View Full Version : Tinsley Island Stag Cruise 2010 and AC Reunion in Newport

PD Staff
09-29-2010, 09:23 AM
Dick Enersen gives us a little insight into two get togthers in the past couple weeks:

The first event was a blast from the past, a reunion of 12 Metre sailors from the Cup years 1958 through 1987. There were something like 275 guys, and one girl, Christy Steinman from DC's last 12M campaign, at Harbor Court, the beautiful NYYC outstation in Newport, RI. The last evening's event was the America's Cup Hall of Fame induction dinner, so that added some non- 12M AC players to the mix, such as Russell Coutts, Dawn Riley and Bill Koch.

There is not a lot of forward looking info to report, Cup-wise, but a straw poll by Gary Jobson, who showed a cool 35 minute piece on the twelves, suggested that a huge percentage of attenders would be happy to go back to match racing on those old fashioned boats on Block Island Sound. Also, to nobody's surprise, few of us old guys are wild about catamarans, but most are willing to give them a try.

I have put a photo essay on the Reunion up on my photo site: http://dickenersen.smugmug.com. As always, comments on the pictures are welcome.

There are no photos of the 53rd annual St. Francis YC Stag Cruise to show you, but I can report on two very interesting panel discussions which took place on the steps of the old Southampton Shoal lighthouse. The first one looked back at the 33rd match in February. The most interesting participant was Harold Bennett, PRO for the regatta, who gave a very candid, and quite amusing, account of the "mutiny" on the race committee boat before the start of the second race. Tom Ehman, who had a part in solving that problem, was the moderator of both of the panels, and did his usual smooth job.
The second panel, on Saturday, looked forward to the next match, in 2013, and, while no cats were allowed to escape from any bags, the content was absorbing, as Bob Fisher, one of the panelists might put it. Again, Harold was one of the stars. He has not, in fact yet been hired as PRO for # 34, and it is Iain Murray's call to make, but I don't think it's out of the question that he will be. He had some good comments on the possibility of using courses other than the W/L "sausages" we're used to. Specifically, and a couple of times, he mentioned short first legs to windward, which I liked hearing, since it would minimize the potential for a big lead at the top mark and keep the racing close on the subsequent off-the-wind leg.

Another panelist was StFYC's own Stan Honey, who is an important video innovator (think yellow first-down line) as well as a famous navigator. He has been hired already to spiff up the graphics which will be used to show who's in front, course and distance to marks, etc. That led to a discussion of on-board cameramen, which has been proposed for the next event. This, too, hit close to home for me. Bob Elvstrom and I first shot 16mm film aboard 12s during the '74 trials, working for Jim Lipscomb. I was able to get permission for us to do so by dint of my friendship with "the Hats" and sailing experience. We used the same license to good effect in our own films in '77 and '80, and I think it's a fantastic idea for the future.

The technology is a lot better, of course, and the catamarans are big enough to allow "camera pits" from which shots can be got without interrupting the sailing of the boats. The point, of course, is that the story is really the people in the crew and even the best of remote camera setups can't tell the story as well as a properly equipped camera operator with wireless microphones. Rick Deppe, and others, have proven that, over and over, in the Volvo Race.

The audience was hugely in favor of SF Bay as a venue, needless to say, but, like the 12 Metre vets above, aren't quite sold on the idea of match-racing in multihulls. Ed Baird, recently of ALINGHI, had a good bit to say about just how butt-clenching it can be to sail a cat in a breeze, and Peter Stoneberg chimed in with his recent dramatic experience in his 40' cat, SHADOW, capsizing in a puff on the Bay. The crowd was definitely not from the X-Games generation, but seemed willing to let the multis have a go, especially if that happens 60 miles, or so, down the river from our island.

The San Francisco proposal to the organizers is due to be presented in a couple of days, by September 30, and a great deal more will be known about the venue selection when that appears.
In the meantime, I will be giving my liver a break.
cheers, de