According to Brian Thompson, crew on the mighty 131-ft trimaran Banque Populaire V, they covered over 713 miles in a recent 24-hour period and therefore should set a new Jules Verne around-the-world record today. The only obstacles, says the former Sausalito resident, would be extreme gear damage or hitting something in the water. The current record is 47 days, 8 hours. As of last night, Banque Populaire was running over 1,500 miles ahead of the record pace.
We’re going to salute the entire Banque Populaire team when they break the record, but it’s also going to remind us of the incredible achievement of Francis Joyon, who singlehanded the same course in 57 days and 13 hours aboard his 34-foot-shorter trimaran IDEC II.
UPDATE: Banque Populaire V officially won the Jules Verne Trophy today, after 45d, 13h, 42m, 53s at sea — two days, 18 hours ahead of previous record holder Groupama 3.
It is with heavy hearts that we report the passing of former Latitude 38 Racing Editor Rob Moore, who died yesterday after a two-year battle with lung cancer. He was 58. It is a testament to his strong will and fighter’s spirit that he outlasted his dire prognosis by well over a year.
Rob liked to recall that when he was first hired as a reporter for Latitude in 1987 he could barely type. But with his quick wit, sharp intellect and excellent sailing skills, he quickly became an essential voice within the magazine’s editorial staff. Longtime readers will likely remember his insightful reporting on both local and international racing events during his 18 years with the magazine. It’s no exaggeration to say that Rob was the best racing reporter the Bay Area has ever seen.
A bushy-haired redhead with a thick mustache and mischievous blue eyes, he was not just a writer, but also a brother-in-arms. From the time this Connecticut-born sailor moved to the Bay Area in the late ’70s, he participated — and excelled — in virtually every sailing event ever held on the Bay and ocean. He owned several boats over the years, including the quarter-tonner Summertime Dream and the Olson 25 E Ticket, most of which he sailed to season championships. He also sailed far and wide as a valued crewmember aboard other people’s boats, in both high-profile and low-profile campaigns. Up until the last few months, in fact, he continued to crew for his dear friend Hank Easom aboard the 8-Meter Yucca.
Shortly before Christmas of 2009, Rob was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, although he had never smoked. The doctors gave him only nine months, but he lasted two mostly robust years, sailing and hiking regularly. He spent his last Christmas and New Years surrounded by loved ones, and passed peacefully yesterday with family members, including his devoted wife Leslie Richter, by his side.
We will have more on Rob in the next issue of Latitude 38. To that end, if you’d like to share a fond memory or funny anecdote that involved Rob, we’d love to receive it, along with your favorite photos of him. For now, we’re thinking about all the years and smiles and laughter, and still trying to believe he’s really gone.
ED. NOTE: Sausalito YC will be dedicating this Sunday’s midwinter race to Rob and will solicit contributions to support lung cancer awareness and cure through the National Lung Cancer Partnership. Single race entries are welcome to sail for Rob and all single-day entry fees will be contributed to the fund. You can sign up here or via email.
Our previous report that the mast of 84-year-old Tom Corogin’s Westsail 32 TLC had "snapped" about 500 miles south of Easter Island was apparently inaccurate. Photos taken by the Chilean Navy of Corogin’s rescue on Wednesday by the Japanese 666-ft cargo ship White Kingdom show the mast in a decidedly upright position, though a spreader does appear to be dangling. Of course we won’t know the full story until Corogin reaches Valparaiso tomorrow, but the skipper of White Kingdom reported that the salty singlehander is in good condition.
In order to attract attention to the "Tullett Prebon London Boat Show at ExCeL", which runs from today till January 10, organizers brought in Tamara Ecclestone, she in the brownish number, and a number of other young women decked out in tuxedo-themed bathing suits and retro bathing caps that look as if they’d be ideal for lightly cleaning dirty boat bottoms. For the industry’s sake, let’s hope the boats in the show appear more modern and chic.
Who the heck is Tamara Ecclestone? If you’re a Californian, you might associate the Ecclestone name with the purchase of Candy Spelling’s $80 million house in Beverly Hills. But that would be Petra Ecclestone, Tamara’s 22-year-old sister. While the 27-year-old Tamara says she’d like to move to L.A. also, she denies reports that she’d like to buy a residence that would make her sister’s "look like a guest house."
The gals are the daughters of Bernie Ecclestone, one-time London used car dealer who, as a result of becoming the "Formula 1 Supremo," is now worth several billion, and Slavica, a former Armani model from Croatia. Tamara dropped out of the London School of Economics, but thanks to being what the Brits call a ‘presenter’ — a spokesperson for Ultimo push-up bras and other products — and a member of the lucky sperm club, it apparently wasn’t that important that Tamara stick it out to get her degree.
The talk on Northern California docks is that the folks at Strictly Sail Pacific, to be held at Jack London Square April 12-15, are hoping to land both Tamara and Petra to open the show, and thus eclipse the boat show in London. Keep your fingers crossed.