San Francisco has been eliminated as a host venue for the 35th America’s Cup. San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee received an email from the Director of the America’s Cup Event Authority, Russell Coutts, late last night announcing the news. "Given the tight timeline and demands from prospective teams to confirm the final venue, it has been necessary to continue reducing the shortlist of candidate cities," Coutts wrote. "We have therefore taken the difficult decision to no longer consider San Francisco as a possible candidate to host AC35." Still in the running are Bermuda, Chicago and San Diego.
San Francisco may still host an AC World Series event in 2015 or 2016 leading up to AC35. There is also potential for hosting AC36 around 2021.
Charlie and Cathy Simon of Spokane and Nuevo Vallarta are currently in Fiji in the process of doing a 14-month, 26,000-mile circumnavigation as part of the World Cruising Club’s World ARC 2014. Their Taswell 58 Celebrate is one of 15 boats that will be sailing around the world.
While the fleet was in Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Cathy thought it would be fun to have a luncheon with all the ladies who will be doing the entire trip. There were 10 such women. Unfortunately, only seven are in the accompanying photograph. Nonetheless, we suspect the photo will jolt a lot of notions about what circumnavigators look like.
The World ARC is a somewhat unusual sailing event in that participants don’t have to do the entire event. As a result, there are actually 47 boats, nine of them from the United States, participating in the WARC 2014, which ends next April in St. Lucia. Seventeen of them, two more than will be going all the way around, will be either dropping out in Australia or pausing there and rejoining a subsequent WARC. There are already a considerable number of boats signed up for WARC 2015.
How are the Simons liking the adventure so far? "Charlie and I are having the time of our lives!" says Cathy. "We’re enjoying some spectacular sailing and great sights." And no doubt making lots of great friends.
The US Coast Guard is tasked with keeping American waterways as safe as possible, and one of the latest manifestations of that responsibility is the development of ‘virtual’ nav symbols designed to show up on electronic charts and AIS monitors.
The agency is currently testing 25 virtual aids to navigation (dubbed eATON) in the San Francisco Bay Area, to enhance existing three-dimensional buoys and day markers. "Don’t worry," said a CG spokesman, the buoy system will not be replaced by these virtual aids." They are simply being added to the pool of info that skippers will have at their disposal in order to make recreational boating and commercial vessel traffic safer.
According to the Coast Guard, "The eATON are being transmitted through the Coast Guard’s Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) for display on ships’ electronic charting systems and radar. . . These eATON currently mark reporting points in the offshore traffic separation scheme approaches to San Francisco: the ‘SF’ buoy that serves as the San Francisco bar pilot embarkation point, and Mile Rocks Light and Harding Rock buoy, which mark a critical turn point for ships in the Central Bay." Bridge towers on the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will also be virtually marked — no doubt an addition made in light of the 2007 Cosco Busan tower collision, where 53,000-gallons of oil were spilled into the Bay on a foggy day.
"There is no better place to evaluate this technology than the challenging waters of San Francisco Bay," said Capt. Gregory Stump, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, "and we look forward to receiving feedback from local mariners on how we can improve this service.”