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June 5, 2015

Blanca Appears Less Threatening

Should you stay or should you go?

© 2015 NOAA

While Hurricane Blanca forecasts have her making a direct hit on southern Baja, boating interests in Cabo and La Paz have reason for optimism. Just a day ago, Blanca was forecast to be a mighty Category 5 storm, but she’s been weakening and has been downgraded to Category 2. As of this morning, she was about 575 miles SSE of Cabo San Lucas, traveling toward the northwest at 9 knots. She’s expected to come ashore north of Cabo as a tropical storm on Sunday afternoon, bringing heavy rain and 50-knot winds to the Cape, with the heaviest rain to the north. The storm’s effect on La Paz should be less intense.

But just for education’s sake, put yourselves in the Top-Siders of a boat owner in Cabo or La Paz. Given this morning’s 120-hour tropical storm force wind forecast, would you: 1) Prepare your boat, and neighbors’ boats, the best you can but stay put; 2) Make a dash up the west coast of Baja knowing the colder waters are tropical storm killers; or 3) Dash over to Mazatlan, which appears not to be threatened?

As is often the case in sailing, there are no right answers, just options.

Keep track of Hurricane Blanca at or


Artemis Plans Move to Bermuda

Artemis Racing’s AC45 Turbo training in Bermuda.

Artemis Racing
©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Artemis Racing confirmed yesterday that their America’s Cup team will move from one former naval base to another. The team has been based at the old Alameda Naval Air Station since the lead-up to the 34th America’s Cup. Now they’ll move most of their operations to Morgan’s Point in Southampton Parish, Bermuda.

“After spending some time here on the Great Sound it has confirmed our original thoughts that this is a tricky venue and being here, learning the race course, will give us the best chance possible to win the 35th America’s Cup,” commented Nathan Outteridge, Artemis Racing’s helmsman.

Artemis Racing’s plans are already underway to start developing the space on Morgan’s Point, with the team hoping to be fully operational there by early 2016.  Mirroring the team’s current base in Alameda, which once housed another type of flying boat — U.S. Navy seaplanes — Morgan’s Point was also once a sprawling USN base full of seaplanes.

The good news for Bay Area Artemis fans: The team will maintain a small build facility in Alameda, and sail training with the AC45 Turbo will continue on San Francisco Bay later this year. "We’ll still do Bart’s Bash in September from the Seaplane Lagoon dock!" added Hannah Davis, the team’s media contact.

Oracle Team USA training in Bermuda.

© John Von Seeburg / Oracle Team USA

In other America’s Cup news, Oracle Team USA has announced a joint project with North Sails to create internships for ten top American collegiate sailors. Five men and five women, plus three coaches, will travel to spend time with the team in Bermuda as well as at the North Sails 3D facility in Minden, NV. The goal of the program is to reward academic and sailing excellence, so participants will be selected by the Intercollegiate Sailing Association based on performance on and off the water. At least three internship programs are planned, beginning this October.

After the pounding that the Baja Peninsula took last fall thanks to Hurricane Odile, we can probably all agree that it’s somewhere else’s turn.