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Fun on the Fourth

July 6 - San Francisco Bay

Bay sailing at its best.
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Bay sailing at its best.

The streak of fine weather we’ve been having on the Bay stuck around just long enough to give us the most perfect Fourth of July in recent memory. Light winds around most of the Bay, with the happy exception of The Slot, allowed boaters to work on their tans and still enjoy a rollicking sail - at the same time!

Wild Thing
A boarder takes on Wild Thing.

Though we didn’t join in what we heard described as “the best spectator sport of the year” - jockeying for the best-possible viewing position for the fireworks - we did take the Latitude 38 photoboat out earlier in the day and got some great shots. If your holiday plans prevented you from enjoying the day on the water, here’s a little of what you missed.

- latitude / ld

Friar Tuck
Friar Tuck plows across The Slot.

Ayala Cove
Ayala Cove was full up with holiday revelers.

Ruby’s full load of passengers got their money’s worth on Wednesday.
All Photos Latitude / LaDonna
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.


Wendy Siegal Drowned

July 6 - Long Beach

We received the sad report from Holly Scott this morning that Wendy Siegal of the Long Beach-based Cal 40 Willow Wind died yesterday. It appears she slipped while trying to get on or off her boat at the dock in Alamitos Bay Marina, possibly hitting her head, and drowned.

Wendy Siegal
Wendy Siegal drowned yesterday.
Photo courtesy of TransPacific YC
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

“Wendy was the driving force behind the resurrection of the Cal 40 fleet in the TransPac a few years ago,” Scott reminds us. “Ironically, she’d just recovered from brain tumor surgery this spring and was all fired up with a new lease on life. Her partner Duncan Harrison is, of course, devastated.”

Our thoughts are with Wendy’s family and friends as they try to deal with this tragedy.

- latitude / ld

Latitude 38 Web Site Evolves

July 6 - Mill Valley

You may have noticed that some of the pages on our Web site (including this one) look a little different today. We're in the process of upgrading our pages to bring them up to current Web standards. If you notice any errors, please report them to the Webmistress. If you get a 'page not found' message when you try to use an old bookmark, it's probably because the name of the page has been changed. You can use our new nav bar menus to find it again.

We look forward to bringing you more nifty new functions very soon.

It’s All About the Money

July 6 - Valencia, Spain

The big America’s Cup news is that the 33rd edition, to be held in either Valencia in ‘09 or somewhere else in Europe by ‘11, will be competed for with a new class of 90-footers sailed by a crew of 20 or 21. Nobody seems sorry to see the current America’s Cup boats about to be relegated to the dust bin, as they are just too slow and boring for the world’s most well-known yacht race.

But let’s take a moment to praise the just completed 32nd battle for the Auld Mug. If it wasn’t as exciting overall as the windy one in Fremantle in ‘87, when Conner and crew defeated the Aussies 4-1, it was darnn close. And, as opposed to previous Cups, the races in the Finals weren’t predictably over 10 seconds after the start. Alinghi and Emirates New Zealand actually passed each other a number of times, and the racing was almost always delightfully close. Nonetheless, the most exciting moment of America’s Cup history was provided by a brilliantly timed fluke in the weather when, with just a short distance to go the finish line, the wind went light and then reversed direction. With seemingly nobody having seen it coming, chutes had to be dropped and be replaced by headsails. It provided the Kiwis with a ‘hand of God’ chance to reclaim the race and keep their Cup hopes alive. They came up short by a second or two, losing the Finals by a score of 5 to 2, but it was as an electric a finish to a major sporting event as one might hope for.

The 32nd America’s Cup was also a big hit with the public, particularly in Europe. Six million visited the America’s Cup venue in Valencia, and four billion watched at least some of it on television. The event was so popular that it even made a $42 million profit. Alinghi gets 50% of it, while the challengers get to split the other 50%, with larger amounts going to the teams that stayed in the competition the longest. Of course, half of $42 million is hardly going to make a dent in what the effort cost Alinghi. Indeed, it probably covers little more than the cost of the 300 jibs they had built.

The two biggest changes, in our opinion, needed for the next America’s Cup to be the most thrilling ever? First, for the venue to be moved to Cascais, Portugal, where the most recent one was supposed to have been held. Just a short distance from Lisbon, Cascais is said to have San Francisco Bay-type winds, meaning much stronger and more consistent breezes than found in Valencia. The second thing would for the 90-footers to be multihulls. Alinghi head Ernesto Bertarelli is known to love multihulls, and once suggested to us that they’d be great for the America’s Cup. Alas, it looks like ‘sliding keels’, which is apparently Swiss for ‘drop keels’, will be allowed on the new 90-footers, and that doesn’t sound like something that would be found on a multihull. By the way, the new 90-footers - the box rule for which won’t be finalized for months - won’t be used in competition until 18 months before the Cup itself. Until then, the run-up events will be sailed in the old America’s Cup boats.

Old AC boats
Say goodbye to the old “slow” AC boats.
© 2007 Thierry Martinez / Alinghi

Fun Comments:
* Paul Cayard was one of the first to say that the new 90-ft class would give a big advantage to Alinghi, the Defender, which is creating the parameters of the class. But then nobody ever said the America’s Cup was about being fair.

* Kiwi Brad Butterworth, the heart of the Alinghi team, said that Emirates Team New Zealand, like the country of New Zealand, would unlikely be able to reach the next level as long as it’s run in such an autocratic manner. It was a clear slam at 1) New Zealand, where he’s building a $2 million home, and 2) ETNZ honcho Grant Dalton who, it must be noted, has enjoyed considerable sailing success as a result of being an autocrat.

* Louis Vuitton proclaimed that if the America’s Cup is just going to be about the money, they will no longer be interested in sponsoring the elimination series as they have done for so many years. They think the event should be more about things like “elegance” and “tradition.” We doubt that the clock can be turned back now.

The Coutts and Cayard Question: Kiwi Russell Coutts, the winningest America’s Cup skipper ever, who sat out this year after a beef with Alinghi, and Marin’s Paul Cayard, who also sat out this year, are two of the biggest legends in sailing. If the rumors are to be believed, BMW Oracle wants Coutts badly, and the Spanish Defender of Record wants Cayard. There is just one juicy fly in the ointment. Coutts and Cayard recently announced that they were forming the international World Sailing League, which is to have 12 teams from around the world compete in the world’s major sailing venues using 70-ft one design catamarans. If the rumors are true, and if BMW Oracle and the Spanish are willing to dangle enough money in front of the two, we’d have to think that the World Sailing League will never touch water.

All in all, there’s a lot of fun America’s Cup topics to muse about while we enjoying sailing on our own boats.

- latitude / rs

A Nine-Day Cushion

July 6 - Long Beach

Regular readers of ‘Lectronic Latitude and Latitude 38 are certainly aware of the big names in this year’s TransPac race - in particular, Roy Disney’s mega-modified Pyewacket, and the Disney-funded Morning Light team of young adults whose training and racing from Los Angeles to Hawaii will be the subject of a feature film due out in 2008. If you’re already tired of the hoopla before the starting gun has fired, in all honesty, we don’t blame you. But there’s one more item we want to pass along before the results have to speak for themselves.

Lady Liberty
Slow boat to Honolulu: John Wallner’s Catalina 36 Lady Liberty is this year’s slowest TransPac entry.
Photo Courtesy Lady Liberty
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

Ratings were released on Wednesday, just days before Monday’s start for the first three divisions. And how much of a monster is the ‘new’ Pyewacket? If the ‘new’ 94-ft winged version were racing against the ‘old’ Pyewacket in its MaxZ86 configuration, the new would owe the old a whopping 21.15 hours. But that’s just hypothetical. For this year’s race, Pyewacket’s -33.110 second/mile rating means she owes the slowest-rated boat, John Wallner’s Catalina 36 Lady Liberty, nearly six minutes per mile. That’s 9.4 days over the 2,300-mile course - practically an entire race in itself! “Wow!” Wallner is reported as saying. “I’m already there. I figure if we’re the slowest boat, we’re the ones to beat. No one cares if they lose to Pyewacket, but no one wants to lose to us.” Although Pyewacket was modified more with an eye toward winning the Barn Door trophy for fastest elapsed time, Disney and crew haven’t given up on overall honors. “It might be close. We just have to pick everybody off before we get there,” Disney claimed.

Plenty of boats stand between both Wallner and Disney, and the Kalakua trophy. Doug Baker’s Magnitude 80 and Roger Sturgeon’s brand new and untested STP65 Rosebud, the second and third fastest rated boats in that order, should prove to be formidable foes. Mag80’s rating of 7.110 means that Pyewacket has to finish more than 35.7 hours ahead to beat her. Rosebud, for her part, has to finish within 50 hours of Pyewacket to correct out. The full ratings sheet is at Below is the complete list of official entries with NorCal boats in bold. We’d like to wish the best of luck to every sailor!

Bolt / Nelson/Marek 55 / Craig L. Reynolds / Newport Beach
Brilliant / J100 / Tim Fuller / Dana Point
Brown Sugar / Express 37 / Steve Brown / Long Beach
California Girl / Cal 40 #94 / Don & Betty Lessley / Point Richmond
Cheetah / Petersen 68 / Chris Slagerman / Marina Del Rey
Cipango / Andrews 56 / Bob/Rob Barton / San Francisco
Cirrus / Standfast 40 / William D Myers / Kaneohe, HI
Delicate Balance / Custon 56 / DBB TRANSPAC LLC / Monterey
Denali / N/M 70 / William F. McKinley / Grosse Pointe, MI
Enchilado / Jeanneau 54 DS / Cesar de Saracho / La Jolla
Far Far / Cal 40 / Don Grind / San Francisco
Fortaleza / Santa Cruz 50 / Jim Morgan / Los Angeles
French Kiss / Beneteau 50 / Bryan Daniels / San Francisco
Gaviota / Cal 2-46 / Jim Partridge / Los Angeles
Ginny / Calkins 50 / Chris Calkins/Norm Reynolds / San Diego
Ho’okolohe / racer/cruiser / Alyson & Cecil Rossi / San Francisco
Holua / Sled / Brack Duker / Chicago, IL
Horizon / Santa Cruz 50 / Jack Taylor / Dana Point,
Hugo Boss II / Volvo 60 / Alex Thomson Racing / UK
Hula Girl / Santa Cruz 50T / Beau Gayner / Newport Beach
Inspired Environments / First 40.7, / Timothy J. Ballard / Sausalito
It’s OK / Andrews 50 / Tres Gordo Sailing, LLC / Balboa
Kokopelli 2 / SC 52 / Chip Megeath / Tiburon
Lady Liberty / Catalina 36 / John Wallner / Oxnard
Locomotion / Andrews 45 / Ed Feo / Long Beach
Lucky / TP 52 / Bryon Ehrhart / Chicago, IL
Lucky Dog / J125 / Colin & Bob Shanner / Point Loma
Magnitude 80 / Turbo Sled / Doug Baker / Long Beach
Medicine Man / Andrews 63 / Robert M. Lane / Long Beach
Morning Light / TP 52 / Pacific High Productions / Honolulu, HI
Mystere / Swan 42 / Jorge Morales / Dana Point
Narrow Escape / Cape Bay/Fast 40 / Allen Lehman, Jr. / Payson, AZ
On the Edge of Destiny / 1D35 / Sean Doyle / Honolulu, HI
Paddy Wagon / Ross 40 / Richard Mainland / Los Angeles
Passion / Santa Cruz 50 / Steve Hastings / Corpus Christi, TX
Pegasus OP-50 / Open 50 / Philippe Kahn / Honolulu, HI
Peligroso / ULDB 70 / Mike Campbell & Dale Williams / Long Beach
Pendragon IV / Davidson 52 / John MacLaurin / Los Angeles
Peregrine / Hobie33 / Simon G Garland / San Diego
Psyche / Cal 40 / Steve Calhoun / Los Angeles
Pyewacket / Custom / Roy E. Disney / Newport Beach
Ragtime / Spencer 65 / Chris Welsh / Honolulu, HI
Raincloud / J 48 / Lorenzo Berho Corona / Nuevo Varrata, Mexico
Rancho Deluxe / Swan 45 / Michael E. Diepenbrock / Newport, RI
Recidivist / Schumacher 39 / Ken Olcott / Palo Alto
Reinrag2 / J125 / T. Garnier / Portland, OR
Relentless / Santa Cruz 52 / Brizendine/Durant / Long Beach
Rosebud / STP65 / Roger Sturgeon / Hyannis, MA
Ruahatú / Concordia 47 / Ricardo Brockmann / Acapulco, Mexico
Samba Pa Ti / Transpac 52 / John Kilroy, Jr. / Dover, DE (StFYC)
Shanti / Olson 911S / Jon Eberly / San Francisco
Skylark / SCZ-70 / Douglas R. Ayres / Newport Beach
Chasch Mer / Santa Cruz 50 / Gib Black / Honolulu, HI
Tabasco / 1D35 / Gary Fanger / Honolulu, HI
Tachyon III / SC52 / Kazumasa Nishioka / San Diego
Tango / J133 / Michael A. Abraham / Newport Beach
The Secret / Macgregor 65 / Rayson/Golding / Bundaberg, Australia
Tower / Lidgard 45 / Doug Grant / Los Angeles
Trader / TP 52 / Fred Detwiler / Ft.Lauderdale, FL
Traveler / Cruiser / Michael Lawler / Newport Beach
Uncontrollable Urge / Columbia 30SY / James & Chris Gilmore / San Diego
Verizon Wireless / Perry 56 / Timothy Beatty / San Diego
Westerly / Santa Cruz 70 / Mongoose Holdings, LLC / Newport Harbor
Windswept / Swan 57 / Pam & Max Phelps / San Diego
X-Dream / X-119 / Steen Moller / San Francisco
Yumehyotan / N/M68 / Yasuo Sano / Wakayama, Japan
LoeReal / Trimaran / H L Enloe / El Paso, TX
Minnow / Catamaran / ViaPlanes, Ltd. / Pryor, OK

- latitude / ss

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