December 9, 2015

Family Cruising Brings Joyful Memories

As you can tell by this photo, there’s a great potential for kids to have fun while cruising — especially on the Baja Ha-Ha rally. 

latitude/Andy
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Although the majority of sailors entering the cruising lifestyle are retirees, there are also mid-career types who take self-imposed sabbaticals, and families with young kids who’ve chosen to step away from the mainstream for a time in order to give their children an enhanced perspective on the world, while building lasting family memories.

A case in point is the Vawter family sailing aboard their Napa-based Mason 43 Banyan: Mom Annie and dad Cameron — who are both winemakers — and their kids, Adelaide (aka Ladybug), 8, and Elizabeth (aka Isa), 6, did last month’s Baja Ha-Ha rally as the inaugural step of a five-year circumnavigation. Also aboard were Cameron’s sister Kim and her husband. From what we can tell, they all had a fine time.

"I am feeling really grateful for the experience we had on the HaHa," says Annie. "We have run into so many other boats that we met or just barely were acquainted with during the Ha-Ha, and it has made our experience here in Mexico infinitely more rich than it would have been."

You can get a taste of what their experience was like via this video compilation from the two-week rally. 

The Baja Ha-Ha rally committee has gone into hibernation until May 1, when online registration begins for the 2016 event. Will 2016 be your family’s year to Ha-Ha?

Cup Racing Returns to New York

Lady Liberty has her torch; Jimmy Spithill has his cup.

© Rob Tringali

America’s Cup racing will return to New York for the first time since 1920 with a Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series regatta on May 7-8, 2016, preceded by a practice day on May 6.

From 1870 to 1920, defender NYYC hosted America’s Cup racing in New York Harbor. At the 13th America’s Cup in 1920, NYYC’s Resolute defeated Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock IV. The match had been postponed from 1914 due to World War I. After 1920, NYYC moved the Cup racing to Newport, RI.

The last America’s Cup racing in New York Harbor looked like this.

© Stephen Renard

"The New York event is going to be spectacular," said Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. "Racing in front of that Manhattan skyline will be a huge hit. New Yorkers are massive sports fans and I think this will be something very special: thrilling, top-level racing right in the heart of the city."

The Event Village will be in the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza, while the racing will be on the lower Hudson River off the Battery Park City Esplanade (between the Pier 25 basin to the north and The Battery to the south). The technical areas for teams, race management and TV production will be based at Liberty State Park and Liberty Landing Marina, across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

In this map, Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza, the site for the Event Village, adjacent to North Cove Marina, is on the top right, marked by a red dropper; Liberty Landing Marina is on the top left; and the Statue of Liberty is on the bottom left.

© Google Maps

The New York ACWS event is one of six planned during 2016, including the just-announced kickoff regatta in Oman on February 27-28. New York thus joins Chicago as American venues in 2016. The schedule for next year so far is:

  1. Muscat, Oman — February 26-28
  2. New York, USA — May 6-8
  3. Chicago, USA — June 10-12
  4. Portsmouth, UK — July 22-24

Two additional ACWS events are in the works to complete the calendar; those will most likely be held in Europe in mid-September and in Asia in mid-November. Sailing in foiling AC45 catamarans, the teams competing in the AC World Series accumulate points that count toward the final competition for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. See www.americascup.com.

"Wait for it. . . " If you ever get lucky enough to glimpse a green flash, it will appear immediately after the sun sinks over an exceptionally clear horizon — or just before sunrise.
The falling price of oil has apparently not dampened the Omani passion for sailing, nor their ability to host a grand (and pricey) regatta. The Sultanate of Oman will earn a page in sporting history when it becomes the first country in the Middle East to host America’s Cup racing on February 27-28, 2016.