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April 24, 2009

America’s Cup – Onward Through the Fog

What almost appeared yesterday to be a ‘final decision’ now looks like the bell for just one more round of America’s Cup legal boxing.

Earlier this month, the New York Appeals Court ruled that BMW Oracle Racing and its home yacht club, Golden Gate YC, would be instated as the Challengers of Record for AC33, and that the ‘paper’ club, Spain’s CNEV — which was hastily created after the last Cup race to insure the event would stay in Valencia — was out. The next step was for members of BOR/GGYC to meet with members of Switzerland’s Alinghi/SNG to work out what happened next. Would it be a ‘regular’ A-Cup with multiple challengers sailing IACC monohulls, or a ‘special’ Deed of Gift match between just the two rivals in super multihulls? BOR arrived at that meeting yesterday reportedly favoring the former, so Alinghi naturally chose the latter.

As you probably know, BOR built a 90-ft LWL trimaran last year that’s in advanced sea trials. Alinghi reportedly has a multihull under construction near Lake Geneva that may have a 115-ft waterline. The ‘waterline’ business is one of the only limits the America’s Cup Deed of Gift puts on yachts: 90-ft max for a single-masted craft and 115 for two or more masts. The rumor is that the Swiss boat may fit their boat with some kind of token yawl rig to accommodate the additional 25 feet of LWL.

Then there’s the issue of venue. The Deed of Gift also stipulates that no Cup races may be held in the Northern Hemisphere between November 1 and May 1. Since BOR just became the Challenger of Record this month, and the Deed says the earliest race can be 10 months from the time the challenge is made, that would mean they could race as soon as next February. But it would also mean that it would have to be somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, a possibility that apparently neither side is eager to embrace.

Also from the Deed of Gift: “The Club challenging for the Cup and the Club holding the same may, by mutual consent, make any arrangement satisfactory to both as to the dates, courses, number of trials, rules and sailing regulations, and any and all other conditions of the match, in which case also the ten months’ notice may be waived.”

Bottom line: Since these guys can’t mutually consent that the sky is blue, don’t look for any sort of on-the-water competition for the Auld Mug to take place until well into next year — or the one after that.

Watch Mark Do The Canal

What would a beautiful Younger Girl such as this being doing with a skipper who looks like . . .

Younger Girl
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

San Diego’s Mark Sciarretta, who is not only a vet of multiple Ha-Ha’s, but also a serial and multiple boatowner, wants everyone to know that he and his new younger girl can be watched, via the internet, transiting the Panama Canal today. In this case, the Younger Girl is the Lagoon 380 catamaran he purchased in the Caribbean late last year, and which he’s been cruising ever since on his way to Mexico and California.

this? It’s because Mark, about to shave his head and face, is willing to embarrass himself a little to call attention to his favorite charity.

Younger Girl
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Mark reports they are scheduled to be doing the Lake Gatun Locks starting at 1:45 Pacific Time, and will probably be the middle boat in a three boat raft-up. Delays are common in the Canal, however, so they may run an hour or two late. To access the camera, click here.

If you get to the Canal website and have to wait, Mark wants you to visit site, and check out a charity he’d love you to support. If you have any questions about it, you can email him on his Blackberry at (503) 320-9859. It’s his second Blackberry, the first one having gone for a swim in the shorebreak at Grand Case, St. Martin, and not liking it one bit.

Latitude 38 Now on Facebook & MySpace

We had to recruit a few pre-teen web gurus to help us figure it all out but Latitude 38 finally has fan pages on both Facebook and MySpace. If you have no clue what we’re talking about, you have permission to skip to the next story. But if you’re on either (or both) social networking site, be sure to search for us and click our ‘Fan’ button. We’ll post updates on what’s going on at the magazine and around the Bay, and would love to hear what’s going on with you. And don’t forget to follow our tweets about the Delta Doo Dah on Twitter.

The Southern Route to Polynesia

Five years ago Philip and Leslie escaped the rat race to pursue a simpler lifestyle. And they have no regrets.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In recent years, more and more Pacific Puddle Jumpers are crossing to French Polynesia via Ecuador and the Galapagos than ever before — what we call taking the southern route.

Among them this year are Philip DiNuovo and Leslie Linkkila of the Kingston, WA-based Mason 33 Carina, who have already been ‘out there’ for five years. The following are excerpts from their report, sent this week via HF radio email. “We’ve passed the halfway point between the Islas Galápagos and the Iles Marquises, French Polynesia, and it’s been quite a ride. We have put 1,765 miles under our keel and have approximately 1,340 miles yet to go to Atuona, Ile Hiva Oa.

“. . . After the first two days we’ve had winds in excess of 15 knots (and sometimes over 30 knots!) all day every day and every night. . . For the most part we’ve had lovely, warm sun, but we have had days of squalls when a succession of storm cells would advance every half an hour or so from behind, accelerate and veer the wind (sometimes doubling it) which would send Carina flying to windward, rails in the water.

"The scenery, though very blue, is gorgeous and we never tire of gazing at the Pacific, particularly as we slide up and down enormous long period swells.  We’ve seen the moon through a full half cycle, and for the last couple of days have had the joy of watching a crooked-smile crescent ascend just before dawn accompanied by a glowing morning star — a syzygy of sorts — of Venus, Uranus and Mars.”

Look for a brief profile of the Carina crew and many others in the upcoming edition of Latitude 38. It will be out on the streets May 1, and also be available as a free download on the website.

Capricorn Cat owner Wayne Hendryx of Brisbane mimics a total freak out after the trailer hauling his boat broke down in Guaymas.
On Monday evening, five members of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco met with representatives of the YRA and any local yacht club or other organization that runs ocean races.