Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pics of the Week

Happy 4th of July to all sailors.

Bigger is Better!

After almost 17 years of owning our 30' sailboat, I am getting ready to buy a bigger boat (42').  In 2018, we are departing for a 7000 mile adventure to Australia.  We purchased the Addiction in October of 2000.  At the time, we had three partners.  We currently have six partners.  This Newport 30 has brought so much joy and fun into my life as well as the folks I have sailed with.  I started out with only a handful of sails on a keel boat.  I had been a windsurfer for 15 years so I knew how to sail.  Initially, we had the boat in the Oakland Estuary which was a good place to start.  We could get used to sailing the boat without getting into too much trouble.  We moved to a very windy marina in Emeryville in 2003.  It was a great move.  Our diesel died about 3 years ago and we installed an electric engine.  That has worked out great. 

Here are some of the highlights on board our lovely sloop:
3 trips to downtown Napa with wine tasting by bike
5 trips to the Delta with fresh, warm water to swim in
1 trip up the Petaluma River
Many trips to the ballpark to see the Giants
KABOOM! fireworks shows
Many 3 day stays in Sausalito
Boat in the Delta for a month
Taking out over 500 folks for day sails on the bay
Amazing sails out the Gate
Sailing to the America's Cup with a boatload of friends!
Overnights at Clipper and Ayala Cove
A thousand day sails on the bay!
Having my Golden's join me for sails and swimming to the beaches for a romp in the sand

It has been an amazing journey.  One of our favorite saying, "It just keeps getting better!".

I have a dozen or more sails left aboard our beloved little boat.   I am looking forward to my next adventure!

Monday, June 26, 2017

New Zealand Dominates AC to Win the Cup

Hamilton, Bermuda (June 26, 2017) – Another dominant race win today for Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand in race nine of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, gave the Kiwi team victory on the Great Sound in Bermuda.

Burling now adds the 35th America’s Cup to the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup trophy he won in San Francisco, 2013.

The Kiwi team dominated the final stage of the 35th America’s Cup, winning eight races to ORACLE TEAM USA’s one race win, giving the New Zealanders a final winning scoreline of 7-1.

The America’s Cup was last won by a team representing New Zealand in 2000 and they are now the Defenders of the America’s Cup for the 36th installment of the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport.

In the final press conference of the 35th America’s Cup, Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, also announced that the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has accepted the challenge of Circolo della Vela Sicilia, who will be the Challenger of Record for the 36th America’s Cup and will be represented by Luna Rossa.

We’re just blown away,” said Peter Burling, helmsman, Emirates Team New Zealand. “We came here to win the America’s Cup and right now we’re taking the America’s Cup back home to New Zealand.

“To be able to win eight races in beautiful Bermuda in front of a big crowd of our own fans is overwhelming, we’re just happy to be able to share this moment with them, we’re just blown away.

“I’ve grown up watching this competition as a fan and to be a Kiwi and taking this Cup home is a dream come true.

“To be able to win this event at such a young age is an unreal feeling. However, I’m just a tiny part of a massive team and it is incredible to be able to reward the hard work of those hundreds of people who have supported us, not only here but back home in New Zealand as well.

“We’ve had to go through some incredibly tough times to get to this point. It has been an incredibly tough path to get past the rest of the challengers and then ORACLE TEAM USA and it’s credit to every team that competed.

“It’s so unique to get to sail these boats, every day they can be different. Our incredible shore team gave us that edge and to be able to reward their hard work and bring this Cup home with us is an amazing feeling.

“It’s just sinking in really and I think that will be the same feeling for all of those Kiwi fans watching us win the America’s Cup back home.

“For me I think the reason we won was because of what happened four years ago. This team has gone through some really tough spots from San Francisco and to be able to reward this team with the America’s Cup is the best feeling, because they are such an incredible team.

“I’d like to say thank you to Bermuda. It has been an amazing venue for a sailing event and I’ve absolutely loved this place, I’d love to come back at some stage.

Glenn Ashby, Skipper, Emirates Team New Zealand, and the only sailing member who was part of the team’s 2013 defeat, was pleased to get the job done this time.

“It has been an incredibly tough journey to get here,” notes Ashby. “We came across late to Bermuda from New Zealand and to be able to get the boat into good shape in such short time is all credit to our amazing team.

“I’m just so proud to be a part of this team and to be able to bring the Cup home and I want to thank the support of the whole country.

“What happened in 2013 was a brutal experience for everyone involved, to be so close was extremely disappointing and is something that will live with all of us for the rest of our lives.

“So to be able to come here a few years later and pull off an unbelievable victory has really redeemed that situation for New Zealand and it feels like justice has prevailed.

“I think we’ve seen some unbelievable advancements here with the boats and the type of races we’ve seen and it’s great for our sport. From a sailing perspective it’s going to be hard to sail anything else after what we’ve seen in these boats, the technology is just absolutely amazing.”

Grant Dalton, CEO, Emirates Team New Zealand, was equally pleased to have completed the task. “We’ve done it, finally!

“We probably don’t realise how big a deal this is back in New Zealand,” reported Dalton. “I’ve been told that there was traffic jams at 4am with people trying to get to work just to see the races, which is utterly incredible.

“We’ve had a phenomenal group of guys, we’ve battled some serious adversity but as a group we’ve overcome everything. There have been a lot of people behind that and none more so than Matteo De Nora, who has stuck with the team through thick and thin and believed in everything that we have done. New Zealand owes a lifetime of gratitude to him for what we have achieved.

“We thought outside of the square and we did it our way. After San Francisco we knew we couldn’t out-spend other teams here so we had to out-think everyone. One of the things to come out of San Francisco is that we were out-designed and we knew this time round that we had to push that area.

“This time round we had no restrictions on design. We just wanted to see what we could come up with and we have achieved some truly amazing things that have been revolutionary in this sport.

“After San Francisco we had a pretty tough debrief and came up with 20 points that we had to change. One of those was that we had to invest in technology and the people that provide it. We also had to get our arms around the next generation of yachtsmen that were coming through and Peter (Burling) was one of those.

“He told me he wanted to be helmsman, so it was all about investing in the right people and giving them the responsibility to go out and achieve what we knew we could.

“It is important that we make the next America’s Cup affordable but we also need to remember that it is the America’s Cup and it is one of the top sports and not a little beach regatta. It is never going to be cheap.

“It is a fine balance between not making it prohibitively expensive, but not being so cheap that it devalues the competition.

“At the core of what we believe, we have to create an event that takes a lot of the good that has happened here, because there been a lot of good here. Just because we didn’t sign the Framework Agreement, that doesn’t mean to say there weren’t elements we didn’t agree with, it was just we didn’t agree with every element.

“To me it is a privilege to host the America’s Cup. It is not a right and we will put in place rules and an organisation of our own that will do everything to be good enough.”

Jimmy Spithill, Skipper, ORACLE TEAM USA, was humble in defeat

“On behalf of the whole of ORACLE TEAM USA, congratulations to Emirates Team New Zealand,” said Spithill. “What an incredible team. They’ve been a class above everyone in the 35th America’s Cup and we take our hats off to you. Well done.

“They sailed better than anyone else out here and so, rightly so, they are the 35th America’s Cup champions.

“The defeat hasn’t really sunk in yet and it is definitely weird looking at the trophy and knowing we won’t be taking it home.

“With hindsight there are a lot of things you would like to change but I think it’s far too early to say what might have gone wrong.

As to the future of the team, Spithill had not spoken to team owner Larry Ellison on the topic.

Sir Russell Coutts, CEO, America’s Cup Event Authority, was quick to acknowledge the first New Zealand victory in the America’s Cup since 2000, saying, “I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations and praise to everyone in Emirates Team New Zealand for winning the 35th America’s Cup.

“Helmed brilliantly by Peter Burling, with the guiding influence of skipper Glenn Ashby, supported by a world class sailing, design and shore team, they performed magnificently here in Bermuda, winning in dominant fashion.

“I know just how much this victory means to the team and to the people of New Zealand. This is a remarkable achievement, one that will be rightly celebrated in Bermuda and across New Zealand and I hope those celebrations live long in the memory, much as the team’s victory in Bermuda has now written a new chapter in the history of the America’s Cup.”

Race Nine
Emirates Team New Zealand and ORACLE TEAM USA enjoying clean starts, but the defender to windward accelerated better off the line to lead at mark one.

However, with the defender sporting bigger daggerfoils than yesterday, anticipating less wind than there actually was, the impact was immediately seen on the next leg. With the superior kiwi downwind speed, the challenger rolled the defender after the first gybe and leading at the second mark.

Burling was serene at the helm of the Kiwi boat, displaying no nerves as he steered his team towards glory, but Spithill and the ORACLE TEAM USA crew were not giving up, constantly splitting to gain leverage, but the kiwi team never gave them an opening from which to benefit.

After the upwind let, the Challenge’s lead was up to 26 seconds at the third mark, increasing further downwind to 34 seconds at the fourth mark, and from that point, barring mistakes by Burling and his all-conquering Emirates Team New Zealand crew, the die was cast.

Emirates Team New Zealand never allowed the lead to get too big, at times spending some to stay in the same winds as ORACLE TEAM USA, thus minimizing the random winds on the Great Sound.

New Zealand sealed their win in impressive style, crossing the finish line for the final time in the 35th America’s Cup 55 seconds ahead of the US team.

via Pressure Drop

Friday, June 23, 2017

J Cup in Bermuda

Some of the biggest spinnakers in world.  These yachts are as beautiful as they are expensive!

Full screen only, please! 

Competing J Boats:
Lion Heart - Winner!

What do you love about sailing?

From some boating rock stars.

For me it is being one with nature.  The light in and around the boat. The nights under the stars and moon.  The creatures that you share the moment with ( including the people!).  And finally the sunrises and sunsets...and maybe a green flash!  And how good does that glass of wine taste with a fine meal to end the day?  The sailing life is a great life!


Nostalgia is in my blood.  I love recalling the past and looking back over the 58 years that I have swum, sailed, water skied, kayaked, rafted, surfed, windsurfed, water poloed, boogie boarded, SCUBAed, skim boarded, catamaraned, and trimaraned this planet.   I do have some land based interests of course.  One includes the cinema and some TV.  I ran across a site that was looking back at movies and such and wanted to share some great pics with you.

 Jimmy the day before he left us for a higher calling.
 This is how they used to shop in London.

 Robert and Sarah
 I like the blond Lisa better.
 Mr. T
Oh, that's me?

One thing that really brings me back is music.  I used to listen to this great radio show called 10 at 10.  Ten great songs from one great year.  For example, they would play 1976, the year I graduated from high school.  They would play songs like, Love is Alive: Gary Wright, Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen, Golden Years: David Bowie, Lines on my Face: Peter Frampton, Slow Ride: Foghat, Evil Woman: ELO, Let's Do It Again: Staple Singers, Dream On: Areosmith and finally Sweet Thing: Rufus.  These songs take me right back to hanging out with my friends in the basement that year.  Think: That 70's Show.  I think back to some of the highlights of that year and it really makes me happy.  It's important to have memories and I believe the only way to have those memories is to keep thinking about them.  Dream on, Stevie!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pics of the Week

Bora Bora in Tahiti - This is what is left of an ancient volcano.

That is so cute!

I polled my buddies for some concerts this summer.  Turns out they all picked concerts in June.  Dead & Company (Dave), Roger Waters (Geoff), The Specials (Hilary) and Ziggy Marley (Marc).  Ziggy was very good as he did a few Bob songs that were magical.  All were great and I hope to catch a few more in July and August.  Have my first trip to Alaska planned.  It's going to be one hell of a fantastic month!

J Class at the AC

The last J boat race is today.  Looking for some footage and hope to post.  In the actual Cup races this weekend, TNZ could finish up the racing and win the Cup.  Will USA make a bid?  We shall see.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bermuda Super Yacht Cup

Here is some footage of the largest collection of J yachts put together in a race.  It's amazing.  All part of the lead up to the finals of the AC which start on Saturday.  USA and NZ will be duking it out over the next few weeks.  Hopefully you have access to NBC or the app to enjoy the racing.  The racing is this weekend and next with the finish on 6-27.  Can USA make it a 3-peat?

Had one of the most beautiful sails of the year yesterday.  Took off in some light winds to start the day.  Kept building as we approached Angel.  Finally over 20 and we reef the genoa.  Head into Craig's Cove for a little magic.  I pull out the hammock and John heads up to enjoy this lovely cove.  Kona and I swim to the beach in our birthday suits.  Why not, no one around.  We have an amazing sail home in about 12-15 knots on an unusually warm day on the bay.  Fantastic!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

MOB - Don't Let This Be You!

Pics of the Week

Heading out today for a fine sail with my buddy John.  Winds are forecast to be in the mid 20's and warm.  Should be a great day to enjoy the bay.  Kona will be there too.  Today is the Warrior's celebration parade in downtown Oakland.  Congrats on winning the championship!  Go Dubs!

Summer Sailstice Raft Up June 24-25

There is but one sailing holiday during the year and that is the weekend of the summer solstice.  In an effort to get folks on the water and celebrate sailing, Summer Sailstice was founded in 2001 right here in the bay area.  Why celebrate sailing?  Sailing has expanded the horizons of the human race, connected continents and cultures, enriched the lives of mankind and, to this day, continues to bring millions under its spell. Summer Sailstice is dedicated to celebrating the full mosaic of the sailing culture.  By celebrating sailing, Summer Sailstice will help the non-sailing world discover sailing, help connect sailors and connect more people to each other and to caring for the oceans and waters upon which they sail.
Tallship, small ship, cruiser, racer, recreational - everyone is invited once a year to hoist sails and celebrate sailing 'together'.  By doing so we showcase the best of what sailing has to offer while giving you a chance to connect with the global sailing community, grow your sailing programs, race your one-design fleet and generally do what you enjoy best.  With all of us doing it 'together' we also leverage all of our individual and organization efforts to offer the world a one-weekend snapshot of the sailing culture. 
Some 20,000 boats will be participating.  Our boat is heading to a huge overnight raft up in Clipper Cove.  They are attempting to get 100 boats into the raft up.  Last year they had 60 or so.  Should be a very fun time.  If you are interested, go to the Summer Sailstice website and sign up to win some great prizes, including a bareboat charter in the BVI's.  Get out there and hoist a sail!!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Keel Failure (as in: falling off the boat!)

Saw this on Yachting World:
From cruisers with keels that rock from side to side, to cracks, gaps and alarming rust streaks, the stories that some industry professionals can tell make uncomfortable listening. Among the more shocking accounts I heard was one from a surveyor who was called to inspect a boat that had experienced a grounding. When he arrived on the scene and the boat had been lifted it was clear that it had hit the bottom harder than had been suggested by the previous charterers – so hard, in fact, that the keel was “hanging on by a thread”.

When the surveyor informed the charter operators of the damage, he was staggered to hear that the boat would be going back out on charter offshore the following day as the company did not want to suffer any loss of income and that there was no time to effect repairs.

Equally shocking is the story of a charter boat that lost her keel after hitting rocks in the Isles of Scilly, but went on to complete three charters and more than 100 miles of cruising before anyone noticed that the 37-footer had no keel.

How is that possible????

Read the article here.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Pics of the Week

 Night Sail - With the start of summer, I wanted to get in a night sail.  I arrrived at the boat around 8pm.  Picked up Tex on the way out the habor and into the wild blue.  The wind was light as we departed and all the sails were up.  All of your senses come alive at night and it was a night we needed them all.  There was wind ahead and over 20 knots.   We finally had to reef the jib as the wind kept getting stronger.  The moon was shining bright as we appraoched Angel Island.  Wow, what a sail!  We head back but can't make way around the pier so we go downwind the 3 miles of this old pier that is a nightmare for mariners.  Fortunately my phone has the proper charts and we can discern the location of the safe passage of the cut in the pier.  We get through safely and head for home.  That was one of my windier night sails and very exhilerating indeed.   Definitely in the Top 5 night sails of all time!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

NZ Capsizes Near Start - Video

Wind was in the upper 20's and above the 24 max for racing.  It's been tuff to find the race vids online.  Have been watching on TV a bit.  It's amazing to have the wind blowing 14 and the boats doing 40 knots.  If you have not been able to see the races, Sailing Anarchy has a way to watch.  Find the post about this capsize and there is a link for watching online. 

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Uncle Drew Part Two

When I posted Part One a while ago, I did not know who Uncle Drew was.  In Part Two, he has included a teammate as well.  Enjoy!

Bonehead Moves on the Water - Capsize Edition

We all have had some close calls in our life but one stands out for me.  We were houseboating on Lake Shasta back in the late 80's and out for a water ski.  My glasses had fallen overboard so I donned my gogles and headed to the bottom.  We had the orange flag up to let everyone know that a person was in the water.  A jet skier decided to buzz our boat and came way too close.  Just as I surfaced, he blew by and missed my head by a few inches.  He was doing a good 30 mph.  I hope he saw me and realized he almost took my head off.  Close call and I am glad I am still here to tell you about it.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Pics of the Week

 Swimming to the beach - Our dog Kona has been sailing with me since he was about 10 weeks old.  He is almost 9 now.  I figure he has done about 500 sails in that time.  Sailing is not his favorite thing but swimming to the beach is!  On Memorial Day, we sailed out to Angel Island and we had our first swim to the beach of the summer.  He loved it.  Here is to many more, cheers!