10
Jun
09

stars and stripes

My friend, Roger, has been sailing for many years. He has also become friends with Dennis Connor. For those of you who don’t know who Dennis Connor is, just click here. He is the “Jack Nicklaus” of sailing and also known as “Mr. Americas Cup”.

So when Roger asked me if I wanted to crew on a race with Dennis Connor on his yacht, “Stars and Stripes”, I jumped at the chance! (I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into…)

The race is known as the “Beer Can Races” which they have in San Diego Bay once a week in the summer as a opportunity for everyone to get out and sail. Little did I know how competitive these races are.

As the low man on the totem pole with no experience, I had the grunt position of “grinder”, meaning I had to turn a crank as fast as possible whenever someone yelled at me. Roger was manning the other side of the crank and also shifting gears. Roger had warned me repeatedly about being prepared to “sweat”, but I figured, how hard can turning a crank be?

Now I know why the grinders in the Americas Cup races are 250lb. men with HUGE arms! About 5 minutes into the race, I thought I was going to die and the race is 90 minutes! I certainly have a new found respect for Americas Cup racing. Fortunately I made it through the whole race without passing out, barely. All that effort paid off since we won the race in our class. There was one other boat in our class which put up a good fight until Dennis got fed up and we pulled way ahead of them. As Dennis put it, “Why would they keep poking at the bull to get him mad?”

Needless to say it was an amazing experience.

Unfortunately, during the race, there’s so much going on that there is definitely NO time to shoot photos or video. Once the race was over, I grabbed my camera and shot what I could as we headed back to the dock. So in the video, it looks very calm and leisurely, but believe me, it was anything but that!

Click here to view the video in HD.

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Here’s a few photos taken by www.da-woody.com of us on the Stars and Stripes:

PHOTOS By: DA-WOODY.COM / Dennis St.Onge

 stars and stripes ©2011 Darin Fong Photography

 stars and stripes ©2011 Darin Fong Photography

 stars and stripes ©2011 Darin Fong Photography

 stars and stripes ©2011 Darin Fong Photography

 stars and stripes ©2011 Darin Fong Photography

PinExt stars and stripes ©2011 Darin Fong Photography
  1. Paul posted the following on June 18, 2009 at 10:01 am.

    What a cool experience. I grew up around sail boats and idolizing Dennis Connor. Thanks for sharing these shots-they brought back fond memories for me.

  2. Roger Harrington posted the following on June 13, 2009 at 7:37 pm.

    Darin,
    You did a wonderful job capturing the essence of being out on the water for the summer beers cans. Fast sailing, Friends and Fun. It was a please having you on board. I forwarded your link to Dennis and he wrote back about you.

    “Thanks, there are some nice shots, he is a good guy and come again.. cheers dc”

    We will do this again. I suggest you hit we the gym!

    Roger

  3. Julie Fong posted the following on June 12, 2009 at 11:20 am.

    Wow, what a beautiful yact and what an experience (of a lifetime!), one that you will never forget, and you did a wonderful job of recording it to share this experience with us. I was crying for more.


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