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August 3, 2012

Swazik to Receive Pac Cup Trophy Tonight

“Everybody say, ‘Mai Tai’!” Sebastien de Halleux and the crew of Swazik will be honored guests tonight at the Kaneohe YC. Pictured left to right (not counting kids) are Carlos Badell, Seadon Wijsen, de Halleux, Graham Anand, Peter Leib, Hogan Beatie, Campbell Rivers, and Alexis van de Wyer.

© 2012 Pacific Cup

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.

Although the Swan 45 Swazik didn’t lead the fleet out the Golden Gate – or to the finish line, she corrected out to take division and fleet honors.

©2012 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

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.

With her big genoa stretched tight as a hotel bedsheet, Hana Ho was lookin’ good as she blasted west along the Marin headlands last month.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

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.

Do real men drink cocktails with umbrella’s on top? Apparently so, as it’s no easy undertaking to race 2,070 miles doublehanded. The Naos crew celebrates shortly after their finish.

© 2012 Pacific Cup

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.

For decades Pac Cup photographers have been pondering the question: “Why is it that division winners always seem to arrive at night?” The Moonshine crew wear smiles of victory.

© Pacific Cup

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.

Piracy or Thuggery?

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.

Most Creative Boat Ad Award

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."

As you can see, we’re not making this up.

© Craig’s List

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!

After being treated like royalty at Sugar Barge on Bethel Island for two nights, participants in the Delta Doo Dah rally had a hard time believing they’d receive as warm a welcome somewhere else.
There is a saying around courtrooms that once you’ve gone to see a lawyer, you’ve already lost.
Drop everything! The new edition of Latitude 38 just hit the streets! © If it feels like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, we can’t solve your problems for you, but we can prescribe a temporary distraction.