Posts Tagged ‘Racing’

The Train was Already Full, But Area Cyclist Manages to Squeeze in Anyway

Friday, December 5th, 2014

As seen on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park during RPD’s 85th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event:

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The Mystery of that Big Deadly “80 MPH” Collision at Pine and Gough – Driver Not Talking? – Jennie Z vs. Chris B.

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Well, here’s what David Stevenson @DStevensonKTVU has for us on the recent death of Kevin San:

Zhu’s attorney Alfredo Vea Jr. told KTVU his client is still too distraught to explain to him what happened. “I’ve tried to speak with her three times and all she does is cry,” said Vea. “She’s holding up, [but] mention the young man and she just falls apart.”

Well, gee. You’re able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to get out of jail in a heartbeat, but you’re just not in the mood to even tell your own attorney anything at all?

That’s not too helpful.

Of course, saying nothing is better than taking to the Internet ala Chris Bucchere, but it doesn’t help us understand what went wrong, does it?

“Chris B” ended up with a kind of felony conviction, but no jail time.

What if Jennie Zhu never says anything? Would she get jail time?

Mmmm.

One thing that’s going to have to change is the absurd 80 MPH speed estimate. It’s part of why this case got national attention. I’m sure the SFPD / SFDA can get a better estimate with video, if they can turn up some video. Bucchere’s speeding allegation held up after video analysis, but Zhu’s certainly won’t. Bucchere’s speeding had something to do with his interest in Strava, one assumes. Competition, “racing” as it was labeled. But why on Earth was Zhu going so fast?

The lights on Pine are timed, in a way.  But it’s tough getting across Polk, Van Ness,  Pine, Gough, Octavia, Laguna, Buchanan without hitting some reds these days. Could that be it? She was just trying to get home in a hurry? CalTrans would want to put in a freeway to get drivers to the West Bay all the way out there in the Sunset and the Richmond. Instead, we have congested, stop-and-go Pine and a MUNI system that runs slower than the private transit operators of a century ago.

And the cops just happened to be chasing her and yet her public DMV is clean?

This is quite a mystery…

News from Inside the America’s Cup: SFGov “is very unhappy with the promised financial bonanza being anything but.”

Friday, July 5th, 2013

So let’s hear from America’s Cup 2013 Safety Committee member Jim Farmer, QC [Her Majesty's Counsel learned* in the law]:

The City of San Francisco is very unhappy with the promised financial bonanza being anything but.”

Heretofore, everything that could have gone wrong with the 2013 America’s Cup has gone wrong. All we can do now is hope that no one else dies for the sake of Larry Ellison’s ego.

Oh well.

And is this America’s Cup going to be the last big thing Larry Ellison does before he dies?

Oh well.

So there’s this – it’s the kind of thing called Harsh Reality Time:

“Much of the vision, it is now apparent, has turned to custard.  Larry Ellison’s prediction that there would be a dozen or more challengers (up to 15 perhaps) looks absurd with only 3 challengers making it to the start line and one of them not yet ready to race.   The City of San Francisco is very unhappy with the promised financial bonanza being anything but.  The tragic death of Andrew Simpson when the first (and so far only) Artemis boat disintegrated as it collapsed has cast a pall over the Event from which even the spectacular speed of these boats is unlikely to clear away.

And there’s this:

“One has to hope most earnestly that there is no further disaster.  So far these boats have not yet raced in anger and that has to be the major concern.  Two boats, each sailing at over 40 knots and closing from opposing tacks at a mark at an effective combined speed of 80 knots, is not for the faint-hearted.  Getting crew down safely or out of the water from a boat that has capsized remains a serious challenge even for sailors who are well equipped, fit and trained to deal with that situation as best they can.  Fortunately, sanity prevailed with one of the Regatta Director’s safety recommendations being a prohibition on corporate guests sitting on the back of one of these racing machines.  How crazy was that idea in the first place?”

Oh, and there’s this:

“…it will be economics that will prevent the next edition of the Cup under Ellison’s control being a success.   Three challengers this time.  It is hard to see any of those challengers continuing with the same model of the Event next time.  Yes, there will be others who will be happy to do the A45 thing, as there were this time, but the question will be whether (billionaires aside) more than one or two will be able to go to the next stage – which is the America’s Cup after all.  And even the viability of the AC45 circuit must be uncertain.  The existing model of cities paying all the costs of each mini-event, including the cost of getting the 45s there, just didn’t work this time, with a number of planned events being cancelled because of lack of financial support.”

Anyway, the point is that Appointed Mayor and Willie Brown butt-boy Ed Lee knows that this venture is a big flop, but he’s afraid to say or do anything about it.

Oh well.

Monstrous Big Red, a ticking time bomb that went off a couple months ago:

*Pepe: “Wow, Papa Homer, you are so learn-ed.” Homer: “It’s pronounced “learned.’”

PR Misstep from the America’s Cup People: Comparing Andrew Simpson Death to Famous Manslaughter Case

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

IMO, this recent statement from Larry Ellison Person Stephan Barclay* is a misstep, but you make the call.

Check it:

“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.

Read all about it.

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!

America’s Cup Update: Team New Zealand Protests “Last-Minute Proposals” Favoring Larry Ellison in the “Name of Safety”

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Looks like things aren’t all rosy in Larry Ellison’s already-failed America’s Cup 2013 yacht match.

Let’s hear the news of the day from straight-talking New Zealand nerd Russell Green:

“I cannot help wondering how the All Blacks [New Zealand national rugby union team] would feel arriving at the World Cup in UK in 2015 to find that there were last minute proposals to change basic rules of the game in the name of player’s safety but which in effect favoured the slower stop/start style of the Northern Hemisphere teams?”

Here’s the whole thing:

“Emirates Team New Zealand’s rules advisor Russell Green blogs about moving goal posts and the negotiations ahead.

Last Wednesday was my first day working in San Francisco and we were called to a meeting late in the afternoon by regatta director, Iain Murray, who presented his recommendations from the work of the Review Committee. Present were the key members of the teams, the event authority and Louis Vuitton.

Iain Murray, who distributed the report and then worked through the document explaining all the relevant points, looked tired. It was clear there had been some long hours worked by Review Committee in the previous six days, an amazing job in such a short time.

The teams, especially Artemis, had various questions but there was little time to digest the information as former Oracle Racing COO Stephen Barclay, who now heads the Event Authority (ACEA), revealed the document had already been made public. It was straight back to the base for Grant Dalton to talk to the team about the content and how we would deal with the upcoming work which, inevitably, be required.

It is daunting to arrive at the venue after years of planning to find the “goalposts moving” so late in the campaign, long after design decisions have been made based on the anticipated windy conditions in San Francisco.

Yet another challenge for the team. I cannot help wondering how the All Blacks [New Zealand national rugby union team] would feel arriving at the World Cup in UK in 2015 to find that there were last minute proposals to change basic rules of the game in the name of player’s safety but which in effect favoured the slower stop/start style of the Northern Hemisphere teams?

The recommendations are general, the task now facing the event and the teams is for these general recommendations to be converted in to specific rules of the event, a process which needs to be dealt with quickly so the US Coast Guard can be satisfied on safety and issue its event permit.

Many will require discussion amongst the teams and ACRM, responsible for the race management. Currently there is a high degree of goodwill and co-operation in the interests of ensuring safety but there will inevitably be differences during the process, as the teams all have different competitive strengths which they wish to protect.

The most contentious issues for ETNZ are the reduction in the wind limits and the prospect of flexible starting times.

The recommended reduction of the upper wind limits is more than we would have liked, but we always knew the 33 knot upper limit was not practical. It has been explained to us that the flexible starting time regime, intended for use in the windier conditions in the LVC, would involve the starting time only being brought forward when ACRM was sure that the wind speed would be over the upper limit at the scheduled start time.

This will clearly need the input and cooperation of the teams and we have made a proposal how this could work.

Modifications will be required to the various rule documents which govern the event. Changes to the Protocol and the Racing Rules require agreement from the majority of the teams, changes to the Class Rule requires the unanimous consent of the teams as does a document called the Newport Agreement which stipulates the format, schedule and start times of racing.

Thursday was a day of digestion and analysis ashore while our AC72 went for a sail and the external rule change process started on Friday with a three-hour meeting involving the four team’s rules advisors and ACRM.

Agreement was reached on which rule document would need to be modified to accommodate each recommendation and the next steps required.

Next there will be a series of meetings early in the coming week. I will join Jeremy Lomas and Chris Salthouse at a meeting on crew safety equipment, structural engineer Gio Belgrano at a meeting on structural issues, and Dean Barker at a skippers’ meeting to consider changes to the racing rules in the start area.

There will also be a need to work with technical director Nick Holroyd and his design team on the negotiations on the draft Class Rule changes which we are expecting from the Chief Measurer, Nick Nicholson.

A busy week coming up, but in the meantime the sailing will go on…”

Artemis Racing Lawyers Up: Check Out This Official Statement Coming From a Sailor

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

This is from yesterday, May 13, 2013:

Statement from Nathan OutteridgeThe description of the accident in the Newcastle Herald while quoting my father is not correct and does not reflect the facts…”

And which description was that?

“Nathan told me [the turn] didn’t seem any different to any other occasion. 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.”

So last week  he tells his dad something and then this week, after Artemis Racing lawyers up, he says…

OK fine.

Hey, what’s this? From back in 2012:

More AC72 Damage

Artemis Racing is hauled out of the water to survey a damaged front beam

Photo: Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing

In preparation for sailing the Artemis Racing AC72, the team was conducting valuable structural tests afloat earlier yesterday when damage was incurred to the front beam of the catamaran. The AC72 has been hauled out of the water and the design team, led by Principal Designer Juan Kouyoumidjian, is on site to evaluate the damage. “

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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The Most Detailed Report of the Chris Bucchere vs. Sutchi Hui Hearing – Why Red/Yellow Doesn’t Really Matter

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Well, here it is, the most-detailed report yet of the latest Chris Bucchere vs. Sutchi Hui hearing, courtesy of  writer Kashmir Hill.

Here’s her conclusion:

Bucchere was going far too fast, but he may have run a very late yellow rather than a red, a mistake made worse because of the pedestrians entering the crosswalk very early. Everyone was being too aggressive in their commuting, but Bucchere’s aggressiveness held the highest risk for others.”

And here’s some more:

“The case interested me because press reports indicated that data from Bucchere’s Strava account — an app that bikers can use to track their rides — had been used to show how fast he had been going and to prove he had ignored stop signs. District Attorney George Gascón told me the Strava data was part of the reason the city had decided to bring such severe charges against Bucchere. ‘It implies he was trying to compete with himself,‘ Gascón said. Bucchere’s online comments also played a role. ‘His helmet was more important than a human being.’”

Take a look for yourself, read the whole thing. And then decide if the prosecution of Chris Bucchere has anything to do with a so-called “lynch mob.”

And for all you StreetsBlogSF fans out there, ask yourself this:

Would this case be international news without the Strava race-against-yourself-and others angle and/or the “heroic” helmet posting? And would there even be a case at all?

That’s the difference, that’s why this case is getting attention.

R.I.P. Sutchi Hui.

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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Occupy + Alleycat Bike Racing = OCCUCAT SF on Saturday, January 21st, Noon, McKinley Statue, Panhandle, $5 Buy In

Friday, January 20th, 2012

But don’t tell anybody about it:

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Shhhhhhh….