With AC 45 races now complete in Venice, that ornate Italian city begins to normalize, and the Bay Area’s Ellen Hoke — who was deputized to cover the event for Latitude — is heading home. Before her departure, though, she sent these photos of final activities. Look for a report from Ellen in the June edition of Latitude 38, where she’ll share her impressions and lessons learned for San Francisco. Two AC45 events will take place here this year: August 21-26, and October 4-7, the latter to coincide with the Bay’s annual Fleet Week celebration.
There may be hope on the horizon for cruisers wanting to take the easy way to the Med through the Gulf of Aden, an area that in recent years has been rife with pirates. Last week, European Union naval forces launched the first-ever offensive strike against Somali pirates. Attack helos reportedly blew a supply center to smithereens, including nine speed boats, arms and fuel supplies. No one was injured in the attack. The raid was conducted with the full knowledge and cooperation of the Somali government, and EU forces promise more strikes are planned for the future.
Earlier in the month, we wrote about a German exchange student looking for a sailing host family during his stay in the U.S. While government rules prohibited Inter-Ed’s Cheryl Williams from sharing information on the student, there is apparently no rule against the student contacting us directly and sharing some info. His name is Christian and he asked that we tell everyone that he’s really looking forward to coming to California in August. If you apply to become his host family, Cheryl will be able to share all of his info with you, including a great video he made that shows him showing off his mad sailing skilz. Email Cheryl for more details.
Not long after that story was posted, we received an email from Daniela Tanner of Cultural Homestay International, which also is tasked with finding host homes for exchange students. "I have Carlo, a student from Italy, who would like to continue his love of sailing while staying in the U.S.," she wrote. "I’m looking for a host family who can be supportive of his sport. Without host families, we would not be able to help these students achieve their American Dream!" The same basic guidelines apply as with Cheryl’s students (see the link above). Contact Daniela for more info.
From our discussions with the families who have hosted sailing-happy students in the past, it’s clear that the hosts get as much — if not more — out of the experience as the students. You don’t have to be wealthy (students pay their own expenses), have kids (retirees and empty-nesters are welcome), or even married (single-parent families are encouraged to apply). So why not make this the year you do something that will not only make a difference in someone else’s life, but in yours as well?