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November 5, 2008

Joyon Close to the ‘Savior’

Following a slow spot in the middle of the Atlantic, Francis Joyon has his 97-ft Irens/Cabaret-designed trimaran IDEC 2 going in the right direction. Although the "simple sailor from Locmariaquer" is sailing in lighter breeze that will likely continue until he finishes, Joyon’s increased his lead over the current record pace for the singlehanded Route of Discovery run — from Cadiz to San Salvador via Grand Canary Island — to over 350 miles with just 300 miles to go while maintaining a heading that puts him very close to finish.

IDEC 2‘s website is entirely in French, so if, like us you have to rely on online translation software, you get some ‘interesting’ translations of the dispatches from the team:

"Far is necessary oneself some besides, and if Francis puts such an amount of coal, riding crop to all goes, car on its machine and other metaphors of the same barrel, it is although it knows pertinently that its happiness of the day will disappear tomorrow with the entry in the depression located in approach of the north of the Caribbean."

As poetically absurdist as that is, we’re having difficulty with a contextual reading — but feel pretty confident in saying that there seems to be a transitional zone associated with a depression that is slowing Joyon down, but not enough to lose him the record. Even in this light spot, he’s still traveling at over 10 knots. The record he’s pursuing belongs to Thomas Coville and his old ORMA 60 Sodeb’O and was set in 2005 at 10d, 11h, 50 min. Coville probably hasn’t had much time to sit back and watch Joyon, as the former prepares his new 105-ft Sodeb’O for an assault on Joyon’s 57d, 13h, singlehanded ’round the world mark. A couple months ago, Coville took Joyon’s 2004 singlehanded West-East transAtlantic record set in the previous IDEC.

Latitude’s Too One-Sided

Isabel ‘Piper Afloat’ Tifft, of the Bay-based Ranger 29 Voyager, recently wrote what this writer believes to be a very valid note:

"It seems you regularly run a letter from a woman who’s disgusted by a photo that’s more tawdry or cheesy than usual. Well, I find that sailors (especially Bay sailors) are a pretty tawdry bunch, so my expectations are not that high. As long as everyone concerned is a consenting adult, they can show whatever the law will allow.

"What disgusts me is the one-sidedness. Come on, people! Given the testosterone-saturated eye-candy I can find on any dock in the Bay, where are the men wearing nothing more than a little equipment and a big smile? Throw me a bone, here. I want to see short shorts scarcely punctuating tanned torsos, too — I just want something different in ’em.

"Neat or bearish, lithe or cuddly, let’s see some three-day scruff and zestful grins, great legs bracing mighty efforts, backs rippling with working muscles, those perfectly-proportioned sailorly arms — and skin! Skin! Skin!

"I’m no pervier than anyone else around here, it’s just that if you’re going to sink to such shameless cheesecake, you owe it to your own gleeful tastelessness to serve up some beefcake, too.

"Women are coming into their own in the sailing world as never before, and you sure don’t want to be too slow off the mark to catch them. Hope to see you on the water . . . with yer shirts off!"

We like to consider ourselves fair and balanced — at least where tastelessness is concerned — so we invite you to share your tawdry photos of more manly models. Just be sure to send them to LaDonna for . . . um . . . evaluation.

Isabel, this one’s for you:

After some chilly sailing near Sitka, Alaska, this sailor warmed up in a natural hot spring on Baranof Island.

© Sally Sailor

Missing a Rudder?

There’s hardly a weekend — heck, hardly a day — when sailing shutterbug Peter Lyons isn’t out shooting on the Bay. You can spot him zipping around in his Zodiac snapping shots of races and daysailors alike. But Lyons likes to help sailors too. "I found this rudder floating in Gashouse Cove Marina on Sunday," he told us. "I’d like to see it find its way home."

Peter Lyons found this rudder in Gashouse Cove this weekend. Come and get it at City Yachts fuel dock (adorable pooch not included).

© Peter Lyons

Rudders are generally considered required equipment for sailboats so we imagine the owner of this one misses it sorely. We don’t know what kind of boat it’s from (if you know, shoot LaDonna an email) but, if it’s yours, you can pick it up at City Yachts fuel dock in Gashouse Cove.

UPDATE: We’ve received a number of emails that the rudder appears to be from a Folkboat — do you know a Folkboat sailor who lost a rudder recently?

Darla Jean Update

In Monday’s ‘Lectronic, we posted a request for info on Darla Jean III, Jerry and Darla Merrow’s newest boat. A quick search of the USCG’s documentation records shows the boat is a 36-ft steel Scheepswerf built in 1959. Thankfully, Darla’s sister reports that one of their bank accounts has had recent activity in Mexico, so they’re likely alive and well. Though she’s asked the Coast Guard to call off their search, she’s still asking for sailors to keep an eye out for the couple to ease the family’s worries. If you have any information on the Merrows’ whereabouts, please email LaDonna and we’ll pass it on.

Light fog accompanied last Monday’s start off Coronado Roads, but the westerly breeze gave everyone a nice push toward the border.
What, no pretty pictures? As much as we all enjoy a good sailing photo, if you’re 2,000 miles from nowhere, you’ll be glad to hear you can still get the text of ‘Lectronic Latitude via Sail Docs on SailMail.
The last week or so reminded us once again how stepping off land and onto a sailboat can immediately put miles of psychic distance between oneself and the all the economic and political craziness of the day.