The happiest man in Hawaii today may well be Sebastian de Halleux, as he is slated to receive the Pac Cup trophy tonight for best overall performance in the biennial San Francisco-to-Hawaii race.
Halleux’ boat, Swazik, a Swan 45, finished the 2,070-mile passage in 8 days, 22 hours, correcting out to first in Division E and in fleet, with Kevin Welch’s Perry 66 Icon taking line honors for which she’ll be receive the Fastest Passage award at tonight’s closing ceremonies at Oahu’s Kaneohe YC.
Also sharing the limelight this evening for Division E (the fastest boats) honors will be Mark Dowdy, whose Santa Cruz 50 Hana Ho corrected out to second in that hotly contested division, with Jay Spaulding’s SC 52 Medusa taking third.
According to a Pac Cup release this morning, "The original front-runner, Double Trouble, ran a great race and was widely expected to sail home with top honors. However, the boat was given a time penalty for accessing certain forbidden tracker information during the race, and fell to a lower ranking."
Elsewhere one of the closest finish line rivalries was in Division D, where Dave Rasmussen’s Synergy 1000 Sapphire claimed division honors by just 46 minutes ahead of Tony English’s Antrim 27 E.T.
Within the two doublehanded divisions, Charles Devanneaux’s Beneteau First 30.8 Naos 30 won DH1, followed by Rowena Carlson and Robb Walker’s Cal 40 Nozomi.
Dylan Benjamin’s Dogpatch 26 Moonshine took first in DH2, with Mike Reed’s Express 27 Magic taking second. See the website for complete results, and be sure to check out our Pac Cup recap feature in the September edition of Latitude 38.
The Central American cruising community was shaken this week at the news that longtime cruiser Cliff Vaughs was robbed by a group of thugs off the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Not only did they take everything he had, but they took his sailboat, Amistad (which ironically means friendship), and left him to swim ashore.
According to reports in the cruisers’ forum Cruisers_Net_Online, Vaugh, an African American around 60 years old, was shaken up by the attack but otherwise unharmed after swimming ashore and walking for hours to the nearest village.
The incident is widely being reported as piracy. And while this isolated act certainly seems to fit the classic definition, we’re a bit uneasy with that term being thrown around so casually. Especially since just this week a reader asked us about piracy in the Eastern Caribbean, referring to the nefarious acts of petty thieves and drug-runners. To this writer, the deadly acts of Somali raiders are definitely piracy, but I’m reluctant to characterize every on-the-water crime with that term, as it tends to blow isolated incidents out of proportion and brand cruising destinations where they occur with reputations that could take decades to live down.
That said, as several Western Caribbean cruisers have pointed out, Honduras and Nicaragua have extremely high crime rates, and cruisers should be especially wary in those waters. But painting the Eastern Caribbean with the same brush seems inaccurate and unfair. What do you think? If you have thoughts about this semantical debate, send them our way.
Over the years we’ve seen a lot of creative approaches to obtaining sailboats. In addition to simply plunking down cash on the barrelhead to buy a boat, we’ve seen offers to trade land, houses, cars, and a range of services including massages and financial counseling. But an add posted on Craig’s List yesterday was in a category all its own:
"I’m looking for a sailboat that’s ready to sail! . . . I would like to offer marijuana in partial or full trade. So, naturally, this offer is only valid for those who are legal Prop 215 medical marijuana patients."
Ahh. . . Is it just us, or is this offer stretching the spirit of the law just a wee bit. Then again, when you think about it, perhaps this person is on to something. Depending on your ailment, getting out sailing on a regular basis is probably a whole lot more therapeutic than sitting back in an easy chair toking on a spliff!