November 28th

By Kimball Livingston Posted November 26, 2014


The first time I saw a kid in a sweatshirt that said – MISSION HIGH SAILING TEAM – it made my day for a week.

This comes up because of my recent, published appraisal of the legacy of the San Francisco America’s Cup as “chopped liver.” I stand by that appraisal for the big picture. Citywide, chopped liver it is. But Valerie Santori, who manages Golden Gate Yacht Club’s youth program, rang my chimes to remind me that there are exceptions. Says Val —

“For youth sailing in Northern California, the America’s Cup legacy is huge.…

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November 24th

By Kimball Livingston Posted November 24, 2014

Apparently, it’s easy to cast stones at the Golden Gate Yacht Club, sixth trustee of America’s Cup, as we confront the prospect of a 35th defense to be sailed (apparently) outside US waters.

What? Not in the Alcatraz Channel, the spectators’ grand arena? With the big winds, the mountains and the backgrounds that the cameras just love? Right under the windows of GGYC? What are they thinking?

I’m pretty sure they’re thinking


Remember, GGYC back in the day had finance problems and —

GGYC in its moment of distress glommed onto the only lifeline in the water.…

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November 21st

San Francisco’s America’s Cup, the Legacy

Posted by // November 21, 2014 // COMMENT (1 Comment)


By Kimball Livingston Posted November 21, 2014

There are forces afoot that, if the rumors (AC in Bermuda, 2017) are correct

And even if they’re wrong

Take to a new level

The old phrase, flag of convenience.


Not to name names.

And that picture doesn’t quite get it. Must keep searching.

And —

The triumph that the San Francisco America’s Cup competition became in its final few days never fully made up for years of high promises made along the cityfront, especially, but also to citizens’ groups citywide keen to pitch in, keen to build partnerships, keen to do the hard work to create the touted legacies sure to grow out of the the world’s greatest sailing event in the world’s greatest sailing venue.…

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November 20th

Moving in THAT Direction

Posted by // November 20, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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By KL Posted November 20, 2014

I reckon the first time that it really hit my radar screen to have a Western sailing team tied to an Asian or Middle Eastern flag was Valencia 2007. What had been a French effort that ran out of dough morphed into China Team with the avowed intent of developing, eventually, an all-Chinese crew for America’s Cup.

Didn’t happen.

Didn’t happen going into AC34 with the 45-foot cats, not for China, and not for Korea.

The Sultanate of Oham, meanwhile, is taking a different tack, building a small boat racing and sailing program, including girls and women, plus an offshore program ranging from take-a-ride to serious ocean competition.…

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November 20th

The Money Shot: Getting the Ultimate Cruising Boat Photo

Posted by // November 20, 2014 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

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For a racing boat the ultimate photo captures plumes of whitewater sheering off your bow. In your wake, just out of focus, a famous rival shakes his fists.

For a cruiser the ultimate photo captures your boat in some spectacular anchorage, or at least the photo evokes a sense of place. We all know getting there is half the fun, but the shot of your boat in the perfect destination proves you actually got somewhere. In addition, this photo should accomplish two goals:

1. Elicit immediate recognition and respect from fellow cruisers.
2. Make landlubbers think you’re a freakin’ daredevil.

Baie des Vierges (Bay of Virgins), on Fatu Hiva, must be one of the most photographed anchorages in cruising:

Photo courtesy of Brian on S/V Delos

Is there anyone who’s ever anchored there who didn’t at least try to get a good photo of their boat?…

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November 18th

The Really BIG SAIL

Posted by // November 18, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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By Kimball Livingston Posted November 18, 2014

Want to get people out to watch sailboat races? Give’em that old college try. Give’em bands. Give’em the Big Sail.

Two years ago, during the Big Sail, Oracle Racing’s first foiling 72 augured in. A mile or so from the Big Sail, but still, it was quite a sight. No added charge for the show.

Big Sail as in four matches on the cityfront of San Francisco, the Tuesday before the local Big Game, Stanford vs. Cal, Cal vs. Stanford.

Varsity, Young Alumni, Masters and Grand Masters in St. Francis Yacht Club’s J/22s, and they split the day.…

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November 10th

Nice Guy Finishes First

Posted by // November 10, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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Loïck Peyron was not scared to use the word “scared” in describing himself in his record Route du Rhum crossing.

Anyone who has met this radiant, unassuming, generous man (ask the wheelchair folks at BAADS) will doubly appreciate what a force of nature he is. Or perhaps we take it for granted that one human will undertake an Atlantic crossing of 3,500 miles in a 103-foot hotrod trimaran at speeds that most sailors never see in a lifetime?

A through-the-water average of 22.93 knots?

And a new record of 7 days, 15 hours, 8 minutes, 32 seconds for the route from Saint-Malo to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadaloupe.…

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November 6th

Weather Bomb in North Pacific

Posted by // November 6, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Super Typhoon Nuri has more to say. Already one of the most powerful cyclones of 2014, Nuri is predicted to become an extratropical cyclone in the Bering sea: “Bomb”…perfect storm…if you’re on a boat, sink it and run for your life.

This monster is predicted to break records, create 50-foot waves, and alter the weather over North America for the next week or two. Weather nerds, get ready.

Here is an excellent analysis.

Just a comment: When there’s a weather forecast like this, this one for tomorrow in the Bering Sea, maybe they should put some parts of it in capital letters, or red, or something.…

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October 30th

8+ at 93+

Posted by // October 30, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


Does anybody really think that America’s Cup 35 belongs anywhere but San Francisco Bay?

San Diego, a great sailor town, has released its final promotional video, as if Russell Coutts or anyone else in AC management could care.

Better San Diego than Bermuda, I’d say, but the phrase that jumps out at me is the enthusiastic promise of winds “over eight knots, 93 percent of the time.”

Yes, the next-generation cats will foil in that, but they won’t thunder, baby, they won’t thunder.

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October 27th

Miracle on Marinship Way

Posted by // October 27, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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It began as you see it, above.

By Kimball Livingston Posted October 27, 2014

I don’t mind telling you, the first time I heard about a plan to build a 132-foot wooden brigantine to serve as a new school ship, I thought,

“Uh oh.”

But dreamers can be doers.It’s been a quarter of a century since Alan Olson first began using sailboats on San Francisco Bay as an outreach to at-risk youth. Today, on a much-expanded teaching mission, the nonprofit Call of the Sea reaches 5,000 students a year with the schooner, Seaward, but can’t keep up with demand. The brigantine-to-be, Matthew Turner, is intended to expand that compass to 17,000 kids a years experiencing first-hand the ecology, wildlife, and interconnections of things around them often seen but “unseen.”

On the evening of October 25, during Game 4 of the 2014 World Series, true believers and former doubters gathered under a tent—a huge tent—to celebrate a “Blessing of the Bones.” That is, completion of the framing.…

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