I Was There – A Non-Sailor’s Story

Published on October 11th, 2012

When events come to our town, we either run from them to avoid their crowds or our curiosity pulls us toward them. Joe Eskenazi from San Francisco Weekly wanted to see what the AC World Series was all about. Here is his report…

Your humble narrator is no sailor. This was my third time on a sailboat since age 3. And, like that young voyage, this one involved a hefty dose of Dramamine and a subsequent dizzy nap below deck (I was jolted awake whenour small boat rocked like a bathtub toy in the wake of a paddlewheel steamer — a first for me). Another first was being passed like we were standing still by a pair of America’s Cup catamarans.

Most everyone who didn’t flee San Francisco over the weekend can relate to the (Fleet Week) experience of fighter jets, cargo planes, or even a lumbering 747 soaring ominously low overhead. Well, that all happened to those bobbing about the bay, too.

The highlight of the weekend was something you couldn’t have done on dry land. Out on the water, the America’s Cup vessels stand out like basketball players navigating a normal-sized crowd. En route to the starting line, the catamarans sail through the assemblage of weekend boats, which is a nice touch. A pair of racing vessels from the Artemis team approached us. They deftly split, and straddled us, each passing only 15 yards or so from our small boat as they blasted past us toward Marina Green. It’s worth noting that both boats shot past us with perhaps seven times our velocity while riding the same wind and current.

Say what you will about the America’s Cup — and we have, again and again — but this was a fairly breathtaking experience. As for who won the race, no one much cared about that (Apparently, however, it was a good day for the home team). I can’t profess much interest in the outcome of the Indianapolis 500 either, but being straddled by race cars on the way to the stadium would have been notable too. — Read The Whole Story.

TRANSIT: The buses were crowded and the streets were full of revelers, but gridlock did not suffocate San Francisco on a frenzied weekend of big crowds at events spread across the city. Muni managed to haul hundreds of  thousands of extra passengers, and while some buses and streetcars were packed full or moved slowly, the transit agency’s strategy of flooding key lines with extra service seemed to work. “America’s Cup will be a breeze compared to this,” said Jim Kelly, deputy transit director for the Municipal Transportation Agency. Read more.

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