Thursday, October 11, 2012

America's Cup World Series - October in San Francisco!

Personal note: I am normal everyday sailing fan who has taken the opportunity to enjoy the America's Cup World Series events which happens to be taking place in my own back yard.

It’s time for my stories of round two of the America’s Cup World Series.  Just as in August, this round was in San Francisco. If can catch my August escapades here, here, and here My summer of cheering on Great Britain is extending its way into autumn. Since catching Ben Ainslie fever, I ordered his book, Close To The Wind from  In less than a week, it was in my hot little hands!  It was a fantastic read filled with loads of Ben’s interesting stories! I enjoyed reading Ben’s tale of U.S. television coverage (Lack thereof) of other countries in the Olympics. (Made me feel a little better about my Stalking-him-to-get-his-autograph-because-we-were-screwed-on-television-coverage-since-he-experienced it-himself).  There are a lot of other great stories, but you should buy the book and read it yourself. Since I had so much fun rooting for him in August, I decided to step up my cheering game. I purchased various sizes of Union Jack Flags to wave.I also got myself a better point and Shoot Canon Camera. Just to be ready for the (post-2013-looking-to-the-future) J.P.Morgan BAR AC72, I did get a super duper heavy weight cotton 3’x5’ (huge) Union Jack Flag (not shown)

On Tuesday October 2, I took BART down to San Francisco to watch the America’s Cup World Series Practice day. After seeing all but one of the boats appear, I was left wondering what happened to my favourite Grey and Union Jack clad boat. My heart sank as the chummy announcers let on that Ben Ainslie was resting up trying to rid himself of a virus.  Oh well, I still enjoyed myself and practicing taking pictures with my new camera.

 We were treated to a few starts and several fleet races! Afterwards, it was time for "Meet the Skippers" presentation.  I call this sequence of photos…..Hands-On-Hips….. Every single Sailor does it for their being-interviewed-pose. They are standing with their arms down by their sides, as soon as they start talking; the hands go straight to the hips!  It’s human nature, but I found it amusing. The other things I found amusing, Jimmy Spithill without his Red Bull Helmet….but instead a Red Bull in his hand!

Phil Roberston-Team China

Matt Mitchell-JP Morgan BAR (Standing in for Ben)

 Nathan Outteridge Artemis

 Russell Coutts-Oracle USA

Dean Barker Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ)

 Loick Peyron - Team Energy (Terry Hutchinson Team Artemis in Red)

Chris Draper-Luna Rossa
Kudos to Chris Draper and being a rebel and putting his hands behind his back!

 Jimmy Spithill-Oracle USA
No Red Bull Helmet, but there is a Red Bull in his hand!

(The one in blue is Peter Burling 21-year old new Skipper for Team Korea)

For the “Meet the Skippers” presentation, Matt Mitchell stepped in for Ben to represent JP Morgan BAR. This actually worked in my favour. When ordering all my flags, I decided to order some small Kiwi (New Zealand) for Matt Mitchell’s sons. I met them cheering on their dad back in August. I saw Matt walking his bike heading towards the stage and I stopped him to give him the two flags! In hind sight, I probably should have gotten them Union Jack Flags instead. If they were to stand there waving the Kiwi Flags, it would look like they were supporting ETNZ. Well, at least they now have a little piece of home with them here in SF!

They put out tables and a bunch of programs for fans, let the children get them first. I actually purchased one....along with more JP Morgan Bar and Emirates Team New Zealand team wear!  After waiting around a bit to let the children get first dibs at the Skippers, I managed to get a few autographs. Which was probably a mistake.....I don't like incomplete jobs.....I now had a new mission.....get the autographs of all of the Skippers. 

That's it for Tuesday....But my adventures continue on Thursday!


ACWS-Thursday Adventures

Personal note: I am normal everyday sailing fan who has taken the opportunity to enjoy the America's Cup World Series events which happens to be taking place in my own back yard. 

I didn't go down on Wednesday for the first day of racing because of work priorities, shame that has to happen ;-) But I was bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for Thursday. This time, it was dad and me going to see some match races, fleet races, and the Blue Angels (Navy flight show Team) do some practice flights.  We had another companion, my brothers Canon EOS10D! Time for some serious photography! and I screwed up the settings my brother had preset for us. So the pictures did not turn out as good as I was hoping.

These first two pictures were taken with my own new camera set in Miniature Mode, It's a setting that blurs the top and bottom of the image to make the middle look small. It makes things look toy like.

We made some new friends while being social with everyone in the crowd. This group we met were in town for OracleWorld convention

A brown pelican taking a dive for dinner.

My coolest picture of one of the Blue Angels

This is a replica of the America. The boat that back in 1851 won a race around the Isle of Wight. There is a lot of history in the Oldest Trophy in International sport. Wikipedia has an abbreviated version. 

In white, Andy Green the British half of the commentating crew.
He did a fantastic interview with Bob Fisher. I am looking forward reading his book The Poison Chalice due out Spring 2013. It's about all the trickery/cheating/sabotage/deceit/unfair play etc of the America's cup. That is another book that we will probably have to buy from! 

First Match race, Artemis White beating Team Korea

Second Match race, Emirates Team New Zealand beating France Team Energy

Start of the first fleet race

JP Morgan BAR crossing the finish line first! (Rule, Britania! Britannia, rule the waves)
It was very exciting to see Ben and the rest of the BAR(on loan from Oracle) team doing so well!

The top skippers for the day appeared on stage. 

Now this is where I get into stupid mode. I am standing close to where Ben comes out into the crowd. He gives me a semi-look of recognition. Probably from his nightmares after my August stalking...Now you think I would be smart and say something like, "Great Job Today Ben, it's wonderful to seeing you and the team improve so much since August" , nooooooo not me.....I handed him my $%^& program for him to sign. After that I stepped back and followed him but snapping pictures are him signing pictures for others. Maybe, just maybe I would bump into them and recognise them in the future.  Which coincidentally happened on Sunday. I ran into the little girl on Sunday outside of the Lexus tent. I recognised her cute little hat. I showed her the picture.  I posted it to Ben's fan page on facebook so she could get a copy of it. 

That's it for Terrific Thursday! Next up is Super Sunday!

October America's Cup World Series-Super Sunday

Personal note: I am normal everyday sailing fan who has taken the opportunity to enjoy the America's Cup World Series events which happens to be taking place in my own back yard. 

I had to suffer and watch Friday and Saturday's sailing on television. (I also had to suffer through a Virginia Tech Hokie's Loss to North Carolina , it's College American Football...ugh) I should not complain, the local NBC network broadcast them live and showed replays! It's a lot easier to see the lead changes on tv, plus you get to see all the close ups and hear the what the crews are saying to each other! 

The America's Cup World Series events have been so successful due amazing efforts and energy to the volunteers and staff! I met Dennis (left) in August and he remembered me! Also being ever so kind, energetic, and helpful was Michael.

This is Nadia and Alex. Alex is from New Zealand. As I said in my August posts, if there wasn't a British Boat in the mix, I'd be cheering for Emirates Team New Zealand. I did purchase an ETNZ t-shirt to wear for next years Louis Vuitton Cup. I have a feeling I'll be making my own Oracle/ Ben Ainslie line to wear during the 2013 Defense Series! 

Trying to make the San Francisco Bay boats and Golden Gate teeny tiny by camera

Harrier Jets

Large to small, F-22 Raptor, F-16, P-51 Mustang


A Sea Lion taking in the Air Show!

The Bay was really crowded with loads of boats!

Love this sequence of JP Morgan BAR rounding one of the marks.

Jimmy Spithill did an amazing job going from last to first during the course of the race. Oracle-Coutts came in second, followed by Artemis White and JP Morgan finished in fourth. 

My post race pictures didn't turn out so well....the camera settings were not the best for the light. So I had to do some editing to even see the people. Being vertically challenged didn't help either!
Third place overall, Artemis White

JP Morgan BAR tied with Oracle Spithill, but since Spithill won that last fleet race, they took first place. In second place, JP Morgan BAR and Ben getting his Medal.

Great job guys!

And in first place, team Oracle Spithill

Now after my autograph debacles in August and on Thursday. I felt a touch guilty of "taking" too much from Mr. Ainslie. I got two official SF Giants mugs from the Giants Dug Out store in Walnut Creek. I paired them with a box of tea from my home store supply. (My lowest inventory level for tea bags is 1000...Living in earthquake country, one needs to be prepared for natural disasters, and this inventory has high turnover due to the rate tea is drunk in my household) I hope the little gift made Ben and his girlfriend a little more at home in San Francisco!

Snagged a picture with Kyle Langford from JP Morgan BAR.

Jimmy Spithill getting interviewed!

Ben Ainslie getting interviewed!

Probably reading all of his congratulatory messages from friends and family!

I saw two cute little white dogs decked out in black Oracle team gear. Well, the owners of the dogs wanted their picture with Ben. I happened to be around so I snapped away! What a good sport!

As for the Autographed-by-all-the-skippers program misson. I got 8 out of the 11. I didn't get Peter from Team Korea, Loick from Energy Team or Iker from Luna Rossa Swordfish. I will probably have to wait for the ACWS 2014 season. Hopefully one of the events will be in San Francisco! 

Well that's it until next summer when the Louis Vuitton Cup and the Defense Series roll into town. I wish all the sailors a great winter training season. Maybe I'll get lucky and see the Oracle AC72 training out on the Bay!
If you want to see more of my pictures, you can visit my facebook photo albums

Since my brother is a professional photographer, I have a genuine appreciation for good photography. The JP Morgan Pictures, taken by Jen Edney,  from the October ACWS that have been posted up on Ben's Facebook Fan Page are amazing! While on little marina green after the racing, I saw a woman decked out in JP Morgan Wet Weather gear. I figured it had to be her and introduced myself! Her shots really capture the energy and action of the sailing!

That's it until next year!
Red Sky at Night, Sailors delight
Red Sky in Morning, Sailors warning!

My own personal winter missions are to take a sailing refresher and focus on my own personal fitness!