Diane Isley, Harbor Master, Emery Cove

Diane Isley, Harbor Master, Emery Cove

Heading towards the opening of the 2014 sailing and yachting season, I reflected on 2013’s events. We had one of our best summers ever with the America’s Cup taking place in the center of the San Francisco Bay.

This has to be one of the top regattas in the history of the America’s Cup. Congratulations to Oracle Team USA!  The technological advance in design and speed, the level of skill for the sailors and the even match racing set the bar very high for future Cup racing. Watching 72-foot catamarans with masts 13 stories high hydro-foil within a few feet of each other at speeds 25-45 miles per hour was exhilarating. The shoreline access and the television, phone and online advances in viewing technology were significant. This was one of the most exciting events in my career.

The America’s Cup was a tremendous boost to the boating industry in general and to the economy and the tourism business in the Bay Area. California boaters and harbors should be honored to host the oldest trophy in sports for the United States. The Bay Area backdrop with its scenic views, currents and wind variety made for a summer of racing beyond compare.

Our heart goes out to Emirates Team New Zealand. Their sportsmanship is first class and their support and fan base was significant.  New Zealand gave it their all and we expected to see the cup head south for many days while Team New Zealand was in the lead with only one race to win to take it all. It was a pleasure to host many of their fans in our Emeryville marinas. Oracle Team USA’s comeback is truly remarkable.

As the Bay Area settled back into a routine and the super yachts and cruisers headed out to their various destinations, it was announced on September 30th that Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC), located on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, has challenged for the 35th America’s Cup. The location, which will be announced by the beginning of summer, remains to be determined and we can only hope that it will remain here in the San Francisco Bay.

We have several exciting boating events approaching:

The Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show is the largest sailboat show on the West Coast April 10-13 at Jack London Square in Oakland. Emery Cove Yacht Harbor and Emeryville Marina both exhibit at this show. Show times located here.

‘Opening Day on the Bay’ Sunday April 27th 2014 is the biggest boating day of the year. This event is hosted by the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association (PICYA) representing over 100 Northern California yacht clubs celebrating the official beginning of the 2014 boating season on the San Francisco Bay. Emeryville Yacht Club will participate in the Blessing of the Fleet and Parade of Yachts. This year’s decorating theme is “Visions” and the boats can be viewed by the public along the San Francisco waterfront from Crissy Field to Pier 39, 12 noon until 3pm.

Emery Cove is hosting the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary free ‘Vessel Safety Checks’ and boating safety information event Saturday April 5th, 2014 and May 31, 2014. The 2014 decals will be issued to vessels passing the inspection.

And finally Earth Day April 22, 2014. Emery Cove has been certified as a Clean Marina (www.cleanmarina.org) since November 2006 and strives to be a steward of the environment.

Emery Cove is now at record occupancy. We enjoy visitors both from afar and locally, including hosting cruise-ins for the Emeryville Yacht Club. We had visitors from 15 Northern California Yacht Clubs last year wanting to be part of the action in the center of San Francisco Bay. A number of boaters enjoyed what Emeryville has to offer and decided to stay and make Emeryville their main port. The local transportation, restaurants, shopping, bay trails and sights have all the makings for a great destination.

We wish you all the best for 2014.

Diane Isley, Emery Cove Harbor Master