America's Cup World Series racing is on, and it is an amazing sight to behold live.
SEA members have been gathering to watch the races up close since August, and it is truly an exciting spectacle for all to enjoy. The best place to watch racing is from land -- Yes, from land, sailors! You can get views of the boats charging to the finish from 50' away at the Wave Organ. That is at the end of the sand spit east of the St. Francis and Golden Gate Yacht clubs.
Thursday was a special day (Youtube) with SEA member Catherine Boucher riding as guest on the back of French team Energy's AC45 -- They almost went over at one point! Member Katka Letzing was also able to score a ride as guest on China Team's practice runs. We await their description of that incredible experience!
Meeting time was noon at Clipper Yacht Harbor on a cloudy Saturday to see the America’s Cup sailing race on the Bay. Peter had invited SEA member Sandor with his son Nick, as well as his colleague Rob with his family (wife and 5 kids) to share sailing on our Ericson 38 Kranich (“crane” in German). All together we counted 6 adults and 5 kids, including 4 adults with sailing experience for an exciting day on the bay.
The America's Cup World series is upon us in August and again in October. I has been an exciting event to follow both on and off the water, bringing a new level excitement to the Bay Area sailing community. Here is where and when to watch:
On Wednesday over 20 SEA youths sailed across The Bay to visit the Oracle Racing Base. We sailed in two groups with two boats. As we crossed the Bay we watched the international AC45 boats arriving in preparation for this week's World Series AC45s.
After a dodgy anchoring attempt, we finally settled in and got a ride on one ofOracle's many Protectors. Inside we had a wonderful tour of the base, including the many workshop containers that help keep the boats tuned up. Highlights included the AC33 trimaran that won the cup, as well as glimpses of the monstrously large AC72 being built. We finished the day off with a shower filled sail back across a lumpy Bay. All smiles all day.
On America’s Cup World Series Youth Day, youth of all ages are welcome to explore all that the America’s Cup in San Francisco has to offer. Everyone is invited to come down to Marina Green to watch the racing for the first time of AC45s on San Francisco Bay, see a high school sailing demonstration, check out all the America’s Cup Village has to offer, and meet one of the youngest ACWS skippers, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Outteridge, (plus surprise guest*) on land after racing!
The strongest teams led as expected: Oracle USA, Emirates NZ, Artemis SWE, with a nice showing by Team Korea and some bursts by Team China. It will be interesting to see how the French teams do. They and some others started a bit later, so they have some catching up practicing to do. The Coutts team looked to be sailing with an eased jib at times...just doing recon? The French have a very strong tradition of multihull racing and have some key people involved. It will be interesting to see how they do.
It does appear that start position is critical, at least in these light air conditions today (6 knots). First to the start in good position has usually won the race. In 6 knots of breeze the boats do 6kts upwind and 10 kts downwind!! Wait til the winds increase.
Check in tomorrow morning (Sunday) for more live speed competition racing. The winds are expected to kick up to 15kts which means these boats will be ripping through the water, should be exciting. http://www.americascup.com/Youtube Channel Direct
Gary Jobson's History of the America's Cup 1851 – 2007
Saturday, June 11, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Bay Model Visitor’s Center, Sausalito
Kimball Livingston: Journalist, author, screenwriter, but first and foremost an accomplished sailor, Kimball has covered every America’s Cup since 1980. He will speak about what the Cup means to Sausalito and the Bay Area and help start us on the road to the Cup! His passion for the Cup almost equals his passion for sailing on San Francisco Bay. As any Bay Area Sailor worth his/her salt knows, Kimball is the author of the classic, Sailing the Bay and was one of the writers for Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 release, WIND. He is an editor at large for SAIL Magazine and writes online at BluePlanetTimes.com.
Here is the latest footage from Orace Racing Team. These winds in Auckland were not much different from our conditions here in SF.
It's very interesting to observe the evolution of this new format and boats. It seems that because it's new -- and perhaps because of the new AC attitude -- the process is more transparent. We get to observe the teams struggling with boats pitch-poling and getting out of control.
I do wonder if by the time the AC72s start racing, they will have fine tuned the boats so much (and the cost of breaking them will be so much greater!) that the visual spectacle we can see now will have been greatly toned down.