The America's Cup San Francisco brings not only the AC72s which are constantly in development even as the race comes to a close but also held a regatta for super yachts this week, authentic historic ships who rarely get this close to San Francisco shores as they race in the Caribbean. Visitors on Friday, a gorgeous warm afternoon starting with smooth water, watched a real historic schooner and a ketch as well as the replica of the America race around Alcatraz and pass the starting mark in front of the pavillion's rear deck.
The USA 76, a former America's Cup racer, participated and docks regularly at Pier 39, offering rides to the public and private groups.
The America is the USA ship that won in England and took the Cup, leading to the name the America's Cup. She served on each side of the Civil War running blockades, the North taking her from the South.
The America replica is available to the public for rides as well, usually out of San Diego. It's an elegant and immaculate beauty with polished wood decks and a handsome interior with cozy bedrooms. It's exhilarating to gather in the cockpit around the handsome captain at the helm or have a cold adult beverage with friends under towering masts and sails full of salty bay breeze. You feel the spray on your skin and the wind in your hair, the sun on your cheeks. All the while San Francisco panorama scrolls by, the shoreline, Alcatraz, the underside of the old Bay Bridge. It feels timeless and life affirming, free. That's another blog.
Schooners are built for speed with the front mast no taller than those masts behind it. Schooners were used in blockade running and the slave trade among other things including offshore fishing.
A ketch sails long distance and has one or more jibs, with a rear sail or mizzen on a mizzen mast ahead of the rudder post. It's ahead of the post since the mizzen primarily propels the boat rather than helps with balance and trim. A ketch or catch boat would be pointed into the wind and so stopped, allowing fisherman to haul up fishing nets.
A yawl has that rear sail behind the rudder to help with trim and balance.
Flute and Farina
Meanwhile on shore at the pavillion the party continues. Mumms serves varieties of champagne including rose at "Flute". Farina from the Mission District serves pizza, Italian and American style with Margherita or Salami. Americans need their meat, says Cosmo. His young pizza maker twirls the dough behind him, tosses it, slides it into the shiny pizza oven. Check out photos in the slideshow.
You never know who you are ordering that personal size gem from. One man who joined Farina just for the pavillion outlet is a real Italian as are most at Farina, who learned to cook at home. Cosmo, however, returns to his job as an architect in Florence shortly. Cosmo has just enough time now that summer is ending to find himself a little Italian island for a vacation. He came to San Francisco to join his wife for the summer. She started working on ORACLE TEAM USA's legal team in Valencia and he has seen little of her since. She stays on for at least two more months closing contracts. Then there's the next America's Cup to plan for.
The owner of Farina, Lucca Minna, is the ambassador for San Marino and also sells San Marino wine at Farina in the Mission. He sails his yacht in Italy.
For more information: www.AmericasCup.com
Check out youth sailing around the Bay at www.SailSFBay.org, particularly the 75 year old program on Oakland’s Lake Merritt.
The America’s Cup pavillion is along the Embarcadero before Fisherman's Wharf and is an easy walk, pedicab ride, bike ride or Muni ride from the ferry building and Embarcadero BART. The village and grandstands are at Marina Green.
For more stories by this writer check out CBS San Francisco's website under Eye on the Bay, San Francisco arts & culture "Best Of"; and San Francisco Arts & Culture on Examiner.com. Subscribe by hittng the SUBSCRIBE button at the top of this article.
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