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Allianz Cup

Allianz Cup: Human Interest Sidebar  Nov 6, 17:04

The Allianz Cup is still generating nice ink. From today's Vallejo (California) Times-Herald, a story about umpire and sailing coach Susan Arms....

Cal Maritime instructor is crazy about sailing, from racing to umpiring
By ROBERT MCCOCKRAN, Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched:11/06/2006 06:35:48 AM PST

Susan "Charlie" Arms loves sailing. The director of sailing and varsity offshore sailing coach at California Maritime Academy was with her team this past weekend in Annapolis, racing in the Intercollegiate Offshore Championships.

She has plenty of experience in competitive sailing, and is world ranked in match competitions. Last month, she umpired at the Allianz Cup presented by Oracle, the only U.S. event on the World Match Race Tour.

Arms, 42, of Vallejo, said the umpiring team consisted of an international group, many of whom judge at the America's Cup.

"I got into umpiring, which is the on-the-water judging of events, because as a match racer, who was getting umpired, I kind of wanted to know what are the umpires looking at (and) what's happening in their realm," Arms said.

Full story

What the story did not say, was how tough the event was for the umpires -- given four days of light, fluky air, cross currents, and very close competition. I do not have the actual ump call/penalty statistics, but suffice to say there were plenty of calls. After the event most of the racers I spoke to thought that the international ump team led by David Tallis (AUS, also a member of the AC 32 ump team) did a commendable job. Overall, certainly that was our view from the commentary booth.

Member of the Allianz Cup umpiring squad, Susan "Charlie" Arms aboard one of the St Francis YC junior sailing whalers that were pressed into service as umpire boats last week. During that event Susan was also blogged here on the BOB, albeit the back of her head, in this story.

Nice Ink: Allianz Cup Competitor Commentary  Nov 2, 06:16

From Scuttlebutt (USA) this morning....

(November 1, 2006) Brian Angel is a twenty-something year old Californian, scrapping anyway he can for invites to match race events. 2006 has proved to be a busy year for his team, where they competed in match race events such as the Congressional Cup (CA), Knickerbocker Cup (NY), Prince of Wales (TX), Nations Cup (Ireland), Antibes Cup (France), Match Race Lugano (Switzerland), Bermuda Gold Cup and Allianz Cup. The Scuttlebutt publisher met up with Brian in San Francisco last week, and here he submits his comments on the recently concluded Allianz Cup in San Francisco, CA.

"I've had a few people ask my why this event was so special.

"I first tell them how important it was for sailing, and for match racing in the US, to have a major media event on our turf. I tell them that this can be a launching pad for other match racing events all over the country, as well as proof that sailing can be a spectator sport. It gives sailors hope that they won't have to travel all the way across oceans to find top match race regattas, and it gives promise to sailors like myself, seeking sponsors to support their sailing campaigns. People do enjoy watching this sport, and sponsors can see a return on their money. Can you believe that there were hundreds, maybe thousands, of people at St. Francis Yacht Club watching the racing last week? Then consider all the viewers watching over the Internet on What a revolution that was! I had friends all over the world telling me how great the coverage was!"

Full story

Photo courtesy of Chuck Lantz.

Allianz Cup: Epilogue  Oct 30, 13:24

“It’s quite astonishing at how good they are at what they do. It was an honor to be out and race amongst them. It is not often we see this caliber of sailing on San Francisco Bay.” --Larry Ellison, at the Allianz Cup post-race press conference Friday evening.

"Full marks for the gang from Live streaming broadcast from the Allianz Cup on the internet, FREE, all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday as part of their 24 hour sailing network. Shot with multiple cameras, it was tied to the audio commentary by Tom Ehman, Gary Jobson and others. For someone who's dabbled a bit in Premiere and Final Cut Pro it was humbling to see the rather jaw-dropping technology and editing prowess on display. I was fortunate enough to share an office with the boys, mostly so I could tag onto their bandwidth. On demand broadband channels are the future, blurring the line between the internet and television. 'Convergence' at last. They're clearly onto something here." --David McCreary, editor of Scuttlebutt Europe, and webmaster this week for the Allianz Cup website.

"I left my heart...."

Sunday: Fifth and Final Day  Oct 29, 16:10

Sorry to see Dicko & Co get knocked out in the quarterfinals yesterday, but it was a great day of close, hard racing among the world's best match racers. Highly entertaining, and a superb exhibition of skillful tactics and boathandling by all.

Full marks, too, to the Allianz and Oracle who, through the good efforts of the WMRT and Scott MacLeod's team, as well as host St. Francis YC, are putting on one hell of a good event.

Again today you can follow the finals live on or at the Allianz Cup site where Dave McCreary is live blogging the action with updates several times per hour.

If my voice holds out, will again today be hosting the race commentary for the shoreside spectators and the Sail.TV webcast along with Geordie Shaver (USA).

Best news, perhaps, is that the four days of high pressure that has given us cloudless skies and unusually warm temps (high 70s) but light, fickle northerly winds has given way overnight to cool temps and strong westerly breezes. So not only did the clocks "fall back" in the USA and Europe last night, it would appear fall weather has arrived, at least here today in San Francisco.

Each day begins with a briefing attended by all teams and officials conducted by WMRT president Scott MacLeod and StFYC race officer John Craig.

Jan Carendi, Allianz board member for North America and CEO of Fireman's Fund, was in constant demand by the media. Here he is being interviewed aboard the replica yacht America before Saturday's racing.

Keeping an eye on things on the docks Saturday morning, the guys who deserve high marks for pulling the Allianz Cup together -- BMWOR marketing director Mirko Groeschner (GER) and WMRT President Scott MacLeod (USA/GBR).

Also seen on the docks Saturday morning, the irrepressible Bobby Greiser (USA, San Diego), one of the official snappers for the Allianz Cup (find his photos under the "Gallery" tab at We've blogged him once already this week, but Saturday he was more colorful than ever.

After all was said and done yesterday, last evening GGYC staff commodore Norbert Bajurin invited Larry, Dicko, their crews and the rest of us involved with BMWOR for a quiet drink at our "home club." Good times, and much appreciated by all of us. Most of the gang heads back to Valencia Sunday evening where training and testing in the Cup boats continues.

Good Point...  Oct 28, 16:47 Jane Eagleson's story over on our main team website today:

Dickson and his crew of Kazuhiko Sofuku, Jann Neergaard, Zach Hurst and Paul Westlake will face the challenge of not having raced for two days, while Baird and his team had three races yesterday and four races on Thursday in group B.

SF Chronicle: the "Elite Eight"  Oct 28, 16:15

From this morning's San Francisco Chronicle:

Elite eight sail in Allianz Cup today
- Jim Doyle
Saturday, October 28, 2006

Eight pro skippers made it to the quarterfinals of the Allianz Cup on Friday, after sailing the regatta's preliminary rounds in light winds on San Francisco Bay. The eight face off today in a series of best-of-five match races.

The quarterfinal pairings are Ian Williams of Great Britain vs. Peter Gilmour of Australia; Ben Ainslie of Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Paolo Cian of Team Shosholoza; Peter Holmberg of the Alinghi team vs. Jesper Bank of United Internet Team Germany; Chris Dickson of the BMW Oracle syndicate vs. Ed Baird of Alinghi.

The touring pros are competing for a $100,000 purse in J/105s, a 35-footer. Each one-design boat has a five-man crew. Each race lasts about 15 to 20 minutes.

Earlier in the day, the 16 teams -- which included eight America's Cup skippers -- finished their preliminary rounds. Billionaire Larry Ellison snagged two wins in the round robin, but was eliminated from the event with a 2-5 record.

The regatta, which runs through Sunday, is being sailed off the Marina Green and Crissy Field. Winds permitting, races will begin as early as 10 a.m.

Larry Ellison, with the red Oracle-branded kite, leads Brian Angel to the finish line of their match in Flight 7 for his second win in the Allianz Cup. (Allianz Cup/Bob Grieser photo)

"Live, from San Francisco Bay...."  Oct 28, 10:19

AllianzOracle1Friday's Allianz Cup racing was streamed live on the internet on Sail.TV ( This was not the first time for a WMRT event, but we are told reliably that it was the first-ever live airing -- internet or otherwise -- of a yacht racing event from San Francisco Bay.

And a glorious day it was! Close racing, light but reasonably steady breeze, that wonderful SF Bay vista, a nice crowd of spectators shoreside, and a number of spectator boats including the stunning replica of the schooner yacht America that started it all in 1851.

Saturday the quarter-finals begin at 1000 and will continue into the afternoon -- a tennis-ladder (head-to-head racing) of four pairs, including our own Chris Dickson & Co. racing against Alinghi's Ed Baird. First in each pair to win three matches will advance to the semis, slated to begin Saturday afternoon. The finals and consolation are on Sunday, also first to win three matches.

Follow all the action live on from roughly 1000-1800 Pacific Time on Saturday; 1000 to 1500 on Sunday. Western Europe is nine hours ahead of San Francisco, so your starting time is 1900 (7pm) both days. Kiwis in New Zealand will have to figure out the time, as Saturday night here in the USA we go off Daylight Savings (Summer) Time -- and I am not sure if New Zealand is, or will be, 19, 20 or 21 hours ahead of San Francisco.

"Live from San Francisco Bay, it's the 2006 Allianz Cup presented by Oracle."

P.S. Below is a quick preview of what you can expect to see -- this video clip is from Day 2 (Thursday).

And there is a video clip with the full story of Friday's action over on the always-informative Valencia Sailing site run by Pierre Orphanidis. Even more audio and video coverage on the WMRT site.

Happy as Larry  Oct 28, 10:10

Larry Ellison is in close quarters with Cameron Dunn (NZL, and helmsman of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team's AC challenger) during a pre-start, but he avoided a penalty and won the match. After a slow start yesterday, Larry won two of this three matches today. (Allianz Cup/Bob Grieser photo)

At tonight's Group B press conference, Larry said rarely if ever in his life had he been happy with a sixth place finish, but in this case he could not help but be given the quality of the competition he faced in the Allianz Cup yesterday and today.

Allianz Cup Photo Op  Oct 28, 09:49

This (Friday) evening our search engines have picked up this photo, taken at the St Francis YC during a break in the Allianz Cup action today, being distributed via the Associated Press ("AP") and now appearing in newspapers around the world with the caption below. Of course, the caption is not 100% accurate inasmuch as that is not the original America, but one of two replicas in existance today, this one built in 1995 and belonging to Troy Sears of San Diego. Allianz Corp. brought it up to San Francisco to be used as a special, and spectacular spectator boat during this week's Allianz Cup.

AP - Fri Oct 27, 5:32 PM ET America's Cup helmsmen, aboard the schooner AMERICA, the winning yacht of the first America's Cup race in 1851 on Friday, Oct. 27, 2006, San Francisco, Calif. Chris Dickson, front row, right, is skipper of BMW ORACLE Racing, the sole USA entry for the 32nd America's Cup, the oldest trophy in sport, in Valencia, Spain in June 2007. The skippers are racing in San Francisco at the Allianz Cup, the only US stop on the World Match Racing Tour. (back row from left: Cameron Dunn, Jesper Bank, Paolo Cian, Ben Ainslie, Ed Baird; front row from left: Peter Holmberg, Chris Dickson) (Feature Photo Service)

Faces in the Allianz Cup Crowd  Oct 27, 16:35

Each day begins with a skippers' briefing at 0900 conducted by WMRT President Scott MacLeod and attended by the teams competing that day plus regatta officials. Photos: TFE.

St Francis YC stalwart and Cup vet (Constellation, 1964) Dick Enersen, in charge of spectator control for the Allianz Cup same as he was for both the Moet Cup (San Francisco, 2003) and the UBS Trophy (Newport, 2004).

PRO ("Principal Race Officer") John Craig addressing the teams, backed up by an unusually solemn-looking Jaren Leet, StFYC Rear Commodore and a J105 sailor who has done a great job pulling together the boats (privately owned by StFYC members) for this regatta.

Two of Larry's crew, bowman Brad Webb (NZL) and tactician Gavin Brady (NZL), in attendance at yesterday's skippers' briefing.

Oracle Corp's Karen Webb (USA), who doubles as a member of our marketing team, along with one of her bosses, Mirko "Herr Direktor" Groeschner (GER), head of BMWOR marketing. Karen is married to one of the gentlemen in the previous picture.

Old friend and veteran AC photographer Bob Greiser (San Diego), covering the regatta for Allianz this week and, as always, sartorially resplendent. Not being up on things American I just had to ask -- the shoes are called "Crocs" and are said to be the current hot thing for those who venture in or near the water. A croc of what did you say?

Following the skippers' briefing the umpires meet to review calls from the day before and run through interesting or difficult right-of-way scenarios. That's Chief Umpire David Tallis (AUS) leading the whiteboard session.

Looking southeast from just outside the GG Bridge yesterday at about 1230, aboard the San Francisco Spirit with 400 or so VIP guests of Oracle Corp. The low building on the water, center, is host St Francis Yacht Club in front of which Allianz Cup racing is conducted. GGYC is just a bit further to the left. Yesterday the start of racing was delayed until nearly 1400 due to light winds, and to allow all to see the spectacular Oracle airshow at 1300 that featured one of the world's top acrobatic pilots, Sean Tucker. The show will be repated today at 1300, weather permitting over these same waters.

There are a heap of good photos by Bobby G (and others) of yesterday's air show and the suprisingly close (given the relatively light air and strong current) racing at the Allianz Cup site. Also check out the nice photos by Cup connoisseur Chuck Lanz of the 2007AC Forums.