May 5, 2014

AC 35 Actively Courting Hawaii

You may recall that a year ago the Auld Mug ‘posed’ for this shot overlooking the Golden Gate. Now, squint your eyes and picture coco palms swaying in the background.

© Giles Martin-Raget / ACEA

The America’s Cup trophy, along with an entourage that includes award-winning The Billionaire and the Mechanic author Julian Guthrie and Golden Gate Yacht Club Commodore Norbert Bajurin, has been racking up the frequent-flyer miles as of late. Undertaking an ambitious Hawaiian tour with more than half a dozen presentations on three different islands last week, the group did everything from holding fundraisers for yacht club junior programs and various local chapters of the nonprofit Better Business Bureau to public book signings, another yacht club appearance and even an intimate dinner presentation at Lanai’s famed Hotel Lanai.

With Larry Ellison’s purchase of the island of Lanai leading to rampant speculation about the Cup’s potential future in Hawaii, this most recent PR tour certainly begs the question: are Larry and company really planning to hold the 35th America’s Cup, or some element of it, in the Aloha State?

We don’t know, but by all accounts the Cup and its entourage were shown nothing but ‘aloha’ on their visit to the islands. With more than $5,000 reportedly raised for the Waikiki Yacht Club’s junior program, throngs of local sailing enthusiasts lined up to catch a glimpse of the Cup at sold-out venues wherever the Cup traveled. Event organizers were reportedly thoroughly impressed with Hawaii’s reaction to the oldest trophy in sport.

Golden Gate Yacht Club Commodore Norbert Bajurin shares ideas for AC 35 events in Hawaii.

Tina Yuen / Pacific Business News
©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Commodore Bajurin and Oracle Team USA insider Guthrie predictably kept the America’s Cup plans close to their chests, but with Hawaii’s reliable trade winds, warm water, stunning scenery and mid-Pacific location between California and Australia/ New Zealand, the ‘Aloha State’ provides a compelling venue choice, to say the least. Although bringing the America’s Cup finals here seems unrealistic to many Cup observers, an AC World Series — using easy-to-ship AC 45s — would seem highly plausible, and provide significant commercial interest to sponsors like PRADA, Louis Vuitton and others. Time will tell. Stay tuned for updates here and in the pages of Latitude 38 magazine.

Know Why You’re Celebrating Today?

Here on the Left Coast today — aka Cinco de Mayo — is one of those holidays that gets marketers, restaurateurs and bar keepers revved up to a fever pitch of excitement. But we’ve always thought it curious that seemingly few who celebrate this day — including many sailors currently cruising Mexico — could accurately tell you what the date commemorates.

Mmm. . . multicolored margaritas. Perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo, right? But do you know why you’re celebrating this day?

Wikipedia Commons
©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

First, let’s be clear that despite all the annual May 5 hoopla, Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain (the equivalent of our Fourth of July). It actually commemorates a great battlefield victory in 1862 — at Puebla — over an occupying French army that was sent by Napoleon III to take over the country due to unpaid debts. Talk about a hostile takeover!

It was actually five more years before the Mexicans completely ousted the French from their lands, but the victory at Puebla was such a phenomenal underdog triumph that it has always been fondly remembered. Although outnumbered and outgunned, the Mexicans, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza, first diverted and slaughtered the French cavalry, then sent a herd of stampeding cattle into the French infantry, who were struggling through heavy mud after a torrential downpour. Mexican machetes, fueled by patriotism — and, who knows, maybe a little tequila — finished them off. Americans were completely uninvolved, by the way, as they had their hands full fighting their own Civil War. 

So viva Zaragoza! And viva Mexico! But if you are inspired to celebrate today, along with the millions of US residents of Mexican ancestry, we strongly urge you to do your imbibing at home or at the dock, rather than out on the water.

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latitude/Richard
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

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Last Tuesday and Wednesday weren’t the best days to sunbathe on the beach at Avalon, reports Kate Olsen, Administrative Assistant for the Avalon Harbor Patrol.