BMW Oracle Racing unveiled their new trimaran in Anacortes today. It’s pretty, but the question is, will it have a dance partner? Unless the team is successful in its appeal, they won’t likely be sailing a Deed of Gift Challenge with it against Alinghi. The new 90- by 90-ft boat looks pretty conventional from the angle of the photo — basically like a stretched ORMA 60 rather than offshore multis of its size. Even if it never gets used in a Cup race, it looks like a damn cool toy — we wouldn’t mind seeing it sail on the Bay if things don’t work out overseas.
As every S.F. Bay sailor knows, our watery playground has long played host to every sort of boat race you could image — except one. According to a few traditional boat lovers, there’s one genre of boat race that’s been conspicuously absent from the Bay Area’s racing calendar: a schooner race.
As of tomorrow, though, that will no longer be true, as the San Francisco YC stages its inaugural Great San Francisco Schooner Race.
An impressive 12-boat fleet of wooden beauties will compete in two classes, gaff and Marconi, with courses that begin off Angel Island’s west coast, follow a route around the Central Bay, then finish in Raccoon Strait. Festivities will follow at the San Francisco YC.
Hoping for close competition at the finish line, organizers set up the contest as a pursuit race, with each boat having a specific start time based on a ‘secret’ rating system.
Among the vintage gaffers competing will be the 58-ft gaffer Yankee and the 65-ft gaffer Brigadoon. The Marconi-rigged schooners will include the 49-ft Elizabeth Muir, the 62-ft Santana, the 70-ft Aldebaran, and the rarely seen 75-footer Viveka.
If you’ve got a soft spot in your heart for traditionally rigged sailing craft, we suggest you get out on the water and join the spectator fleet. The first start is at noon.
Normally when we get notices from the Coast Guard about drug busts, it’s because they’ve intercepted another shipment bound for the U.S. This time, the admission had to hurt a bit: A senior officer on the Pacific Area staff has been accused of cocaine abuse, and has been temporarily reassigned to a non-supervisory position. Specifically, Capt. Michael Sullivan, who had been serving as Pacific Area’s chief of response, was charged Tuesday with wrongful use of cocaine, and obstruction of justice, under the military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice. As with civilian law, the charges are accusations only at this point and Sullivan is presumed innocent until proven guilty. An investigation had been started. It will have to be completed before the date is set for a Court Martial. If found guilty of both charges, Sullivan faces a potential maximum sentence of a dismissal from the Coast Guard, 10 years confinement and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. The most ironic part of the whole story is that Sullivan supervised the cutters charged with fighting drug trafficking.
If you’re looking for something else to do this weekend, swing by China Camp tomorrow — by car or by boat — for their annual Heritage Day Celebration. The party starts around 11:30 with the arrival of Grace Quan, the replica of a traditional Chinese shrimp junk built at China Camp a few years ago, and continues with live music, lion and Chinese folk dancing, Tai Chi demonstrations, tours of the park, and kids activities. For more info, call (415) 456-0766.
Once you’re done there, head on up to Petaluma to check out “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built," the Niña. The floating museum will be docked in the Turning Basin until August 27 and the public are welcome to take self-guided tours every day of her stay, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Adults can board for just $5, seniors $4, and kids 5 and older $3 (younger kids are free).