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Photos of the Day: Samba Crushes the Coastal Cup

June 22 - Santa Barbara

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Samba Pa Ti was the first to find breeze, and not coincidentally, the finish line in the Coastal Cup.
Photo Latitude / Sutter
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing

Less than 24 hours after starting off St. Francis YC, John Kilroy's year-old TransPac 52 Samba Pa Ti crossed the Coastal Cup finish line in Santa Barbara just before 9:30 this morning. Not only did Samba finish the 277-mile race in a blazing 23 hours, 29 minutes, 45 seconds, but it did so with a broken boom! Reports coming from the finish indicate the breakage happened somewhere between five and eight hours into the race. We don't yet know the cause of the break, but we suspect it may have had something to do with reported wind gusts up to 40 knots.

The rest of the fleet is still spread out along the coast, with the Santana 22 Bonito (the smallest entry), reporting their position near Point Sur at 8 a.m. The lead boats still on the course - Kokopelli2 and City Lights, both Santa Cruz 52s, and the TP52 Lucky - have rounded Point Conception and are headed for the home stretch.

Before the wind finally filled a few hundred yards up the beach, the start was a drifter.
Photo Latitude / JR
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing

Twenty-two boats started the race yesterday morning under spectacularly clear skies and barely a wisp of breeze at the starting line. Most local boats opted to let the 3-knot ebb carry them out the Gate, but the two TP52s and the Swan 45 Rancho Deluxe sought wind over current and stayed close into the beach where the new breeze had started to fill. As a result, they were the first boats to clear the bridge by a long shot.

On the other end of the spectrum, two of the smaller boats in this year's fleet, Cookie Jar and Shanti.
Photo Latitude / JR
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing

Tracking the remaining competitors is a somewhat cumbersome process, but you can do it from race organizer Encinal YC's Web site. A grid with approximate positions reported at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day is at www.encinal.org/results/grid_checkin.html. To make sense of the grid, be sure to download the Call-In Protocol and Zone Map from the Coastal Cup tab on www.encinal.org.

- latitude / ss


A Passionate Pole

June 22 - Hawaii

Thirty-year-old Polish beauty Natasza Caban is not just a pretty face - she's also an accomplished sailor who plans on leaving Hawaii at the end of the month aboard her Sparkman & Stephens 34 Tanasza Polska on a planned two-year solo circumnavigation, making her the youngest Polish woman to accomplish such a feat.

Fashion model or solo circumnavigator? Natasza Caban could be both.
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

But Caban isn't in it for fame and fortune. She's been, to put it bluntly, obsessed with sailing since she graduated high school, crewing on dozens of yachts, from the Maxi 80 Kia Loa IV to Sydney-Hobart racers to Caribbean bound charter boats. Her stunning beauty and outgoing personality certainly opened doors but skippers quickly realized that she had much more to offer.

When Caban decided she wanted to crew in the Sydney-Hobart, for example, she had no crew position, no money and no place to stay. She found a request for crew online, asked the skipper to sponsor her visit to Australia, borrowed money from her family for a plane ticket and found a job the day after she arrived. On the ride back from Hobart, the yacht she was on dismasted and the entire crew had to be rescued, but her resolve never wavered. She's pursued her passion with a single-mindedness that has to be admired.

If she gets her way, as she usually does, Caban could become the youngest Pole to solo circumnavigate.
Photos Courtesy Natasza Caban
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

You can follow Caban's journey on her Web site - as thousands of Polish schoolchildren will be doing - at www.nataszacaban.com. Be sure to click on the little British flag in the upper right corner to get the English version.

- latitude / ld

Classy Classified: Cruising Cat for Sale

June 22

PRICED $80K BELOW survey: Mayotte 47'. Great condition, never chartered, 4 cabins, 4 heads/showers. Many spare parts, 6 sails, 2 Yanmar 38-hp diesels (<2000 hours), radar, 500 gpd watermaker, SSB, 2 marine band, 7kw gen. 2500w Hart inverter/charger, 4 storage batteries, 2 AC heat pumps, EPIRB, water heater, 8 cf 12v fridge/freezer, freezer box, microwave, 360w solar, 14-ft hard-bottom dinghy/25hp Yamaha. 8-man Avon liferaft. Fully equipped, ready to cruise Caribbean & 7 Seas. $249,900. Email for complete specs/survey or call (503) 810-4435.

America's Cup Begins Tomorrow

June 22 - Valencia, Spain

The America's Cup races begin tomorrow off Valencia. In this best-of-nine match-racing series, the first team to win five races takes home the Auld Mug for three to four more years. In the challenger corner, Emirates Team New Zealand, winner of the Louis Vuitton series, headed by Kiwi icon Grant Dalton, hungry to revenge their brutal 5-0 defeat in the Hauraki Gulf in 2003 at the hands of the Swiss Alinghi machine. In the defender corner, Alinghi, winner of, well, everything up to now (including the pre-Cup series of 'Acts'), headed by Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, and eager to show the world that their '03 victory was no fluke. At the helm of Emirates, Dean Barker. At Alinghi's wheel - just announced yesterday - American Ed Baird. Racing starts at 3 p.m. Valencia time (6 a.m. PDT) and will be covered live in the U.S. on the Versus TV network.

In addition to unparalleled bragging rights and the Auld Mug itself, winners of the America's Cup get to do a certain amount of fiddling with the Deed of Gift (the rules). In those and other ways, perhaps more is riding on the outcome of this America's Cup match than any in recent history. If the Swiss win, it will stay in Europe, which most Cupophiles think is a good thing. If the Kiwis win, it will go back down under - a logistically less desirable venue for European challengers - but the 'nationality clause' (removed by Alinghi) might be reinstated. Which many Cupophiles also think would be a good thing. Also at issue are the boats themselves - slow, heavy dinosaurs compared to anything in same size range today. Almost everyone with an opinion on the subject feels it's time for something new.

It all starts tomorrow. And if tradition and statistics mean anything, it will be a pretty one-sided event. For the last umpteen Cups, the first boat to round the first mark in the first race goes on to win - usually in a shut-out.

To follow the action, tune into Versus tomorrow morning early, and/or log onto www.americascup.com.

- latitude / jr

First Paid Entries Received for Baja Ha-Ha XIV

June 22 - Baja Ha-Ha Land

More than 165 Baja Ha-Ha entry packets have been sent out, and in the nine days since then, Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler reports that 16 paid entries have been received. Check out the list below. All indications are that it will be another big year, with between 150 and 180 entries. We can't wait for the end of October.

1) Capricorn Cat / 45-ft catamaran / Wayne Hendryx / Brisbane
2) Psyche / Taswell 43 / Steven Truax / Placerville
3) Grace / Formosa Peterson / Geoffrey Lane / Bainbridge Island, WA
4) La Sirena / Chapelle Schooner / Glenn Burch / Petaluma
5) Sail a Vie /Ericson 35 Mk II / Phil MacFarlane / San Mateo
6) Another Girl / Santa Cruz 50 / James Bewley / Richmond
7) Meridian / Tayana 48 / John Powers / Napa
8) Voyager / Beneteau 345 / Dean Hocking / Sausalito
9) Vinmar / Ranger 33 / Scott Haselton / San Diego
10) Deliverance / Hunter 41 / Dan Swett / Bonita
11) A Cappella / Valiant 42 / Ed Gould / Half Moon Bay
12) Pacific Star / Island Packet 35 / Horst Wolff / Paradise
13) Crème Brûlée / Island Packet 380 / William M. Noonan / Bainbridge Island
14) In Cahoots / Beneteau 49 / Tom Van Loo / Phoenix
15) Solace / Hylas 44 / Paul Rae / Littleton, New Zealand
16) Profligate / 63-ft catamaran / Grand Poobah / Tiburon

One good reason to enter is to take advantage of lots of free goodies and discounts. The latest discount comes from Costa Baja Resort & Marina in La Paz, which will be sponsoring the Third Annual Governor's Cup for cruisers on November 17 in La Paz, with free food, fun, beer, t-shirts and other stuff for everyone. Not only that, they'll give 30% off on berthing for a week to all Ha-Ha entrants.

Every Ha-Ha packet comes jam packed with Latitude 38's First Timer's Cruising Guide to Mexico and many discount offers.
Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

If you're interested in doing the Ha-Ha this year, you can get a packet by going to www.baja-haha.com. Why send in your paid entry as soon as possible? The sooner you sign up, the higher you'll be on the list for a slip at Cabo Isle Marina at the end of the Ha-Ha. And, the sooner you'll get your copy of Latitude 38's First-Timer's Guide to Cruising Mexico, which will answer many of the most frequently asked questions.

- latitude / rs

Master Mariners Boat Show Sunday

June 22 - Tiburon

The San Francisco-based Master Mariners Benevolent Association is one of the largest and most active classic yacht organizations in the country. They are also, as a group, some of the nicest folks you will ever meet. You are invited to join them this Sunday for their annual Wooden Boat Show and open house at the Corinthian YC in Tiburon.

The Corinthian YC harbor will be filled with beautiful woodies this Sunday.
Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

Upwards of 60 boats will be on display, many of them open for inspection. Among attendees this year is the 1891 scow schooner Alma - the last survivor of an indigenous fleet of waterborne 'big rigs' which used to transport goods around the Bay and Delta - as well as several skiffs, dories and whitehalls from the local chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association. As always, there will be food, live music, activities for kids, refreshments for adults - all in all a great outing for the entire family. Tickets are $10 (kids under 12 are free), with proceeds going to the Master Mariners Benevolent Foundation which provides funding for sail training scholarships and skills associated with restoring traditional sailing craft.

- latitude / jr

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