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April 3, 2009

Take Your Daughter to Sea Day

Following in the footsteps of the successful ‘Take Your Daughter to Work Day’, Ed Killeen of the SF Examiner has dubbed the first Sunday in April as ‘Take Your Daughter to Sea Day’. "Getting kids out on the water is the absolute first step to ensure that sailing continues to grow," he writes in his sailing column. "If everyone makes a commitment to get their kids sailing, there will never be a shortage of crew."

Killeen will be taking his daughter out to the Farallones in hopes of catching a glimpse of some migrating gray whales, but he notes there are lots of ways to make the day fun for kids. Take a walk around Angel Island, grab some lunch at local restaurant or tie up at Pier 1½ and explore the Ferry Building. He even shares tips on how to keep the sailing fun instead of scary. And, as he notes in a ‘disclaimer’, "Consider substituting a son for a daughter if availability is limited."

AC Court Decision Favors BMW Oracle

On Thursday, April 2, the New York Appeals Court ruled that the paper yacht club CNEV is out, and BMW Oracle — or more accurately, our own Golden Gate Yacht Club — is the Challenger of Record for the next America’s Cup. You may recall that BMOR was the Challenger of Record for the last America’s Cup, and as such got to accept challenges from other syndicates and organize the challenger series. But after Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi, sailing for Switzerland’s Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG), won their second America’s Cup in 2007, Bertarelli quickly picked CNEV — which had been quickly created by Valencia officials in order to keep the next America’s Cup sailing out of their city — as the Challenger of Record. Bertarelli and his Alinghi team, the ones who were really calling the shots, also started playing loose with the rules for the next Cup, among other things announcing a new boat design and arranging for the defender to take part in the challenger eliminations.

BMOR syndicate head Larry Ellison and the Golden Gate YC cried ‘foul’ and set legal action in motion that, in the last year and a half, has had more ups and downs than the Dow Jones. Since the Deed of Gift was filed in New York State back in 1887, all legal matters concerning the America’s Cup must be decided in New York Courts. And they’ve been busy. Last year the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of BMW Oracle, but that was overturned on appeal by SNG. This latest and final decision by the State Appeals Court — no further appeals can be made — reinstates the original decision: CNEV did not satisfy the requirements of the Deed of Gift, and, since BMW Oracle did, they were the Challenger of Record. The entire text of the decision can be viewed here.

Where does it go from here? Ellison and Bertarelli have to get together and negotiate. They can choose to run a ‘regular’ America’s Cup Regatta in Version 5 IACC yachts (the ones used in the last Cup) as early as next April. Or they can choose to move ahead with a special Deed of Gift match between just the two syndicates, to be sailed in giant multihulls 10 months from the date of decision, which means next February. Since Ellison threw down this gauntlet — and as you probably know, has a 90-ft x 90-ft super-trimaran built and sailing — Bertarelli would get to choose the venue. There is also the possibility that more legal action could be initiated that would mire the Cup in another year or two of court battles.

Based on the following response of SNG to the latest court decision, one would hope that Bertarelli is finally willing to eat a little humble pie and choose the first option: to get the 33rd America’s Cup back on the water in V5 boats:

“It has consistently been our view that the America’s Cup should be fought on the water. Today the American courts and the Golden Gate Yacht Club has won the right to challenge (SNG). We will now discuss the terms of the regatta with them and will prepare our defense of the America’s Cup.”

Aussie Sailors Lose Boat on Mexican Reef

The young Aussie sailor in happier times. Today, she hopes to somehow get out cruising again soon.

© 2009 Andrews Family

The longtime cruising dreams of Australian sailor Sarah Andrews were dashed yesterday when her boat ran up on a Baja California reef, roughly 70 miles south of Turtle Bay.

Only preliminary details are available at this time, but apparently Andrews and a companion were heading south along the coast, having begun their southbound adventure only recently. After an EPIRB was activated, the Mexican Navy sent out a search plane to assist in rescuing the two sailors, but they were able to safely swim to shore near the town of Punta Prieta.

The boat was unsalvagable and uninsured, but Andrews hopes to find a replacement boat with which to continue her cruise. She and her crew were able to retrieve "lots of gear" from the wreck, which they hope to sell in order to begin a new boat kitty. Anyone out there got a boat they’d like to donate to this eager Aussie cruiser? If so, drop her an email.

South Bay Opening Day

If you sail out of South Bay, be sure to get your boat all gussied up for Saturday’s South Bay Opening Day. This is the 71st anniversary of the event, which features:

  • Friday Evening – Buffet Dinner – Coyote Point YC
  • Saturday – Breakfast, Lunch, Boat Parade & Exhibits  – Sequoia YC
  • Saturday Evening – Cocktails & Dinner – Peninsula YC
  • Sunday Morning – Ginn Fizz Brunch – South Bay YC

The highlight of any opening day, of course, is the boat parade and blessing of the fleet, and this year’s ‘Legends of the Bay’ themed parade — starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday — can be viewed form the observation deck of the Port of Redwood City. The Hawaiian Chieftain and Lady Washtington will also be open for walk-on tours.

For more info or to register your boat for the parade, go to or call the Sequoia YC at (650) 361-9472.

Who says picking up trash can’t be fun? At the Bitter End’s recent Go Green event, everybody got into the spirit.
With Monday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude dedicated to the dramatic rescue during the Doublehanded Farallones Race, we didn’t have room for our usual weekend racing review.