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The America's Cup and You

Who's Got Wind and Water?

San Francisco Bay, that's who.

Sept. 25th, 2013:

It's over and it was historic in a way that wasn't anticipated.  Oracle USA won and the cup stays in the USA.  Whether it stays in SF is a different story.  If you are willing to participate in an effort to keep the Cup in SF, on the Bay that we love, then, as MeetUp says:

"Join the conversation".

Personally, one of our members txt'd me this morning and said: Let's go sailing.

My response was:

"I'd rather watch it on TV . . . ah . . . umm . . . the DVR works . . . so I'll go if you want."

He wanted to, so I set the DVR and got my sailing gear and we got in the boat and went out, along with several other members of Got Wind and Water.

I did not turn it into an 'Event', but if it wasn't for the group, I'd have never had the opportunity to do it, and experience the historical moment in the manner we did . . . among friends on the Bay.



Sept. 20th, 2013:

I've sailed (and raced) on San Francisco Bay for most of my life.  It's a shame that:

1) It's not much to look at when you are actually on the water.  The boats are so fast and you can't sail like they can, so you just stay in one spot and watch them sail by you 2 or 3 times during a race. You learn who's in the lead, but you don't know why . . .

2) unless you have an iPhone or iPad and are watching it while you sail.

3) the racing is made for TV (so the TV experience is great)

4) The TV commentators aren't from San Francisco Bay, so they get about 20% of it wrong.*

* September on The Bay is a mixed bag.  There are high wind days and low wind days.  The dynamics of the AC 72's are such that the normal rules of yacht racing (I don't mean the Racing Rules of Sailing, but the interaction of wind and tide and course) are altered.  We have a fixed course, so on a day like Friday the 13th, the wind is not exactly upwind/downwind between Crissy Field and Blossom Rock.  And it shifts back and forth.  The absolutely fantastic 'on the water' graphics on TV and YouTube do a fantastic job of showing what is happening on the water as far as wind and currents go.

When we as sailors are 'on the water' we don't have the ability to look at these graphics, we have to read the water, which is hard to do and takes years of experience to learn.

All in all, we have an incredible vantage point, whether we are on the water or on the couch watching live on TV (or our iPads or iPhones).

It's a shame we couldn't host a bunch of events on the water during this Cup Match, but then again, the viewer experience is actually better on TV.

. . . now back to our regularly scheduled programing . . . LOL.


August, 2013 . . .

Here is an update, seeing that the LV cup is now over and it will be New Zealand against Oracle for the right to host the next America's Cup.

I've been out on the water to watch both the AC 45's and the AC 72's.  I've done it from both sailboats and power boats, both during practices and during races, and I've watched the YouTube videos.  The boats are impressive, but the experience of watching them from miles away (which is what happens most of the time) is less than exciting.  It's also less than exciting to watch the YouTube Videos when the competitors are miles away from each other.

When they are a couple of boat lengths from you, they are awesome.  But that only lasts for about 30 seconds.

Still, the America's Cup is very important.  Both from a historic sense and from a technology sense.  If Oracle successfully defends the cup, it will also be very important for the sport of sailing on San Francisco Bay.  Lessons will be learned from this year's effort, and those lessons will be applied to the next Cup.  Hopefully the play by play will improve.

We'll find out if the racing will be more exciting on Sept. 7th.

Watching the nose dive that New Zealand did during one of the LV cup races, it's clear that anything can happen.


Here is the original post (with links)

This in not an event, it's a NOTICE.

I put it up here so that we could gather together some interesting America's Cup Links.  The first of which is to a past event were Aaron Kennedy hosted Got Wind and Water for an opportunity to watch the AC45s practice on the bay.

We had a lot of cameras, and Tracy entered a picture in OCSC's photo contest, wining a $100 credit she used to offset the cost of chartering a J105 and doing a really sweet 10 mile spinnaker romp under the full moon . . . but that's another story

Here is Tracy O'Neil's winning shot:

Since we are sailors and this is our back yard, we've got a special relationship with what is about to go down here in our own sandbox.

I'm inviting our membership to comment here about this.  The leadership team will update this non-event / notice board with links to various videos that are sure to get our adrenaline pumping and I'm sure wet our appetites for getting out there and sharing what we love to do with each other.

Check out these links:

State of Play

It may not be familiar, but it could happen

Episode 1 - kind of makes you want to RSVP, don't it?

The Physics of Sailing

If you are a member, feel free to comment.

If you are on our leadership team, feel free to edit this event.


I wrote the above a long time ago, and now we've had the 1st AC45 race week on our bay.  I watched online, and I watched the NBC broadcast.  A lot of our members went out and watched on the water (I'll be doing that in Oct.).

What do people think, now that we've seen the format used last week?




Join or login to comment.

  • claudia

    Dear John,

    Yes undead glad it's over because now this group might finally remember its original purpose: sharing platform for new bees, almost sailors and save sailing captains. It's been less than a referral to see the price gauging allowed here, for not always the best boats anyway. My special thanks to skipper Mark who seems to be one of the few maintaining the noble spirit of sharing his passion for sailing and love for spending the day on this beautiful body of water.

    September 25, 2013

    • John

      Claudia, Thank you for the reminder to say this: "If you want to know what the 'original purpose' of the group is, just go to the 'About Us' link on the upper left of each page." THAT is the original purpose. Newbies are only a part of that purpose. I allowed Steve to post events where he could offer our membership a spot on an America's Cup Stake-boat. He is a licensed captain, AND A MEMBER . . . so he has every right under the regulations to use his vessel as a passenger vessel. I think it was a tremendous opportunity for the membership to have the OPTION to watch the AC competition from the deck of a stake-boat. Price gouging has absolutely nothing to do with the opportunity he provided members, who could choose to buy a ticket for that opportunity. We did not act as an agent. We merely acted within the original purpose of the group: We connected our membership to the opportunity that Steve provided.

      September 26, 2013

  • Sergio A.

    Hi guys! Serge here. I learned to sail the the waters of the Bay and now have been sailing in the South China Sea for the past ten years. It has always been a Bucket List of mine to watch an America's Cup Finals, Double Bonus that it will be on waters that I know well. I have recently been blessed with the opportunity to do so and will be flying almost 7000 miles to accomplish this dream. What would really be the icing on the cake is to watch Cayard vs. Spithill or Artemis vs. TNZ along with like-minded individuals ie., sailing fans :) I will be arriving on Sept 9th, and will be able to watch the races the next day (14 hr jet-lag and all) and onwards If any of you gentlemen and ladies will be having a meetup on the water to watch the cats zoom by, and would be willing to take on an over-excited guest :) I would love to have the honor of joining you :) Thanks and I hope to meet up with some of you soon ! :)

    August 13, 2013

  • Sanjay R.

    All in all, if you have an opportunity to go sailing (race or not), it's a great way to spend an afternoon. If you can, you should head out to Marina Green one of the days and watch the races from land as well. You get a much closer look at the AC45's and the America's Cup village is fun to hang out at too.

    Have fun on the water...hope to sail with you sometime soon :)

    End of Part 4

    1 · August 30, 2012

  • Sanjay R.

    2. There are many many boats on the water...some of them are anchored, some are motoring, some motor sailing and other just sailing...make sure that you are keeping constant vigil (you may have to tack out from a tight corner). Also, some of the boats out there may have no idea about rules of the road and stuff like that. Most sailing boats drop their jib so they can see the action better. Depending on the size of your boat, remember that your boat may be more sluggish on the main give yourself extra room for tacks.

    3. If you only have one of those little outboards, make sure you are adept at sailing with and without the outboard. On Friday, one of the crew got seasick and we had to get into Pier 39 to drop him off...our outboard stopped working once we dropped him off, and yes, we had to sail out (these things happen, not always, but when it does, you need to make sure you can handle the situation).

    End of Part 3

    August 30, 2012

  • Sanjay R.

    Not so great things:

    1. You are kind of far away from the action...every now and then you will see the AC45's in the distance, but that's about it. This can be mitigated to some extent by turning on the marine radio - during this last race, you could hear the commentary on channel 20. So when you heard Led Zep's "Black Dog" or AC/DC's "Back in Black" you knew that Coutts or Spithill had just won a race. Also, as soon as the day's races are over, everyone splits (and I mean heading off to Oakland/Alameda, Sausalito, Richmond, Berkeley...) You can sail around a little freely and possibly see some of the AC45's still doing practice maneuvers much closer.

    End of Part 2

    August 30, 2012

  • Sanjay R.

    I had an opportunity to go out with Aaron on the Ay Caliente last Tuesday, when the teams were practicing and again on Friday with Cal Sailing Club on one of the clubs Merits...

    Here's a summary of what I thought was great and some stuff, not so great:

    The great part first:
    1. If you are a sailor at heart, it is amazing sailing down toward Marina Green, watching all the other boats around you. You feel a sense of camaraderie with all the other you are part of the ACWS itself :) 2. Occasionally when one of the AC45's decides to come out of the perimeter, you get to see them up close and personal (on Friday, team China did this with us)

    3. Get to meet new people and go out on different boats

    End of Part 1

    August 30, 2012

  • Z

    Regatta when you were on Ay Caliente two or three years ago. You go girl!

    August 29, 2012

  • Z

    Congratulations Tracy! Gorgeous shot! I often think of you and wonder how and what you you are up to now. There is an image of in my mind that never fades of you from behind grinding away, perfectly positioned, every muscle taunt, getting that wheel around every time, w/ no doubt that you do it until the job was done, w/ no tailer. I remember you shouting, "Hi, ...," as we followed from well behind around mark during the Pumpkin e

    August 29, 2012

  • claudia

    Have some fabulous shots but can't post them within this link!

    August 29, 2012

  • John

    I'll go first - the AC is going to generate a lot of interest. What are we going to do about it?

    August 13, 2011

1 went

  • John
    Group Captain, Organizer,
    Event Host

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