GGYC Youth Sailor Races aboard USA 76

Another recipient of the Hoke Sailing Grant was selected to race aboard USA 76.  Olivia Dreilinger from the Golden Gate Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program sailed as crew for the February 7th Midwinter race on San Francisco Bay.  She describes her experience in her own words:

America’s Cup Challenger USA 76 Regata Report
Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Regatta, Midwinter Race 4
By Olivia Dreilinger, February 7th, 2015


I had no idea what to expect, but was nervous and excited as I arrived at Pier 39’s Dock B and saw the USA 76.  After a quick orientation we boarded the boat and ventured out of the harbor.  I had the privilege of assisting the crew with multiple tasks throughout the sail.  First I raised the main sail using one of the grinders which was quite a task because of the 115 foot mast height and massive sail.  I got to time the start which felt like a lot of responsibility and definitely added to the anticipation.  I had to yell out at 30 second intervals the remaining time until the starting gun would sound, which was a fun challenge because I’m generally more quiet.  The start went reasonably well as we were the 2nd boat over the line after the TOMCAT.

Much to my surprise and delight they let me take the wheel on the first leg of the race.  This was both frightening and exhilarating because most of my prior experience has been on FJ’s and 420’s.  I learned that the USA 76 is a member of the International Americas Cup Class with a few small modifications including the metal safety rails along the perimeter.  This particular boat was used by Oracle BMW racing to compete in the 2003 America’s Cup.

The race was conveniently timed between two storms, so the weather was actually not too bad.  The wind came in from SSE at approximately 9mph, which is slightly above San Francisco’s average of 8mph in magnitude, but the south east direction was unusual.  We finished in 6th place at 1:12:27 (PHRF adjusted to 1:23:46) after Bodacious, Zamazaan, California Condor, Tomcat, and Wicked Sister, all of which used spinnakers. I learned that the US Coast Guard has a restriction on sail area in the bay and consequently the USA 76 cannot use a spinnaker because of the excessive power it would create. The boat mainly lost time due to the fact that legs three and five were on a lay line, preventing USA 76 from using her greatest advantage: the ability to sail closer to the wind.

I am very thankful to Ellen Hoke, Golden Gate Yacht Club, and the USA 76’s crew for providing me with this fantastic experience, many new insights to sailing and an amazing unforgettable memory.

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

Despite the lack of wind today, I think everyone on board had a good time.  It’s interesting when there is a shared love of being on the water it doesn’t really matter what kind of day it is.  Regardless, we offered our guests another opportunity to join us again with a bit more breeze, free of charge…I just want everyone to experience what 76 is really capable of.  We also received excellent feedback and input on our website.  As a result we are going to work on a page describing the parts of the yacht, points of sail and basic sailing terms.

And as for the dock…

USA 76 crew provide tribute to 9/11

On what was otherwise a great sailing afternoon on San Francisco Bay, no amount of fun could hide the fact that this was September 11, 2011. As a small tribute to those many thousands affected on this day our crew carried a wreath and flag on the stern of USA 76.

 

America's Cup yacht USA 76 carries tribute wreath for 9/11 victims.

September 11 tribute on ACsailingSF yacht USA 76

ACsailingSF

We’re here!!  Hard to believe in just 11 short months we have taken an idea and brought it to fruition.  There is still a lot to accomplish (docks, another IACC boat, more staff, more marketing…more customers!!) but to have USA 76 and the yacht America consistently sailing on the City Front, we are proud to be bringing a taste of the America’s Cup to San Francisco.

We share the vision of taking sailing to the masses and making it accessible for all, and we will be doing everything we can to support the America’s Cup and those focused on this goal.