American entreprenuer James Clark founded several very successful Silicon Valley technology companies, including Silicon Graphics and Netscape, and after he did, got into sailing in a big way. After striking it big, he moved up from a Baltic 55 to the 156-ft sloop Hyperion. Then he really got the bug and had the Royal Huisman Shipyard build him a 295-ft three-masted schooner Athena, which is one of the two or three biggest private yachts in the world — depending on how you define ‘big’. Since you don’t race a yacht like Athena, Clark had Huisman build him a modern version of Tommy Sopwith’s 135-ft ‘Super J’ J Class yacht Endeavour II, and named her Hanuman. The ape-like humanoid Hanuman is, of course, the son of Lord Vayu and the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is the central character in the Indian epic Ramayana.
Clark had a great St. Barth Bucket, as Hanuman won all four races against a fleet of four other outstanding J Class yachts. Having done that, we’re told Athena and Hanuman are headed for San Francisco Bay to be around for the America’s Cup festivities.
As you can see from the accompanying photo, Athena is equipped with a large inflatable slide, which enables Clark and friends to get into the water quickly from the upper level of the great schooner. It’s a neat thing in the tropics. But we wonder if it’s going to get any use in the more chilly waters of San Francisco Bay.