Forecasters tell us the Bay Area will see splendid weather over the Labor Day weekend — ideal for spending time on the water and destressing from the pressures of the workaday world. We like to think that one excellent way to destress (besides sailing) is to lose yourself in the pages of Latitude 38. And as luck would have it, the September edition is hot off the press, and is being distributed today all along the West Coast.
In it, you’ll find a preview of this month’s America’s Cup Finals, a report on why we’re bullish on the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, tips and advice from international cruisers on doing the Pacific Puddle Jump, mini-profiles on Baja Ha-Ha 20 participants, coverage of all sorts of local racing events, dozens of cruiser chronicles from around the globe and more.
The complete September edition will also be available early this afternoon to read online, or download for free as an eBook. So have a great weekend and happy reading!
A five-member international sailing jury is continuing to hear testimony today regarding allegations of cheating by Oracle Team USA staff during the America’s Cup World Series. Their decision regarding punishment, if any, is expected to come early next week.
Without going into specific details, OTUSA has already publicly acknowledged wrongdoing and relinquished their ACWS victories. The question before the jury, however, is how much the America’s Cup 34 defender should be penalized. At issue is the alleged breaking of AC Protocol Article 60, which addresses protecting the reputation of the Cup, and Racing Rule 69, having to do with gross misconduct.
Penalties imposed on the team could range from a slap on the wrist (i.e. banning some members of the shore staff from further involvement in the Cup), to dinging OTUSA by a couple of points in the AC Finals, to forfeiture of the title. We can not imagine the latter happening, as there is just too much at stake financially for all concerned, and handing down a harsh penalty would likely do more harm to the AC’s fragile reputation than the alleged cheating itself.
Although the jurors are undoubtedly beyond reproach, they are under tremendous pressure not to elevate this mini-scandal to a higher level. In fact, they have asked America’s Cup Event Authority CEO Stephen Barclay to submit a financial assessment of the economic impact on the Cup and its backers, if cheating is proven. He should know — a former Oracle exec, he is now head of Core Builders Composites in New Zealand, which produced all of the AC45s and at least one of the wing masts. (CBC is an Oracle subsidiary.)
Since the very beginning, controversy has always been a part of the America’s Cup, and this incarnation of the 162-year-old contest is certainly no exception. We’re sure most readers agree with us when we say that we are extremely anxious to get beyond the off-the-course controversies, and on to the main event: cutting-edge, boat-on-boat racing. Unlike the just-completed Louis Vuitton Cup races, we anticipate that the AC Finals will be closely contested — and thrilling to watch. Race one is slated to begin September 7.
On the odd chance you don’t have much going on this weekend, here are a few events you might want to check out over the next few days:
- The artists have once again decended on Marin County for the 61st annual Sausalito Art Festival. Nearly 300 artists from all over the country will display their works — from paintings to photographs to sculptures and more — at Marinship Park (next door to the Bay Model) starting tomorrow and running through Monday. Premier maritime artist — and the America’s Cup artist in residence — Jim DeWitt will again be featuring his America’s Cup artwork, along with some other of his favorite pieces, in Booth #102.
- At the entrance to the Festival, you’ll notice one enormous tent that will house the Educational Tall Ship, a Matthew Turner-inspired brigantine, that will eventually become San Francisco’s official tallship. Director Alan Olson and crew are getting ready to lay the keel of the ship soon, but for the next few days the ETS site will act as the gateway to the Art Festival. Tours will be offered and the infamous Waterfront Pickers — featuring our very own ‘Banjo Andy’ Turpin — will be playing Monday, 1-3 p.m.
- Well-known local artist Roderick ‘Smitty’ Smith will be painting a marine mural on one of the ETS containers during the Art Festival. Smitty’s work can be seen around the waterfront, typically on the transoms of boats, but his more inspired pieces are hung (or painted) on walls. His delightfully realistic ‘antiqued’ life rings featuring the names of famous boats will be on display (and for sale) at the ETS site.
- Next Wednesday, September 4, the Sausalito Historical Society will host a party at the Ice House Visitors Center (780 Bridgeway) at 6 p.m. to celebrate the launch of Sausalito Sets Sail, a new self-guided walking tour along the waterfront. The tour will include interpretive panels and a special exhibit on the top floor of City Hall (420 Litho).
- Of course, if you’re heading for Mexico this fall — or you want to — you’ll have to scoot over to the other side of the Bay on September 4 for Latitude‘s annual Mexico-Only Crew List Party at Encinal YC, 6-9 p.m. It’s a terrific opportunity for skippers to find an extra pair or two of eyeballs for those tiring night watches. Paid 2013 Baja Ha-Ha skippers and first mates get in for free; everyone else pays just $7. Snacks, no-host bar and cruiser-friendly vendors will be there to answer your questions. (Also, don’t forget to check out the Mexico Cruising Seminar presented by Paradise Village Marina Manager Dick Markie and Marina El Cid’s Geronimo Cevallos downstairs at the club starting at 4 p.m.)