Friday, May 26, 2017

The Wind Gods - A Look Back at AC 33



The 33rd America's Cup was all about the boat.  The winds were at 6 knots and the boats were blasting thru the water at over 30 knots.  Oracle's boat was 113' long and 90' wide with a mast almost 200 feet high with a rigid wing.  Because of all the conflicts on the rules, this was a Deed of Gift Race between two boats, Alinghi and BMW/Oracle. A best out of three for the cup. The boats were very different and BMW/Oracle proved without a doubt that they were the fastest. Alinghi was penalized in both races and had to perform a 360 degree turn at some point during the races. This is a fantastic look back at the boats, the crews and the races. I hope you will watch this film in its entirety. Go USA!

AC Postponed Due to High Winds

Here is a drone vid to wet your whistle instead.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pics of the Week












Wow, Just Wow

Saw this on SA and had to share.  If this is the future of cruising with foils, I am all in.  Enjoy!

Travis Rice is a pro snowboarder from Jackson Hole.  He is also stoked for sailing a fast cat across the Caribbean with a rock star crew.  Many publications have named him the top snowboarder of all time!

Just before the snow started to stack this winter I (Travis) had the opportunity to take a 1000 mile sea trial of the new F4 with Shannon Falcone (@racingsf). This trip blew my mind to what the future of offshore sailing has in store and was by far the most intense sailing I have ever done personally. This future craft is a 46 foot carbon performance catamaran built for foiling offshore. 

Enter two-time winning America’s Cup sailor Shannon Falcone who invited Rice to sail from Bermuda to Antigua onboard a new, first of it’s kind, foiling offshore catamaran. The boat (a DNA F4) is probably one of the coolest boats on the water at the moment, as not only is the boat sturdy enough to withstand all the elements of sailing for thousands of miles off the coast, but you can foil – aka fly – above the water.

So, over the course of 1,000 nautical miles, Rice, Falcone, and the rest of the crew unleashed the DNA F4 and experienced all the things that make offshore sailing amazing: sending it in perfect conditions, breathtaking sunsets, star-filled nights, a few squalls for the books, a splash of rum, and flying over the waves.

And throughout the adventure, Rice’s stoke for offshore foiling is clearly hard to contain as he takes the wheel in 15-20 knot winds. “This is unreal,” Rice said. “This is just so fu*king good. We’re just hover-crafting.”

But wait – it gets better. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to enjoy the experience because Travis Rice made a daily video diary of the adventure. However, that said, after you watch the above you’ll probably want drop everything to go sailing.


History Lesson: The Very First America's Cup Race

Yachting World takes a look back to the race that started it all back in 1851.  On the eve of the 35th America's Cup, I thought it might be fun to look back at the very first race around the Isle of Wight which was won by the yacht America (hence the name of the cup).  Click here to read about the very beginings of the oldest trophy in all of sports.

The historic yacht America!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

License to Chill

My wife and I were down in the Bahamas celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary a few years ago.  The resort we were at had a bunch of small Hobie Cats you could take out for a sail on the beautiful waters off the resort.  One fine morning, the wind was about perfect so I launched one of the cats off the beach.  There are about a half dozen others cats on the water.  I was ripping upwind when I realized there was no one around for a good mile or so and I decided this would be a great time to sail au naturale.  I was way upwind, when a small skiff came up behind me and motioned that I was too far upwind and I should go back.  I knew he also saw my naked ways and I might be in trouble.  I sailed back towards the resort with my trunks on and headed for the beach.  The manager comes running up the beach and he looks none too happy.  As I exit the boat I say to him, "There is a naked sailor out there, what should I tell him?".  He replies back, "Tell him to put his clothes on!".  Dodged a bullet there.  So after that episode, I decided to get a license so I would not have to deal with that anymore.  The license just arrived, see below.


Monday, May 22, 2017

The Best Orginized Chaos You Will Ever See



On May 26th 2017, Bermuda will host the 35th America’s Cup. The eyes of the world will turn to the iconic Great Sound where the best sailors on the fastest boats will battle for the oldest trophy in international sport. Racing starts with the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on 26th May and the top Challenger will meet Defending Champions ORACLE TEAM USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton beginning on 17th June, 2017.
For over three centuries, the mystique that is Bermuda has been slowly evolving, with each generation adding its own tales to the story. Now there’s an exciting new chapter being written as Bermuda becomes Home of the 2017 America’s Cup.
Bermuda is composed of 181 islands, totalling 21 square miles, and has just over 60,000 residents. As you would expect in a place with so many islands, water activities are the life-blood of Bermuda.
Renowned for crystal blue water and beautiful pink sand beaches, Bermuda’s Great Sound will form a natural amphitheatre for the race course while the planned America’s Cup Village at the Royal Naval Dockyard, will be the beating heart of the America’s Cup experience.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Free Diving with Ashleigh



Born and raised in central Florida, Ashleigh spent her childhood years criss-crossing the state with her family in search of beaches, islands and fresh water springs to explore.  From these early experiences she developed a deep love for being in and under the water.
Although her love for breath-hold diving was kindled at an early age, it wasn’t until 2009 that she was introduced to the sport of freediving.  After taking intermediate and advanced level courses, it became clear she was just scratching the surface in terms of ability and her passion for the sport was solidified.  “I was not only blown away by the amount I learned in each course, but also by how much improvement I had made in such a short time.  I was hooked.”
Looking for more opportunities to dive deeper in safe and controlled conditions, Ashleigh decided to participate in her first freediving competition in 2011. Since then she has participated in a handful of local and international freediving competitions, including the 2014 Team World Championships in Sardinia, Italy.  “Each competition has taught me something new about the sport and my body.  I don’t have a strong athletic background, so it has been great to be able to learn from other divers who have so much more experience with different types of training and diving techniques.  I’m very excited to be on the US Women’s team this year for the Team World Championships, and I’m really looking forward to making more progress with the help of my friends and mentors.”

Friday, May 19, 2017

America's Cup Preview

The Cup starts next week!  CNN's Mainsail looks at the venue as well as the boats and teams.  Take a peek here.

Pics of the Week


                      When you have a new neighbor and he is a novice at parking the boat.





Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Gotta Get This!



Went for a sail on my friends new to him Newport 30 on Monday.  He liked sailing our N30 so much, he bought one for himself.  We headed out shortly after noon out of Sausalito.  The gents that owned the boat previously did not know much about the rigging set up and I was determined to make a few adjustments to get her into proper sailing form.  Winds were light so we shook out the reefed main in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge.  One of the reefing lines was not long enough and put a big crease in the sail, we will need to remedy that.  The head sail had a big wrinkle at the foot of the sail, we will need to raise the halyard all the way up.  We did a few other tweaks throughout the sail and finally got her dialed in towards the end of the 4 hour sail.  John is a happy camper!  With my knowledge of this boat after owning ours for 16 years, really gave us a leg up in tuning the rig on this fine vessel.  Bon voyage, John!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pics of the Week






On Saturday, my wife and I are celebrating 25 years in the hospitality business together!  In 1992, I started the Too Much Fun Club.  My wife, Bridget, joined about 1.5 years in and I could not have done this without her.  We assist large companies with their corporate events.  We host picnics, holiday events and many other types of celebrations here in the Silicon Valley.  It's been an amazing journey for our 2 person company (we have been lucky enough to work out of our home for all this time) and we are very proud of what we have accomplished over the many years.  In my mind, there are not many couples who could work together, live together and still have an amazing marriage.  I think because we have hobbies that we love, our marriage has worked.  I am a huge lover of the wind and sailing, while Bridget adores going to Disneyland and Disney World.  She does her thing with friends as I do mine and we have the time apart to grow and enjoy.  It works for us!

To celebrate our our 25th anniversary, we have invited 12 of our closest friends to enjoy a fine meal at our house.  Our chef friend Laura will prepare the dinner and we will feast!  Many a persons have said you can never have too much fun...but we have proved them all wrong!

360 Degree Cool

Here is a neat feature, on the top left of the vid is a white circle.  Use it to navigate the picture sideways and behind for a 360 view.  Enjoy!



Here is a quick tip for you'all: Zippers with metal slides have a bad habit of becoming frozen with corrosion even though the teeth of the zipper are plastic. If you use force, you'll ruin the zipper. Instead, place a small rag soaked with vinegar over the corroded slide, cover the rag with a piece of Saranwrap, and wait an hour or more if you can. The acidic vinegar will dissolve the corrosion and free the slide.  If you have zippers in a marine environment, this is a common problem that can be resolved without breaking the zipper.  Give it a try!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trip Log: Our Caribbean Sailing Adventure

After a lengthy flight from SF, we arrived in St. Martin.  We hit the docks and boarded Exodus, our charter boat for the next week.  She is a 2 year old Fountaine Pajot Ipanema 58 catamaran.  Our captain was there to greet us, as well as our chef for the week.  Peet and Kate are as amazing as our new home.  The sweetest part of the boat is the open fly bridge.  The helm is up here and seating for about 10.  It totally opens the boat up with its decadent sofas, fridge and wet bar.  We are in heaven!  We motor up to a nice cove and set the hook.  Dinner is served at 7pm and we are impressed!  After some nice conversation and a few bottles of wine, we settle in for some games and reading.  We are all a bit tired from the overnight flight, so we call it an early night.

T
The next morning after a delicious breakfast, we set sail for Anguilla.  Frank and I had been there in 2014 for a boys week and had a blast.  We anchored off the same beach and the memories of that week flooded back.  We had some boisterous winds for the sail over and covered the 5 nautical miles quickly.  I had time for some hammock (my hammock has traveled with me all over the world since I received one as a engagement gift way back in 1992) and a swim before dinner.  The meals have been fabulous and they keep getting better. 

The next morning was beautiful, and a swim was in order.  We headed back towards St. Martin with the winds in the mid 20's and anchored in a nice cove for lunch.  After, we tried to get into a cove but it was too busy so we ended up in the same cove as the first night, Grand Case.  We headed out for a snorkel and then some spirited bocce games on the beach.  What fun to play patonk on the French side of the island (the other side is Dutch).  We had a very nice steak dinner and I did some reading and then off to bed. 

Tuesday is a big day…we are heading for St. Barts.  Because I am a Latitude 38 reader, I have read about and seen many vids about St. Barts.  The editor of L38 spends winter and spring in St Barts and writes many a story on this gem of an island.  The wind is about 26 true when we depart and it is a beautiful sail of about 17 miles.  Along the way we have some fun and spot a few dolphins off the port side.  We arrive at lunch time and set the hook at the far side of the anchorage in Gustavia.  We have a fine lunch and then take the tender into town. 

Frank and I strolled thru Gustavia with its upscale shops and bars and then headed to the beach.  We find the beach bar Shellona and take a seat.  What a cool vibe.  Lots of boats anchored out, beautiful people sipping Rose an a lovely afternoon, and a nice beach.  We hung out for about an hour and a half.  Our ladies showed up for a glass of wine too.  We headed back to the boat for a glass of Champagne and a green flash to boot!  That might be my 10th green flash.  Then it was on to Maya’s for a nice fish dinner by the bay.
 Fly bridge!
We have been eating well as our chef Kate has prepared some fine meals.  This morning it’s Eggs Benedict.  We take off about 10am for a jaunt around the corner to a cove named Columbier.  About 10 boats are in the cove and we pick up a mooring ball near the beach.  We swim, hike and play bocce on the beach with a glass of wine in hand.  Good times indeed.  Plus, I had a glorious nap in the hammock in the bow.  With the gentle swaying from the breeze, it felt like I was in the womb once more.  However, this is a womb with a view!

We are celebrating a few birthdays so tonight we start with Champagne, fine wines from Napa and a scrumptious dinner from the galley.  We have a great night and the temp is a perfect 78!

Thursday, we take off for Nikki Beach.  We anchor off the beautiful Eden Rock Hotel and go for a swim.  Whenever I swim in an anchorage, I am very watchful for passing boats and especially jetskis.  I was nearly killed back in 88' when a passing jetskier decided to buzz our ski boat.  I was retrieving an overboard item and popped to the surface inches from the passing jetski.  That would have been a tragic ending.  Back to the islands!  At 1pm, we head in for lunch at the famous Nikki Beach Restaurant and Beach Chalet.  There is a large wedding party and the mood is festive.  Its very loud as the DJ is pumping up the jam!   As we wait for lunch to arrive, Bridget and I go for a walk on the beach as she is very sensitive to loud music.  After lunch, we move down to the beach and continue drinking from a very large bottle of Rose.  I go for a swim and enjoy watching the wedding guests frolick in the water.  After a short game of bocce on the beach, we return for a nap and another awesome dinner aboard. I could get used to this!

On our last full day aboard Exodus, we snorkel a bit and then head to a beautiful spot on St. Martin.  We anchor next to a nearly deserted anchorage and beach.  I see a small Hobie go by and head to the beach to see if I can rent one.  Soon it becomes apparent that the guy sailing the Hobie is out of his league.  He soon capsizes and needs to be rescued.  They send out a jetski and bring back the wayward sailor.  One of the employees is now attempting to sail the Hobie back but the winds are in the high teens and he is having trouble.  The manager asks if I could help.  She whisks me away on the jetski and I board the cat.  In no time, I am back up wind and enjoying some fine reaches out into the outer waters and much more wind.  These boats are fun to sail and a blast to sail fast.  I head back to the beach and get a hero's welcome from the staff.  Back to the boat for another fine meal and early to bed.  The group stayed up late playing Skipo, but I was out cold by 10pm. 


On Saturday we say our goodbyes to the crew.  What an amazing week it was.  I was very surprised how windy it was every single day.  In all our sails, the wind was over the mid 20's.  The weather was fantastic with a only a shower or two.  If you ever charter a large cat, make sure it has a fly bridge.  This is a must as it gives you a great view and another place to relax and hang out.  We loved the two beach bars on St. Barts as the vibe was as cool as the people.  Everything was top notch and we would not hesitate to book this cat and crew again.  Bon voyage indeed!

Monday, May 08, 2017

Big Wave Award Winners!

Tube of the Year!


Full screen please.

Rogue Spinnakers



Had a battery go bad on our electric engine last week.  Hope to get a replacement this week and get out for some more sailing adventures soon.

My buddy John, who has owned about 5 sail boats over the years, recently bought a 1981 Newport 30 because he loved the way ours sailed.  High praise indeed.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Extreme Is My Middle Name

Back from an amazing sailing adventure in the Caribbean!  We boarded a 58' cat in St Martin and explored the waters of Anguilla and St Barts.  Our crew (captain and chef) were exceptional, as was the boat.  I ended up rescuing a rescuer of a small Hobie on the last day.  Had a blast sailing the boat back to it's home.  All in all, a very memorable trip to the islands.  I will have a full report later this week.

In the meantime, enjoy this vid.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Americas Cup Starts One Month from Today

Racing begins May 26th in Bermuda!  This year's boats are much smaller in an effort to bring the cost down.  In 2013, the boats were 72'.  This year they will be 48' and capable of speeds of 50 knots.  Because the winds are more variable than SF, the races will be more tactical. 
AC 35 has attracted five challengers: Land Rover BAR (GBR) with Sir Ben Ainslie on the helm, Artemis Racing (SWE) with skipper Nathan Outteridge, Groupama Team France with Franck Cammas, Softbank Team Japan with Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand with Glenn Ashby. Jimmy Spithill, 2013's winning helmsman, will again skipper Team Oracle USA.

Bonehead Moves on the Water... Kitesurf Edition


These are some extreme examples of the dangers of kitesurfing.  Do you feel it is a dangerous sport?  Please comment.

Pics of the Week








Tuesday, April 25, 2017

XXL Biggest Wave of the Year Nominees



The winners will be announced this weekend in LA.  Hope to have a recap soon.

Departing for Charter in the Caribbean

We are departing this week for the Leeward Islands of the West Indies.  St. Martin, St. Barths, Saba and Anguilla.  Our 60' cat, Exodus, is awaiting our arrival.  My wife hates sailing, however, when you throw in a modern day cat, a captain and gourmet chef, she will follow me to the end of our watery planet.  Include our best friends and she will happily jump on board!  We have wifi on board our lovely yacht and I hope to be putting out some dispatches from the field.  Tales of large rum drinks invading the fly bridge and maybe a tale of a friendly pirate or two.  It's going be a blast and I cannot wait to jump aboard.  Join us for a trip of a lifetime to some of the most tranquil islands in the world.  Check out Exodus here.

We might not have this much fun but we are going to try!