Tag Archives: sport

Clipper Race Sailing Boats

The Clipper Round the World race has been underway for many years.  It is a race of a single class of sailing boats/yachts (depending on where you live) with two qualified crew and the remainder are individuals that can pay to take part on one or more of the legs around the world.  It starts and ends in Portsmouth and stops off at various cities around the world.  It has been to Seattle since we have lived here but I never managed to get down there to see the boats.

I had a work event down at the harbor one evening when the boats had arrived.  After the event, I took a few minutes to walk along the waterfront to see them tied up.  I managed to get a few shots with my phone in the low light – how impressive phones can be in dark conditions – but couldn’t get any closer.  Then I made an error.  They were advertising that you could visit the boats to look around, so I headed down at the weekend with Nancy.  There was no one to be found.  Turns out, they weren’t doing tours that weekend.  It had been a wasted trip (combined with it being a wet and windy day anyway).  However, there is more to come on this topic.

Covering a Local Soccer Tournament

I was asked back to cover a soccer tournament between different regions of WSDOT.  I went to the tournament last year when it took place on a very hot day with smoke in the air.  This year there was no smoke but it did turn out to be a warm and sunny day.  I was pretty worn out pacing the sidelines to get shots so I imagine the competitors were done by the end of things.  My goal was to try and get shots of most of the participants in reasonably interesting actions.  Not always possible but people want to see a shot of themselves so hopefully most of them will find themselves in there somewhere.

There is a web gallery I made for them which you can check out below should you be interested.  However, unless you know the people, you probably won’t be.  However, I did get a few shots that I thought were not bad as stand alone images and they are included here.  Shooting footie is not my specialty but it was a reasonable way to spend a day.


Air Canada Instead of Jetz

It’s not unusual to see Canadian A320s in Boeing Field.  They provide a lot of sports charters but, until recently, these were usually undertaken by Jetz aircraft.  More recently, it seems that they have transitioned to jets in the Air Canada core colors.  Since Air Canada has been taking delivery of lots of 737 Max aircraft recently, maybe they are cascading some of the older mainline jets to the charter operations.  I don’t really know.  I only know I have shot a few of their aircraft at Boeing Field recently.

The Craziest Abarth Cinquecento I’ve Ever Seen

When I was a small kid, we owned a Fiat 126.  My friend’s mum had a Fiat 500.  It was the old car compared to our “newer” one.  A tiny little vehicle but a cute one.  Of course, as with everything these days, the 500 made a reappearance more recently as it got a makeover.  It also spawned a range of derivatives taking it well away from the original concept.  I had never considered the original car to be too sporty so was in for a surprise.

Exotics@RTC had this amazing vehicle on display.  An Abarth Cinquecento, this thing is seriously souped up.  Forget a back seat.  Don’t expect much in the way of creature comforts.  Probably come up with a plan of how to get yourself in and out of it for that matter.  This thing is quite unlike any old Cinquecento I have ever seen.  It looked amazing.  The back end of it seemed unable to hold what was included so it was just open to let everything hang loose.  What a contrast to everything else that was on display.  That is what makes Exotics@RTC so cool.  You get these really unusual vehicles showing up.

The Racers Doing Their Thing

In a recent post, I shared some shots of an evening at the Jerry Baker Velodrome in Marymoor Park, Redmond.  We had a good time enjoying the racing, the food and the beer and, a couple of weeks later, they were holding a large meet with many international riders taking part.  This seemed like it would be worth a follow up visit.  That proved to be a good choice.  The size of the field made for much interesting racing and some drama.

Getting there proved a touch more difficult because a concert was also on at Marymoor Park but we made it in before the events got underway, so all was good.  The quality of some of the athletes was impressive.  In one race, a breakaway was well established for a large part of the race and I thought there was no way that they would be pulled back.  However, I was mistaken.  With only a couple of laps to go, a few broke away from the pack and bridged the gap to overhaul the breakaway with what seemed like ridiculous ease.  Most impressive.

There were some riders that were clearly in a league above.  You could see them managing their performance through the races, coming to the front for a while, biding their time for much of the race and then turning on the power when it was required to come home with the win.  Other riders went off on solo breaks which got them some time at the front but, by the end of the race, it was clear that they had burned themselves out.  It made for a lot of fun to watch so I am grateful for the effort that they all made.

Another top evening out.  The food truck may not have been quite so good, but the beer was still excellent, and the racing was a blast.  We shall see when we can next get down there to watch some more.

Tour de Lopez

I get plenty of emails about cycling events taking place in the Pacific Northwest.  Some of them are of interest, some are way too hard for me, and some are not at a time that works for me.  However, the Tour de Lopez ticked all the right boxes.  It was a ride around Lopez Island in the San Juans so I asked various people to see whether they would be interested in taking part.  I got a few positive responses, so I registered.

The ferry times to Lopez are not normally good for an early start but Washington State Ferries had arranged for the 7:30 from Anacortes to make an extra stop at Lopez for the event.  This was good but it did mean an early start from home to get up to Anacortes in time to put the bike together, get a ticket and board.  Unfortunately, in the days prior to the event, everyone progressively bailed on me.  The night before, it was just me.  I decided to go for it anyway.

The weather on the island was forecast to be nice but the temps are significantly lower on the islands at this time of year, so I decided to layer up.  This worked well.  I also decided to take my old GoPro with me to record the day.  I was glad I did.  It was an excellent ride.  The route winds around the island and comes through a variety of bays.  With the sun shining, these bays look so idyllic.  On a normal ride, I might be more focused on keeping moving but on this I was in no hurry so I would stop to make sure I could get some video of the ride.

There were a bunch of rest stops along the route.  Plenty of cyclists were taking part – it was sold out – but it never felt crowded.  You would see people passing by but wouldn’t be in large groups.  The nice thing about the island is that there is not a huge amount of traffic, so it is a great place to ride.  I would occasionally see some familiar faces from earlier in the ride too.  It ended up back at Lopez Village where they had laid on some food.  I bumped into a couple of guys I had seen before, and we had lunch and then rode back towards the ferry.

The ferry ride back was a nice way to end off the day and I was able to pack up my stuff in the car and head home.  The day was so much fun, and I hope the video shows just how good it was.  The guys that had been unable to join clearly liked the video because we ended up setting up a second attempt.  We did this a few weeks later and used a later ferry to start the day so it was a more relaxed affair.

Windermere Cup at UW

The University of Washington has a long history of competitive rowing.  A few years ago, we accidentally came across a regatta underway when visiting the campus.  The racing was just concluding when we got there and the crews were getting ready to head out.  I had paid a little attention to the schedule for the rowing earlier in the year but almost forgot about it until recently when I took another look at the schedule.  The last big event of the year was coming up – the Windermere Cup.  I decided to head along.

The racing takes place along Montlake Cut.  The starting point is out in Lake Washington beyond Foster Point. I decided to park up at the arboretum and walk out to Foster Point to see some of the racing from there and then follow the trail along the south side of the cut to end up at the Montlake Bridge.  This is a popular viewing location and is closed to traffic during the races.  It is still a bit short of the finish line but I didn’t think going any further would be worthwhile.  Besides, I had to backtrack to the car at the end of all of this.

The weather forecast was not favorable.  I decided to prepare for anything and took full waterproofs with me.  When I left home, it was raining very heavily and I was skeptical about how things would turn out but the rain was very localized and it was significantly better near the city.  However, it did start raining again so I put the waterproofs on when I got out of the car.  This proved to be a mistake.  It did think about raining a few times but it was quite warm and sunny near the end of the racing and I was rather overdressed.

The other thing I hadn’t accounted for was the condition of the trail.  It is a combination of boardwalk, trails and some metal planking.  However, the lake water level is quite high and sections were under water while parts of the trail were very soggy.  I had worn my hiking boots and I was glad that I had as I was able to walk through the watery sections without too much trouble.  I was constantly wondering whether it would get worse and how far I was prepared to go before turning back.  As it turned out, I made it through without a problem but I did walk back via the roads to make things simpler.

There were loads of large boats out along the course.  They were all moored with the sterns towards the course to give the rear decks the view of the racing.  Lots of people with plenty of cash judging by the size of some of them.  The parties looked like they were in full swing on a Saturday morning.  There were two smaller boats on the south side of the course that could not master mooring up and were drifting on to the course which resulted in much shouting from the officials.

There were good spots to watch from all along the cut.  I made my way progressively along the course shooting both stills and video as I went.  Plenty of students were out to cheer on the home team.  They seemed to be winning a lot of the races.  However, UW does take its rowing very seriously unlike some of the other schools in the area so not a great surprise.  The final events were the men’s and women’s Windermere Cup races and these had attracted some international competition.  In the women’s race, the GB national team won while the men’s race was won by the Netherlands national team.  The racing was still tight but the UW team does include a number of the US national team so not such an unbalanced race.

The Montlake Cut is a narrow waterway and the races happen in quick succession.  With the length of the course, the next race has started before the previous one has finished.  This means there is no space for crews to row back out from Portage Bay after their race is over.  They have to wait in the Bay until all racing is complete.  Then there is a mass exodus of crews back through the Cut.  It makes for a neat spectacle to round off the racing.  Then it is time to get off the bridge because they open it up for a few hours and you don’t want to be on the wrong side!

Dodger Stadium

The approach to Los Angeles International from the north brings you in from the coast heading east almost directly over downtown before turning south and then west to make the approach to the north complex.  This approach gives you a very good view of Dodger Stadium.  I had the camera to hand as we came in so grabbed a few quick shots of the park.  With the MLB dispute now solved, there should be crowds showing up here before too long (if they haven’t already depending on when I post this).

Kite Surfing on Puget Sound

One weekend afternoon, we took a walk through Discovery Park in Seattle.  We started up near to the top of the park and then took a trail that brought us down to the shore.  The trail continued along to the lighthouse at which point we started back to our origination point.  As we walked along the shore, the wind was quite brisk and it was proving to be fun for some guy that was out kite surfing.  Not only was he enjoying the conditions but I think he quite liked the attention.  He was very close in to the shore so was being watched by a lot of people doing the same thing as us.  I shot a little video of him before moving on and here is what I saw.

Victoria Watersports

Victoria residents like to make use of the water for their activities.  While we were there – and despite the weather being far from friendly – there were plenty of people out on the water.  Their choice of activities varied.  We had some stand up paddle boarders, there were kayakers, canoes and what looked like dragon boat teams but maybe that isn’t the right term for this type of boat.  Wherever I was wandering, there was always someone out on the water.  They managed to avoid the ferries and floatplanes without too much trouble!