Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The Torch is Passed
In the news bz, we have a saying, there's always a local angle.
And, there's always a sailing angle.
San Francisco officials hoodwinked a horde of spectators, protesters, and scene-makers by switching the route of the Olympic torch, but the crowds were ample, nonetheless, when they brought the thing right to my home away from home on the San Francisco cityfront.
The sailing angle . . .
And the crowd. I had to hold the camera over my head to take this shot of people holding cameras over their heads . . .
And the torch. Hard to spot, but it's in there. I believe the message is, Don't even think about about messing with this . . .
We had dueling flags . . .
Plenty of opinions . . .
Partisans . . .
And danged if I know. It's San Francisco . . .
BMW Oracle Goes Sailing
Now it's Russell Coutts' turn to try his hand at sailing a Formula 60 tri. Knowing how badly Ed Baird got burned, is he reciting Shepard's prayer?
(don't know Shepard's prayer? you could google it up)
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget
Gitana Gets Her Record
Pacific records have yet to be beaten down hard, so it is no surprise that Lionel Lemonchois and crew aboard the maxi-cat, Gitana 13, were able to claim a new record on the San Francisco-Yokohama route. But that is not to belittle the gutsy seamanship involved. The boat covered 5,616 miles through the water at an average of 21 knots, and it was kicked around by one weather system after another. Top speed burst was 39.7 knots, and the best day's run covered 612 miles. Normal sailing for these guys, but not for the rest of us mortals. At 11 days, 12 minutes, they took a big bite out of the old record of 14 days, 22 hours.
New to the crew was Around Alone veteran Kojiro Shiraishi, who was hired to help scout the tricky final approach to Japan. Before he left San Francisco, however, Shiraishi made a pilgrimage to the museum at the Maritime Historical Parkclosed for renovation, but opened for himand the 19-foot Mermaid that Kenichi Horie solo-sailed from Japan to San Francisco in 1962 in 94 days. That epic voyage is etched into the minds of Japanese sailors. The boat may not look like much, but for a Kojiro Shiraishi, it's like touching the holy grail. Photographer Christian Buhl was his guide, and Christian supplied our pic . . .