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July 15, 2009

Geja in the Adriatic

The 1,000 islands and the mainland of Croatia are all spectacular, but thanks to the influx of charterers and charter guests, the most popular spots are expensive.

© 2009 Andrew Vik

Andrew Vik of San Francisco is spending another summer budget-cruising the Med aboard his Islander 36 Geja . . . and is making us sooooo jealous! Lots of people long for the South Pacific, but it’s the Med that gets us hot.

Vik put his boat back in the water in Croatia, and enjoyed some fun times at the beginning of the season there. It might have had something to do with wild girls in that part of the world being intrigued by relatively young California guys with ‘yachts’. As nice as Croatia was, Vik didn’t stay too long because it’s become a charter paradise, which means prices are high. Some places wanted $2/ft to berth, and even $1/ft a night just to anchor out.

“Does this skirt make my butt look big?” “Is my skirt too short?” Fun-loving Croatian girls don’t seem to ask such neurotic questions.

© 2009 Andrew Vik

So Vik, along with Andrew Wood, who he’d met at the Latitude 38 Crew List Party in March, sailed across the Adriadic to the east coast of Italy, primarily known for having a nearly featureless coast. But the two found some great places — and girls — and were knocked out by the warmth and friendliness of the Italians. Once the Italians learned they weren’t Brits, that is!

Andrew Vik and his Latitude Crew List Party crew Andrew Wood just got off Geja in Rimini when this large Italian family absolutely insisted they join them for their sit-down potluck prior to the huge Pink Night celebration to kick off the start of the summer season.

© 2009 Andrew Vik
Andrew, seen here with a boatload of girls, deserves some kind of Nobel Peace prize for fostering international relations, wouldn’t you agree?

Andrew Vik
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Most recently, Vik and another friend sailed up to Venice — where they’ve been knocked out by the beauty of it all. In fact, they are so busy being knocked out that Andrew hasn’t had time to report on any details.

Andrew figures there is no better way to seen Venetian scenes such as this as from your own sailboat.

© 2009 Andrew Vik

Next stop? Back to Croatia for the August high season, where it’s apparently so much fun that even the high prices can’t keep Vik away. For details on Vik’s adventures, see the August 1 Changes.

At last word, Vik was engulfing himself in the wonders of Venice. Who can blame him?

© 2009 Andrew Vik

Youngest Circumnavigator Arrives Thursday

Just a few months ago, Zac was in Durban, South Africa, and his Southern California homeport undoubtedly seemed a world away. But he made it. Intrepid will arrive tomorrow morning to great media fanfare.

© Laurence Sunderland

It’s all over but the media circus!

Thirteen months after departing Marina del Rey, 17-year-old Zac Sunderland is nearly spittin’ distance from crossing his tracks, and thus becoming the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe.

In anticipation of an enormous onslaught of press and well-wishers, Zac’s official arrival aboard his vintage Islander 36 Intrepid has been planned for 10:00 a.m. tomorrow at Marina del Rey’s Fisherman’s Village. (He’s currently anchored at Catalina, attempting to rest up for the frenzy.)

Having followed a route loosely based on the track of another Southern California teen during the 1960s, Robin Lee Graham, author of the best-selling book Dove, Zac intends to publish an account of his own adventures, as well as a two-DVD documentary.

When the Thousand Oaks native first announced his plans in the spring of 2008, skeptics placed long odds on his chance of success. His parents even had to endure criticism that sending their then-16-year-old son out to sea was irresponsible. Those voices are largely silent now, as Zac has shown competence and maturity well beyond his years. His feat is truly impressive, and we predict that the name Zac Sunderland will be familiar in sailing circles for many years to come.

Hot Off the Press – and the Internet

In this month’s issue we published a letter from Rex Bradley of the East Coast-based Edel 8.1 Tiger Regis, who was a regular reader of Latitude 38 until the Annapolis West Marine stopped carrying it due to the high cost of cross-country shipping. Imagine Rex’s delight when he found that he could download not only the most current issue of the magazine directly from our website — for FREE! — but he could also download issues dating as far back as May 2007. And we’re not talking about a ‘Reader’s Digest Condensed Version’ of the magazine; we’re talking the entire issue, including ads, Letters, Sightings, Changes, Classy Classifieds and, yes, even Max Ebb. Now, no matter how far you roam, you won’t have to trade your last bottle of rum for the latest issue of Latitude.

TransPac Arrivals Wind Down

Tim Fuller’s Relentless slides in ahead of John Kilroy Jr.’s Samba Pa Ti in one of what were a few tight finishes in the 45th TransPac. In the SC 50s’ Division 5, Bill McClure’s Allure beat Jack Taylor’s Horizon by only a minute and five seconds boat-for-boat, with the latter taking the division on corrected time.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The TransPac has the reputation of being the ‘serious’ race to Hawaii, but that doesn’t mean it excludes family efforts, or isn’t one in and of itself. There were plenty of boats that had multiple generations aboard; there were also siblings spread over different boats throughout the fleet. But the family doesn’t stop at the people — the eight sleds, four TP 52s, five SC 50s and four SC 52s that made the 2,250 mile trip are just as much a part of the TransPac ‘family.’ In the case of the sleds and the TP 52s, they’re family members who went off to different parts of the country, and world, only to come home and remind us of why they were born and bred here — taking the top-five spots overall.

The Flash crew, clockwise from top left: Hogan Beatie, Paul Cayard, Danny Cayard, Joe Crum, Will Paxton, Paul Allen, Jay Crum, Skip McCormack, Tom Akin and Allie Cayard.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The TP 52s had both types of family connections. When the race started, Tom Akin never guessed that Flash would be in the top two overall by the the time she crossed the finish line off Diamond Head. But the Bay Area-based sailor, who won the ’06 Pacific Cup overall with his SC 52 Lightning, put the pedal down ever since the late-starting effort got going in March. With the help of project manager and Criminal Mischief navigator Jeff Thorpe, Akin recruited the likes of Paul Cayard and Jay Crum. We have it on good authority that the only compensation they took was the chance to bring their respective offspring: Allie and Danny Cayard, and Joe Crum. After first leading Division 1, then the entire race up until the last two days, Flash was ultimately overtaken by John Kilroy’s all-pro team on the TP 52 Samba Pa Tí.

In the Sled branch of the TransPac family tree, longtime class stalwart Peter Tong and his SC 70 OEX took the Division 2 win and third overall with a crew that included son-in-law John Sangmeister. With just under three hours corrected time separating the top three sleds, James McDowell’s SC 70 Grand Illusion finished second in Division 2 and fourth overall after leading the race overall for the first few days, then Division 2 the division until the last two. Roy Pat Disney’s Pyewacket finished third in division and fifth overall.

Rob, Ted and Bob Barton were a three-generation team on Cipango.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Bay Area boats also claimed the top two spots in Division 3 with Bob and Rob Barton’s Andrews 56 Cipango finishing in the runner-up slot to Chip Megeath’s R/P 45 Criminal Mischief. Cipango featured not only two generations of Bartons — father Bob and son Rob — but a third in grandson Ted Barton. The Santa Rosa family sailed their blue-hulled pocket sled into second, beating third-place Bengal 7 from Japan, owned by Yoshihiko Murase, by just over eight minutes on corrected time. With nearly all the boats already in Hawaii, the sailing portion of the 45th TransPac is drawing to a close. Only four boats still racing — a fifth, Wayne Zittell’s J/World, retired — remain on the course. That, of course, means that the parties will be winding up. We just don’t have enough space here in ‘Lectronic to go into all the great stories we’ve heard here in Hawai’i, but we will in the August issue of Latitude 38.

Cuauhtemoc was definitely lookin’ good as she passed beneath the Gate — and the blaring Ranchero music added to the festive mood.
The 45th Annual Trans Tahoe Regatta was held on Saturday with 37 boats starting shortly after noon in seven classes under warm, sunny skies with a 10-knot breeze.
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Chip ‘Dr. Megadeath’ Megeath and his band of criminals turned in the top performance for any of the starters from Thursday July 2, and won Division 3.