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“The Challenging America’s Cup”
by Suzie Rodriguez and Georgia I. Hesse
May’s BATW meeting was called to order at 10:30 a.m. in the Rec Room of Morton Beebe’s condominium complex on Lombard Street by Vice President Georgia Hesse, standing in for President Ginny Prior. Two guests introduced themselves: John Ewald, a friend of Mort Beebe, and Bob Hollis, invited by Bob Bone.
Members in charge of upcoming meetings gave brief synopses of coming events, to wit:
. In June the designer of the reworked Bay Bridge, Donald MacDonald, will discuss the span’s history and its technical/aesthetic aspects. (Arranged by Bill Scull/Mort Beebe.)
. In July we will meet at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen and visit nearby Benziger Family Winery. (Inga Aksamit.)
. In August we’ll visit the Sonoma Baylands Center with representatives of the Sonoma Land Trust to learn the effects of global warming on the Bay Area. We will picnic at nearby Cline Cellars and visit its museum of models of the Spanish Missions that debuted in 1939 at the World’s Fair on Treasure Island. Designed to scale and finely detailed, they were saved from individual auction by the Cline family in 1998 and installed in the museum along with other treasured artworks. (Suzie Rodriguez/Lee Daley.) Member Jacqueline Harmon Butler is a part-time curator at the Missions Museum.
. In October we’ll wax nostalgic in Richmond at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park. We’ll check out the No. 3 Kaiser Shipyard and, if lucky, chat with some of the surviving Rosies themselves. (Georgia Hesse, Suzie Rodriguez.)
Bill Scull spoke briefly about his upcoming six-month humanitarian work in Ghana under the sponsorship of Stanford University. (Look for enticing details under Member News.)
Our first speaker, Peter Albert, manager of the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s Urban Planning Initiatives, addressed the challenges of moving people around the city during the upcoming racing season and – even more important – beyond. In San Francisco, for the first time in history, America’s Cup races will be watched from land, the two primary viewing areas being Piers 27-29 and Marina Green. (Historically, the splashy action could be seen only from another boat. To learn more about the Bay site and sights, fix your mouse upon www.sfmta.com.)
Albert is adamant that lessons learned from the people-moving process during the Cup competition should be applied to future transportation tangles. (If the present does inform the future, it will be a triumph unparalleled in San Francisco’s fractious past.)
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Albert’s talk was followed by remarks by Tim Jeffery, public relations authority for America’s Cup in 2013 (www.americascup.com). He assured us that the competition would continue as planned despite the death on May 9 of Andrew “Bart” Simpson, teammate of Sweden’s Artemis Racing, when the 72-foot wing-sail catamaran capsized. On May 10, BATW was asked by Oracle Team USA to postpone our planned visit to its boat shed, which was done.
Jeffery detailed the various races leading to the final competition for the trophy, scheduled for Sept. 8-22. Next regatta will be staged from July 4 to Aug. 30, the Louis Vuitton Cup.
Addendum: First in this romantic series of races was the Hundred Guinea Cup, run on Aug. 22, 1851, around Britain’s Isle of Wight, when the low, black schooner America out-sailed 14 other yachts, including the vessel of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Six years later, its crew donated their trophy to the New York Yacht Club and the America’s Cup tradition was born.