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Laser Sailing

Hi Everybody,

As I mentioned in my last post, I have switched from sailing optis to sailing lasers. Last weekend was a three day weekend and I was lucky enough to sail  every day. Besides sailing, I was also having fun with my uncle and cousins that were here visiting. I am still sailing through the San Francisco Yacht Club, but with the laser team instead of the opti team. The main differences between an opti and a laser are the size and the number of sides. An opti has four sides, a laser has three, and an opti is eight feet long, a laser is thirteen feet long. The laser team has nine sailors on it, six of which are experienced high school sailors. I think my sailing skills will improve a lot while I sail on this team. The first day of practice we sailed out into Richardson’s Bay, see the picture below. There was a fair amount of wind and I had a hard time keeping the boat flat. It was a great first day of laser sailing. On the second day, we sailed in the cove and the wind was light, but as the day progressed the wind slowly increased. I was able to control the boat for most of the day, until the wind was at its max, then I found myself having a hard time managing the boat. Both days with the team were great experiences.


On day three, I was coached by an Olympian!  My good friend, Parker, and I had a lesson with Zander Kirkland. Zander was in the last Olympics racing 49ers, here is his blog Parker and I had a great time, even though the wind was incredibly light for the whole day and we ended up spending a large portion of the day drifiting around. Despite the  light wind, I feel I did improved my skills over the course of the day.  Parker and I were lucky to be coached by Zander and I hope to work with him again. I had a great three day start to laser sailing, I can’t wait to sail again.


America’s Cup and beyond

Hi Everybody,

As I mentioned in my last post I was going to volunteer for the Oracle Team during the America’s Cup World Series August 21st-26th. I volunteered all week and was able to watch the action as well. The racing was spectacular! I enjoyed watching the AC45’s sail around the bay at amazing speeds. The volunteering was also fun because I enjoyed helping the greatest sailors in the world . On the first day of racing, six teams raced against each other to get into the match racing Quarter Finals. Match racing is one on one racing and fleet racing is where all the boats race against each other. At the gun of the first start, China Team and Luna Rossa Swordfish started a one on one duel to the finish, where Luna Rossa Swordfish earned their way to the Quarter Finals. The other Luna Rosa team raced against Artemis Red. It was a Deja Vu for the fans on the waterfront as Luna Rosa Piranha advanced into the Quarter finals after a victory over Artemis Red. The last match race was between BAR, Ben Ainsle Racing, and Team Korea. BAR won two races agains Team Korea. Teams were slowly eliminated from the match racing to leave Oracle Team USA Coutts and Oracle Team USA Spithill in the finals. The two teams raced against each other on the final day of racing and no one knew who was going to win until the last second of the race, as Oracle Team Coutts crossed the finish line first. During one of the fleet races, later in the week, Oracle Team USA Russel Coutts hit the mark boat doing damage to both his boat and the mark boat. Luckily the shore team was able to repair the boat overnight allowing Coutts to get back on the water the next day. The last fleet race of the series was amazing as well, with the leading boat changing all the time. On the last leg of the race Oracle Team USA Spithill passed Team Korea taking second place. The match racing first place trophy was awarded to Oracle Team USA Coutts and the fleet racing trophy went to Oracle Team Spithill. It was obvious that Oracle’s training in San Francisco and their epic sailing skills lead them to victory during an e extraordinary week of racing. Here is a picture I took of the last fleet race finish:

The week after the America’s Cup World Series, I started school. I had a great start to 8th grade even though my dad was back in the hospital with complication from his ruptured appendix. I am glad to be back in school and excited about the high school process that I have ventured into as an 8th grader. On the third week of school my class went to the Ansel Adams National Wilderness in the Sierra Nevadas for a backpacking trip. My group went from Bowler camp site at 7000 ft to Madera Peak at 10509 ft and then back down over the course of five days. On the top of Madera Peak there is an American flag that had been flown in Afganistan, my whole group held it up and we took a picture. It was very cool to be at 10509 feet holding an American flag that had also been in Afganistan. The backpacking went well, my group had a lot of fun. Even though our water filter broke on the first day we did not turn back, we boiled our water instead. The only downside to boiling our water was that it tasted like ash. We had good weather except for one day of rain. We explored all three Jackass Lakes, and camped at the middle and upper lakes. The area was beautiful. I had never been to a small snow melt lake before and even though it was really cold, it was still fun to swim. The stars were also amazing because there is not a lot of light pollution. Here is a picture of me at Lower Jackass Lake:

Another thing that has happened since my last post was the BAYS #5 regatta at TYC. It was my two year anniversary of my opti sailing career. It was also my last Opti regatta. I have decided that because of my age I should transition out of Optis. I am going to starting sailing lasers at SFYC. I think it is a good idea to start now on a bigger boat while the wind is lighter. I am light in weight for the boat, but I think I will be able to handle it. I am very excited to start sailing Lasers, October is going to be a great month. I am also taking a 420 racing class at the StFYC so that I can get used to that boat and be able to sail it well next year in high school. The 420 is a double handed boat that is sailed in many high schools, I have enjoyed learning how to sail it. I will update you on these new boats, October ACWS and rest of my life as soon as possible.

August Update

Hi Everybody,

A lot has happened since the last post. I will not be writing about everything because I don’t even remember everything perfectly. The first thing that I will tell you about is the BAYS #4 regatta. The regatta was held at the Encinal Yacht Club on Alameda Island on August 4th and 5th. The BAYS #4 was my first regatta since the Heavy Weather Regatta because I had been in France and at camp. On the first day of the regatta I came in eighth, thirteenth, second, fifth, and fourth. The last race, though not the best place, was my best race of the day. The four most experiened sailors, including myself, were talking to our coach during the start sequence and we all started a minute late. I was able to get a fourth place and beat two of the other sailors that started late.I was satisfied with my results of the first day, especially since I hadn’t been sailing for awhile. I did not place very well on most of the races on the second day, except for one where I got a first place. On last upwind leg of my first place race, I was tacking for the last time and my hat fell in the water. I did not get it and I was very thankful when another kid grabbed it from the water for me. I ended up getting sixth overall for the regatta and third in red fleet. I won a Harken document bag that I use as a laptop case. Here are my results from the regatta: BAYS #4. I think that after taking three weeks off of sailing, it was hard for me to do my best at this regatta. I am getting back in the routine now and looking forward to regular practices and doing better in regattas.

A week after the BAYS #4 we went to Huntington Lake for the Pacific Coast Championship, a team trials qualifying regatta in the Sierra Mountains above Fresno. We left at about 1:00 PM and the drive was about seven and a half hours long. It was a very, very long drive. I was looking forwad to the regatta because it is a popular lake for sailing. On the first day I did okay and ended in fourteenth place, three places away from qualifying. On the second day, I don’t know what happened, I was out of the game. On the first race I won the pin and port tacked the whole fleet, this was a very good thing to do. However, even with that great start to the day, I did not qualify. Despite the results of the last two regattas, I believe I will be able to rock the Bays#5 regatta on Labor Day weekend. After the regatta, we headed back to San Francisco. Luckily,the ride back did not take as long as the ride there. I am glad we went the regatta at Huntington Lake, even though I didn’t qualify, it was a good experience. For the rest of the summer I will be trying to sail as much as possible to improve and strenthen my sailing skills.

A couple of other exciting things happening in my life are that we have adopted a puppy and I will be volunteering for the America’s Cup World Sieres next week in SF. You probobly noticed the mistake in Tuesday’s post and I hope you will understand that I was very excited when I was writing and forgot to proofread. Miles is doing really great and there have been no conflict with him and our two cats. Obviously, I am excited and cannot wait for next week when I will be volunteering for Oracle Team USA. I don’t know what I will be doing excactly, but whatever it is, it will be awesome and fun. I am proud to be involved in the America’s Cup in any way. If you are in SF, you can watch the AC World Series in person from the Marina Green. If you aren’t in SF, you can watch the AC World Series races on youtube or maybe NBC. Here is the link: America’s Cup.

Unexpectedly, my dad was diagnosis with appendicitis on Tuesday!  We were in Geyserville but got him home to SF where his doctor is, he was sent to the ER and had surgery last night.  He is doing well and should be coming home soon.  This has been a crazy month so far!

We Got a Dog

Hi Everybody,

As the title explains, we got a dog. He is an eight week old Australien Shepard named Miles, here ar some pictures: 

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Here is a video of Miles as well:

Last France Update

Hi Everybody,
I hope you enjoyed my last post. This post will be similar to the last, except I have decided that this post will be shorter. To start this post, I will be combining both the days that my family was in normandy into one section and the days in paris together as well. While we were in Normandy, we drove to the beach to see a 360˚ video that was put together from modern color footage that is combined with old d-day footage. It was really cool because the movie was covering a 360˚ area. At different parts of the movie I found myself getting carsick, after the movie I found out that everybody else did as well. Another thing that we did to learn about d-day was having a private guide show us around different areas. We learned a lot about d-day and when we returned to our hotel there was a medieval festival. We did not explore the festive very thoroughly but what we saw was interesting. That was the end of our time in Normandy. Here are some pictures of Normandy:

Bombed gun position


After my family left Normandy we went to Paris. Our plan was that my dad and I would leave two weeks before my mom and sister were to leave, I am currently on my way home with my dad while my sister and mom are still in France. In Paris, we did a lot of tourist things. The most touristy things that we did were to go to Versailles and the Eiffel tower. When we went to the Eiffel tower the top was closed. We don’t know exactly why but  think that it was related to the bad weather. Even though we were not allowed to go all the way up the view was still cool. We also visited Versailles,  the old French palace. When we got there we discovered and hour and a half long line. Inside was amazing but really crowded. I found myself getting hungry. We went outside for lunch. The garden was much better because there were not as many people in each square foot. Before we left we rented bikes and cruised around the gardens. In Paris we also went to the Louvre. We only saw about half of the museum including the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa was much smaller than I expected and I was not able to get up close because there were too many people. Here are some pictures of Paris:

Eiffel Tower

View from our apartment

I have had a great time in France, but like the end of every trip I look forward to the familiarities of home.

First Update from France

Hi Everybody,

I have been having a great time in France. So far my trip has been full of crazy surprises. Even though there have been a lot of surprises, the trip has been fun. The first surprise of my trip was when my family and I landed in Marseille, our luggage did not land with us. Apparently, it had been left behind in Frankfurt. Luckily, we did not lose our luggage; we were only without it until around noon the next day. After our luggage arrived we all changed our clothes and went in to the town, Salon De Provence. On the next day we went to Aix-en-Provence. On our way there we saw a castle, we decided to go and take a look. We walked up the path to the entrance and saw a garden with hedges designed especially to be in different patterns. Here are some pictures:

The garden.

The castle.

We were surprised when we found out the castle was not open. We got back in our car and head to Aix. When we got to Aix we  found ourselves stuck in traffic and looking for parking. Eventually we found a parking spot and walked to the market. I did not buy anything and I don’t think anybody else in my family did either. After the market, we headed back home and that was it for that day. The next day we headed for Cassis, a small town on the coast. We visited the market there and had lunch. After lunch we walked down to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was an old fashioned, small lighthouse; here are some pictures that I took:

My sister dancing.

The lighthouse.


After we went to Cassis we headed to La Ciotit to look for catamaran lessons and go to the beach. We found a great beach spot and set up camp. I started noticing people going out on paddleboats with slides; I was able to convince my family to go out on one. We had a great time. I was the first one of us to go down the slide. When I got in the water, it was much saltier than I expected. We enjoyed ourselves for an hour and then returned the boat. By then the day was ending so we headed back home. The next day we headed to Arles, a town west of Salon. We walked through the streets and entered the square. We went into a church and I took some pictures using different effects. Here are some of my favorites:

When we left the church we headed to an underground area that used to be a roman building and courtyard. There were different neon sculptures. It was really dark and I was able to get a few good pictures there as well. Here they are:

Here is a picture of neon skulls.

Spider webs hanging from a metal grate.

A accidently blur that ended up cool.

After the underground ruins we headed to a Roman theatre, luckily above ground. Then, we headed a to a museum with a bunch of models of different roman structures. The models were really cool. here are some pictures:

The now underground Roman courtyard we explored earlier.

The museum was interesting but not very big. We left the museum and headed to Nimes, where there is a Coliseum. Sadly, the coliseum was closed, so we left Nimes and headed to the Pont Du Gard, a very old roman aqueduct across a river. The Pont Du Gard was amazing; it was amazing that it has been standing for such a long time. Here are some pictures:

Above is the view looking right, below is the view looking left.

After the Pont Du Gard we headed home to play in the pool. The next day we started out by heading to another castle. When we got there we had to park our car and walk. We walked for a long time and finally we found out that the castle was closed. We headed back down and left to go to another town with a castle and to get lunch. We did not go into it the other castle, but I got a good picture:

After lunch we went to an Abbey. Here are some pictures:

Down in the valley.

After visiting the Abbey we headed home. The next day was my birthday! I started my birthday by sleeping in, when I woke up my family sang happy birthday to me. We left Salon around 9:00 so we could get to La Ciotit. Remember when I told you that the first time we went there we were looking for catamaran rentals? We planned on renting a small catamaran to sail on my birthday. When we arrived at Societie Nautique La Ciotit they told us that we could not go out until 2:00 PM. We went back to Cassis to take a Calanques boat tour. It was forty-five minutes long. Here are some pictures:

After the tour we headed back to the catamaran rental place. Only my dad and I could go out, and before we could rent we had to take a lesson. I was happy to take a lesson because I am interested in catamarans. The lesson and the renting time were really fun. At one point my dad, who was the skipper, started heading downwind. I was trapezeing, hanging out of the boat while being supported by a line that is coming down from the mast, when suddenly my dad fell off the boat! The boat kept going and I unclipped myself just as the sail was crossing sides. I stopped the boat and waited for the teacher, who was in a motorboat, to arrive with my dad. I don’t have any pictures of me sailing because all of the cameras were in the car. In Societie Nautique’s boatyard there was a boat that to me, looks like it was designed after Oracle Racing’s AC 45s. Here is a picture:

I noticed is that the visual hull design is very similar to Oracles hull design. After sailing I was really tired so we went home, back to Salon de Provence. That was the end of my birthday. It was a really great and fun birthday, like every day so far my trip. I think that if I were to write any more, this post would be too long! I will get back to you next week after Normandy and Paris.

The Heavy Weather Regatta

Hi Everybody,

I mentioned in my post The Starting Line Of Summer , I was going to do the Heavy Weather Regatta at the St. Francis Yacht Club. It was last weekend. Before the regatta started, the St. Francis hosted a clinic for sailors who wanted to learn about the race area before the regatta. On the first day of the clinic, Wednesday, we learned about how the currents work at the city front. In the afternoon we saw the same AC 45 that I had been on (if you would like to learn more read June Update). However, they were not using the regular Oracle sail, they were using the Youth America’s Cup sail with the wing extension. Wednesday was also the day Laird Hamilton, a surfer, went out on Oracle racing‘s AC45. The next day, was the second day of the clinic and we did not see any ACs that day. We spent most of our time learning about the tricky and unintuitive currents of the bay. When we were out sailing, we did practice races and many different drills. The coach of our clinic was Mike Kalin. He used t0 be the StFYC opti coach but he moved on to being one of the US olympic laser team coaches. It was really great having him as my coach for those two days. Friday, the first day of the regatta. We launched our boats at 11:30 and sailed to the race course. The first race started at 12:00. We did four races on Friday. I do not feel like I raced my level on any of the first three races, but on the fourth race, I got 17th, a very satisfiying position. On the second day, I did better than the first. We had four races, and on the third race I got 15th out of 36. On the last day of the regatta, Sunday, I did really well! I did great in all three of my races, the best of them was a 13th. Here are the results: Heavy Weather Results. Even through I didn’t have the best start, I came back with a strong finish and really enjoyed the regatta. It is really hard to sail for five days at city front, but I am lucky to have the opportunity to sail there and it was great. Here are some pictures that I dad took of me on the water.

My next post will be about our trip to France. So far we have had a lot of fun. I can’t tell you too much, because that is not what this post is about. I can’t wait to update you soon. Oh, and by the way, tomorrow is my fourteenth birthday!

June Update

Hi everybody,

Last Friday I went down to Oracle Racing’s base in San Francisco. I had been invited to see the base and watch them sail. I ended up going out on an AC45! What a fantastic surprise for me. After I put on sailing gear, I was taken out to the AC45 on a chase boat. When I got on the boat I sat next to Jimmy Spithill, a sailing legend and Oracle Racing’s skipper for the 33rd and the 34th America’s Cup. After some instruction, Jimmy handed me the tiller extension and let me steer. It was AMAZING! I couldn’t believe it. I drove the AC45 for about 45 minutes. When I was steering the boat, it got up to 20 knots. When I got back on the chase boat the AC45 got up to 34 knots, the max speed for the day. After a long time on the chase boat I was able to get on the AC45 again. I rode the AC45 downwind back to the base. Even though I got soaked, I had the time of my life. I can see why theses sailors were chosen for Oracle Racing’s America’s Cup team, they are the best in the world and all very kind. When I was inside the base, I saw Russell Coutts, another sailing legend who has won the America’s Cup many times. I talked to him for a little while, another amazing part of the day. I was also able to talk to Jimmy again, it was such a great day! My dad and I left the base and headed to the St. Francis Yacht Club to see Russell speak. His speech was very interesting and inspiring. My new sailing goal is to get to the America’s Cup, thanks to the Youth America’s Cup program I will have an opportunity. Friday was the most amazing sailing experience I have ever had. Go Oracle Racing! Here are some pictures from the day:

Above is Jimmy teaching me how to steer an AC45

Above and below is me sailing the AC45 upwind Below is a picture of me coming in on the AC45

Obviously, I am very excited and interested in the America’s Cup. The America’s Cup will take place on the San Francisco Bay in the summer of 2013. Currently, there are races called the America’s Cup World Series in different cities all over the world. The AC World Series boats are the AC45s, a 45 foot long catamaran that is the smaller version of the AC72s. The AC72s will be sailed in the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America’s Cup Finals in 2013. The America’s Cup World Series is currently being set up in Newport, Rhode Island. The Newport World Series starts on June 26th and will end on July 1st, the day before my birthday. If you would like to learn more, here is a link to the America’s Cup website: America’s Cup

In Opti news, last weekend I had the BAYS #2 regatta at the Richmond Yacht Club. When my dad and I got to RYC we went over to the opti trailer to look for my boat, it wasn’t there! We had to borrow a car to go get my boat from the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere. It’s a half an hour each way plus time to load up my boat, I wasn’t sure my dad would get back in time for the race. Luckily, the race was postponed from 11:00 to 11:30. Even though my dad was a little late, the postponement gave us time to get the boat set up. The wind was still flat and the race kept getting postponed, at around 12:45 everybody just started heading out of the harbor. At 1:13 PM the postponement flag was taken down to end the 2 hour and 13 minute postponement. We completed three races on Saturday. I didn’t do very well in those three races, I don’t why. On Sunday, we started the races right on time. The wind was heavier on Sunday than on Saturday, I think I am a stronger sailor in heavier winds. Also, on the second day, I was committed to having better races. I definitely had stronger races on Sunday than Saturday, but I still think I could have done better. I had three sixths and two eighths. I am not able to include a link to the results because they have not been posted on their website yet.

More Opti news soon, today I am starting the Heavy Weather Clinic at the StFYC. I will update you again after the clinic and regatta this weekend. My summer is off to an amazing start!

The Starting Line of Summer

Hi everybody,

This post will be about of my recent regatta at PYSF, getting out from school, and my summer racing plans. A few weeks ago I had a regatta at PYSF, Pacific Youth Sailing Foundation, which is in Redwood City. The first day I did well. The wind was really shifty, which means that the direction of the wind changes all the time. Here is a video that show the conditions: On one race I played the shifts perfectly and got a first place. The conditions on the second day were like the first, but for some reason I didn’t do as well as the first day. Here are the results for my regatta: Here are some pictures:

Above is me talking to my coach.


My three year old cousin was also watching me race.

Above is my sister with my cousin.

Here is my cousin looking at me through binoculars.

Last Thursday I got out of school, so now it is officially summer. It is going to be very busy with regattas, I have two regattas each month for the rest of the summer. This upcoming weekend I have the BAYS #2 Regatta at RYC, Richmond Yacht Club. Next week I have the Heavy Weather Clinic and Regatta at St.FYC, one of the biggest regattas on the west coast. I am really excited about Heavy Weather Regatta because last year I was not able to finish it. And in other news, I have created a Facebook page for my blog, here is the link: Sumner Of Sailing. If you have a Facebook please visit my page, if you don’t, you don’t need to worry.


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