Sailor Spotlight

At the beginning of this month, ACsailingSF was delighted to host a special guest who traveled across the pond to visit our beautiful city, San Francisco. Yvonne Gordon is an award-winning features and travel writer whose work has been published in the Irish Times, The Irish Mail On Sunday, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The National, and DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. Coming from a sailing background, Yvonne also writes about her experiences and various trips through her blog, Holidays On The Water.

New to the San Francisco Bay Area, Yvonne knew little of what to expect. While she consistently sails on a bay in her hometown, the promise of steady wind conditions on the San Francisco Bay was a welcome and exciting change.

The 84-foot America’s Cup-class yacht docked at PIER 39 with the crew in their professional gear was a sight to behold. Stepping aboard, Yvonne was pleased to find USA 76 to be “a real racing boat..designed for speed and performance”, which added to her enthusiasm for the trip.

Throughout the two-and-a-half hour experience, Yvonne took turns at the helm, guiding USA 76 and her crew both on the upwind and downwind legs of the adventure. She even took command during a tack (direction change) underneath the Golden Gate Bridge!

Having spent only two days in the city, Yvonne was able to learn a local’s perspective of the city, highlighting the different boat types in the bay, the America’s Cup races from this past summer, and the different yacht clubs in the area. All in all, her favorite part of the adventure included sailing towards Alcatraz Island and cruising underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. She mentioned “it was amazing to see the city skyline and the waterfront, with all the wharfs from a different perspective on the water.”

Thanks for joining us, Yvonne! Come back for another sail soon!

Sailor Spotlight

We’ve Added 9 More Race Days on USA 76

An entire summer of racing on USA 76 is right around the corner.  We’re putting the yacht back on the race course where she belongs.  Previously we only sailed in a handful of races per year and it’s always a huge hit with our guests.  So we’re happy to announce our involvement in the Golden Gate Yacht Club’s 2014 Friday Night Beer Can Series.  That’s 9 new race days on our calendar!  These fun and casual races will be every other Friday from May 2nd to August 22nd, taking place along the San Francisco city front.

Sail the whole series by joining the crew with an Annual Crew Pass.

Getting out on the Bay is a great way to start your weekend.  So the next time you’re thinking of what to do on a Friday night.. make it a sunset race on USA 76!

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Introducing the Signature Series Cap

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Our newest addition to the ACsailingSF line of sailing gear is the Signature Series Cap. An embroidered signature of two-time America’s Cup champion, Brad Webb is stylishly placed on the side of the cap. As the bowman on USA 76, Brad has put America’s Cup sailing in the hands of San Francisco.  Snatch this unique item in our shop or after a day spent sailing USA 76 like the pros.

Sailing in the Rain

It may not be drought busting rain but our Bay Area hills are finally turning green again. We often get asked if we sail in the rain and without a doubt the answer is yes! Believe it or not, some of our most memorable sails have been in the rain. One USA 76 sailing adventure that sticks out in my memory was a wet November day with strong breeze and the Golden Gate Bridge stunningly framed by a full rainbow. We caught some of the action on video:

Most of our precipitation will typically fall between December and February. Keep in mind that forecasts are for the region rather than the specific points where we sail. In other words if the forecast calls for 40% chance of rain, there is a 40% chance rain will fall somewhere in the region but a much lower chance that it will fall on our heads. The tall hills surrounding San Francisco Bay are very effective at pulling the moisture out of the clouds and these hills receive far more precipitation than we ever see on the Bay.

The most important benefit of rain clouds is the wind they bring with them. In the late summer our winds are driven by the cool air from the ocean sweeping in to replace the rising hot air of the Central Valley. When this gradient disappears the rest of the year, we rely on the rainy low pressure weather systems to draw wind across the Bay.

Guests suited up in full foul weather gear and having a great time.

Guests suited up in full foul weather gear and having a great time.

USA 76 is fully equipped with sailing clothing to keep our guests dry. If needed, we will distribute waterproof pants and a jacket to keep you warm. We will always offer a rain check to anyone that does not want to go out and we have a liberal 48 hour notice, full refund policy.

Don’t let a rainy day scare you away. Sailing in the rain is far better than a sunny day with no wind!

Captain Jon Buser

Making Connections

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ACsailingSF was part of the buzz at yesterday’s annual conference and expo for the MPINCC – Meeting Professionals International Northern California Chapter.  Our all-star staff included our two-time America’s Cup champ Brad Webb, sales guru Warren Allan, and captain Jeanette Leckie.  The booth was equipped with a model of USA 76 and a fresh new banner, that drew in all sorts that were intrigued and excited to learn about what we do.  After a few hours of chatting with meeting planners and event planners alike, we are sure to have inspired a handful of them that what we offer here at ACsailingSF is sure to compliment their groups’ events by providing the most unique sailing experience on San Francisco Bay.  All in all it was a great show that allowed us to make connections and leave impressions.

Then and Now

Moving Up and Moving Back – Erik Simonson

Click the photo below to read Erik’s blurb on USA 76 from last weekend’s race in the Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Regatta.  Not too much has changed for USA 76.

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Visit his site to view the full gallery from the regatta on February 1st.

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Race 4 of the Midwinter Series

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Last weekend USA 76 and her crew raced in the Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Regatta, hosted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club. This was the 4th race of the  midwinter series. Our crew was made up of yacht club members, annual crew pass holders and a handful of fresh faces. It was a special treat for all to sail with America’s Cup sailor and owner of USA 76, Brad Webb. We looked the part, in our red CREW t-shirts as we stepped aboard in preparation for the day’s race. The morning was relatively calm as we patiently waited for more consistent wind to fill in from under the Golden Gate. After a brief postponement, the wind had filled in nicely to about 12 knots and the race was off to a start. The course was called for three laps around the marks.

After spending 1 hour, 54 minutes and 27 seconds on the course we crossed the finish line, celebrating a job well done. It was certainly a team effort that had all our crew hoisting sails, grinding the pedestals, taking the helm and cheering each other on as we executed maneuver after maneuver.

Everyone walked away with huge smiles and great memories of a beautiful day spent on the water working together as a team to race the only America’s Cup yacht here on the Bay.  We are looking forward to the next and final race of the series, on March 1st.

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

View our most current reviews or write a review of your own.

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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