Kimball Livingston

Korea Advances, China Cocoons

19 Jun

Posting a $200,000 performance bond is no guarantee that Team Korea will be on the starting line of the Louis Vuitton Cup with an AC72 catamaran, but post they did this week, and they say they intend to be exactly that — on the starting line for the Americas Cup challenger eliminations when racing starts on July 5, 2013.

Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

China Team, meanwhile, will be a no-show in Newport for AC World Series racing this month and is iffy for San Francisco in August. China Team is perhaps retreating to become a junior team, with all-Chinese sailors, ...

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Not Exactly Black and White

11 Jun

oooKAY. Today I got a press release on behalf of the African Diaspora Maritime regarding its legal action against the Golden Gate Yacht Club, Defender and Trustee of the America’s Cup.

Said press release describes the situation as, “one man’s two-year attempt to integrate the upcoming 34th America’s Cup.”

Which doesn’t go far toward building Charles Kithcart’s case for being a viable organization, not an individual with a few associates and a bug up his tail. But they (, press releasers extraordinaire) said it, not me.

When Martin Luther King marched on Selma, “integrate” and “de-segregate” were functionally the same. ...

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Foiling Across an Ocean: It

3 Jun

“Five corsairs on a dream boat” is Alain Thbault’s description of himself and crew as they prepare for the first-ever transoceanic sailing record attempt on foils.


Los Angeles-Honolulu.

Their 59-foot trimaran, L’Hydroptere DCNS, has never before been far from France, but this flagship of all foilers worldwide holds the absolute speed record over one nautical mile—50.17 knots, 57.7 mph—and for a time it took the 500 meter record away from the kites. There’s nothing else quite like it.

At play in the Med Photo © Francis Demange

The mojo: L’Hydroptere’s in-water foils are angled at 45 degrees, and ...

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First Word from the Atlantic Cup

12 May

Having sailed the Centennial Newport-Bermuda with Joe Harris aboard Gryphon Solo, I am naturally tuned in to the man’s prospects in the Atlantic Cup and a first leg now under way from Charleston to New York. Gryphon Solo was an Open 50, the same that Brad Van Liew sailed to win his first solo race around the world. Gryphon Solo 2 is a Class 40, a manifestation of an attempt to bring more European-style competition to this side of the Atlantic. It also represents, as Joe says, “unfinished business.” He never got the sponsorship for his own race around ...

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30 Apr

There’s more to it, I think, but that quote from reigning world champion Johnny Heineken is not a bad start for explaining why kites are hot.

Heineken continues to dominate the course-racing scene with a combination of raw speed and the tactical smarts developed out of growing up racing dinghies and skiffs. How long can the man stay on top? It’s a young sport. The first course racing championships were held on San Francisco Bay, where the game was developed, and the first Worlds was held in 2009.

On to the Olympics? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Here’s a look ...

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Remembering Loss Living with Sacrifice

22 Apr

Does it say something about sailing or does it say something about journalism that even the New York Times had to look for an Americas Cup tie-in when it reported the tragic deaths of five amateur sailors aboard a keelboat rounding an island at the edge of the Continental Shelf, 27 miles from the nearest point of the planned 2013 Americas Cup course inside San Francisco Bay?

In the last week I have not had a single sailor-conversation that has not turned to the tragedy of losing five souls in the 2012 Farallons Race. For that matter, it came up ...

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The Low Speed Chase Memorial

21 Apr

Here is an updated timetable for Saturday’s memorial to the crew lost aboard
Low Speed Chase:


A detailed link is HERE

All participating boats are asked to turn on running lights
All participants shall wear Personal Floatation Devices

1845 Gather to the southeast of Elephant Rock
1900 – 1930
Tiburon Fire Boat with the USCG will lead procession using their spinning lights; boats should carefully fall in line behind. Boats will proceed in line following the FD boat between Victory and the Protector, Farallones, and may drop ...

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The Farallones

17 Apr

As cruel a lee shore as exists on the planet.

Low Speed Chase comes to an end in the Farallones Race, a fully-crewed contest that had been run without loss of life since 1907.

Photo posted on Facebook by Will Paxton; provenance not identified



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A Boundary Every 90 Seconds

22 Mar

© Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing

That’s the prospect for Louis Vuitton Cup racing and then the America’s Cup, as the competitors imagine it, and that would include Artemis Racing skipper Terry Hutchinson. If I could summarize what the man had to say, on the phone from the Artemis base in Valencia, it would go:

It’s not what you got, it’s what you can use.

Terry posed the question, “How do we maximize the talents of Juan K and the rest of the design team but keep things reasonable when you’re going to be running into a ...

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A View of Peskin Point

28 Feb

You know how, sometimes, you’d rather be wrong?

I seem to remember writing, If lead negotiator Stephen Barclay and his Americas Cup cohorts were a trifle nave regarding San Francisco politics when they first blew into town, trumpeting the splendors to come, an 11th hour lawsuit filed last week by former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and still-local chairman of the Democratic Party Aaron Peskin should complete their education. This is a blood sport, and you dont have to be certifiably sane to play.

I remain on-message. The Americas Cup is going to be fine.

Unfortunately, if ...

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