Friday, May 17, 2013

San Fran SUP Downwinder & Artemis Racing

Sean Morley & I got out recently for a nice downwind crossing of San Francisco Bay from Horseshoe Cove, beneath the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, to Berkeley.  We had to get an early start in order to be back in time for other responsibilities, which meant we were a bit too early for the wind.  But, no worries, the wind made an appearance halfway into the trip just as we were getting near Point Blunt.  The tide was flooding and assisted us to that point rather quickly.   

Sean in his P&H Cetus MV, myself on a Naish Glide 17'

Just as we crossed Point Blunt on the southern tip of Angel Island, we halted to allow the Artemis, the Swedish entry into this summers America's Cup, tear past us with amazing speed and sound.  They were out training on the AC72 with four safety boats in chase.  It was a perfect training day with clear skies and wind growing steadily from the WSW to about 20 knots by 12:30pm.  It was incredible to witness one of these cup yachts so close and going so fast.  It creaked like no other sailboat I'd ever heard and sounded quite 'tuned' for speed.  As we were crossing the tidal flow making our way from Angel Island to the Berkeley pier, it crossed about 300' in front of us, so close the chase boats had to split and travel on either side of Sean & I.  

Team Artemis

Team Artemis
Little did we know that not 30 minutes after that, the Artemis capsized, leaving one crew member trapped underneath the wreckage resulting in his loss.  Such a fun day for us and a horrific day for Team Artemis and the sailing community.  Days later, after hearing that the capsize was a result of equipment failure and not over-pushing the boat, I can still hear the creaking and moaning of the boat as it flew past us. 

Team Artemis capsized on SF Bay.  (photo AP/Noah Berger)

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