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America's Cup: Kiwi Stumble Gives Alinghi a Third Win

June 29 - Valencia, Spain

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The Kiwis took the start in the fifth - and possibly most exciting - AC race.
© 2007 Ivo Rovira / Alinghi

The promise of the America's Cup has always been the most exciting match racing in sailing - a battle of equal parts physical strength, mental agility and boat design brought together in one exciting 10-day series. After a long, long drought, the duel between Cup defender Alinghi of Switzerland and challenger Emirates Team New Zealand, has finally lived up to that promise - and more. Not only has the 32nd America's Cup, currently being raced off Valencia, Spain, taken Europe by storm, it has captivated most of the sailing world - and much of the non-sailing world.

And Race 5, completed just hours ago, was perhaps the most heart-pounding of all. At the end, Alinghi triumphed, winning their third race and now leading Emirates 3-2. But little about this race was straightforward. In perfect 15-knot seabreeze at the 3 p.m. (Valencia time) start, Emirates skipper Dean Barker, with Terry Hutchinson calling tactics, backed the Swiss into a corner in the prestart maneuvers, forcing Alinghi helmsman Ed Baird and tactician Brad Butterworth to seek refuge in the spectator fleet. By the time Alinghi made it back to the line, they were trailing Emirates, which rounded the top mark 12 seconds ahead. But the best laid plans of the Kiwis came undone on the run when a small rip in their asymmetrical spinnaker turned into a blowout. They were ready with a replacement, but a miscommunication at deck level resulted in the second kite being hoisted before it was secured at the bottom. While it blew out sideways beside the boat, a third 'big red' was hoisted and the boat finally sorted out. By then, of course, Alinghi had sailed by.

Alinghi overtook ETNZ after they blew their chute.
© 2007 Ivo Rovira / Alinghi

The Kiwis started making inroads into the Swiss lead, carving back to within three boatlengths in a tacking duel on the second beat, then closing a bit more on Alinghi while flying a symmetrical spinnaker (perhaps having exhausted their supply of aso's?) on the last run. The Swiss, as ever unflappable, held their nerve and their course to win Race 5 by 19 seconds.

If you have not yet seen any America's Cup racing, do yourself a favor and get up early tomorrow morning ­ on the West Coast, coverage begins on the Versus network about 6 a.m. (Check local listings for channel number.) The coverage is excellent and the racing itself will have you wishing there was more than one race a day.

The first boat to win five races wins the America's Cup. Race 6 is tomorrow, followed by a layday on Sunday, with Races 7 and 8 scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Will there be a winner by then, or will this one go 'all the way' to nine races? These two teams are both so well matched, it's impossible to tell. But we're looking forward, as never before, to finding out.

As always, you can find much more information at www.americascup.com.

- latitude / jr


Flying High

June 29 - 30,000 feet

In Monday's 'Lectronic we challenged readers to guess where intrepid Senior Editor Andy Turpin is taking his 'busman's holiday'. As a clue to his wherabouts, we included this photo:

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

The guesses ran the gamut from Mt. Blanc in the Alps (he wishes!) to Mt. Kilimanjaro. But 61% of the guessers agreed with Greg Frame from Auckland, New Zealand, that Andy was "sailing at 30,000 feet past Mt. Rainier."

On clear days like this, locals say "The mountain is out."
Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

Andy will be back in the office next week with a full report of his exploits for 'Lectronic.

- latitude / ld

The July Issue of Latitude 38 Is Out

June 29 - San Francisco

We don't know if 'the mountain is out' today, but we do know that the new issue of Latitude 38 is. Pick yours up at the usual places.

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

If you subscribe to Latitude 38's eBooks (or want to), check our eBook page - www.latitude38.com/ebooks.html - around 1600 PDT today. We hope to have the July issue available by then.

- latitude / cw

Suffering Sassafras!

June 29 - Chesapeake Bay

After leaving Alameda in October, 2001, Jacque Martin and Joe Brandt of the Wauquiez 47 Marna Lynn joined the Baja Ha-Ha to launch their cruise to the East Coast. This month the couple picked up Joe's 93-year-old dad (who also crewed for them on the Ha-Ha) in Virginia and worked their way up the Chesapeake to the Sassafras River. They'll base themselves there for the next year or so while they cruise the Bay. We hope to hear more from Jacque and Joe in the months to come.

Joe, Joe's dad T.I. Brandt, and Jacque are cruising the Chesapeake.
© 2007 Jacque and Joe Brandt

- latitude / ld

Summer Racing Fun

June 29 - San Francisco Bay

You'll have to pardon the untimeliness of these photos, as we're still catching up from last week. As our deadline for the July issue loomed on Sunday, it was a busy time around here for the Latitude staffers stuck in the office. And, by all accounts, it was a busy time for sailors as well. We counted six separate racing events on the Bay alone and understand that there were hundreds of boats out taking in the clear skies, good breeze and plenty of sunshine. Hope you doused yourselves in sunscreen! Here's a sampling of the racing activity:

Down Under, Mr. Natural, JR,
and Ginna Fe race down the track during San Francisco YC's lightly attended but highly competitive Easom Founders Regatta.
© 2007 Peter Lyons / www.lyonsimaging.com

Mike Quinn, Linda Hanafee, and their daughter Erica flex their muscles on their C&C 99 Sheeba during the YRA's Summer Sailsticerace on the Berkeley Circle (and beyond).
© 2007 Peter Lyons / www.lyonsimaging.com

Knot a cloud in sight as Knarrs charge up the Bay for St. Francis YC's Woodies Invitational.
© 2007 Peter Lyons / www.lyonsimaging.com

Results from all races are online at www.sfyc.org, www.yra.org and www.stfyc.com, respectively.

All that sun was nice, but now that the Bay Area's all-natural A/C unit has reappeared, we're in full summer-mode. Get out and make the most of the season, and if you're lucky, a long holiday weekend!

- latitude / ss

Ayala Cove Etiquette

June 20 - Angel Island

We received the following report from intrepid Angel Island reporters Mary Lou and Don Oliver aboard their Ericson 38 Cappuccino:

"We stopped by Angel Island for the night on June 21. It was the first time we'd been there since the ill-fated weekend with the mooring buoy entanglements. We were very pleased to see that the Parks Department is apparently checking and maintaining the new buoys. It also became obvious why they don't tip over anymore - those are noteworthy shackles!"

The new moorings at Ayala Cove are maintained regularly.
© 2007 Mary Lou Oliver

Anyone planning to spend time in Ayala Cove this summer should remember that the orientation of the mooring field has changed slightly. All boats should be facing the Richmond Bridge and should always tie bow and stern (no free swinging). Park Superintendent Dave Matthews would also like to remind boaters that there is a two boat maximum for rafting and that they should tie up to the docks to pay before taking moorings. But, most importantly, Matthews would like to remind folks that it is never okay to anchor in Ayala Cove, as one boater thought when he grabbed a single mooring and then tossed out a stern anchor.

Follow these simple and common sense rules and you'll undoubtedly have a pleasant stay at Angel Island. If the moorings are full, just ask someone if you can raft up and make some new friends!

- latitude / ld

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