As the growing body of SailGP fans anticipate today’s start of the New York event, the six international teams that will take to the start line have a new image to add to their vision of series supremacy. In the lead up to the third edition of the world’s newest racing event, SailGP unveiled the stunning trophy that encapsulates the thrills and energy of the F50 catamaran racing series.
“We wanted to create something that communicated the extreme drama, extreme energy and extreme performance of SailGP, which is taking sailing to the next level,” said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts.
World-renowned trophy maker Thomas Lyte was commissioned to create a trophy that would “encapsulate the power and the passion of the forward-thinking boats and world-class athletes.” It was also crucial that the winning team could raise the trophy up high in celebration of victory. Kevin Baker and his team at Thomas Lyte achieved exactly that.
The trophy will be presented to SailGP’s series winner at the inaugural season final in Marseille on September 22.
As SailGP Teams USA, Australia, China, Great Britain, France and Japan compete in this weekend’s third event, Australian team helmsman Tom Slingsby is keeping a watchful eye on longtime rival competitor, and fellow Australian, Nathan Outteridge. Helmsman of Japan Team, Outteridge has been on the Aussies’ heels in San Francisco, and knocked the series’ leaders from top position on day 1 of event two here in San Francisco in May. However, the Aussies’ resiliency and near-perfection on the Bay on day 2 ensured an event win for the second time in a row.
As round three of the first SailGP commences on the lower reaches of the Hudson River, New York spectators are assured of action as dramatic as the iconic skyline. While many of the SailGP competitors have experienced conditions on the Hudson, the strong currents and unpredictable shifting winds ensure the race is open to all and any of the six teams.
Racing commences Friday and Saturday at 5 p.m. eastern time. The race village, located at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City, is open to the public and free of charge.
For those who can’t make it to New York this weekend, there are several live coverage options. Check here for details.
On July 13-14, Stockton Sailing Club will host their Founding Fathers Regatta. When we were at the club earlier this month for the Delta Ditch Run, we saw the poster for the event. It got us wondering about the history of the club.
It turns out that the story is remarkably similar to that of the founding of Sausalito Yacht Club, 90-odd miles to the west. Staff commodore Budge Humphreys told us that, back in 1933, sixteen 16-year-old boys founded the club as the Ionic Sailing Club. The teenage founders included three sets of brothers: the Stephens brothers, the Colberg brothers, and Fred and Jim Van Dyke. Colberg Marine built ships and barges and had Navy contracts. Jim Van Dyke took Bird Boats out of San Francisco YC and restored them. The young Stephens brothers built their own Snipes. (Two generations of Stephens brothers ran the eponymous boatbuilding business that turned out everything from classic motor yachts, to sailing yachts, to wooden minesweepers for WWII.)
The boys would go to San Francisco Bay to sail and be asked, “Where the hell is Ionic?” Hence the name change to Stockton Sailing Club.
Have you ever seen the life suggestion, “Make sure you see the sunrise at least once a year?” Maybe today wasn’t that day. June 21 is the Northern Hemisphere summer solstice and, therefore, the earliest sunrise of the year. In the Bay Area it means, if you were ambitious, you could have maxed out your sailing time with the sunrise at 5:48 a.m. and sailing until the 8:35 p.m. sunset for a total of 14 hours and 47 minutes with the sun above the horizon.
Luckily, you’ll have another chance to do it tomorrow on Summer Sailstice. This first-weekend-of-summer global celebration of sailing was concocted to help everyone get the wrinkles out of sails that have been furled on the boom for too long, and inspire you to take advantage of the long-daylight days to take friends and family sailing.
For most of the world’s sailors, it is also the start of the peak sailing season. In Wisconsin, Maine or Sweden it’s a guaranteed time of year to start a short-season frenzy so you can squeeze in all the sailing possible before the ice returns in the fall. In California, we’re lucky. We can take a more casual approach and sail whenever we want (ice is for cocktails). Yet summertime has a certain sailing feng shui built into it that suggests to all sailors that it’s time to dial back on work and dial up the sailing time.
Summer Sailstice is in its 19th year of inviting all the world’s sailors to unite in a global celebration of sailing. This includes full-on events like SailGP in New York, or individual sailing plans like those of Captain Bill, who will be sailing his West Wight Potter in Osaka, Japan. In between, there are dozens more events, large and small, up and down the West Coast.
What’s the point? To connect all sailors in a global celebration while helping the rest of the world get a better picture of the who, how, why and where of sailing. There will be thousands of spectators on the New York waterfront watching SailGP, but, as spectacular as it is to watch, the sailing community doesn’t really want spectators — it wants participants. Spectators are not going to help grind in your genny. For that you need crew. Perhaps they get intrigued by SailGP, but it’s a huge mental leap for people to connect foiling cats to the kind of sailing you do every day. By posting your racing, cruising or daysailing plans, you join the global sailing community, and help put all of sailing on display for the world to discover.
What’s on ‘display’ in Northern California? The YRA’s Westpoint Regatta, free sails aboard Call of the Seas’ Seaward, the Trans Tahoe regatta, and community sailing opportunities at Sailing Education Adventures in San Rafael, or more at Shoreline Lake in Mountain View. To see these events, or add your own, visit the Summer Sailstice events page here.
The only thing missing might be you. It’s the first weekend of summer and a terrible weekend to be caught with your sails down. Summer Sailstice is here to suggest you sign up, show up, and pull them up so you can join the whole world sailing.