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April 23, 2021

Summer Sailstice Welcomes Aboard New Sailing Ambassadors

What if the whole world actually did go sailing ‘together’ on June 19? Would the spin of the planet slow down due to all the extra windage of hoisted sails? Would sea level rise from all the dry-stored boats getting launched? Summer Sailstice has been signing up ambassadors to help find out.

Most sailors believe more sailors and more sailing are a good thing. Sailors teach, volunteer, build boats, invite new crew, and are genuinely thrilled to introduce friends and their community to the wonders of sailing. They also want to see more boats join their fleet, class, club or local program.

The 2021 Summer Sailstice has established the new role of sailing ambassador to give enthusiastic sailing boosters a platform to grow their fleet, while growing participation in sailing. Who’s in? Ros de Vries of the Santa Cruz 27 class is helping get the class sailing, while Milly Biller continues to inspire the Inverness Yacht Club and grow the 110 class on Tomales Bay and beyond. On the East Coast, Molly Winans, editor of Spinsheet magazine on Chesapeake Bay, is helping fill the Chesapeake with sailboats on June 19. You can be an ambassador too — for your community sailing program, your yacht club, your marina or your class of sailboats. Just fill out the form here.

Randall Reeves
Blue Water Medal winner Randall Reeves is set on recruiting more people who want to sail 40,000 miles in a figure 8 around the planet in 306 days. Operators are standing by.
© 2021 Randall Reeves
Cheoy Lee 41 Avocet
Chris & Marissa Neely of the Cheoy Lee 41 Avocet are inviting young Southern California cruisers out to sail.
© 2021 Marissa Neely
Katie and Lyall Burgess
Lyall & Katie hail from Hilo, HI, run Sunpowered Yachts, and sail their Dufour 382 Blake with their two children. They’re joining the ARC Rally this year.
© 2021 Katie Burgess
Milly Biller
Milly Biller’s enthusiasm for sailing has already introduced hundreds of people to sailing. Why stop now?
Molly Winans Spinsheet
Spinsheet editor Molly Winans has been inspiring sailors with both words and deeds. It’s great to have her and the Spinsheet crew aboard.
© 2021 Spinsheet

As an ambassador, you can do whatever you want to invite more people sailing: race, cruise, raft-up, rally or daysail. Opportunities exist to get all Alerion 28s or Express 27s out sailing. Brandon Mercer has taken on the role of J/24 fleet ambassador. What about Westsail 32s or the Mercury class?

Christine Weaver
Latitude 38 editor and Delta Doo Dah Doodette Christine Weaver has been showing people the way to the Delta for over a decade. Join her this year.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Jonathan Gutoff

Chris Weaver is running the 13th annual Delta Doo Dah, along with being a Summer Sailstice Delta ambassador. Summer Sailstice is an ideal time to head up the Delta — almost. It’s best to head to the Delta on a rising tide, and with slack at the GG Bridge in mid-morning on the 19th, you’ll have to leave very early to ride the current upriver. However, it being the solstice weekend, you will have more daylight than on any other day of the year, so why not enjoy it to the max?

There are just two months left, but that’s plenty of time to become a sailing ambassador with Summer Sailstice, and encourage your friends, club and fleet members to post sailing plans on the Summer Sailstice event map and be ready to loosen the sail ties on June 19. Summer Sailstice members look forward to starting the summer sailing ‘with you’ wherever and whatever you sail.

He Was a Prince, and a Sailor

Friday, April 9, 2021, marked the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II. And while America is clearly not beholden to the British monarchy or part of a commonwealth, when one of our readers, Tim Dick, emailed us with a couple of links, we were reminded that the duke was not only a prince, but also a sailor. Below are a few interesting photos and snippets of history that have found their way onto social media since the 99-year-old’s passing.

Prince Philip at the Tiller
Did you know? From 1956 to 1970 and then again from 1975 to 1980, Prince Philip served as president of the Royal Yachting Association.
© 2021 The Royal Family
Helming Bluebottle
The duke helms the Dragon class yacht Bluebottle — a wedding present to the queen and the duke.
© 2021 The Royal Family
This photo is believed to have been taken in London when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip toured Cutty Sark on June 25, 1957.
© 2021 Facebook/Milena Stevens
The prince would often helm Yeoman XIX during Cowes Week in competition for the Britannia Cup.
© 2021 New Street Nautical Audio
This photo has appeared on numerous news and social media sites around the globe — Prince Philip, aged around 15, at the helm of a two-masted 14-ton boat named Diligent. The boat was owned by Gordonstoun, the boarding school the young prince attended in Scotland.
© 2021 Major B Varvill R.A.M.C
The Duke of Edinburgh was certainly an avid sportsman.
© 2021 Facebook/Nigel Sutton

Sailors around the world have commented on Prince Philip’s passing; some of them have even competed against him. We found the following comments on Facebook.

“Loved racing against him in Cowes … he always won!” – Arleen Ginn

“We raced against him many times when Yeoman was a Sigma 38. We had an incident calling water up the beach at Cowes; our owner said it was the fastest insurance claim he had ever had! Charming gentleman who will be hugely missed.” – The current Mrs. Nichols

“Apparently one race when things were getting tough in the shallows another boat called “my water,” to which Prince Philip on Yeoman replied ” It’s not your water, it’s my wife’s water. Now go up!” – Alan Littlefield

We could no doubt search the internet a little longer and find hundreds more photos and comments, but judging by the few we have shared, it does appear that Prince Philip was a well-respected sailor.

Prince Philip died two months before his 100th birthday. R.I.P.

Pier 39 Is Hiring

We’re looking for a Marina Office Administrator:

The perfect applicant has accounting/bookkeeping knowledge, Office 365, organizational and multitasking abilities, customer service/people skills, no small degree of patience for dumb questions, and a love of boating and boaters. Position will include one weekend day. We offer great benefits, a diverse and friendly team, and breathtaking views.

Click the link to see the full requirements!

Navy Trimaran USS ‘Oakland’ Smiles for the Camera

Last week we gave you a heads-up that the Navy trimaran USS Oakland was due to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge on Wednesday, April 14. Did you see it come in? Kimberly Kaleo did. She was alongside and took a bunch of great photos, which she sent to us.

“I provided the Oakland PD escort as it entered our territory,” Kimberly wrote.

USS Oakland approaching Bridge
From this angle you could be forgiven for wondering if it’s going to fit.
© 2021 Kimberly Kaleo
The best vantage point right now would be on the Bridge.
© 2021 Kimberly Kaleo
© 2021 Kimberly Kaleo
It looks as if the fireboat escort got left behind.
© 2021 Kimberly Kaleo
A quick spin by Treasure Island …
© 2021 Kimberly Kaleo
… and home safe.
© 2021 Kimberly Kaleo

USS Oakland is an Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS — a set of two classes of relatively small surface vessels designed for operations near shore by the United States Navy) and is the third ship to be named for the City of Oakland. She was built in Mobile, Alabama, and delivered to the Navy on June 26, 2020. She will soon move to her home port in San Diego.

Thanks for Kimberly for sending the photos!

The SailGP Stars Are Out in Bermuda

It’s race weekend for SailGP in Bermuda as the extreme foiling catamaran series launches the start of their second (third?) season. Somehow in the COVID-19 scheme of things, Sir Ben Ainslie’s dominant performance, February 2020 in Australia, seems to have gotten a bit ‘lost’ in the record books, but not to the other competitors as SailGP takes to the water again a day earlier than scheduled.

The Schedule in Bermuda

Due to weather conditions in Bermuda, SailGP pushed up Race Day 1 to today — tomorrow’s local forecast called for light winds.

CBS Sports Network will broadcast the races in the United States on Saturday, April 24, at 3 p.m. PDT (delayed from today) and Sunday, April 25, at 10 a.m. PDT (live). CBS will air highlights on Sunday, May 2, at 10 a.m. PDT. The racing will also be available on the SailGP app, SailGP Facebook page and YouTube channels. But, although racing had already begun by the time we finish this piece, the league will release no video today.

“Due to SailGP’s global broadcast agreements, racing on Friday will be pre-recorded and broadcast at SailGP’s allotted broadcast time on Saturday and distributed to all of its global broadcast partners, comprising 175 territories worldwide. SailGP will not be publishing any race results or race content from Friday across its channels,” states yesterday’s memo.

The Teams

SailGP’s sophomore season will feature crews from Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States. Denmark and Spain will be embarking on their first full seasons. New Zealand will be making its league debut, led by recent America’s Cup champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. For the New Zealand team, it should be like riding a bike again as they hop from Te Rehutai onto an F50 catamaran, minus the cyclers.

The fleet lines up
The F50 catamarans from Great Britain, Denmark, Australia, France, USA, New Zealand and Spain sail a qualification race ahead of Bermuda SailGP.
© 2021 Simon Bruty / SailGP

Joining Ainslie and the Kiwis on the circuit will be a cavalcade of sailing’s brightest stars, including defending champion Tom Slingsby driving for the Aussies. Luna Rossa’s Francesco Bruni will join Nathan Outteridge on Team Japan. Jimmy Spithill will be piloting a new-look Team USA with American Magic alumni Cooper Dressler and Andrew Campbell. Previous helmsman Rome Kirby stays onboard to assume flight-controller duties.

USA F50 nosedive
USA SailGP’s F50 nosedives during a practice session in Bermuda.
© 2021 Simon Bruty / SailGP

The Venues

In addition to Bermuda, new host cities will be Taranto, Italy (June 5-6); Plymouth, UK (July 17-18); Aarhus, Denmark (August 20-21); Saint-Tropez, France (September 11-12); and Cadiz, Spain (October 9-10). SailGP will also make its first visit to Christchurch for New Zealand’s maiden grand prix on January 29-30, 2022. The season will culminate with the Grand Final in San Francisco on March 26-27, 2022, when the champion will be determined in a single $1 million winner-takes-all last race.

Race for the Future

As part of its Race for the Future agenda, the league has begun training female athletes within each of the eight sailing teams.

Joining the USA team will be the San Francisco Bay Area’s Daniela Moroz, a four-time Formula Kite world champion and two-time US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. “We were overwhelmed by the quality of athletes who applied, and our entire sailing team took part in the selection process,” said Jimmy Spithill. “Daniela brings to our team an impressive amount of foiling ability, which is paramount to racing at this level. We’re excited to welcome her to the roster and develop her talent further.”

The league is using their community engagement arm, SailGP Inspire, to introduce youth from diverse backgrounds to the sport and wider marine industry.

COVID Concerns

A spike in COVID cases in Bermuda almost shut down the regatta, but SailGP was able to get an exception to the lockdown in order to work on their boats and get sea time. “We are extremely sympathetic to the current situation in Bermuda, and our thoughts are with everyone that has been affected by this terrible global pandemic,” said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. “We thank the government for their assistance and the people of Bermuda for their understanding.”

Sir Ben Ainslie, Tom Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge
Sir Ben Ainslie, Tom Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge wore masks when they addressed the media in a pre-race press conference ahead of Race Day 1 in Bermuda.
© 2021 Thomas Lovelock / SailGP

Because of the pandemic, Iain Murray, the regatta director, is calling the shots remotely from Australia. The umpires are located in England to call any penalties, if necessary.

The (Modified) Boats

The boat used in competition, the F50, derives from the America’s Cup Class AC50 used in Bermuda for the 2017 event. The catamaran’s foils are constructed with high modulus carbon fiber. The lower sections of the rudders are manufactured using high-strength stainless steel to reduce drag. It was the first sailboat to hit 50 knots in competition!

The new 18-meter (59.4-ft) wing came out during training. The installation of the new wing system means the F50s can now opt for the smaller wing in stronger winds, increasing the wind ranges the boats can sail in. This means there is less chance of weather cancellations and a chance of better racing in both high- and low-wind conditions.

Australia gets airborne
The Australia SailGP Team, helmed by Tom Slingsby, leaves the water briefly during a practice session in heavy winds and seas. Slingsby capsized the USA boat a few days earlier, much to their surprise!
© 2021 Simon Bruty / SailGP

Much like the foils and rudder, which can be altered depending on the conditions, the wing is now similarly adjustable. The light-air foils and light-air elevators have increased surface area, which results in increased lift to make the most of weaker winds. The light-air wing also boasts a larger surface area, standing at 24 meters (79.2-ft) to catch more wind to power the boat.

USA Team

For the USA squad the addition of Jimmy Spithill to the lineup and leadership of the team should go a long way to improving its performance and results on the water.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have not only an amazing sailor, but also one of the greatest competitors, join SailGP. Jimmy brings a massive amount of experience and skill to the US team and even further cements our position as the sport’s pinnacle league,” said Coutts. “Make no mistake, we have the best sailors in the world competing in the most exciting format.”

USA team
United States SailGP Team: (back, left to right) Cooper Dressler, Jimmy Spithill, Rome Kirby, Alex Sinclair, (front, left to right) Daniela Moroz, Paul Campbell-James, and Andrew Campbell.
© 2021 Alice Greenfield / SailGP

New Zealand Team

The New Zealand SailGP Team — fresh off a victorious America’s Cup defense — will race in support of its Race for the Future charity partner Live Ocean, the marine conservation organization founded by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. “All the New Zealand SailGP Team members are passionate about the ocean. We’re excited to step up as champions for a healthy ocean on the world stage. The race for a live ocean is on,” said Burling. The Kiwi SailGP Team is calling its F50 Amokura, the Māori name for a red-tailed tropicbird.

It’s all on. Tune in tomorrow to find out which of the eight teams conquers Bermuda’s Great Sound today! And come back here on Monday, when we’ll post a post-race report.

When Sailing Goes to Pot
Though pot is now legal in California and many other states, the USCG is a federal agency, and while aboard your boat you do come under their jurisdiction.
Keeping it Clean
Tomorrow, April 22, will be the 51st Earth Day. With mariners in mind, the California Division of Boating and Waterways sent in these Earth Day tips.