Inaugural San Francisco Boat Show

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Last weekend San Francisco held it’s inaugural Boat Show at Pier 48 and McCovey Cove. Spanning 4 days, we hope if nothing else, that the show served as an inspiration. Boaters and newbies alike wandered the show with one thing in common – the desire, fantasy or reality of what the world of yachting can provide. Everybody’s own means as to how that manifests itself is unique. For us, we see sail racing as a platform unlike any other. It brings people together to perfect communication, teamwork and what it means to achieve a goal using a sophisticated piece of equipment in tune with natural elements. So those who went to simply discover boating, or to spread their passion for it, the reverberations of the show are sure to have inspired the San Francisco yachting community.

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Trip Advisor Reviews

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A special thank you goes out to all who have taken a moment to give us such great feedback.  This is proof that the passion we have for sailing USA 76 really does permeate during the ACsailingSF experience.

First Race of 2014 for USA 76

Bright sun and light breeze greeted the race crew and guests of USA 76 on Saturday January 4, 2014 for the Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Regatta. Easterly winds led the Golden Gate Yacht Club to set a windward/leeward course along the city front between Aquatic Park and Crissy Field. After a fifty minute postponement, the race began with 8 boats in our class lined up on the start line. At 84ft, USA 76 had more than twice the waterline length of any other boat in the race. USA 76, with Brad Webb at the helm, was on starboard tack being pushed toward the line by a leeward boat. Our speed advantage allowed us to roll over this leeward boat just in time before we dipped to leeward of the next boat on the line. By the time the starting gun fired we had pulled even with the fleet and before long we were in the lead on the first upwind leg.

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The narrow beam and current sail plan of USA 76 is optimized for sailing upwind so the rest of the fleet made considerable gains on the downwind legs. However, light wind was the story of the day. By the time we were on our second and last lap of the race course the Bay was becalmed and the ebbing current took over. Most of the fleet including ourselves drifted past the leeward mark toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Some unfortunate boats drifted helplessly past the wrong side of the leeward mark. Eventually the wind began to return, this time from the west. This had the effect of giving the race two downwind legs in a row, in opposite directions! USA 76 caught this new wind and sailed to the finish line completing the 6 mile course in 2 hours and 50 minutes.

While speed records weren’t set on Saturday, there was a lot of close action on the water and the bright sun made the colorful sails on the 75 strong fleet shine brilliantly. We look forward to the next race on Saturday, February 1st. All guests who race aboard USA 76 will receive the coveted red CREW t-shirt.

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Highlights from 2013

When looking back at 2013, our growth and achievements in conjunction with the America’s Cup have left the imprint of an incredibly memorable year for us.  Here are a few of our highlights from this past year:

In the early spring we celebrated our permanence here along the San Francisco waterfront with the installation of our new dock at PIER 39.  Our ongoing presence on the Bay is an influential part of providing America’s Cup yachting to the public.  In June we celebrated our two-year anniversary of operation with everyone who has been a part of ACsailingSF.  This was quickly followed with the kick-off to the 34th America’s Cup on July 4th, during which we ran charters on both training and race days, giving our guests the most intimate views of the AC72s.  The efforts resulting in a tremendous comeback from Oracle Team USA was a monumental achievement that we were lucky to be in the midst of.  We were also honored to have USA 76 entered into the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta held here in September.  This was a proud moment that had us crossing the finish line clinching first place on day one.

When looking back on all the highlights from this year, we are most happy to have shared our passion for sailing during all 180 charters.  We are pleased to have spread the America’s Cup experience to everyone who has joined us, and to continue doing so in 2014.

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A note from Brad Webb — 2-time America’s Cup Winner

I will remember 2013 as a year of challenges, accomplishments and surprises. Looking back, twelve months seemed to pass in a flash, but there were moments when time felt frozen.

From watching ACsailingSF and USA 76 grow into her new home at Pier 39, to building and racing USA 17 in the most spectacular America’s Cup ever, it was a 365 day journey with some outstanding people.

While all of the year’s successes were a result of hard work, I enjoy celebrating the results more because they were not a forgone conclusion.  I enjoy being part of a team, of playing a role in something bigger than myself.

As we head into 2014, I am looking forward to growing our small company. We dare to challenge ourselves and share our experiences, and we will continue to inspire others to do the same.

Sail to Sausalito’s Winterfest

FEATURED EVENT
Sausalito on the Waterfont’s Annual Winterfest 2013
Saturday, December 14

If you’re looking for a different way to celebrate this holiday season, join us for this unique evening of sailing, fireworks, music and more.  We’re offering a one-way sunset sail from San Francisco to downtown Sausalito, arriving in style to Sausalito’s Winterfest.  USA 76 will drop you and your guests off at the Trident Restaurant, located on the parade route for the lighted boat parade that evening.  Be sure to reserve your place on the crew for this rare opportunity, for it will surely be an evening to remember.

Event Schedule
2:30 pm Depart PIER 39 for 2.5 hour Sunset Sail
5:00 pm Arrive at the Trident Restaurant*
(reservations required for dinner)
6:00 pm Lighted Boat Parade begins
6:30 pm Live Music from Peter Chung
7:30 pm Fireworks

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*Guests are responsible for their dinner reservations at The Trident as well as return transportation.
The Trident: 415-331-3232

A Thank You to Our Guests

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Here at ACsailingSF we are forever thankful for all the people who have stepped foot aboard USA 76.  The lasting impact we’ve made is carried on through conversations, that has lead to genuine, heartfelt referrals to their friends and family. We rely on you all to spread our message, ultimately allowing everyone to experience a taste of the America’s Cup here on San Francisco Bay.

So we thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving,
From the Crew at ACsailingSF

AC34: Reflecting on the Remarkable – By Brad Webb

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Eight weeks ago today, I won the America’s Cup for a second time. Along with the 100+ members of ORACLE Team USA, I can claim a small piece of a historic victory that will never be forgotten.

Sporting comebacks like the one that began on September 19 are the stuff of Hollywood scripts; stories that border on fantasy and push the realms of believability.

I am constantly asked, “what was it like”, and I still haven’t found an apt description. Instead I resort to shoulder shrugs and skyward gazes, searching for language to explain what happened over the course of 19 days. Most of us couldn’t compact the last week into a single sentence, so attempting to cram the most extraordinary America’s Cup into a few words is next to impossible.

There has been a hunger for more details about what transpired behind the walls of Pier 80 during the summer of 2013. Because the regatta went into overtime, the team more or less disbanded immediately, so few people have had access to the personnel and personalities that steered a seemingly broken ship to an astonishing victory.

As a result, conjecture and speculation has run rife about internal changes that were made, reversing the assumed inevitable.

The month leading up to the America’s Cup could not have been more tumultuous as the cheating investigation dragged on, ultimately costing key members and a two point penalty. While this only involved a small portion of the team, the disruption was universal and probably the reason we didn’t start the event firing on all cylinders. However, in the midst of the turmoil, everyone remained professional about the task at hand. This sounds cliché and obvious, but the cracks had the potential to bring the house down. Instead they were shored up and the program rolled on.

So the hanging question is, what actually happened to flip a predictable defeat, into an unlikely success? The answer is, again, not a simple explanation, and despite what many may think, there was no silver bullet. The rumor of a super secret automatic board control system installed mid-regatta, couldn’t have been further from the truth. The potentially catastrophic nose-dive at the reach mark in race 19 disproves this claim. Due to the previous month’s events, we were under intense scrutiny from the measurers the entire time, and we remained transparent and legal throughout, even when things got desperate.

The turn-around was a result of small ideas from smart people, where nothing was discounted. A number of little tweaks to the wing and the boat were put into play and refined. The afterguard spent time poring over video and improved the way the boat was sailed, especially upwind. And everyone embraced the philosophy that we had nothing to lose by implementing a fresh perspective, while maintaining the aspects that still worked well.

The people, the effort and the result were nothing short of remarkable. Each of us owes a debt of gratitude to our colleagues who continued to contribute, despite what the scoreboard read. This is the essence of a great team, and I am proud to have been a part of it.

Brad Webb
November 20, 2013

Honoring All Who Served

Today we pay tribute to America’s Veterans.  We are especially proud to have three Veterans on the USA 76 crew. Today we would like to draw attention to the service of crew member Josh Aguilar who recently had his Army Retirement Ceremony on October 18.

Retirement

Josh enlisted in the Army and began Infantry basic training on January 10, 2000. Upon completion, he received orders to the prestigious 101st Airborne Division in Fort Cambell, KY. Josh wanted to be assigned to the 1st Brigade, the same brigade that once fought back the German forces at Bastogne. On June 13, 2000, he got his wish and was assigned to Bravo Company, 1st of the 327th Infantry Regiment. A five year enlistment became an eleven year career in the 101st where he earned an Air Assault Badge, an Expert Infantryman Badge, completed three combat deployments to Iraq (totaling 39 months in a combat zone), and was awarded the coveted Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Highlights of Josh’s career include being personally selected by his command to lead an escort mission for the staff of the United States Ambassador to Iraq in Kirkuk Province, a highly visible and sensitive mission. He was chosen to represent the 101st and escort the remains and personal effects of fallen Soldiers, conducting every aspect of this difficult duty with dignity and respect. He led his squad in over 300 successful combat missions and numerous times was selected to serve as platoon sergeant in the combat environment. He was also selected to lead over 50 combat missions as the point squad leader, a crucial and highly dangerous responsibility.

Josh remains a vocal advocate for Veteran’s issues. He is also studies architecture at City College San Francisco when he is not on the water with us. The team at ACsailingSF is thankful for the service of all our Veterans today.

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A Windy Great Pumpkin Race

On Sunday October 27, USA 76 sailed once again in the Great Pumpkin Regatta hosted by Richmond Yacht Club. With winds above 20kts we set a course record for USA 76 around Angel Island and Alcatraz of just 1 hour and 15 minutes. Our previous best time for this course was 1 hour and 20 minutes. Aboard was a full complement of 19 guests, including two of our annual crew pass holders. Among our 5 crew members was special guest Andrew Coates, sailmaker for Oracle Team USA.

The start and finish line are near Richmond and the 12.5 mile course rounds Alcatraz and Angel Island in either direction. On USA 76 we chose to go counterclockwise to immediately take advantage of USA 76’s strength upwind on the beat up Raccoon Strait. This proved fortuitous because as soon as we entered the strait we encountered the Richmond Yacht Club pumpkin RIB! They were just preparing to deposit the pumpkins in the water ahead of the downwind clockwise competitors. One of the traditions of the Great Pumpkin Regatta is that extra regatta points can be earned by retrieving pumpkins from the Bay that RYC has left for the fleet. We must have been persuasive enough because the pumpkin RIB drove along side and tossed a pumpkin directly to our crew at the stern of USA 76.

Pumpkin singed by guest aboard during the Great Pumpkin Race

Pumpkin singed by guests aboard during the Great Pumpkin Race

With our prize pumpkin aboard, we proceeded to complete three tacks through the fleet of spinnakers descending through the strait. This was an early indication that the day would go in favor of the early starters. These slower boats had already completed 75% of the course just 20 minutes after our start. As we exited the strait and steered USA 76 toward Alcatraz, our speed topped 14kts. Just one more maneuver, a heavy weather jibe after Alcatraz was necessary to lay the finish line. We kept our speed up but in the strong breeze we only had 2-3kt speed advantage over much of the fleet, which was not enough to catch up. Take a look at the finish line video taken by Mike Gentry from the race committee boat.

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Thank you to all the guests who joined us to make this another memorable sail.

The 2013 Great Pumpkin Regatta Crew

The 2013 Great Pumpkin Regatta Crew

 

 

Race-ready for the Great Pumpkin

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It’s right around the corner… The annual Great Pumpkin pursuit race put on by the Richmond Yacht Club, and we couldn’t be more excited. With only a few opportunities a year to actually put USA 76 into action against other boats, this is always a crew favorite.

The race course begins near the Richmond Yacht Club and all the boats need to round Alcatraz and Angel Island (in either direction) to finish back near the start. There are already 95 boats registered to race, so you can imagine the sight as the fleet takes off in both directions.

Our guests are given race positions and everyone on board is tuned in to getting USA 76 around the course as quickly as she can. It’s a rare opportunity to be aboard an America’s Cup yacht in her natural racing environment, so be sure to mark your calendars – Sunday October 27th, and reserve your spot on the team!

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