San Francisco


The Texas A&M Sailing team headed to San Francisco last weekend to BTHO San Francisco Bay and ICSA Match Race Nationals…

Chelsea, Conner, and Colin were the sailors, while I was the alternate and Bob tagged along for some captaining. Dressed up in our cowboy attire, we brought Texas to California, and especially represented Texas when enterprise gave us a free upgrade to a suburban….Let me tell you, that car did not fit well in the city scene or in a 6’4” clearance parking garage.

In order to sail in this national regatta, there was a 513 lb weight limit for the J22 sailboats. The conference championship weight limit was 600 lbs. When our team found out about this weight limit, they had 6 weeks to lose a combined 50 lbs. After intense working out, dieting, and a final day of diuretics and fasting, the three of them weighed in at 504 lbs. I was relieved that they made it and so proud of all the work they had done to be able to sail in San Francisco Bay. The hardest thing for me was feeling as if I couldn’t eat on Thursday evening as they all fasted! Bob and I snuck away at the airport to satisfy our rumbling tummies, while they suffered in anxious anticipation of weighing in and eating breakfast ASAP. I’ve never seen someone consume two foot long meatball marinara subs from Subway faster than Colin did that morning.

St. Francis Yacht Club was a great venue.  Fancy yacht clubs are not the place for your average college sailor. Walking around in our jeans and sweaters, definitely draws attention from members wearing their blazers and formal attire. During a postponement Saturday morning, the team invaded the Domino room to play some 42. You have to love the idea of a domino room, equipped with doorbell buttons at each table that summon the bartender.

It rained all day Friday and Sunday. And Saturday, races were postponed until 2 pm because the lack of wind and strong current made racing impossible. Bob and I decided we should tour this incredible city rather than hanging around the yacht club hoping the wind fills in…plus we wanted to make the plane ticket investment worthwhile and actually do some tourism! We walked at least 5 miles that afternoon. As sailors, San Francisco felt like heaven! We walked through the Maritime museum and toured the Balclutha, a steel-hulled full rigged ship built in 1886. The boardwalk had knot tying stations to teach people the tricks of our trade. They even explained the use of each knot of both sailors and landlubbers.The rest of the touring included Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Boudin Bakery, and Chinatown. There’s nothing like a bowl of Clam Chowder with a fresh loaf of Sourdough bread on a cold, fall evening. With my sweet tooth, I will admit the hot fudge brownie sundae from Ghirardelli cafe really warmed my heart. My brother, Matt, who recently moved to San Francisco for an accounting position at KPMG, toured the city with Bob and I. Someone called him out on the street Saturday morning and said, “you’re one of those occupiers, aren’t you?” This made me laugh pretty hard because he had just finished taking his final CPA exam and is definitely on the other end of that spectrum.

Some people say we look kind of alike…

It was a great trip. Bob and I were able to watch some good match racing, enjoy the sights of this incredible city, and hang out with my brother.  Let’s just say, we didn’t exactly BTHO the bay or Match Race Nationals, but the team:

Sailed with the golden gate bridge in the background

Learned a little bit about current

And looked dang good after their diets and exercising!

Dealing with boat speed: Chelsea says, “Sails are just bigger in Texas.” Conner says, “Ain’t got no current in Texas. State law.

And we saw a 1976 America’s Cup boat!


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