An event called Sail San Francisco, sponsored by the Pacific Rim Foundation, began yesterday with a “Parade of Sail” from the Golden Gate to the Bay Bridge – the event runs through the weekend, ending Monday. For anyone who lives in the Bay area this is a unique opportunity to see these beautiful, historical ships under sail…as well as to tour aboard them dockside, join as crew on a day sail, witness the booming battle reenactments, enjoy the history of the San Francisco waterfront, etc. As this article in the SF Chronicle details, ships in the fleet include the 270-foot Mexican barque Cuauhtemoc and the fully rigged, 2,284-ton Russian training ship Pallada. Thirty-two ships and smaller vessels, including diesel-powered-vessels, are to participate in the parade. Vessels range in size from the 30-foot sloop OlÈ to the 442-foot Jeremiah O'Brien, a World War II Liberty ship. The 88-foot scow schooner Alma hailing from the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park will be the senior ship – 114 years old. I’ve posted on tall ships before and for those who have not seen this sort of thing you will be impressed not only by the beauty of the ships, but also by the thought that our seafaring ancestors actually ventured to new worlds, plied trading routes and made their lives aboard these vessels – as pretty as they are they offer one tenth the comfort of your average modern production cruising sloop.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 2:11 PM
Back to the Newport Bucket for a moment – I failed to mention a key opportunity I had when we were back at dock. The charter chef for the classic J-class yacht Endeavor was part of our crew on Avalon and post race he invited me to tour her at dock three slips down from us at the Newport Shipyard. I’ve posted on Elizabeth Meyer and the work she has done in yacht restoration through the IYRS– being aboard a craft like the Endeavor, even at dock, is a religious experience. The care and workmanship that has restored her glory is astounding but beyond this, the sense of history that permeates every corner of the boat, both above and below deck, is truly exceptional. For someone who loves classic yachts, not only for their form but as a living link to a bygone era, this was a highlight. She charters for 65K a week plus expenses…nine professional crew aboard to serve eight charter guests...looks as if I’ll have to be content with a dockside visit ;-)
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:43 AM
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
I posted on
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 4:12 PM
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
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Monday, July 25, 2005
To kick off our week we have news that the 80-foot maxi sloop Morning Glory has shattered the elapsed-time record for the 43rd biennial, 2,225-mile Transpacific yacht race from
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 11:41 AM
Friday, July 22, 2005
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 4:45 PM
If you are, like me, a fan of sailboats made by Nautor’s Swan, then you’ll want to tune into the Rolex Swan American Regatta set to take place July 25-29 in
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 2:44 PM
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 3:40 PM
Here’s an article in the Washington Examiner about actor Christopher Walken’s use of the
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:10 AM
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 11:13 AM
I'm taking a break midweek from Newport Bucket narrative to discuss this Sailing World interview with the new ISAF (International Sailing Federation) president, Goran Petersson, of
"The biggest challenge to our sport is participation. We are not only in competition with all other sports, but also with a lot of other activities. We have to make the sport attractive to young people—and older people—and we have to make it accessible, affordable, and exciting." - Goran Petersson
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:31 AM
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 1:27 PM
We motored out through Newport Harbor for the first race of the 2005 Newport Bucket on Saturday – a procession of 70’ plus classic and modern yachts, some outfitted for racing and others for well heeled pleasure cruising. I was aboard the S/V Avalon, a 106’ ketch with five professional, full time crew. As our crew T-Shirts clearly indicated, the boat split its time between
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 9:22 AM
Monday, July 18, 2005
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:49 AM
I was only able to sail the Saturday race at the Newport Bucket Regatta due to familial responsibilities…according to reports I missed the best day of the two but for somebody like me, the ability to get out on the water is hard won and enjoyable no matter what. Conditions Saturday morning in
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:32 AM
Friday, July 15, 2005
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 12:07 PM
A good follow-on to yesterday's post is a discussion about the Transpacific Yacht Race (Los Angeles to Honolulu) which began off Long Beach, CA on July 11. Kimball Livingston reports for SAIL Magazine here on the atypical start to this years race - rather than punching through to the usual boisterous offshore sea breeze, competitors langished in Los Angeles smog for two days and, according to the race web site, boats are only now picking up the trade winds that usually provide a sleigh ride to paradise for this classic competiton. This is a 2,225 mile endurance sail. Most boats understandably attempt with a full complement of crew - here's an article that details the record seven boats sailing doublehand this year, meaning a crew of just two sailors. According to the article the doublehanding sailors are just looking for a challenge. ;-)
"I used to run big boats and raced them all over the world for my whole life, and you get bored sailing on big boats," said Bruce Burgess, who will leave for Hawaii today on Two Guys on the Edge. "You get to the point with five people on a boat where it isn't fun. There isn't a whole lot to do."
2005 is the 100 year anniversary of the Transpac...notable in and of itself but worth placing in the context of the 100 year anniversary of the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge this past May and the 100 year for the Newport-Bermuda Race next year - together the three of these races practically define modern ocean racing. There's a very good story in this triumvirate on how the past 100 years have shaped the sport and where collectively we're heading with the next 100. One thing is for certain, the proving ground is timeless.
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:22 AM
Thursday, July 14, 2005
The sailboat winch is surely something I’ve taken for granted – in my time aboard I’ve mostly been too busy winding it to reflect on its origin. But if I pause for a moment and think about it, the winch is integral to my (and I’m sure your) modern sailing experience. From big maxi drums to the smaller Barient on a daysailer…we have Derek Baylis to thank for the modern sailboat winch. Mr. Baylis, 81, died this past Monday - an article in the SF Chronicle details his life and contribution to the sport. According to the article his daughter, Elizabeth Baylis, learned of her father's death 30 minutes before she was about to board a Cal 40 sailboat for the start of the famed Transpacific yacht race from Long Beach to Honolulu.
"We all decided Derek would be outraged if she jumped ship at that point, " Mr. Baylis' stepson, Tim Salz, said of his stepfather's immutable devotion to yacht racing and its traditions. "She's gone."
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:24 AM
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
In sailing news today South African Team Shosholoza is challenging the long line of rich, old white men who traditionally compete in the
- A Zulu word, Shosholoza means "Go forward" or "Make way for the next man"
- It is the title of an African song traditionally sung by black convicts enduring hard labour
- It has been recorded by several artists, from Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Peter Gabriel
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 11:23 AM
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:47 AM
It's confirmed - I'm racing the Third Annual Newport Bucket Regatta, sailed out of the Newport Shipyard this coming weekend. The Newport Bucket is an invitational regatta open to yachts over 90-feet (27-meters) - it's really more of a parade for megayachts than a hard nosed race. I'll be aboard the S/Y Avalon, a 108' Rodney Holland designed, Pacific Yachts-built ketch owned by Tom Taylor out of Texas. For those who followed this earlier post I went for the bribery option...a nanny for six hours on Saturday and a hour long facial spa treatment. I'll get around to bringing the wife and kids along for this type of event, but a three-month old baby and a Newport Regatta don't mix. After racing Saturday they'll do the traditional Yacht Open House where all yachts are encouraged to participate in putting forward cocktails and appetizers for their competition. It'll be a great way to get a rare glimpse of some of the most magnificent sailing yachts on the planet. On Sunday Carnegie Abbey will host the Bucket Awards 8 miles up Narragansett Bay. The entire fleet is invited to proceed up the bay after Sunday’s race and anchor off the clubhouse for the dinner and dance reception. I'm very excited to be able to take part in this - stay tuned for updates.
Megayachts racing the 2005 Newport Bucket include:
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:06 AM
Monday, July 11, 2005
I like to highlight stories outside the mainstream sailing press – we all know and love the big races and regatta events but the fabric of sailing is woven with the thread of people like Mike Rowney. In June of 2001, while working as a delivery skipper in the Greek Isles, Mike sustained an eight-meter fall from a yacht in a boatyard onto concrete and broke his spine. Now a paraplegic, Mike has embarked on a solo around
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 11:22 AM
Friday, July 08, 2005
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:37 AM
I have to give shout to my adopted YC, Cedar Point Yacht Club in
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 9:49 AM
Thursday, July 07, 2005
The 100th Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race will begin this weekend from Marblehead, MA - a gorgeous sea-faring town on the North Shore of Boston. According to this article from the Lynn Daily Item, when the race began in 1905 it was an informal competition among several East Coast yacht clubs. Since 1939, the Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, which is the oldest yacht club in North America, and the Boston Yacht Club, have held the race biannually while establishing it as a staple of North Atlantic ocean racing. The sailing grounds of Nova Scotia and the port town of Halifax deserve a seperate post - tidal swings aside this is a region of pure sailing delight.
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 10:07 AM
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
It’s with great sadness that I report news of the death of the ocean voyager Sakae Hatashita. I wrote about Hatashita back in March after learning of him from a story in The Wall Street Journal…
Hatashita was well into his 80's and lived a long and full life. I am glad he died on the ocean. Any sailor would welcome such an end over the many other, significantly less appealing possibilities.
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 4:40 PM
Came across a new sailing weblog authored from one of my favorite places on earth, the British Virgin Islands. "Hold Fast," a shipwright and sailor by trade has posted some fine writing on a sailors song - the site offers local perspective on life in West End, Tortolla. Many readers have been to the BVI and many have probably enjoyed anchoring in the West End...I reluctantly left the Caribbean boat bum life behind years ago and have not been back since...but I remember boozy crew dinners at the Jolly Roger...after work some days drinking at Pussers West End, telling lies and amusing ourselves by placing bets on bare boaters trying to make the fuel dock without loosing their deposit - star strewn, hazy memories of rafting up and rocking out in Sopers Hole. We had a charter guest on one run who was stung by jelly fish diving on the anchor and insisted her husband piss on her leg. I've heard that the BVI are crowded and overrun all year round now. I left in '99 and it was crazy on season but we all expected and made our living off the rush. It slowed up considerably after the BVI Spring Regatta, a welcome break before hurricane season. I can't imagine it's that much different now...
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 12:25 PM
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
I've been invited to sail the Newport Bucket Regatta over the weekend of July 15 - 17. The event is hosted by the Newport Shipyard in RI - at the moment details are scarce but I'll update as I know more. In the meanwhile any idea of what I can suggest my wife do with our three month old and three year old while I'm off for a weekend of sailing? Initial ideas are 1) have her visit friends on the Cape 2) hire a nanny to help her for the weekend ($$) 3) leave without tellling her and phone her from the race course...
Suggestions/comments are very welcome... Sorry for the slow start after the holiday weekend but we'll be back up to speed shortly.
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 3:06 PM
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 1:04 PM
Friday, July 01, 2005
Posted by Zephyr (Sail) at 3:53 PM