Here we go:
USA76 (which Donald Trump would call “a loser.” Sad!)
They’re all in there. Which do you choose?
See you on the water!
Well here’s the news:
But things turned out deadly, and poorly for San Francisco.
And now, even Chuck Nevius, who saw “no downside” to granting 99-year leases to Larry Ellison, is against the AC.
So that’s good, but there’s always the threat of the 2020 Cup or whatever coming back, right? So let’s check in on how things are going in Bermuda these days:
America’s Cup teams have voted to reduce the size of boats to be sailed in the 2017 regatta in Bermuda, a cost-cutting move that could lead to the two strongest challengers dropping out.
So Larry Ellison gets to have his fun and increase his already-high chances of winning (defenders win 90-something percent of the time, historically) a game where he sets the rules.
And while smaller boats would mean reduced costs and a smaller crew, they could also mean less excitement for spectators. The 48-foot (14.65 meter) catamarans will be the smallest boats in America’s Cup history and aren’t that much bigger than other one-design classes sailed in less-prestigious regattas.
Oh, OK. So what was the deadly accident in 2013* for then? Mmm…
And here’s the purpose:
If Italy and New Zealand drop out, Oracle Team USA would conceivably have an easier shot at retaining the Auld Mug trophy.
Oh, and speaking of Frisco’s 2013 America’s Cup:
Yep. That was our local “Wind God’s” scandal. He wants praise for his management, but he doesn’t want any criticism for his mismanagement, oh well.
And this is what I mean when I say that the America’s Cup isn’t a sport:
America’s Cup czar Russell Coutts, a New Zealander who heads both Oracle Team USA and the America’s Cup Event Authority, has verbally sparred with both the Kiwis and Italians in recent years.
Of course, CWNevius had just moved to town back in aught-ten when he started heedlessly / needlessly waving his pom-poms for what he called a “gigantic, global sporting event.”
But it aint no sport, and it aint gigantic. It’s just a match race betwixt Gentlemen, with the rules made by Larry Ellison, for his amusement.
And then he’ll try to send the bill to us, if we let him.
Anyway, as even Chuck Nevius might admit, in hindsight, you know, after it was too late, the vaunted boats were too big, and the whole thing was too expensive, for us. Let’s hope we never see Lil’ Larry’s boat race ever again…
*I suppose there was an investigation, of sorts. But in other countries where AC teams come from, there would have been charges of omicidio colposo or homicide involontaire, non?
Here you go, here’s the former “Save Stow Lake” website – this is where the “evil” language comes from.
One problem is that old vendor, the entity that the Save Stow Lake people wanted to “save,” charged too much money, starting about five or six years ago. For example, the old vendor would charge $19 per hour for some pretty busted up row boats.
The current rate is back down to $14 per hour:
And this is the cafe seating area, which doesn’t seem to get used too much. (The worry some people had was that this would become a high-end destination restaurant with concomitant traffic and parking hassles.)
Rec and Park has a lot of issues, IMO, and I’m unafraid to criticize it, certainly. But I didn’t see what the big beef was about putting the boat house contract out for bid. And of course, I still don’t.
Well, I guess you have to start off with this:
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.”
*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
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
IMO, this recent statement from Larry Ellison Person Stephan Barclay* is a misstep, but you make the call.
“For example, following the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994, a number of measures were introduced, such as better cockpit protection for the drivers. Grooved tires were introduced in 1998 instead of racing slick tires to reduce cornering speed. Safety measures continued to be introduced into the 21st century, with a number of circuits having their configuration changed to improve driver safety.”
All right, I can understand why the Larry Ellison PR people want to compare America’s Cup 2013 to a popular sport like F1 car racing. Right? Because broadcasters actually pay money for the rights to broadcast F1, you dig. (Compare this with Larry Ellison’s America’s Cup, which needed mucho begging of NBC to agree to broadcast some of the matches for free.)
But mentioning Ayrton Senna is not a good move IMO because, from the beginning, it was investigated as a manslaughter case and, in the end, was determined to be a case of manslaughter.
And, you know, people said the same things about Senna’s sport and Simpson’s sport, about how they are inherently dangerous and whatnot. But that didn’t stop a manslaughter investigation in Senna’s case, now did it?
So where’s our manslaughter investigation?
Oh, just a “review” and let’s carry on? OK fine…
*Or, as CW Nevius spells it, repeatedly, in the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle, Stephen “Barkley.” Hey Neve! How’s that new paywall doing for you? Oh, that badly, huh? Miss all those commenters already? Sure you do!
How would you like to volunteer as a docent helping out with the new-school / old-school E-line on October 6-7, 2012?
First, some background about how busy the 415 will be this weekend:
“Looking at what’s scheduled for that weekend, there might not be room in the city for many more people, much less cars. First, there’s the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park, a three-day event that drew about 800,000 people last year. That Sunday afternoon, the 49ers play the Buffalo Bills at Candlestick Park, while the Giants are hoping for weekend playoff games at AT&T Park, all guaranteed sellouts. About 60,000 people typically attend the Castro Street Fair, scheduled for that Sunday, while thousands more will jam North Beach for the annual Italian Heritage Parade at 12:30 on the same day. A different crowd will probably be at the Burning Man Decompression street fair, also that Sunday afternoon. To add to the fun, two mega cruise ships are expected to dock at Pier 35 over the weekend, disgorging thousands more tourists. Then, of course, there’s Fleet Week, which brings thousands of sailors and as many as a million visitors to the waterfront for the weekend.”
So you’ll be needed to help out all the visitors moving around on the Twin Torpedos, streetcars 1006 and 1008:
“We need several more docents to work the stops along the E-line on October 6 and 7, helping riders find the right platform and providing information about the service. We have docent books prepared by Paul Lucas, so it’s easy to learn what to do. If you’re interested, send us an email and we’ll get back to you.”
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I haven’t heard word one about the long-promised lawsuit what was going to overturn SFGov and re-install the old tenant as the operator.
“The civil lawsuit begins March 2012 and will expose the truth about all the many laws that Rec & Park broke in order to bring in an out-of-state chain, with no boating experience to take over this historic boating recreation site.”
Ah, Stow Lake:
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Oh, and the early reviews are in. And they’re pretty good, those reviews.
Leave us close this chapter of wealthy, white, real-estate-obsessed, dingbat, millionaire homeowner Preservationists vs. the Boathouse at Stow.
I don’t know, when you have like just one member of the public show up at a meeting hosted by Rec and Park, would you call that a successful joint?
This was the scene for last Thursday night’s big PowerPoint presentation. You had people there from the new tenant and the new tenant’s Marin operation and RPD and etc.
Is this low turnout due to the fact that grand battle has already been won by the new tenant, or is it due to the fact that there was zero publicity for this particular meeting,* or maybe a combination of both reasons?
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Anyway, the latest developments at Stow are detailed here by Rachel Gordon.
And oh, the lawsuit against the City from the old tenant should have some activity soon, maybe something is scheduled for Superior Court in March 2012.
And the latest from the absurdly-named Save Stow Lake Coalition has to do with paint with lead in it, which, Gentle Reader, I’m sitting two yards from right now. And, this is true for you too, G.R. You know, ’cause paint with some amount of lead in it is everywhere. Simply everywhere. (If it turns out that this coalition is some long-running anti-NIMBY performance art project, I won’t be surprised…)
Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Enjoy your upcoming rain-free, vernal paddle-boating season, everybody…
*I don’t know, was this meeting posted on the internet anywhere at all? NTMK.
Here’s the word on the street:
“The Recreation and Park Department and Ortega Family Enterprises are hosting a community meeting to discuss the upcoming renovations of the Stow Lake Boathouse. The work will include creating an indoor seating area so that the building is open to the public for the first time, adding an accessible bathroom, upgrading the building systems as well as upgrading the general condition of the building.
Date: January 26, 2012
Location: Hall of Flowers (County Fair Building)”
But, am I getting punk’d here? ‘Cause I can’t find any evidence of this meeting online.
Now, I can find the Save Stow Lake insanity* webpage, right here.
And, I can find the Official Twitter for Stow Lake Boathouse LLC, right here.
But, to review, I can’t find any evidence of this meeting online.
Oh hey, look, it’s Ortega Family Enterprises’ Armand Ortega hisself, at the last big Boathouse meeting (the last one that I know of, anyway) at the Hall of Flowers.**
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*Uh, Ortega Family Enterprises has “boating experience” now, doesn’t it? You might want to change that. And do you want the City and County poking about buildings in your real estate empire looking for paint with lead in it? I’d bet they’d find some. Oh no! And shrillness-wise, you’re giving us a 9. How about giving us a 3 instead? All right, take two, roll film, action.
**Yes, that’s the actual color of the interior of the Hall of Flowers. I call it indescribable green.