'Lectronic Index

Previous 'Lectronic Edition

Photos of the Day: Vallejo Race

May 7 - Vallejo

As their smiles will attest, the crew on Bonkers had yet to live up to their name when we saw them just after the start.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Sailors in this weekend's Vallejo Race would be forgiven for thinking that the earth had fallen off its axis this weekend as they bashed their way upwind to get to the mother of all Cinco de Mayo parties at Vallejo YC on Saturday. In "normal" years, which has been every year since anyone can remember, the Saturday portion of the race - one of the largest inland sailboat races in the country, and the big enchilada of the YRA racing calendar - is a fantastic spinnaker run across San Pablo Bay. Sunday is usually the long, cruel slog to windward back home. Not so this year, where all 287 boats faced a beat from the start near the Berkeley Circle all the way to the finish off the Vallejo YC on Saturday. Luckily, Sunday's forecast for northwesterlies across the Bay was wrong, and everyone enjoyed a mild, albeit delayed, spinnaker run on the trip home Sunday after the start was postponed one hour to allow boats to get out of the shoaled-up harbor.

Cipango trails Kokopelli2, seen in the distance, approaching Vallejo. K2 led the 287-strong fleet around the first mark and all the way to the finish.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

There was other good news to be had over the weekend, however. First, the sun shone all weekend long and you couldn't have asked for clearer skies or more pleasant weather. And second, this year's entry list represented the first increase in entries since 2003. "Stopping the decline was a major goal for my first year as YRA Chair," says Pat Broderick, who sailed his Santana 22 Elaine in the event, "but the real credit goes to YRA executive director Laura Paul whose new ideas and energy made it happen."

The spinnaker on this boat sits in the bow pulpit, ready for action. It had to wait until the trip home on Sunday to see the light of day.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Look for photos of Sunday's race in the Wednesday 'Lectronic. In the meantime, provisional winners in each division from Saturday are as follows:

Multihull: Gaijin, Peter Adams (8 boats)
Express 27: Freaks ona Leash, Scott Parker (10 boats)
Beneteau 36.7: Mistral, Ed Durbin (5 boats)
Antrim 27: Always Friday, John Liebenberg (4 boats)
SF180: Goose, Catalina 30, D. Michael Kastrop (9 boats)
Express 37: Elan, Bill Riess (8 boats)
Islander 36: Captain Hooke, Tom & David Newton (10 boats)
J/105: Taboo, Phil Laby/Rich Pipkin, Mary McGrath (13 boats)
Olson 30: Naked Lady, Jeff Blowers (3 boats)
Olson 25: Sweet Ness, Nesrin Basoz/Reuben Rocci (11 boats)
Santana 22: Carlos, Jan Grygier (4 boats)
Vallejo I: City Lights, Santa Cruz 52, Tom Sanborn (10 boats)
Vallejo II: Stewball, Melges 32, Caleb Everett (11 boats)
Vallejo III: Acabar, Jeanneau 45 Sunkiss, Jean-Yves Lendormy (9 boats)
Vallejo IV: Shenanigans, C&C 36, David Fiorito (8 boats)
Vallejo V: Kelika, Hunter 33.5, Mike Weaver (9 boats)
Vallejo VI: Wuda Shuda, Soverel 26, Craig Page (7 boats)
Vallejo VII: Cheeseburger, J/22, Kristen Lane (9 boats)
Party Circuit G: Astra, Farr 40, Mary Coleman (5 boats)
Party Circuit H: Mintaka 4, Farr 38, Gerry Brown (7 boats)
Party Circuit J: Mon Desir, Jeanneau 36 Sun Fast, Jerry Nassoiy (15 boats)
Party Circuit K: Chimera, Custom Little Harbor 47, C. Grant Miller (13 boats)
Party Circuit M: Boog A Loo, Cal 29, Nancy Rogers (14 boats)
Party Circuit SF30: Shameless, Schumacher 30, George Ellison/Harry Macartney (10 boats)
IOR Warhorses: Aleta, Peterson 46, Keith Brown (5 boats)

The Vallejo Race is one of the rare opportunities to see multihulls, old woodies, cat-rigged boats and plastic classics lined up on the same race course.
Photos Latitude/Sutter
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Complete results at www.yra.org.

- latitude / ss & jr


Long, Long Distance Singlehanding

May 7 - Vina del Mar, Chile

We're continually impressed at the incredible things that 'unknown' sailors do. Take Dale Jennings of Wilton, California. On November 5 of last year, he departed Sausalito singlehanded - because his wife Tammi still has a career - on what would be a 52-day nonstop passage to Easter Island. Fifty-two days! It was made a little longer by a late season Mexican hurricane that forced him to cross the ITCZ 600 miles further west than he would have preferred.

Dale in Vina del Mar, Chile
Photo Tammi Jennings
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

What tickles us about Jennings' achievement is that he did it aboard Penelope, a ferrocement Samson C-Petrel 37 sloop that he and Tammi had built during a 10-year period in the '60s and '70s in Dale's mother's backyard. The recent trip wasn't Dale's first long passage. He and his family had sailed to Australia and back on the same boat in the '90s. But now that the kids are grown and Tammi is still working, Dale is doing a lot of singlehanding. And he doesn't seem to mind. After Tammi visited with him for three weeks in Chile, Dale took off again on what he expects will be about a 70-day nonstop passage back to San Francisco.
A great big tip of the Latitude cap to Dale.

- latitude / rs

Help Wanted Ad: West Marine VP Marketing

May 7 - Watsonville

West Marine is looking for a creative and innovative CRM savvy VP of Marketing/Chief Marketing Officer. This person will be a member of the Executive Committee of West Marine which is responsible for the strategy and execution of initiatives that drive long and short term growth. This person will work closely with our dynamic team of senior leaders to develop and implement marketing strategies aligning the company's brand, products, and multi-channel business with key segments of boating.

Significant boating and marketing experience is essential.

If you want to work in a fun and challenging environment and align your love of boating with your vocation, or know someone who fits the bill, please email Becky Stein or Nicole Freitas.

Louis Vuitton Cup Coming Down to the Wire

May 7 - Valencia, Spain

Action off Valencia in Round Robin 2 of the challenger elimination trials is drawing to a close. By the time you read this, most teams will have completed 9 or 10 of their 11-race series. RR2 ends Wednesday. As noted in Friday's 'Lectronic Latitude, only the top four boats from Round Robins 1 and 2 proceed to the semi-finals, and the top three have long been known: America's BMW/Oracle Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge.

At this writing, the coveted fourth spot looks as though it will go to Spain's surprisingly good Desafio Español syndicate. If Desafio beats Sweden's Victory Challenge this morning, they will secure fourth place, as no one else, even with straight wins, can earn enough points to unseat them. However, Victory Challenge is one of two teams still within striking distance. If the Swedes win today, they will be only three points behind Desafio with three races to go. Also in contention for fourth is Italy's Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia. To Desafio's advantage, in the next few days, both Victory and Mascalzone face match-ups with the top dogs, where wins are rare. We're betting Desafio holds onto their lead and proceeds to the semi-finals.

The B team syndicates - Team Shosholoza (South Africa), United Internet Team Germany, China Team, +39 Challenge (Italy) and Areva Challenge (France) - will all complete Round Robin 2 before heading home. Although it is mathematically impossible for any of them to make the final cut, any of them could act as spoilers, and as such shuffle the deck for the final four. It's all part of the intrigue
of the America's Cup. The semi-final round of the Louis Vuitton Cup starts in a
week. All four boats start with clean slates and earn one point per win. Boats match race each other until two earn five points (five wins) apiece. These two proceed to the Finals, where again, they start from scratch and the first boat to win five of nine races wins. The victor in that contest gets to face Alinghi at the end of June in the actual America's Cup best of nine match races.

For more on the 32nd America's Cup, log onto www.americascup.com.

- latitude / jr

Melges 24 Pre-Worlds

May 7 - Santa Cruz

Inconsistent conditions and inconsistent results were the order of the weekend on Monterey Bay at the Melges 24 Pre-Worlds. Chris Larson of Annapolis, driving Scott Holmgren's West Marine Rigging, scored a one-point victory over Britain's John Gimson, driving for Bateauneuf owner Eamonn O'Nolan, to win the Worlds tune-up. Holmgren's string of 16-5-1-4 finishes was one of the more consistent performances in winds ranging from 5 to 23 knots over the weekend. Only three skippers - Larson, 2003 world champion Shark Kahn of Soquel, and last month's Pacific Coast champion Brian Porter - had three single digit finishes in the four races. All four Pegasus Racing teams finished in the top 10 - Kahn third, Mark Christensen fourth, Dave Ullman ninth and Philippe Kahn, Shark's dad and the event's title sponsor, tenth.

With 77 boats on the same course, mark roundings are going to be tighter than a pair of whities this week at the 2007 Melges Worlds.
©2007 Fullpower Melges 24 World Championship

Of course, those results will count for little when the Fullpower Melges 24 World Championship starts Tuesday. Ten races - two each day - are scheduled through Saturday, starting at 12:30 p.m., conditions permitting. If you're in the Santa Cruz YC neighborhood, we recommend stopping by to check out the action. This is one of the only major international events on the Northern California racing calendar this year, and in addition to a strong contingent of local Melges sailors, there's an impressive roster of all-star sailors in town for the event. If you can't make it down there, follow the action online at www.melges24worlds2007.com.

- rich roberts & latitude / ss

Groupama III Smashes Playstation Record

May 7 - San Salvador, Bahamas

©2007 Groupama III

Franck Cammas and his ten crew on the 105-ft maxi tri Groupama III smashed Steve Fossett's Discovery Route record last week from Cadiz, Spain, to San Salvador, Bahamas. Averaging 21.79 knots on the 3,884-mile course, Groupama III's time of 7 days, 10 hours, 58 minutes and 53 seconds lopped more than 2 days off Fossett's record. When Fossett and the Playstation crew set the previous record back in February 2003, their average speed was 16.92 knots, which at that time seemed incredible. When will our quest for speed under sail reach its limit? We're willing to bet it won't be in our lifetime.

- latitude / ss

Top / Index of Stories / Previous 'Lectronic Edition

Subscriptions / Classifieds / Home

Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.