Race Log: GGYC Midwinters, Race 1

For the first time, both USA 76 and TOMCAT raced side by side in race 1 of the Golden Gate Yacht Club’s Midwinters.  The 44th Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Regatta is first Saturday of every month from November 2014 to March 2015.  It was a strong opening to the series last weekend, with 65 registered boats.  A steady 10-15 knot breeze on the tail end of a rain storm the night before provided ideal conditions to keep a fast pace around the course.

It was a memorable moment for us as both USA 76 and TOMCAT crossed the start line together, taking off towards the first mark.  We were a close match for each other for TOMCAT is faster, but USA 76 can point much higher.  Our guests aboard both boats were placed into racing positions, playing an integral roll in getting us around the course.  Although we did not end up winning, it was still gratifying to have TOMCAT and USA 76 be the first two yachts to cross the finish line.

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TOMCAT

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Race Log: Great Pumpkin Regatta 2014

Sunday, October 26th marked USA 76’s third consecutive year participating in the Richmond Yacht Club’s Great Pumpkin Regatta.  Over 100 boats raced on that beautiful Sunday afternoon on San Francisco Bay.

The conditions were a bit unusual with a light breeze of 5-10 knots out of the north as we started, which then switched to the prevailing westerly in the later portion of the race.  Our start was over an hour after the first boats, which allowed us to evaluate the conditions along with the strategy of the majority of the fleet.  Most of the boats chose to use the northerly to their advantage by sailing out towards Alcatraz first, setting spinnakers for a fast first downwind leg.

We chose to follow suit by choosing to sail USA 76 clockwise around the course, rounding Alcatraz then Angel Island.  We hoisted the code zero, our largest headsail, to ensure we use the most sail area possible to catch up to the boats that began before us.  The northerly breeze got progressively lighter as is began to switch to the west.  That called for a sail change for a quick upwind beat around Alcatraz, followed by an unfurl of the code zero for a reach towards Angel Island.  USA 76 caught up to the fleet near the mouth of Raccoon Straits.  It was an incredible sight sailing along with so many spinnakers.  We crossed the finish line along with many others, celebrating a fun afternoon spent racing around the Bay.  We couldn’t have raced without the enthusiastic participation from all of our guests aboard.  It is truly a team effort to sail USA 76.

USA 76 is entered into a handful of races throughout the year and next up is Race 1 of the Midwinter Series with the  Golden Gate Yacht Club — Saturday, November 1st.  So mark your calendars and experience sailing USA 76 around the marks!

RYC 2014 Great Pumpkin Regatta

It’s that time of year again, to get in the fall spirit by sailing in the Richmond Yacht Club’s Great Pumpkin Regatta. The annual pursuit race is one of our favorite events of the year. A pursuit race has a staggered start, where slower boats start first and the fast ones start last. This allows everyone to arrive at the finish line more or less at the same time. It’s quite a sight.

USA 76 will be amongst the last to start, and will fly around the course catching up to (and passing) the other boats who will be racing full circle around Angel Island and Alcatraz in either direction. So mark your calendars and secure your place on the crew — Sunday, October 26th!

Though we won’t be doing this…

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We will be doing this!

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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.

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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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.