Shannon and Simeon bring the schwag to junior women’s champs
By ORACLE Racing Comms // June 28, 2011
What do you get when you mix two 6-foot-6 tall and tanned athletes with 56 junior women sailors between the ages of 13 and 18? ORACLE Racing guest speakers at US SAILING’s 2011 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship.
ORACLE Racing teamers Shannon Falcone, who celebrates his 30th birthday today, and Simeon Tienpont, 29, were the guests of honor at a pre-regatta dinner at the host Richmond Yacht Club in Point Richmond, Calif.
The duo took a page out of the James Bond how-to-arrive-in-style handbook when they showed up on a team tender and stepped onto the yacht club floats, wearing their black ORACLE Racing jackets and black shorts.
“It must’ve been pretty funny seeing us standing there,” said Tienpont, of The Netherlands. “Two tall guys in front of 60 giggling teenagers. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was lawn bowling, they were captivated.”
Falcone and Tienpont spoke about ORACLE Racing’s training the past two weeks on San Francisco Bay and presented the video that’s become known as “The Russell Coutts video,” where the all-time greatest Cup winning skipper pitchpoles his AC45 and then falls through the wing.
The two also came armed with trivia, such as the first women’s team in the America’s Cup. But the questions stumped the audience. “All of the questions were from 1992 or 1995,” said Tienpont. “Some of them weren’t even born then!”
They also fielded many questions from the crowd, the most popular being “How fast are the boats?” and “How much will it cost us to get a women’s team together?” and, of course, “Can I have your telephone number?” Well, that’s what the guys are claiming.
“We love coming to events like this,” said Falcone. “It's great to meet and talk to people who love following our sport. Some of these girls, you never know, they could be among the next generation of America’s Cup sailors. So it's always interesting to hear their questions, their points of view and to be able to give them an insight into the lifestyle we lead as professional sailors.”
As the night wound down, Tienpont handed out certificates in a humorous ceremony to sailors who had capsized their Laser Radial rig and turned turtle, their identity known by the mud on the sail.
The night concluded with Falcone and Tienpont handing out signed caps and t-shirts, and patiently posing for pictures galore.
“We must’ve done about 100 different photo groups,” said Tienpont.
Link to article: Shannon and Simeon bring the schwag to junior women’s champs
Photos: Shannon Falcone (with beard) and Simeon Tienpont entertain junior women sailors at the Richmond Yacht Club (Guilain Grenier/ORACLE Racing).