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February 11, 2008

The Lost Weekend

G2 was just one of hundreds of boats out this weekend shaking the recent rain from their sails.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We had all sorts of plans this weekend to get some long-overdue maintenance work done on boats, cars, what-have-you. But when Saturday dawned so lovely and warm, all those plans went out with the tide. The entire weekend was spent on the water and we weren’t alone. We literally saw hundreds of boats ditch their ‘honey do’ lists to go out for a mellow sail.

On boat after boat, sailors couldn’t seem to contain their joy at being out on the water.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Part of the fun for us was experiencing our first Coastie boarding of the Latitude 38 photoboat. Knowing we were all legal — well, we had forgotten to apply our new registration stickers but luckily they were on the boat — we weren’t a bit worried and really enjoyed chatting with the young men. We were interested to learn that the biggest infraction they cite for is out-of-date registration, so if you haven’t renewed (or attached your new stickers!), don’t delay.

Break out the handcuffs, boys! Nah, our photoboat’s boarding on Saturday couldn’t have gone more smoothly.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you couldn’t tear yourself away from shoreside duties this weekend, don’t worry. Next weekend’s forecast is for more sunny skies. We don’t want to jinx anything but could the dreary winter weather really be over?

You just never know what you’ll see on the Bay. Southern Marin Fire & Rescue’s fireboat was either practicing their aim on Sunday or celebrating the return of sunny weather.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Barcelona World Race Winner Finishes

Paprec-Virbac 2 will cross the finish line today to win the inaugural Barcelona World Race.

© 2008 Yvan Zedda

After three months and more than 25,000 miles, the inaugural edition of the Barcelona World Race — a doublehanded, non-stop race around the world — is finally over for the winning team. Jean-Pierre Dick and Damian Foxall aboard the Open 60 Paprec-Virbac 2, will cross the finish line today off Barcelona after 92 days at sea. The talented pair took over the lead several weeks into the race after the favored PRB team was dismasted and retired. Dick and Foxall were threatened several times by the British team aboard Hugo Boss, who muscled their way from last to second by the halfway point, but PV-2 never relinquished the lead. The Boss-boys, Alex Thomson and Andrew Cape, should arrive Wednesday to lay official claim to that hard-earned second. The tail-end boat, Educación Sin Fronteras is still 3,900 miles, one ocean and about three weeks away from the finish.

Jean-Pierre Dick and Damian Foxhall – sailors home from the sea.

© 2008 Barcelona World Race

With four of the original nine starters retiring due to breakage, and so much else happening here and abroad since the November 11 start of the Barcelona World Race (oil spill, IDEC’s round-the-world dash, Christmas, etc.), it was easy to let this event fall off our (and your) radar. However, whenever we found time to check in at the official website, we quickly got ‘re-hooked’. Before you, too, get sidetracked, we urge you to give it a look (, and particularly to check out the Race Documentary series, under ‘How To Follow’. These high-quality half-hour shorts — in English — not only show these incredible boats doing what they do best (going fast), but really bring out the personalities and unique interaction of the doublehanded crews.  

Next Stop, Nuku Hiva

John and Nancy Powers of the Napa-based Tayana 48 Meridian are planning to give their daughters, Maddie (L), 8, and Sophie, 6, an education in the school of life.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Although the word ‘paradise’ is perhaps the most overused descriptor in the lexicon of travel writers, few places are more deserving of that moniker than the islands of French Polynesia. This fact was reinforced in both Zihuatanejo and Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, last week at Pacific Puddle Jump kick-off parties sponsored jointly by Latitude 38 and Tahiti Tourisme — and hosted by Rick’s Bar and the Vallarta YC, respectively.

The crew of 59th Street Bridge had a similar idea. Their “first class passengers” will be anxious to meet the other cruising kids, out in the islands.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

French sailor Stephanie Betz made a special trip out from Tahiti to welcome this year’s fleet to her spectactular islands, enticing crews with a highly-informative talk and digital slide show. By the end, everyone in attendance — including this correspondent — was ready to toss off the docklines and head west.

This year’s La Niña condition is expected to bring reinforced trades on the 3,000-mile crossing to the Marquesas, which should make for a quick and exhilarating ride. In recent years more boats have complained about not having enough wind, rather than having too much. Look for a complete report on this year’s PPJ fleet in the March issue of Latitude 38.

Fish Taco Photo Contest

We at Latitude are in need of a photo of a fish taco — preferably a particularly delicious one about to go into someone’s gaping mouth — to illustrate a letter in the March issue. To that end, we’re announcing our first ever Fish Taco Photo Contest. The photographer and model of the winning photograph will receive three fish tacos each — the fish of their choosing — during either the Banderas Bay Regatta or the Sea of Cortez Sailing Week, whichever is most convenient for them. As the photo will be for use in Latitude, the nature of the photo should be less ‘prim and proper’ and more ‘over the top’. Send your high res entries to Richard.

Harker rushed out of Hooters in Miami and down the docks on his folding bike to see if Wanderlust 3, the boat he’d just circumnavigated aboard, had exploded.
After a test sail on San Francisco Bay on Saturday, 39-year-old David Vann of Tallahassee, Florida, hopes to leave Sunday on a four-month non-stop singlehanded circumnavigation via the Southern Ocean aboard his trimaran Tin Can.
Anticipating a Deed of Gift challenge against Alinghi for America’s Cup 33, BMW Oracle Racing launched an Extreme 40 catamaran in Valencia on Wednesday as part of their workup to what may be an October series.