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Oracle Team USA Launches 2nd AC72

April 24, 2013 – Pier 80, San Francisco

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Sleek, sexy and apparently faster than its predecessor, the new #17 is the latest speed machine purpose-built to defend the America's Cup for Oracle Team USA. © 2018 Guilain Grenier / Oracle Team USA

Among well-funded America's Cup teams, it's been a longtime tradition to build at least two boats so that different design subtleties can be assessed during boat-on-boat training sessions. With the launch of Oracle Team USA's second AC72 yesterday at San Francisco's Pier 80, the 'home team' now has that capability.

Although the team's CEO Russell Coutts didn't give details about specific differences between the first and second boat, he did acknowledge the monumental effort put forth to produce it, while hinting at its much-improved speed potential: "It represents extreme performance and extreme engineering. It represents a significant improvement in performance over where we’ve been before. And probably most importantly, this represents the boat that is going to defend the America’s Cup, for America, in America.”

It took an extremely tall crane to lift it, and a wide-angle lens to capture its image. Photo Latitude / John
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In the aftermath of the now-famous capsize of the team's first boat last October — which resulted in its wing mast breaking up offshore — they went through a frustrating period when on-the-water training was stalled. But now, with two boats on the water, it's obvious that spirits are high and all systems are go: “Now, it really feels like we have everything pointed in the right direction," said trimmer Joey Newton, "and we’re starting to make pretty big steps. We’ve got high hopes for this boat, and I’m sure it’s going to be fast.”

The full team takes time out for a crew shot with the monster cat. We're told many of them work 24/7. © 2018 Guilain Grenier / Oracle Team USA

Meanwhile, the other 'home team', the American Youth Sailing Force, which will compete in AC45s during the Red Bull Youth America's Cup (September 1-4), is also continuing its training activities with high spirits. They put a shout-out to local supporters yesterday that they've recruited a young intern to serve as their office manager, and are looking for a (free) place for her to stay this summer. So if you've been looking for a meaningful way to support the team, this may be your opportunity. As the team's Media Manager Vince Casalaina points out, "Best of all, you'd have an inside track on the hottest sailing that's going to happen this summer." Email him here.


Team members joined underpriviledged youth for some Pelican sailing in Aquatic Park recently. Quite different from sailing AC 45s! © 2018 American Youth Sailing Force

- latitude / andy

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

April 24, 2013 – San Francisco Bay and Folsom Lake

CYC Race Start
The pre-start of CYC's first beer can race of the season, on a fabulous Friday night. © 2018 Roxanne Fairbairn

Corinthian YC's first Friday Night Race kicked off the season and the weekend. Racers started in nice breeze although, as usual, the wind backed off considerably by the end of the race and many boats converged at the final turning mark along the Tiburon shoreline. Back at the club, the sailors enjoyed live music as well as food and drink specials. With two throw-outs per series, it's not too late to enter and still be in the running for the series awards!

J/22 and Banshees
George Koch, with crew Robert Koch and Scott Frederickson, overtakes the Banshee fleet at the Camellia Cup. © 2018 John Poimiroo

Sailing his J/22 Poco A Poco, 86-year-old Carmichael sailor George Koch overcame youth and enthusiasm to best a fleet of 43 boats on Folsom Lake this past weekend and win FLYC's Camellia Cup. "The Camellia Cup is awarded to the skipper who has done the best overall against the greatest competition," explained John Poimiroo. "Koch won it in keeping with his boat’s name, little by little, taking two firsts and two seconds in the eight-boat open keel class." The youngest skipper in the regatta was 7-year-old Katie Deutsch of El Dorado Hills on Four Sirens, a Santana 20. See for complete results and more.

Four Sirens
Katie Deutsch, age 7, adjusts the traveler on Four Sirens. © 2018 John Poimiroo

St. Francis YC hosted J/Fest over the weekend. "On a clear, sunny day that was predicted to feature light breezes in the low teens," said photographer Chris Ray, "we got winds up into the low 20s, some strong ebb, and some pretty gnarly tide lines." (Yes, breezes in the low teens are considered "light" on the Cityfront.) Two J/70s started with the J/24s, but were scored separately. J/105s and J/120s also competed. For complete results, see For more photos, see

John Wimer's J/120 Desdemona hoists the kite just ahead of Steve Madeira's Mr. Magoo at J/Fest on Saturday. © 2018 Chris Ray /

Meanwhile, Melges 24s, Etchells, and Express 27s similarly enjoyed five races in brilliant sunshine at San Francisco YC's Resin Regatta.

Melges 24 Viva
Don Jesberg's Viva won the Melges 24 class at SFYC's Resin Regatta over the weekend. © 2018 Leslie Richter /

"We were treated to another Chamber of Commerce day on San Francisco Bay," wrote Christopher Harvey about the OYRA Lightship, the first full crew ocean race of the season. "Clear skies, 10-12 knots of breeze, and a strong ebb made quick work of the beat out the Gate." Harvey sailed aboard Rick Waltonsmith's Corsair 37 Transit of Venus, the only multihull in the race. "The wind backed off significantly at Pt. Bonita, however by the time we reached the first of the channel markers the sea-breeze began to fill in and continued to build the rest of the day. After rounding the Lightbucket we had some great surfing conditions, with numerous 18-knot runs all the way back to the Gate. Broad reaching across The Slot with the knotmeter hovering above 20 knots, with a couple of blasts of 23+, Transit of Venus was in her element." We'll have a complete report and results from the OYRA Lightship in the May issue of Latitude 38.

- latitude / chris

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Ad: Two Harbors Mooring Package

April 24, 2013 – Two Harbors, CA

Catalina Island Two Harbors Mooring Package
Click on the image above for the Mooring Package special.
© 2018 Catalina Island Company

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Competition Heating Up for TransPac

April 24, 2013 – Long Beach

Ex-Gitana 12, now named Tritium, has set her sights on breaking the very soft TransPac record. © 2018 Yvan Zedda / Gitana 12

In a recent 'Lectronic about Lloyd Thornburg's Gunboat 66 Phaedo leaving the Caribbean for the July start of the TransPac, we wrote that it was too bad their only competition going to Hawaii would be a Lagoon 45 cruising cat. That statement was based on the TransPac entry list as of a few days ago. John Sangmeister of Long Beach, we're told by Jim Anderson and others, is intending to enter his 72-ft trimaran Tritium the TransPac also. That would be a load of competition for Phaedo.

Tritium started life as the ORMA 60 ocean racing trimaran Gitana 12. She was then brought to Alameda by the Artemis America's Cup syndicate, lengthened to 72 feet, and tricked out to become the test platform for their wing. By putting the wing on a trimaran instead of a catamaran, Artemis was able to circumvent the rules and test their wing before other syndicates.

Sangmeister, a very experienced sailor, became the new owner of the tri a few months ago, and has stated that his goal is to beat the TransPac multihull record of 5d, 9h. That record was set in ancient history — 1997 — by Bruno Peyron aboard the then 86-ft Commodore Explorer. It's as soft as a creampuff.

There are currently 62 entries in the TransPac so far, and with the entry deadline on June 1, plenty of time for Tritium and others to still join the fleet. This year's big guy is Syd Fischer's Elliot 100 Ragamuffin from Sydney. Fischer is tied with Sir Thomas Lipton with the record for America's Cup challenges at five. But the more remarkable thing is that Syd was born in 1927, which makes him 86 years old!

- latitude / richard

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Yeah, But Will They Use It on the Bay?

April 24, 2013 – St. Barth, French West Indies

Guests might need to don a wetsuit before enjoying Athena's slide on San Francisco Bay. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

American entreprenuer James Clark founded several very successful Silicon Valley technology companies, including Silicon Graphics and Netscape, and after he did, got into sailing in a big way. After striking it big, he moved up from a Baltic 55 to the 156-ft sloop Hyperion. Then he really got the bug and had the Royal Huisman Shipyard build him a 295-ft three-masted schooner Athena, which is one of the two or three biggest private yachts in the world — depending on how you define 'big'. Since you don't race a yacht like Athena, Clark had Huisman build him a modern version of Tommy Sopwith's 135-ft 'Super J' J Class yacht Endeavour II, and named her Hanuman. The ape-like humanoid Hanuman is, of course, the son of Lord Vayu and the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is the central character in the Indian epic Ramayana.

Clark had a great St. Barth Bucket, as Hanuman won all four races against a fleet of four other outstanding J Class yachts. Having done that, we're told Athena and Hanuman are headed for San Francisco Bay to be around for the America's Cup festivities.

As you can see from the accompanying photo, Athena is equipped with a large inflatable slide, which enables Clark and friends to get into the water quickly from the upper level of the great schooner. It's a neat thing in the tropics. But we wonder if it's going to get any use in the more chilly waters of San Francisco Bay.

- latitude / richard

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