Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Electric smiles: Napa Valley VIP Reception at Club 45

Amelia Hardy with Russell Coutts. Photo credit: Greg Rodeno
Electric.  That's what it was like tonight at the Napa Valley reception at Club 45.  From beginning to end, the place was buzzing with excitement. The atmosphere in Newport last June was wonderful, but it was nothing like this.  

Attendance was impressive, as were those attending.  I met Russell Coutts, who has a perfect win/loss record in 20 match races over the course of four victorious America's Cup campaigns, and I spoke to Bob Fisher, who has written more (and knows more) about the America's Cup than anyone else alive (or not). Everywhere I looked I saw the faces of sailors who have distinguished themselves in San Francisco Bay racing for decades.

The guests crowded round the tasting counters, talking at length with the pouring vintners, clearly enjoying the opportunity to learn more about the Napa Valley and its wines.

Electric smiles.

Lester Hardy

Lawyer by day, author by night, Lester is the husband of Janet Pagano, Managing Partner at Ovid Vineyards.  An avid sailor, Lester crews for vintner Eric Sklar on Spindrifter at the Sausalito Yacht Club's Tuesday night races, and is currently working on a biography of San Francisco sailig legend Tom Blackaller, who competed in three America's Cup events. You can reach Lester at, or visit his blog at

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