Do you smell that? That’s excitement in the air. The rain has stopped, the weekend forecast is calling for sunny skies, and Strictly Sail Pacific is open through Sunday. No wonder Bay Area sailors are excited — there’s really no better place than the boat show to catch up with your sailing buddies, score some killer deals on gear you need, and leave your DNA (in the form of drool, thank you) all over some pretty spectacular boats.
Take your pick of more than 100 free seminars — including ‘Banjo Andy’ Turpin’s ‘Baja Ha-Ha How-To’ today and tomorrow at 2:15 p.m., and ‘Cruising Tahiti & the Pacific Puddle Jump’ tomorrow at 3:30 p.m., both in seminar room D — or take advantage of the advanced seminars put on by John Neal & Amanda Swan-Neal, Jimmy Cornell and weather guru Lee Chesneau.
If you’re going to pick just one day to attend the show, we’d highly recommend it be today. Not only will the crowds be a little lighter than over the weekend, but you’ll have the chance to attend the Circumnavigator’s Round Table at 3:30 p.m. in Room D. Moderated by Managing Editor Andy Turpin, the panel of nine circumnavigators — Clifford Cain, Hans Bernwall, Paul & Susan Mitchell, Mark Schrader, Anne Crowley, Uwe & Kara Dobers, and Capt. Richard Hewson — will share their insights on tackling such a journey. Shortly after the discussion ends, head on over to the Latitude 38 booth (#219) for some free beer and wine at our annual Baja Ha-Ha, Pacific Puddle Jump and Delta Doo Dah Reunion Party. Wannabes are welcome to join us till the booze runs out!
Hopefully you’ll return tomorrow to help send off the 10-boat Clipper Round the World Race fleet in style at 10:30 a.m. when they leave the show docks bound for New York on Leg 7. (If you’ll be on the water tomorrow, then for goodness sake, escort them out the Gate!) Then stick around to catch some more seminars, find some more must-have gear, and discover what you missed on your first walk-through — trust us, there’s never enough time to see it all in just one day.
To make a return visit just a little less painful, be sure to buy your tickets in advance using this link for a $3 discount (or $5 for VIP tickets). If you go through the show’s website, you can also use the coupon code LAT38 to get the same savings. See you at the show!
An action-packed weekend is in store for racers on San Francisco Bay, Folsom Lake, and Lake Tahoe. Sign-ups are still open for Sausalito YC’s Women Skippers Regatta on Saturday. The day starts with continental breakfast and a 9 a.m. skippers’ meeting, continues with three races starting at 11, and concludes with a barbecue, free wine and beer, live music, and awards following the regatta. See www.sycsailing.org/WSR.html for info.
The Yacht Racing Association’s ocean series continues on Saturday with the full-crew Farallones Race. Registration for this one is closed, but you can check out OYRA racing at www.yra.org/OYRA.
Tiburon YC invites all local boats to sail in tomorrow’s Don Wan Regatta. Those who are new to racing are welcome. See www.tyc.org.
The Bullship Regatta for adult El Toro sailors takes the 8-ft boats from Sausalito to San Francisco tomorrow morning. See www.eltoroyra.org.
Richmond YC’s Big Dinghy will be the big two-day event for small boats, with buoy racing on Saturday and a pursuit race on Sunday using Portsmouth ratings. Another two-day event, the Camellia Cup is hosted by Folsom Lake YC.
The Tahoe connection? Lasers and Vanguard 15s from all over the region will converge on Tahoe City for Ski/Sail 2012, with sailing on Saturday followed by downhill ski racing on fresh snow at Squaw Valley on Sunday. See www.skisail.com.
But wait – there’s more! Check out our Calendar for the rest of the list.
Never let it be said that this year’s edition of the Volvo Ocean Race has been dull. It began with boats breaking, and the current leg is ending with boats limping into Itajai, Brazil.
Team Sanya and Abu Dhabi Racing quit the leg with damage to their boats. Camper and Telefonica had to stop and make repairs before continuing. That left a match race between Groupama and Puma, and with only days to go to the finish, Groupama inexplicably broke their mast and had to suspend racing. So with Puma the last boat standing, it looked like an easy win. But Telefonica’s crew were able to make repairs and resume sailing — within 12 hours — in perfect catch-up conditions, charged back and threatened to pass Puma. In the end Puma was able to hold off Telefonica to finish first by only 23 minutes. But don’t count the French out, as the Groupama team jury-rigged the boat and were able to finish on the podium in third.
The brutal Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race is drawing to a close as Camper has passed Cape Horn and is a little more than 1,000 miles from the finish at Itajai. And while grumbling about the fragility of the boats continues, it seems the boats would probably fare better if this edition of the race didn’t have the most talent so far. “The race has become so competitive," said Puma’s skipper Ken Read, "that it forces us to push harder in conditions which we would traditionally not normally have pushed.” See www.volvooceanrace.com.
In America’s Cup news . . . well, it’s not really the America’s Cup, but in AC World Series news, the AC45s are back racin’ and rubbin’ in Naples, Italy. Day one of fleet racing saw very San Francisco-like conditions with 20-25 knots of wind and choppy water. The weather has calmed down, and after three days of racing Team New Zealand is in first with Oracle Racing Spithill close behind in second. To follow the action, go to www.americascup.com.