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July 2, 2010

Road Warriors

The crane might have been a little overkill for a 2,000 lb. Moore 24, but it helped Gilles Combrisson and Mark English get Numa Boa to the lake on time.

Numa Boa
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When it comes to travelling, the Moore 24 fleet ranks with the best of them for its members’ commitment to hitching up the trailers and getting the show on the road. Sixteen Moores carried on that tradition last weekend at Huntington Lake for the class’s PCCs. One of those, Gilles Combrisson and Mark English’s Numa Boa, had a more challenging journey than the rest. Combrisson, the Pt. Richmond-based rigger picks up the story:

The impact wadded up the trailer box.

Numa Boa
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"We were on our way up to the PCCs a week ago Thursday, roughly 15 miles east of Madera and coasting down a hill near a cattle ranch. A pickup truck was in a dirt parking lot up ahead on the left, looking like he was getting ready to turn and drive in the opposite direction; and there was a Highway Patrol vehicle about 200-feet away, driving towards us. I kept coasting and just as we passed the pickup truck, the driver suddenly turned into us, smashing right into the trailer. I must have been going about 45 mph, so it was a massive crunch. His truck spun around from the impact, but the trailer swung hard to the right and started to topple before settling back down and swinging hard to the left. It finally came to a rest, still attached, but doing the ‘crab’, as the axle had been jammed about 40° off-center. The Highway Patrol officer drove up and started redirecting traffic, and we all got out and surveyed the damage. The patrolman was in disbelief that the boat stayed put and didn’t get dumped into the ditch on the side of the road. More CHP showed up, and then a tow truck — which promptly left after seeing what was at stake. The trailer was totalled, but the boat didn’t have a single scratch, nor did our tow vehicle; the trailer hitch ball was bent back roughly 30° from vertical. Apparently the other driver ‘just didn’t see us.’

Citing creative differences, Numa Boa’s trailer and axle went in different directions thanks to the collision.

Numa Boa
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"While all this was going on, iPhone pics were flying, there were phone calls right and left, and folks from the fleet were stopping to see what the heck had happened. We quickly determined that we really wanted to do the event, and that the only way would be to transfer the boat to a healthy trailer. The CHP got us hooked up with a towing/crane company in Madera. Meanwhile the fleet made calls and we secured the trailer from Joel Verutti’s hull #55 Mercedes as the boat was already in the water. So the plan solidified: the towing company would take the boat and trailer to their yard in Madera, and we would drive up to Huntington Lake to get Joel’s trailer; once we were an hour out of Madera, we would call the towing company and they would get their crane ready. It all worked like clockwork, and five hours after the accident, we were driving past the spot of the crash on our way up to the lake! The next day we were on the starting line, albeit a bit tired, but very happy to be there. We went on to take 5th overall after great first and second days, and a mediocre third day. The boat will vacation up there in a borrowed slip while we secure a trailer, most likely a new one."

If you ever get in a traffic collision that’s not your fault, it’s helpful to have it witnessed by a California Highway Patrolman.

Numa Boa
©2010 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The regatta went to Vaughn Seifers’ Richmond YC-based Flying Tiger, which finished six points clear of John Kernot’s Banditos, which in turn beat Simon Winer’s Gruntled on a countback. Seifers counted nothing higher than a fifth in the eight-race, one-throwout series. Flying Tiger racked up three bullets, two of which came in the regatta’s final races. The final results are here.

Danish-American Sailor Killed in Panama

Danish-American sailor Bond "Bo" Olsen, 61, died of a gunshot wound to his leg Tuesday, after being attacked by four men aboard his boat, Antares, which was anchored off Bajo Pipón Island in the Gulf of Chiriqui, on Panama’s Pacific coast.

Although complete details surrounding the attack have yet to be released, we do know that Antares had been anchored off the island for roughly six months. Olsen’s son Zacarías, 24, and his Panamanian wife Sujey Rodriguez, 27, were also attacked, but both survived their injuries.

Hundreds of sailors pass through Panama every year. And from what we understand, most regard its outlying bays and islands to be safe, friendly places to cruise. Seen here is the anchorage off the Balboa YC on the Pacific side of the Canal.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Initial reports did not detail any property which may have been taken or speculate on possible motives, but the investigation by local authorities is ongoing.

Weekend Reading Assignment

“Extra, extra, read all about it. . .”

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Looking for the perfect excuse to put off doing your household chores during the long holiday weekend? We’ve got ya covered: Just pick up the hot-off-the-press July edition of Latitude 38 and dive into our wildly varied editorial line-up. And if anyone questions the worthiness of spending hours perusing it, just tell ’em you’re doing research. Very important research! (Click here for distribution outlets.)

As always, you can also download the whole magazine for free in PDF format, or simply read it online with it’s original formatting — ads and all.

If you’re hip enough to have a new iPad e-reader, you can read the online version there also. However, for some reason that we’ve yet to decipher, some of the text seems to go screwy on the iPad version. (Any ideas from techies out there?)

All indications are that the weather will be sensational this weekend, so do yourself a favor and get out on the water — you wouldn’t want to spend the whole weekend reading Latitude and miss the 3-D side of sailing.

Please note: Even us trolls in the Editorial Dungeon of Latitude 38 World Headquarters have to take a break once in a while. So we will not publish ‘Lectronic on the Monday, July 5, holiday.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our three decades of interviewing sailors in far-flung destinations, it’s that first impressions don’t always clue you in to the whole story.