I've known the Porter family for over 10 years. When I first worked for O'Neill's catamaran shop in Santa Cruz in the late 90s, I kept hearing the name of the infamous Porter Family, who had been racing Hobie Cats for decades and always place well. I heard the rumors about the masters of the shifts at Huntington Lake, and how they were almost, "impossible to beat up there." Father Pat Porter has a beach cat sailing resume that spans hundreds of local, national, and world events. He's done the mighty Worrell 1000, and countless other races with his incredible wife Darcy as crew. It's no wonder that their son Phillip and daughter Katherine (who goes by Kat for short as a tribute to racing multis), developed the bug at a young age. When they were younger, Phillip and Kat could oftentimes be found playing on the beach as their parents rounded marks just offshore. When Pat and Darcy felt that Kat could handle a boat of her own, they bought her a Hobie Wave. The family has traveled the globe racing Hobie Cats, and I can't much think of a much better way to raise your kids than that!
Now in their teens, the Porter kids are racing on their own. They can be found at various Hobie events around the globe either racing their own boats, or as sought after crew aboard another skippers boat. I've known Kat since she was toddling around the regatta site with a bottle, and it's been great to see her grow up completely entwined with racing sailboats boats! Below is her interpretation of Growing up Hobie. Pay close attention, you might learn something!
My name is Kat Porter, I’m 14 and my sailing career started when I was in my mother’s stomach. My brother was three at the time and the baby sitter hadn’t shown up, so my parents threw a sweatshirt and lifejacket on Phillip and left the beach. He fell asleep on the downwind leg, but woke for the finish where the whole family crossed the finish line in third! My father didn’t know I was on the boat, but my mom told him later. Since then, I have sailed in five open and youth North Americans, attended the Mexico worlds when I was six, and I’ve gone to hundreds of local regattas since I was a baby.
It looks like we'll get a chance to see our first full fledged AC72 in about a week or so. Our friends from Emirates Team New Zealand have just announced that they will be launching their AC 72 on Saturday July 21!
From ETNZ's Blog:
Emirates Team New Zealand will reveal its AC72 catamaran at a public event at Viaduct Harbour on Saturday, July 21
The team is promising a spectacular “launch day” for the big catamaran which another step forward in the team’s campaign to win the 2013 America’s Cup at San Francisco.
Team managing director Grant Dalton says July 21 will be a big day for the team. “We have been working towards the day for 18 months. Until now we have said very little about the AC72 project and we have shown even less.
“The design team of more than 30 people has been working since the end of 2010. The build team started in August last year. The AC72i represents more than 50 man-years of design time and 65,000 hours of build time.
“The design and build work has gone ahead behind closed doors. Now it’s time to share their creation with New Zealand.
“The team will be celebrating and we invite people to celebrate with us. He said the July 21 show is free to the public. “People will have great views from the Halsey Street wharf, from public areas around the Viaduct Events Centre and from the area around the lifting bridge.
“The action takes place on the water bounded by the Halsey Street wharf and the bridge.”
He urges people to arrive at the Viaduct by 5.30pm. “The first few hundred will have the opportunity to be part of the launch crew. The show will get underway by 5.45pm.”
Should the weather refuse to cooperate on the Saturday July 21, the show will go on the following day, Sunday July 22.
Here is some footage that we shot of the boys aboard their Extreme 40 in Boston!
What is touted as the biggest catamaran race in the world, the Round Texel attracts some of the best multihull sailors in the world.
From their site:
Since 1978 the Round Texel Race is the biggest catamaranrace in the world with over 500 catamarans. Participating the event is possible for all catamaransailors form all over the world. And coming to Texel means good sailing and a lot of fun on the beach and during the evenings.
This year Sail Video Systems put together a nice recap of the race. Check it!
What kind of beast will be able to keep up with an AC72 when the wind pipes up to 25 and the classic SF ebb starts cranking? A mulihull! Thanks to well known multi design firm Morrelli and Melvin, based out of Huntington Beach, that's exactly what ETNZ got! We featured this sucker a few months back while it was still under construction, and today she was launched.