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AC45s Foiling on the Bay

February 27, 2015 – San Francisco Bay

Oracle AC45 foiling
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Oracle Team USA's AC45 foiling on the Bay on February 25.

© 2017 Erik Simonson / www.pressure-drop.us

Oracle Team USA's new foiling AC45 rolled out of the shed at San Francisco's Pier 80 on February 16, splashed, and, after a quick systems check, got foiling in a light 8-10 knots of breeze.

“The boat is very complicated and getting it on the water has been a huge achievement, just to have all the systems working," said sailing team manager/tactician Tom Slingsby. “But the first bear-away we were up on the foils and sailing very stable.”

The team is training and testing on the foiling AC45 before packing up operations in San Francisco and moving to Bermuda next month.

Artemis Racing, which is based at the old Alameda Naval Air Station, got their AC45 out on the Bay about a week before Oracle's. Paul Goodison has been on the helm (under the supervision of Loïck Peyron), with Freddy  Lööf on the wing. "It’s a small Bay and we are both out there," said Artemis Racing's Hannah Davis, "so with two competitive sailing teams it’s inevitable there will be a few line-ups!"

Artemis and Oracle sailing alongside

Artemis and Oracle tuned up alongside each other on February 18.

© 2017 Erik Simonson / www.pressure-drop.us

The boat has been fast in not much wind. "February is generally light on the Bay, so we’re very happy with how fast we’ve been going given the conditions! Sorry — we can’t tell you more than that," said Davis.

The Swedish team expects to continue testing right up until the first race of the America's Cup. "As for how long we’ll be on the Bay — we’re still making those plans, but around other regattas and training we’ll be here on and off for a while yet."

Artemis

The Artemis AC45, closely followed by a chase boat, ripping along the Bay west of Yerba Buena.

© 2017 Stuart Kiehl / www.sfboatphotos.com

For Bay Area sailing fans, catching the boats in action is rather hit or miss. "Our daily plan is changing depending on the breeze, so the best bet is to watch the forecast just like we’ll be doing," said Davis. "Unfortunately this is another one that is hard to predict. We’ll go sailing, do a bunch of tests, and depending on the results of those tests we may need to put the boat back in the shed to do some more modifications."

The Ben Ainslie Racing team has been sailing foiling Nacra 20s in Bermuda, and sailed their foiling AC45 on the Solent last fall. Luna Rossa conducted sea trials this winter with the two AC45s Piranha and Swordfish out of their team base in Cagliari, Sardinia. Team France's Franck Cammas has been busy with the Extreme Sailing Series and his Olympic campaign.

Emirates Team New Zealand announced yesterday that the rumors are true: Dean Barker will be replaced by Peter Burling as skipper. According to the press release, ETNZ wants to retain Barker's services as "Performance Manager and Sailing Coach with a place on the executive committee." The team plans to begin modifying an AC45 to foil in March. Due to budget constraints, they've scrapped plans for a second one. "The announcement of Bermuda as the venue for the next America’s Cup series had a serious impact on the team’s finances and sponsorship funding, reducing the budget by some $20 million."

See www.americascup.com for more on all the teams.

- latitude / chris

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Classy Deadline the 15th


Duos Round the Horn

February 27, 2015 – Southern Ocean

Jean Le Cam and Bernard Stamm

Jean Le Cam and Bernard Stamm have rounded Cape Horn in the Barcelona World Race. Cape Horn holds memories for these two, not all of them good. Le Cam had a dramatic capsize and was rescued during the Vendée Globe just west of Cape Horn in 2009, and Stamm's last Vendée Globe ended at Cape Horn when he took on diesel fuel. Both men are now in their fifties.

Photo Courtesy Cheminées Poujoulat
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With records being shattered in the Caribbean, AC45s foiling around the Bay at AC72 speeds, and the Volvo Ocean Race fleet steaming into Auckland, it would almost be easy to forget that a fleet of seven Open 60s are still racing around the globe in the Barcelona World Race. Fifty-five days after starting on New Year’s Eve in Barcelona, Frenchman Jean Le Cam and Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm on Cheminées Poujoulat have rounded the iconic and infamous Cape Horn with a thousand-mile lead in the third edition of this doublehanded, nonstop race. Currently rocketing up the Atlantic on the top of a moderate low-pressure system, which is creating winds of 30-35 knots, the duo is being afforded a fast and relatively easy downwind passage of a zone that is notorious for boat-breaking upwind conditions. Conditions should go lighter and become more complex later this weekend, but life is good for the leaders, who are 6,000 miles from the finish.

Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin pass Cap Leeuwin on GAES Centros Auditivos

Gerard Marin and Anna Corbella (the only woman in the race) passed Cap Leeuwin on GAES Centros Auditivos on February 10. They are now closing in on Cape Horn.

Photo Courtesy GAES Centros Auditivos
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While Stamm and Le Cam are looking rock-solid in the lead, second place is still up for grabs, though Neutrogena has begun to re-extend their lead over GAES Centros Auditivos despite making a quick pit stop at the southern tip of New Zealand’s south island. Neutrogena and GAES are currently making their approach to Cape Horn, and both should pass the milestone in the next 24 hours.

Spirit of Hungary on the hoist

Spirit of Hungary hauled out at Bluff, New Zealand, on February 23.

Photo Courtesy Spirit of Hungary
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Arguably the hottest battle on the race course, however, is more than 2,000 miles farther back, as Spanish brothers Willy and Bruno Garcia on We Are Water are currently sailing in fourth place ahead of fellow Spanish boat One Planet, One Ocean / Pharmaton, while a rejuvenated and recently repaired Renault Captur is coming up from behind in sixth place after their pit stop in Wellington, New Zealand. At the tail end of the fleet, Spirit of Hungary has just re-started from Bluff, New Zealand, after a technical stop of their own and are set to negotiate light airs for 24 hours before jumping back onto the eastbound express that is the Southern Ocean.

- ronnie simpson

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March Latitude Out Today

February 27, 2015 – The West Coast


The March issue's content extends from the Bay Area to the Caribbean and beyond.

Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While you're making weekend plans, be sure to factor in a few minutes to drop by your favorite Bay Area marine business and pick up a copy of the just-printed March issue of Latitude 38. Locations outside the Bay Area will be receiving their shipments in a few days, but the entire magazine will be downloadable — or readable online — by mid-afternoon today. (See our complete distribution list here.)

Inside, you'll find our usual mix of sailing, cruising and boating lifestyle reports from the West Coast and beyond. Feature articles include a recap of the recent Three Bridge Fiasco, a retrospective on boats abandoned at sea that were later found, a look at South Pacific planning strategies, and an interview with renowned multihull designer Chris White.

All this and much more! All free of charge, as always. Happy reading. 

- latitude / andy

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Weekend Preview

February 27, 2015 – California

2 kids in an Opti, 3 people in a Snipe

Optis and Snipes are among the classes available to try out at Sail a Small Boat Day.

© 2017 Richmond Yacht Club

All sailors big and small are invited to try out all boats small at Sail a Small Boat Day, hosted by Richmond YC tomorrow from 10:30 to 3:30. You could find your next big — er, small — thing! A partial list of craft available to try out for free includes Hobie pedal craft and sailing kayaks, Viper, Moore 24, El Toros, 420, Byte, Snipe, Thistle, Vanguard 15, Day Sailer, Ultimate 20, Lightning, Cal 20, Laser, Sunfish, Wylie Wabbit, Mancebo 24, and stand-up paddleboards. Plus free hot dogs!

three women and a man on the Ultimate 20 'Layla'

If bigger small boats are more your thing, check out the keelboats ranging in size up to 24 feet. This one is an Ultimate 20.

© 2017 Richmond Yacht Club

Sequoia YC's Singlehanded/Doublehanded Series will begin this Saturday. Richmond YC's Small Boat Midwinters will wrap up this weekend, and Sausalito YC's Midwinters and Oakland YC's Sunday Brunch Series will conclude on Sunday. Also on Sunday, Berkeley YC will run a Winners Race for the podium finishers in their Midwinter Series; they will not have a Chowder Race this weekend.

CFJ jibing

No keels allowed at the E.E. Manning. This is Riley Gibbs and crew Dot Obel, winning last year's regatta in a CFJ.

© 2017 Rich Roberts

Big winds are on the weekend horizon for the Southern California Yachting Association's annual E.E. Manning Regatta at Alamitos Bay YC in Long Beach. Lasers will join the CFJs outside, while Laser Radials, Naples Sabots and Lido 14s race inside on the bay. Because of strong winds, everyone raced inside on the first day last year, and that looms as a possibility with a forecast for breeze as strong as 24 knots this time. Regatta chairman Tim Carter said, "It does look like a lot of weather. We'll pull the plug and go inside if it hits 20."

Racing at St. Francis YC will awaken from its winter slumber with the Spring Dinghy Regatta on March 7-8. "This regatta is a great opportunity to knock off the winter rust in the (usually) lighter, early season breeze and (frequently) sunny days that we get on the Bay this time of the year," said Laser sailor Kurt Wessels. For the Lasers, Spring Dinghy kicks off the Svendsen's Grand Prix series of races held in various venues throughout the year. Sign up for Spring Dinghy by March 4 to avoid a late fee.

Richmond YC's Big Daddy Regatta will be held on the same weekend and will accept entries until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 6. Big Daddy is more inclusive than ever this year, as smaller, slower boats such as Cal 20s and Santana 22s are invited to enter Saturday's buoy racing. Sunday's pursuit race, around Angel Island and Alcatraz in either direction, is one of the great Bay tour races of the year.

Register for March 13-15's Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Regatta by March 2 to avoid a late fee.

- latitude / chris

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