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November 13, 2019

Greta and La Vagabonde; Coast Guard Solicits Feedback; AC75 Goes Splash!

Hitching Another Ride Back Across the Atlantic

Worlds are colliding. In her search for low-carbon transportation, climate activist Greta Thunberg is hitching a ride on another sailboat — this time with well-known sailors. Thunberg will jump aboard the 48-ft Outremer 45 La Vagabonde with YouTube sensations Riley Whitlum, Elayna Carausu and their new baby Lenny, as well as Englishwoman Nikki Henderson. “La Vagabonde will take roughly three weeks to reach Spain, where Ms. Thunberg hopes to arrive in time for the next round of United Nations-sponsored climate talks,” The New York Times reported.

This photo was posted yesterday on the La Vagabonde Facebook page. From left: Lenny, Elayna Carausu,  Nikki Henderson and  Riley Whitlum.
© 2019 Sailing La Vagabonde

“’I decided to sail to highlight the fact that you can’t live sustainably in today’s society,’” Ms. Thunberg said by phone from Hampton on Tuesday afternoon. ‘You have to go to the extreme,’” the Times added.

“We’re about to sail Greta Thunberg across the Atlantic,” says the La Vagabonde Facebook page. “A spontaneous decision to move our home across the other side of the ocean, but I mean we love Europe so we’re looking forward to some Caldo Verde upon arrival. Setting sail at 7:30 a.m. [today]. You can track our live progress directly at once it goes live tomorrow morning!”.

In August, Thunberg sailed from Europe to New York aboard the IMOCA 60 Malizia II; she spoke at the United Nations. Thunberg has since “travelled across the Americas by overland train and an electric car borrowed from Arnold Schwarzenegger,” according to The Guardian.

Coast Guard Soliciting Feedback About Harbor Bar Entrances

The United States Coast Guard is asking for public comments about proposed safety requirements at several bar entrances in Central and Northern California. “Regulated navigation areas are being proposed for the harbor bar entrances to Crescent City Harbor, Humboldt Bay, Noyo River and Morro Bay,” a press release said.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay returns to shore after completing their third vessel tow near Humboldt Bay in 2018. Note all the whitewater in the background.
© 2019 Cmdr. Brendan Hilleary

The proposed new rules would “create additional safety requirements for recreational and small commercial vessels operating in these areas during periods of hazardous conditions, such as high wind or breaking surf, as well as establish clear procedures for restricting and closing these harbor bar entrances in the event of unsafe conditions,” the Coast Guard said, adding that comments should be made prior to December 9.

“Further information regarding the proposed Regulated Navigation Areas is available from Lt. Andres Ayure, the 11th Coast Guard District Waterways Management Aids to Navigation operations officer; by email at [email protected], by phone at (510) 437-2982, or by mail at Commander, 11th Coast Guard District, Waterways Management Branch (dpw), Bldg. 50-2, Coast Guard Island, Alameda, CA 94501-5100, Attn: ATON Operations Officer.”

As AC75s Go Up and Foil, They Must Come Down and Crash . . .

What goes up . . . must come down. We think that’s, like, a rule of physics . . . or something (we’ll be sure to ask Max Ebb). As the AC75s have started to hit the water in earnest, they have really hit the water in earnest.

Last week, Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC75 Te Aihe had “another high-speed smash while training in moderate to fresh winds on the Hauraki Gulf,” Sail-World reported. “The incident happened in a steady sea breeze (NE) of around 18kts, with some chop/wind waves with no accompanying swell. The nosedive happened very quickly while the AC75 was sailing at very impressive speed to windward and suddenly nosedived. The sequence was caught on camera, at long distance, by Sail-World NZ. Please excuse the graininess of the images.”

There is no video of the crash and splash, but the picture is certainly worth a handful of words:

‘Houston, we have a bloody problem’. Team New Zealand took a digger on November 7. It should be said here that this is a totally normal part of sailing this class. But since this class has only been on the water for about a month, everything feels new and exciting for the moment.
© 2019 Sail-World/Richard Gladwell

“After a pausing sailing for a few minutes, presumably to check and mark the data stream, and converse with design engineers on the chase boat, the AC75 took off again sailing very quickly to windward, before turning downwind and sailing at high speed without further nosediving,” Sail-World continued. “The incident was later dismissed as ‘learning.'”

Since video is worth, like, maybe 400 pictures, we thought we’d leave you with this:

Catching Up with the Leukemia Cup Perkins Challenge

At the end of October, St. Francis YC staff commodore John McNeill sent us a photo and a few additional bits from the Leukemia Cup that we didn’t include in our reporting right after the event. Though this is late, we wanted to share these nuggets from the race, as well as the fundraising results.

Beyond the Leukemia Cup itself (which was on Sunday, October 20, this year), McNeill pointed out there’s another part of the event that deserves coverage. The Tom Perkins Challenge was sailed in the club’s J/22 fleet on the Cityfront on Saturday, October 19. StFYC hosts the Challenge each year.

The Challenge fleet of seven sponsored boats completed five races, featuring a close competition between StFYC board chairman Paul Cayard and junior member Liam Kilroy. Young Liam prevailed by a slim margin. Amazingly this is Liam Kilroy’s fourth Perkins Challenge win.

Leukemia Cup Team Kilroy
Team Kilroy, left to right: Steve Hunt, tall Liam, Malcolm Page and Stephanie Roble.

Perkins Challenge results:

1) Kilroy, 1 1 2 2 2, 8 Points
Liam Kilroy, Steve Hunt, Stephanie Roble, Malcolm Page

2) Wells Fargo, 4 2 3 1 1, 11 Points
Paul Cayard, Molly Carapiet, Maggie Bacon, Jacob Heiw

3) Hannig Law, 2 5 1 5 3, 16 Points
Bill Melbostad, Ryan Simmons, Tim Russell, Nick Dugdale

4) Diversified, 3 3 4 4 4, 18 Points
Caleb Yoslov, Duane Yoslov, Ellise Smolenyak, Noah Barrengos

5) LLS, 5 4 5 3 5, 22 Points
Chris Kostanecki, Matt Frymier, Nicholas Sessions, Will Foox

6) Accel, 6 6 6 6 6; 30 Points
Jen Browne, Larry Swift, Shaum Sinawi, Joel Aves

In addition, 101 Surf Sports hosted the SUP Cup the following weekend, with John Dye winning the long-course division out of 46 competitors and Kris Muller winning the short-course division out of 23 competitors.

The Bay Area Leukemia Cup succeeded in raising over half a million dollars for the fight against blood cancers. That effort sent San Francisco to the top of the national Leukemia Cup fundraising ranks for the 13th year in a row. Out of 40 Leukemia Cup events nationwide, the Bay Area again holds on to the Jobson Cup, awarded to the top Leukemia Cup fundraising event in the country.

Congratulations to all the winners, and especially the successful fundraisers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Submit Your Nominations for Yachtspeople of the Year

Nominations for US Sailing’s 2019 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards are open to the public. Fans can nominate male and female sailors who they believe turned in the most outstanding on-the-water performances this year.

Carmen, Jud and Emma
The 2018 Rolex Yachtswomen and Yachtsman of the Year were Carmen and Emma Cowles and Jud Smith. St. Francis Yacht Club hosted the presentation on February 28.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Do you know of an American sailor who performed extraordinarily well at the highest levels of competition in 2019? Your nomination(s) may ensure a deserving sailor will receive recognition by making the shortlist or even winning one of these awards to earn their place in the history of the sport.

Following the close of the nomination period on December 20, 2019, US Sailing will select three finalists for both the Yachtsman and Yachtswoman based on the merits of the nominees. The finalists will be posted to a ballot and presented to panels of past award winners and sailing media journalists who will vote for the winners. This year, the public will have an opportunity to be part of the selection process and vote online for the 2019 winners. Votes from the three groups will count equally in determining the winners. The online public voting will begin in January following the shortlist announcement. We’ll let you know when it’s time for that.

In another interesting revision to the presentation of the awards, the winners will be announced live at the US Sailing Awards Ceremony on February 6, 2020, as part of the Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego. Winners will receive US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards and specially engraved Rolex timepieces.

President of US Sailing and two-time winner of the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, Cory Sertl, expressed the importance of nominating worthy sailors for these awards: “Being nominated for the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards in a given year is recognition from our peers for excellence in sailing over the last 12 months. The nomination process is an opportunity to hear from all sailors about who has impressed us over the last year across the variety of racing US sailors have excelled in. We need to hear from you about who should be considered.”

US Sailing established the awards in 1961, and Rolex came onboard as the sponsor in 1980.

Awards Criteria

  • Awards recognize the individual male and female US sailor who has demonstrated on-the-water excellence in the calendar year. As in 2018, there have been outstanding situations resulting in a skipper and crew nomination being accepted (Olympic years).
  • Must be eligible to represent the USA under World Sailing regulations, and actually representing the USA at the event(s) for which the nominee is being considered for the award.
  • Must have won a major international or national event and/or performed at a high level consistently in multiple events against elite competition.
  • There is no minimum age required to win the award.
  • The awards are not based on career racing results (lifetime achievements) or philanthropic contributions to the sport.

Learn more about the awards’ criteria and submit your nominations at

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