Archive for » October 18th, 2013«

Daredevil's 'perfect shot'

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Veteran sports photographer Ezra Shaw took to land, sea, and sky to capture these remarkable images of the America’s Cup. “Before each race, both teams would warm up by sailing most of the race course,” the 39-year-old Getty photographer explained. “The television helicopters would also start the day by flying in a close formation across the course.”

Shaw flew in an open-door helicopter 400 meters above the waves to take his stunning images. “The picture of the light reflecting against the fog created that rainbow halo. That was somewhat of a lucky picture and it’s nice to get lucky like that some times,” he said.

Shaw wasn’t just limited to helicopters, jumping in a speedboat to capture the battle between Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand. “This picture was taken with a underwater housing on one of my cameras. The housing kept my camera dry while I was able to capture the splashes of waves in San Francisco Bay,” he said.

Shaw added: “This is one of my favorite images. Living in San Francisco, I always see the red and white ferry boat in the Bay when I come into the city and I like how the New Zealand boat is framed between the ferry, rowboat, and the foggy Golden Gate Bridge.”

“There was a small brush fire south of San Francisco that provided the smoke in this picture, which I think adds to the overall image,” said Shaw.

Captured from above the AC-72 catamarans – used here by Team USA – have a space age quality.

Team USA take inspiration from Californian musical stars The Beach Boys as they go surfing USA style.

“This picture was taken from the Marin Headlands just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is one spot that you can position yourself so that the tip of the Transamerica Pyramid Center building is visible through the top portion of the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Shaw.

He added: “San Francisco also has lots of different micro climates — the fog might roll in one day and they’d be blue sky the next.”

San Francisco’s arts scene made for some thought-provoking sights. Here Mark Di Suvero’s sculpture called Figolu is in the foreground.

“When I was in the helicopter we either had to fly on the outside of the race course, or at an altitude of about 400 meters to stay away from the television helicopters that had priority. Although it was a little high to get intense action pictures, I was able to work the lines of the boats into the composition,” said Shaw.












(CNN) — While the rest of us were watching two boats battling it out in one of the most thrilling sailing competitions of all time, there was another man soaring 400 meters above the waves watching our every move.

Hanging out of an open-door helicopter flying high above San Francisco Bay, is all part of a day’s work for sports photographer Ezra Shaw, who took these remarkable images of the America’s Cup.

It’s not always easy finding an interesting angle when photographing endless blue sea and sky, but Shaw managed to capture the grace — and adrenalin — of sailing, using high-tech equipment on land, sea, and air.

“I don’t like flying that much,” admitted 39-year-old Shaw, a photographer with one of the biggest news agencies in the world, Getty Images, for over 15 years.

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“But having a camera makes being in a helicopter a little easier because I’m concentrating on my job and trying to get these pictures — rather than actually thinking ‘I’m flying above the water with no door.'”

Golden backdrop

This was one of the first times the prestigious race had been held in a city, rather than out at sea, giving Shaw a rare opportunity to capture the dramatic skyline of his hometown.

As U.S. billionaire Larry Ellison’s yacht Oracle made a dramatic comeback against Emirates Team New Zealand, in one of the most nail-biting finishes in the competition’s 162-year history, it was up to Shaw to capture the drama, with his images used in newspapers across the world.

Read: America’s Cup 2013 — sport’s greatest comeback?

“Golden Gate Bridge is pretty spectacular and the skyline is beautiful. So to be able to work those two elements into the picture gave me a chance to get a variety of different images that wouldn’t have been possible in other America’s Cups,” said Shaw.

“San Francisco also has lots of different micro climates — the fog might roll in one day and they’d be blue sky the next, which made for interesting images.”

Speed machines

But it wasn’t just helicopters helping Shaw get a fresh perspective of the historic race.

The photographer — who covered last year’s London Olympics — also jumped aboard a powerboat to get close to the action.

It was hard work keeping up with the futuristic yachts — which glide along the waves at 80 kilometers per hour — not to mention taking photographs on a violently bouncing speedboat.

Read: Meet the new America’s Cup ‘flying yacht’

“These sailboats go so fast that the motorboats we were on really couldn’t keep up with them. So you have to pick a few key spots on the course,” explained Shaw.

“I was carrying heavy equipment going out on a boat day after day — I went to the gym a lot more,” he joked.

Brave new world

It’s an indication of how far sports photography has developed in recent years, with international agencies using everything from helicopters to high-tech underwater camera equipment to get a shot no one else has.

“One of the guys on the motorboat had been photographing sailing for 30 years and was talking about America’s Cup in Newport in the 80s,” explained Shaw. “He would have somebody bring him more film on the boat because he’d run out.

“It’s great shooting on digital, because you’re rocking up and down on a boat so much with these long lenses. I’d be taking thousands of images a day to get it down to 30 or 40 pictures that I would transmit to the Getty website.”

Capturing the moment

But for Shaw, the secret to taking a good photograph isn’t necessarily gadgets or extreme helicopter rides — it’s having a good eye.

“The moment is very important — one of my photos of the two boats passing behind Golden Gate Bridge captures them just as they’re between the lines,” he said.

“Great moments in sports photography are very important, where you’re capturing the millisecond of something happening.”

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United States Sailboat Show – Weather didn’t dampen sales or spirits



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 : United States Sailboat Show – Weather didn’t dampen sales or spirits

‘United States Sailboat Show’   

There were some that said that the inclement weather might have actually buoyed sales at this year’s United States Sailboat Show; because the harder it rained the more boats were sold. Show officials suggested that although overall attendance dipped slightly, the quality of buyers soared as many consumers seemed intent on leaving the show with a new boat.

‘The weather had no impact on sales,’ said Paul Jacobs, general manager of the Annapolis Boat Shows. ‘Sailors came to Annapolis from 24 countries around the world to shop, compare and purchase sailboats.’

The Sailboat Show booked more exhibitor space than at any time in its 44-year history and the vendors and boat manufacturers reported historic sales. Seminars and events were at capacity or sold out well in advance including the Take The Wheel program and the 2013 Launch Party.

Larry Reagan of Just Boat Loans reported that 2013 just missed hitting its mark set in 2008. ‘Applications and purchase agreements are coming in. We are almost back to 2008 levels,’ Reagan said.

‘Things have been phenomenal–crazy good,’ said Valerie Toomey of Jeanneau. ‘I would say that there have been less people but we have had non-stop traffic of very serious prospects and buyers. We are selling boats that don’t even exist yet.’

‘Sales are beyond expectations,’ said Dan Nardo of Annapolis Yacht Sales working at the Beneteau exhibit. ‘I expect to beat my goal and then some. People came to buy. I spent my time discussing options rather than sales.’

‘Every year the Annapolis Boat Show proves itself as the sales show where you want to have your fleet on display. Other than being extremely soggy, this is the show that brings in buyers! We have been extremely pleased with the quality of our customers this year,’ said Tommy Smith of Nautitech Catamarans.

Smartkat Sailing USA posted on Facebook, ‘This was our first time at the Annapolis Boat Show and we were impressed with the show – we will be back!’

Exhibitors in Vacation Basin, the venue at the show dedicated to charters in the Chesapeake and more exotic locales saw long lines. ‘It was a great show. People came to Annapolis to book charters,’ said Erin Maitland of Dream Yacht Charters.

The Moorings Yacht and Charter Company reported that Caribbean bookings for the American market were up 25 percent from last year.

‘It was surprising how good the charter traffic was despite the weather,’ said Phil Swaun, northeast regional manager for New Coast Financial Services.

Skipper Jimmy Spithill, captain of Oracle Team USA and winner of the America’s Cup, was honored at the 2013 US Sailboat Show Launch Party on opening night.

At the Launch Party the US Sailboat Show and Sail America announced the creation of the first annual Sailing Industry Distinguished Service Award to recognize an individual who has made an outstanding and unselfish contribution to the sailing industry. The first award will be bestowed on opening day of the Sailboat Show in 2014.

A Presidential Proclamation issued by Sail America recognized the United States Sailboat Show, the largest and oldest sailboat show in the world, as the premier sailing showcase for the international marine industry, and the ultimate consumer and trade show for the North American sailing market.

US Boat website

by Paul Jacobs

5:21 AM Fri 18 Oct 2013GMT

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AFLOAT: Sailing duo get back on the water

AFLOAT: Sailing duo get back on the water

By Laura Kitching

BRISTOL TEST: Tim Scarisbrick sailing in Bristol thanks to Chesil Sailability

TWO sailors who have been missing from local start lines in recent years because of illness have got back on the water in Portland Harbour.

Anya de Iongh stopped sailing in 2011 after an accident and the diagnosis of several long-term health conditions.

Now, with neck brace and bucket seat, she has been out almost every Wednesday evening over the summer.

After a brilliant sail in a 2.4m keelboat, the only bit that ached was her cheeks from grinning ear to ear all afternoon. She said: “I feel like me again!”

Tim Scarisbrick suffered a severe stroke in December 2010 and was devastated that he would no longer be able to sail his beloved 505 again.

He was finding it hard to come to terms with not sailing as it had been part of his life since the age of three.

His saviour came in the form of Chesil Sailability.

He was delighted they could offer him the chance to sail again. He too sailed during the summer and was given the privilege of entering an open meeting at Bristol.

“Wow, thank you Chesil Sailibilty and all the volunteers,” he said.

It’s not just been the waters of Portland either – both Tim and Anya went to the Bristol Access Class Association Traveler Trophy event in August.

After a day of very light winds in the vortex that is Bristol Docks they were pleased to see Portland Harbour again.

All of this has been possible because of Chesil Sailability – the new sailing group for people with disabilities that has been established this year at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) – a true local Paralympic sailing legacy.

After the first meeting in January, the group got afloat in July, just before meeting Lord Sebastian Coe, and have been sailing weekly since then.

Supported by a dedicated team of volunteers, six to nine sailors each week have managed to get afloat in our two loan boats, an Access 2.3 and an Access 303.

The group has already been donated funds for their first boat and hope to be adding to their fleet next year.

Now Chesil Sailability has had its final session of the season, the group are looking ahead to next year, training volunteers, fundraising and boat maintenance over the winter, and then planning weekly summer sessions.

Anyone wishing to support the local Paralympic sailing legacy is welcome to join the team for some winter work, help out with fundraising or assist with on-the-water sessions as a skipper in the boats – in a rigid inflatable boat or on shore keeping your feet perfectly dry.

For more information about Chesil Sailability contact or visit

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Sailing the World as a Private Yacht Stewardess

How did you get into this business? Carl, my friend from high school, graduated and got a job as a deckhand—he eventually became the youngest yacht captain in North America by the time he was 22. When I graduated from Indiana University, I went for a year abroad with BUNAC, and the travel bug bit. Carl called me up one day, and said “hey ,we have a position on board.” I took a month to get rid of all my stuff and put it into my parents’ basement—by the time I got down there [to Ft. Lauderdale] he had given the job to someone else. But within another month, I landed a job as a second stewardess on a 150-foot boat.

What are the responsibilities? You’re managing a five-star resort. If guests come onboard and there aren’t working pens, you’re responsible for that. You have to type up the instructions to use the phone or the remote. You’ve gotta make sure there are lightbulbs in the light fixtures. When you’re in Croatia and a guest asks if you have any hot rollers on board…well, if you don’t have something, there’s nothing like a guest’s wrath. Especially when they’re paying $70,000 to be on that boat.

You talk about private yachts and charter yachts in your book. What’s the difference between the two? On a private yacht, the owner might only have time to use it three or four times a year, so when the owner’s not on board, the crew is just working 9 to 5. They still live on the boat, they just do maintenance—there’s always work to do on the boat. he crew gets to enjoy the destination more. And if you’re in St. Barth’s, you’re not really bitter about staying put.

On charter ships [when owners rent out their yachts], you could have a guest for 20 days. Sometimes you only have two or three days between trips to get ready for the next charter. You have the most demanding people in the world, and you’ve got this rule that you can’t say no—no problems, there are only solutions. You sometimes are really working around the clock to keep up with the laundry, to keep up with guests who wake up in the middle of the night and want a sandwich and there’s only one chef on board.

So it sounds like private yachts are the plush gigs? Well, if you’re chartering a Russian mafia guy, you know that if you work your tail off, at the end of that period the guest will hopefully tip you between 5 and 15 percent—you could walk away with several thousand dollars in cash. Even if you’re working 15 days straight in Turkey, Croatia, and Greece, you don’t really think “I need breaks.”

But, do you ever get any breaks? It all just depends. Sometimes between clients, you’ll have cash in your pocket, and the captain will say, “Ok, we’re going to Mykonos, and we’re going to anchor out for a week. You can sit in the Jacuzzi, and you can go party and play with the water toys.” That’s why there’s a lot of turnover even boat-to-boat. Crew will hop boats a lot—so you’ll work for three months just living in three months in the shipyard, then do another charter season, then you’ll be exhausted and go on a yacht that only the owner uses.

With that much ship-hopping, do most of the world’s yacht crew know each other? People like to think of it as a secret world, but crew know where crew are. There are tons of industry forums, Facebook pages, and publications. And there are two main areas of the world: in the U.S. it’s Ft. Lauderdale, and in Europe it’s Antibes. In those areas, there’s a high concentration of training schools. And everybody gets familiar with a certain set of bars.

There must be juicy crew gossip, then? You’ve gotta be careful in this industry. Even though it spans the globe, it’s a very small world. You hook up with some guy in St. Martin, and you’re both crew members…that information has already hit Antibes within 12 hours. Be careful if you’re trying to keep that away from a girlfriend on another ship. That information travels fast. But if you’re going to have any semblance of a normal life, you are hooking up with your crew mates. Otherwise, you’re out there combing the port. So, a lot of onboard hookups lead to marriages.

Do you eat the same food as the guests? The crew is not eating what the guests would eat necessarily, but I always say one of the biggest benefits of yachting is the food. You have this world-class chef on board, who also has to cook for the crew. In a lot of cases, guests will order so much food—it’s picky, specialty stuff. And then they come on board and they never eat it all. So when they leave, they usually pay the bill, and the crew are left with it. After a big charter trip, the chef will prepare some celebratory feast for the whole crew.

In my book, I mentioned this story about an owner whose yacht was built in Italy. He thought it would be fun to stock the ship with Italian wine. After the first year with the vessel, he did his maiden voyage and took it from Italy to the Caribbean—then he decided, “I’m not really digging this Italian wine, get rid of it.” It wasn’t even, “I like the pinots, keep those,” it was, “no Italian wines, I want all French.” We each took a couple of bottles for ourselves, put those in our cabins and saved it for a rainy day. Then we just had to give it out to the shipyard workers. They’re skipping home with $3,000 bottles of merlot.

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