Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Extreme Sailing

Add this to the list of reasons I love my job. BGI (via its iShares business) sponsors a sailing event called "iShares Cup" which involves something called "Extreme 40". Basically, it's high speed sailboats that race in small waterways that are visible by large groups of people, generally in large cities (see all the videos here). The skipper of the iShares boat calls it the NASCAR of sailing.

Although there haven't been any of these events in the US, the iShares boat came to San Francisco for a week of corporate events where some BGIers and BGI clients had the opportunity to ride. The sponsorship group had a "thank you" day for people who had helped them with the materials for this event - which is how I found myself all decked out and on the Bay.

My colleague took this shot of the boat while I was on it. We all expected this to be a bit frightening, but really it was the best part of the sail - being up on one pontoon with each gust!

Here I am preparing to board the sailboat from the "chaser boat". They had provided all of us with ski-suit like jumpsuits & jackets and of course life jackets (all iShares emblazoned). This is key, because everyone definitely got soaked by many, many waves.

Our cruising spot for the afternoon was the area between the Bay Bridge and a bit south of AT&T Park, where the Giants had their home opener. To add to the fun, we could hear the fans cheering (we pretended it was for us, of course).

Grinning my way off the boat. The ride was too short! The boat then sailed to Alameda where it was craned out of the bay, disassembled and placed in a cargo container to be sent back to Europe.

For all the pictures, click here.

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