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!

New Summer Race Schedule

As we are all well aware… The racing has begun here on San Francisco Bay! The kickoff of the Louis Vuitton Cup was on July 4, and the challengers will be racing through the end of August leading up to the well anticipated America’s Cup in September.

Our guests enjoying a glimpse of the AC72’s

Our guests enjoying a glimpse of the AC72’s

This is the most exciting time to be out on the water, experiencing a hands-on thrill of America’s Cup history with a sail aboard USA 76. We have been sailing the race course in the mornings, before the racing starts, getting as close to the AC72’s when we can whether they’re training or prepping for the days race. Our current recommendation is to sail USA 76 in the morning and then we will get you back on land for ideal viewing of the Cup races from shore! The total package. So be sure to check out all our new dates on our schedule of events, which coordinate rather well with all the abundant racing happening this summer.

Luna Rossa rounding the windward mark

Luna Rossa rounding the windward mark

Both of Oracle's AC72’s training

Both of Oracle’s AC72’s training

 

USA 76 at Strictly Sail Pacific

We spent a wonderful 3 days last weekend at the Strictly Sail Pacific show at Jack London Square, and we thank them for the invitation.  Our presence brought many curious faces wondering to the end of the dock, to the tallest mast at the show.  Letting people touch, feel and ask questions about ACsailingSF and USA 76 was a thrill for the crew as we showed her off.

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A highlight for us was introducing professional sailing to Bay Area youth.  SailSFBay.org, in cooperation with the America’s Cup Event Authority, brought school kids around to board yachts and ask questions about the sport of sailing.  Many eager hands spun the coffee grinders and pretended to take the helm as they explored their curiosity for USA 76.

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Introducing the Pro Sailor Speaker Series

ACsailingSF is proud to launch the start of our Pro Sailor Speaker Series, happening the first Sunday of every month beginning in May.  This gives the public the opportunity to be joined by a professional sailor aboard USA 76.  Come and receive hands-on instruction from individuals who have made careers out of racing.

 

May 5th marks the inaugural event where we will be inviting ocean racer, Ryan Breymaier aboard for the day.  Ryan has an impressive career in offshore racing, including round the world races and experience in short-handed ocean-racing circuits.  His most recent accomplishment is having crewed aboard Maserati, the yacht that just set the record for sailing one of the world’s most challenging routes from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn.

Maserati

 

USA 76 Racing Once Again

USA 76 will be back in her element on Sunday March 10th, racing in a local favorite: The Big Daddy Pursuit Race.  Put on by the Richmond Yacht Club, it is a reverse handicap race around Alcatraz and Angel Island in either direction.  Starting in the back of the pack, USA 76 will plan on weaving her way through the fleet, to a glorious finish (fingers crossed).  Join the crew for the race and help push USA 76 to her fastest.  It’s less than 3 weeks away so be sure to reserve your spot on the team!

 

The Crew from last year’s Big Daddy

Happy Birthday USA 76!

Happy Birthday USA 76! On July 4th, 2002, ORACLE Racing’s hope for the 31st America’s Cup was launched. Ten years later USA 76 is sailing frequently in front of the city she represented a decade ago, and continues to embody the spirit of the America’s Cup and San Francisco. ACsailingSF wishes all our friends, fans and followers a safe and memorable Independence Day!

Fun Things to do in San Francisco

San Francisco a vibrant city with a rich cultural inheritance inclusive of famous historical landmarks and attractions including the picturesque Golden Gate Bridge, the island of Alcatraz, Chinatown, and the transportation staple of the city the famous San Francisco Cable Cars.

It is no wonder San Francisco ranks as #35 worldwide as one of the most visited cities and a top tourist destination. There are so many fun things to do in San Francisco you could spend the entire week there and not be able to take them all in.

There are the landmarks as mentioned above plus the third most visited tourist attraction in the U.S. Pier 39 a premier getaway with breathtaking views and unparalleled entertainment, shopping and dining options on two levels plus the infamous sea lions.

Sailing in San Francisco is an exciting event as San Francisco prepares for the 34th annual America’s Cup ACSailingSF located at Pier 39 offers adrenaline, heart pumping rides on the 85 foot, 20 passenger USA 76, Challenger for the 2003 Americas Cup.  Sailing was never more exciting and adventurous as it is aboard the Challenger with members of the Oracle racing team at the helm.

Whale watching is an incredible experience in San Francisco, these magnificent creatures of the sea migrate annually off the San Francisco coastline.  Catch them in their natural habitat, blue and humpback whales migrate June thru November and gray, sperm and killer whales migrate December thru May. Whale watching is a year round event surrounded by the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay with its spectacular views of the city itself.  Catch whale watching from Pier 39 at San Francisco Whale Tours  San Francisco is known for its fine cuisine more than a dozen restaurants are located at Pier 39 plus a wide variety of stores are available.

The famous Fisherman’s Wharf is also located next to pier 39.  It is no wonder with the multitude of things to do, and places to eat that Pier 39 is so popular.

There are many other attractions to visit including the zoo, museums, Golden Gate Park, Union Square, Historical Haight Ashbury District, the list goes on.

San Francisco is a premier vacation and weekend getaway hot spot you wouldn’t want to miss.

San Francisco sailing at its best on ‘USA 76′

This yacht just looks slick wherever it goes. This is another shot of the same corporate group from April 20.

USA 76 with corporate guests cruising downwind on San Francisco Bay

San Francisco team building never looked anything like this!

This shot was taken on April 20 with a group of corporate folks out on our beautiful America’s Cup yacht USA 76. 

America's Cup yacht 'USA 76' team building on San Francisco bay

 

We do this all the time. The reason we’re in business is to give guests the opportunity to take an active role in a number of crew positions on the yacht. Whether it be a corporate team building group, a staff reward, an incentive sail or whatever the reason, the “USA 76″ America’s Cup yacht is the only vessel of this caliber in San Francisco.

Corporate folks enjoying team company on San Francisco bay

Corporate guests crew on 'USA 76' on San Francisco Bay

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