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YC Tour

HOMECOMING  Oct 29, 19:24


Spirits were running high last night for Stop Three at our "home port" in San Francisco, Golden Gate Yacht Club. So much so that the auction proceeds, benefitting the GGYC Youth Sailing Foundation, topped the large amount raised at Annapolis YC the night before. We were very warmly received by everyone from Commodore and Mrs David Haskins to the GGYC high school sailing team who volunteered for KP -- kitchen patrol -- to help serve the four-course dinner.

As you might expect, each of the Tour Stops has had a different flavor. New York was more about the history and tradition of the Cup, and "What's New for Thirty-Two" (AC 32). Annapolis being the home of Farr Yacht Design and with so many design team members present was, of course, focused on AC research, design and technology.

Last night was about sailing. Not only was Stop Three the first and only time we will have two sailing team members with us on the stage, but GGYC's community-based high school sailing team were present in force. They had a number of very good questions for Eric Doyle (USA) and Rodney Daniel (AUS).

Being a Friday, and our home yacht club, last evening had more of a gala feeling. A newly painted clubhouse, valet parking, plenty of Moet, fancy hors d'oeuvres, immaculate table settings, four-course meal, lively jazz trio, and the many Bay-area friends, colleagues and former colleagues who were present made it a special evening.

It was nice to be "home," and wouldn't GGYC and San Francisco be a nice home for the America's Cup?

Next stop is Wednesday night (2 Nov) at St. Francis YC.

Staff Commodore and AC Liaison Norbert Bajurin welcoming the
130 guests to GGYC with a brief history of the Club, which was
founded in 1939 as the Club Puerto del Oro. No wonder we feel so
at home in Valencia.

Rodney Daniel (left) and Eric Doyle (center) were peppered with
questions, especially from the GGYC high school sailing team. Rodney
and Eric have been sailing since they were pre-teens, and they
emphasized the value of school and college sailing.

Another SRO audience. A number of Bay-area media were also
present, including Jim Doyle of the SF Chronicle. Above on the
right adjusting his camera is Chuck Lantz of the popular
2007AC Forums. Lining the back wall is the GGYC high school sailing

Ingrid Sommer (AUT) and LV's Monica Savini (FRA) admire the new,
limited-edition Girrard-Perregaux watch being produced in honor
of Golden Gate YC as the AC 32 Challenger of Record. We appreci-
ate GP's Stefano Macaluso (SUI) making the long cross-country flight
from Annapolis to be with us again last evening.

Mirko with the auction winners. As at Annapolis YC Thursday
evening, the benefit auction was a huge success. Check out Jane's
story on our main team website for the details. Staff Comm. Ned
Barrett (second from left) looks particularly happy after winning
the 18th man ride.

GGYC Commodore David Haskins kept a close eye on the
proceedings. He was elated with the $13,750 raised for the
Club's junior sailing program -- nearly twice the program's
annual budget.

¡OTRA VEZ!  Oct 29, 17:59


En route BWI-SFO, 0830 PDT Friday

Otra vez is Spanish for "again" or "another time."

Last night at Annapolis YC it was standing room only otra vez. Or in the words of the famously fractured (at least when it came to language) New York Yankees baseball manager Yogi Berra, "deja vu all over again."

Early this morning our team website already had a story posted about last evening's Stop Two. If you have not already looked it is well worth the read. Good work by Jane and the website gang in Munich to get a comprehensive post up quickly.

I think we were all blown away by the success of the auction benefiting the AYC junior sailing program. This year three young sailors representing the club won the Sears Cup, the most prestigious junior sailing prize in the USA. No doubt the junior program is well deserving of the added support.

But last night's real focus was our team's design program. As Annapolis is the hometown of Farr Yacht Design, Mirko (who serves, in effect as our Executive Producer on this Tour) made R&D the centerpiece of Stop Two. Bruce Farr introduced the members of his team, all Annapolis-area residents, who are directly involved with BMWOR's testing and design program. Britt Ward then gave the guests a look inside the process and tools being used by our team to fulfill the technical aspect of that winning AC equation: "gathering and managing the resources that result in fast boats, well sailed, that don't break."

A lot of work goes into these YC Tour "shows." Britt wrote and re-wrote his extensive and in-depth presentation, prepared all the powerpoint slides, and rehearsed it a number of times, including yesterday afternoon's dress rehearsal in front of a "test audience" who were not shy about suggesting a few more last-minute massages to the message. No surprise that it ended up being one of the best insider AC technical presentations in memory, especially for a non-techie crowd.

Jamie Gail (NZL) flew down from his home in Portland, Maine and, like his adopted home state, was a breath of fresh air. Gary had a number of good questions for Jamie, as did the audience during the Q&A, which Jamie handled with ease, engaging directness, and more than a bit of humour. As Jamie is a regular on the sailing team (in the pivotal "pitman" position), we never get him over for the Morning Show on race days in Team Hospitality. Too bad because he is a natural.

Speaking of which, as the sport becomes more professional and there are more such morning shows, club tours, media interviews and the like involving the sailing and design teams, it is interesting to note the change in attitude among those we pull into such sessions and the team in general. It used to be like pulling teeth. But our guys largely get it -- that they have professional responsibilities on and off the water -- and all, especially the fans, appreciate it.

Tonight is Stop Three, our "home port" Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco. The focus will be on the sailing team as both Eric Doyle (USA) and Rodney Daniel (AUS) are joining us on the dias. We are expecting yet another sold-out event.

Otra vez.


Jamie Gale (right) getting a laugh out of Bruce Farr (second from right)
and the rest of us during last night's Q&A. Jamie could probably have a
second career in stand-up comedy.

Mirko presents a BMW ORACLE half-model to AYC Commodore Mike
Meyers in appreciation for AYC's hospitality and support.

Mark McGonigle, left, was the winning bidder on both the Henri
Lloyd jacket and the Girard-Perregaux team watch. With Mark is
GP's Stefano Macaluso (SUI).

Good to see so many young faces last evening. Design team
members Mat Bird (team shirt, left) and Bryan Baker (team shirt,
right) with AYC friends Bill Cook (left), Mike Jones (center) and
Bryan's fiance, Kristin (right).