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June 4, 2012

Racing/Cruising Cat Coming to Bay

A sistership to Vamanos screaming off Cannes. Although built for high performance, the SIG45s are also comfortable cruisers.

© 2012 Le Breton Yachts

The America’s Cup boats aren’t the only big catamarans that will be flying a-hull on San Francisco Bay this summer. You can add Vamanos, an all-carbon SIG45 built at Westerly Marine in Southern California, to their ranks. She’s hull #2 of the design created by multihull specialists VLVP in France with input from multihull great Bruno Peyron. For an idea what kind of performance can be expected from this extremely light but stiff cat, check out this video of hull #1 sailing off Cannes.



We have no idea if Vamanos was inspired by the America’s Cup cats, but wouldn’t be surprised if she was. Despite being a very high performance cat that we expect to see ripping along on a reach between Treasure Island and Alacatraz in excess of 20 knots, Vamanos has basic accommodations for six. Primarily a daysailer, she has a massive open cockpit, with a couple of unusual solid biminis, and is steered by tillers on either side of the boat.

Vamanos’s bimini was put to good use in La Cruz.

©2012 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Two days after her recent launch by Westerly, she was sailed down to the Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz. Captain Javier Cabildo tells us La Cruz will be the cat’s home from November to June of each year. She’s an ideal boat for Banderas Bay. But the current plan is to bring her to San Francisco Bay to do some racing.

Naturally you want to know who owns a 45-ft cat such as Vamanos which, based on the resale asking price of hull #1, easily cost in excess of $1 million. We’ll give you a couple of hints. First, he’s a Silicon Valley tech guy who, according to Fortune magazine, ran the fastest, third fastest, and second fastest growing company in the United States in ’99, ’00, and ’01. More recently, he was named #5 and #3 of the world’s top philanthropists. And even more recently, he was nearly crushed to death by a charging elephant in Tanzania.

Beau Geste Crew Request Rescue

Beau Geste at the start of the Sail Noumea race.

© Richard Gladwell / Sail Noumea

The 18 crewmembers aboard the Hong Kong-based Farr 80 Beau Geste should be in the process of being rescued off their vessel as this is being posted. Owned by Hong-Kong businessman Karl Kwok and helmed by four-time AC helmsman Gavin Brady, Beau Geste retired from the Auckland to Noumea leg of the Evolution Sails Sail Noumea race yesterday after sustaining serious structural damage to her decks and hull. Details of the damage have yet to be disclosed. The maxi was about 100 miles southeast of Norfolk Island at the time, and was continuing to deteriorate.

The stricken boat’s latest position.

© 2012 Yellowbrick Tracking / Sail Noumea

UPDATE: Beau Geste is nearing Norfolk Island and is being escorted by a local fishing boat and a bulk carrier, which would provide shelter from weather, if needed. All aboard are reportedly in good health.

SoCal Ta-Ta Rally Filling Fast

If you don’t sign up soon, fleet members of the recently announced SoCal cruisers’ rally will be waving ‘ta-ta’ without you. Dubbed the SoCal Ta-Ta, this first-ever Santa Barbara-to-Catalina rally is slated to take place September 9-16, with an itinerary that zig-zags between the SoCal coast and the Channel Islands.

The harbor-hopping course was set up with easy, half-day passages and lay days in between. The longest leg, from Santa Cruz Island to Paradise Cove is 38 miles.

©2012 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As announced earlier, this year only 50 entries will be accepted, and as you can see below, the entry roster is almost half-full already. Why join? For starters, this 210-mile romp will certainly be loads of fun, and as we can see already, the mix of entrants will be as varied as the long-established Baja Ha-Ha rally (whose Rally Committee will run the Ta-Ta). With three short crossings to and from the Channel Islands, the course will give those new to cruising an easy introduction to the cruising life — especially if they’re planning to do the Ha-Ha in October. And for vastly experienced cruisers such as sign-up #1 Paul Martson, or La Paz-based Patsy Verhoeven, it will serve as the perfect excuse to see some parts of SoCal they might not know well, as well as make a boatload of new friends in the process. As with taking part in the Ha-Ha, it would be hard to imagine doing the Ta-Ta without making at least a few lasting friendships.

The fun starts Sunday, September 9, with a cruiser potluck in Santa Barbara Harbor, then the fleet will set sail for Santa Cruz Island the next morning. Check out all the details at the website. And if your gut tells you to "Do it!" we’d urge you not to procrastinate. After all, there’ll only be one first-ever SoCal Ta-Ta, and that’s one event T-shirt that you’ll surely want to cherish.

Entries to date:

Orange / Contour 34 / Paul Martson / Ventura
Toucan / Tanton 43 cat / Kevin Belcastro / San Francisco
Moira / Beneteau 351 / Scott Stephens / Ventura
Wayward Wind / Catalina 42 / William & Kathryn Gaffaney / Marina del Rey
Natiki / Catalina 320 / Nathaniel & Bonnie Antler / San Diego
Dariana Ruth / Custom 46-ft trawler / Michael Alfred / Channel Is Harbor
Talion / Gulfstar 50 / Patsy Verhoeven / La Paz, Mexico
Seagate / Hans Christian 38 / Charles Braffett / Chula Vista
Family Circus / Fountaine Pajot 38 cat / Chris Tzortzis / San Francisco
Boomerang / Corsair 31 tri / Chuck & Elaine VanderBoom / Lake Havasu, AZ
Dulcinea / Downeast 38 / John & Janice Barker / Long Beach
Ebenezer III / Catalina 36 / Richard Schaper / Sausalito
Tilligo / Union Polaris 36 / Andy Smith / Coyote Pt. Marina
Sea Monkey / Coronado 27 / Brandon & Devani Priest / Santa Barbara
Moontide / Lagoon 470 / Bill Lilly / Long Beach
AHA / Fountaine Pajot 35 cat / Bruce Beal / Dana Point
Thalassa / Beneteau 49 / Jim Anderson / Redondo Beach
Quiddity / Hunter 33 / Steve & Bobby Young / Santa Barbara
Irishseaman / Hunter 34 / Don McNeil / Channel Islands
Ojo Rojo / Columbia 36 / Keith & Terry Albrecht / Alamitos Bay
Big Sweetie / Hunter 450 / Carolyn & Charles Moyer / Channel Islands
Green Flash / Beneteau 323 / Stephen & Christina Barasch / Sausalito
Grace / Traveller 32 / Robert Walker / Alameda

Fireworks go off as Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Brit Ian Walker, finishes first on Leg 7 from Miami to Lisbon, Portugal, during the Volvo Ocean Race.
When Senator Christine Kehoe initially submitted SB 623 — legislation that would eventually ban copper-based bottom paint — last year, Latitude cautiously supported it, even though we’re not overly fond of government intrusion in people’s lives.
The June edition of Latitude 38 has just rolled off the presses and is now being distributed all along the West Coast — just in time for weekend reading.
Starting today at noon we’ll be taking sign-ups for the first ever SoCal Ta-Ta, a week-long Southern California version of the Baja Ha-Ha that will see a fleet of no more than 50 boats rally from Santa Barbara to Two Harbors, Catalina, with stops at Santa Cruz Island, Paradise Cove, King Harbor in Redondo Beach, and Two Harbors.