Coming to a City Hall Near You

I’m not old enough to write a whole column about my digestion, but I will confess that I read the San Francisco budget analyst’s report/recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, parsing the latest business negotiations between the Port, the Office of the Mayor and the America’s Cup Event Authority, without fully digesting it.

That is, there wasn’t any sentence or paragraph that I didn’t understand, but—

It’s 36 (thirty-six) pages long, and it peels the onion on where negotiations have gone since the Supervisors unanimously approved the Host City Agreement on December 14, 2010. I’m not going through it here. The point-by-point is all about piers and leases and leasebacks and there’s just too much detail and each detail raises another question, answers not included. The short of it is that (let’s give him a name) Harvey Rose’s office is recommending changes to be made in favor of the city, and this is your heads-up to expect more half-baked sky-is-falling headlines in the local press. Those 36 pages are now in the hands of the Supes. It’s going to be a busy week. And I note that we’re also in a time when doubts again are flying about the future of America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay . . .

But not here.

It’s good news that, contrary to a month ago, when the America’s Cup World Series event in April at Naples, Italy seemed in doubt, Naples is on.

It’s good, but it’s not yet “news” that another U.S. event could be added to the calendar in 2012. All the teams are up to date on the possibility.

Everything is going to be fine.

We’re going to have some arguments, some of them in public.

Agreements will be reached.

We’re downsizing expectations. There won’t be nine challengers, or six. There could be (and it is not pie-in-the-sky to hope for this) more than the three challengers now in-build on AC72s. China, Korea, and the Spanish/Italian challenger Green Comm are all in the hunt for funding, and Green Comm just announced a partnership to support their Bay Area operations through 2013. If their cause is hopeless, they haven’t noticed.

Until June 1 all the AC45 teams are still alive as possible one-boat, second-tier challengers (there’s no expectation regarding the French). But with or without more AC72s, the racing will be revolutionary, and the revolution will be televised. An important network (not CBS, not ABC) has been in-negotiation for a long while, announcement to follow soon, I believe.

Suddenly there’s all this speculation that America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay is in trouble.

But not here. It’s hard growing up. It’s hard making adjustments. Get over it.

See you on the water.


Last weekend Oakland Yacht Club was packed to standing room only to share a farewell to Diana Green Jessie, a woman who opened doors for all the female sailors who followed on San Francisco Bay. Hard as it may be to imagine today, there really was a time when only one boat in the entire YRA had an all-woman crew, and it was considered startling to the point that Diana named her team the Uppity Broads.

It was after she married Jim Jessie that she took off on the 48-foot Nalu IV for a circumnavigation and a half, writing books and magazine stories and covering 62 countries and 130,000 miles. She was a mentor to many, including Behan of the sailing vessel Totem, presently at anchor in Brisbane, Australia. Behan wrote-in remembering Diana as someone who made . . .

“Footprints for others to follow.”


Suns New Jerseys