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November 2, 2007

Photos of the Day: Ha-Ha Start

It was pre-Ha-Ha when Capricorn Cat passed down the California Coast, under a fiery cloud caused by the many fires burning ashore.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Slow news was good news for the 150 boats in 14th Baja Ha-Ha, the cruisers rally that started off San Diego on October 29. At this writing, most are anchored safely in Turtle Bay with – compared to previous years – relatively minor bumps and bruises, especially considering winds to 35 knots on the two-day, 380-mile passage. There were lots of torn sails, but the only really painful injury was a possible shoulder dislocation.

The Ronald Reagan crashed at least part of the party when she pulled out of San Diego, delaying the departure of several Ha-Ha boats.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

That doesn’t mean there was no excitement. On Wednesday morning, Mary Forrest, sailing aboard the 45-ft catamaran Capricorn Cat, was dipping a bucket of water off the back step to clean up after filleting a fish, when the bucket jerked and off she went. Quick work by the Cap Cat crew had her back aboard so quickly that half the crew (recently off watch and asleep) didn’t even know about it until they woke up.

Recently dried out from her unscheduled swim, Mary Forrest gives a wave as Capricorn Cat glides by Oasis.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After a night of fun ashore at the Veracruz Restaurant yesterday, any Ha-Ha’ers left standing will assemble on the beach for the first of two big pot-luck parties ashore beginning at 1 p.m. today. Tomorrow, it’s off for Bahia Santa Maria on the second leg. Then it’s on to Cabo San Lucas where the first boats are expected to arrive on Thursday, November 7.

Ted and Cindy’s Oregon-based Harrier was looking pretty and sailing hard on Leg 1.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The 90-Foot Beast

It’s official – the AC90 Rule has been published and the future looks bright for the 33rd America’s Cup.

Briefly, the rule says AC boats will be 90 feet in length overall with a draft of 6.5 m (21.3 feet) and a displacement of 23 tons. Designers from the six current entries have been hard at work for the past six weeks brainstorming ideas and all seems amicable at this writing.

The old and the new. Computer-generated models of the most recent AC boat which was 75 feet and the proposed new 90-ft boat.

33rd America’s Cup
©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Now that the AC90 Rule has been disclosed to Golden Gate YC and their BMW Oracle Team, it’s likely that this is a big step towards overcoming obstacles and finalizing details so that all teams can move forward and start building their boats.

One concern GGYC had was that Alinghi had an unfair advantage since they designed the rule. Alinghi has agreed to change the rule enough to address concerns.

Now, eyes will turn back to the court ruling which could come at any time. Hopefully the remaining concerns can be sorted out in a sportsman-like manner and teams can forge ahead with building and training, getting back to what the Cup is really all about: history, athleticism and top-notch competition.

Boat Fire at Palmira Marina

Robin Aitken Hardy of the San Pedro-based trawler The Cat’s Meow sent us this report of a boat fire in Marina Palmira on October 20:

"The 80+-ft Mexico-flagged yacht Mi Barú was tied up to the end tie of Dock Two when a fire broke out around 9 a.m. Regular fire extinguishers were ineffective so the boat was pushed to a small dock on the breakwater, right behind the sailboat Sunbreak – with a woman, her two children, a dog, a cat and a turtle aboard. A young Mexican man in a dinghy took a man from the burning Mi Barú, then helped Marina Palmira workers tow Sunbreak – whose engine isn’t working – to another dock. 

Left with a disabled engine, the crew of Sunbreak had help moving the boat out of harm’s way.

© Robin Aitken Hardy

"Fire trucks and the Pemex fire boat arrived on the breakwater to battle the blaze – I would say that every piece of firefighting equipment in La Paz was on the breakwater within 30 minutes. The firefighters fought with everything they had – and they do not have anything near what folks in the U.S. are used to in terms of equipment!

Thankfully, the fire aboard Mi Baru didn’t damage any other boats in Marina Palmira.

© Robin Aitken Hardy

"They put themselves in harm’s way many times but weren’t able to put this fire out. They did manage to keep the boat tied to the dock, which kept the fire contained. Mi Barú was finally towed outside of the breakwater where it continued to burn off and on for another day."

In the September 21 edition of ‘Lectronic, we put out a call for volunteer bottoms to join in a study sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceutica to test new ‘green’ bottom paint in the Bay Area.
After you wake up from your sugar coma tomorrow, be sure to hit your local chandlery, yacht club or marina and pick up the November issue of Latitude 38.
We received reports this week from two intrepid singlehanding circumnavigators: Jeanne Socrates aboard her Najad 36 Nereida and Mike Harker on his Hunter 49 Wanderlust III.