Sunday, October 7, 2012

Angels and Cats on The Bay

Yesterday was one of those days that reminds us why we live in the San Francisco Bay area.  On a whim, we decided to head up to San Francisco to see the Blue Angels and America's Cup catamaran sailboat race.  (thus Angels and cats on the Bay) What we saw was an impressive spectacle capped by a perfect view of the dramatic capsizing of Jimmy Spithill's America's Cup boat.  No one was hurt, but you can see our pictures below.  You can click on them to see the larger version.
For locals, I should mention that it all happens again today, so if you hurry you can check it out in person.

5 of the six Blue Angels
It's fleet week, so the bay was as full of incredible boats as it ever is.  On top of that we were treated to an amazing air show.  As we drove up, a sonic boom rocked our car and set the stage that this was going to be a substantial event.  We were parking while Sean Tucker with the Oracle Aerobatics plane was performing his ridiculously unnatural maneuvers.  However, we were in time catch the Blue Angels performing their maneuvers over the bay.  It was quite spectacular.  Seeing these powerful jets flying in front of the Golden Gate bridge was pretty awe inspiring.


Passing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

In a hard turn, the vapor trail off the wings is very impressive

Mass start racing cats
The America's Cup races were equally as impressive.  We were seeing the 45 foot versions of these boats.  Next year, for the actual America's Cup defense, they will be sailing 72 foot long behemoths that are capable of speeds up to 50 miles per hour.  We've done some sailing here at Digital Diner, but phrases like "50 miles per hour" really haven't come up in our sailing conversations before.  These smaller boats were not quite as fast, but the types of words I would normally use to describe sailing boats like "majestic" or "stately" really had nothing to do with these boats.  They were incredibly fast, nimble and agile.  Most impressive was the fleet race.  They had mass start races with 11 boats all simultaneous jockeying for position.  It was mayhem.
The series of pictures below shows the team Oracle boat skippered by Jimmy Spithill, as it catipults its crew into the drink.  Amazingly, within ten minutes they had the boat righted and later even competed and won the match race competition.  Spectacular!

One moment the Oracle boat is cruising along nicely
Then the hull catches a wave and digs in to the water
And the next thing you know, the sailors are hanging on for dear life

I might mention that Oracle sponsored my favorite aerobatic plane, two of the America's Cup boats and Team Oracle's win of the America's Cup a few years ago is even the reason that we have America's Cup boats racing in the San Francisco Bay in the first place.  So to Larry Ellison and Oracle, thanks for some great entertainment!