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One Apiece for America's Cup Teams

June 25 - Valencia, Spain

Alinghi leads Emirates Team New Zealand in the first race of the America's Cup.
© 2007 Thierry Martinez / Alinghi

America's Cup racing started on Saturday off Valencia. The best-of-nine series continues until one boat wins five races - and the Auld Mug itself. The Swiss Alinghi team drew first blood with a 35-second win over Emirates Team New Zealand in Race 1 on Saturday. But the Kiwis came back on Sunday to sail by Alinghi in the second windward leg and hold them off for a 28-second win in Race 2. Although the Swiss boat seemed to have a slight speed advantage in the 12-14 knots winds on Saturday, the black and red Emirates boat seemed to have a slight edge in the slightly lighter breeze on Sunday. Neither team has shown clear advantage or superiority over the other, which could mean this could actually be an interesting contest rather than a shutout like the last five or six America's Cup matchups.

Monday is a layday. Racing resumes on Tuesday. Watch it on the Versus Network starting about 6 a.m. PDT (check listings), or log onto www.americascup.com for the play by play.

- latitude / jr


Far Far wins Coastal Cup

June 25 - Santa Barbara

Overall Coastal Cup winner Far Far in the foreground just after the start on Thursday.
Photo Latitude / JR
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

Don Grind's TransPac-bound Cal 40 Far Far kicked off its summer ocean racing tour by winning Encinal YC's Coastal Cup. Far Far finished at 3:07 a.m. Saturday morning after nearly 41 hours, but on corrected time, completed the course in 29 hours, 30 minutes, 41 seconds.

Conditions were wild, to say the least. Between a light-air start off St. Francis YC on Thursday and the usual windless fight to the finish at Santa Barbara YC 277 miles later, the breeze peaked at upwards of 40 knots along the coast, and the 22-boat fleet was battered physically, if not emotionally. The worst hit was Steve Waterloo's Cal 40 Shaman, which dismasted south of Morro Bay and had to motor into Santa Barbara. John Kilroy's first-to-finish TP52 Samba Pa Ti and John Cladianos' Schock 40 Secret Squirrel both crossed the line with broken booms, and there are reports from several boats of nasty knockdowns. We've heard of at least one middle-of-the-night broach that lasted 30 minutes. Even after Byron Ehrhart's TP52 Lucky dropped its kite, the crew still saw speeds of 14 knots under main and jib alone. Lucky later dropped out of the race for unspecified reasons.

Secret Squirrel, seen here just after the start, was one of several boats that arrived in Santa Barbara with collateral damage.
Photo Latitude / ss
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing

Most of the fleet trickled in Friday night and Saturday morning. Michael Andrews' Santana 22 Bonita, the smallest race entry, was also the last to finish, arriving in Santa Barbara at approximately 3 p.m., Saturday. A pre-race favorite, the crew slowed the boat down in a measure of self-protection on Friday evening and still managed to finish fifth overall. Complete results are at www.encinal.org. Be sure to check out the full race report in the July issue of Latitude 38.

- latitude / ss

An 'Empties' Gesture

June 25 - Queensland, Australia

Courtesy The Queensland Times
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

The above photo is of Aussie mates Brad Gillam, Rob Meharg and Chris Taylor sailing their brewski brigantine - made from 8,000 empty beer cans - down the Brisbane River to raise money for the SIDS and Kids Queensland charity. Read more about these alcohol-addled Aussies in the July issue of Latitude, which will hit the stands this Friday.

- latitude / ld

Nice Kitty

June 25 - Isle of Wight, Britain

Mike Slade's spectacular new Leopard, a 30-meter Farr ICAP design, is seen here in action for the first time during last weekend's JP Morgan Asset Management Around The Island (of Wight) Race. The first shot is of her rounding The Needles, and gives a good idea of just what a monster she is. Indeed, in many respects - length, canting keel, twin daggerboards - she's similar to Roy Disney's much-modified Pyewacket, which will be starting the TransPac in a couple of weeks. The new Farr design replaces Slade's R/P 92 Leopard of London, which had been sold to Spain.

Leopard stretched her legs in the Around the Island Race.
© 2007 onEDITION

Starting just after dawn, Leopard and her 28-person crew of sailing all-stars, plus guests, completed the 55-mile course in just 4 hours and 23 minutes, despite relatively light conditions. She came within minutes of breaking the monohull course record established in 2001 by Slade's R/P 92 Leopard of London.

Line honors, however, went to the indomitable Ellen MacArthur on the Extreme 40 catamaran JP Morgan Asset Management, which covered the course in four hours and six minutes. Despite nine-foot seas and just 12 to 17 knots of wind, MacArthur and crew hit speeds of close to 30 knots.

There were another 1,797 boats on the course - we're not kidding and that's no typo - sailed by approximately 14,500 sailors. This despite the fact the Around the Island Race coincided with the start of the America's Cup.

Carrying what appears to be half the population of England, Leopard nearly broke the previous Leopard's old monohull record.
© 2007 onEDITION

If all goes well - plans always change - we might get to sail on the new Leopard this New Year's in the Around St. Barth Race. How would something as unlikely as that happen? While Profligate was anchored off St. Barth a few years ago, Chris 'the hardest working captain in sailing' Sherlock, the skipper of Leopard of London, asked Doña de Mallorca if she could keep an eye on the 92-footer while he took his charter guests into town. From such little things friendships are made, so when they were short of crew for the Around St. Barth Race the next year, we got a chance to lend a very small hand. That's how things often work in the world of sailing, even at the higher levels. Sherlock has told us he wants that Around St. Barth record and that we're invited. The moral of the story - it behooves you to always be ready to do small favors for others.

- latitude / rs

Where's Waldo?

June 25 - Somewhere Out There

One of the Latitude editors has gone off on a bussman's holiday - a week of sailing in an officially undisclosed cruising ground. The photo below will give you a hint, though. See if you can guess where we are, and exactly what is depicted in the image, email us your guess.

Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

Although the point of a sailing vacation is to kick back and enjoy the magic of sailing, we probably won't be able to keep ourselves from snapping a few more mystery photos along the way. We'll try to post them later in the week if the technology gods allow.

- latitude / at

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