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December 13, 2013

America’s Cup News Already?

In the November 11 ‘Lectronic, we noted that several local shutterbugs were competing for the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image of the Year contest. We’re excited to say that San Francisco’s Abner Kingman won the prestigious award for his stunning shot of ETNZ nearly capsizing in the America’s Cup, which also happened to grace the cover of our October issue. Big congrats to Abner!

© 2013 Abner Kingman

Although San Francisco seemingly just finished tidying up the last vestiges of the 34th America’s Cup, buzz about AC 35 began ramping up earlier this week with two announcements: AC 34’s Challenger of Record, Sweden’s Artemis Racing, has demonstrated its intent to compete in AC 35 by re-signing Olympic Gold medalists Nathan Outteridge and Iain "Goobs" Jensen. Meanwhile, at the Nautic Paris Boat Show, Team France also declared its intention to compete for the Auld Mug. 

Iain “Goobs” Jensen and Nathan Outteridge pose on San Francisco Bay.

©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Outteridge (helmsman) and Jensen (wing trimmer) re-join fellow teammates Ian Percy (skipper / tactician) and Chris Brittle (grinder) forming a talented core of Olympic medalists at the heart of Artemis’ AC ambitions. Outteridge and Jensen have sailed together for a lifetime, including during the 2012 Olympics where they took the Gold in the 49er class. They’ll be competing in Rio’s 2016 Olympics prior to the America’s Cup.

Franck Cammas, Olivier de Kersausonat and Michel Desjoyeaux introduce Team France to the world

Team France
©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

At the Nautic Paris Boat Show, world-renowned French ocean racers, Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux and Olivier de Kersauson announced that, for the first time since the Areva Challenge in 2007, the French will participate in the Cup with Team France. Team France is a conglomerate of individuals representing various industries, whose aim is to attract funding and talent to participate in the AC trials.

You may recall that immediately following the conclusion of AC 34, Hamilton Island YC, in Queensland, Australia announced that their challenge bid for the Cup had been accepted by the Golden Gate YC, making them the official challenger of record. Oracle Team USA is expected to announce the location and specific dates of the next Cup series by mid-2014. Stay tuned.

Does Latitude 38 Make You Squint?

It’s a good thing Southern California-based sailor Fin Beven has a forgiving nature. Otherwise he might have lambasted us mercilessly for misspelling his name in a couple of photo credits this month. The errors (found in our Baja Ha-Ha Recap) were particularly embarrassing because we’ve know Fin for years and have sailed several thousands miles with him.

“Benen,” “Beven?” Of course we know how to spell our buddy Fin’s last name. But we have to admit, our weary eyeballs sometimes have trouble reading 6-point photo credits.

© 2013

The truth is, by the time we near the end of our monthly deadline cycle our tired old eyes can barely read the 6-point type that those credits are set in, which makes us wonder how many readers have the same problem.

For decades we’ve had occasional complaints that Latitude‘s articles are set in unnecessarily small type (8.5 point, plus some additional shrinkage due to the printing process). But we’ve never felt enough reader pressure to make a change, even though the industry standard is 9-point type or larger with considerably more space between lines (called "line leading" in publishing lingo). Of course, part of our rationale for sticking to small type and tight line leading is that doing so allows us to fit in more words per page and more stories per issue.

Despite the unpredictable batting prowess of Baja Ha-Ha’s fleet members, Fin (seated beside the base path) risks life and limb to capture great images. Seen here is slugger Suzanne Statler during the 2010 rally.

©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

But we’d like to hear your thoughts on the subject. So what do you say, do you find Latitude 38 to be perfectly readable as is, or should we consider bumping up our type size a bit? Yeah, we know, it’s probably time to get some stronger glasses while we’re at it.

Being a generous guy, Fin has offered to send anyone his complete set of Best of BHH 20 photos for the cost of copying and mailing them: $5. Email [email protected].

© 2013

Flare Demo Tonight

The Coasties from Station Bodega Bay will conduct a free public flare demo and training session tonight at 5 p.m. at mile marker 23 at the mouth of the Russian River in Jenner.

Too often, the Coast Guard receives reports of flare sightings that are either false IDs of flares or misuse of flares. This is a great opportunity to watch firsthand how to set them off correctly, and to learn how to properly identify various types of flares. 

Fun Ha-Ha Question

Practical Sailor has a blog site where one contributor offered up the following on the subject of cruising rallies:

"The big problem (with rallies) is the illusion of group security. With regular radio contact there is some of that, but participants in the Baja Ha-Ha routinely report never seeing another boat in the rally for days on end. It’s a big ocean, folks, even with North America to port the whole way."

We agree to a certain extent that some people get a false sense of group security. We do think there is additional security in being part of such a rally, but it’s no immunity. Nonetheless, we burst out laughing at the ridiculous assertion that Ha-Ha boats "routinely" report never seeing another Ha-Ha boat for "days on end."

Baja Ha-Ha sailors are rarely lonely.

©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Let’s see, the first leg is basically no more than 3.5 days, the second is no more than 2.5 days, the third leg is two days, and the fleet is naturally pretty close together at the start and finish of each leg. And as all the legs are downwind — ok, the first part of the first leg was a little weird this year — boats sail in a relatively straight line. How then could it be possible for Ha-Ha boats to "routinely" not  see another Ha-Ha boat for days on end?

There were a few hours on the first and second legs of this year’s Ha-Ha when we didn’t see another boat but, on the average, we’d guess we had 15 other Ha-Ha boats in sight. If you did the Ha-Ha, what about you? Was there ever a time when you didn’t see another Ha-Ha boat? If so, how long was it? Please send us an email and let us know.

Racers are gearing up for the June 28 start of the Singlehanded TransPac, a 2,120-mile race from San Francisco Bay to Hanalei Bay on the idyllic Hawaiian island of Kauai.
The Wanderer needs a mainsail for his Olson 30 La Gamelle in St.