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

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.


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.




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.


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




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!

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


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.


A highlight for us was introducing professional sailing to Bay Area youth., 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.


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.



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! On July 4th, 2002, ORACLE Racing’s hope for the 31st America’s Cup USA 76 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!

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.

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