Kimball Livingston

The America’s Cup, Explained

22 Jul

By Kimball Livingston Posted July 22, 2014

There’s a movie I’ve seen too many times.

Scripts vary, but in movie-talk, the “arc of the story” is the same.

First, there is an America’s Cup match that is riveting, thrilling, inspiring and enthralling to a huge audience. It can’t get any better than this, you think. The sequel will be just as good, meaning great.

Then everything goes to hell.

In 2013 we went from (former San Francisco Supervisor) Aaron Peskin’s assertion that, “There is no record of a crowd showing up for a sailboat race” to race seventeen on September ...

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Invisible Hand Visible at Hanalei Bay

18 Jul

The latest from our friends at the Pacific Cup—

Kaneohe Bay, HI, July 18, 2014 – Frank Slootman’s R/P 63 Mini Maxi Invisible Hand (formerly Limit) is the first boat to finish in the 2014 Pacific Cup with a unofficial finish time of 12:44:11 PDT. The Hand has an all-star crew comprising America’s Cup and Olympic champions, sailmakers, and others with significant ocean racing experience.


Invisible Hand left San Francisco Bay on July 11 as part of the last group of starters on the 2,070-mile crossing.

To see how the race is progressing, use the Yellowbrick race tracker on

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Aussies Pull Out of America’s Cup 35

18 Jul


By Kimball Livingston

Let’s start here.

The Hamilton Island Yacht Club/Oatley family issued the following release on Friday, July 18, 2014:

Hamilton Island Yacht Club today announced its withdrawal from the 35th America’s Cup.

The Hamilton Island Yacht Club became the Challenger of Record for the 35th America’s Cup upon the completion of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013.

In commenting on the decision not to proceed with the challenge, Sandy Oatley said “When we entered the Cup we had the intention of trying to change the Cup in ...

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Pac Cup Tracker Goes Live

17 Jul

Michael Chobotov's Venture a couple thousand miles ago

Via Pacific Cup
Kaneohe Bay, HI, July 17, 2014 – It’s the moment many have been waiting for: the first of Pacific Cup’s 55-boat fleet, Venture (a Jenneau 49 in Cruising Division) is expected to cross the magical line, 200 nautical miles from Hawaii late this afternoon, and you will be able to follow the race online, in real time, on the Pacific Cup website. Until then, position data, which is transmitted via satellite by the Yellowbrick devices, is being delayed by six hours to prevent, to some degree, a racing boat’s ability to view what its competitors are doing ...

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Manta Hits the Big Four-O

17 Jul

By Kimball Livingston Posted July 17, 2014

There are huge differences between the formula classes and the one-design classes of landsailing.

Which doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who play both games.

It’s one thing to be a tinkerer and build a very-cool formula flyer, but hauling along a one-design yacht, when you head to the playa, means extra time sailing. And with something like the two-seat Manta—the Manta being the most popular class at the Landsailing World Championship this week at Smith Creek, Nevada—you can have your “cruise” time with a friend. Having been a passenger aboard a two-seat ...

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Invention Trumps $$ at Landsailing Worlds

16 Jul

5.6 Mini Yacht Championship decided, other classes begin competition at Landsailing Worlds

By Kimball Livingston Posted July 16, 2014

A sailor is a sailor, no matter what the sailor sails.

And my point is?

The strongest reaction I ever received to a magazine article came from a piece about sailing model yachts. Those people have a passion. What’s more, I discovered that many of them are the usual suspects, people I already knew from sailing what they call “people boats.” They just have this other thing too.

So it is with landsailing.

Austin, Nevada is remote. Add a few miles ...

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Breeze on to Hawaii

16 Jul

July 15, 2014 – The breeze is on and many of the fifty-five boats racing in the 2014 Pacific Cup are posting double-digit speeds and 200-nautical-mile-plus days. At this pace, Kaneohe Bay could be welcoming the first finisher as early as this Friday, July 18.

Venture, a Jeanneau 49 skippered by Michael Chobotov and leading the Holo Holo Cruising Division, has the bit in her teeth again and is starting to smell the Hawaiian plumeria with less than 600 nautical miles to go. She’ll want to keep an eye on the rear-view mirror as Invisible Hand, a Reichel/Pugh 63 skippered ...

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Landsailing Worlds

15 Jul

German-frog-teamAt Smith Creek Playa, Nevada, the world of landsailing has gathered to play. Some drove in, towing trailers. Some flew in and chartered “boats.” Containers have arrived from far-flung parts of the globe, and a German contingent of nine, the Frog Sails team, shipped their bus to Baltimore, then took off across the country, cooking in parking lots along the way. Here is team captain Kai-Uwe Ilts barbecuing for the team in a Wal-Mark parking lot in Pittsburg. Now, that’s how to see America, on the way to the Wild West, at that.

From a slow start in sputtering winds, ...

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Frosty Defender/Challenger Relations in AC?

15 Jul

Stuart Alexander, writing in The Independent, recounts a weekend meeting in Los Angeles between Oracle Racing and the six committed, or would-be committed, challengers for America’s Cup 35. The challengerslaid down a number of peeves.

The lack of an announced venue.

The lack of San Francisco.

The lack of an announced PRO.

The plan to split the venue, possibly between hemispheres.

The absence of (my words) adult supervision of the process, with a deadline for entries mere weeks away and all the above making planning and fundraising harder than they have to be.

Stuart is a consummate veteran of ...

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Pac Cup Away

11 Jul

Point Richmond, CA, July 11, 2014
Today was the fifth and last start for the 2014 Pacific Cup race, so all 56 competitors are on their way. The boats now heading toward Hawaii run the spectrum: Moore 24’s and the Nelson/Marek 92; double-handers and a boats with ten or more crew; first-timers like Shearwater competing with veterans like Sweet Okole and Green Buffalo; amateur sailors and professionals.

The wind conditions for the fleets are looking a little bleak at this time. The high has decided to slide south, dropping all the way down to a latitude even with San Diego ...

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