
into the water and wrapped - you guessed it - securely to the propeller! Quickly our second sailboat, Lynn Christensen and Joy Brahmst's Ericson 38
Astraea, was entered as 210 (a gps-navigated sailboat) and towed our 209 to a
©2007 Ed Broberg

Light Airs Afflict Sailors on Both Coasts

April 30 - Ensenada, Baja California

Excruciatingly light wind isn't limited to Valencia these days. Back in the U.S., racing was postponed at the Sperry Topsider NOOD regatta in Annapolis this weekend when the wind failed to show on Chesapeake Bay for two of the event's three days. Like a Hollywood diva, though, when the wind finally made its stylishly late appearance, it was a sight to behold and racers were treated to sunny skies and a consistent 10-15 knot breeze.

Meanwhile, West Coast racers had their own challenges for the Lexus Newport Ensenada Race, the classic run for the border that departed Newport Beach on Friday. Of the 449 race entries, only 241 boats finished before the 11 a.m. cutoff yesterday. About 20 entries didn't start and an undetermined number dropped out along the way. According to press reports, some gave up the struggle in winds that reached double-digit velocity only briefly, while others - including many of the cruising class boats that comprised one-third of the fleet - motored into Ensenada. To put it in perspective, the first boat to finish was Doug Baker's Magnitude 80, which covered the 125-mile course in 21 hours, four minutes. In February, that same boat did the Puerto Vallarta race - which is 1,000 miles longer - in three days, 15 hours. Ouch!

The Bay Area's Paul Martson of the Corsair 31 Sally Lightfoot sent us the following report:

"Just back from the longest Ensenada I can remember in the eleven years I've skippered it. My crew were Bay Area Multihull Association sailors Amy Wells (skipper of the F-27 WingIt) and Darren Doud (owner/skipper of the F-31R Roshambo). We had light wind from the southwest most of the time. A run-in with a giant kelp paddy added an hour to our elapsed time. We sailed in the new XSracing.org fleet, well organized  by Randy Reynolds. Had we raced in ORCA we would have been beaten by Seven Sisters."

We're not sure what Seven Sisters is, but it just goes to show that if it floats, can be powered by the wind, and is more or less seaworthy, it will be in the Ensenada Race, billed as the world's largest international yacht race.
©2007 Paul Martson

Little did Lexus know how appropriate their banner would be. However, Darren Doud chose to drive Sally Lightfoot, and we suspect that he had no regrets.
©2007 Paul Martson

Results from the Annapolis NOOD are at www.sailingworld.com; results from the Ensenada Race are at www.nosa.org.

- latitude / ss

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

April 30 - 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.

David Takes Goliath at Louis Vuitton

April 30 - Valencia, Spain

In the biggest upset to date at the America's Cup trials, the bottom-ranked China Team beat top-ranked BMW/Oracle Racing in Louis Vuitton Cup action earlier this morning. Although the upset was due to a gear failure on the American boat - the headsail pulled out of the foil on the first beat - it was yet another surprise in what has become an interesting series between the 11 teams vying for the honor of racing the Swiss Alinghi team at the 32nd America's Cup in June.

CHN-95 and USA-98 cross tacks. For more photos, see www.bmor-photo.com.
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget

At the conclusion of the long-delayed Round Robin 1 on Saturday, BMW/Oracle topped the leaderboard with 21 points (9 wins, 1 loss and 3 points carried over from the Acts). Their only defeat was at the hands of the Spanish home team, Desafio Español, whose victory was naturally cause for much celebration in Valencia. In second and third place, respectively, were Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge and Emirates Team New Zealand. Coming in with a solid lock on fourth was Desafio Español.

Round Robin 2 began Sunday with a brief scare, when the wind once again failed to arrive at race time. Unlike the week-long race cancellations in RR1, however, enough breeze showed up after a two-hour postponement to get racing off on at least the Romeo (north) course, while racing on the Juliet (south) course failed to get enough breeze and was canceled.

Boats get two points per win in the Round Robins. At the end of RR2 early next week, seven teams will start packing for home and the four top teams will have a week to prepare for the semi-finals, which start on May 14. While the big three - BMW/Oracle, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand - are all shoe-ins for the semis, the big excitement of the Round Robins is which team will emerge in that coveted fourth spot. Right now, with another win this morning, Desafio is looking strong to be that team. To follow the challenger trials online, log onto www.americascup.com.

- latitude / jr

Stamm Wins Velux 5 Oceans

April 30 - Bilbao, Spain

Cheminées Poujoulat skipper Bernard Stamm crossed the finish line of the third and final leg in the Velux 5 Oceans race this afternoon at 5:13 p.m. European time. Stamm, a pre-race favorite, was even more favored to win after his two chief rivals, Alex Thompson and Mike Golding, were forced to retire during leg one. The Swiss skipper was unchallenged by the four remaining boats for the rest of the 29,000-mile circumnavigation, and, when results from all three legs were combined, his winning margin was nearly 15 days. Although his overall victory was convincing, his win on leg three was much tighter. The mast of his nearest competitor, Spirit of Yukoh, was in sight as Stamm crossed the finish line and Japanese sailor Kojiro Shiraishi finished within an hour to take second place, both for the leg and overall.

Bernard Stamm, pictured here at the finish of leg two in Norfolk, Virginia, swept the Velux 5 Oceans, with victories on all three race legs.
©2007 onEdition

Full race updates and position reports from the two remaining sailors, Unai Basurko and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who are battling it out for third, are at www.velux5oceans.com.

Small but Satisfying

April 30 - Pt. Richmond

Pt. Richmond's Brickyard Cove Marina held its first annual boaters' swap meet on Saturday. Unlike its more established counterparts, this swap meet was an intimate affair for friends and neighbors - no dealers, thank you - to sell their stuff at good prices and, best of all, at a decent hour. No shuffling through crowds at the buttcrack of dawn for this gang - they began at 8 a.m. To top off all this swap meety goodness, the marina provided free coffee, Krispy Kremes and hot dogs for everyone. Though it was small, the Brickyard Cove swap meet was hands down one of the most enjoyable we've been to in years. We hope the tradition continues.

- latitude / ld

It may have been small but the first annual Brickyard Cove swap meet was a success for everyone.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

These enterprising young ladies staffed the lemonade stand and donated half their earnings to the Red Cross.
Photo Latitude/LaDonna
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

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