When Rick heard that the America’s Cup would be held in the San Francisco Bay he decided he would see it from the water.
When we purchased the sailboat Rick had given himself a deadline that we’d have enough done to be able to be out on the water for the America’s Cup. At the time, the race was a year and a half away, plenty of time! But we barely made it.
Being fed up with the old motor (purchased second hand anyway, screw being frugal) Rick went to the Oakland outboard shop and purchased a branch new 15 horse Mercury kicker motor – called a kicker because it is specifically designed with high torque pushing a heavy boat using a small engine. Hmmm, maybe it should be called a ‘pusher’ instead?
We installed it using all the same hookups as the old Merc had but now it was New and Dependable!
Rick and I took it out sailing a few times to get a feel for the boat, how it handled in chop and how it floundered around when there’s no breeze (give up and motor, already!)
America’s Cup was in September so Rick invited some family members, including his parents to come along with us. Rick’s mom loves sailing and insisted on dragging Dad with her. We headed out. We motored around to the City side of Treasure Island and decided that now was not a good time to try to sail. The crush of boats was incredible. We all had the same idea. Even ski boats were out there trying to catch some of the race. We motored over to the Turn 2 buoy (southeast of Alcatraz Island) … where we puttered around very slowly like every other boat in the crowd, trying to avoid each other while staying in position. Well, most of us tried to avoid the rest of us.
Our best example of a close call was when a 50’ plus sailboat under full sail, UNDER FULL SAIL!, going about 10 knots sailed through the spectator fleet expecting everyone to get out of his way because we are “under power” and he is “sailing”. He missed other boats by maybe 5’ with all the other captains screaming and honking at him as he went by – and he barely looked in our direction! (This happened again when we went out to see the Blue Angels – tons of boats, all motoring at the slowest speed possible, basically staying in one spot’ish and some jerk sails through us. Keep in mind we were hunkered out of the way as close to the sea walls as we could be and he has to be sailing right there…where we are…jerk…)
This is how qualified that guy was to hold a steering wheel in his hand!
Side note: Look how cool the Blue Angels look against the Golden Gate Bridge!
All in all it was great fun to watch those big America’s Cup boats come flying around the Number 2 buoy, staying up on their hydrofoils around the turn going as fast as an offshore power boat. You can see the guys on board leaning into the turn like they’re in a sports car. Wow.
It was one of those once in a lifetime events that we were glad to be able to see in person.
Rick can check off another item on his Bucket List 😉