The Maritime Report

The Maritime Report

Dave Bloch

Launch of the Artemis Racing AC72, November 3, 2012. Photo by Sander van der Borch.

Things do quiet down this time of year on the waters around us. Do remember that it is supposed to be raining and starting to get a bit colder, rather than the 81 degrees it is outside as I write this on Tuesday.

November marks the "Change of Watch" at most of the yacht clubs around the Bay Area. In most nonprofit organizations, that would be the election of officers and members of the board of directors; but like most things nautical these events are marked with some special traditions and flourishes. Flags are exchanged as the Vice Commodore hands his red flag down to the new one and accepts the blue Commodore's flag; an extra gold star gets added to the new Commodore's lapel. The outgoing Commodore also gets a new flag with three stars on it that marks her forevermore as one who has had the position.

These traditions certainly harken back to older, more elegant times. But those flags are recognized around the world, and it never hurts to be flying one when sailing into an unknown harbor in a faraway land. I'll certainly be flying my three-star flag when we head off in a couple of years.


The really big news of the week is the launch and christening of Artemis Racing's new AC72 America's Cup catamaran. I love seeing the "Alameda, CA" byline on their news release that went worldwide.

I won't paraphrase their press release since you can read the whole thing with some great pictures HERE: But a key thing for us here is that their entire team of 80 has relocated to our Island. Many of them have come with families, and your kids may have already met their kids in school here. All the team represents Sweden, but the families come from many different countries so it's a great opportunity to experience some new cultures.

With Oracle's boat severely damaged and not expected to return until February, Artemis has a tremendous head start in preparing for the "big boat" races next year. If you happen to be looking out on the Bay and see a boat with a huge sail go by very, very fast, it's probably our home team!


Submitted by tomcharron on Fri, Nov 23, 2012


America's Cup has become a NASCAR for rich men's "Platforms" (not really sailboats) which have delicate non-flakable wings of little strength. They to many appear, to not be capable sailboats....just toys for rich men to battle for sake of name. Not capable of handling ocean or bay conditions.

With the predicted failure and almost total loss of the Oracle's AC 72 on SF Bay many now see that these platformsare not built to sail in anything but moderate conditions. i.e.: flat water with winds not above 15 kts... my gawd...these designers have designed the bows to have a reverse flare....which makes them "dig in" in heavy conditions and speed and cause pitchpole action. Seen in the predicted Oracle AC72 catastrophe of recent.

Perhaps we should adhere to the original requirements of competition for the Cup. That if you want to race against previous winner then you must sail your vessel to his/her choice marine site of competition. That means vessels which are capable of ocean crossings and heavy weather ability. Not an AC 45 or AC 72!

Lately I have heard some scuttlebutt of changing the boats sizes which may race in 2013 for the America's there any truth to this?

BTW I can't find anything on the web about the Oracle AC72 since her 'wing' was totaled and the hulls put back on shore...Wonder why? Elison is being very quiet.