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April 1, 2013

“Heaps of Fun” in Majuro

The capital city of Majuro is known for its hustle and bustle. But life is pretty serene out in the anchorages.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In our efforts to report on the annual westbound migrations of cruisers through the South Pacific, we’ve met hundreds of wonderful sailors who are finally living out their dreams after years of anticipation. The one thing we can’t figure out, though, is why so many of them blast all the way to New Zealand in one season, rather than covering that distance in several seasons and seeing the islands at a more leisurely pace.

The standard answer to that question, of course, is that they are racing to avoid the South Pacific cyclone season. But as Rod and Elisabeth Lambert of the Sausalito-based Swan 41 Proximity have demonstrated, there are plenty of ways to stay out of the cyclone zone without going too far west. The couple — who left Mexico with the Pacific Puddle Jump class of 2010 — has recently been enjoying a stay in the Marshall Islands (north of the equator, and out the the cyclone zone), with plans to head south to Fiji in a few weeks.

Rod takes a spin in what looks to be a new dinghy.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

What have they been up to? In a recent blog post, Rob writes, "We have been having heaps of fun. We borrowed a couple of bikes and took the 30-mile ride to Laura where we had a picnic with many Aussie friends. . . We participated in the International Women’s Day march and picnic (as honorary Kiwis). There were representatives from the Marshalls, the Federated states of Micronesia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Mexico, Israel, and of course, the Wontoks (relatives of the islanders who all speak the same language, i.e. One Talk). At the picnic, we manned the sausage-selling booth (sold over 150 of them!). One of our customers was no less than the president of the Marshall Islands! I served the food and Elisabeth took the payment. Nice!

While awaiting the end of the SoPac cyclone season, they did all sorts of maintenance tasks. Here Elisabeth cleans Proximity’s waterline.

© 2013 Rod Lambert

"There is a sizable yachtie and ex-pat group here, so there is always something to do. Next weekend there will be a yacht race around the lagoon. It is alot like sailing San Francisco Bay here. It is nearly always windy, but the water is protected and flat."

Livin’ in a postcard.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Because the Marshalls are a U.S. possession, they have U.S. post offices to which many cruisers have parts and documents mailed. And many cruisers also find work here for a season while they’re waiting for the SoPac cyclone season to end. 

The April Issue is No Joke

It’s no joke, the April issue of Latitude 38 is hitting the streets today! Our annual boat show issue is packed to the gunwales with great stuff, starting with the Strictly Sail Pacific show guide tucked neatly within the pages of the magazine. Sightings offers a touching tribute to fallen sailor Craig Williams, a report on the Banderas Bay Regatta, an update on offshore racing requirements, and a bizarre epilogue to the theft and subsequent grounding of the Oyster 82 Darling.

In anticipation of this summer’s America’s Cup goings-on, we interviewed AC warriors and Bay Area-products John Kostecki, tactician for Oracle Team USA, and Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing. AC racing has inspired many young people to try sailing, so you’ll also find our annual ‘how to get your kids off their butts and into boats’ article. Has all the interest in sailing — or maybe a walk through the boat show — inspired you to spend some time ‘simply messing about in boats’? If so, check out ‘DIY Boat Projects for Any Budget’ for some fun ideas. Farther afield, we profile several ‘Californians in the Caribbean’, as well as the first batch of Pacific Puddle Jumpers.

No foolin’, you’ll want to check out this issue — the online version will be posted later today.

Blue Found at Fault, Camelot Exonerated

The following is the protest report issued by the Protest Committee in the Banderas Bay Regatta case of Blue vs. Camelot, following a Race Two incident in which Blue tactician Mike Danielson suffered two broken legs.

Banderas Bay Race Week 2013
Protest Report
March 27, 2013

1. Protest between Blue #7331 (J/160) vs. Camelot #8581 (Hunter 54), and Camelot vs. Blue in Race #2 of the 2013 Banderas Bay Race Week Regatta, March 22, 2013. 

2. A hearing was scheduled for the protests at Paradise Village Resort, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico on March 27, 2013 at 1000 hours. Blue was represented by tactician Mike Danielson, and Camelot was represented by helmsman Craig Shaw. Also present were Dee Cockerham as recording secretary, Dick Markie and Jen Edney who were observers. The protest committee (PC) consisted of Donald Becker, IJ (USA) chair, Jesse Coburn and Robin Stout.

3. The hearing began at 1005 hours. After an initial statement by the PC chair, the representative for Camelot asked for clarification of the definition of an interested party. The PC chair read the definition and stated that none of the members of the PC met the definition. 

4. Next the PC addressed the issue of the Notice of Race (NOR) stating that the RRS 2013-2016 applied and the Sailing Instructions (SIs) stating that the RRS 2009-2012 applied. The PC acting under RRS 63.7 applied the NOR rule that the RRS 2013-2016 will govern this protest. 

5. The PC then dealt with the validity of the protest. Neither boat hailed “protest” nor displayed a red flag at the time of the incident. Neither boat filed a protest within the time limit specified in the Sailing Instructions (SIs). Both boats filed a written protest on Monday, March 25, 2013. Neither boat notified the other of their intent to protest. Since the PC learned that the incident resulted in injury, the PC extended the time limit under RRS 61.3, protested both boats under RRS 60.3(a)(1), and opened the hearing.

6. Witnesses for the parties were: Blue – Cheryl Sears, helmswoman, and Rob, foredeck. Camelot – Eugenie Russell from Olas Lindas and Bill Lilly from Moontide. The representative of Blue also presented a video from Blue that included the last minute of the starting sequence and the incident.

7. Facts Found:
a. The wind speed at the start of Class A, Race 2 was 13-15 knots.
b. At approximately one minute to the start,
Camelot was sailing on starboard tack at approximately 5 knots approaching the starting line to start with Olas Lindas, also on starboard, to leeward.
Blue was on starboard tack approaching the Race Committee (R/C) Boat end of the starting line on a reaching course sailing at approximately 8.5 knots and clear astern of Camelot and Olas Lindas.
d. As
Olas Lindas and Camelot approached the starting line, Olas Lindas luffed Camelot, and Camelot luffed to keep clear.
Blue, sailing faster, closed on Camelot and became overlapped about 50 feet to windward of Camelot.
Blue, still sailing faster and lower, converged on Camelot until the boats were approximately 15 feet apart.
Blue then altered course to leeward toward Camelot and then windward as Camelot tried to bear away to avoid contact.
h. Contact occurred between
Blue’s stern quarter and Camelot amidships causing noticeable scratches on Camelot’s topsides.
i. The tactician on
Blue fell between the boats and suffered injuries.
Blue was called OCS by the R/C but quickly retired due to the crew’s injuries. Blue returned to the harbor and took the crewmember to the hospital for treatment. Camelot was not aware of the contact or the injury and finished the race.

8. Conclusion:
Blue, the windward boat, failed to keep clear.
Camelot acted to avoid contact when it became clear that Blue was not keeping clear.

9. Decision:
Blue’s score is to be changed to DNF
Camelot is not penalized under RRS 14(a)

10. Rules that apply:
NOR: RULES, SI: 1.1, Def: Interested party, 60.3(a)(1), 61.3, 63.7, 11, 14(a).

11. Diagram: the PC endorses the diagram of Camelot.

Members: Jesse Coburn, Robin Stout, and Donald Becker
Donald R. Becker, O.D. March 27, 2013

A hearing to consider reopening the protest, filed by Blue, was held the next day. The committee’s conclusion was that "the evidence [presented by Blue tactician Mike Danielson] was not significant new evidence that was not available at the time of the protest hearing," and the request to reopen was denied.

It was exactly 30 years ago yesterday that ‘Her Magesty’ Laurel DeForest of the Olympia, WA-based Balfour 28 Robbie’s Wake popped the cork on a bottle of Champagne in front of a crowd of barefoot sailors, and thus declared that the first-ever Sea of Cortez Race Week had officially begun. 
Kurt Roll of San Diego recently flew to Auckland to join Dietmar Petutschnig and Suzanne DeBose of the Las Vegas-based Lagoon 440 Carinthia for another season of cruising.