Archive for the ‘vessels’ Category

Is Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team STILL Cheating in the America’s Cup? Isn’t Matt Mitchell “Excluded” from “Sailing” Per the Jury?

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

[UPDATE: Joe Eskenazi of SF Weekly has the story. Mitchell being on the boat when it's not "competing" in a race is kosher, per Russell Coutts and International Jury member Bryan Willis. A mystery solved.]

Boy, we’re deep into Bill Clinton-land, it-depends-on-what-the-meaning-of-the-word-”is”- is-ville now.

Is this Matthew Mitchell, who was officially “excluded from sailing on a Yacht competing in the Match for the 34th Americas Cup until 4 races have been completed,” sailing on a Yacht competing in the Match for the 34th Americas Cup before 4 races have been completed?

It sure looks that way to some people, as Mitchell (or somebody wearing his gear) is shown here aboard after Oracle started losing yesterday

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Oh well.

Actual Sailors Weigh In on Christopher Caen’s Bizarre Attack on the Respected America’s Cup International Jury

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Well, I guess you have to start off with this:

Cup of Caen: Follow the Money

So that’s what I’m calling a Bizarre Attack on the Respected America’s Cup International Jury.*

(Speaking of our ill-starred America’s Cup, here’s the latest estimate on how much money we’re going to lose on it, from SF Weekly’s Joe Eskenazi.)

Of course, all the jurors are Sailors.

Is Chris Caen, son of Famous Writer Herb Caen, a Sailor? I don’t know. He sailed a bit in colledge and probably some since, but IDK.

Am I a Sailor? Nope, but oddly enough, I have more experience sailing cats around San Francisco Bay (even if you throw in his recent quid pro quo joyride on an overly-expensive, overpowered and fragile “AC72″ boat, which I don’t).

Oh, but here are some Sailors, and here’s their reaction to what you can find in the link above:

“ISAF’s been shoved in the background over a few AC cycles now. Caen’s premise is way off base. If ISAF wanted to ‘get back at’ or ‘discredit’ the EA, they’ve had a couple of cup cycles to do so.”

“Wow! That really IS tinfoil hat material, isn’t it?”

“Of course the ISAF’s trying to elbow the ACEA out of the picture for the money. Yes, “follow the money!” Starting with the millions San Francisco taxpayers sunk into this unlucrative venture, the tens of thousands the ACEA is spending on unpopulated spectator facilities, etc, etc. Oh, and those fat broadcast contracts? Anyone else notice that the principal sponsor for the U.S. LVC coverage was ORACLE?”

“Yes, he is way, way off the mark on this one.”

I don’t know if Caen is just stupid, lazy, or deceitful, but that article is so full of fallacies and false pretense that it is embarrassing.  He mentions the Oneworld scandal of stolen design information, but then says points have never been taken away from boats in the AC in this way (Oneworld was penalized one point exactly in the same way Oracle has been penalized – two points in each round they would have gotten to including the AC…the fact they didn’t get to the AC is irrelevant as the penalty was there).  He claims ACEA is a new way of managing the cup, but it follows very similarly to the model set forth by Alinghi with ACM.”

“What a ridiculous article. All you need to do is look at the IJ members and their past to know that these are not ISAF lackeys. Guys like Bryan Willis have been involved with the AC for years and years and are not part of the whole ISAF scene. The article couldn’t be further from the truth and is a rather pathetic piece of journalism.”

With sloppy journalism like this, I suspect he could have easily been “fed the story” by someone else with an agenda. Journalism around the world aint what it used to be.”

“…conversant with things like ISAF, AC protocols, the IJ, the ACRM and the ACEA, yet he wrote as though he had a really good handle on things. He clearly did not. HuffPost should be straightened out on that fact, but not by me. Mr Caen should clearly be educated before he passes out more incorrect ,critical, information/disinformation.”

“Quite. It’s a very silly piece indeed. The assumption that it is the IJ that wanted confidentiality is risible and the conflation of the IJ with ISAF is either ignorant or mischievous. Oh and it’s not “respected mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder”. I’m afraid it is “formerly respected mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder.”

“My general feeling is I don’t expect the average person let alone viewer to have an intimate understanding of the history of the Cup, but then I also don’t expect them to write an opinion piece on the subject either.  If you are going to write such and article, and portray an opinion such as his, then you damn well better check your facts.  He had some clue as to the Oneworld case as he mentions it as a past transgression, but didn’t bother to do the research to determine what the penalty was.  My point is we shouldn’t respect an opinion that is so ill informed as the basis of his opinion is wrong.  You can’t come to an informed opinion if you are not informed.”

“I replied to his twitter link to the article yesterday that he should check his facts with regard to the OneWorld case and a similar penalty which was retweeted by the SFCitizen, but have not received a response.  I would think a respectable journalist would want to make a correction if he was ill informed.  I am not a professional journalist, but have written a few articles for sailing mags (and won two marine writers awards for them) and if I made a mistake, especially one that was important to my conclusions, I would certainly do everything in my power to correct that.”

The jury is an ACEA body hired by GGYC and Oracle in conjunction with their challenger of record/poodle and now you say they are ISAF? I hope ISAF (the real ISAF jury) goes ahead and penalize all of the perpetrators even further so that there is NO mistake who is who.”

Oh, and here’s “Bob303,” who may or may not be a Sailor:

“The penalty only doesn’t make sense if you seek a lack of sense. Oracle created the situation by which they have been penalised when they wrote the protocol for this cup cycle. It is entirely their own doing.

Their efforts to intertwine the America’s Cup World Series (AC45s) and the America’s Cup (AC72s) to attract more sponsors/viewer, plus making it a requirement for entry to the AC that teams field at least one boat in the AC45 series, clearly joined the two at the hip. That was a specific intention of the protocol they wrote. It ensured all teams conducted themselves in a sporting manner throughout the cup cycle and couldn’t get away with stuff which attracted bad PR (or worse, cheating) in the ACWS and then just say “different series guys.”

Similarly, there HAVE been instances of teams being docked points for future round in the America’s Cup. In Valencia 2007 a One World team-member was found in possession of property of Team NZ property. They were docked a point for every stage of the round robin series (3 points in all) before they even started racing.

Just saying this since the writer took a position which ignored salient details which didn’t suit the story narrative. Coutts & Oracle didn’t attempt the “different series” defence line because they knew how ironic it would haven been to attempt that given they wrote the protocol that has now seen them pinged for clear cheating according to the Jury.”

And here’s a simple lament: “Oh please.

Yep.

*Here they are, the International Jury. Remember to “follow the money” if that makes any kind of sense.

David Tillett (Australia) Chairman
A lawyer in Australia, David has been an International Judge for over 20
years and was the Chairman of the ISAF Racing Rules Committee from
2000 until 2012. He is presently a member of the ISAF Council and ISAF
Constitution Committee. He has been a juror at the 31st, 32nd and 33rd
America’s Cups as well as an Umpire at the 28th and
29th America’s Cups. He has been a Jury Member at five Olympic Games, and
Chairman in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

John Doerr (Great Britain)
A graduate Mechanical Engineer specialising in project management
and management development for the petrochemical and construction
industries. John was a dinghy World Champion in 1978 and Olympic
trialist in the Finn class in 1980 and 1984. He has been an International
Judge since 1987 and an International Umpire since 1990. He is a past
Chairman of the ISAF Race Officials Committee and currently a member of the ISAF
Racing Rules and Race Officials Committees. John was Jury Chairman and Chief
Umpire for the 29th America’s Cup and a Jury Member for the 33rd America’s Cup. He
has served on the International Jury at the last five Olympic Games.

Josje Hofland (The Netherlands)
Josje has a ‘Doctoraal’ degree in English Literature and Linguistics. She
has been an International Judge since 1992 and was an International
Umpire between 1992 and 2000. She is a past Chairman of ISAF Judges
and Umpires sub-committees and past member of the Racing Rules and
Race Officials Committee. She was a Jury member
in the 29th and 33rd America’s Cup. For the 29th America’s Cup she filled the role of
Chief Umpire in the Challenger Finals and Deputy Chief Umpire in the America’s Cup
Match. Josje has also been a member of the Jury in four Olympic Games.

Graham McKenzie (New Zealand)
Graham is a Barrister at Law and a Solicitor in New Zealand and has
extensive experience as a commercial lawyer. He holds a Masters of
Law degree from Warwick University, England and is a Notary Public. He
is a Director of companies listed on the stock exchange and unlisted
companies in the hotel, aviation and finance sector businesses. Graham
is a competing sailor in keelboats. He is a member of the ISAF
Constitution Committee. He was a member of the combined Jury and Arbitration
Panel for the 32nd America’s Cup & and member of the Jury for the 33rd America’s
Cup.

Bryan Willis (Great Britain but lives in Malaysia)
A Marine Arbitrator and a past Magistrate (judge) in the lower criminal
court in Great Britain, Bryan has been an International Umpire, and an
International judge since 1976. He was an integral member of the ISAF
Racing Rules Committee for 20 years, and has chaired the Race
Officials Committee and Race Management sub-committees. Bryan
was a Jury member and Chief Umpire in the 28th America’s Cup, Chairman of the
Jury and Chief Umpire in the 30th and 31st America’s Cups, Chairman of the
combined Jury and Arbitration Panel for the 32nd America’s Cup and member of the
Jury for the 33rd America’s Cup. He was a Jury member for the 1992 and 1996
Olympic Games and Jury Chairman of the 2000 Olympic Games and three Volvo
Ocean Races.

Island/ Blimp/ Boat – 2000/ 10/ 1000 Souls Aboard – Belvedere/ “Despicable Me 2″ Airship/ Pacific Princess

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Tony Belvedere is on your left, and there’s the DreamWorks “Despicable Me 2″ blimp, and then there’s Pacific Princess steaming away towards the Golden Gate Bridge.

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MS Pacific Princess is a cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises and operated by Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia. She was built in 1999 by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. NazaireFrance as MS R Three for Renaissance Cruises.

Here’s What the Artemis Racing AC72 America’s Cup Yacht Looked Like Getting Hauled Out – Folded Up “Like a Taco Shell”

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

You can see  a little bit of the port hull and also the places where it ripped away:

Hauling out Artemis AC72 by Turtle Moon World

From the Newcastle Herald:

‘Nathan told me [the turn] didn’t seem any different to any other occasion,’’ Mr Outteridge said.

‘‘The bow dug in a little bit but he said that’s not unusual.

‘‘The next thing he heard a cracking noise and the boat went on its side.

‘‘Before it capsized it snapped in half, Nathan described it as folding like a taco shell.’’

And:

“A quick head count revealed one member of the crew was missing – Andrew Simpson – triggering a desperate search.

The British two-time Olympic gold medallist was trapped underwater, wedged underneath ‘‘a few tonnes’’ of carbon fibre, frantically trying to free himself.

His crew members could see him, fighting for his life and dived beneath the water to try to set him free.

They  handed the man they called ‘‘Bart’’ emergency oxygen bottles – which hold about 10 breaths each – in a bid to keep him alive in the hope rescue crews would arrive in time.

Just Look at How Tall the Artemis Racing AC72 Boat Was – Would Canceling the America’s Cup be a Good Idea?

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Larry Ellison knows that the AC72 standard is too large for the 2013 America’s Cup, yet on we go.

Perhaps, under the circumstances, the teams could all use the AC45 design this go-around?

As she looked last year, before the wreck of May 9, 2013 near Treasure Island: 

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San Francisco’s Connection to the North Korean Crisis: Pier 80, USS Tripoli, and THAAD Ballistic Missile Defense

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

1. Here’s the news of the day:

Anti-missile systems sent to Guam to counter North Korean threat

2. Those systems are called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

3. THAAD was developed using the former USS Tripoli (LPH-10), an Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship that’s basically a mini aircraft carrier.

4. The USS Tripoli was based at Pier 80 in Dogpatch as recently as last year and it’s still there right now, for all I know.

That’s the connection.

That’s San Francisco’s contribution to the war effort.

(And, just saying, THAAD could come in handy when dealing with NK’s big buddy China…)

All the deets:

“She was decommissioned in 1995 and as of 2004, she was on loan to the Army, but remained laid up at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. In December 2006, the ship was towed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where it now has a high-tech role as a launch platform with the nation’s developing ballistic missile defense program. Three times the ship was towed some 100 miles off shore and used to launch small ballistic missiles, which are then intercepted by Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Missiles, test-fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The last test in the series was performed 26 October, when the ship fired a “Scud-like” missile, which was successfully intercepted. The ship will be towed back to the San Francisco Bay Area for the winter. Kaua’i lacks a suitable land-based launch site, and the costs of building one would far exceed the approximately $600,000 per year it costs to use the old warship, so the vessel returned to Pearl Harbor for a second series of tests in late spring 2008.[1] As of 16 June 2012 she berthed at Pier 80 in San Francisco, CA.”

From 2008:

Well, look what just got towed in from Hawaii. Fresh from testing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, San Francisco’s favorite former helicopter carrier, the former U.S.S. Tripoli (LPH-10), had its ups and downs in the Aloha State.

Read all about the post-retirement adventures of the USS Tripoli at Telstar Logistics.

Under the Golden Gate Bridge:

Who knows what the future will be for this old ship. Probably more missile launching.

And from 2010:

Now I could tell you all about the supr sekrt USS Tripoli (LPH-10 (Landing Platform, Helicopter)) but that would be MUY PRO HI BI DA DO (I say that in Spanish because that’s how not allowed it would be).

Suffice to say the old girl has been chilling in the Dogpatch lately, right next to ridiculously hilly Potrero Hill. See?

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Where, oh where, will it get towed to next?

What, oh what, will it next launch into the Heav’ns Above?

Courage.

The Trip as seen off of Kauai in the 808 State (or somewhere else in the wide Pacific) during the sum, sum, summertime. Whoosh:

E komo mai. Nou ka hale, USS Tripoli

Sea Trials for Artemis Racing in San Francisco Bay – Preparing for America’s Cup 2013

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

These AC72 boats are pretty tall, huh?

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San Francisco Invaded by Hovercraft and Helicopters – See and Hear the Action, Courtesy of David Cruz

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Renowned San Francisco photographer David Cruz caught the start of Fleet Week 2012 yesterday over at Ocean Beach.

Check it:

Via David Cruz

And the video:

Get To the Chopper! The West Side of San Francisco to be Invaded by the US Military this Morning

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Or so they say:

“This morning from 10-11 am a large military watercraft will arrive on Ocean Beach. This is part of an exercise and is only a drill.”

“This morning 11am-1pm there will be an exercise w/2 helicopters at Sunset Blvd & Lake Merced Blvd. Noise will be elevated. It’s only a drill”

San Francisco Welcomes South Korean Navy – Gangam Style on Market Street – Shopping at Macy’s

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Here they are:

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[UPDATE: Upon further review, these aren't Chinese naval uniforms after all:

At first I thought they could have been from the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy.

And oh, look what's on the PLAN's to-do list:

See that? In addition to taking over Japanese islands (the Senkakus and others), the neo-Imperial Chinese Navy wants to take over Vietnamese, Malaysian, Filipino, and Bruneian islands as well. And don't forget about Taiwan.

But we're being visited by a South Korean ship so it's all good.]