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May 11, 2009

An SOS from Liz Clark on Swell

After launching Swell, Clark sailed over to Teahupo’o on Tahiti-iti and rode waves similar to this bone-crusher.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Several times in the last four months or so, we’ve had reports from Liz Clark on the extensive refit she did on her Cal 40 Swell at Raiatea, French Polynesia. Clark, you’ll remember, is the young woman from Santa Barbara who is doing an open-ended sailing-surfing safari, most of it singlehanded. Her writings for Changes in Latitudes have been among the most popular features in Latitude.

After doing a large part of the hardest and dirtiest work on her boat, Clark finally relaunched Swell and headed over to Tahiti to check out the legendary surf spot at Teahupo’o. She overcame her fears to ride some of the most dangerous and exciting waves of her life.

But all wasn’t well on Swell. Liz noticed a mysterious leak in her boat from beneath the engine. Finally, it could be ignored no longer. We’ll let her explain:

"Swell has another leak, a delamination due to a flaw in the original molding of the Cal 40 design. The boat will have to be pulled out of the water again, and the engine will have to be removed to access the damaged area at the back of the keel. This is a big job, one that I can’t do alone. It’s difficult to tell how big the project will be until the hull is opened up, but I estimate needing to raise about $5,000. After spending all my savings during the last haul out, I need help! If anyone would like to chip in, checks can be sent to: THE VOYAGE OF SWELL, 1021 Scott St. #205, San Diego, CA 92106. Or you can make a donation using PayPal to my account under [email protected]. Thank you so much for your help!"

Liz has never been a primadonna, as evidenced by her doing most of the dirty work during Swell’s last haulout.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

For the record, this is a repair that has been made on at least one other Cal 40 based out of Santa Barbara. After being repaired, that Cal 40 hasn’t had any problems since.

We at Latitude have made a donation and, even though times are tough, are encouraging as many of you as possible to do the same. Liz has made the transition from a relatively novice sailor to a courageous and competent adventurer, never shying away from the hard work that’s needed to be done. She’s got a great spirit and has truly been inspirational to so many. If you’ve enjoyed reading her reports, and would like to continue doing so, consider it money well donated. We know she’ll appreciate it from the bottom of her heart.

Get Out the Vote

The Bay Area’s Dan Woolery is up for the Seahorse Sailor of the Month. Make sure to get out the vote!

© Sharon Green

Readers of ‘Lectronic Latitude and Latitude 38 should be familiar with Dan Woolery’s Soozal and her successes in Florida and the Caribbean this winter. Woolery’s Mark Mills-designed King 40 took home wins in IRC 2 at Acura Key West Race Week and the Acura Miami Grand Prix, along with a class B win in the 800-mile Pineapple Cup from Ft. Lauderdale to Montgeo Bay during a three-month trophy-collection mission.

In decades past, Bay Area-based big boat owners were known for their exploits in far-flung locales, sailing under the predominant rating systems of the day. In recent years there’s been a relative dearth of traveling big boat campaigns originating here, despite the fact that the Bay — in particular St. Francis YC’s Rolex Big Boat Series — is ground zero for IRC racing in the United States. Given this context, we were stoked to learn that the Richmond YC’s Woolery got the nod from the sport’s great technical magazine Seahorse International Sailing as a nominee for May’s ‘Sailor of the Month’. Naturally, we’d like to see him win, and not just because he’s a Bay Area guy. We intercepted an email he sent out to his crew following the news:

"Guys, just found out about the Seahorse news. While it’s great to be recognized in this capacity, let’s face it: I only had one role out of the many that contributed to a successful winter in Florida. EVERYONE should be mentioned as none of this would have been possible without ALL of you. Thanks to all again for a winter that Susie and I will never forget."

Seahorse may not have had the space, but we’re happy to oblige. The Soozal crew included: Jeff Rubin, Tom Lihan, Greg Felton, Gary Sadamori, Chris Lewis, Pete McCormick, Matt Siddens, project manager Scott Easom, and tactician Robbie Haines.

Woolery’s competition for the honors — Ericsson 3 navigator Aksel Magdahl — made some pretty gutsy calls, which means he’ll be a tough opponent in the voting on Seahorse‘ website. So click on that link, cast your vote and help bring it home for a Bay Area program!

The Equator Goes High-Tech

Even in an age when first down markers magically appear on football fields, the Follow You Follow Me crew was surprised to find that the equator is now similarly marked.

© 2009 Allan Alexopulos

"We got a little delirious at the equator," report Pacific Puddle Jumpers Allan and Rina Alexopulos of the Volcano, CA-based Hunter 44 Follow You Follow Me. "As the attached photo of King Neptune, aka Jan Selderijk, clearly documents, we think we actually saw a line across the ocean at 0 degrees of latitude."

After their youngest daughter headed off to college in 2006, the couple sold their house, bought the boat and headed south. Initially, they had plans to transit the Canal and cruise the Caribbean, but after getting caught up in the excitement of this year’s Pacific Puddle Jump fleet, Allan and Rina decided to hang a right instead. "We are having the time of our lives, and we’re thrilled we made the decision to go west."

If you missed our mini profiles of this year’s fleet members, you can find downloadable files of both the April and May installments on our website. Look for a recap article on this year’s crossing soon in the pages of Latitude 38.

Lovin’ Every Minute of It

‘Go take a flying leap’ takes on a whole new meaning when you harness your kid to a halyard and let fly. Oh, to be 10 again!

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We hate to say we told you so but, well, we did. This weekend was one of the most stunning ones we’ve experienced in ages, with warm weather, light winds and a fireworks display to kick off summer. If you didn’t treat your mom to a mellow sail yesterday, we can only hope you bought her a big bouqet of roses to make up for it. We could continue to wax rhapsodic but instead we’ll just show you how others celebrated sailing on the Bay.

Fog didn’t obscure KFOG’s annual Kaboom fireworks display this year.

© 2009 Peter Lyons
Start planning next weekend’s adventure now by inviting some friends along for a ride.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you couldn’t make it out this weekend, you’re in luck — the extended forecast calls for more of the same for next weekend!

If you didn’t ‘Get Out the Boat’ this weekend, next weekend is supposed to be just as nice.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
It would be a crime to waste this weekend’s fabulous weather on anything other than sailing.