Detroit, Michigan-based Bora Gulari was named US SAILING’s 2009 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year on Wednesday. Gulari earned the award in his first appearance on the shortlist of nominees in what was an extremely competitive year for the award — all but one of the 10 male nominees had won a world championship. Gulari received first-place votes from 10 of the 14 panel members, who acknowledged his growth from square one in the Moth class two years ago, to winner of the CST Composites International Moth World Championship in 2009 — the first American to do so in over 30 years — as nothing short of remarkable.
“I just do this because I love it, and I think this year was the start of great things to come for dinghy sailing in the U.S.,” Gulari said. “With the addition of the foils, the Moths became easier to sail and a lot more rewarding . . . generating a level of excitement for sailing in some of the top sailors in the country that I have not seen before. I don’t think it will take people away from traditional dinghy classes, but the Moth is so fun that it’s attracting people that have never had any interest in dinghies, and its bringing people back to dinghies who thought they were done getting wet."
Nominated to the award’s shortlist for the fifth consecutive year, Anna Tunnicliffe carried the panel’s votes on the women’s side. Having won the award in 2008 as well, she became the first woman in 27 years to win the award in back-to-back years. Tunnicliffe dominated the Laser Radial fleet during the 2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup series by winning gold at US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR and Semaine Olympique Francaise in France, and bronze at Kieler Woche in Germany. She also won the Laser Radial Women’s North American Championship in Florida and finished third at the Laser Radial World Championship in Japan. Tunnicliffe did well on the 2009 match racing circuit, winning the Detroit Cup in Ultimate 20s, and was runner-up at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in St. Thomas sailed in IC 24s. Her medal haul also included bronze collected at the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final in Brazil in J/24s, and at Skandia Sail for Gold in England in the Elliott 6 Metre. In October, Tunnicliffe was fleet racing J/22s in Rochester, New York, where she won the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship. Less than a month later, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) named Tunnicliffe its female 2009 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year for accomplishments during the qualifying period of September, 2008, through August, 2009.
"It’s truly amazing to win this award again,” Tunnicliffe said. “I could not have done half of my season without the help of my crew Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer, Debbie Capozzi, Liz Bower and Alice Manard. I feel honored, lucky and fortunate to win. Being nominated is an achievement; winning is amazing! I’m so happy I can do this for a living. I have more goals to reach in my sailing career, and starting this year with this award is amazing.”
Reader Jim Barrett posed a question we couldn’t answer. "I enjoy Latitude 38 and was wondering if you might know whether a magazine like yours is published in Sydney, Australia? There are of course similar stateside magazines, and you must at least feel flattered by them, but I’d like to know if Sydney has an equivalent."
Our exhaustive research (a Google search for "australia sailing magazine"), produced one relevant result: Australian Sailing Magazine, a colorful glossy dedicated to performance sailing, which doesn’t quite fit the bill. So we thought we’d put it out to our readers Down Under — is there a Latitude-like rag in Oz? Let us know via email.
There were two very interesting incidents in the November-December Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) from the Canary Islands to the 2,700-mile distant St. Lucia.
The first incident took place just several days into the event, when the Brit-owned Roberts 53 Pelican lost her rig 325 miles west of the Cape Verdes. Deciding that the crew of five faced an "unacceptable risk" by staying aboard, skipper Darryl Sexton issued a mayday. Apparently the boat had other problems, too, including not having the use of their engine. The merchant ship Crimson Mars altered course and arrived on the scene at 0200 on December 1. Because of the helpless condition of the boat, the captain of the ship had the five men transfer from the Pelican to his ship via line and lifebuoy. There were force four winds and seas to six meters. All the men survived the transfer. Rather than being scuttled, the boat was merely abandoned. She’ll no doubt be washing up on the east coast of some island in the Lesser Antilles in a month or two.
Our question with regard to this incident is if you would have abandoned the boat, too, knowing it would eventually make it to the West Indies.
In the second incident, Silver Bear, ARC entry #227, came into radio contact with a couple of guys doublehanding the Atlantic on a similar course aboard the Sadler 25 Star Fire. They were not part of the ARC. While still 1,700 miles from the nearest island, the small boat had snapped her rudder after hitting something in the water. Although the crew was able to fashion a rudder out of bits of cupboard and stuff, their progress was slow. Nonetheless, Ray Lawry, skipper of Silver Bear, made the decision to slow down signifiantly in order to escort the smaller boat for the nearly 2,000 remaining miles to St. Lucia.
Our question with regard to this incident is whether you would have made the same decision as Lawry. Or would you have insisted that the two abandon their little boat and become part of your crew so as not to drastically slow your crossing? Please keep your answers short and to the point and email them to Richard.
Few things get boaters more revved up about their sport that boat shows, where they can check out the latest gadgets and gizmos, ogle their dreamboats and pick the brains of experts on a wide range of nautical topics. From January through April there are a number of excellent shows you might want to consider attending, both here in San Francisco Bay and elsewhere.
This month, the massive Seattle Boat Show will take place January 29-February 6. We plan to attend in order to visit with our Northwest friends and advertisers, and to present seminars on the 2010 Baja Ha-Ha cruisers rally (2 p.m. Saturday, January 30, and 1 p.m. Sunday, January 31). We’ll also be distributing info on the annual Pacific Puddle Jump rally to French Polynesia.
The Northern California Boat Fest will take place February 18-21 at Marina Village. Both new and used boats will be on display in the water, in addition to seminars and a variety of exhibits. Admission is free, as is parking. For further info, email Deb Reynolds.
As we noted here earlier, Strictly Sail Pacific — the West Coast’s biggest sail-only show — will take place at Oakland’s Jack London Square, April 15-18. Come and visit us at the Latitude booth and consider attending our seminars (dates and times TBA) on both the Baja Ha-Ha and the Pacific Puddle Jump.
But if you are a real boat show diehard, who just can’t get enough of all things boating, consider attending the second annual Bahrain Boat Show International (BBSI), April 20-24. Yeah, we know, it’s halfway around the world and hotel rooms probably cost a gazillion dollars, but what the heck, you’re likely to see things there that you won’t see elsewhere. After all, with a seemingly endless supply of millionaires in that region who’ve only recently become exposed to the world of yachting, this is a market that designers and manufacturers can’t afford to ignore!