MARITIME REPORT: Happenings this week

MARITIME REPORT: Happenings this week

Dave Bloch

The America's Cup on "Real" TV

Your watery reporter had a great time this past Sunday over at the Ballena Bay Yacht Club, watching the final day of the last race in the 2011-2012 America's Cup World Series. The America's Cup World Series races have all been carried live on YouTube, but this is the first time that they were broadcast on NBC network television.

About ten local folks were there to enjoy the snacks set out by BBYC and watch the regatta on their huge flat-screen TV. And these races really are something to watch! Even if you've never seen a sailboat race before, you will be able to follow most of what's going on.

Each of the World Series events has both Match and Fleet racing. In the match races, two boats race each other around a relatively short course. With only one other boat to worry about, the teams can take their boats up to higher speed. In the Fleet races, all the catamarans are out there at the same time, so they are constantly dodging each other and fighting for position. As in auto racing, you'll wonder how in the world they aren't constantly crashing into each other.

(Keep in mind that conditions on the course change constantly; the wind rises, falls and changed direction; currents differ all across the width of the course; a boat upwind of you changes the wind in your sails. Our local sailboat racers deal with these issues every week in the Estuary and out on the Bay.)

In the end, Oracle Team USA Spithill (the name of the skipper) took the trophy for the entire 2011-2012 World Series season. They also took the award for the Fleet Racing competition.

But what's really special for us in Alameda is that Artemis Racing, the Swedish team that will be based here at Alameda Point, is the Match Racing champions for the Series! The whole world will be watching as they compete over the next year.

The first event in the 2012-2013 World Series will be right here in San Francisco Bay from August 21-26, and here again October 2-7 during Fleet Week. Plan on getting out to watch, whether from the San Francisco cityfront, out on a boat, or at one of Alameda's yacht clubs! You can get all the latest information at http://alamedawaterfront.com.

Community Sailing Center First Meeting

The initial meeting of Alamedans interested in creating a Community Sailing Center took place on June 26, and about a dozen folks gathered at Pineapple Sails for the first chance at throwing ideas around. According to John Platt, one of the organizers and attendees, the goal is to make sailing accessible to underserved people, and to get more people involved in the sport.

This meeting was very preliminary; it is way too early for decisions to be made. But the group did give itself some homework: Attendees will be going out and talking with other community sailing/boating/aquatic centers in the region and around the country to learn what sorts of things work.

The next CSC meeting will take place sometime in mid-August; watch this space and the Alameda Waterfront website for information.

Please also read my blog at http://alamedawaterfront.com/blogs/dave-bloch!

TransPac Racers

Don’t forget to read the postings from our intrepid singlehanded sailors currently heading across the Pacific Ocean to Hawai’i! Some of them are posting to the race Website, while others have their own Websites, blogs or social network pages. Find the links to all of them at once convenient place: http://alamedawaterfront.com/blogs/dave-bloch/transpac-blog-urls.

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