What did the AC sailors have to say about sailing San Francisco Bay?
The 34th America’s Cup captured the world’s attention with a sailing spectacle that was almost beyond belief. One of the things that made this Cup so magical was the sailing venue of San Francisco Bay. This was not lost on all the America’s Cup sailors. After their ‘Summer of Racing’ on San Francisco Bay we asked some of them for their thoughts on this most spectacular sailing location. They all agreed – it’s the most amazing place to sail.
After winning the 34th America’s Cup we asked Jimmy Spithill what he was going to do next. His reply, ‘boy, I don’t know. The only bummer about winning the America’s Cup is we can’t go sailing tomorrow. Right after we did a bit of a joy ride and told Larry we’re going to take it up to about 45 knots which they did. Larry liked that’
Jimmy Spithill on sailing the Bay: ‘’It’s what Everest is to a rock climber. The Bay is the ultimate challenge for a sailor. Every single day you get pushed. The tides, the currents, the wind, the fact that your in this small little area. It’s a stadium. You could hear the people cheering for us. Who’d have thought this would have happened in sailing.’
Oracle Team USA Strategist Tom Slingsbee: ‘It’s amazing. I’ve sailed every continent in the last 12 years all around the world. Here is such a special mix. One of the hardest mixes. The tidal mixes are so complex. Any young guys trying to get into sailing, here is a perfect place to learn. You’ve got strong winds, light winds, currents and a very tricky place to learn.
Oracle Team US Tactician Ben Ainsle: ‘It’s the most amazing venue. For this type of racing it’s been great. The conditions here are second to none. I’ve also spent a lot of time going to local clubs and I’ve seen the passion for sailing in the area. The Bay Area is a fantastic example for sailing globally. I’ve really enjoyed my time here.’
Oracle Team USA leader Larry Ellison:
‘sailing is great preparation for all aspects of life.’ ‘What I think this regatta means to sailing. I think this regatta was absolutely spectacular. And if a bunch of kids are watching this regatta on television and go out and start racing Lasers then I’m a happy guy. ‘Well, actually in the book the billionaire and mechanic, if the land deal had gone off and we’d gotten the pier what my plan was to build a school/academy where amongst other things, scholarship driven, recruit kids from all over. Part of the academy would be to teach sailing which I think is great preparation for a lot of aspects of life.’
‘My intention is still to build an academy someplace where a key part of the curriculum is sailing in Lasers or maybe Hobie cats.’
Skipper Chris Draper of the Luna Rossa Challenge
‘Sailing on San Francisco city front was one of the most challenging but exciting places to sail. With the tides being so dominant and the wind nearly always from the same direction you would think it would be a fairly simple place to work out but every day is different, there is always another little intricacy that throws itself at you. You would certainly struggle to get bored of racing there everyday. The water smacks you out in the bay, the air is dense and the gusts hit super hard. In contrast, we sailed our Moths over at Alameda where the sun was always out and the breeze was generally a really fun 15-20 knts. We had some amazing sailing in San Francisco, both the city front and the rest of the bay offered something for everyone. I will remember my time there with great memories for ever and look forward to my next event there.’
‘San Francisco Bay was a terrific venue for the 34th America’s Cup Defense. I had a unique position aboard the Race Committee boat, Regardless, throughout the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America’s Cup. I think both San Francisco and the America’s Cup will be well served hosting the 35th event in the near future.’