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January 11, 2016

Jules Verne Finit

On Friday afternoon, Spindrift 2 crossed the finish line between the Créac’h lighthouse, France, and the Lizard lighthouse, Cornwall.

© Eloi Stichelbaut / Spindrift Racing

Spindrift 2 finished her Jules Verne Trophy attempt on Friday afternoon. The 130-ft VPLP trimaran, skippered by Frenchman Yann Guichard and helmed by his Swiss partner Dona Bertarelli, crossed the line off Ushant Island at 3 p.m. UTC after 47 days, 10 hours, 59 minutes, 2 seconds at sea, registering the second fastest time in history. The team claims that this accomplishment makes Bertarelli the fastest woman to have sailed around the world. 

"It was really nice because it’s a team of real friends," said Bertarelli. "But it’s also because of having been able, somehow, to exorcise my fears, those fears of plunging into the Southern Ocean or being so far from anything." She didn’t sleep much on the last night. "There was so much emotion and adrenaline."

The Spindrift 2 crew, with Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard in the foreground of the photo, made landfall at La Trinité-sur-Mer on Friday evening.

© Thierry Martinez

With a time of 45 days 13 hours 54 minutes 49 seconds, Loïck Peyron will retain the 21,600-mile Jules Verne course. Ironically, Peyron set the record in 2012 with the same boat, then named Banque Populaire V.

The sun was going down as Ushant (Ouessant) welcomed back the six men aboard IDEC Sport. 

© Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

A bit later on Friday, the IDEC Sport crew also finished their Jules Verne attempt. Francis Joyon’s 105-ft trimaran crossed the finish line off Ushant at 4:50 p.m. UTC after taking 47 days, 14 hours, 47 minutes to sail around the world, the third best time in the history of the Jules Verne Trophy. Since 2008, Joyon has held the nonstop, singlehanded, around-the-world record of 57 days and change.

"There were several solo sailors in this crew and that made a good mixture," said Francis Joyon. Left to right: Boris Hermann, Alex Pella, Gwénolé Gahinet, Clément Surtel, Bernard Stamm, Francis Joyon.

© Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

We’ll have much more on this latest dual attempt in the February issue of Latitude 38, including a recap of shorter records broken during portions of the journey.

More Waterfront Development

In the December issue of Latitude 38 (pages 65-67) and in ‘Lectronic Latitude on November 20 and January 8, we told you about controversial plans to redevelop the Alameda Marina, on the Estuary side of the island. Meanwhile, plans are afoot for waterfront redevelopment on the opposite, Bay, side. 

Local sailor and sail loft owner Kame Richards alerted us to a meeting tonight that may help determine the fate of that stretch of shoreline and the future of the Alameda Community Sailing Center. "As many of you know, Alameda Community Sailing Center (ACSC) is very near and dear to my heart. Monday at 7 p.m. there will be a public workshop regarding Alameda Point Site A design review.  Part of the design review will be centered on the Waterfront Park which will run along the northeast edge of Seaplane Lagoon. This is a corner of Seaplane Lagoon where we are hoping to move the community sailing part of ACSC in the future. If it helps you get oriented, this is where the Artemis America’s Cup team has been sailing out of."

Site A Development Plan — Waterfront Park

© April Philips Design Works

"In the design being proposed, there is no accommodation for access to the water," reports Richards. "This is the time to make our needs and feelings known to the city and developers. If you have time Monday evening, please drop by City Hall, third floor, City Council chambers and fill out a speaker slip. All you need to say is that the water is public property, and the citizens of Alameda deserve access to the water. The subject is not just ACSC, but all water sports."

Learn more here, and in particular, see Exhibit 2 – Waterfront Park Plans.

Eight Bells for Wild Oats Patron

The international sailing community has lost one of its best-loved father figures. On Sunday Australian billionaire Bob Oatley, 87, succumbed to a longtime illness.

Billionaire yachtsman and philanthropist Bob Oatley seen with his sons atop their Hamilton Island Resort.

PR Images
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Although Australia is a bit off our usual beat, Oatley’s contribution to yacht racing cannot be ignored. Seemingly a universally well-liked sportsman, Oatley has campaigned his 100-ft supermaxi Wild Oats XI for more than a decade, taking line honors in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race eight times. In 2005 and 2012 Wild Oats XI pulled off ‘trifectas’ in that contest, taking line honors, correcting out to win, and setting new course records — the only boat ever to do so. Her 2012 record still stands at 1d, 18h, 23m.

Seen here roaring past the Sydney Opera House, Wild Oats XI has been thrilling yacht racing fans for more than a decade.

© 2016 Andrea Francolini / Royal YC of Tasmania

Oatley’s 32-year run in the wine business earned him a fortune, and dramatically elevated the reputation of Australian wines internationally. When he sold his brand, Rosemount Estates, in 2001, he bought Queensland’s Hamilton Island for $200 million and elevated its reputation to top-tier status through improvements that reportedly cost $350 mil — Condé Nast Traveler once dubbed it the "best resort in the world." Oatley’s magic also extended to the long-established Hamilton Island Race Week, which flourished under his guidance. The gentleman yachtsman is also renowned as a generous philanthropist, having made significant contributions to medical research and the arts.

In addition to all that, he will be remembered as a kind and accessible man. We’re told that despite his accomplishments in the business world, he cherished his yacht racing victories above all else. 

Triple-overhead swell stacks up along the Sharp Park area in Pacifica. © 2016 Erik Simonson The pro surfers at Mavericks may have been delighted with yesterday’s 40-ft waves, but the huge surf that pounded the California coast in the wake of the most recent El Niño-enhanced storm prompted the closure of the Pacifica Pier, San Francisco’s Fort Point, and King Harbor Yacht Club in Redondo Beach, doubtless among other venues.
Following the recent march of storms and surging waters even inside San Francisco Bay, the National Marine Manufacturers Association last night made the tough decision to postpone the Progressive Insurance San Francisco Boat Show.
In November, when preliminary plans were proposed that would drastically change the layout and character of Alameda Marina, it created a furor of protest and outrage among many local boaters.