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SailGP and Crissy restrictions

 
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 14681
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:20 pm    Post subject: SailGP and Crissy restrictions Reply with quote

The SailGP 2020 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) has been published and is open for comments. It may be found at the following link.
https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=USCG-2020-0078

Both San Francisco Boardsailing Association and local sailors have had some difficulties in negotiating with the SailGP organizers. The event was run in 2019, and the exclusion notice proposed a finish time of 3:00. However, the organizers made an effort to change the hours until 4:00, after the public comment period had closed. That request was turned down by the Coast Guard at the request of SFBA. Their on-water chase boats also tried to clear windsurfers and kiteboarders from a much larger area than the exclusion zone, and were chastised by the Coast Guard and told to stop.

Last October, we agreed to support extension of the closure hours until 4:00. At that time, they told us that they expected racing to be complete by 3:00, and the hour from 3 until 4 was a contingency provision. We asked in return that they make sure that they directed overflow parking from the Saint Francis Yacht to alternative lots, and not to Crissy. We thought we had reached an agreement. We reasoned that if Crissy parking was not usurped by SailGP spectators, extension of restrictions to no later than 4:00 would allow sailors to get onto the water with still enough time to get in a session. Now they propose an exclusion zone that would last until 5:30, and an exclusion zone for on-water spectators that restricts the water area through most of Presidio Shoal, nearly to the Blackaller Buoy, which would essentially eliminate the potential for sailing on May 3. A smaller exclusion area is proposed for May 2 that would allow sailors to tack upwind and reach the center bay if winds are not too northerly.

Sail GP organizers have explained that “...the reasons behind the request [is]…the possibility of a live international broadcast.” While the Coast Guard has broad authority to regulate on-water activities for safety reasons, it appears that the motive behind SailGP’s abrogation of our agreement is to increase their potential for revenue.

The comment period for this rule-making closes March 30. We urge those with concerns to express them to the Coast Guard. The following is part of an e-mail that has already been sent to the Coast Guard.

For sailors of all kinds, the waters offshore of Crissy Field in San Francisco are one of the wonders of the world. There are literally dozens of races held there each year, from the iconic Big Boat series, to the more prosaic Thursday and Friday night kiteboard and windsurf races. The waters are used by many others, including paddle boarders for their iconic race to Ocean Beach, outrigger canoes, kayaks, and fishing boats. Most of these activities occur without disruption to other users, relying on common courtesy and the right-of-way rules of the water to allow users to participate simultaneously. Only a few events—America’s Cup, Fleet Week, and SailGP seek restrictions on other users.

The right of access to the water is so important in California that it is enshrined in the State Constitution. California has taken a number of steps to assure that access is protected, from establishing the nation’s first coastal program to adopting legislation to encourage development of a Water Trail. Crissy Field has been designated under the Bay Plan as an important recreational beach where access for windsurfing is protected, and has also been designated as a Water Trail site.

I am a board member of the San Francisco Boardsailing Association. Our mission is to protect the safety of our members and ensure that access to the water is protected. We work with other groups such as the Bay Area Sea Kayakers to cooperate in our efforts to protect and increase access.

Crissy Field is particularly important to our members. While kayaks and many other craft can be launched at more than 50 sites along the Bay, and while the Bay Trail is an effort to provide continuous access along the entire Bay, there are only a handful of sites where it is possible to launch a windsurfing or kiteboarding rig. Crissy is particularly valuable because of its sandy beach launch, parking areas at both a City and National Park, and grassy rigging areas.
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 344

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, please click on the link and comment that you want water access at Crissy field after 3 pm. You can post anonymously by leaving the name boxes blank.
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jpf18



Joined: 13 Aug 2000
Posts: 281
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: SailGP and Crissy restrictions Reply with quote

mac wrote:
Now they propose an exclusion zone that would last until 5:30, and an exclusion zone for on-water spectators that restricts the water area through most of Presidio Shoal, nearly to the Blackaller Buoy, which would essentially eliminate the potential for sailing on May 3.
Gosh, windsurfing, kiteboarding and general access from East Beach aside - IIRC even the AC for two seasons worth of races kept a channel open on the inside for small craft to pass, and were done by 3p anyhow.
It's a pretty obvious tactic at the end of SailGP: Ask for the sky, and see what falls from it. If they can inch something out that way, hey, they can still chalk up a win while claiming how they'd given all these #faux concessions.
I take it that all this is going to have to go through the process with the powers. Other than that I am inclined to think the proposal in front of us should be dismissed off-hand and replaced with something that mirrors what regattas were doing in the past and that was agreeable to all parties involved.
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 344

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Francisco SailGP event scheduled for May 2-3 has been canceled.

SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said: “We are of course disappointed to cancel our event scheduled for May 2-3 in San Francisco. This decision has been made to avoid increasing the already significant risk of COVID-19. Health and safety must be the top priority across the world during this unprecedented situation and it is our responsibility to ensure we do not further the spread of this pandemic.”

All options are being explored in order to maintain a full schedule for SailGP’s second season. Further announcements will be made in due course.

Ticket purchasers for the canceled event will be automatically refunded in full no later than May 2.
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Gwarn



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 106
Location: SF

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am a board member of the San Francisco Boardsailing Association. Our mission is to protect the safety of our members and ensure that access to the water is protected.


At least in my personal opinion (which isn't much) the SFBA agenda seems kind of personalized. I feel there are far greater issues at hand that need to dealt with than attacking sail GP over a two day event.

#1

Candlestick is now almost completely inaccessible due to the large group of derelict type Rv liveaboards that over run the parking due to SFPD not enforcing traffic and parking laws. Not to mention the fact the state park has abandoned this area of the park (closed restrooms and no trash cans). Not to mention the sometime aggressive locals and sideshows that are a daily occurrence do to the fact that there is no consistent law enforcement form the SFPD or the state park PD. So where is the SFBA group nowhere to be found.

#2


The only reason the Treasure Island gates are open is the fact some of the local windsurfers have the influence to remind the navy and it's contractors about the public fundamental right to access. Not the SFBA.


So at least in my eyes the SFBA needs to refocus on the real threats that face access to the bay sail GP is at the bottom of the list.
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 344

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gwarn wrote:
Quote:
I am a board member of the San Francisco Boardsailing Association. Our mission is to protect the safety of our members and ensure that access to the water is protected.


At least in my personal opinion (which isn't much) the SFBA agenda seems kind of personalized. I feel there are far greater issues at hand that need to dealt with than attacking sail GP over a two day event.

#1

Candlestick is now almost completely inaccessible due to the large group of derelict type Rv liveaboards that over run the parking due to SFPD not enforcing traffic and parking laws. Not to mention the fact the state park has abandoned this area of the park (closed restrooms and no trash cans). Not to mention the sometime aggressive locals and sideshows that are a daily occurrence do to the fact that there is no consistent law enforcement form the SFPD or the state park PD. So where is the SFBA group nowhere to be found.

#2


The only reason the Treasure Island gates are open is the fact some of the local windsurfers have the influence to remind the navy and it's contractors about the public fundamental right to access. Not the SFBA.


So at least in my eyes the SFBA needs to refocus on the real threats that face access to the bay sail GP is at the bottom of the list.




First off the SFBA are all unpaid volunteers, the SFBA can not be everything for everybody.
The SFBA board is only 7 people with there day jobs to worry about. When someone comes to the SFBA with a problem, be prepared to have a solution to the problem and Volunteer to get involved in a SFBA working subcommittee. SFBA board members spend numerous hours a week on Saftey, Access, and access improvement working the way through government rules, regulations and working with government agencies. I personally called the Navy and TILDA about Treasure Island Last June as an SFBA representative. SFBA posted information last June here: https://www.sfba.org/blog/treasure-island-access-information

I was trying to arrange a locked portable toilet for TI, but do to lack of funds it did not happen.

SFBA can be reached at info@sfba.org

The Candlestick park sailing site: a Windsurfer reached out to the SFBA last week and asked for advice but did not want the SFBA to contact anyone in fear of personal safety, gear, car etc. It was mentioned that the park hours on March 10th expanded to 7 pm and that they could call the state park ranger and also lobby for extended hours, Contact information was provided. Sailors are welcome to call law enforcement.

The SFBA is actively engaged in many long term projects throughout the bay area. It might not affect your favorite sailing site but it sure has helped many others.

I suggest people read the previous years news letters here:

https://www.sfba.org/newsletters.html

Also scroll down and read over the SFBA news blog:

https://www.sfba.org/blog

Their is an SFBA FB page too: https://www.facebook.com/SFBA/


In closing, some current very sensitive political access issues the SFBA is involved in can not be publicly disclosed .


Sail on.
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Gwarn



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 106
Location: SF

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
First off the SFBA are all unpaid volunteers, the SFBA can not be everything for everybody.
The SFBA board is only 7 people with there day jobs to worry about


All the more reason not to be worried about influencing the USCG over the Sail GP.





Quote:
When someone comes to the SFBA with a problem, be prepared to have a solution to the problem


As far as access got that problem solved



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jpf18



Joined: 13 Aug 2000
Posts: 281
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gwarn wrote:
than attacking sail GP over a two day event.

The very first thing @mac posted was a link to the USCG docket. The plans are posted there for everybody to see. You may disagree, the plans would have had a disproportionate negative impact relative to what events large and small have had in the past. I appreciate @mac bringing this matter to everybody's attention. I see no problem voicing frustrations over stakeholders' actions, and @mac's post does not take things any further.

-------
The vast exclusion zone to 5:30p is a safety hazzard to windsurfers. If 3-May turns out a good day at the north tower, ppl who normally would have gone out at East Beach may have launched at the Marin side. Some may have struggled to make it back in, which is always a possibility, regardless the occasion. Not a hypothetical scenario, this has happened: Say your boom cracks but is together enough you can get places so long they can be reached bearing off. The option of having an out at Crissy Field is vital. The prospect of a long walk of shame across the bridge beats the drama of a long swim (with uncertain finale) any day of the week.
-------

The SailGP cancellation due to SARS-CoV-2 concerns is the least desirable outcome here. Events like this raise the wider public's interest in watersports, which includes us. Despite the adversarial flavors, I hope they can come back another time, keeping an eye on the locals as well.
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