Saturday, March 24, 2018

High winds postpone America's Cup

SAN FRANCISCO — Strong wind blowing in through the Golden Gate Bridge and a strong tide flowing out to sea forced organizers to postpone two America's Cup races Tuesday between Emirates Team New Zealand and defender Oracle Team USA.

Lighter wind is expected today on San Francisco Bay, when organizers hope to complete Races 11 and 12.

Team New Zealand leads 7-1 and needs two wins to claim the America's Cup for the second time in 18 years. Oracle Team USA, owned by software mogul Larry Ellison, was penalized two points in a cheating scandal, so it needs eight more victories to keep the Auld Mug.

The wind limit of 23 knots was reduced to 20.3 because of an ebb tide flowing out at 2.7 knots. Regatta director Iain Murray said it was the strongest current day of the summer.

The wind gusted to 25 knots.

The original wind limit of 33 knots was reduced to 23 as one of 37 safety recommendations made after British double Olympic medalist Andrew "Bart" Simpson was killed May 9 when Artemis Racing's catamaran capsized during a training run.

"This is not a safe sport by definition," said Dirk Kramers of Oracle's design team. "The loss of Bart in May shook us pretty hard as a community, as a whole industry."

On Monday, Oracle Team USA officials proposed increasing the wind limit from 23 to 24 knots, saying crews were capable of starting races in those conditions aboard their high-performance, 72-foot catamarans.

Team New Zealand declined, saying it would have considered it before racing started but didn't feel it was appropriate to make changes this far into the regatta.

Even if the teams agreed, Murray would have to take the proposal to the U.S. Coast Guard.

"We're very happy with where it's at," Team New Zealand technical director Nick Holroyd said. "After the racing was canceled today, we went through the southwest corner Alcatraz across a shoal, which was a pretty rough piece of water."


Captainís Corner: Erratic weather making offshore fishing unpredictable

Continued heavy winds have kept offshore fisheries from settling in to predictable patterns. When things have calmed, nearshore baitfish have bunched up and kingfish and Spanish mackerel settled in around them. Unfortunately, each cold front has chur...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Snook bite is best now in afternoon

So what happened to our spring weather in February? The weather has the fish moving back and forth between their winter and summer spots, and with April just a few weeks away, the air temperature is warming up and should be in the upper 70s and low 8...
Published: 03/21/18
Updated: 03/22/18

Captainís Corner: Windy conditions limit fishing options

The weather and water temperature roller coaster continues. Finding consistent action has been difficult with windy conditions keeping us from fishing many open parts of the bay or out into the gulf. Hiding in secluded backwater areas or on leeward s...
Published: 03/20/18
Updated: 03/21/18

Captainís Corner: Grouper moving in as water temperatures rise

Red grouper have made their move inshore this past week as waters closer to shore have warmed up a bit. Concentrate your efforts on hard bottom areas in depths of 100-120 feet for the rest of the month, and remember that all shallow water grouper are...
Published: 03/18/18
Updated: 03/20/18

Captainís Corner: Cold causes spiny lobsters to go into hiding

The cold front that ended Wednesday drove the offshore bottom temperatures back down into the low 60s. On dives Friday, my dive computer read 62 degrees at the bottom in 54 feet of water. On the next dive it read 60 in 62 feet. We were looking for ho...
Published: 03/18/18

Captainís Corner: Snook are the hot bite

Surface water temperatures have dipped into the low 60s, but the fish donít seem to mind. The longer days get the temperature up and helps keep it from getting into the danger zone at night. Snook have been the hot bite this past week and, believe it...
Published: 03/16/18
Updated: 03/17/18

It has been a crazy month regarding all the drastic weather changes. We experienced a record-breaking warming trend in February, followed by an endless amount of cold weather this month. The arrival times for many spring migrations of fish has been i...
Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

February seemed like March with record-breaking heat, but now March seems like February with below-average temperatures. This is a good thing. Spring fishing has started way too early in the past few years. The cold-water temperature we have now will...
Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

Having a fantastic river trip one day where we caught a lot of snook in shallow water on a fly and going back to the same location three days later and not finding any cooperative fish can be very puzzling. What happened? Recent warm weather was repl...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

Water temperatures have finally started to climb into the low 70s on the flats. The temperatures have been fluctuating with the past few cold fronts moving through. Large schools of reds should start showing up on the flats in the Pinellas Point area...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18