America's Cup San Francisco challenger Emirates Team New Zealand participated in the daily poster signing Tuesday and if ETNZ wins on Wednesday, that was likely the last one. The teams attended the half hour sessions outside the museum, even though the races were postponed for safety reasons. The session serves the purpose of this historic America's Cup, to make the race accessible to all for the first time. The sessions made the day of all kinds of fans from Oracle supporters to a local bicyclist with peace-signs on her backpack.
The explanatory press conference with boat designers concluded and ETNZ’s grinder and trimmer entertained fans with a friendly autograph session, happily signing jerseys with the article still on the wearer; America's Cup shopping bags; free posters; and flags--almost anything handy that could take a Sharpie.
Saward accommodated my own request to write "Hydro Hydro Hydro" and Dagg wrote "3-2-1 Gybing". Saward said if somebody is yelling 'Hydro Hydro Hydro' I am not doing my job!"
Racers internationally count down before a manuever, while recreational sailors will say "ready to tack" and "tacking" for "prepare to gybe" and "gybe ho" or "gybing".
So meet ETNZ'S Derek Saward grinder, married; with ETNZ'S James Dagg, trimmer. The friendly ETNZ gentlemen signed for all sizes and shapes of fans from those in Oracle gear to pretty young Kiwi fans with long hair and a smile. Tuesday seemed to be “adult” day as most children had returned to school except a lucky few.
The America's Cup remains family friendly even though the place is basically hospitality with lots of adult beverages. Bring the dog too.
Racing resumes Wednesday, September 18 at 1:15. Poster signings are scheduled for each team in the afternoon unless they are pre-empted by an awards ceremony.
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.
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